HC Deb 16 March 1880 vol 251 cc1097-8

asked the Lord Advocate, If complaints have been made to him with reference to injuries done to the Roman Catholic Church at Maybole, in Scotland, including the breakage of stained glass windows and serious damage to the sculptures on the exterior; whether these injuries have not been of repeated occurrence; whether he has made any inquiry of the local authorities as to the origin of these injuries, and as to the steps taken to put a stop to them; what answers have been made to these inquiries; and, what steps he has taken to prevent the recurrence of these injuries and to discover and prosecute the offenders?


Sir, I regret to say that the complaints made to me in this matter have proved to be well founded. Various wanton acts of the kind mentioned have been perpetrated against private property, and, amongst others, on a Roman Catholic chapel. I directed, immediately, an investigation by the Fiscal, and the result of that investigation was to disclose that these acts had not been perpetrated through any religious feeling, because the property of all sects and creeds had been dealt with very much alike in the neighbourhood. I was, however, unable to discover from the evidence anything which would warrant me in prosecuting any person for these acts. The only course left open to me, therefore, was that which I adopted, of putting myself in communication with the police and enjoining on them to take steps to prevent the recurrence of similar injuries of property, and I trust that the steps taken will be sufficient. I am happy to say that, as a result of their active watching, I have had no complaint of the same kind since I had occasion to make that communication.