HC Deb 25 October 1999 vol 336 cc716-7W
Mr. Jim Murphy

To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the executive functions of the Secretary of State for Scotland. [95975]

The Prime Minister

As a consequence of the new constitutional arrangements under the Scotland Act 1998, I have approved a reallocation of certain functions of the Secretary of State for Scotland to other Ministers of the Crown with appropriate functional responsibilities. Copies of an Order which was made by Her Majesty in Council on 12 October and which transfer certain of these functions have been laid before Parliament.

In addition to the transfer effected by this Order, it is proposed that certain other statutory executive functions of the Secretary of State that are currently exercised by the Secretary of State for Scotland, but which could be exercised by any other Secretary of State, should also be transferred. No legislation is required to give effect to these transfers which will be carried out by administrative arrangement. One of these is the transfer to the Home Secretary of the Secretary of State for Scotland's functions in relation to the issuing of warrants for the interception of communications or interference with property for national security purposes where the person or property named on the warrant is, or is reasonably believed to be, located in Scotland at the time the warrant is issued.

I have placed a paper in the Libraries of both Houses that briefly describes the content of the Transfer of Functions Order and lists the other executive functions that are to transfer.