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House of Commons Hansard
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Scotland (Economic Planning)
23 November 1965
Volume 721

Q4.

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asked the Prime Minister what are the respective responsibilities of the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs and the Secretary of State for Scotland for economic planning in Scotland.

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I would refer the hon. Member to the Answer I gave to a Question by the hon. Member for Moray and Nairn (Mr. G. Campbell) on 1st February.

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Is the Prime Minister aware that we have been told that local authority borrowing in Scotland has been slashed by one-third? Yet the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs appears to believe that Scotland has been unaffected by the consequences of the Government's mishandling of our affairs? Would he take steps to ensure that the First Secretary of State knows what is being done in the Government's name in Scotland?

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I think my right hon. Friend certainly knows who was responsible for the mishandling of the nation's affairs. The hon. Gentleman is free at any time to put questions to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland on the precise effects of the local government position there.

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Is not the Prime Minister aware that the Chancellor of the Exchequer gave specific undertakings that development districts, of which the central belt of Scotland is one, would be exempted from the reductions in capital expenditure, and we as a Government gave a similar undertaking when the Scottish White Paper was published and implemented? Yet now local authority borrowing has been slashed by one-third. How can the Prime Minister reconcile these two things?

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I think that when the right hon. Gentleman comes to study what has actually happened there—we are prepared to make a very much fuller statement in view of what he has said—he will find that my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer's statement has been carried out.