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Volume 78: debated on Thursday 2 May 1985

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

Amendments made: No. 55, in page 46, line 16, at end insert—

'1949 c. 63The Legal Aid and Section 25. Solicitors Act 1949.'.

No. 56, in page 46, line 40, at end insert—

'1980 c. 46The Solicitors (Scotland) the Act 1980In section 6(1)(b), the words "by affidavit or otherwise".
Section 15(2)(a).
In section 35(1), the word "and" immediately preceding paragraph (d).
In Schedule 1, in paragraph 7 the word "annual" in both places where it occurs.
In Schedule 3, in paragraph 1(1), the words "not exceeding the sum of £25" and paragraph 1(7).'.—[Mr. John MacKay.]

Order for Third Reading read.—[Queen' s Consent, on behalf of the Crown, signified.]

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Bill be now read the Third time.— [The Solicitor-General for Scotland.]

10.56 pm

The hon. Member for Glasgow, Garscadden (Mr. Dewar) had his opportunity to say how grateful he was to Ministers for the flexibility that they have shown on several issues. I should like to add my own words of thanks. We did not get all that we wanted on several matters, but in Committee Ministers showed a willingness to listen. In some of today's amendments, they have shown that they have taken on board many of the comments that were made. The Under-Secretary of State referred to a tidying-up, technical amendment to clause 51. I persuaded the Solicitor-General eventually to concede that amendment. I am grateful for the tidying-up that was done to it.

I would not wish my speech to be all bouquets, and should like to make just one final comment. My hon. Friend the Member of Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes), being an English barrister, was somewhat amazed to hear that, almost in the same breath, we were dealing with valuation of sheep for leasing purposes and then important matters relating to evidence in rape trials. It is unbelievable that that would ever happen with the law in England and Wales. The sooner that such matters can have proper and separate debates in a Scottish Parliament, the better.

10.57 pm

As one who was not on the Committee, I should like to express a certain gratitude to colleagues of all parties who worked hard on what every Scottish Member of Parliament knows are important subjects.

I thank the Minister for giving undertakings to some of us about Glenochil in the hope that at least it will ease people's minds in that difficult area.

10.58 pm

As the Bill has addressed such a wide range of issues, as the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Wallace) has said, it is difficult to highlight its most significant provisions. On Second Reading the hon. Member for Glasgow, Garscadden (Mr. Dewar) described the Bill as a collection of legal bric-a-brac. However, I am sure that he will agree that, none the less, it contains many useful provisions. They may not have been controversial in any party political sense, but such matters as evidence in rape cases and the introduction of new small claims proceedings have been important changes in the law of Scotland.

I thank the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland for his comments in this debate and the hon. Member for Garscadden for what he said earlier. Debates on the Bill were certainly not conducted on party political lines, which meant that in many respects, both in Committee and on Report, we were able to give more assiduous scrutiny to the provisions than is sometimes the case.

Although the Bill is something of a miscellany, I hope that what we have achieved in it will be welcome to the people of Scotland even though it was quite properly completed in this House and not in another building, somewhere in Scotland.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read the Third time, and passed.