§ SIR JULIAN GOLDSMID (St. Pancras, S.)
said, he wished to ask the Lord Advocate a Question of which he had given him private Notice—namely, Whether his attention had been called to the following statement:—Last night Dr. Macdonald, Crofter Member for Ross-shire, waited on the Lord Advocate, and stated that he had heard that the Government intended to nominate Mr. Macintyre, farmer, of Findzee, and Mr. Hosack, farmer, of Oban, as Members of the Crofter Commission, and that if other and more friendly Commissioners to the crofters were not appointed, he and the other five Crofter Members would, however unwilling, be compelled to go into the Division Lobby on Monday against the Government on the Irish Home Rule Bill. The Lord Advocate said he would consult his Colleagues in the Ministry, and communicate the result later on.
THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. B. BALFOUR)&c.) (Clackmannan,
It is the case that on Thursday evening an hon. Member for a Northern constituency called my attention to the fact that he was receiving strong remonstrances by telegram from his constituents against the acceptance of two gentlemen who, it was reported, had been, or were being, nominated as Commissioners under the Crofters Bill. He also said that the Members for crofter constituencies were being urged by their constituencies to vote against the Go- 1144 vernment Bill if these gentlemen were appointed. He then stated more particularly the objection entertained to one of the gentlemen. I replied that I would mention what he had said to the Earl of Dalhousie, and I did so the same evening. The hon. Member has since handed to me some telegrams on the same subject, and he also mentioned the names of gentlemen who would be agreeable to his constituents. These I also mentioned to the Earl of Dalhousie. Having regard to the terms of a letter appearing in to-day's papers, I may say that no understanding exists, and that no promise has been made, directly or indirectly, to any hon. Member of this House as to the persons who may, and who may not, be appointed Commissioners, and that no announcement will be made upon the subject to them.
§ DR. CLARK (Caithness)
would ask the Lord Advocate, Whether it is the fact that the hon. Member for Ross-shire, before his election, announced himself in favour of Home Rule, and was strongly opposed because he was a Parnellite? Also, whether it is not the fact that three-fourths of the Crofter Members expressed themselves in favour of Home Rule before they were elected?