§ MR. WATT (Glasgow, College)
I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether his attention has been called to the case of a Clyde pilot, William M'Kinlay, who was prosecuted on 15th May last in the Glasgow Sheriffs Court for reckless navigation when in charge of the s.s. "Maracas"; if so, will he say why his Department delayed six months in instituting this case; and why the case was then brought forward at a time when the officers and crew of the "Maracas," who were the chief witnesses for the defence, were hundreds of miles from Glasgow.
THE LORD-ADVOCATE (Mr. THOMAS SHAW,) Hawick Burghs
My attention has been called to this case. The hon. Member is in error in supposing that there was any delay in the Department. 1409 On the contrary, the evidence was furnished by the Admiralty on 5th May, and within ten days M'Kinlay was tried and convicted. As to the concluding inquiry, both before and during the trial, the procurator fiscal offered to agree to a continuation of the case if M'Kinlay—who was defended by a firm of solicitors of experience and standing—desired it in order to enable him to obtain the evidence of witnesses from the "Maracas." He did not desire such continuation and elected to proceed with the trial.