HC Deb 30 November 1949 vol 470 cc1210-2
The Lord Advocate

I beg to move, in page 53, line 16, after "Act," to insert: including any sums so received under arrangements made with respect to the cost of removing and maintaining persons removed from the Isle of Man or Channel Islands to institutions in Scotland under section sixty-two of this Act. The object of this Amendment is to ensure that any contributions received from the authorities in the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands in respect of the removal of detainees from there to Scotland, or of the maintenance of these detainees in Scottish places of detention, will be paid to the Exchequer through the proper channels.

Mr. McKie (Galloway)

I should like to congratulate the Lord Advocate and those associated with him upon this Amendment. It became apparent in the Committee stage that there had been some oversight, so far as the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands authorities were concerned, in connection with the Bill. The Secretary of State for Scotland should not shake his head at that, because that was actually the case. There was certainly an oversight because the Committee had to sit again specially to reconsider the position. I did not rise to criticise the right hon. Gentleman, but to congratulate him. He ought to be very pleased about that.

There must have been prolonged discussions with the authorities in the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. I am very pleased with that, because in these days of increasing bureaucratic control it is very important that the undoubted rights and liberties of any Governmental authority, however small, should be protected. We know how very jealously the executive authorities in the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands regard their relationships with England, as the mother country, and the maintenance of their ancient rights and privileges. I am glad that as a consequence of the vigilance of the Committee, in respect of the original proposal, we have had conversations with both those authorities about the financial provisions.

Before we let this Clause go, it is only fair to the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands that the Lord Advocate should give us some idea of the kind of expenses in which those authorities may be involved. He may not have the figures at his finger tips, but it would benefit the House if a little light could be shed on this subject. The information would be received with very great pleasure in the Isle of Man and in the Channel Islands by those who have the executive authority to administer those places. Could the Lord Advocate tell them what their position will be in respect of the contribution which will be levied? It is excellent that these provisions should be in the Bill, and that whether a matter arises within the United Kingdom or in some more distant part of the Commonwealth, the contributions should be paid through the Secretary of State for Scotland into the national exchequer. Perhaps we may be told the kind of sums which may be levied, as it is desirable that the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands should know.

The Lord Advocate

Answering the hon. Member by leave of the House, I will give as vague an answer as I possibly can to please him. The answer is that the contributions will obviously depend upon the numbers of people who are transferred, so that I cannot give any figure at all.

Amendment agreed to.