§ MR. KINNAIRD
Sir, I wish to put a question to the Government, to know whether they are prepared to announce what course they will take next Session with regard to that important measure of Scotch Education, which has met with such a disastrous end in "another place," and on no other plea than that it was the month of August when it came before the House of Lords. I wish to ask, Whether the Government are prepared to tell us that early next Session the Bill may be re-introduced?
THE LORD ADVOCATE
Certainly the course pursued in "another place" in regard to the Bill has excited not less surprise than regret—regret on many accounts, both in regard to the measure which was the subject of that treatment, and in regard to the position between the two Houses. It certainly is unfortunate that a Bill introduced into the House of Lords at the very beginning of the Session, which was altered in a very large degree by that House, which occupied that House for three months and a-half, which came down here at a time when business was very important and very pressing—and which has been before this House only a month and a-half—should have been rejected in another place, on the ground that there was not time to consider it. This is, indeed, a very unfortunate state of affairs. The Bill was a most important one; and the very alterations which had been made in it in the House of Lords prove that it was a measure of very great difficulty, requiring serious consideration; and it required consideration more particularly in this House, where the representatives of the people—the representatives of those who have the main interest in the education of the country— were to be found. All that I can say as to the future is that one cause of the regret which we feel, as to the treatment which the Bill has received, arises from the fact that we had the discussion ground free to ourselves. We were in a position to undertake and to pass a measure for Scotland without being embarrassed with other questions. Sir, I can undertake nothing absolutely for the future. What can be done next Session must depend very much upon other important questions which will have to be considered. All I can say is, that what has been done in another place will not discourage us for future efforts, and should enable the representatives of Scotland especially to aid with even more harmony and co-operation in the accomplishment of their great object.