HC Deb 19 June 1884 vol 289 cc811-2

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether he has any reason to hope that the Bill to establish a Secretary for Scotland, of which nothing has been heard for some weeks, will reach this House before the Session is very far gone; and, whether, seeing that both the Grand Committees are now without work, Her Majesty's Government will propose to refer the Scotch Bills pending in the House either to these Committees, with additional Members, or to a Scotch Committee substituted for one of them, or will otherwise devise some mode of dealing with them?


The first part of this Question is one which I have some difficulty in answering. When that particular Bill will reach this House from the House of Lords I cannot undertake to say. I am. sorry that the Bill has not been gone on with in the House of Lords. I suppose the press of Business there interferes with its progress. As to the second Question, I do not think that if the hon. Member had made himself acquainted with the position of Scotch Bills he would have put the Question on the Paper. There are three Scotch Bills before the House—the Burgh Police and Health (Scotland) Bill, which has been referred to a Select Committee; the Sheriff Court Houses (Scotland) Amendment Bill, which is down for Committee to-day, unopposed; and the Universities (Scotland) Bill, which is awaiting a second reading. It is obvious that it is quite impossible to refer any of these Bills to a Grand Committee. They are in a favourable condition for passing, and I only wish the English Bills were in an equally favourable position.