HC Deb 09 May 1934 vol 289 cc1083-4
33. Mr. MILNE

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that, as the result of a recent decision of the Court of Session which over-ruled a previous decision, payments to members of district councils in respect of travelling expenses, time necessarily lost from employment, and personal expenses, now appears to be illegal and must be discontinued; and, as the discontinuance of the payments will entail hardship on the members of the district councils in Fife and elsewhere and is contrary to the public interest, will he take steps, by legislation or otherwise, to make legal such payments?

The SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Sir Godfrey Collins)

The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the second part, legislation would be necessary to authorise payment of the expenses referred to, and I cannot give any undertaking as to the introduction of legislation for that purpose.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that many persons otherwise suitable may be deterred from serving on these councils owing to lack of means?


That may be but, as the hon. Member knows, the present decision is only confirming an earlier decision which was given against making these payments.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the present decision overrules a recent decision which appeared to authorise the payments?


Yes, but before the former decision there was an earlier decision the other way.


Will the Government consider the early introduction of legislation making it illegal for any member of a local authority to be paid any emoluments at all, also any Members of this House.