HC Deb 02 February 1954 vol 523 c188
25. Mr. G. M. Thomson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will recommend the setting up of a Royal Commission to investigate the law in Scotland in relation to mental illness and mental defect.

Mr. J. Stuart

I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Stirlingshire (Mr. Woodburn) on 26th November last.

Mr. Thomson

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us why, if such a Commission is necessary for England, it is not considered necessary for Scotland? Can he tell us when the last inquiry of this kind took place in Scotland and whether he is satisfied that the law in Scotland is in keeping with the findings of modern medical science on this subject?

Mr. Stuart

The last review of the English law was by a Commission which reported in 1926. In Scotland we had the advantage of a Report from a strong committee under Lord Russell, which reported in 1946 just before the introduction of the National Health Service, which has certain effects on this matter. No further action has been taken up to date, but I hope to be able to publish a White Paper before very long.