§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ Clause 2.
§ MR. HUNTER (Aberdeen, N.)
I beg to move the Amendment which; stands in my name, in page 2, line 35, to leave out the words "Parochial Boards," and insert the words "County Councils and Town Councils." The object of this Amendment is to secure that the whole of the money shall not be disposed of in this Bill, but shall have the advantage of the applications provided for County and Town Councils. So far as concerns the people who live in the rural districts, there is substantially no difference whether this money be given to the Parochial Boards or to the County Councils if the money is applied to the relief of the rates, with one important exception—that in connection with the County Councils there are certain rates which are payable exclusively by the owners. To these I presume the County Councils will not be permitted to apply any portion of this money. By this proposal £75,000 of Imperial money is to be devoted to the poor rate. Now, of the £75,000, at least £37,500 comes out of the pocket of what I may describe as the working class, which represents 73 or 75 per cent. of the population of Scotland. How much of the money you are distributing will that 75 per cent. obtain? Out of the £50,000, £25,000 goes at one fell swoop into the pockets of the owners of land, and the remaining £25,000 is distributed among occupiers and according to valuation. If we take 75 per cent. of the occupiers of dwelling houses in Scotland, we find that the total rent which they pay is under £2,900,000. The total valuation of Scotland is 24 millions a year, and we find the rateable value occupied by 75 per cent. of the population of Scotland is less than three millions. That is to say it is less than one-eighth. Consequently three- 195 fourths of the people of Scotland will not receive more than a sum that will slightly exceed £3,000 out of the total of £75,000, which it is proposed to distribute among the Parochial Boards. A fair valuation would show that three-fourths of the people of Scotland must have paid one-half of the £75,000, or £37,500, so that the great bulk of the voters in Scotland will be deprived of £34,000. Well that is a gross injustice. I challenge the right hon. Gentleman the Lord Advocate to contradict these figures if he can. I do not mean that he shall merely get up and say they are wrong: anyone can do that; but I challenge him to prove they are wrong. Now, Sir, that is the main point of my objection, but the other point of my objection relates to the persons who are going to receive this money—namely, the landlords. Now what will be the effect of making a present of £25,000 a year to the landlords of Scotland? Why, that when the property comes to change hands they will get a higher price for the property. That is a self-evident proposition. You cannot take a tax off land without putting into the pockets of the immediate possessor the whole capitalised value of that reduction. On the other hand, if you impose a tax on landed property the whole capitalised value of that tax necessarily falls upon the persons who happen to be the owners at the time. Well, I contend that to raise money by Imperial taxes which are not required for Imperial expenditure is an abuse of the powers of Government. To raise money in that fashion for the purpose of relieving the poor would be an injustice, but to raise money in that fashion for the purpose of oppressing the poor and relieving the rich, is about the most wicked thing that any body of men can do. On the grounds I have stated I maintain that we should reject this clause, or at all events we should substitute County Councils and Town Councils for Parochial Boards, because then, under the concession which has been made by the Government, there will be an alternative to the application of this money for the relief of the rates, and even if the Councils should, under the powers they have obtained, prefer to devote the money to the relief of the rates, their conduct would not lie at 196 the doors of the Government or at my own. Therefore I beg to move the Amendment.
In page 2, line 35, to leave out the words "Parochial Boards," and insert the words "County Councils and Town Councils."—(Mr. Hunter.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ DR. CLARK (Caithness)
Unless this Amendment is carried, we shall be increasing at once the value of the land in Scotland by a million sterling. £37,500 will go into the hands of the landlords, and that, at 25 years' purchase, is a million of money. Now, will the Government give us some good reason for their proposal to increase the value of the landlords' property? Some of us are desirous of seeing a change in our land tenure, hoping by that means to make the most of the land; and we think, too, that the great increase in the land values due to the increase of population and the increase of wealth should go to the people who create it, and not to the few who enjoy the monopoly now. There are two ways of bringing that state of things about. One is by confiscation, and the other is by purchase. I am in favour of the principle of purchase; but if you are going, in the way I have pointed out, to add to the value of what we are going to purchase, then some of us will require to reconsider our decision. Surely the Lord Advocate, or some other right hon. Gentleman, will give us a reason for the course the Government propose to adopt, and why they do not agree to what I consider to be a fair compromise. As far as the next section is concerned, in which the distribution of £100,000 is dealt with, they have taken away the bulk of our opposition, and I think they should amend the proposal now before us, and agree to make the distribution on the basis of population instead of valuation. And why should they not agree to this fair and reasonable proposal of my hon. Friend (Mr. Hunter), that the whole of this money should go to County Councils and Town Councils to be used by them either for the reduction of rates or for such other 197 purposes as the Secretary for Scotland may consider desirable? The Government have made no actual compromise. The only thing they have done is to give a freer hand to the County Council in spending the money. I trust that the Government will allow this money to go to the County Councils and Town Councils who will be able to utilise it far better than the Parochial Boards, and that they will not allow the money to go at once into the pockets of the landlords.
§ *MR. BARCLAY (Forfarshire)
I rise to support the proposal of the Government, and I do so in the hope that the grant will have the effect of giving to Parochial Boards a little more money to follow out their natural inclination of adding somewhat to the comforts of the poor in various respects. Though I am sure these Boards are desirous of doing all they can for the poor, yet, as the House will readily understand, they are compelled at times to hesitate before placing any additional burden on the rates. Feeling sure that this money will be spent in a good direction, I give my cordial support to the grant.
§ *THE LORD ADVOCATE (Sir C. J. PEARSON,) Edinburgh and St. Andrews Universities
With reference to the remarks of the hon. Member (Mr. Barclay) who has just sat down, there is no doubt that the Parochial Boards will be able to take action in the way indicated by the hon. Member, although we do not propose in the Bill to limit or direct their action. As to the speech of the hon. Member, who moved the Amendment, I think it is not quite relevant to the subject, and it would be inappropriate to the present discussion to enter into such a large question as he has raised. It is still less my duty to follow the hon. Member in the figures he has given, because this is the third time during the present Session that we have had an expression of opinion upon practically the same point as that which the hon. Member has raised. Therefore, I feel relieved from repeating to the House the arguments already submitted in answer. I will only say that if we were to split up our proposals in the way that has been attempted, we should require to investigate into the application of all the sums of money that are 198 to be allocated, in order to ascertain how far the other proposals in the Bill operate to benefit the poor, and how far to benefit the rich. Many claims have been urged for sharing in this fund, and it was considered right that what may be called the lion's share should be given to County and Burgh Councils in order that they might use it as they deemed fit. I must say that the Amendment is not one I can accept. The hon. Member seems to forget that while the County Councils and Town Councils get as much money as they can out of the fund they have all along been willing to recognise the right of the Parochial Boards to some of it, and therefore I ask the Committee to assent to this proposed distribution of £50,000.
§ MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)
This is a question as between popular representative bodies and non-representative bodies, and we have much more confidence in the former than in the latter. But the matter has now become additionally complicated owing to the Government having agreed to give the County Councils and Town Councils, the power of applying the money going to them to purposes of general public utility. The Parochial Boards, on the other hand, will have to apply it to the relief of the rates, which we object to on financial principles generally. We also feel that the County Council, when they get the money, will be driven by popular opinion to apply it, not for the relief of the rates, but for other purposes of public utility. And we have, therefore, a stronger ground now than at first to desire the County Councils rather than the Parochial Boards to have this sum. It is said that if the Parochial Boards get this money more will perhaps be done for the poor than is done now. We desire that the poor should be liberally dealt with, but that is the duty of the Parochial Boards. We ought not to be told that it is necessary to get a grant from the Imperial Exchequer in order that they may do that which it is their duty to do.
§ MR. ESSLEMONT (Aberdeen, E)
If the Government will concede that this money shall be given to the Parochial Boards only on the condition that they apply it to some purposes for 199 which it is not applicable at the present time, we should have no objection to the grant, except the objection that these Boards are not properly elected bodies. I hope it may be possible for the Government to make a concession in the direction of giving this money for the better education, for instance, of pauper children.
§ MR. MARJORIBANKS (Berwickshire)
The hon. Member for Forfarshire (Mr. Barclay) has endeavoured to put a gloss on the words of the Bill. The Bill confines the Parochial Boards to using the proposed grant for the relief of the poor rates, but the hon. Member for Forfarshire says it does not mean that, but that the Parochial Boards may give additional comforts to the poor in the various parishes. If that view is accepted by the right hon. Gentleman opposite then the words "to relieve the local rates" are meaningless, and it seems to me, Mr. Courtney, that this is an undesirable encouragement to hold out to these Parochial Boards. Again and again have Bills been introduced into this House for reforming these bodies and putting them on a representative basis, and again and again they have been rejected by hon. Members on the other side of the House. If those Boards were representative we should not have so much objection to this proposal. To bodies like these we entirely object to give money, especially when we discover that this money is to be given not only for the relief of the rates, but for the purpose of encouraging further extravagance. I hope the House will reject the proposal, and will support the Amendment of my hon. and learned Friend.
§ (5.31.) MR. PARKER SMITH (Lanark, Partick)
I regret that the Government do not accept this proposal to take this money from the Parochial Boards and give it either to the County Councils or to some other body. I agree with the right hon. Member for Berwickshire, that the present constitution of Parochial Boards is thoroughly unsatis factory. He has spoken for the country districts, and we may speak equally for the towns. In the country you either have a very small body, or else the numbers are so great as to be totally unwieldy. In the towns there 200 is a wholly unsatisfactory system of election in which no one takes any interest. In the largest parishes in Glasgow and Govan the number of votes given have been almost preposterously small. Therefore I consider the constitution of these Boards is unsatisfactory; and, further, I think that the objects for which these Boards spend the money are not objects on behalf of which we can ask for any sympathy. The burden of the poor rates is a steady burden, and has been for a long time a diminishing burden. The only part of it which shows any increase is the charge for pauper lunatics, and I quite approve of the grant of £25,000 to relieve that burden, and gave my vote for it. These charges have recently risen very rapidly; but if you take the whole charge for the relief and maintenance of the poor, and leave out the charge for pauper lunatics, you will find it has very considerably diminished of late years. In 1887 the total amount paid for the relief of paupers, excluding lunatics, was £633,000; now it is £597,000. The population has increased largely and the actual charge has diminished, and even if you include the lunatics there is a decrease, because of the increased population and the increased valuation. In 1858 the poor rate was 1s. in the £, and the charge per head was 4s. 1d. Now the charge per head is just about the same, and the charge in the £ has gone down slowly and gradually to 8¼d. The whole charge has increased, very little while the valuation has doubled. It was £12,000,000 and it is now £24,000,000. If you take off this charge for pauper lunatics the rate of decrease of the poor rate would be something very considerable. Then it is urged that this money which is given to Parochial Boards will be spent on schemes which are outside the relief of the rates. I think that would be giving a dangerous power. Two special objects are mentioned. One is giving trained nurses to the poor and improving the hospitals; but this is a very small object. The amount contributed last year for trained nurses was only about £1,000, and I question whether it is necessary to spend any more. Then it is proposed to increase the grant to 201 widows who are left with children. That is a form of outdoor relief which, coming from a source outside the rates, would be very dangerous. You can trust the Parochial Boards to manage money economically when they have to raise it themselves; but I should be afraid to trust them with money which drops from heaven in the form of a Government grant. I do not feel that this is a proper channel for using this money, and I believe it is not necessary to expend it in relief of the rates.
§ (5.35.) MR. ARTHUR ELLIOT (Boxburgh)
I agree with much that has been said about the constitution of these Parochial Boards, and I do not think that anyone can be satisfied with it. But the question is not how we should constitute the Parochial Boards, but how we should relieve the parochial ratepayers. It is the greatest fallacy to argue, as has been argued here to-day, that no one but the landlord benefits by the lightening of the parochial rates. The rates are shared by the owner and occupier, and they are largely paid by farmers. I have constantly found in the rural parishes considerable pressure from the rates, and I think, while so much is being done in one direction, the Government are perfectly right in seeing that some portion of this money goes in relief of these heavily-burdened people. A good deal may be said about Parochial Boards; but I would urge upon the Government that the parochial ratepayers are worth some consideration, and I hope they will adhere to the proposal contained in the Bill.
§ (5.38.) MR. R. T. REID (Dumfries, &c.)
The hon. Member for Forfarshire (Mr. Barclay) pointed out that this money might be spent in some way outside the local rates.
§ MR. R. T. REID
I understood him to say so; but what I want to point out is that under this clause the Parochial Boards are required to spend this money in the relief of local rates. I think it is very questionable whether a Parochial Board could spend this grant for any object for which they were not willing to raise rates. I think, from the reading of this clause, they will be compelled to spend the money purely for the relief of the ratepayers, and they 202 will be unable to incur any fresh expenditure. I think that is a point which might be decided by putting down an Amendment later on which will make it clear beyond all doubt what the Parochial Boards can do.
