4 DECEMBER 1976, Page 16

No Scots referendum

Sir: One of the snags about having a referendum is the answers might well be the ones that aren't wanted. As I put it in [IV speech in the House of Commons in 1969, 'the House would permit a referendum On self-determination for Scotland only when it is sure of two things, first that it knows the answer and second that it knows that it will like it.' The most read Scottish news' paper conducted a referendum among its readers. No fewer than 45,475 responded. 44 per cent of these readers opted for the independence solution, 40 per cent for devolution and only 15 per cent for leaving things as they are, as announced today.

Those MPs and others who have clamoured for a referendum before. during or after the passing of the Devolution Bill may care to pause and reflect. I think it Is very likely that we have heard the last of referenda. Personally I welcome a refe' rendum but it seemed to me the basic reason for having one most commonly advanced by the opponents of devolution, namely to ditch the Nationalists, was unworthy. Winnie Ewing

Scottish Nationalist MP for Moray Nairn and House of Commons, London SW1