§ Mr. Stodart
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will now make a statement about the Report of the Guthrie Committee on Legal Aid in Criminal Proceedings.
§ Mr. Maclay
The Government accept in principle the Guthrie Committee's recommendation that, in place of the present arrangements for the provision of poor persons' defence, there should be statutory provisions for the grant of legal aid in criminal proceedings on the lines of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act, 1949. The Committee thought, however, that the Act would require considerable amendment before it could be brought into operation in relation to the criminal courts and the Committee's detailed recommendations in this regard are being studied with a view to the preparation of amending legislation.