HC Deb 29 June 1909 vol 7 cc213-4

asked the Lord Advocate whether his attention has been called to the number of carters and others who are dealt with in the burgh courts of the large cities in Scotland at the instance of tramway managers and officials; whether he is aware that in these instances the tramways belong to the corporations, and that the lay magistrates who decide these cases are members of these corporations; and whether he will introduce legislation which will deal with this state of matters?


I am aware that under the Tramway Bye-laws, as well as at common law, a large number of cases are tried in the police courts of the City of Glasgow at the instance of the Procurator Fiscal on information laid by tramway officials against carters and drivers of other vehicles for obstructing and delaying tramway cars, for driving on tramway rails, and for reckless driving and colliding with tramway cars. I am, further, aware that the lay magistrates who try the cases are members of the corporation. But no complaint has reached me relative to the administration of justice in the police courts in tramway cases; and I see no cause, therefore, for introducing, legislation on the subject.


Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware of the extent of this evil in Scotland—of the practice of judges sitting on cases in which they are interested?


I cannot admit there is any evil existent.