HC Deb 25 October 1972 vol 843 cc1182-3
22. Mr. Ronald King Murray

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he intends to seek early implementation of the interim report on criminal appeal procedure recently published by the Thomson Committee.

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and my right hon. and learned Friend the Lord Advocate are considering this report but are not yet in a position to make any statement about further action on it.

Mr. Murray

The Secretary of State and the Lord Advocate acted with commendable urgency in requesting an interim report from the Thomson Committee on this matter, and the Thomson Committee in turn produced an early report which is clear, brief and to the point. Does not the Minister agree that it would be unfortunate if this commendable urgency were not shown by the Government in concluding this chapter of events?

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

I am grateful to the hon. and learned Gentleman for the welcome he has given to this. We must remember two things. First, the report was published only at the beginning of August. Secondly, some of the recommendations are highly controversial and involve majority and minority views within the committee. It is only when one studies the report that one realises that very careful consideration is still needed before one can come to a conclusion on it.