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Hospice, Linlithgow

Volume 175: debated on Wednesday 4 July 1990

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3.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what proposals he has received in relation to the future of elderly and day-care patients at the 800-year-old hospice at Linlithgow.

No proposals have been received concerning St. Michael's hospital, Linlithgow.

In view of the dismay of the 13,500 people who signed the petition, would not it be wise at least for the Scottish Office to discover the legal and historic advice about church land being disposed of when it was given, in this case in 1138, for the maintenance of the ministry, the fabric of the church and the care of the poor? In order to avoid a cause celebre in the Court of Session, should not Scottish Office lawyers consult scholars on the legal position before the idea of disposal proceeds further? Should not the idea be nipped in the bud?

I understand that Lothian health board's examination of the matter is at an early stage, but I am happy to assure the hon. Gentleman that his points will be drawn to the attention of the board. I shall ask it carefully to examine the legal position on the feu disposition in respect of that hospital. I am grateful to him for drawing it to our attention.