n THE Herald reported that members of the controversial Scottish nationalist group, Siol nan Gaidheal, handed over their dirks to police in Glasgow before taking part in an SNP-organised protest march in the city. Siol nan Gaidheal secretary Mr Tom Moore told The Herald he thought there was nothing militaristic about marchers carrying dirks. The Herald noted: ''The group, which has been attracting a great deal of attention since it was founded 10 months ago, faces stern action by the SNP. The party's national executive has decided that membership of Siol nan Gaidheal is no longer compatible with membership of the party.''

n BENTLEY Innes, Strachur, Argyle, wrote to the Editor of The Herald suggesting that, in 1857, the jury should have returned a verdict of not guilty rather than one of not proven in the trial of Madeleine Smith, accused of murdering her lover Pierre Emile L'Angelier. The writer argued that, under Scots law, Madeleine and L'Angelier had contracted a form of marriage - ''admittedly irregular, but fully binding''. This would have ended any chance of Madeleine being wed to Glasgow businessman William Minnoch.

n THE Herald noted that the charity Help the Aged had called for more sheltered housing and argued that many older people were unnecessarily in residential care. Its director said: ''The elderly cannot wait for an economic recovery. We urge the Government to put them higher up the list of priorities.''

n THE Herald recorded that Marion Livingstone, 13, had been barred from the national Mod at Perth because she was not studying Gaelic at school.