Results 481–500 of 577 for speaker:Mr Raymond Robertson

Orders of the Day — Crime and Punishment (Scotland) Bill (5 Nov 1996)

Mr Raymond Robertson: Before the right hon. Gentleman jumps up again, let me tell him that we are prepared to consider electronic monitoring if it can be shown to work, but not at any price. I will give way for the last time.

Orders of the Day — Crime and Punishment (Scotland) Bill (5 Nov 1996)

Mr Raymond Robertson: The fact does not seem to have penetrated through to the Secretary of State that we will not be voting against the Bill: we will be voting for a reasoned amendment that asks the Government to go away and think again on the critical issues—[Interruption.]

Orders of the Day — Crime and Punishment (Scotland) Bill (5 Nov 1996)

Mr Raymond Robertson: I am not surprised that the hon. Member for Ayr is seeking guidance on how he should vote. With the Tory party on 11 per cent. in public opinion in Scotland, and with the size of the hon. Gentleman's majority, I would advise him to vote Labour.

Orders of the Day — Crime and Punishment (Scotland) Bill (5 Nov 1996)

Mr Raymond Robertson: After reflecting on the reasoned amendment, the next Government, or this Government, can introduce a Bill—[Interruption.] That is the purpose of a reasoned amendment. The synthetic noise by Conservative Members today—a very bad day for the Scottish Tories—is what will be remembered—[Interruption.] The Secretary of State says that it is getting better. Public opinion was 11 per cent....

Orders of the Day — Crime and Punishment (Scotland) Bill (5 Nov 1996)

Mr Raymond Robertson: No.

Orders of the Day — Crime and Punishment (Scotland) Bill (5 Nov 1996)

Mr Raymond Robertson: It is a rare display of taste on my part. I question whether the Government's decision to remove all judicial discretion in such cases might make automatic sentences counter-productive. Lord Ross, the Lord Justice Clerk, has suggested that juries might be reluctant to convict sex offenders if those offenders face a mandatory life sentence. That reluctance was demonstrated by juries in...

Orders of the Day — Crime and Punishment (Scotland) Bill (5 Nov 1996)

Mr Raymond Robertson: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his comments, because there is a case to be made that that will happen. Such views have been expressed not only by women's groups, but, as he said, from such Conservative Back Benchers as a distinguished former Home Secretary. The point should be considered, at the very least, as part and parcel of our consideration of the Bill.

Orders of the Day — Crime and Punishment (Scotland) Bill (5 Nov 1996)

Mr Raymond Robertson: The hon. and learned Gentleman has, in the context of the practicalities of the Bill, made an important point. As we already know, the Bill has been very poorly thought out, and it has been condemned by those who deal with such crimes. I remind the House that Scottish courts already have power to deliver life sentences for repeat offenders. I have repeatedly asked the question—which has...

Land Ownership (Scotland) (6 Nov 1996)

Mr Raymond Robertson: There is no draft Bill; nor is there a report.

Land Ownership (Scotland) (6 Nov 1996)

Mr Raymond Robertson: I, too, congratulate the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. Salmond) on securing this debate, and I have listened with great interest to the wide-ranging points that have been raised in it. I fully agree with the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan that land tenure and land ownership are vital issues. A sound system of land tenure and reliable and accessible information on it is an essential...

Land Ownership (Scotland) (6 Nov 1996)

Mr Raymond Robertson: Perhaps if the hon. Gentleman will allow me to speak—he spoke for half an hour, and I have seven minutes to respond to a debate that lasted one and a half hours—some of his questions might be answered. To make progress with that aim, in 1990 we asked the independent Scottish Law Commission to begin a major and wide-ranging review of property law to provide advice on the way ahead. In...

Land Ownership (Scotland) (6 Nov 1996)

Mr Raymond Robertson: Therefore—if the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan is serious about the issues that he raised today, and serious in bringing them to the attention of the House and the Government—he will take this opportunity to disown the obscene and xenophobic filth produced by his party's youth wing. My right hon. Friend Secretary of State has challenged him on two occasions to dissociate himself from...

Land Ownership (Scotland) (6 Nov 1996)

Mr Raymond Robertson: It is now on the record, for the third time, that the hon. Gentleman will not dissociate himself from that leaflet, which, as I said, is nothing short of obscene, xenophobic and anti-English filth. A great deal of nonsense has been talked about land ownership and management in Scotland. A landowner who does not live on his estate is not necessarily a bad manager of the land. There are those...

Higher Education (Scotland) (6 Nov 1996)

Mr Raymond Robertson: I congratulate the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Wallace) on securing today's debate. As he said, it follows some useful debates we had last session on school education and further education. I note that the hon. Member for Angus, East (Mr. Welsh), who initiated one of those debates, is in his place. I find it alarming that no Opposition Front-Bench Members felt that it was a...

Higher Education (Scotland) (6 Nov 1996)

Mr Raymond Robertson: We are willing to consider them as and when they come to us. The fact that one has been accredited does not mean that that will be the end of it. I hope that more will come on stream in the next academic year. That is a matter for the institutions, but we would do nothing to prevent it. The hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland mentioned the committee of inquiry into higher education. The...

Higher Education (Scotland) (6 Nov 1996)

Mr Raymond Robertson: As the hon. Gentleman knows, the institutions are autonomous bodies. They are entitled to pursue that course of action, but the Government do not believe that the financial pressures are such that any institution in Scotland need do so and we would deplore such a decision. I am delighted that COSHEP has publicly distanced itself from the concept of top-up fees. Since 1992, the Government...

Higher Education (Scotland) (6 Nov 1996)

Mr Raymond Robertson: Of course I acknowledge that. I have told various institutions that we consider the private finance initiative as the first option when possible, but in some cases it will not, for whatever reason, be an option. In such cases, more traditional funding is required. The Government have acknowledged that, and I am happy to acknowledge it to the hon. Gentleman. The Scottish Office is proud of...

Land Holding (Scotland) (13 Nov 1996)

Mr Raymond Robertson: I first congratulate the hon. Member for Clydesdale (Mr. Hood) on securing this Adjournment debate. I thank him for raising again the issue of leasehold casualty payments which, as we have heard in his speech, are causing grave difficulties for some of his constituents. I understand and appreciate the concerns that the hon. Gentleman has expressed about some of the demands that are being...

Land Holding (Scotland) (13 Nov 1996)

Mr Raymond Robertson: I did not intend to be offensive. I was merely setting out the position and pointing out to the hon. Gentleman why the action that he has requested is, in part, impossible. Part 1 of the Long Leases (Scotland) Act 1954 allowed tenants to convert leases into feus for a payment in compensation to the landlord. The Act provided that this could be done only during a period of five years after...

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland: Further Education Colleges (20 Nov 1996)

Mr Raymond Robertson: Twenty-one, according to the formula.


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