§ (5.45.) Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 220; Noes 137.—(Div. List, No. 105.)
§ (5.55.) MR. LYELL (Orkney and Shetland)
I wish to call attention to the manner in which this sum is distributed.
§ MR. HUNTER
I should like to ask you, Mr. Courtney, if I have not a prior Amendment to that of Mr. Lyell?
§ THE CHAIRMAN (Mr. COURTNEY,) Cornwall, Bodmin
It seems to me that both Amendments come about the same point.
§ MR. LYELL
I do not propose to go into the general question of the relief of the rates; but what I do wish to point out is that, according to the proposal of the Government, that relief will be granted to all parishes, and will be granted on the valuation. The Government proposals will press very hardly on those parishes where the valuation is low and the local burdens are high. They will press very hardly on the North of Scotland, and that is my special reason for bringing the matter to the notice of the Committee. As an extreme instance of the injustice of the Government proposal, I would point out that in a very densely-populated and rich parish the charges in respect of poor relief and school maintenance may be very low, whilst the amount of the valuation may be very high. Yet the maximum amount granted by this Bill would go to this parish, whilst the minimum would go to a parish which has a small valuation and has heavy burdens for poor relief and school maintenance. It may be further urged that in some parishes there may be from local endowments such a sum as would entirely meet the demands for poor relief and school maintenance, and these parishes might 203 receive a large sum under the grant, though the ratepayers have no burden upon them. The proposal is that there should be a relief of local rates, and I hold that the relief should be in proportion to the burden borne by the various parishes, and not according to population or valuation. The Government system of proportion according to valuation affords a rough and ready means of distributing this money; but I hold that the Local Taxation Returns afford to the Government and the Scotch Department an ample opportunity for distributing this money in proportion to the burden in each parish throughout Scotland. I have put down in my Amendment words referring to the "poor, school, and road rates," and I am quite aware that these rates do not exhaust the entire burdens falling upon the parishes; but they form a large proportion of of the burden, and I think the other items might be left out of account. The hon. Member for Aberdeen has an Amendment on the Paper which deals to some extent with the same question, and to which similar arguments would apply; and that I should be willing to accept if the Government will adopt the principle of distributing the money on the basis of population, though I do not think that is a scientific method. It may be very well now just after the Census; but the subsequent variations of the population will render it almost impossible to get an accurate Return on which to make the distribution. My proposal does give a means of getting an accurate Return on which to make the distribution.
In page 2, line 32, to leave out the words, "valuations of their respective parishes as such valuations," and insert the words, "the amounts levied in respect of poor, school, and road rates in their respective parishes as such amounts."—(Mr. Lyell.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ (6.3.) MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The hon. Gentleman who has moved this Amendment will see that though, undoubtedly, arguments may be advanced in support of any principle of distribution, the principle of valuation is the principle which was adopted in the 204 Act of 1890, and was found the most convenient principle when we were dealing with distribution as between Town and County Councils, and the adoption of another principle in this Bill would be extremely inconvenient. I do not rise to argue the case, however, but for the purpose of reminding the Committee that on Monday last, now three days ago, a compact was entered into between the Government on the one hand and I think every section on the other side of the House on the other, with all the seeming solemnity on which such transactions can be based, and it was arranged that on condition that the Government made certain concessions the Bill should be got through this stage on Tuesday afternoon. On Tuesday ten minutes to seven came and the stage was no finished. I do not wish to utter any thing in the nature of complaint; but I must say I think the Government have some reason for thinking they have not been very well used by hon. Gentlemen opposite. It will be impossible to conduct the Business of the House on this kind of basis—a basis most useful in the conduct of Public Business—if when these compacts have been entered into and solemnly ratified they are departed from, as far as I can see, without any cause shown. I would venture most respectfully to press on the Committee the inconvenience of the course they are now adopting, and to request them, as the compact cannot now be fulfilled, to depart from it as little as possible.
§ (6.5.) DR. CLARK
I thought the right hon. Gentleman would have said something which would have avoided further discussion. The question before the Committee really is whether we shall leave out the word "valuation." We can agree to strike that out, and then fight over whether "assessment" or "population" shall be inserted. I should like to point out the effect on the poorer districts, especially in the Northern counties of Scotland. If the principle of valuation is adopted, the six counties under the Crofters' Act will get £5,200; if you adopt the population principle they will get £7,000. The burghs in these counties will get £1,800 under population and £1,300 under valuation, 205 so the counties will practically lose £1,800 and the burghs £500 under the Bill. The Bill will give the money to those districts not requiring it, where there are villa residences and high valuations, while the poorer districts which require most will get least. Argyllshire is the only county which will get more on valuation than on population, and that is accounted for by the fact that there are in it a dozen residential parishes composed almost exclusively of villas. If the people living in these highly-valued districts contributed to the Exchequer at the same rate as the people in the poorer districts, it might not be so bad; but the poor man, by his unfortunate habits of drinking whisky and smoking tobacco, contributes more in proportion to his income than the middle class. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman has some little cause to complain; but we all had reason to hope that the stage would have been finished before this, and could not foresee such a question arising, and if he will say at once why the Government will not accept the Amendment the discussion might be shortened. He might tell us why the Government are not going to assist the poorer districts. I think a very strong case has been made out against valuation and in favour of population, because it is by population that the money comes in.
§ *(6.10.) MR. SEYMOUR KEAY
On behalf of the counties I have the honour to represent, I must endeavour to press on the Government either to accept the principle of population, or to make some fairly intelligible statement which we can take to our constituents why they retain the inequitable principle of valuation, if they desire the discussion to be shortened. These two counties will get pretty much the same amount whichever principle is adopted—in fact, I think they would suffer a little loss on the population principle. The loss would be only £60, however, and that would be fully made up for if the money were given to those who most require it. I will give the right hon. Gentleman an instance of such clearness and gravity that it will convince him of the justice of my statement. In the Return of the Equivalent Grant distribution he will find that the 206 hard-working burgh of Lossiemouth will itself lose the whole of that £60. Under the principle of valuation that burgh will only get £26, whereas on the basis of population it would get £86. I am sure the right hon. Gentleman, who knows the needy nature of large fishing populations, will agree with me that there could not be a more crucial instance adduced to show the inequity of keeping from the poor and giving to the rich. If the money be distributed on the basis of valuation it will go to those parts of the counties which hardly need it at all.
