HC Deb 19 April 1888 vol 324 cc1726-7
DR. CAMERON (Glasgow, College)

asked the Lord Advocate, Whether he has yet completed the inquiries promised by him on the 9th ultimo, into the circumstances attending the committal to an asylum as a lunatic of Donald Macleod, a Crown witness brought from Stornoway to Edinburgh to give evidence in the recent trial of the Barvas Crofters; if he would state how long Macleod was detained in the asylum, and at whose cost; and, whether there is reason to believe that Macleod's insanity was, as alleged, the result of his being plied with drink by those in charge of him while being brought to Edinburgh to give his evidence?

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

I have made an inquiry. Macleod was detained in the asylum from March 7 to April 3 at the cost of the City of Edinburgh, who have claimed the cost from his parish of domicile, and the claim has been admitted. At the request of Mr. Helm, Macleod's employer, the doctor under whose care he was allowed a relative to take him home to Lewis. There is no reason to believe that he had been plied with or had taken drink. The evidence shows that he drank no spirits, and that he stated he could not drink whisky. He appears to have had one glass of beer, of which he took only part. All the doctors who saw him say that the symptoms did not in any way suggest that his malady was caused by intoxicants.