HC Deb 12 July 1915 vol 73 cc654-5
7. Mr. WATT

asked the Home Secretary whether his Department gave definite instructions for the arrest and prosecution of the signalman Tinsley, alleged to be responsible for the railway accident near Gretna Green, in Scotland; and, if so, will he explain the reasons for such instructions in view of the fact that the matters fall clearly under the jurisdiction of the Scottish Courts?


No such instructions were given by my Department. A good many deaths caused by the Gretna accident occurred at Carlisle, and an inquest had therefore to be held there. The coroner's jury having found a verdict of manslaughter against Tinsley, the coroner, in pursuance of the Statute, committed him for trial on this charge to the next Cumberland Assizes, which will be held in October. I have no authority to intervene in these proceedings, which I believe to be in accordance with the law.


Is it fair that this man should be liable to be apprehended twice for the same alleged crime?


I do not know whether Scottish or English proceedings would be the more rapid, but I can hardly doubt, whichever takes place first, that the matter will be finally disposed of by the Court.


Will my right hon. Friend not consider that it would be cheaper to prosecute this man in Scotland than in England in these days of national economy?