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Scotland

Volume 889: debated on Thursday 10 April 1975

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Q1.

asked the Prime Minister if he will pay an official visit to Scotland.

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Aberdeen, South (Mr. Sproat) on 8th April.

Can my right hon. Friend give an assurance that he will visit Scotland in the course of the referendum campaign? Will he accept from me that he will get a particularly warm welcome in Glenrothes New Town, where virtually every industrialist will tell him that he desperately wants us to stay in the European Economic Community? Will he also tell them that two recent public opinion polls—one published this morning—show that about two to one of the British public want to stay in the EEC and that even in Scotland a majority of the people want to stay in?

As to visiting Scotland in the course of the referendum campaign, my hon. Friend will know that when I addressed the Scottish Labour Party in Aberdeen—he may well have been there—I spoke on this question at some length. I am grateful to my hon. Friend for what he has told me about Glenrothes. It is true of a number of areas where a great deal of new industry has been established. I have always been extremely reserved about public opinion polls as being accurate forecasts, but I have seen both of those referred to by my hon. Friend.

In view of last night's vote in the House, will the Prime Minister take an early opportunity to advise the Scottish people which Minister is responsible for explaining the Government's case and the advantages to Scotland of Britain's remaining in the EEC?