§ *(6.13.) MR. MARJORIBANKS
I only rise to make a suggestion which may meet the difficulty on both sides on this point. I would suggest that the Government might bring the matter to a speedy close if they consented to make the grant depend on a joint basis of population and valuation—to take the population and valuation, add them together, and divide. I speak against the interests of my own county in making the suggestion, as it would gain on the basis of valuation. Taking the counties, the total amount receivable out of a grant of £100,000 on the basis of valuation is £47,165, of population £38,141, and on the joint basis £42,653; on the basis of valuation for the burghs £45,030, of population £49,473, and on the joint basis £47,251; for the police burghs on valuation £7,843, on population of £12,384, and on the joint basis £10,113. If the Government adopt the joint basis they would meet the views of many of my hon. Friends, and it would cause material justice to be done to both counties and burghs.
(6.15.) MR. MCDONALD CAMERON
I agree with the Mover of the Amendment, and not with the suggestion of the right hon. Gentleman. As far as my burghs are concerned, we should get on the basis of valuation £62, as compared with £72 on population. Dornoch would get £55 on valuation as against £137 on population. If the compromise were accepted we should not be better off. I shall vote, however, against valuation, and I hope the Government will accept the Amendment and not the compromise.
§ (6.17.) MR. FINLAY (Inverness, &c.)
If the question were whether or not the Amendment of the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland should be adopted, I should certainly vote against it. It seems to me to be putting a direct premium on extravagance. But the question is whether "valuation of their respective parishes" shall stand, and I am disposed to vote for striking them out, because I desire to see the basis of population adopted.
§ *(6.19.) MR. LENG (Dundee)
I agree with the hon. Gentleman who has just spoken. I should not have risen, but I desire to put in a plea for, the large number of smaller burghs and police burghs. There are 69 Royal and Parliamentary burghs which, on valuation, will receive less than on population, and only ten that will receive more. But when you come to the smaller burghs and police burghs, the difference is still greater; 92 out of 106 will receive less, 31 will receive? only half of what they would receive under the basis of population, nine will receive only one-third, and three only one-fourth, while 14 would receive a little more. I say that, in proportion as burghs are populous and poor, you would by this system deprive them of the money they should get; whereas the wealthy burghs, where the rating is higher, would receive the benefit. The villa burghs would receive more, while the fishing, mining, or industrial populations would receive less and less. The more you look into the Return moved for by the hon. Member for North Aberdeen the more inequitable the basis of valuation appears to be; and for that reason I have an Amendment later on that you should take the mean proportion between valuation and population. That would be equitable. It would diminish the amount given to those who are receiving an excess, and add somewhat to the amount given to those who are deprived of what is fairly due to them. I appeal to the Government to accept the equitable principle of taking the mean between population and valuation. This is, perhaps, the most important question in connection with the Bill, and if the Government accept my suggestion they will give no show of warrant to the charge made against 208 them that the Bill is strictly a landlord's Bill in its inception and construction, but will demonstrate that they wish to do fairly between the wealthy and poorer counties and burghs.
§ (6.22.) MR. BUCHANAN
I cannot confess to be impartial in this matter, and, therefore, I am a supporter of the proposal of the Government in the Bill, and I hope that they will retain that proposal and continue to distribute this money as former money has been distributed. My right hon. Friend says his suggestion is a compromise; but I dislike that still more, for I find that Edinburgh—which would undoubtedly suffer if the basis of population were adopted—will, if the combination of population and valuation be adopted, practically pay the whole of the difference in the burghs. If the right hon. Gentleman accepts the compromise, there is at least one person who will vote against him.
§ (6.25.) MR. JOSEPH BOLTON (Stirling)
I wish to say a word in support of the Government on this question. My hon. Friends appear to be divided into two parties—those who would receive more on the basis of valuation and are against the proposal for population, and those who would receive more under population and are against the basis of valuation. This seems to me to be a Bill for the relief of local taxation; and, if so, whom is it intended to relieve? Those who contribute to taxation, I suppose. Consequently, as taxation is contributed on the basis of valuation, it is a reasonable and right course that relief should be distributed on the same basis. I have said my hon. Friends are guided by their interests; I am not, for I find, on looking through the list, my constituents will receive just the same amount, whether it be on the basis of population or valuation. Under these circumstances, I am, perhaps, a more impartial judge as to the best mode of distributing this money than are my hon. Friends round me.
§ *(6.28.) MR. C. S. PARKER (Perth)
A great variety of principles has been suggested to guide us in this matter. The hon. Members for the Inverness Burghs and for Edinburgh frankly avow that their vote is given solely in the interests of their constituents; but I 209 shall not follow that example. The distribution ought to be made on some sound principle. There are three suggested. One is to give it to the poorest, and neediest; but I think to accept that might encourage local extravagance, for if the poor rate were doubled the amount would be larger, and if economy kept the rate down the amount would be smaller. Another principle is that it should be distributed according to the population, the view being that the money coming from Imperial sources and chiefly from the largest population ought to go back to the largest population. The third proposal is to go by valuation, on the ground that the whole policy of these Imperial contributions is to relieve ratepayers in proportion to their liability, which depends on valuation. But that policy is not accepted so fully in Scotland as in England. Therefore in Scotland, I think, we might take the compromise proposed by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Berwickshire (Mr. Marjoribanks) as a very fair one. Seeing that the money comes from Imperial sources we might bring in population, and as it is to relieve local burdens we might bring in valuation.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I do not pro pose to accept another compromise, for the fortune of my suggestions, however much they may have been accepted, has not been very remarkable, and I am unwilling to put hon. Gentlemen a second time in the position of breaking faith deliberately—
§ MR. BUCHANAN
I rise to order. I beg to ask you, Sir, if the right hon. Gentleman is justified in using the words against hon. Gentlemen on this side that they broke faith deliberately?
§ THE CHAIRMAN
Whether the right hon. Gentleman is justified I do not know. It is perfectly consistent with Parliamentary usage.
