In every extract of a decree pronounced or to be pronounced by the Court of Ses-
sion on which execution may competently proceed, the principal extractor or assistant extractor shall insert a warrant for execution in the form or as nearly as may be in the form of the Schedule to this Act annexed, and it shall be lawful by virtue of such warrant to arrest the readiest goods, debts, and sums of money of the debtor or obligant mentioned in such extract in payment and satisfaction of the sum or sums of money or obligation or obligations therein specified, as also to charge the debtor or obligant therein mentioned to pay the sum or sums of money or to perform the obligation or obligations therein specified within the appropriate days of charge under the pain of poinding and of imprisonment so far as competent, the terms of payment or implement being first come and byegone and if he fail to obey the said charge, then so far as competent to apprize, poind and distrain all his readiest goods, gear and other effects in payment and satisfaction of the said sum or sums or obligation or obligations, and if necessary for effecting the said poinding to open shut and lockfast places.
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That the Clause stand part of the Bill.
§ Mr. WATT
I should like some little explanation of this measure from my right hon. and learned Friend. He gave a lucid explanation on the Second Reading of the Bill, but for my own part I should desire him now to deal somewhat with the subject. I should like to ask the Lord Advocate who will benefit by this measure? Is it simply the extractor and his assistant in Edinburgh who will have less arduous duties to perform, or will the public benefit? Are the charges for these extracts to be re duced? Will the reduction in the length of these extracts from four or five pages of foolscap to one line, as indicated in the Schedule, be accompanied by a corresponding reduction to the public? I do not know that the time of this House should be taken up with measures such as this unless advantages to the public will accrue. If the Bill is simply to lessen the duties of by no means overworked officials, then this is not a suitable time for going into the matter.
§ The LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. Munro)
From what my hon. and learned Friend has said, it is quite obvious that he fully understands the object of the Bill, although I think he makes a mistake in regard to one or two of its consequences. The 71 object of the Bill is perfectly plain. It is designed for the purpose of reducing the warrant to charge, as it is called, on extracts of decrees of Court of Session, from four or five pages of foolscap to eleven words. It is obvious that such a reduction will save time, money, and labour. My hon. and learned Friend is wrong in suggesting that the result of passing this Bill will be that officials whom he considers are not overworked will have even less to do. The extractors' staff has already been depleted by enlistment, and I am informed that it will be further depleted by enlistment in the near future. The net result of the passage of this Bill will be that work which has accumulated by reason of the depletion of the staff will bet overtaken with expedition and success, and that even when another member of the staff goes, as I am assured he will presently, to join the Colours it will be unnecessary to add to the staff, and so a saving will be effected. In these circumstances, and as the Bill is supported by the Departmental Committee's Report, and by, so far as I know, the whole legal profession in Scotland—and I see a very distinguished member of it sitting opposite to me—and as it encountered no opposition at all from any quarter of the House when it was explained on Second Beading, I venture to hope that the Committee will pass the Clause, and also give us the further stages of the Bill.
§ Bill reported without Amendment; read the third time, and passed.