HC Deb 13 June 1861 vol 163 c1000

said, he wished to ask the right hon. and learned Lord Advocate, Whether he has heard that one Fisherman on the coast of Argyllshire has been killed, and another wounded, by shots fired from Her Majesty's Steamer Jackal, or her boats; and whether he will explain to the House by whose authority this was done?


said, he was not able to answer the last portion of the question of the hon. Member. He had, however, received a pretty full account of the unfortunate occurrence; but as it would necessarily form the subject of a judicial investigation, it would not, perhaps, be proper for him to enter into a full statement of the details. The accounts of the transaction were rather conflicting. On the one hand, there was the evidence of the boat's crew, and there was that of the revenue officers on the other. It appeared from the statement of the latter that they had gone out for the purpose of seeing whether the men were engaged in illegal fishing, and that they found them in the act of trawling. The officers then landed two marines, and those marines went round until they got within the vicinity of the fishing boat; they called to the fishermen, who continued their occupation. They then fired blank cartridge, and afterwards a shot, intended, as he understood, to be wide of the mark. On the other hand, the fishermen did not admit that they were trawling. They said that they were hailed, and that immediately on being hailed they replied that they were coming on shore, when a shot was fired, and one of their number was killed.