asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will now authorise the dredging at Uig Pier, Isle of Skye.
My right hon. Friend is still considering the proposal made by the Highland Regional Council that his Department should undertake a scheme of dredging at Uig Pier.
Is the Minister aware that his Department has been considering this matter for a long time and that now there has been a protracted and unreasonable delay in coming to a decision on a small proposal which will cost only £35,000? Will he do what he can to accelerate procedures in his Department?
This matter was first raised in 1974 with the Inverness County Council. The hon. Member for Inverness (Mr. Johnston) and I will not accept responsibility for everything that it does. In 1975 the Highland Regional Council withdrew the offer to acquire the pier and only a few months ago we received the current request for dredging. If the matter was left to the hon. Member for Inverness and myself I am sure that we could come to an amicable agreement.