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The Boards

Volume 76: debated on Monday 1 April 1985

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Lords amendment: No. 11, in page 22, line 35, at end insert—

"() The Secretary of State shall include amongst the trustees at least one Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland."

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said amendment.

Hon. Members will recall that when the Bill was considered in the House I emphasised the importance that we attach to maintaining the links between the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland whose collections it founded and over which it presided for so many years. We made a number of changes put forward by my hon. Friend the Member for Fife, North-East (Mr. Henderson) to take account of that concern.

It was suggested at that time, and again on Report by the hon. Members for Glasgow, Garscadden (Mr. Dewar) and for Glasgow, Maryhill (Mr. Craigen) — with the sympathy of some of my hon. Friends — that the Bill should contain a more specific provision to clarify the relationship of the society with the new board of trustees. On reconsidering the point in the light of the representations, we came to the view that the historically unique nature of the society's involvement supported the need for some special arrangement.

This amendment, therefore, has the effect of requiring that at least one of the trustees appointed by the Secretary of State shall always be a fellow of the society. The society has expressed itself satisfied with this arrangement and I hope that the House will support the amendment.

I welcome the amendment, but the Minister should wriggle a little more because he pointedly refused the proposal when it was put forward on Report. I know that the hon. Member for Fife, North-East (Mr.

Henderson) and other hon. Members made the point in Committee about recognising the long association of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. I am glad that the Minister has come round to accepting the points put to him. I should like to see him wriggle a wee bit more in his explanation of how he eventually acceded to our request.

Question put and agreed to.

Lords amendments Nos. 12 and 13 agreed to.