HC Deb 20 March 1891 vol 351 cc1531-2
MR. A. SUTHERLAND (Sutherland)

I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether his attention has been called to the fact that Mr. Mackenzie, Sheriff Substitute of Sutherland, is an ex officio member of the County Council of Sutherland, and regularly attends its meetings and takes part in its business and deliberations; whether it is the case that in his judicial capacity he is liable to be called upon to give judgment upon matters to which, in his capacity of County Councillor, he is himself a party; whether, as a matter of fact, he has already so adjudicated; and whether he will call upon Mr. Mackenzie to resign one or other of two offices so incompatible?


Parliament determined that among others the Chairman of County Road Trustees should sit ex officio on the first elected County Councils, and in this capacity Mr. Mackenzie acts in the County of Sutherland. It is quite possible he might be called upon to adjudicate upon matters as to which, as a County Councillor, he is in a certain sense a party; but even if he was not a member of the County Council, he would still, as a ratepayer, be in a certain sense a party to actions in which the County Council was interested. I am not aware if he has already so adjudicated, but I see no cause for interference, his position being precisely the same as before the passing of the Local Government Act, when he, in common with other Sheriff substitutes, was entitled to sit ex-officio as a Commissioner of Supply.