HC Deb 29 April 1892 vol 3 cc1720-37

COMMITTEE. [Progress, 12th April.]

Considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

Clause 340.

DR. CAMERON (Glasgow, College)

These Sanitary Clauses contain the chief point of objection to the Bill, and the arguments against them are very strong. This part of the Bill is objected to by the Association of Medical Officers of Health in Scotland, and since the Bill was last in Committee the Association has sent up a very strong memorial against the clauses, of which I have given notice to move the omission. These officers are chiefly appointed under the Local Government (Scotland) Act, and they are gentlemen of experience; they are required in every case to hold a special diploma, and are forbidden by the terms of their appointment from engaging in private practice. They devote their whole time and energy to the preservation of public health in Scotland, and are recognised by the Government, which in the Local Government Act made pro- vision for assisting in the payment of their salaries. These officers say they are satisfied that the passing of the Bill in its present form would be in the highest degree detrimental to the public health. Such a strong expression of opinion from gentlemen well qualified to give one, justifies the strenuous opposition on the part of myself and my hon. Friends. I do not blame the Government, who have taken an old Bill and have not taken the trouble to modify it to meet existing circumstances. These Medical Officers say that no better illustration of the injurious effect of these clauses can be found than in the initial clause of Part V. of the Bill, which provides for the compulsory notification of disease. That was, they say, all very well in 1888; but since then an Imperial measure designed for the same purpose—the Infectious Diseases Notification Act—has been passed, and has been adopted by burgh as well as county sanitary districts throughout the country, and the provisions of this Bill are utterly at variance with that Act. They go on to say that the machinery of that Act has been brought into a condition of working smoothly, and that this Bill would upset what has been done, and would establish two systems of notification side by side. Under the Bill jealousies would arise between the medical officers of health and private practitioners, and it would render nugatory the object you have in view, which object would be better carried out by the Act which has been in force for three years. I think this is a convenient time for asking the Government whether they intend to press these Sanitary Clauses or not. They must see that the highest medical opinion in Scotland is against them, and that the only effect of proceeding with the clauses will be to confuse and muddle the law of Scotland to an injurious extent. The Medical Officers of Health appointed under the Local Government Act are men of the highest qualifications, and the small burghs cannot expect, in the great majority of cases, to be able to appoint men of equal qualifications; they will have to appoint a local practitioner, and as he will have to look for the greater part of his income to private practice his utility as a Medical Officer of Health will be almost nil. The Association to which I have referred says that the tendency of modern legislation has been in the direction of recognising the solidarity of questions affecting the public health, but that this Bill proceeds in the direction of dispersion and confusion. The Association has not come to the conclusion to oppose these clauses without great reluctance. One member of it wrote to me to the effect that, after long and earnest endeavour to see if he could not devise some governing clause which would meet the objections of the Association, he was very reluctantly forced to the conclusion that he and the Association must confine themselves to destructive criticism, and not attempt to amend the Bill. What the Association suggests is that you should drop these clauses, and adapt to Scotland the two Public Health Acts passed for England in the last couple of years, which course would accomplish everything that is desired. The Acts would apply to all Scotland, and would save us from the injurious effects of having one kind of Sanitary Law in the burghs, and another in the counties round it. Such a state of confusion would make it impossible to bring about that improved condition of sanitation which is desirable in any civilised country. The highest Sanitary Authority in Scotland is against the clauses; no evidence was taken on them before the Committee; and, whatever was the case years ago, they are inapplicable now. Since these clauses were drafted there has been important legislation on the subject; the Infectious Diseases Notification Act has been passed; there is an organisation for sanitary work in the counties which has made their condition of sanitation one considerably in advance of that in even the large towns. If these clauses be dropped, the Bill, as a Police Bill, will grant all the powers the burghs can reasonably desire, as to police, bye-laws, and so on; and then the question of Sanitary Laws for Scotland, not for the burghs only, but for Scotland as a whole, can be left to be dealt with by some more comprehensive and better-devised measure. I move, Sir, the omission of the clause.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "To leave out the Clause."—(Dr. Cameron.)

(9.43.) MR. ESSLEMONT (Aberdeen, E.)

