HC Deb 12 March 1886 vol 303 cc628-9
MR. BAIRD (Lanark, N.W.)

asked the Secretary for Scotland, Whether it is the case that prisoners, convicted in Glasgow and interned in the prison at Barlinine, are systematically liberated in the rural district of Barlinine; whether he has seen a Petition, addressed to himself or to his predecessor in office, complaining of this practice; whether the Chief Constable for the county of Lanark has reported that the practice is bad, alike in the interests of the residents in the district and of the discharged prisoners; and, whether he is prepared to take steps to put an end to the practice?


It is true that, in accordance with recent arrangements made by the Prison Commissioners, the prisoners discharged from Barlinine Prison have been discharged at the gates of that prison. An important Petition has been received from Mr. William Cochran and other persons in the neighbourhood pointing out the undesirablity of this practice, and the Chief Constable of Lanarkshire has reported very strongly to a similar effect. The subject involves points of law as well as of policy, and I am at present in communication with the Prison Commissioners with a view to obtaining further information in order to arrive at a fit and proper decision in the matter. I can assure the hon. Member and the hon. Member for the College Division of Glasgow (Dr. Cameron), who has likewise interested himself in this matter, that it shall have the full consideration which so important a question deserves, both from myself and the Lord Advocate; and the result of my decision will be communicated in due course to the parties interested.