§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £54,287, be granted to His Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of 224 March, 1903, for the salaries and expenses of the Lord Advocate's Department, and other law charges, and the salaries and expenses of the Courts of Law and Justice in Scotland."
§ (11.15.) MR. CALDWELL
said he wished to direct the attention of the Lord Advocate, for the purpose of inquiry, to a representation made by the Temperance Society of Wishaw. The facts were as follow: Mr. James Logan was a justice, and also held a licensed victualler's licence in partnership. According to a public notice in the Glasgow Herald on the 7th of January, 1902, the partnership was dissolved; and a few days afterwards the licence was transferred to the brother of Mr. James Logan, who himself adjudicated as a licensing magistrate. The contention was that on the dissolution of the partnership, Mr. James Logan was the holder of the licence, and transferred it to his brother. The Sheriff was appealed to on the ground that Mr. Logan had committed a violation of the Act; but he said he was of opinion that a claim should not be brought by summary jurisdiction, but should be brought at the instance of the Lord Advocate. The point he wished to bring before the Lord Advocate was that there was prima facie evidence that Mr. James Logan, a justice of the peace, was concerned in the transfer; that he was the holder of the licence after the withdrawal of his partner; that he adjudicated in the case; and that the transfer was to his own brother. Information was laid in the Sheriff's Court, but it was held that the informer could not sue, and that it was a matter for the Procurator Fiscal. He was sorry he had not been able to give the Lord Advocate fuller particulars earlier, but he thought he had established a prima facie case; and if a penalty was exigible at the suit of the Procurator Fiscal, he hoped the law would be enforced. His only desire was that the law should be carried out, and that magistrates, when dealing with licences, should act legally. He hoped the Lord Advocate would make inquiries into the matter.
Mr. PARKER SMITH
said he wished to ask again a question which he had previously asked, but which the Lord Advocate had not had time to answer. It had reference to the work of the Procurator Fiscal and his deputy in 225 Glasgow. The amount of work which passed through that office was something enormous, being about 40 per cent. of the serious criminal legal work of the entire country. The staff was not adequate either as regarded number or salary. It was a very long time since any addition was made to the staff or the pay of the office, although the amount of work had increased enormously. A memorial asking for an increase of the staff in order to overtake the work had been sent in, and he hoped it would be considered. He was told the difficulty was with the Treasury; but he hoped the Lord Advocate would hold out a promise that something would be done in the near future in the matter.
MR. A. GRAHAM MURRAY
said of course all questions of salary and allowances were necessarily matters for the Treasury, and were not matters which really arose on the Estimates at all. He would tell his hon. friend quite plainly that the Treasury were only concerned with the Procurator Fiscal. The other officials had no direct communication with the Treasury, which had no cognisance of the Procurator Fiscal subordinates. It was quite obvious that any application for an increased allowance should come through the Procurator Fiscal and through no one else. He could, however, assure his hon. friend that the matter would be submitted to the Treasury at no distant date. With regard to the question of the hon. Member for Mid Lanarkshire, as the hon. Member very fairly said, he had not been able to give him particulars which would enable him to form a judgment; but if he had the particulars he would not express an opinion as to the merits or demerits of that particular prosecution. As he understood the case, someone was alleged to have committed an offence, and a prosecution for that offence was brought by a private individual The point was then raised as to whether a private individual was entitled to prosecute in such a case, and the sheriff held he was not. He observed that the hon. Member did not say whether there was any application to the Procurator Fiscal after the sheriff had decided that a private individual 226 was not a proper prosecutor. No one knew better than the hon. Member that he would never take up a criminal matter simply because it was suggested to him by private letter. He always said that a complaint should be made in the ordinary way to the Procurator Fiscal, and therefore he could not promise an inquiry; but he would promise him that if a proper recommendation were made, the matter would be considered on its merits by a Crown Counsel.
§ Mr. CALDWELL
said that the matter had been before the Procurator Fiscal, who said that, as an action had been taken, he could not intervene. Now that the action was out of the way, he hoped the Procurator Fiscal would consider it.
Mr. CATHCART WASON
said he wished to direct attention to the position of Deputy Procurators Fiscal. Once a Deputy Procurator Fiscal was appointed to a district, he remained there. He had no chance of being promoted to a better district or of obtaining better emoluments. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would take the matter into consideration.
