§ Mr. David Steel
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will consider devolving the power to declare local public holidays to the new district local authorities.
§ Mr. Gordon Campbell
The only such power of which I am aware is in Section 94 of the Factories Act 1961 which provides that in burghs town councils shall fix two—out of six—days in each year as holidays for women and young persons. Under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 this power will no longer be limited to burghs and will be exercised by the new district councils.
Apart from this provision local holidays in Scotland are settled by agreement in accordance with the customs and traditions of the locality. The introduction of formal statutory arrangements would raise much wider issues and I have no proposals in mind for doing so.