§ MR. BUCHANAN
Do I take it from you, Sir, that the right hon. Gentleman was in order in stating that hon. Gentlemen on this side deliberately broke faith?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I was going to say, "Hon. Gentlemen broke faith deliberately entered into," and I do not believe there is a single Gentleman who hears me who doubts the accuracy of that statement. I rise for the purpose of referring to a suggestion which has been made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Berwick. That right hon. Gentleman has made a suggestion, but it has not been received with unanimity on his own side of the House; and therefore I might content myself with opposing the Amendment. By dividing this money according to valuation, you run the risk of helping those who need it least, and helping least those who need it most. It is possible to conceive an extreme case; that there might be a place in which the population was so wealthy that there would be no poor at all, and consequently no poor rates to be relieved. At the same time, the valuation might be so high that it might receive an enormous amount of money. No such case exists in Scotland of course; but I must observe that I think there is something to be said for the compromise suggested by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Berwick on its merits, and I would recommend the House to accept it. Again, I would respectfully say that I do trust hon. Gentlemen will be content with recording their opinions upon this matter by their votes, because I think that every argument that can possibly be urged on the subject has been urged from almost every constituency in Scotland, and let us proceed to deal with the few remaining clauses of the Bill.
§ (6.33.) MR. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN (Stirling, &c.)
I regret that the right hon. Gentleman has spoiled the really good case which he had, up to a certain degree, by the heated and excessive language which he has used. ("Oh, oh!") I am not addressing myself to the hon. Member for Eenfrew—I am addressing myself to the right hon. Gentleman. I say that even if the words of the right hon. Gentleman which he has addressed to us on this side of the House were really in order, I do not think that they were at all justified, in this instance, by anything that has occurred. The right hon. Gentleman talks of us 211 breaking faith, and he talks of a solemn compact. It was with me, if anyone, he made the contract; and what I said was this—that we had every expectation of being able to finish that Bill last night. There was no more than a strong expectation and hope expressed on our part, and I took occasion at that time to point out to the right hon. Gentleman that the compromise come to with regard to one part of this measure, that dealing with education, did not at all do away with the necessity for ample discussion, just as much as if no compromise on that subject had been arrived at, upon the question of the Universities, and the Parochial Boards; and this question which is before us now has nothing whatever to do with the matter that was in the right hon. Gentleman's view when the compromise was entered into. But I am entirely with the right hon. Gentleman, if only he had put it a little less high and used a little less strong language. I think he would have reason to complain if he saw the Scotch Members debating these matters at undue length after all that has passed. So far as I know, it is the intention and desire of my hon. Friends to get through this business as quickly as possible. This matter upon which we are now engaged is a new matter, a perfectly fresh subject, and a matter which intimately affects the constituency of every Member who has agreed to the compromise. If the right hon. Gentleman had taken action sooner, and if hon. Members on this side had not made their little speeches, there would not have been time for the Council of War which took place on the other side of the House within the last quarter of an hour, and in which the right hon. Gentleman sought very properly the opinion of his own friends upon this matter. If the Debate had been unduly curtailed the opportunity for that Council would not have occurred, and the right hon. Gentleman would not have arrived at the same wise decision at which he has now arrived. However, I am glad he has come to that decision, and I can assure him with regard to the rest of the Bill that though there are one or two like this, perfectly new topics, which must be dealt with, my 212 hon. Friends and myself will do our best to curtail discussion on them, so that we may not waste time in any way over it. But, at the same time, I must repeat what I said before, that when a perfectly new provision in this Bill comes up it is rather too much to expect that we should be contented with going to a division without having any opportunity of expressing our opinions on the subject.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ (6.37.) MR. HUNTER
I think the fairest principle would be to divide this money as nearly as possible amongst the people who paid the money. I say as between counties and burghs that unquestionably burghs pay more of the Imperial taxation than the counties, Some of my hon. Friends who represent counties have altogether ignored the urban element in their counties. I maintain that the just principle is the principle of population; and that principle also coincides with the principle of assessments and rates. If you take the principle of valuation, then you relieve the rates in the rural districts by twice the proportion in which you relieve the rates in burghs, and therefore it is an unjust principle. But as the Government has met us half way in this case I shall not move my Amendment.
§ (6.39.) DR. CAMERON (Glasgow, College)
I should like to know how the right hon. Gentleman is going to fix the population?
§ (6.40.) On Motion of Sir C. J. PEARSON, the following Amendments were agreed to:—In page 2, line 32, after "valuations," insert "and population"; in line 33, after "valuations," insert "and population."
§ (6.42.) MR. CALDWELL (Glasgow, St. Rollox)
I beg to move, in page 2, line 38, to leave out from "or," to "Act," in line 42, inclusive. The object of this Amendment is to stereotype the £100,000 for the County and Municipal Authorities. Then they will have the increment that takes place owing to the increased school attendance. Supposing the schools get the 213 benefit of the increment, it will no more than meet the extra cost they will be put to by the increased school attendance. If they get this extra grant they will have a less deficiency to assess for, and the school ratepayer will have so much the less to pay, and the amount will be distributed one-half on the owners and one-half on the occupiers. Therefore I hope the Government will have no objection to accept the Amendment, which does not alter the principle of the Bill, and will simplify its provisions.
In page 2, line 38, to leave out from the word "or," to the word "Act," in line 42, inclusive.—(Mr. Caldwell.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ *(6.43.) SIR C. J. PEARSON
This Amendment proposes to alter the scheme of this Bill in a simple and comparatively trivial respect, but I venture to say that the hon. Member has not accurately estimated the effect of the clause as it stands. I cannot accept the proposal of the hon. Gentleman.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
(6.44.) On Motion of Sir C. J. PEARSON the following Amendments were agreed to:—In page 3, line 4, after "valuations," insert "and population"; in line 5, after "valuations" insert "and population"; in lines 7 and 8, leave out "to the relief of local rates levied by," and insert:—
(a.) to the relief of local rates levied by; or (b.) in aid of the expenses incurred, or to be incurred, under any statutory power from time to time vested in.
In line 9, after "determine," insert—
Or (c.) under any scheme of public utility framed by them respectively, subject to the approval of the Secretary for Scotland.
