asked the Lord Advocate what steps he is taking to relieve the pressure on the courts in Glasgow.
My responsibility in regard to the courts centres on matters of prosecution.There is undoubtedly pressure in the High Court, and I found it necessary recently to appoint an eighth Advocate Depute. The High Court sitting in Glasgow, which commenced on 25th April 1977, dealt with 31 cases and lasted four weeks, which is considerably longer than normal.The relief of pressure in the High Court, Sheriff Court and District Court is a matter on which I and the procurators fiscal keep a constant watch to ensure that the number of prosecutions brought is not so great as to swamp the courts altogether. Alternatives to prosecution may have to be considered. This is a topic which the Secretary of State and I are at present pursuing.