§ Mr. W. GRAHAM
asked the Secretary for Scotland the chief reasons for the increase in fees in the Sasines Office, Edinburgh, and the total amount paid in fees in any recent period; whether the Department is self-supporting; how many writs have been presented for registration during the last five years; the number of staff employed, and the amount paid in salaries during the same period; and whether any representations have been made to him regarding the delay in returning recorded deeds?
The chief reasons for the increase in fees in the Sasines Office were the increased cost of administration of the office and the necessity of placing it on a self-supporting basis. The total amount paid in fees, the number of writs presented for registration, the number of staff employed and the amount paid in salaries, etc., in each of the last five years are tabulated below. The answer to the last part of the question is in the affirmative, but, as my hon. Friend was informed in reply to his question on the 10th of November last, every endeavour is being made to overcome the delay referred to.
to consent, on the grounds of economy, to any increase in the existing accommodation for mental defectives in Scotland, and that local authorities have been requested to satisfy themselves that only 1245W urgent cases are dealt with under the Act; whether for many years the provision for the care of the mentally defective in Scotland has been quite inadequate; whether the local authorities have protested that there will be no true economy in allowing mental deficiency to increase by the restriction of necessary expenditure on institutions; and whether, in view of these facts and recent reports of His Majesty's inspectors on schools for mentally defective children, the Treasury decision will now be reconsidered?
I have been asked to reply to this question. In connection with the Estimates for the current year, the Treasury intimated that they could not contemplate a large increase in the amount to be annually expended from Government funds towards the provision of accommodation for mental defectives, and it was therefore necessary to limit the activities of local authorities in regard to this service, the importance of which is recognised by the Departments concerned. Certain local authorities have urged the necessity of making some further provision for the care and treatment of mental deficiency in their areas. In two cases special arrangements have been made which will not prejudice the re-requirement that large, fresh commitments must be avoided in the present state of the national finances. My right hon. Friend is considering, in consultation with the Treasury, whether within the limits of the Vote for the current year certain further provision can be made to relieve the present situation.