HC Deb 01 February 1949 vol 460 cc1518-9

Motion made, and Question proposed. "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

3.45 p.m.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan (Perth and Kinross, Perth)

Subsection (2) of the Clause states: Provided that it shall not affect the law relating to Scottish solicitors unless or until they are required to take out practising certificates by some Act other than the Stamp Act. 1891. I wish to know whether the Lord Advocate or the Attorney-General consider that the last part of that sentence is clear. Does it mean that any Act that may come on the Statute Book at any time is applicable to this, or any Act already on it? If so it seems to me that it could be put much more clearly as to which of existing Acts are likely to affect this, and in the case of one not yet on the Statute Book there should be no reference to it at all.

The Lord Advocate (Mr. John Wheatley)

The explanation is simply that there is at present before the House another Bill which will alter the whole nature of the taking out of practising certificates in Scotland. The hon. and gallant Member no doubt is aware of the Bill to which I refer. It is the second part of the Legal Aid and Solicitors (Scotland) Bill. Until that Bill becomes an Act and the provisions are put into operation, the existing system in Scotland of taking out practising certificates will remain. Thereafter, the new procedure will be brought into operation, and this is merely a transitional Clause to provide for the continuance of the existing system until the new system comes into operation.

Question put, and agreed to.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.