§ Order for Consideration read.
§ GENERAL SIR GEORGE BALFOUR
, who had a Notice upon the Paper for the rejection of the measure, said, he did not intend to offer, at that late period of the Session, any further opposition to it, though his objection remained as strong as ever. In opposing the Bill at its previous stages, he had not been actuated by any factious motives, but from this conviction—that he considered Scotch Members had good grounds for complaining of the manner in which Business relating to their country had been treated that Session. The Scotch Members, when they went back to their constituencies, would have anything but a satisfactory story to tell of the conduct 785 of the Government in regard to the affairs of Scotland. As regarded that particular Bill, his own opinion was that the only way to dispose of the arrears in the Sheriff's Court of Glasgow, would be to create a new Court to clear off those arrears at once. All experience showed that it was a vain and useless effort to keep up the current business of any office, and work at arrears at the same time, always supposing that the officers of the Court were able and equal to the work. If these were unfit from health, or incapable, then it was useless to attempt to conduct either the current business, or to bring up arrears. It was the duty of Government to see to the efficiency of the officers of the Lanark Court.
§ MR. M'LAREN
said, that having considered the Bill, he had come to the conclusion that there was the strongest possible case for passing it, by reason of the overwhelming amount of duty which now devolved upon the Sheriff substitute, and he considered no valid objection had been made out against the measure. He would, at the same time, suggest that the Government should promote one of the existing Sheriffs substitute to Glasgow at a higher salary. He also urged upon the Home Secretary and the Lord Advocate to take into their consideration a reform of the Sheriffs' Courts altogether, in order to prevent the delay and expense which occurred under the existing state of things.
§ MR. KINNAIRD
said, he had to thank the Lord Advocate for having brought in the Bill, because, as far as Glasgow was concerned, it was an important measure. He hoped, however, that next Session, Scotland would have a little more consideration from the Government than it had had this year. The Scotch Members had complained that the late Government had neglected their country very much, and great things were promised on the hustings by the supporters of the present Administration, but they had not yet derived any advantage from the change. Next Session, however, he trusted that they would not be kept night after night, or rather morning after morning, waiting for Bills which were never to come on, but eventually to disappear altogether from the Orders.
MR. ASSHETON CROSS
said, he would remind the hon. Member that last Session a good deal of time was devoted 786 to Scotland, and that country had not been altogether neglected this year; because, in addition to the Entail Bill which had been passed, one of the most important English measures had been made applicable to Scotland. As regarded the whole judicial system of Scot-laud, he begged to repeat what he had said on Saturday, that at the proper time he should be prepared to consider the whole subject with the Lord Advocate.
§ Bill, as amended, considered.
§ Amendments made.
§ Bill read the third time, and passed, with an amended Title.