HC Deb 29 June 1908 vol 191 cc374-5
MR. JOYCE (Limerick)

I have been asked to defer this following Question, and I am sorry it should be so, as I should have liked the Answer before the Congress of Pilots meets to-morrow: I beg to ask the Secretary for Scotland whether his attention has been drawn to a trial at Glasgow on 15th May last before the Sheriff of the county of Lanark, in which a Clyde pilot was charged under the Merchant Shipping Acts and convicted of negligently navigating a ship he was piloting so as to cause an alleged risk of collision with H.M.S. "Harrier" and danger to the lives of those on board the vessels; whether he will take into consideration the exceptional circumstances (in particular that, although this matter involved the exercise of the best practical seamanship in its decision, it was decided by the sheriff, who did not possess any nautical knowledge whatever and was without assistance from anyone who had such knowledge, and that before the trial the pilot had been examined as to the occurrence by the Clyde Pilotage Board, by whom he was licensed, and had been exonerated from all blame in the matter); and whether he will, in view of the circumstances of the case and of the fact that the Criminal Appeal Act does not extend to Scotland, take steps to secure a reconsideration of the case, with the assistance of nautical assessors.


My hon. friend may rest assured that so far as the position of the man is concerned it will not be prejudiced by the delay, which is entirely due to the desire to get fuller information.