HC Deb 22 October 1975 vol 898 cc480-1
35. Mr. Sproat

asked the Lord Advocate what recent representations he has received regarding the reform of Scottish divorce law.

The Lord Advocate

None, Sir.

Mr. Sproat

Does not the Lord Advocate agree that the overwhelming opinion in Scotland today is that Scottish divorce law should be brought into harmony with English law? Will he undertake to bring the maximum pressure on his Cabinet colleagues to see that the Queen's Speech includes a specific pledge to give Government time to the reform of that law? Does he not agree that if this is not done, it will be an insult to the Scottish people on a subject that is so important for the happiness of so many, especially if it is said that no Government time can be given to the subject when we all know that on Friday we are to spend an unlimited time discussing the Hare Coursing Bill?

The Lord Advocate

The hon. Gentleman exaggerates. I disagree that there is an overwhelming feeling among the Scottish public that there should be the kind of divorce reform he seeks. He is asking me to be a go-between between him and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland. It appears that the hon. Gentleman is the only person who does not appreciate that legislation on this matter is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend. Perhaps he would find the Government's reply more fruitful if he directed his submissions to the Secretary of State.

Mr. Robin F. Cook

Has the Lord Advocate had an opportunity to study the report of the Select Committee on Violence in Marriage? When do the Government hope to take a view on the recommendation of that Committee that a Bill dealing with Scottish divorce should be introduced as a matter of high Government priority?

The Lord Advocate

I have read the report. However, I must answer the second part of that question by saying that it is not a matter for me.

Forward to