§ (6.48.) MR. HUNTER
I shall move my Amendment in the form of an addition to the Lord Advocate's proposal, and that is that the Government shall have it in their power to give the County Councils and Town Councils power to apply this money for other purposes of public utility subject to the approval of the Secretary 214 for Scotland. In regard to that, I venture to think that there are a certain number of objects of such obvious public utility that these bodies should be at liberty to advance the money for these objects without going to the Secretary for Scotland at all. The objects which I have enumerated for the relief of any one or more of which this money may be applied are the following:—(1.) The relief of unemployed workmen in time of distress. (2.) The establishment and maintenance of labour bureaus, or in contributing to such establishment and maintenance. (3.) The better housing of the working classes. (4.) Contributing to pensions for working men and women over sixty years of age, or to the fatherless children of workmen. (5.) Procuring allotments or small holdings, and advancing money by way of loan to assist in stocking such allotments or holdings. (6.) Extension of crofters' holdings. (7.) The development of the sea fisheries, and advancing money by way of loan to fishermen for boats and tackle, and for the purchase and management of mussel beds. (8.) Establishing and maintaining, or contributing to the establishment and maintenance, of art galleries, and the purchase of pictures and other works of art. (9.) Establishing, maintaining, or contributing to the establishment and maintenance of public libraries. (10.) The promotion of technical education. (11.) Providing public halls, parks, gardens, places of recreation, and free gymnasia. (12.) Paying fees of scholars in evening or continuation schools. (13.) Paying the reasonable travelling expenses of members of county councils. (14.) Making or improving harbour accommodation.I venture to think that the application of the money to the relief of unemployed workmen is an object which is well worthy of the sympathetic consideration of the House. I think this money might also be applied in establishing and maintaining Labour Bureaus, or Town Councils might be enabled to contribute money to such Labour Bureaus if established and maintained by other persons. I know that in the future the labour question will increasingly force itself upon the attention of Members of this House, and I think no objection can be taken to this proposal. As to the housing of the working classes, the Town Councils have already statutory powers to contribute the money for that purpose. I venture to say there can be no harm in giving the Town Councils and County Councils power to use a share of this money for the purpose of old age pensions. I do not make it compulsory, but I leave it 215 to their discretion. Another object of the greatest possible importance is the procuring of allotments or small holdings, and advancing money by way of loan to assist in stocking such allotments or holdings. Another meritorious object also is the extension in certain parts of Scotland of the crofters' holdings. This money might be very usefully applied to the other objects enumerated.: Why should not power be given to apply some portion of this money for objects which I think we are all agreed are of the highest utility in the view of the coast counties of Scotland? It would be a great advantage to some towns like Aberdeen, where there have been picture galleries established by the liberality of private individuals, if it was in the power of the Town Councils to apply such portion of the money as they thought fit to complete those art galleries, and to supply them with works of art. As to public libraries, the public library in Aberdeen is labouring under the greatest difficulty. The fund created by the rate of a penny in the pound is exhausted, and public subscriptions are solicited to enable them to have a house in which to put their books. Surely it is most desirable that power should be given to apply a portion of the money for such a purpose as this. With respect to all the objects I have enumerated, I think they are objects of such manifest and obvious public utility that the Town and County Councils might well be allowed power, if they thought fit, to apply the money for these objects without the necessity of coming to the Secretary for Scotland for his approval. This Amendment, if carried, would have the effect of saving the Secretary for Scotland from the trouble of receiving an immense number of applications in connection with the distribution of this money. I venture to hope, under these circumstances, that these words will be added to the Bill.
In page 3, line 7, to leave out "to the relief of local rates levied by," and insert "to any one or more of the following purposes:—
(1.) The relief of unemployed workmen in time of distress. (2.) The establishment and maintenance of labour bureaus, or in contributing to such establishment and maintenance. (3.) The better housing of the working classes.
(4.) Contributing to pensions for working men and women over sixty years of age, or to the fatherless children of workmen. (5.) Procuring allotments or small holdings, and advancing money by way of loan to assist in stocking such allotments or holdings. (6.) Extension of crofters' holdings. (7.) The development of the sea fisheries, and advancing money by way of loan to fishermen for boats and tackle, and for the purchase and management of mussel beds. (8.) Establishing and maintaining, or contributing to the establishment and maintenance, of art galleries, and the purchase of pictures and other works of art. (9.) Establishing, maintaining, or contributing to the establishment and maintenance, or contributing to the establishment and maintenance of public libraries. (10.) The promotion of technical education. (11.) Providing public halls, parks, gardens, places of recreation, and free gymnasia. (12.) Paying fees of scholars in evening or continuation schools. (13.) Paying the reasonable travelling expenses of members of county councils. (14.) Making or improving harbour accommodation, or any other object of public utility approved by the Secretary for Scotland."—(Mr. Hunter.)
§ *(7.0.) SIR C. J. PEARSON
I do not know whether, after the Amendment which I have proposed, the hon. Member will consider it necessary to press for this catalogue, or programme, or whatever he chooses to call it. In so far as these objects are purposes of public utility, they are within the Amendment which I have inserted, and surely it is rather much to ask the Committee to pronounce upon them and to affirm that they are all purposes upon which a Town or County Council should be entrusted to spend the money. It seems to me that the two safeguards which the Government propose are reasonable and proper, and, indeed, necessary. One is that in any application of this money to purposes beyond those for which Councils have now powers, they should come to a responsible Minister to get his assent; and the other, which is equally important, is that they should carry with them to him a scheme for his approval, for it seems to me that the reduction of the proposals to a scheme supplies a test not merely of sincerity, which may be assumed, but of feasibility. On these grounds I oppose the Amendment.
§ (7.2.) MR. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
May I appeal to my hon. Friend not to press his Amendment? He deserves great credit for having drawn out an exhaustive list of all works of public utility, and, if I may offer him 217 any advice, it would be that he would do good service if he had it handsomely printed, and forwarded a copy of it to every Town and County Council in Scotland, in order that they may always have before their eyes a catalogue of those works of public utility out of which they may find schemes to be approved by the Secretary for Scotland. If at any time they find themselves with a little money in their hands for which they have no use, they could then ransack this list. As the Bill was originally drawn, I approved the idea—in our difficulty of disposing of this money—of in some way indicating to the Town and County Councils a certain number of good objects to which they might apply the money; but now that the Government have conceded, at our instance, the enabling of these Public Bodies to give the money in aid of the expenses incurred under any statutory power they may have, or under any scheme approved by the Secretary for Scotland, I think my hon. Friend will see that it is hardly necessary to go into details.
§ (7.5.) MR. HUNTER
The right hon. Gentleman has stated that which is perfectly true. Circumstances have considerably changed since my Amendment was put down, but still I thought it desirable to occupy for a few minutes the attention of the Committee in order that Town and County Councils might see that there is a large sphere of objects of public utility upon which this money may well be expended; and I believed that if the short legal terms of the Lord Advocate's Amendment were the only thing: they knew, they might not really appreciate their wide powers. I agree that the words of the Lord Advocate are as wide as the objects which I have enumerated, and, therefore, I will gladly accede to the suggestion, and ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ (7.6.) MR. CRAWFORD (Lanark, N.E.)
