HC Deb 17 July 1923 vol 166 cc2029-30
25. Mr. W. GRAHAM

asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland the result of recent negotiations with the procurators fiscal and sheriff clerks in Scotland; and whether the Treasury and the Scottish Office are prepared to accept the scheme suggested by these officials?


asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland if any arrangement has yet been reached with regard to a revision of the pay and conditions of service of the procurators fiscal now in employment and of those to be appointed in the future?


I am not yet in a position to state the result of the recent negotiations. The negotiating committees are consulting their constituents, and I am hopeful that a settlement will shortly be reached.


Can my hon. and learned Friend indicate any date in the immediate future by which these negotiations might be completed, in view of the very great delay that has taken place?


May I ask my hon. and learned Friend whether his office made it clear to the negotiating parties that the extra fees charged were to be devoted to additional salary and bonus to the procurators fiscal?


As I understand the matter, the proposals which were discussed between the representatives of the Treasury and the Scottish Office and the executive representing the officials have not yet been laid before the associations of those officials, but I understand they will be laid before them at an early date, and I am hopeful that a settlement will be arrived at before long.

With regard to the supplementary question put by my right hon. Friend the Member for Ross and Cromarty (Mr. Macpherson), I regret that I, personally, was incorrect last week in stating that the amount of bonus paid since the fees were raised has very largely exceeded the amount gained by the Treasury as a result of the increased fees. The amount paid in bonus for the year 1922–23 does just exceed the increase of fees (£33,473), but this includes the bonus paid to procurators fiscal and their staffs (£11,930). The Sheriff Courts and Commissary Office bonus amounts to £22,553.

The amount paid in bonus since bonus was first paid very largely exceeds the revenue derived from the increase of fees. Counting Sheriff Clerk service and Commissary Office only, the bonus payments for that period are nearly four times as great as the increased yield of fees. Bonus payments amount to £129,691, and the increase of fees to £33,473. With regard to procurator-fiscal service, the bonus payments since 1917 are £66,292.