HC Deb 20 February 1963 vol 672 cc425-6
14. Mr. J. Bennett

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many cases were summoned to appear before the small debt courts in Glasgow in the years 1960 and 1961 and up to the latest convenient date in 1962.

Lady Tweedsmuir

The number of small debt actions initiated in the Glasgow sheriff court was 46,304 in 1960; 47,557 in 1961, and 49,266 in 1962.

Mr. Bennett

Is the noble Lady aware that those figures are a cynical commentary on what is happening in the so-called affluent society? Will she take the necessary steps to create employment in this area so that people can regain their self-respect and live in comfort?

Lady Tweedsmuir

The statistics do not show what is the main cause of these small debt actions. As I think the whole House knows, a great deal is being done to try to create employment in this area.

Mr. Lawson

Could the noble Lady tell us how many of these cases arise out of action taken by the firm of Napiers? Is there a disproportion of these cases arising from such firms? Does she think that enough action has been taken to deal with the type of practices which these firms follow?

Lady Tweedsmuir

As I said in answer to a previous supplementary question, the statistics are not broken dawn in detail. Therefore, I cannot answer the last part of that supplementary question.

Mr. Hendry

Will my noble Friend agree that a great many of these cases were contested and that they do not indicate any substantial amount of debt but show that in Scotland there is a very quick, convenient and cheap method of getting justice?

Lady Tweedsmuir

That is so.