HC Deb 14 July 1975 vol 895 c1059
66. Sir A. Meyer

asked the Attorney-General whether he will consult with the Isle of Man authorities concerning their current proposals regarding the law on the publication of wills with a view for considering the possible applicability of such proposals to the United Kingdom.

The Solicitor-General

No, Sir. My right hon. and learned Friend said in answer to the hon. Member for Chippenham (Mr. Awdry) on 1st July last year —[Vol. 876, c. 33]—that, while there are arguments on both sides, my noble Friend and my right hon. and learned Friend consider that the case for changing the law is not made out. That remains our view.

Sir A. Meyer

Is the Minister aware that, apart from the Isle of Man, a large number of other countries forbid Press publication of the details of wills? Does he not believe that the time has now come in this sphere when the advantage lies overwhelmingly in extending the frontiers of privacy?

The Solicitor-General

The arguments are fairly extensive on both sides. The public interest among legatees in knowing the contents of a will, possible claimants under the Inheritance Act, creditors wishing to bring proceedings and so on, are all substantial arguments. On balance, my noble Friend does not consider that such inhibition on the Press is justified.