The Hoose o’ Parliament sat at 2.30pm. The Hame Secretary, the Rt. Ho. Murdoch Lothian, rose to move the Scottish Postage Stamp Enabling Bill.
MR. LOTHIAN (Stirling, Nationalist Tory) – As you know…(various cries of ‘Wheest!’ ‘Losh, man!’ and ‘Whaur’s your Scots the noo?’)… As ye ken fine, our Parliament has full and independent powers except in such cases as it conflicts with that at Westminster. In practice, this limits us to a small range of activities. We could not, even if we wished, declare war on Russia, or even Iceland, by ourselves. (Cry of ‘Could we invade England?’) Nor do we have the power to construct a rival to Concorde or re-site the Chunnel under the Firth of Forth, for which I think we are all grateful. What we do have the power to do is take advantage of those money-raising projects which until now have been open to the English Government alone.
MR. WENTWORTH (Morningside, English Nationalist) – Point of Order. It is the British government.
MR. LOTHIAN – I bow to the superior knowledge of our honourable member of the English Nationalist party, and congratulate him on the speed with which he is mastering our outlandish accent. (Laughter.) For many years the Post Office in London has made considerable profits from pictorial stamps commemorating such vital events as the Battle of Hastings and the foundation of the Salvation Army. Personally, I welcomed the Battle of Hastings stamps, celebrating as they did a great victory for our Norman allies, but the time has now come for us to start printing Scottish commemorative postage stamps which will not only commemorate great Scottish landmarks but also bring in the loot. This bill which is before you enables us to do precisely that.
MR. HAMISH McLEOD (Outer Isles, Hebridean Home Rule Party) said, in Gaelic, that he hoped there would be a pictorial series glorifying the wool industry of the Isles and that he personally knew a little man in Skye who would produce it in glowing colours for a fraction of the cost of the profiteers in Glasgow.
MR. LOTHIAN – While awaiting a translation of that contribution, I would like to announce that the first series of Scottish stamps would commemorate the most outstanding victories of past years over England. We envisage a 1p Bannockburn, a 2p Stirling Bridge, 3p Prestonpans, and a 3½p showing Charles Edward in Derby.
MR. ALASTAIR GRIEVE (St Andrews, Scottish Academic Party) wanted to know whit aboot the 9p stamp.
MR. LOTHIAN – I was coming to that. It will show the victorious Scottish football team which won our place in Munich. (Cheers, singing and a bottle from the backbenches.) I have now been handed a translation from our member from the Outer Isles. Does he mean to say that the stamp itself should be made of wool?
MR. MACLEOD said in Gaelic that he would await a translation of the question into the native Scottish language before answering it.
MR. LOTHIAN said he was not sure from the honourable member’s expression what his reaction was but he would look forward to a translation.
MR. McLEOD said in Gaelic that was all right by him.
MR. LOTHIAN – Whatever that means.
MR. IAIN FARQUHAR (Inverness West, Highland Homes Industries Export Campaign Party) – It seems a damned shame that we should be following the English example so closely. Should we not launch forth bravely into the first tartan stamps on the market? Was there not a case for advertising on the stamps, if they were big enough? In my constituency alone I can think of a dozen craftsmen who could turn out large postage stamps saying “Come to sunny Nairn, jewel of the Moray Firth” 3p, with a list of recommended hotels.
MR. TOM LOWRIE (Kelso, Lowlands for the Lowlanders Movement) asked what was so damned good about a holiday in the Highlands, where people were notoriously arrogant and almost equally lazy, when visitors could have the time of their life in the only civilised part of Scotland, which he did not think he needed to point out was the area south of a line drawn between Glasgow and Edinburgh.
MR. J. O”BRIEN (Mount Vernon, Glasgow, Presbyterian) said he thought that it was an admirable suggestion to draw a line between Glasgow and Edinburgh, and the sooner they were isolated from the effete snobs in Edinburgh, the better.
MR. DUNCAN CAMPBELL (Edinburgh, North-West, Scottish Culture Party) said how pleased he was personally to hear someone from Glasgow using such sophisticated, long words as “isolated” and “the”, and that if Glaswegians matured at this rate they might even have a decent building in their town before the century was out.
MR. McPHERSON said that he would not take that kind of talk from anyone and that it was about time Mr Campbell got a good hiding.
SPEAKER – Please refer to him correctly.
MR McPHERSON apologised and said that it was about time the honourable member got a good hiding.
MR. CAMPBELL – That’ll be the day. You’re all puff and wind.
MR McPHERSON said he would show him about that.
MR. CAMPBELL asked the honourable gentleman from Paisley to leave go, as he was breaking his arm (Cries of ‘Shame!’ and ‘Put the boot in’.)
MR. LOTHIAN restored order and asked for any other questions.
THE LAIRD OF AUCHTERFEWIE (Highlands Central, Stuart Restoration Party) asked if there were any plans to delete the Hanoverian Queen of England’s head from the stamps and insert the rightful head of Charles III sometimes erroneously know as Bonnie Prince Charlie.
MR. FERGUS FITZPAYNE (Glasgow, Sauchiehall Street Movement) said there had been no mention so far of the great Scottish industrialists- Dunlop, Macadam, Macintosh. (Cry of ‘What about Machiavelli’ then?’)
MR. LAURENCE BALIR OLIPHANT (Blairgowrie, Come to Perthshire For Your Holidays Movement) said he didn’t know much about postage stamps but that he remembered from his childhood preferring stamps with funny shapes and would it not be possible to produce a series making use of the outlines of Scottish counties or would this make it difficult to perforate them, also the Orkneys might be tricky.
MR. SANDY BUCHANAN (Ayr, Cleaner Golf Party) said he had a good idea which he had now forgotten.
MR. ALEX HAMILTON (Gretna Green, Improve-The-Image-Of-Gretna-Green Party) wondered if anyone had heard the story about the Japanese tourist and the kilt.
MR. ROSS THOMSON (Upper Tay, Highland Fishing) said he hadn’t, but he knew a damned good song about a poacher and his wife.
MR. LOTHIAN said that if nobody had any further questions about the Scottish Postage Stamp Enabling Bill, he would move for a division. The Bill was passed by 245 to 3, 1 abstaining (Mr Muir, Temperance Party). The House then proceeded to a debate on the Repatriation of Immigrants (London Scottish) Bill.
Punch on Scotland 1977