HC Deb 16 July 1877 vol 235 cc1318-9

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been called to a report of a recent game trespass prosecution in Perthshire, in the course of which one of the county constables gave evidence to the effect that on a particular morning he had watched Lord Kinnoull's game for five or six hours; that when requested by the head gamekeeper he was sometimes weeks so engaged; that he was not paid by the Earl of Kinnoull; that lie was watching every week in the month, and he believed every constable was the same, "it was their duty to do so;" whether one-half the wages of these constables is paid from the Imperial Treasury; whether it is the duty of constables to watch game; and, if not, whether he will take steps to prevent the employment of constables as game watchers?


, in reply, said, he was informed that the constable had misstated the facts of the case. Under the General Police (Scotland) Act, 1857, Section 7, the chief constable, on the application of any person, with the approval of the Sheriff, might appoint and cause to be sworn in an additional number of constables within the limits of his authority at the charge of the person or persons making the application. He was informed that the constable in question was appointed under the statute not simply to watch the game, but to keep order in the neighbourhood of Lord Kinnoull's place. The man was paid entirely in that way, and under the Act he became of course part of the police force; but the whole of the payment came from Lord Kinnoull, and not from the State. With regard to the statement of the constable, that it was his duty to watch game, all he (Mr. Cross) had to say was that it was not so. It was not the duty of the constable to watch game, and if found employing his time in that manner be would not be doing his duty as a constable, and would not be entitled to payment from the State.