§ SIR D. MACFARLANE (Argyll)
I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether 1262 his attention has been called to the case of Colin Carmichael, Colin M'Intyre, John Mackenzie, and Donald M'Tavish, of Oban, who were tried on the 1st of August, 1893, on a charge of fishing for salmon, and fined £3 8s. 9d. each, including costs, or 14 days' imprisonment; whether he is aware that Mackenzie and M'Tavish paid their fines; that M'Intyre and Carmichael, being unable to do so, offered themselves at the expiry of 14 days to undergo the alternative of imprisonment; and that the sentence of imprisonment was held over these two men until the end of June this year, when they were suddenly apprehended and put in prison; and whether it is lawful or according to practice to keep a sentence of this kind hanging over men for nearly a year?
§ MR. J. B. BALFOUR
My information is that Mackenzie and M'Tavish paid their tines, and that M'Intyre and Carmichael failed to do so, but that in the course of last winter they offered to undergo the sentence of imprisonment, to which the Governor of the gaol declined to give effect, as he had no warrant. They were recently apprehended and lodged in prison. The course which has been taken is certainly very unusual, and I have communicated with the Clerk to the District Board to ask for further explanation. I may remind my hon. Friend that prosecutions of this kind do not precede at the instance of the Crown.