I am glad to say that by the courtesy of the Lord Advocate I have been made aware that the Government are willing to accept this Amendment, and I will, therefore, only say that its object is to give to Town and County Councils the power of accumulating the 218 funds which we now place at their disposal for the various purposes we have been discussing. Without that power of accumulation, the power of dealing with this money would be almost useless, and I accept the adoption of the Amendment by the Government as an extremely valuable, and useful concession, to which I hope the Committee will agree.
In page 3, line 12, at end, add, "Any moneys received by a County Council or a Town Council or Police Commissioners, under this section, and directed by Resolution to be appropriated or to be set aside for any purpose authorised by this sub-section other than the relief of the rates shall, although not expended or specifically contributed or allotted in whole or in part before the end of the financial year, remain applicable for such purposes."—(Mr. Crawford.)
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ (7.8.) DR. CLARK
This is an Amendment that I have put down in order that—No portion of the sum of thirty thousand pounds in sub-section two shall be applied to any university in which provision shall not have been made for the full recognition of extramural teaching as qualifying for graduation and entitling the extra-mural teachers to representation on the examining bodies.When we had the Bill appointing the Universities Commission we were desirous of having a clause compelling them to recognise extra-mural teaching, but the Government persuaded us to accept as a compromise a permissive clause. Since then we have had the Ordinances, and we find that the permissive power has not been carried out. Under the old Act and the old Commission extra-mural teaching was recognised in the Medical Faculties, but by the Ordinances which will probably become law next week extra-mural teaching is only recognised in the Medical Faculties to the same extent—namely, one-half of the classes. There is no extramural teaching recognised in the Faculty of Arts or in any other Faculty, and what we ought now to do is to limit the Universities until extra-mural teaching is recognised in all subjects, and the teachers have a fair share of the representation on the Examination Board. Why should we not have extra-mural teaching in Arts? In all Scotch University towns there are good secondary schools with able masters; and if extramural 219 teaching in Arts were permitted, these men would qualify for the Chairs. In large towns like Edinburgh and Glasgow it is almost impossible for Professors to do their work; and if you look at the Return got on the Motion of my hon. Friend the Member for North Aberdeen (Mr. Hunter), you will see that in consequence of the large number of students—the salaries from fees run from £2,000 to £3,000 a year—they have got to examine 100 students at a time. In order to have classes that the Professor and his assistant can give proper attention to, it is necessary to recognise more fully than has been done in the medical profession this system of extra-mural teaching. I will give one or two practical instances in reference to this matter. Take probably the ablest man on the Commission—a nobleman that we are all very proud of—Sir William Thomson, now Lord Kelvin. He is one of the ablest scientific men in Scotland during the whole of the century, but no one who has had experience of his class would say that he is the best possible teacher. He has got talents and powers—extraordinary talents and powers of their kind—but they did not lay in the direction of teaching. And if you take other men of great powers and talents, you will find that they are not the best possible teachers. What we want to have is a fair amount of extra-academical competition with the men who get the Chairs. You have the great Glasgow Infirmary, a splendid clinical school, and St. Mungo's College, and these gentlemen are just as able to teach, and they have better facilities for clinical instruction than you have at the University, and why should they not have some chance of getting students and having their classes well filled? I do not see why there should be this limitation. The second point which I have laid down in my Amendment is that there should be representation on the examining body of these extra-mural teachers, and I should like to hear the opinion of the Government, and the course they intend taking in reference to this, not the least among the many debateable questions that have been settled by the University Ordinances.
In page 3, line 12, at end, add—"Provided always, that no portion of the sum of thirty thousand pounds in sub-section two shall be applied to any University in which provision shall not have been made for the full recognition of extra-mural teaching as qualifying for graduation, and entitling the extra-mural teachers to representation on the examining bodies."—(Dr. Clark.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there added."
§ (7.15.) THE SOLICITOR GENERAL FOR SCOTLAND (Mr. GRAHAM MURRAY,) Bute
I think the Committee will scarcely be surprised to hear that the Government cannot see their way to accept this Amendment, and I think it is only necessary that I should explain to the Committee what is the course that the hon. Member is practically pursuing to get their adhesion to the position of the Government upon this matter. The Committee are aware that several years ago the University Act was passed; and that, in order to carry out the reforms suggested by that Act, an Executive Commission of extraordinary strength was appointed. This Commission has been continuing its labours for several years, and those labours are now embodied in Ordinances which are on the Table of the House, and upon which we shall hope to have a full discussion some of these days at a period not far remote. It is surely too much to expect that the House should, upon a Debate of the kind which is possible in the present connection, put in by an alteration of this Bill a qualification which it refused to put in the Bill dealing with the whole subject. It is perfectly impossible for me to follow the interesting personal reminiscences of the hon. Member, and I must really respectfully decline to go into the very large subject of extra and intra-mural teaching. I would remind the Committee that in so far as the hon. Member puts these words on the Paper, he is forestalling the judgment of the House. When the discussion takes place upon those Ordinances, and when we come to that portion of the Estimates proposing a certain amount of money for the University, the hon. Member will have an opportunity of setting forth his views. In carrying out the compromise which has been made, I believe hon. and righ 221 hon. Gentlemen opposite will agree that the discussion of a subject which has been brought in like this upon the consideration of this Bill ought certainly to be excluded.
§ (7.18.) MR. WALLACE (Edinburgh, E.)
