§ MR. BAIRD (Lanark, N. W.)
asked the Lord Advocate, Whether he is prepared to state whether any steps are being taken to prevent the commission of outrages and the depreciation of property in the neighbourhood of Barlinnie, consequent upon the renewal of the practice of discharging at Barlinnie prisoners unconnected with the district without providing for their return to the place of their conviction; and, whether he will use his influence either to secure the discontinuance of this practice, or to have such provision made with regard to the discharge of prisoners as may, without throwing undue expense upon 844 the prison district in which Barlinnie is situate, remove the sense of insecurity which has arisen in the neighbourhood, in consequence of outrages committed by liberated prisoners?
THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. B. BALFOUR)&c.) (Clackmannan,
A letter has to-day, by the direction of the Secretary for Scotland, been addressed to the Clerk of the Commissioners of Supply of the county of Lanark, stating that, after the most careful and anxious consideration of all the circumstances of the case, he does not feel justified in interfering with the recent arrangements made by the Prison Commissioners for liberating prisoners from Barlinnie Prison. It is, however, pointed out in the letter that, in the opinion of the Secretary for Scotland, it is distinctly the duty—and an important duty—of the police to afford due and ample protection to inhabitants in proximity to the prison, and that if such protection cannot be afforded by the present strength of the county police, the force should at once be increased. A copy of this letter has been forwarded to the gentleman who transmitted the Petition on this subject to the Secretary for Scotland.