HC Deb 22 August 1889 vol 340 c117
MR. ANGUS SUTHERLAND (Sutherlandshire)

I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether his attention has been called to the seizure of five fishing nets belonging to Martin Kennedy and Lachlan Curry, fishermen, in Loch-in-daal, on the night July 23rd-24th, by Major Wise, a lessee of certain fishings in Islay; whether it is true, as stated, that the seizure of nets referred to took place half a mile beyond the protected line, and was consequently illegal; whether it is true that a fortnight after the seizure of the nets Major Wise had not lodged any complaint with the Criminal Authorities, but retained the nets, and refused to deliver them to their owners; and if, on inquiry, it appears that the appropriation and retention of the nets was illegal, in view of the frequency of similar treatment of fishermen by fishing tenants in the Highlands, he will instruct the Procurator Fiscal to institute proceedings in this case?


My attention has been called to this case. The information before me as to the situation of the nets is somewhat conflicting, and does not enable me to say with certainty whether they were set within or beyond the limits of the estuary of the River Sorn. Major Wise has not lodged any complaint with the Criminal Authorities, and I believe he retained the nets. Whatever may have been the situation of the nets, I am not aware of any legal grounds on which the seizure and retention of the nets can be justified; but it seems to me that, if a grievance exists, the proper remedy is civil and not criminal.