§ MR. MENZIES (Perthshire, E.)
asked the Lord Advocate, Whether his attention haa been called to the prevalence of sheep stealing in Perthshire; and, whether it would be possible, by giving temporarily further and exceptional powers to the police in Scotland, to deal specially with the crime in question?
THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. B. BALFOUR)&c.) (Clackmannan,
, in reply, said, his attention had been repeatedly called to the prevalence of sheep stealing in Perthshire within the last few years, and he had had various communications with the county on the subject. The abolition of tolls and the facilities now afforded for selling and removing sheep were believed to have conduced to the increase of the crime, and it had been suggested that a system of registered marks should be established, and that sheep should not be removed without the written authority of the owners of the marks. This would, however, he feared, impose an undue restriction upon the movement of sheep, and the only remedy would seem to be for the police to exercise as great vigilance as possible. The giving of exceptional powers to the police could only be done by Statute, and great care would be required not to make them of such a character as to impede lawful dealings in sheep. If his hon. Friend had any suggestions to make on the subject he should be glad to consider them.