HC Deb 23 May 1973 vol 857 cc72-3W
Sir John Gilmour

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will make a statement on the organisation of the Scottish Office.

Mr. Gordon Campbell

I have decided to establish an additional Scottish department, to be known as the Scottish Economic Planning Department. The new department will consist of the present Regional Development Division and some of the closely allied divisions of the Scottish Development Department. The latter will include the divisions responsible for relations with the Highlands and Islands Development Board, the Scottish Tourist Board, the two Scottish electricity boards, the Scottish Transport Group and the new town development corporations. The Scottish Development Department will continue to deal with local government, planning, housing, roads, water and other environmental services at at present.

The Scottish Economic Planning Department will provide the necessary support within the Scottish Office to the Minister of State in his new co-ordinating responsibilities in relation to oil development in Scotland. It will also be concerned with the Scottish aspects of regional policies, including those relating to the EEC.

At the same time a management group is being formed to strengthen the existing arrangements for the co-ordination of the work of the Scottish departments. This will consist of the five heads of departments under the chairmanship of the Permanent Under-Secretary of State. It will be specially concerned with the allocation of resources and with forward planning, particularly in relation to those policies involving more than one of the departments.

The individual responsibilities of the Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State in the Scottish Office will continue as at present.