HC Deb 24 January 1956 vol 548 c11
15. Sir D. Robertson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland why he intervened in a recent salmon fishing case in Caithness where the two men concerned pled guilty and whose conviction and respective sentences of 30 and 20 days were upheld on appeal to the High Court; and why he recommended that clemency be shown to one man and denied to the other.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

My right hon. Friend cannot break the invariable rule that the reasons why the Prerogative of Mercy is or is not exercised are not given.

Sir D. Robertson

May I ask my hon. Friend why, having taken the drastic and unusual step of interfering with the enforcement of the law of Scotland by the police and by the sheriff court and High Court, he only found fault with the verdict on one man, a London greengrocer, who apparently was released on the ground that he did not know right from wrong? Is not that straining the credulity of the House too much? Were there not extenuating circumstances also in the case of my constituent, who is regarded as a very good citizen?

Mr. Stewart

For the reasons which I have given, I am sorry I cannot add to my Answer.