HL Deb 30 June 1972 vol 332 cc1140-1

1.14 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a second time and I think I can do it very briefly. The object of this particular Bill is to bring Scotland into line with the rest of the country. When the original Bill was passed, two sections were omitted so far as Scotland was concerned, because it was then thought that the existing legislation would cover the Scottish position. However, as a result of the working of the new Act, Scotland has appeared to be disadvantaged. To put that right this Bill was introduced in another place by Dr. Dickson-Mabon, the Member for Greenock. He had the wholehearted support—and I cannot over-emphasise this—of the Secretary of State for Scotland, who has co-operated throughout. It is for that reason that this Bill is being introduced to-day to bring Scotland into line with the rest of the country. I beg to move.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Lord Hoy.)

1.16 p.m.


My Lords, I will try to be equally brief as the noble Lord, Lord Hoy, and I should like first of all to congratulate him and thank him for introducing the Bill with such clarity and brevity. My Lords, he is quite right; the Government do support this Bill most wholeheartedly. We feel that there is still a lot that needs to be done in Scotland and there is considerable variation locally in the standard of the social work services throughout the country—partly, I think, due to the fact that there are not yet, unfortunately, sufficient trained social workers in this field.

I do not want to take up the time of the House, but I should like to draw your Lordships' attention to subsection (2) of Clause 1 of the Bill, which stales: Nothing in the provisions of this Act shall derogate from the scope of what local authorities are under a duty to do in respect of any person by virtue of any provision of the said Act of 1968. It is necessary to have this clause in to show that Parliament, in passing this new Bill, is not intending to limit assistance to the disabled to the specific services which are listed in the Bill. In other words, it will not detract from the powers of local authorities under the Social Work (Scotland) Act to provide the disabled with any other form of assistance which they can provide under the more general terms of that Act. With those few words I would commend the Bill to the House.

On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.