§ 39. Mr. Fairbairn
asked the Lord Advocate whether he is satisfied with the Scottish law of treason.
§ The Lord Advocate (Mr. Ronald King Murray)
There have been no recent trials for treason in Scotland and, accordingly, this branch of the law has not been tested for a long time. Anomalies exist in the present law of treason, which is applicable throughout the United Kingdom, and in my view there is scope for reform.
§ Mr. Fairbairn
There have been no recent trials for piracy, either, but that did not prevent the offence taking place recently. Will the Minister accept that if the acts committed in Northern Ireland and in England by the IRA and others had happened in Scotland they would have been acts of treason, and will he give an assurance that if they occur in Scotland they will be treated as acts of treason and not as lesser offences?
§ The Lord Advocate
I do not agree with the hon. and learned Gentleman's extravagant language, nor can I give the undertaking for which he asks.