Mr. CATHCART WASON
asked the Lord Advocate if, in view of the difficulties of securing convictions of trawling vessels poaching round islands somewhat difficult of access, facilities will be afforded by one or other of the fishery cruisers to enable the Procurator Fiscal to investigate into alleged cases, and also to convey such witnesses as the Procurator Fiscal might desire to call to a place where the trial is to be held?
§ Mr. PIRIE
Before the right hon. Gentleman answers, may I put a question of which I have given private notice: Whether the Scottish Office are aware that the origin of this question arises from the fiscal, presuming on a single instance of the use of a fishery cruiser which was granted to him as a favour, desiring to make a regular use of such vessels; whether it is the duty of fishery cruisers to act for the Crown in matters of prosecution; and in the event of such facilities being granted for the prosecution, will equal facilities be given in the conveyance of witnesses for the defence?
§ The LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. Ure)
The Fishery Board have already an arrangement for the conveyance of the Procurator Fiscal to Fair Isle when it is convenient for the fishery cruiser on duty in Shetland waters in relation to her ordinary duties, and when ordinary means of communication are not available. They would also, I think, be prepared to consider the question of his conveyance to other places, difficult of access and without ordinary means of communication. But they are not prepared to come under any general obligation in the matter; they will carefully consider each application on its merits and decide according to the circumstances in each case. As regards the conveyance 1370 of witnesses to the place of trial, the recognised means of communication open to the public are, as a general rule, sufficient for the purpose. As regards the question put by my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen, I have to say that I cannot speculate upon the reasons which induced my hon. Friend the Member for Orkney and Shetlands to put his question. The Statute specially provides that fishery cruisers are to be employed under the Fishery (Scotland) Act. I have already answered the last part of my hon. Friend's question.
Mr. CATHCART WASON
Is my hon. Friend entitled to suggest that some of my constituents have been guilty of perjury?