§ Mr. Maclennan
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will now make a statement on the recent proposals of the Crofters Commission regarding the future of crofting tenure.
§ Mr. Ross
I should like first to put on record my recognition of the excellent work which the Commission has put into consideration of this very complex problem and my appreciation of the clarity and economy with which it has presented its proposals to me. These proposals have attracted keen and wide-ranging interest. They have stimulated energetic discussion; and not merely among crofters themselves or within the crofting counties. All of this indicates the measure of their importance first to the Highlands and Islands but also to the country as a whole.
To assist me to assess these proposals I have authorised officials to enter into consultations with interested bodies. My officials will also be ready to consider written evidence or comments by other bodies or persons who do not receive a direct invitation to submit observations. In addition, I propose to set in hand a number of studies which will, I hope, also help me to reach conclusions about the practical and financial implications of the proposals and about the desirability of a possible change in the law.