§ MR. MUNRO FERGUSON (Leith, &c.)
I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether he is satisfied that the death certificate granted in the case of William Moyes, who died at Auchterderran on the 4th December under suspicious circumstances, was in order; if he would explain why no post mortem was held, either by the Crown officials or by the Crown Office, when attention was called to the circumstances of the case at the time; and whether Dr. Curror's opinion was taken; and, if so, at what date?
§ *THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. B. BALFOUR, Clackmannan, &c)
The certificate of Dr. Moorhouse, who had attended the deceased, was to the effect that death was due to apoplexy. No other information was before the Fiscal, and none was communicated to him at the time, so that after consultation with the Sheriff Substitute, and with Dr. Drysdale of Dunfermline—both of whom knew the whole circumstances of the case, from the date of the assault on 28th October—he considered that an official post mortem examination was unnecessary. I cannot say that upon the information which he had then obtained he should have directed such an examination. It is unfortunate that Dr. Curror's state- 833 ment does not appear to have been taken until a fortnight ago. He expressed the opinion that the death may have been due to the effects of the assault, but it is right to say that he was only called in on the night of the death of the deceased. In view of this opinion, which is not altogether supported by the relations of the deceased, and of the other features of the case, I propose to ask the Sheriff to make an inquiry into the circumstances of the case, and to furnish mo with a Report upon it.
§ MR. MUNRO FERGUSON
Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the advisability of including cases of this kind within the scope of the Fatal Accidents Inquiry (Scotland) Bill, and is it intended to introduce and proceed with that measure next Session?
§ *MR. J. B. BALFOUR
We do intend to introduce the Bill next Session, but I would point out that its application to cases of this kind would involve, practically, the introduction of what would be equivalent to coroner's inquests universally in Scotland.