HC Deb 20 May 1887 vol 315 cc708-9
MR. A. L. BROWN&c.) (Hawick,

asked the Lord Advocate, Whether his attention has been called to the case of Mr. David Maxwell, journeyman saddler, who it is reported on the 30th April last was fishing for trout on that part of the River Tweed, near Kelso, known as the "Junction Water," which it is alleged has always been open to the public for trout fishing, and no intimation has been made that it is closed; whether Mr. J. E. W. Drummond, Writer to the Signet, who leases a salmon fishing on the Tweed, which includes the "Junction Water," ordered Mr. Maxwell to desist from fishing, and, on his refusing, pushed him from a boat, so that Mr. Maxwell was immersed in the river; whether this assault was reported to the County Fiscal, who refused to take it up; and, whether he will instruct the Fiscal to proceed with the case?

THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. H. A. MACDONALD) (Edinburgh and St. Andrew's Universities)

My attention has been called to this case. I understand that Mr. Drummond, who is lessee of the fishing at the part of the river in question, has always permitted angling for trout, and has no intention of preventing members of the public enjoying this sport; but he does object to people wading in deep and fishing into the salmon casts of which he is tenant. On the occasion in question Mr. Drummond was fishing for salmon, and Mr. Maxwell was up to his middle in the water fishing for trout in the same pool, Mr. Drummond remonstrated with him, and told him that, while he did not object to his fishing for trout at other parts of his water, he objected to his wading into his salmon cast, and he repeatedly asked him to leave that part of the water. Mr. Maxwell, erroneously believing that his having fished for many years on that water gave him a legal right to do so, refused to leave the salmon cast; and Mr. Drummond, coming up in his fishing boat, insisted on his going away, telling him that if he would not legal proceedings would have to be taken. Mr. Drummond did give Mr. Maxwell what the onlookers described as a slight push on the shoulder with his hand. Mr. Maxwell fell. He at once said he had got what he wanted, presumably meaning that he had got a legal case. He was not injured, and went on fishing for some time. On a complaint being made, the Procurator Fiscal made an inquiry, and was satisfied that there was nut ground for a criminal prosecution. I have seen the note of evidence taken on the inquiry, and also a fuller precognition taken since, and I concur in the opinion of the Procurator Fiscal.


I should like to ask the Lord Advocate if a poor man may push a rich man into the water?


Order, order!