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Treason

Volume 940: debated on Wednesday 30 November 1977

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30.

asked the Lord Advocate whether there have been any recent prosecutions in Scotland for the crime of treason.

Will my right hon. and learned Friend have a look at the case of the Duke of Montrose, who describes himself as an hereditary Sheriff of Dunbartonshire but whose respect of law and order is such that he deserted his native country and became the Minister of Defence for the illegal racialist regime in Rhodesia? Is it not possible to charge him with treason and, if he fails to show up, to dispossess him of the 9,000 acres of land that he owns in my constituency?

I was not sure at first whether my hon. Friend was going to refer to the Marquis of Montrose, who was executed for treasonable activities in 1650. However, the Duke of Montrose is subject to restriction on entry to the United Kingdom by virtue of the Southern Rhodesia Order 1972, and in his absence from Scotland any question of prosecuting him for offences to which he may be liable does not arise.