The Lord Advocate
rose, pursuant to notice, to move for leave to bring in a Bill to amend the Representation of the people in Scotland. If this Bill materially differed, either in principle or in detail, from that which he had had the honour to submit to the late Parliament, it might be necessary for him to trespass at some length upon the time and attention of the House; but as all the substantial parts, and, indeed, almost every minute detail of the Bill, which he now asked leave to bring in, were the same as those of the Bill that had been before the late Parliament, he thought that he should ill discharge his duty to hon. Members if he detained them with the enumeration of particulars already known to them. The only variations between the two Bills which he could call to mind were these: the votes of tenants in counties were in some measure altered. Those alterations, however, were precisely parallel with the alterations in the English Bill, and those had already been explained to the House. Leaseholders at 50l. a year were by the present Bill to be allowed a vote, though they held leases only for seven years; by the former Bill the term was nineteen years. With regard to 621 superiorities, the present Bill would preserve the rights of those who possessed them, and it would allow those rights to all who were at present entitled to them, though they might not yet be enrolled. Another alteration was the appointment of Parliamentary Commissioners, to determine the boundaries of towns and districts, and counties, which had been thought better than leaving them as laid down in the Bill lately before Parliament. There was, of course, some little variation in the wording of the Bill and its machinery. Schedules, too, had been appended to the Bill, and as these contained matter which had before been in the body of the Bill, the enacting clauses were of course much relieved. He was not aware of any other point of variation, and as there would be other and more appropriate times for discussing the details, as well as the principle of the measure, he would detain the House no farther at this time.
§ Motion agreed to. The Lord Advocate brought in the Bill, which was read a first time.