§ Mr. Foulkes
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland who made the proposal that a wreath be laid at the Burns statue in London on 31 January; what it was proposed to commemorate; who was responsible for sending out invitations; who was invited to attend; what is the estimated cost of the event; who will be responsible for covering the cost; and what was the purpose of the event. 891W
§ Mr. Michael Forsyth
I was first approached in July 1995 by the hon. Member for Ayr (Mr. Gallie), who had been discussing with Enterprise Ayrshire the possibility of marking the bicentenary of the death of Robert Burns with a ceremony at the Burns statue in London. I was happy to participate in what was one of a number of events taking place on 31 January in London and, as requested, to lay a commemorative wreath. The administrative arrangements are matters for the hon. Member for Ayr, whose constituency contains the birthplace of Robert Burns. I understand that invitations were issued to all Members of Parliament for Scottish constituencies.