§ DR. CAMERON (Glasgow, College)
asked the Lord Advocate whether his attention has been called to the case of Alexander Murray, of Tarbert, Harris, tried at Lochmaddy on Friday last on a charge of reset and discharged; whether it is true, as stated in the Scottish newspapers, that Murray, having been apprehended at Tarbert, was brought to Lochmaddy, committed to prison, liberated on bail, and had again to travel from Tarbert to Lochmaddy to tender a formal plea of not guilty; that he was then cited to take his trial before the sheriff and jury at Inverness, and on arriving there found that, without any notice, the Procurator Fiscal had deserted the diet; that after returning to Tarbert he was again cited for summary trial at Lochmaddy; and that he had in all to travel about 400 miles at his own expense to meet the charge against him, which finally broke down; and whether he will recommend the Treasury to recoup Murray for the needless expense to which he was subjected by the abandonment without notice of the diet against him at Inverness?
§ * MR. J. P. B. ROBERTSON
My attention has been called to this case. The facts as to the preliminary proceedings at Lochmaddy are accurately stated. Lochmaddy is the Court nearest to Tarbert, the distance those places being 8 hours, sailing, and the fare 1s. 6d. The trial at Inverness was countermanded, as it was considered that, the principal delinquent having been already convicted on his own plea, Murray might be tried summarily at Lochmaddy so as to avoid expense. Notice was duly sent for Murray's information, but it was found that he had already left home for Inverness two days sooner than was necessary. The inconveniences suffered are, to a large extent, inseparable from the geographical conditions of the country; and for the long journey to Inverness the accused was himself 1797 responsible. As I stated to the hon. Gentleman yesterday I shall see whether any modification of the arrangement of pleading diets can be made, so as to mitigate the difficulties of the district.