HC Deb 25 July 1881 vol 263 cc1741-2

asked the Lord Advocate, Whether his attention has been called, by memorial or otherwise, to the circumstance of the sheriff clerk of Fife, a civil servant of the Crown, having, in violation of the spirit, if not the letter of his commission, of the Acts of Sederunt of 1783 and 1839, and of Acts of Parliament, assumed into partnership a person who conducts business in the Sheriff Courts of Fife, and otherwise within the county, and further does himself, notwithstanding his being a civil servant as aforesaid, carry on business other than that of sheriff clerk; and, what steps he intends to take in the matter, or would suggest being taken by anyone aggrieved?


, in reply, said, a Memorial had been presented to him on the subject of this Question. The Sheriff Clerks of Scotland were allowed by the terms of their Commission to make conveyances; but they were debarred by a rule of Court from practising as agents in the Court. He certainly thought that the action of Mr. Johnstone, in assuming a partner who practised in the Court, was against the spirit of the rule; but whether it be against the letter of the law or not was a question which could only be determined by the Court of Session, who made the rule. He had informed the Memorialists, if they desired to try the question, they might have the formal concurrence of his Office in doing so.