HC Deb 11 February 1976 vol 905 c437
37. Mr. Fairbairn

asked the Lord Advocate what increases in the staff of the Crown Office there have been in the year 1975; and what proposals he has for reduction of staff in the Crown Office in the year 1976.

The Lord Advocate (Mr. Ronald King Murray)

The staff of the Crown Office increased by five in 1975. Three of these were attributable to the assumption of responsibility for prosecution in the district courts. The other two were law apprentices. I am considering what reductions in manpower needs may flow from the Government's policy on reducing planned future public expenditure.

Mr. Fairbairn

I am delighted to know that the Crown Office is leading the Government's policy in reducing the planned number of public servants, and the associated expense, but will the Lord Advocate assure us that he has been able to attract a sufficient number of qualified staff to undertake the duties of prosecution under the District Courts (Scotland) Act?

The Lord Advocate

It would be wrong to suggest that it is an easy task to get suitably qualified persons, but I am satisfied that we are making reasonable progress, in view of the ultimate target date of 16th May 1976.

Mr. Sillars

What sort of moneys are involved for the people doing this work in the district courts?

The Lord Advocate

I should require notice of that question, but I think that a recent parliamentary answer provided some information on those lines.