§ 35. Dr. Dickson Mabon
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he intends to take in the present Session to reform the law of Scotland regarding intestate succession.
§ 39. Mr. Oswald
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to introduce legislation during this Session to amend the present law relating to intestacy.
§ Dr. Mabon
After ten years of the excuse that there is no Parliamentary time for this reform, it is wearing a bit thin. Hon. Members of the House have continued to offer every facility for the speedy passage of a Bill, and would do so. If it is not obstruction by our side of the House which is holding up a Bill is there among the right hon. Gentleman's supporters a vested interest which is preventing a Bill being passed?
§ Miss Herbison
Surely the Secretary of State is aware that his Government had this in the Queen's Speech two years ago? We on this side of the House and the women in Scotland want to know what has changed the mind of the Government. If it is not Parliamentary time, what else is it? May I give the assurance to the Secretary of State that if he will bring in legislation to give justice 974 to so many women in Scotland we on this side of the House will co-operate in every way possible to get it through quickly?
§ Mr. Hector Hughes
Does not the Secretary of State realise that his reply that it was Parliamentary time which prevents this very necessary reform for being implemented is entirely wrong, because within the last two years I introduced a Private Member's Bill on this subject, and I was frustrated by every possible means by the Government? Will the right hon. Gentleman review that situation, and now that there is a new Lord Advocate in office—[HON. MEMBERS: "Where is he?"]—do something to give every facility for the bringing in of a Private Member's Bill such as I sought to have passed two years ago?