§ As amended, considered.
(12.25.) MR. ASHER&c.) (Elgin,
I beg to move, in Clause 7, page 3, line 6, to leave out "charter or." I may explain that this is merely a formal Amendment, which is intended to correct a mistake. These words were introduced into the clause at my instance, but I find they are unnecessary, and I therefore propose to omit them.
§ Question, "That the words 'charter or' be left out," put, and agreed to.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a third time."
*(12.30.) MR. MUNRO FERGUSON&c.) (Leith,
I do not propose to make any objection to the Third Reading of the Bill. It is a measure which has received general support, and which will probably be for the general good. At the same time, I do not think that the drift of the Bill is in the right direction. The reason for extending and developing small burghs began to disappear when local self-government was given to the counties, and I certainly think that the continuance of these small burghs as distinct authorities is as much out of place in a general system of county administration as the City of London is in a general system of the government of the Metropolis. This will be the case especially in regard to the maintenance of roads, which is the immediate subject of this Bill. It is impossible 95 to suppose that all the various interests involved will be as well cared for by numerous authorities as by one. For my own part, I believe that the reason for the maintenance of these small burghs has ceased to exist.
§ (12.32.) MR. ASQUITH (Fife, E.)
My hon. Friend has raised a question of wide scope, which involves a great deal beyond the limited area of this Bill. The object of the Bill is to remedy a particular grievance. There are a considerable number of police burghs in which the grievance is strongly felt, and I desire to express my acknowledgments to Her Majesty's Government for the extremely reasonable, practical, and business-like spirit in which they have met this proposal. I believe that the effect of passing the Bill will be to remedy the grievance and to promote harmonious action between the burghs and the rural parts of the country.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill read a third time, and passed.