§ THE LORD ADVOCATE moved for leave to bring in a Bill to consolidate the Statutes relating to the constitution and completion of Titles to Heritable Property 1284 in Scotland; and to make certain changes in the Law of Scotland relating to Heritable Rights. The hon. Gentleman said, several statutes were passed, beginning in 1845, when Lord Colonsay was Lord Advocate, for the purpose of simplifying the forms of titles to heritable property. Those statutes were founded upon the recommendation of the Royal Commissioners made in 1838. The statutes of 1845 were followed by statutes brought into the House by Lord Rutherford, when Lord Advocate; and there was a subsequent statute introduced by the hon. and learned Member for Edinburgh (Mr. Moncreiff). There were thus several progressive steps taken in the course of simplifying the law. The statutes are eleven in number, and it cost law agents much trouble to consult them, as they were the results of progressive legislation. One of the principal objects of the present Bill is to consolidate in one statute all the provisions contained in these statutes. There are also some changes proposed to be made in reference to the law of heritable rights in Scotland. In the first place, it is proposed that testamentary deeds shall no longer require the use of technical terms; it being at present necessary, in the disposal of real property, to use the word "dispone," although millions of personal property may be conveyed without the use of the word. We want to enable the Courts to interpret the meaning of the testators, without the necessity of technical terms being used. It is also proposed to make monies lent on heritable security no longer heritable or real, but personal property, as in the case of money lent on mortgage in England. There is also a provision to abolish right of what is called "heirship moveables." The last provision to which I would refer is that in which perhaps the hon. Member for Westminister (Mr. Stuart Mill) will feel some interest—I mean that which will enable females to subscribe as witnesses to the subscription of deeds, which is now a somewhat doubtful question according to the law of Scotland.
Motion agreed to.
Bill to consolidate the Statutes relating to the constitution and completion of Titles to Heritable Property in Scotland; and to make certain changes in the Law of Scotland relating to Heritable Rights, ordered to be brought in by The LORD ADVOCATE, Mr. Secretary GATHORNE HARDY, and Sir GRAHAM MONTGOMERY.
Bill presented, and read the first time. [Bill 57.]