Mr. William Hannan
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he will set up in Scotland an authority comparable to the National Parks Commission which operates in England and Wales; and if he will make a statement.
It is the Government's intention to establish a Countryside Commission for Scotland, and to ensure that such a Commission and the Scottish local authorities will have all the powers necessary not only to conserve our unique heritage of scenic beauty but to see that its recreational and tourist potential is developed to the full. Our proposals will be framed to suit Scotland's distinctive needs, and will provide for appropriate Exchequer assistance. The new machinery will supplement and fit in not only with Government agencies such as the Highlands and Islands Development Board, the Forestry Commission and the Nature Conservancy but also with the existing structure of local authorities and voluntary bodies. I have already initiated consultations with these bodies, and legislation will be introduced in due course after these consultations have been completed.