HC Deb 02 November 1948 vol 457 cc653-4
9. Mr. Willis

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what are the functions of the Lord Lyon King of Arms.

Mr. Woodburn

Lyon King of Arms is His Majesty's principal officer of arms in Scotland. His duties include the granting and recording of arms, and the investigation and decision of a wide range of questions relating to heraldry, genealogy, precedence and change of name. He is concerned with royal and public ceremonial in Scotland, and advises the Secretary of State on heraldic and cognate matters. He is also secretary of the Order of the Thistle.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

In view of what the Chancellor of the Exchequer said yesterday about the need for conserving manpower, will the Secretary of State for Scotland consider amalgamating the office of the Lord Lyon with that of the Lord High Commissioner?

Mr. Woodburn

The Lord Lyon saves a great deal of manpower because he avoids the necessity for everybody look- Lyon King to find out their own hereditary rights.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Can the right hon. Gentleman assure the House that if there is an argument about Scottish Arms between the Lord Lyon and the Garter King-at-Arms, the Lord Lyon's say will be effective and not that of the Garter?

Mr. McKinlay

Does it come within the province of the Lord Lyon to act as stooge for the Lord Provost of Edinburgh in questions of dress on public occasions?

Mr. Woodburn

That is a ticklish question. If I might misquote Shakespeare, I would say: God shield us! A Lyon among Provosts, is a most dreadful thing: for there is not a more fearful wild-fowl than your Lyon, living.