HC Deb 24 July 1951 vol 491 cc196-7
38. Mr. Grimond

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he intends to increase judicial salaries in Scotland to bring them into line with the recently proposed increase in the salaries of county court judges.

Mr. McNeil

I hope to make a statement at an early date on this subject.

Mr. Grimond

Will this statement apply to all classes of judicial officers in Scotland, or only to sheriffs and sheriffs-substitute?

Mr. McNeil

It will not apply to all classes.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Does my right hon. Friend agree that it is just as important for Scottish judges to be put in a position to maintain appropriate standards of life as it is for their English colleagues?

Mr. McNeil

I have never doubted that.

Mr. Boothby

Will the right hon. Gentleman make this statement before the House rises for the Summer Recess?

Mr. McNeil

I very much hope so.

Mr. Mathers

Will my right hon. Friend take into account the position of, for example, the chairman of the Scottish Land Court, who has the status of a judge, but not the salary?

Mr. Manuel

Is my right hon. Friend aware that if the higher income groups in Scotland receive encouragement from him to have higher salaries at present, it will arouse the greatest resentment throughout the lower income group, particularly rail-way-men and others employed in heavy occupations, who are not receiving wage increases?

Mr. McNeil

I did not think it was obvious that I was encouraging anyone.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Will the Secretary of State bear in mind that no reasonable person in Scotland will object to these law officers receiving what is due to them and is long overdue?

Mr. Rankin

Will the decision in regard to English county court judges in any way affect the terms of my right hon. Friend's statement?

Mr. McNeil

It would be unusual if there were a separation between these two sectors of justice.

Mr. Boothby

Arising out of a question from the benches opposite, does the right hon. Gentleman realise that the salaries at present paid to sheriffs and to sheriffs-substitute are, in view of their responsibilities, an absolute scandal?