asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is yet able to announce the members of the Islands committee of inquiry.
I am pleased to say that the following have accepted my invitation to serve on the committee of inquiry into the functions and powers of the Islands Councils of Scotland:
- Sir David Montgomery (Chairman)—former Vice-President of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
- Mr. James Anderson CBE—Convener of Central Regional Counil.
- Sir Lawrence Boyle—former Chief Executive of Strathclyde Regional Council.
- Professor A. W. Bradley—Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Edinburgh.
- Sheriff Alistair MacDonald—Sheriff in Kirkwall and Lerwick.
- Mr. D. G. MacDonald—former Board Member, National Freight Corporation; Managing Director, John Menzies (Holdings) plc.
- Mr. Stuart McDowall—Senior Lecturer in Economics, University of St. Andrews.
- Mr. C. A. MacLeod—Member of the North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board former member White Fish Authority, Chairman Lyle Shipping Company.
- Mr. P. C. Rendle—former Principal Finance Officer, Scottish Office.
"Having regard to the remoteness of the communities within the areas of the Islands Councils of Scotland and to the impact on those communities of major economic development (such as projects associated with off-shore oil exploitation) and with a view to improving the effective and economical discharge of functions by these Councils:
1. to review their discharge since May 1975 of the functions placed on them by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 and related public general and local legislation; and 2. to recommend whether any changes in such legislation or in administrative practice are desirable in the local and national interest."
I am confident that the committee now constituted will be well placed to discharge this remit and it will be meeting soon to plan its programme of work which will, no doubt, include an early invitation to those concerned to submit evidence to it.