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TRIAL OF THE CITY OF GLASGOW BANK DIRECTORS. On Thursday the examination of Mr. Leresche, late secretary of the bank, was concluded. Mr. Morrison, accountant, was then recalled, and, in reply to questions. by the Lord Justice Clerk, said the general effect of the alterations which had been made by him was to decrease the amount of the liabilities and increase the total of the assets. Mr. Miller, superintendent of the bank branches, Mr. Morris, private secretary to Mr. Stronach, and Mr. Turnbull, cashier, were also under examination. It was stated that in one case six live elephants had been ac- cepted by the bank as security. On Friday, Mr. Wenley, manager of the Glasgow branch of the Bank of Scotland, explained the circum- stance which led to the stoppage of the bank. Witnesses were then examined who had held responsible positions in the firms whose dealings with the bank led to its stop- page. Mr. Paull, formerly a partner in the firm of Innea, Wright, and Co., showed that the firm never had any dealings with the bank until they got into difficulties but they readily obtained extensive advances. Mr. Wright did not become a director-of. the bank until the firm was largely indebted to it. Mr. John Fleming, of the firm of Smith, Fleming, and Co., London, detailed at length the dealings of the firm with the bank. When the firm became bankrupt last year their total indebtedness amounted to 21.800,000, of which half was due to the bank for cash advances. The bank held nominal securi- ties, but had very little absolute control of it, and its realisation value was very small. On Saturday, Mr. Muir, the accountant appointed by the Crown to examine the books of the bank, stated that the deposit accounts, credit accounts, and London and provincial correspondents' accounts were omitted alto- gether, and the debtors' balances and general liabilities were understated. These representations in the balance sheet produced a false impression on the public mind that the bank had lent much less money than was actually the case. Several witnesses, holders of stock, who were on the Board, were then examined. They stated that they had not the slightest intimation that the bank was in difficulties until the announcement of its stoppage ap- peared in the newspapers. The Court then adjourned. On Monday, evidence was first taken from a number of the shareholders and depositors in the bank. One of these held 220,000 worth, upon which the first call amounted to 210,000. All the witnesses agreed in stating that they had been induced to retain and increase the amount of the stock they originally held by the statements and balance-sheets which were from year to year issued by the bank. In one instance a dairyman had deposited on the 1st of October last £ 120, and the next day the bank stopped; this was the first transaction he had had with it. Several stockbrokers were then examined, who gave evidence as to having purchased stocks for the bank; the transactions were very numerous, but the name of the bank was never allowed to appear. In one year, by a single broker, purchases of stock had been made for the bank to the extent of £ 26,000; the sales during the same period had only amounted to £ 600. Mr. T. R. Dugald Bell, formerly employed by Mr. Nicol Fleming, gave evidence regarding the different branches of that gen- tleman's business. At the end of 1877 his indebtedness in one branch alone was over 2300,000. After some further evidence, the case for the Crown closed. The Lord Advocate announced that he had determined not to proceed with the charges of theft and embezzlement. Evidence was then gone into on behalf of Messrs. Stewart, Potter, and Taylor, and the Court adjourned. The trial was resumed on Tuesday morning. Several witnesses were called as to the character and means of several of the prisoners, and the case for the defence was concluded. The Lord Advocate then proceeded to address the jury. In the first place he advised them to dismiss from their minds anything that had been said or written outside the Court with regard to the case. The charge they would have to consider was con- fined to the balance sheets of 1876, 1877, and 1878. He thought, that after the evidence that had been given there could be no doubt that the balance sheets had been falsified, and what they had to do was to say whether this had been done with a view to deceive the public as to the true state of the Bank and further, whether any or all of the prisoners were guilty of participating in this design. The effect of these falsifications had been to reduce both the assets and liabilities, and to lead the public to believe that the Bank was in far sounder condition than was actually the case. The learned Lord Advocate then proceeded to explain the course which had been adopted with regard to the advances made to various firms. He con- tended thas as the Manager had called the attention of the Directors to the state of these accounts, it was impossi- ble for them to be ignorant of the transaction.! which took place. On Wednesday the speeches for the defence were con- tinued. Mr. Balfour, on behalf of Mr. Potter, referred to the fact that the charge against his client had now re- solved itself into a falsification of the balance sheets. It had been suggested that Mr. Potter had taken advantage of his connection with the bank by making overdrafts; but the guilty knowledge which was essential in the case of falsification, he contended, had not been proved. The learned counsel went into a long examination of the evi- dence which bad been given on the part of the Crown with 4L regard to the alterations in the balance sheets. He severely criticised the statements made by the bank accountant, Mr. Morrison, and asked the jury to dismiss altogether his evidence from their minds, as being dan**erous anduntrustworthy. He thought the failure of the bank was more attributable to the great depression in trade which had existed for the last few years rather than to the mismanagement of the Board. The conduct of the Directors in continuing the advances to the firms of Smith, Fleming and Co., Nicol, Fleming and Co., and Morton and Co., he admitted n.ight be thought bold, but it had been done in the full belief that eventually things would become all right again. Their judgment might have been rash, but he contended that ttipre was not the slightest evidence to prove that it had Keen dishonest or fraudulent. Mr. Asher spoke on behalf of Mr. tialmond, and argued that the bank failure could be traced to the severe commercial depression which had ravaged the conutry for so long. Messrs. Mackintosh and Robertson subsequently addressed the jury on behalf of Salmond, Taylor, and Inglis.



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