asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what reports of Royal Commissions and of other official committees recommending reform of the law of Scotland have not yet been implemented; and what proposals the Government have for early implementation of any of these.
With permission I will circulate a list in the OFFICIAL REPORT. Eleven reports are listed, three of which have been partly implemented and one of which will be implemented if Parliament approves the Maintenance Orders (Reciprocal Enforcement) Bill. Of the remainder some deal with matters now under review by the Scottish Law Commission.
Does not the Under-Secretary agree that his answer reveals a very unsatisfactory state of affairs and that law reform in Scotland, if it has not come to a standstill, has slowed down far too much? In these circumstances, what action do the Government propose to take?
As the hon. and learned Gentleman, I am sure, realises, the reports in question cover a period of 14 years, and the greater number of them were submitted during the previous Government's term of office. Therefore I cannot accept that the present Government have been in any way dilatory in dealing with this matter. I share the hon. and learned Gentleman's concern that where reports are completed and recommendations are made we obviously want to implement them, but it depends to a great extent on the availability of parliamentary time.
I note the right hon. Gentleman's remarks, but if he had behaved more constructively in relation to other legislation than he has done, there would have been a great deal more of benefit to Scotland and to the law of Scotland, but we know that his mind does not work that way.
Is it not very dangerous to suggest that merely because lawyers suggest there should be a change in the law, there should be a change in the law? One might as well suggest that company law should be changed because of suggestions by directors of companies. Surely these decisions should be taken in this place and not implemented merely
|Not yet implemented||Date of Report|
|Law Reform Committee: Enforcement of Maintenance Orders||…||February, 1958|
|McKechnie Committee on Diligence||…||June, 1958|
|Law Reform Committee: Civil Liability for Damage Done by Animals||…||October, 1963|
|Law Reform Committee: Diligence||…||June, 1964|
|Scottish Law Commission: "Divorce—the Grounds Considered"||…||March, 1967|
|Kilbrandon Committee on the Marriage Law of Scotland||…||March, 1969|
|Henry Committee on Registration of Title to Land in Scotland||…||May, 1969|
|Scottish Law Commission: Companies (Floating Charges) (Scotland) Act 1961||January, 1970|
|Implemented in part only||Date of Report|
|Halliday Committee on Conveyancing Legislation and Practice||…||August, 1966|
|Grant Committee on the Sheriff Court||…||March, 1967|
|Scottish Law Commission: Prescription and Limitation of Actions||…||August, 1970|