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Thomas Hamilton

Mr. Kirkwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he made of the applicability of the Moorov doctrine for mounting a successful prosecution against Thomas Hamilton for sexual interference with male children. [2995]

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: I am replying on behalf of my learned and noble Friend the Lord Advocate who is responsible for criminal prosecutions in Scotland. With a few minor exceptions, no person can be convicted of a crime or statutory offence in Scotland unless there is evidence of at least two witnesses implicating that person with the commission of the crime or offence with which he is charged. Where, however, the accused is charged with a serious of similar offences, closely linked in time, character and circumstances, in terms of the so-called Moorov doctrine the evidence of single witnesses as to particular offences can be treated as corroborating the evidence of each other. As is clear from paragraph 4.15 of Lord Cullen's report (Cm 3386), there was in fact very little evidence of any acts of indecency on the part of Thomas Hamilton. So far as can be established, no incident amounting to sexual interference with male children was reported to the police while Hamilton was alive. The Lord Advocate informs me that while Thomas Hamilton was alive, the criminal authorities were not in possession of evidence which would have justified a prosecution against Thomas Hamilton for sexual interference with male children.

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Mr. Kirkwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will investigate the actions of the police and the procurator fiscal in respect of the possible prosecution of Thomas Hamilton for abuse of male children. [2724]

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 6 November 1996]: The actions of the police in reporting cases and incidents to procurators fiscal were examined by Lord Cullen. The Lord Advocate arranged for an independent senior member of the procurator fiscal service--Mr. Alfred Vannet, the regional procurator fiscal for Grampian, highland and islands--to examine all the relevant case papers and to interview the members of the procurator fiscal service who were responsible for taking decisions in the cases. Mr. Vannet had never worked in the procurator fiscal office involved. He had had no prior involvement in any of the cases. He carried out his review under the supervision of Crown counsel. All the relevant police reports and Mr. Vannet's review, were placed before Lord Cullen's inquiry. Lord Cullen also heard evidence from police officers and from two members of the procurator fiscal service who had dealt with reports concerning Hamilton. Lord Cullen's report (Cmnd 3386) deals with the matter in some detail. Lord Cullen noted--at page 162--that Mr. Vannet's report was thorough and set out a considerable amount of detail. Lord Cullen dealt--in chapter 2 of his report--with the decisions taken by procurators fiscal. In relation to the incident at

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Mullarochy bay, Loch Lommond in July 1991, he concluded that there was no basis for his entertaining criticism of the decision taken by the procurator fiscal (para. 4.44). As regards the incident at the residential sports training course in June 1992, he concluded that there was no evidence of any criminal act (para. 4.51). Finally, as regards the complaints about Hamilton in January, May and June 1993, Lord Cullen concluded that the decision not to apply for a warrant to search Hamilton's house was a matter for the discretion of the procurator fiscal. In the light of Lord Cullen's findings, the Secretary of State sees no need for further investigation into the actions of the police in making reports to procurators fiscal; and the Lord Advocate considers that further investigation of the actions of procurators fiscal is unnecessary.

Storm Damage

Mr. Home Robertson: To ask Secretary of State for Scotland if he will provide additional resources for local authorities affected by storm damage on 6 November. [3410]

Mr. Kynoch: In the event of severe weather, authorities are expected to bear a certain level of emergency without recourse to central Government assistance. In addition, the Bellwin scheme exists to provide a means by which additional revenue funding may be made available to authorities in certain circumstances. If any council believes that the demands placed on it as a result of the storms of 6 November would justify either the triggering of the scheme or the granting of additional capital consent, then it is open to it to make a case for this to the Scottish Office.

Public Relations

Mrs. Roche: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much his Department spent on (a) advertising, (b) public relations and (c) entertainment in each of the last five financial years. [1275]

Mr. Michael Forsyth [holding answer 4 November 1996]: A breakdown of expenditure by my Department is set out in the table:

The Scottish Office

YearAdvertising £Running costs of The Scottish Office Information Directorate £Entertainment(16) £

Scottish Prison Service became an agency in April 1993.

(16) These figures include expenditure on hospital by the agencies. To provide a breakdown could be done only at disproportionate cost.

(17) This figure includes expenditure on hospitality during the EC Council Meeting in Edinburgh in December 1992.

(18) In addition, the Scottish Office spend £34,680 on the VE day and VJ day events in Edinburgh in May and August 1995.

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Historic Scotland

AdvertisingPress officeEntertainment
1991-92not availablenot available--
1992-93not availablenot available--

Scottish Prison Service

Advertising Communications branchEntertainment


Railway Closures

Mr. Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) to whom the duties on the British Railways Board (a) to use its best endeavours to ensure that alternative services are provided when railway services are closed and (b) to alert the Secretary of State when there is a failure to comply with closure conditions will be passed when the duty to provide rail services passes to a private train operating company; [3313]

Mr. Watts: From time to time in the past, various obligations were placed on British Rail as a condition of approving the enclosure of routes or services. Much more comprehensive obligations are now placed on franchise operators in the form of the contractually binding passenger service requirements--PSRs--which are specified by the Franchising Director in accordance with his objectives, instructions and guidance from the Secretary of State. PSRs are based on the existing British Rail timetable, including those services British Rail is operating to meet obligations relating to past closures. The contractual service obligations the PSRs introduce effectively supersede those which applied previously to British Rail.

Maintenance Work

Mr. Geoffrey Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the current backlog of maintenance work on (a) the road network and (b) the rail network. [2795]

Mr. Watts: The latest information on the condition of the road network is contained in the national road maintenance condition survey. The notion of a current

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backlog cannot be defined in a meaningful way. In the case of the rail network, this is an operational matter for Railtrack.


Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the rules and regulations he proposes to repeal or amend by means of a reference to the Deregulation Committee before the end of 1996; and if he will make a statement. [3203]

Mr. Bowis: My Department is currently consulting on the following proposals for use of the deregulation order-making power:

The timing of any reference to the Deregulation Committee will depend on various factors including the outcome of the consultation exercise.

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