HC Deb 18 May 1893 vol 12 c1248

I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether he is aware that Procurators Fiscal are in the habit of employing clerks to make inquiries which should be made by themselves; and, if so, will he see that properly-qualified persons are employed to make these secret and important inquiries?


By the Act of 40 & 41 Vict., c. 50, Section 7, Fiscals were authorised to appoint Deputes with the consent of the Lord Advocate and Sheriff, and I believe that this provision has been generally taken advantage of. It is, however, clearly pointed out in the Crown Office Orders issued to Fiscals that the statutory provision for the appointment of duly-qualified Deputes is not intended in any way to deprive the Public Service of the advantage of the personal discharge by Fiscals of the duties of their office, but only to provide for cases in which it is impossible for them to do the work themselves. It may sometimes be necessary to employ the services of clerks, where neither the Fiscal nor his Depute can undertake the work; but successive Lord Advocates have done everything in their power to impress upon Fiscals the importance of personal discharge of duty. If any such practice exists as is pointed out in the question, I shall be glad to receive information in regard to particular cases of it, and shall cause them to be inquired into.