§ MR. CALDWELL (Lanarkshire, Mid)
thought he was entitled to ask the 1053 Government what legislation the Government proposed to bring forward for Scotland. Hitherto the session had been barren of any attempt to fulfil the real wishes of the Scotch people, and when measures which really concerned the social welfare of Scotland were brought forward the Scotch Members were outvoted by English. He also complained of the arrangement by which the Secretary for Scotland had no place in this House, and had therefore no opportunity of keeping himself ill touch with Scottish Members. He reminded the House of the fact that Scotch law was essentially different from the English law. An Act of Parliament was never passed unless there were certain things to be reserved in its application to Scotland. In dealing, therefore, with a country whose laws were different from those in England, he ventured to say that they ought to have those laws in accordance with the sentiments of the Scotch people. No one, of course, could doubt the loyalty of the people of Scotland. As, therefore, with the exception of one little Bill, there was no legislation for Scotland before Parliament, he thought they were entitled to resist the Adjournment. Another point which he complained of with regard to Scotch matters was that they had not the Secretary for Scotland in the representative Chamber. That was a most serious matter having regard to the arrangements in connection with the other Departments. In the case of the Finance Act, for instance, the Chancellor of the Exchequer had full power to make concessions, as was shown in the proceedings the other day. Then, again, in the case of the London Government Bill, the right honourable Gentleman in charge of the measure was able to make concessions from time to time, tending, he had no doubt, to the great improvement of the Bill. On the other hand, what did they do when they had not the representative of a Department in the House? Take, for instance, the notorious case of the Vice-President of the Council. What was the use of -him in that House when his head was in the other House? He was more than useless in the Commons. Again, take the Scotch business. What was the advantage of having the Secretary for Scotland in the other House? He had no desire to be disrespectful to the Lord Advocate, but what was the reason why they had a Secretary for Scotland at all? It was 1054 that they might have a man who was in touch with the constituencies and Scotch members on both sides of the House. Well, what took place at the present moment? If there was any Scotch business the Lord Advocate simply came down to the House holding a brief for the Department, and receiving his instructions beforehand. He listened to the debate, but he could not depart one iota from his instructions. Was that fair to the House when in the case of the other Departments most important changes were made owing to the discussion that took place? He was bound to say that that was not a satisfactory way of doing the business of the House. The Lord Advocate came to the House as a counsel— not as a statesman. He did not exercise his own independent judgment. If he were really the Secretary for Scotland, he (Mr. Caldwell) would not object, but he did object because he came with his hands and tongue practically tied, and did nothing but what the permanent officials in the Department had given him instructions to do. With respect to the grant made in 1877, he claimed that they were entitled to ask the Government to reconsider the matter,
§ MR. CALDWELL
bowed to the Speaker's ruling. Proceeding, he said, there was one other matter which had been referred to by his honourable friend the Member for North-East Lanark (Mr. Colville), and that was the want of proper training colleges for the teachers in Scotland. There was a great demand for trained teachers, but those who had served as pupil teachers, undergone all their examinations, and become qualified to be trained as teachers could not get admission to the training colleges simply because there was not room. He understood perfectly well the reason why the Government did not increase the number of training colleges. The Government could not call upon the denominations to increase the training colleges because they were private property; these colleges were practically maintained at the expense of the State, and they were bound to keep up the present system. This Was the reason why they did not adopt the plan of having State training colleges.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
That this House at its rising do adjourn till Monday,31st May, and that at the conlusion of Goverment business, this day, Mr. Speaker do adjourn the House without Question put.