HC Deb 13 June 1871 vol 206 cc1982-3

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether, with the view of facilitating the passing of the Education (Scotland) Bill during the present Session, he will consent to have it passed through Committee pro formâ and reprinted with such of the suggested Amendments as Her Majesty's Government may think fit to adopt, or, failing this, whether he will consent to have the Bill referred to a Committee upstairs, so constituted as fairly to represent the different views held in Scotland on the subject?


asked, Whether the right hon. Gentleman is aware that about 200 proposed Amendments of the Bill had been laid on the Table?


said, in reply, that he wished in the first place to remove from the mind of his hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh a misconception for which possibly he was himself responsible. His hon. Friend thought the Government were under the impression that there was a disinclination on the part of the people of Scotland to the Scotch Education Bill. The Government were not under any such impression. All that he had heard led him to believe that the views of the people of Scotland were favourable to the general provisions of that measure. The Government would gladly adopt any course that they thought would facilitate the passing of the Bill during the present Session, because they could not but feel that one Session and a-half having been almost exclusively given to the consideration of important measures for the sister island, the claim of Scotland to the consideration of an important measure affecting that country was very high, and the Government clung to the hope that they would be able to induce the House to pass the Scotch Education Bill this Session. With regard to the reference of the Bill to a Select Committee, or passing it pro formâ through Committee, he had consulted his right hon. and learned Friend the Lord Advocate, and his judgment at the present time was that neither course would really conduce to the passing of the Bill. Notwithstanding the formidable list of Amendments, he thought the House would be disposed to deal with the Bill in a very favourable manner.