HC Deb 13 April 1891 vol 352 cc387-8

Order for Second Reading read.


This is a purely Departmental measure relating to the General Register of Sasines in Edinburgh; but it is somewhat urgent, as it ought, if the House approves, to come into operation on the 15th May. The matter stands thus: In Scotland titles in land are registered according to counties. Now, the Boundary Commissioners are at present altering the boundaries of counties, and their orders affect registration in this way—that any new titles to land which are changed from one county to another would have to be registered in the Register of the county to which those lands have been transferred instead of in the Register of the county to which they formerly belonged. It is found that the. public and the conveyancers have not become sufficiently acquainted with the Orders already made by the Commissioners, and some are yet to be made. By the 15th May, 1892, matters will be mature; the changes of boundaries as affecting all counties in Scotland will take place simultaneously, and agents will be in a position to make conveyancing descriptions easy and accurate. As certainty and security in matters of titles are matters of vital moment, we think it best to postpone the date of this change accordingly, saving at the same time the validity of all writs already registered. Two minor departmental matters are also made definite, although they were scarcely in doubt—the fusion of the Registers of Orkney and Shetland, and the maintenance of the coincidence of teind titles with land titles so far as regards the county division of the Register. After this explanation I hope the House will allow the Bill to pass its Second Reading.

(5.12.) MR. J. B. BALFOUR (Clackmannan, &c.)

I do not rise for the purpose of opposing or throwing any obstacle in the way of the progress of this Bill. I entirely approve of the object to be attained by it, but I wish to ask a question as to a matter germane to the Bill in regard to which a good deal of anxiety is felt, particularly among the legal profession in the West of Scotland, as to the effect of the Local Government Act of 1889 upon the existing legislation in regard to the boundaries of certain localities, and in particular upon the boundaries of the Barony and Regality of Glasgow for purposes of registration?


I am glad the right hon. Gentleman takes the view he has expressed as to the Bill itself. As regards the point he has raised, I have considered the question, and there is really no ground for doubt on the subject. The special Act of 1871 declares that the barony and royalty of Glasgow shall be deemed to include certain parishes, and not to include any part of another parish, which is named. By the Local Government Act of 1889, any change made by order of the Boundary Commissioners in the boundaries of, a parish, alters those boundaries for all purposes. It is thus clear to demonstration under these two Statutes that writs will be registered in the royalty of Glasgow, or not in the royalty of Glasgow according to the legal contents of the parishes at the date of the registration, and therefore, after a change by the Boundary Commissioners, according to that change.

Bill read a second time, and committed for to-morrow at Two of the clock.