§ Mr. JAMES HOGGE
asked the Lord Advocate whether his attention has been drawn to the Report of the Committee on Public Morals of the United Free Church of Scotland, in which they draw attention to the lack of uniformity in the exercise of powers vested in the sheriffs with respect to by-laws for the regulation of public refreshment and to the fact that the legitimate wishes of certain burghs are not given effect to; and whether he can suggest either any method whereby such uniformity could be secured or, failing such, whether he is prepared to introduce legislation to amend the Act in this particular?
Mr. McKINNON WOOD
I am aware of the report mentioned, but I would remind my hon. Friend that under the statutory provisions governing the confirmation of these by-laws it is the duty of the sheriff to consider the by-laws submitted to him for his confirmation with due regard to the circumstances and requirements of the burgh concerned as established by the evidence submitted to him, and I am not satisfied that it would be desirable to secure by legislation that there should be an absolute uniformity in the terms of by-laws where local conditions may be very different.