HC Deb 23 May 1950 vol 475 cc1941-2
The Lord Advocate

I beg to move, in page 9, line 18, to leave out subsection (3), and to insert: (3) In proceedings with respect to any matter arising under this Act brought before any court in Scotland the court may, if it thinks fit, summon to its assistance at the proof or at any subsequent hearing, whether on reclaiming motion, or otherwise, a specially qualified assessor. The Amendment seeks to replace the existing subsection (3) by a new one. The original subsection provided that the sheriff court could summon to its assistance a specially qualified assessor in cases arising under the Bill. It may be that cases arising out of the Bill may find their way to the Court of Session, either in the [...]. instance or by way of appeal. Accordingly, the Amendment seeks to extend that right to the Court of Session in order that that court may also summon an assessor to its assistance. At the present time the Court of Session can only summon an assessor on the joint motion of both parties.

Sir W. Darling

When I saw this interesting Amendment on the Paper in the name of the Minister of Fuel and Power and on behalf of Scotland, I was more than usually grateful to him. The explanation that we have had from the learned Lord Advocate finally overcomes all my difficulties in this matter, because this is now a recognition that it shall be competent for any court to call in the services of a qualified assessor. This Amendment will make the Bill very much more valuable and I welcome it.

Lord Dunglass

This proposal is not very usual, but it has been used with success in regard to shipping. I welcome this addition to the Bill because every court concerned with these cases will be grateful for having a mineral expert to advise them.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 9, line 35, leave out "sheriff," and insert "court."—[The Lord Advocate.]

Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.