HC Deb 30 June 1982 vol 26 c891
31. Mr. Lambie

asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland if he will meet the procurator fiscal of Kilmarnock, to discuss the administration of justice in Kilmarnock.

The Solicitor-General for Scotland

I have no immediate plans to meet the procurator fiscal at Kilmarnock. From time to time I do visit the offices of procurators fiscal and discuss relevant matters with them.

Mr. Lambie

When the Solicitor-General for Scotland meets the procurator fiscal of Kilmarnock, will he ask him when he will take action on the case referred to him claiming that certain consultants employed by Ayrshire and Arran health board were guilty of irregularities? People in Ayrshire are concerned that when the procurator fiscal is dealing with consultants they must wait a long time for a decision, whereas when he is dealing with councillors, decisions are given overnight. When will the procurator fiscal give a decision in this case?

The Solicitor-General for Scotland

I am aware of the investigations to which the hon. Gentleman has referred. Although I should not like any unnecessary delay before a decision is taken, whether or not it is appropriate to instruct proceedings in this matter, at this stage it would be wholly inappropriate if I were to respond and give any indication about whether a criminal prosecution will be mounted before the investigations are complete.

Mr. Foulkes

Is the Solicitor-General for Scotland aware that there is great resentment among the low-paid health workers in Ballochmyle hospital, who cannot get an increase in pay, while these consultants, who are already well paid, are able to boost their large incomes by what appears to be the illegal provision of private beds? Surely the hon. and learned Gentleman must make a statement about this matter, otherwise the rumours and concern will spread far and wide in Ayrshire.

The Solicitor-General for Scotland

For once, the hon. Gentleman has advisedly chosen his words carefully. As I have already said, it would be wholly inappropriate for me now to give any view about whether it is right to institute criminal proceedings.