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Title: The Scottish Office and the Highland Problem, 1930s-1965
Author: Birnie, Clive
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis is concerned with the government, the State, and the Highlands and Islands. At the core of the research are the changing attitudes of the Scottish Office to a comprehensive Highland development agency during the period, starting with such hopes in the mid-1930s which were not recognised by the government. The thesis will show there was a long term evolution towards a Highland Development Board in 1965, and that the Board was not just an innovation by the new Labour government of October 1964. It will especially cover the work of John Rollo, his early association with Tom Johnston, and his later success with Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton in creating the Highland Fund Ltd which demonstrated their successful approach to encourage ‘small’ rather than ‘big’ business development in the Highlands & Islands. The role of the Highlands & Islands Advisory Panel will also be shown to be more influential than previously recognised. Concerns were expressed by the Highland Committee at the Scottish Office in 1961 of a lack of emphasis towards Highland development following publication of the Toothill Report and resulting administrative changes, which suggested a preference towards ‘Lowland’ development. On the other hand, with the appointment of Michael Noble as Secretary of State in 1962, the thesis will show a renewed and detailed approach to highland development, especially for transport, Noble’s support for the electricity boards’ merger (later abandoned), and his surprising invitation to Rollo’s Highland Fund to contribute to the government’s policy in 1963 with the Treasury Loan Scheme. By August 1964, the Scottish Office had an ‘excellent foundation on which to build’, if a Highland Board was to be required, but this Conservative development was interrupted by the Labour Party’s electoral success in October. This thesis will show how the Labour government took the pre-election work forward to the statute book.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available