HC Deb 14 March 1887 vol 312 cc180-1
DR. CAMERON (Glasgow, College)

asked the Lord Advocate, Whether his attention has been called to the following medical certificate concerning Mrs. M'Millan, one of the Herbusta crofters, ordered for trial at Edinburgh on 4th January, but not proceeded against:—

"I hereby certify that Mrs. Alexr. M'Millan, presently residing at 284, Crookston Street,. S.S. Glasgow, is under my professional care, and has been for the last three weeks. She is suffering from chronic metritis, following an acute attack of the same illness caused by an abortion, which, in my opinion, was brought on by exposure and mental excitement.

"(Signed) R. Pollock.

"M. B. and C. M., &c.

"Febry. 24th, 1387."

Whether it is a fact that on or about the 18th ultimo Mrs. M'Millan, while under medical care in her sister's house in Glasgow, was ordered to present herself at the office of the Procurator Fiscal, and, on her pleading inability to walk, was on the following day visited by that official, and subjected to a long and inquisitorial examination, the result of which was to aggravate her illness; and, on what grounds Mrs. M'Millan was subjected to this interview?

THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. H. A. MACDONALD) (Edinburgh and St. Andrews Universities)

Mrs. M'Millan was ordered to be tried, along with eight other prisoners, for mobbing, rioting, and deforcement. Before the trial, but after she had arrived in Edinburgh, I was informed by her counsel of her condition, and I accordingly did not proceed with the case against her. As she had not been tried, it was considered an exceptional case, in which her expenses might be paid, and £5 was given to her for that purpose. She left Edinburgh without applying any part of the £5 to pay her lodging expenses there; and shortly after a request was made by a Mr. Cowan, who, I understand, is the Secretary of a Highland Land League, for payment of these. Directions were then given to the Procurator Fiscal in Glasgow to see Mrs. M'Millan, to ascertain whether this application was made on her behalf, and what expenses she had already paid. It is not the fact that she was ordered to present herself at the Procurator Fiscal's office. The chief officer who called on her had instructions from the Procurator Fiscal that if she expressed any doubt about being able to come, or if he himself thought she seemed to be in delicate health, he should so report, and the Procurator Fiscal would call. This was accordingly done. There was no long or inquisitorial examination. The interview lasted only 10 or 15 minutes, and no complaint was made. I am further informed that that interview did not aggravate her illness. As it was found that she had been detained in Glasgow some time by the after effects of her illness, it was thought proper to allow £3 additional, and the order to pay this sum was given before I received Notice of the hon. Member's Question. The ground on which the interview took place was, that until I had ascertained how the facts stood I could not, consistently with my duty, entertain the application for more money.