§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(The Lord Advocate.)
§ GENERAL SIR. GEORGE BALFOUR
Complained of the conduct of the Government in regard to proceeding with this partial measure, seeing that the Lord Advocate had brought in a Bill to extend the jurisdiction of the sheriffs, and promised, on the Bill of the hon. 680 Member for Glasgow (Mr. Anderson) being withdrawn, to proceed with his own Bill; and, instead of doing so, the Government proposed to deal with Lanarkshire, without being alive to the risk of causing difficulties in legislation for the comprehensive plan, and he therefore moved—That it is not expedient to proceed with this measure until this House has had the opportunity of fully considering the changes which it would he desirable to make in the whole judicial establishment in Scotland.
To leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "it is not expedient to proceed "with this measure until this House has had the opportunity of fully considering the changes which it would he desirable to make on the whole judicial establishment in Scotland,"—(Sir George Balfour,)
§ —instead thereof.
§ DR. C. CAMERON
said, the object of this Bill was to sanction the appointment of another sheriff substitute for Lanarkshire and another magistrate for Glasgow, and contended that those appointments were required in consequence of the great increase of the population of Glasgow.
§ MR. RAMSAY
, Who had given Notice of a Motion for the rejection of the Bill, said, he was altogether opposed to it, from a desire that that House should not make an addition to the Judicial Establishment in Scotland, unless it could be shown that this could be done, as in this case he believed it might, without any additional expense to the country. In his county there were five sheriffs substitute, and they had only 767 cases per annum to dispose of among them. He objected, therefore, to an addition to the total number of sheriffs substitute in Scotland as a useless expense. The Scotch did not want any such expenditure of public money.
§ THE LORD ADVOCATE
regretted that the hon. Member for the Falkirk Burghs (Mr. Ramsay) had seen it his duty to oppose the Bill, because he (the Lord Advocate) regarded it as necessary for the administration of justice. The hon. and gallant Member opposite (Sir George Balfour) was mistaken in supposing that there had been an increase of judicial expense in Scotland. On the contrary, that expense had been considerably 681 reduced by a union of sheriffdoms, and the Government were doing their best to carry out the recommendations of the Commissioners of 1868.
§ MR. FARLEY LEITH
said, he did not object to the proposed addition to the judicial force in Scotland, but failed to see the necessity for charging the additional cost upon the Consolidated Fund.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided:—Ayes 61; Noes 19: Majority 42.
§ Main Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill read a second time, and committed for To-morrow.