HC Deb 03 April 1894 vol 22 cc1252-3
MR. WEIR (Ross and Cromarty)

I beg to ask the Lord Advocate if he is-a ware that, in the case of trespass for game tried on the 13th February last before Sheriff Hill, at Dingwall, in which Baron Middleton, of Appleeross,. was the plaintiff, and William Mackenzie,. Ardneaskan, was defendant, the only witness for the prosecution was a game watcher named Macbeath, who admitted that his knowledge of English was very limited, while Sheriff Hill, who sentenced Mackenzie, had no knowledge of Gaelic; and whether there is any interpreter attached to the Court House at Dingwall; if not, whether it is proposed to engage the services of competent interpreters at those places where Sheriffs are ignorant of the language of the people?

* THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. B. BALFOUR,&c.) Clackmannan,

I am informed that Macbeath was the only witness in this case, but that it is not the fact that his knowledge of English was very limited; that, on the contrary, he was examined and cross-examined in English—which he spoke quite easily—and that it was never suggested, either by himself or by the agent of the accused, that he should be examined in Gaelic. There is no interpreter attached to the Court House at Dingwall, but the Sheriff Clerk Depute, or some other competent person, is employed to act as interpreter in the comparatively rare cases in which an interpreter is required.