HL Deb 09 July 1968 vol 294 cc793-4

2.44 p.m.


My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government, in view of the report of Mr. W. Munro, Q.C., to the Secretary of State for Scotland on the proposed developments at Invergordon recommending that no time should be lost in making a survey of the possibility of reclaiming of Nigg Bay for industrial use, what action they have taken, or propose to take, on this recommendation.]


My Lords, my right honourable friend the Secretary of State has drawn the attention of Ross and Cromarty County Council to Mr. Munro's recommendation, and they will no doubt include it in their consideration of the long-term pattern of land use in the area in the light of the Holmes Group Report.

The noble Lord will also probably be aware of the announcement at Inverness yesterday, on behalf of the Highlands and Islands Development Board, that they are to make preliminary surveys into the potential for reclamation in various parts of their area. I have no doubt that they will bear in mind Mr. Munro's recommendation.


My Lords, in thanking the noble Lard for that reply, may I say that I am not sure whether I showed him this answer in the Scotsman, or whether he leaked it to the Scotsman yesterday.


My Lords, the first part of what the noble Lord says is perfectly correct. The noble Lord did draw my attention to the report in the Scotsman. The answer to the second part of the noble Lord's observation is that I did not leak anything to the Scotsman either yesterday or at any time in the past. I hope that I shall not do anything of that kind in future.


My Lords, would the appropriate department of Her Majesty's Government copy this excellent enterprise of the Scots and, now that the cost of land is so high, make a survey of British coastal areas which could be reclaimed? If the Dutch can do it, we can do it.


My Lords, I have no doubt that if the noble Lord puts down a Question on that subject some other Member of Her Majesty's Government will give him a reply.


My Lords, if this reclamation of the seashore proves to be successful in Scotland, would my noble friend seriously consider applying it to the coast of Essex when he comes to consider the question of Stansted Airport?


My Lords, I thought that my previous Answer made it clear that the responsibility of the Scottish Office does not extend so far South.