HC Deb 24 March 1982 vol 20 c929
26. Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland when he expects to receive the report of the Scottish Law Commission on diligence, including warrant sales.

The Solicitor-General for Scotland

The Scottish Law Commission is treating the completion of this report as its top priority. In view of the complexity of the issues involved, however, it is quite impossible for the commission to specify a date when it thinks that the report will be completed.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

I thank my hon. Friend for his reply. Is the Scottish Law Commission aware that some, perhaps many, hon. Members are eagerly awaiting the results of its inquiries?

The Solicitor-General for Scotland

Yes. I appreciate that there is considerable concern on both sides of the House over warrant sales. It is the commissions's view—it is one that I share—that we cannot consider warrant sales in isolation. We should accordingly await its complete report on the law of diligence.

Mr. Buchan

Has the Solicitor-General had an opportunity to read the humane and far-sighted document on the abolition of warrant sales produced by the Scottish Executive of the Labour Party and endorsed at the equally humane and far-sighted Labour Party conference, at which the humane and far-sighted suggestion was made that we should establish an arbitration service to abolish this iniquitous practice?

The Solicitor-General for Scotland

Yes, I am aware that as part of the Perth concordat a decision was taken on a debt arbitration service. I have read what I can of the proposal and I have done so with great care. The Scottish Law Commission is equally anxious to know what is being proposed by the Labour Party in Scotland. It has requested that it be sent a copy of the report but one has not yet been provided. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will feel that it is appropriate that the principal law reform body in Scotland should have the opportunity of considering what the Labour Party is saying.