HC Deb 03 December 1908 vol 197 cc1684-5
MR. SUTHERLAND (Elgin Burghs)

I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether he is aware that, at a meeting on the 4th instant, the sheriffs - principal of Scotland were unanimously of opinion that better provision should be made in regard to the tenure of office, appointment, and remuneration of depute sheriff clerks; whether he will deal with the matter in the Summary Jurisdiction Bill; and, if not, what steps he proposes taking in order to secure to depute sheriff clerks an improvement and more certain permanency in their official appointments.


An excerpt from a minute of meeting of the sheriffs of Scotland has been sent to me. It contains a number of suggestions with regard to the deputes to the sheriff clerks, very justly distinguishing between their various positions and, while generally favouring better provision, suggests guarantees as to suitability, criticises the depute sheriff clerks' proposals and indicates that safeguards might be provided by the approval of the sheriffs themselves. The matter is not within the scope of the Summary Jurisdiction Bill. There is a likelihood of a Commission or Committee being appointed to consider various points as to minor legal appointments in Scotland and I am favourably disposed to have this matter, including the suggestions made by the sheriffs, some of which are novel, brought into the scope of the inquiry.