The Mackintosh Committee recommended fundamental changes in the law of succession in Scotland, some of them in fields subsequently covered by the Royal Commission on Marriage and Divorce and the Hurst Committee on Adoption. It is necessary to consider the Mackintosh Committee's recommendations in the light of the findings of these later inquiries, and I am not yet able to say when it will be possible to introduce legislation on the law of succession.
Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that it is already seven years since the Report was presented, in 1950? Is that not long enough, in all conscience, to deal with the matter?
Does the right hon. Gentleman recollect that a former Lord President, Lord Cooper, stated some years ago that our present law of intestacy succession was a scandal and that something should be done about it? The two Committees to which the right hon. Gentleman referred reported a considerable time ago. What is the period of gestation of the Secretary of State on a Bill?