HC Deb 24 May 1892 vol 4 cc1657-8
MR. CALDWELL (Glasgow, St. Rollox)

I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether, as lately promised, he has communicated with the Sheriff of Argyllshire with reference to the inexpediency of Mr. W. Sproat, Procurator Fiscal, Tobermory, acting for landlords in crofter cases, and what was the purport of the reply; and whether his attention has been called to the report of a case in the Oban Sheriff Court on 13th instant, wherein it is stated that a Mr. Lawrence appeared on behalf of "Mr. Sproat, Procurator Fiscal, Tobermory, and agent for the Duke of Argyll," in a suit against crofters at the instance of His Grace?

*THE LORD ADVOCATE (Sir C. J. PEARSON,) Edinburgh and St. Andrew's Universities

I have made the communication referred to in the question. Mr. Sproat is entitled to carry on private practice, and I have no power to prevent him from doing so. I am, however, informed that he is willing to sacrifice his private practice so far as regards cases before the Crofters' Commission; but he is naturally disinclined to give up acting as agent for landowners, merely because in this capacity he may be obliged occasionally to act against crofters. I would remind the hon. Member that as often as a vacancy occurs in the office of Procurator Fiscal, the question of restriction from private practice is considered. I am informed that the statement in the second part of the question is correct.