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Volume 892: debated on Wednesday 14 May 1975

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asked the Lord Advocate if he will pay an official visit to Glasgow.

I have no plans at present to make an official visit to Glasgow.

Is the Lord Advocate aware that we are very proud of our burgh courts in Glasgow? Is it his intention or hope that more stipendiaries will be employed in the new district courts in Glasgow and throughout Scotland? Has he comparable figures for the waiting times for burgh courts in Edinburgh and Glasgow respectively, bearing in mind that Glasgow has stipendiaries and Edinburgh does not?

Stipendiaries are not a matter for the Lord Advocate. As for the second part of the hon. Gentleman's question, trials are now being arranged for January 1976 in Glasgow, whereas in Edinburgh they are being arranged for as far forward as May 1976. It follows that the delay in Edinburgh is much greater than the delay in Glasgow. However, I can assure the hon. Member that when I assume the responsibility for prosecutions in these courts on Friday, I shall try to find out the position in relation to all district courts and where there is a backlog make appropriate representations to the local authority concerned for more court sittings.

In Edinburgh there has been much concern that if stipendiary magistrates were appointed work would be transferred from the local sheriff court to the magistrates' court. Is my right hon. and learned Friend in a position to give guidance to Edinburgh Council that such an appointment would not result in an intolerable increase of work for the magistrates' court?

That is not a question for me. My hon. Friend will get a reply to it if he puts it down to the appropriate Minister. The original Question concerned an official visit to Glasgow. I do not think that Edinburgh is in Glasgow yet.