HC Deb 19 February 1886 vol 302 c712

asked the Secretary for Scotland, If the Government, in view of future legislation regarding the agricultural labourers, will appoint a Royal Commission to inquire into the condition of the farm servants of Scotland as to their system of service and hours of labour, and the extent to which the Bothy system is still carried on, and the physical and moral results of that system?


The Government have not had any complaint of late years with regard to the condition of the farm servants in Scotland which would appear to call for the appointment of another Royal Commission — always rather a serious matter when there are so many subjects into which inquiry is demanded. The condition of the Scotch agricultural labourer was very fully inquired into by the Commission on the Employment of Young Persons and Women in Agriculture. In point of fact, it was a Commission of Inquiry on all subjects relating to the agricultural population; and the Commission devoted to Scotland the whole of their Fourth Report, of the year 1870, some 500 pages long. I cannot think the state of affairs has changed sufficiently to demand fresh inquiry; and I would be very glad if hon. Gentlemen examine this Report very carefully before they make up their minds that further inquiry is necessary.