I beg to ask the Prime Minister whether he is aware that deputy-lieutenancies of counties in Scotland, which positions are given as rewards for distinguished public services, are largely given to members of one political party; whether this is due to the absence of suitable men in the other political parties; and, if not, will he see that pressure is brought to bear on lords-lieutenant to appoint men without consideration of party, or will he bring in legislation depriving them of these important appointments.
I am not aware that deputy-lieutenancies are regarded as rewards for distinguished public services. They are selected by the lord-lieutenant, whose discretion in the matter is virtually absolute. I am afraid I have no means of bringing pressure to bear on lords-lieutenant even if I wished to exercise it, and I think we have many other and more important subjects requiring legislation. Under the new territorial system, however, it may be desirable to alter the qualification, and military services may be recognised in the appointments. This matter is under consideration.