§ 41. Mr. David Steel
asked the Lord President of the Council whether he will now move to set up a Select Committee on the Scottish Office with powers to meet publicly in Edinburgh.
§ Mr. Steel
I was afraid that would be the answer. Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is very strong agitation and concern in Scotland that the government of Scotland should be open to greater scrutiny by Members sent to this House from Scottish constituencies? Will he, therefore, accept that there is genuine pressure for this by Members of all parties, and will he make an early announcement in favour of setting up such a Committee?
§ Mr. Stodart
When and if the right hon. Gentleman decides to set up this Committee and it wishes to sit in Edinburgh, will he ensure that his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State does not put the same difficulties in the way of that Committee as were put in the way of the Specialist Committee on Agriculture when it wanted to go to Brussels?
§ Mr. Peart
I am not sure whether the hon. Gentleman is referring to my right hon. Friend or to myself. I put no difficulties in the way of that Committee. I 1295 believe in Select Committees. I was the first Departmental Minister to appear on agriculture, and I gave every encouragement to the Committee.