asked the Secretary for Scotland whether he is aware that the Treasury is at present preparing a scheme dealing with the Sheriff Clerks' and Procurator-Fiscals' Departments and that the scheme does not give effect to the Blackburn Report, although the fees payable by the public in Sheriff Courts have been increased by Act of Sederunt for that purpose; and whether it is his intention before the scheme is finally approved to give these Departments an opportunity of considering it and accepting or rejecting it?
My right hon. Friend has before him schemes for a reorganisation of the procurator fiscal and sheriff clerk services on the general lines proposed in the Blackburn Report, which are under consideration in conjunction with the Treasury. The officials concerned will be given an opportunity of submitting their views before any scheme is put into force. I must demur to the suggestion that Sheriff Court fees have been increased for the sole purpose of covering the cost of the Committee's recommendations. The relation between the fees and the reorganisation proposals will, however, be kept fully in view.