I cannot understand the concluding remarks of the Solicitor General upon this matter. I was not aware that any contract was entered into by the Opposition that would have the effect of precluding any remarks in this connection. If there was any contract between any parties that were responsible, I, for one, have never been aware up to this moment that it embraced the exclusion of the topic which is now before the Committee. The Solicitor General's remarks upon this subject were of so nebulous and nondescript a character that I am precluded by the ordinary canons of criticisms from making any further comment upon them. All I can say in this connection is that the point he has endeavoured to turn off in this slight and flimsy way is one that ought not to have been dealt with in that style. It is one of very great importance indeed. When the Universities Act was passed—when the Solicitor General was elsewhere, and therefore not likely to have cognisance of the importance attached to it—one of the most particular points discussed was this very one of extramural teaching, and by a considerable succession of efforts those on this side of the House succeeded in having put into that Act a special and leading indication of the desire of the Legislature as to the position of extramural teaching in Scotch Universities. I do not think the Solicitor General will contradict me when I say that in that Act there was a distinct indication on the part of the Legislature that extra-mural teaching was to be made a very prominent point on the part of the Commissioners in arranging the new constitutions of the Universities. All that we ask is that Parliament should be true to its original indications. I think that in the last Universities' Act Parliament almost gave a direction—I will go further, and say Parliament altogether gave a direction—that extramural teaching should be a prominent point to be observed by those who were to carry out the directions of Parliament 222 in connection with the modes of instruction in the Scotch Universities. If we had not had indications that this was not to be carried out, I should have said that there would have been a justification for the attitude that the Solicitor General has taken up. But he must have been perfectly well aware that the way in which the instructions of Parliament have been carried out has not been in the spirit of those instructions, and that extra-mural teaching has been discouraged; that so far from anything in the nature of extra-mural teaching being carried out, it has only been done in name and in appearance, and everything has been done for the purpose of discouraging it in spirit and in substance. I do not think we are doing too much in declaring what we declared before, that we desire that extra-mural teaching should be encouraged in a reasonable manner; and in taking material security in this Bill that our instruction shall be carried out, I have no doubt that if the Amendment is adopted, we shall have some material guarantee that our instructions in the Universities Bill of 1889 shall be effectually carried out instead of being evaded and escaped, as we know in point of fact is the case at the present moment. The Lord Advocate and the Solicitor General are perfectly well aware of the circumstances under which the order of 1889 is being evaded and escaped. I say this House would be simply performing a duty to itself in adopting its own Amendment.
(7.25.) DR. FARQUHARSON
I do not think the hon. Member for Caithness deserves to be contemptuously waved aside for bringing up this question on this occasion, because we know what is the nature of the opportunity we shall have of discussing the question on Monday night. If the First Lord of the Treasury will give an assurance that he will suspend the Business at an earlier period on Monday night than usual, so that we may have a discussion of this very important question before twelve o'clock, then I think we should be quite disposed to let this matter drop now. The question is one of vital importance to the prosperity of the Universities. We have given a sum of £30,000 under this Bill to be expended in University education, 223 and I see no particular reason why we should not discuss it in connection with extra-mural teaching. It has been of such enormous benefit on the medical side that I cannot for the life of me see why it should not be applied in equal measure to the art side of education. I do not think my hon. Friend is quite justified in saying the Professors do not perform their work properly. I believe they do; and I do not grudge them the salaries they get. I would again ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether he will give us better facilities for the discussion on Monday night?
§ (7.28.) MR. FINLAY (Inverness, &c.)
I think any one coming into the House during the last two minutes would suppose the subject under discussion was a Bill for the amendment of the Scotch Universities Act. I do very respectfully submit to my hon. Friend that this is hardly the occasion for raising such a Debate. I do not think a subject so very important as extra-mural and intra-mural teaching ought to be raised in this form. I presume, Mr. Courtney, the Amendment is technically in order, or you would not have allowed it. But it does appear to me to be entirely contrary to the spirit which ought to actuate hon. Members, and it is certainly not quite in conformity with the understanding arrived at the other night.
§ (7.29.) MR. E. ROBERTSON (Dundee)
I rise to appeal to the hon. Member for Caithness not to press his Amendment at the present time. I agree that this is not a proper occasion for the discussion of this question. It ought to be discussed really on the Ordinance framed by the Commissioners. I think the First Lord of the Treasury could now end the discussion by making this very reasonable concession as to the Ordinances.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The University Ordinances must be discussed before the 12th inst., therefore the time is greatly limited. I entirely sympathise with what has fallen from the hon. Member for Caithness; but, at the same time, the House will see that the Government cannot provide the extra time required for the purpose. I would remind the Committee that I was asked by the right hon. Gentleman the Member 224 for Midlothian what the intentions of the Government are in regard to the conduct of business during next week, and that I stated that we proposed to take the Small Holdings Bill on Monday. If good progress is then made with that Bill, and we arrive at a suitable halting stage, no doubt the discussion might come on at 11 or soon afterwards. I cannot go farther than that.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Possibly it would be in Order to put down the Motion in some other name for tomorrow night.
My Motion deals only with a very small and specific medical point; it has nothing to do with general policy.
§ DE. CLARK
The Motion of the hon. Member for Evesham could be very well taken on the Estimates. If the hon. Member took a Division tomorrow the Scotch Members could talk, but not divide. I see the hon. Member for Evesham in the Gallery. Perhaps he will settle the business now by saying a few words.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I think the difficulty could be met by setting up Supply again, if it can be done.
§ MR. HUNTER
It would be quite in order, I believe, for the hon. Member for Evesham to speak from the Gallery.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
We could divide now, and discuss the matter to-morrow, or we could discuss it tomorrow, and divide on Monday.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Clause agreed to.
§ Clause 3.
§ MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)
I beg to move, in page 3, line 14, to leave out "Relief," and insert "Account." This is the last Amendment to the Bill which is on the Paper, and I hope the Government will accept it. It would alter the title to the Education and Local Account (Scotland) Bill. It will be recollected that the character of the Bill has been changed, and I submit that the alteration I propose would be a fitting one to make in it.
§ Amendment proposed, in page 3, line 14, to leave out the word "Relief," and insert the word "Account."—(Mr. Bryce.)
§ Question proposed, "That the word proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ Question put, and negatived.
§ Clause, as amended, agreed to.
§ (Allocation of Fees and Compensation to certain Teachers for loss of Fees.)
§ "Notwithstanding any provisions in any statute, scheme, provisional order, deed, or instrument, it shall be lawful for the governing body or managers, whether School Board or other, of any school to which a grant is made under the provisions of Section 2, Sub-section 1, of this Act at any time, and from time to time to alter or reduce the fees exigible therein, or to regulate the disposal or application of such fees: Provided, that any teacher of a higher class public school, appointed before the passing of this Act, having a vested right to fees exigible in such school, shall be entitled to receive from the School Board, compensation in respect of any loss sustained by him under the provisions of this section, and such compensation, failing agreement, may be determined finally by the sheriff, and shall be payable out of the school fund."
§ Clause agreed to, and added to the Bill.
§ Bill reported; as amended, to be considered upon Thursday next, and to be printed. [Bill 332.]226
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The question of the names of the Departmental Committee is engaging the attention of the Government, and I hope to be able to announce them before the Report stage.