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Court Visits

Volume 980: debated on Wednesday 5 March 1980

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asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland how many court visits he has made since he took office.

Since taking up office as Solicitor-General for Scotland I have made eight official visits to procurators fiscal offices and sheriffs at sheriff courts.

During his tour of the courts, has the Solicitor-General noticed the public outrage about some lawyers' extortionate fees, especially after the recent Dundee sheriff court decision that the hon. and learned Member for Kinross and West Perthshire (Mr. Fairbairn) had been guilty of overcharging by £1,300? In view of this bad example set by someone who is now responsible for prosecuting criminals, will the Solicitor-General at least follow Jim's example by publicly admitting that he has been very, very naughty and tell Maggie that he is very sorry?

I think that that question demonstrates, if demonstration is needed, that as a lawyer my tongue is but silver, whereas as a politician the hon. Gentleman's silence is golden.

In the light of the press reports today about the forthcoming marriage of Mr. Ginger Forbes, the next time my hon. and learned Friend visits the courts and has discussions with court officials, will he discuss the change of the penal system into a marriage bureau establishment?

I regret that I have no responsibility for either the celibacy or the marriage of Mr. Forbes.