§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Colonel Drummond Moray.)
§ GENERAL SIR GEORGE BALFOUR
said, he had no desire to oppose the measure; but, as it had only been delivered that morning, and being very obscurely expressed, he would like to be informed what was its object?
COLONEL DRUMMOND MORAY
said, the object of the Bill was simply to put the roads and bridges which were made prior to the Roads and Bridges Act of 1831 on the same footing as those which were made subsequently to the passing of that Act. In many districts of Scotland, especially in thinly-populated parts, the proprietors of land through which turnpike roads were made gave their personal security to the parties who provided the necessary funds. The making of roads was a public benefit, as well as a benefit to the proprietor; and as long as tolls continued no occasion had arisen for any claim being made on those who had guaranteed the money. Since, however, the passing of the Road Act 1878, it had happened in numerous instances that the Debt Commissioners treated the debt as only about one-half, and had called upon those who had guaranteed the money to make the same good. Where an estate was held in fee simple, it was in the power of the proprietor to borrow money and charge it on the estate; but, according to the Act of 1878, that could not be done on entailed estates for such roads and bridges as had been made prior to 1831. It was only, therefore, to put roads and bridges made prior to 1831 on the same footing as those made subsequently that the present Bill had been brought forward.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ Bill read a second time, and committed for To-morrow.