§ Mr. Wallace
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what arrangements he has made to set up the ecological steering group referred to in his statement of 11 January; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Lang
I plan to establish as soon as possible an ecological steering group on the oil spill in Shetland with the terms of reference shown below. Professor W. Ritchie, professor of physical geography, vice principal of the university of Aberdeen, has accepted my invitation to be the chairman. I shall make a further announcement about the membership of the group in due course. The terms of reference are as followsTo monitor environmental work arising from the incident and to provide a focus for liaison and advice;To assess the impact of the incident on the ecology of the Shetland Islands;To develop urgently the best strategies in the short and longer term for dealing with the implications of the incident as they affect the ecology of the Shetland Islands and to report to the Secretary of State for Scotland on these at an early date;To oversee special studies for monitoring the impact on and subsequent recovery of the environment in order to advise the Government of the lessons to be learned which could be applied more widely, whether in the United Kingdom or elsewhere.