MR. A. GRAHAM MURRAY
said he was quite aware that there had been, for a long time, a movement among Deputy Procurators Fiscal in the direction mentioned by his hon. friend, and he was not surprised at it from their own point of view. But it was a point of view which had never been admitted by the Treasury. It would really mean that the position of Deputy Procurator Fiscal should be made a public service, and he thought there were very good reasons against that. The Deputy Procurator Fiscal was originally the sheriff's officer, and was practically paid by the county by being allowed to exact fees for cases in which he acted. The right to charge fees was, however, abolished, and the whole matter was put in order by statute, which, although it allowed the nomination to remain with the sheriff, gave a veto on the appointment to the Government. The present system, although logically somewhat anomalous perhaps, had worked very well. The Deputy Procurator Fiscal was still the sheriff's officer, but practically he was under the command of the Lord Advocate, 227 and as the Lord Advocate paid the piper, he also called the tune. There was, however, no direct connection between the Treasury and the Deputy Procurators Fiscal, and, that being so, his hon. friend would see how entirely inadmissible his demand was.
§ MR. WEIR
said he should like to have some explanation as to why the salary of the Legal Secretary to the Lord Advocate had been increased this year from £500 to £900, in addition to fees. He did not like the arrangement. If a man were worth £500 or £900, let him have it, and let him do all the work of his office for it. But he objected to a man receiving a salary and then being paid fees for the work required of him. The increase was a large one, and, in order to elicit an explanation, he would move that the salary he reduced by £100.
Motion made and Question proposed, "That Item A (Salaries) be reduced by £100, in respect of the salary of the Lord Advocate." (Mr Weir.)
MR. A. GRAHAM MURRAY
said he did not blame the hon. Gentleman for having raised the question, but there was a good explanation of the increase. His Legal Secretary, as a matter of fact, did not get any increase at all. In former years there was an allowance for the preparation of Bills for Parliament, under the authority of the Lord Advocate, which always stood at £800 a year, and the invariable ride hitherto was that the Lord Advocate's Secretary got a salary of £500 a year, and was allowed £800 a year for drafting Parliament Bills. Last year the latter amount was reduced from £800 to £600, and this year it was thought better that the Lord Advocate's Secretary should have a proper salary, and not be paid from what he got from Bills. £500 a year for the Secretary to the Lord Advocate was quite inadequate. He must be a Scotch lawyer; he was taken away from Edinburgh; and, in fact, his practice was broken up for life, as no man could be Secretary to the Lord Advocate and at the same time hope to get on in his profession. Under the new arrangement, the Lord Advocate's Secretary was to have £900 a year, and for that he would not only have to discharge the duties of 228 Legal Secretary, but would also have to act as draughtsman for ordinary Bills. There would still, of course, be an allowance of £300 for the drafting of Bills of a larger character which necessitated outside assistance. As a matter of fact, so far from the £900 being an increased salary, it was really a decrease as compared with former years. In answer to a question which an hon. Gentleman put to him on a previous occasion, he might say that, as far as he was aware, there was no sweating in the Lord Advocate's Department.
§ MR. WEIR
said he was glad to hear the explanation of the right hon. Gentleman. He believed in paying good salaries, but he objected to such a tinkering system. It appeared that the Legal Secretary to the Lord Advocate was working on salary and commission, and he did not consider that that was a straight or honest method of conducting the business of a Government Department. As a matter of fact, the gentleman was now receiving £100 a year more than he previously received.
MR. A. GRAHAM MURRAY
said the hon. Gentleman could not get over the fact that five and six were eleven, and, therefore, more than nine. There was another Estimate of £300 to pay for Bills drafted outside the office, but the Lord Advocate's Secretary would not get more than £900 a year, although under a Liberal Government he had £1,300 a year, and quite recently he had £1.100 a year.
§ MR. WEIR
said he understood now that the Legal Secretary to the Lord Advocate would have to draft ordinary Bills, but that £300 would he paid for the drafting of extraordinary Bills. That was not a good system. He should like to call the attention of the Lord Advocate to a Return prepared by the Crown Agent—
The hon. Member has moved a reduction relating to one particular item, and he must confine him self to that.
§ MR. CALDWELL
said he was glad the question had been raised, as the Committee had received a very reasonable explanation from the Lord Advocate. They had it now that the Legal Secretary to the Lord Advocate would draft ordinary Bills, and that the £300 was for certain contingencies. He thought that, considering the small amount of Scottish legislation there was in the present session, that £300 was more than enough. The explanation of the Lord Advocate was, however, quite satisfactory, and he was glad he had been able to clear the matter up.
Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
Original Question again proposed.
§ MR. WEIR
said he had a serious complaint to make against the Crown Agent. He had signed a Return purporting to show the valuation of deer forests, and it turned out to be the most inaccurate document he had ever seen, and he himself had to bring under the notice of the Scotch Office many corrections. One deer forest which covered 28,000 acres was only put down at 12,000 acres. It was important that they should have accurate information on such subjects, and hon. Members should not be expected to do the work of a public official. The Crown Agent received a salary of £1,300, with a first clerk at £650, and a second clerk at £373, either of whom would probably do the work a great deal better. He protested against the slovenliness and carelessness of the Crown Agent in issuing a document of such a character; and he begged to move to reduce his salary by £500. Ho hoped hon. Members on the other side would join with his hon. friends and stand together on all Scottish matters.
Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Item A (Salaries) be reduced by
|Abraham, William (Cork. N. E.||Flynn, James Christopher||Murphy, John|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Boland, John||Hayden, John Patrick||Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.|
|Caldwell, James||Jones, William (Carnarv'nshire||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)|
|Campbell, John (Armuagh, S.)||Jordan, Jeremiah||O'Brien, Kendal (Tip'r'ry, Mid|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Joyce, Michael||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Lundon, W.||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)|
|Crean, Eugene||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||O'Dowd, John|
|Cremer, William Randal||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||O'Shaughessy P. J.|
|Delany, William||M'Govern. T.||Partington, Oswald|
|Donelan, Capt. A.||M'Kean, John||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)|
|Doogan, P. C.||M'Killon, W. (Sligo, North)||Reddy, M.|
|Ffrench, Peter||Murnaghan, George||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
§ £500, in respect of the salary of the Crown Agent." —(Mr Weir.)
§ Mr. WILLIAM REDMOND
On a point of order, may I ask if the right hon. Gentleman will be in order in speaking after you have put the Question.
I had not gathered the voices. I had only gathered the "Ayes." The right hon. Gentleman is entitled to intervene if he wishes.
§ Mr. WILLIAM REDMOND
On a point of order, I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman can address the House after the Question is put, although you, Sir, had not gathered the voices?
The rule is that no debate can take place after the voices are gathered, and the voices are not gathered until the "Ayes" and the "Noes" are collected. I had only reached the point of asking the "Ayes," and I had not asked the "Noes."
MR. A. GRAHAM MURRAY
said that, as the hon. Member knew, the Crown Agent was the responsible head, under himself, for the direction of the whole of the criminal law in Scotland. With reference to the Return mentioned by the hon. Member, it was not possible to give it with absolute accuracy without going to the expense of a survey in order to gratify the curiosity of the hon. Member. They had to take such information as was given to them by the various factors, and it would have been absurd to incur the expense of a survey in order to find out how many acres exactly there were in deer forests in Scotland.
(11.54.) Question put.
The Committee divided:—Ayes, 45; Noes, 115. (Division List No. 249.)
|Roe, Sir Thomas||Thomas, David Alfred(Merthyr||Tellers FOR the AYES.—|
|Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)||Whitley, J. H. Halifax||Mr. Weirand Mr. William|
|Sullivan Donal||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth||Redmond.|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Purvis, Robert|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Galloway, William Johnson||Randles, John S.|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn||Rankin, Sir James|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hn. John||Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon||Renshaw, Charles Bine|
|Bain, Col. James Robert||Greene, Henry D.(Shrewsbury)||Renwick, George|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r||Gretton, John||Ridley, Hn. M. W.(Stalybridge)|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B (Hornsey||Hall, Edward Marshall||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson|
|Balfour, Rt HnGer'ld W. (Leeds||Hamilton, Marq. of(L'nd'nd'ny||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Haslett, Sir James Horner||Round, James|
|Beach, Rt. Hn Sir Michael Hicks||Heath, Arthur Howard(Hanley||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Hogg, Lindsay||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford|
|Bill, Charles||Howard, Jno. (Kent, Faversham||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Brassey, Albert||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Lawson, John Grant||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Bull, William James||Lee, Arthur H (Hants., Fareham||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.|
|Carson, Right Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Cavendish, V.C.W(Derbvshire||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Stanley, Hn. Arthur(Ormskirk|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (W'rc'r||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N.S.||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Chapman, Edward||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Brist'l, S.||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart|
|Clive, Capt. Percy A.||Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E,||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Macartney. Rt Hn W.G. Ellison||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready||Macdona, John Cumming||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow||Maconochie, A. W.||Ure, Alexander|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||M'Crae, George||Valentia, Viscount|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Majendie, James A. H.||Vincent, Col Sir C. E. H(Sheffield|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh.)||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Doughty, George||Mount, William Arthur||Wilson, A. Stanley(York, E. R.)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hn. A. Akers-||Muntz, Philip A.||Wilson, John Glasgow)|
|Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Murray, Rt Hn. A. Grah'm (Bute||Willson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry||Wood, James|
|Elibank, Master of||Newdigate, Francis Alexander||Wylie, Alexander|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J (Manc'r||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlingt'n|
|Finch, George H.||Plummer, Walter R||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Pretyman, Ernest George||Sir William Walrond and|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Mr. Anstruther.|
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ It being after Midnight, the CHAIRMAN left the Chair to make his Report to the House.
§ Resolution to be reported tomorrow; Committee also report progress; to sit again tomorrow.