HC Deb 17 March 1890 vol 342 cc987-8
MR. FRASER-MACKINTOSH (Inverness-shire)

I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether his attention has been directed to the observations of the Lord Justice Clerk and Lord Young, in the High Court of Justiciary, in which they severely criticise a case stated for appeal by the acting sheriff substitute of the Skye district of Inverness-shire at Portree; whether the regularly appointed sheriff substitute has been absent from the Skye district for the greater portion of the last two years; and whether he will take steps to remedy the present anomalous state of matters at Portree?


I have read a report of the judgments referred to. The criticism of the Judges was intended to discourage what they described as a practice, which had crept in rather too much, of detailing in special cases the particulars of the evidence, rather than stating the conclusion of facts upon which the questions of law arose. It is fair to the gentleman in question to say that I have reason to believe that he has done his work attentively and well while acting at Portree. The sheriff substitute has been absent from ill-health since October, 1888, his duty being performed in the meantime by a qualified advocate. I am happy to learn that Mr. Hamilton's health is sufficiently improved to enable him, from next month, to reside at Portree; and he will, with assistance approved by the sheriff, gradually resume the personal discharge of his duties.