HC Deb 18 March 1889 vol 334 cc32-3

asked the Lord Advocate the advisability of taking steps to secure that in future, so far as practicable, especially in a district such as Lanarkshire, Sheriff Clerk Deputes be either enrolled law agents or have served apprenticeships, and have attended, or are attending, law classes with the view of qualifying for being law agents, and whether he will see that in the appointment of Procurators Fiscal the same rule is observed when the Fiscalship at Hamilton was to be filled up; and, if there was any truth in the rumour that such an important place as Airdrie was to be amalgamated with a minor burgh such as Hamilton, and an assistant Procurator Fiscal only be appointed for Airdrie, the principal Fiscal being at Hamilton?


I fully concur with the hon. Member that Sheriff Clerk Deputes and Procurators Fiscal should, so far as practicable, be qualified in the manner suggested in the question. As regards Sheriff Clerk Deputes, their appointment and the responsibility for the proper performance of their duties rest with the Sheriff Clerk, who, for his own sake if for no other reason, would take care, when it is practicable, to appoint a qualified person. As regards Procurators Fiscal, I am not aware of any instance of an appointment being made when the person appointed was not properly qualified. The Procurator Fiscalship of Hamilton will, it is expected, be filled up within a few days. There is no truth in the rumour that the Fiscalship of Airdrie and Hamilton are to be amalgamated.