asked the Lord Advocate how many legally qualified staff work in the Crown Office.
There are seven Crown counsel, employed on a part-time basis, and six full-time civil servants who are legally qualified.
I appreciate that the Lord Advocate earns every penny of his salary, but will he say what anticipated enlargement of his staff will be required when he assumes his new duties under the District Courts (Scotland) Act this week?
The hon. and learned Gentleman will appreciate that my answer related to the Question, which sought to discover how many legally qualified staff work in the Crown Office. That does not include the Lord Advocate and the Solicitor-General for Scotland. However, I am happy to reassure the hon. and learned Gentleman that in taking account of the needs of prosecution in the district courts the staffing of the Crown Office was one of the factors considered.
On the eve of the visit of the American Ambassador to Edinburgh this week, and in view of the tremendous disquiet which exists over the conduct of local government in Scotland, will the Lord Advocate consider appointing a special prosecutor along the lines of the one appointed in the Watergate case in the United States to look into the activities in local government and its relationship with certain contracting industries?
I am happy to say that visits of ambassadors are not matters for the Lord Advocate.