HC Deb 19 June 1974 vol 875 cc475-6
44. Mr. Sillars

asked the Lord Advocate how many public interviews, on matters for which they are responsible, have been given to the Press by Scottish Law Officers.

The Lord Advocate (Mr. Ronald King Murray)

One such interview was given by the Solicitor-General and some of his remarks were published in the Daily Record of 23rd April. No such interviews have been given by me.

Mr. Sillars

Is my right hon. and learned Friend aware that the Solicitor-General and the Daily Record should be congratulated on a first-class interview and a first-class article? Many people who read the article were deeply impressed by the Solicitor-General's fair highlighting of the strengths and weaknesses of Scottish law. As a token of open government, will my right hon. and learned Friend encourage this type of interview and this type of public discussion of a very important subject in Scotland?

The Lord Advocate

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for what he has said. The Solicitor-General for Scotland is present and he will also have heard it. No doubt the Thomson Committee on Criminal Procedure will make recommendations on this matter. There is a limit to what can be done without legislation, but I think that something can be done by means of a positive dialogue with the legal profession and with the courts, and I have initiated such a dialogue.