§ MR. COCHRANE (Ayrshire, N.)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury, as he has announced the intention of the Government that Her Majesty should be advised to issue a Royal Commission to inquire into and report upon the question of the financial relations of Ireland to the Imperial Exchequer, whether the Government will either appoint a Committee to inquire into the financial relations of Scotland to the Imperial Exchequer, or will extend the terms of Reference so as to bring the case of Scotland before the proposed Royal Commission?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. W. E. GLADSTONE,) Edinburgh, Midlothian
I think there will be much inconvenience in associating any inquiries that must necessarily partake of an historical character in respect to the finances of Ireland and Scotland, and they ought not to be dealt with by the same body. In regard to any separate measures in respect to Scotland, I have no doubt that if the public opinion of Scotland should be sufficiently declared in the sense of desiring such an inquiry, the House of Commons and also the Government will pay due attention to that expression of opinion.
§ DR. MACGREGOR
I wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is aware that Scotland at present pays to the Imperial Exchequer nearly £1,500,000 per annum beyond her fair share of taxations, and whether it is not high time that Scotland should be allowed to manage her own affairs?
§ MR. W. E. GLADSTONE
; Scotland is, no doubt, entitled to speak with great authority on that subject; and if it does so speak, I have not the least doubt that its views will have due consideration given to them.