The hon. Member for the College Division said that I had, on a former occasion, expressed myself as having a poor opinion of the Medical Officers of Health in Scotland. I rise to say I have no recollection of saying that. What I did say, and what I say now, is that, with all respect to the Medical Officers of Health in counties, in passing a Bill like this, the Municipal Authorities cannot safely put themselves in the hands of the Medical Officers of Health of the counties and say that the laws shall be made applicable to them without any respect for the popular wants and experience of the burghs. The hon. Member for the College Division (Dr. Cameron) represents a constituency outside the purview of this Bill, for Glasgow and the large cities came forward and said they were so advanced in municipal law and matters of health that they preferred to work under their own Acts with regard to sanitary matters, and they were accordingly excluded from the purview of the Bill. Does my hon. Friend suppose that the experience of the officers appointed last year in the counties is sufficient to discount all the experience of the Medical Officers of Health who have been appointed in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dumfries, Aberdeen, and other large towns of over 50,000 inhabitants for the last ten years? I may, I think, claim to have some interest in sanitary affairs. In the town of which I have been Chief Magistrate we had great difficulty in introducing a Medical Officer of Health at all, but public opinion changed, and we have now in all our large cities Medical Officers of Health, men of great experience, to administer the law. These are not the men who have come forward to object to these clauses; but they are the men on whose opinion we passed the clauses in the Committee. There is no objection to my hon. Friend extending the County Sanitary Regulations to the burghs if they are found to be more applicable than these clauses. We who support the Bill say that in sanitation these small burghs are far behind, and these clauses would greatly improve the present state of things; that is also the opinion of the burghs themselves. My hon. Friend proposes to destroy the individual Home Rule of the burghs, and put them under the County Councils, which has very strong objections on the face of it. The Bill has between 500 and 600 clauses; and the Government knows, the burghs know, and Scotland knows that if we discuss all these clauses it will be impossible to give the Scotch burghs the benefit of the Act. We appeal to our Friends to make such Amendments as are possible and which the Government will accept, and to pass the rest without discussion; then, when we come to apply the Public Health Act of England to Scotland, there will be no more difficulty than exists now. Taking the Bill as it stands, I think it would be well not to disregard the opinion of Medical Officers of Health who have had some experience in municipal affairs. I can remember my hon. Friend the Member for Caithness pressing this Bill a short time ago, and saying that the Sanitary Clauses were most needed. If these Medical Officers had had the courage of their convictions, instead of saying, "Omit the clauses till we can give you another Bill," they would have sent up the Amendments they desired to see made.

(9.53.) MR. SHIRESS WILL ( Montrose, &c.)

The majority of the Scotch Members were in favour of this Bill as it stands, until certain Amendments were suggested by the Medical Officers of Health. I appeal to the Government to consider these suggestions, which deserve attention, and can be met by Amendments which can be readily drafted. If the Government desire that the Bill should pass—and there is no question that Scotland desires that it should be passed—it should be referred to a large Committee, and then Amendments, which would meet the reasonable objections which have been pointed out by these officers, could be submitted. If such a course were adopted, the Government would see the Bill pass this Session.

(9.56.) DR. CLARK (Caithness)

To put the discussion of these clauses in order I move to report Progress. I think if we had not had these speeches we should have got through about 200 clauses by this time. I have been looking over these Sanitary Clauses, and I think they will all require amendment. In Clause 340 the words, Unless it be found on diagnosis that such practitioner was incorrect, will require to be left out, as they will create bad feeling, and the medical man's certificate is sufficient. In the same sub-section you compel a medical man to send in reports up to seven days, and do not give any fees. I shall propose that no report be required for seven days, so that if you want them you will have to pay for them. The sub-section would make medical men give unnecessary reports without being paid for them. The easiest course would be to treat these clauses as contentious clauses, and it would be found easier in a Bill of a few clauses to incorporate the English Act of 1890 and apply is to Scotland with such alterations as the differences of administration require. I think if that were done, you could get through the other 250 clauses, including the codifying clauses, to-night, and then you could begin on some other occasion with the contentious clauses. By this means you will be able to give the Bill a chance of passing; but if you begin fighting now on the Public Health Clauses, it would take a great deal too much time, and prevent the Bill passing. I have said—and I say so still—that so far as the public health in Scotland is concerned, both in the burghs and the country, I believe there are tens of thousands of cases where disease and death could have been prevented if there had been a proper Public Health Act, and if it had been properly applied. Hence, I desire to see the Public Health Clauses better than they are here, and applied generally, not only to the burghs, but to the counties. In many cases the small burghs will not have a medical officer themselves, and they will get that work done by the county officer; and the county officer will be in the position of having to apply one Act to one portion of the county and another to another; one Act on one side of the street and another on the other. I think the proposal I have made is a very fair one—namely, that the Police Clause, having nothing to do with public health, but more to do with the apprehension of prisoners, should be dropped out of the Bill for the present, and let the Government consider the comments of the Press on the matter. I think in last week's Lancet one of the strongest articles I ever read appeared with regard to this Bill. I beg to move that you do now report Progress, in order to obtain some explanation as to the course which the Government propose to take.

Motion made, and Question proposed "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."—(Dr. Clark.)

(10.3.) MR. A. J. BALFOUR

I greatly regret that the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down and the hon. Member for the College Division of Glasgow should have taken the course which they have taken with regard to this Bill. Undoubtedly, it is in the power of these gentlemen, if they devote their abilities to the task, to wreck the Bill; but if, happily, we should be able to purchase their forbearance by a concession on the declaratory clauses, or on what the hon. Member describes as the contentious part of the Bill, I should be willing to accept or consider the suggestion of the hon. Member. But I hope the two hon. Gentlemen, if we adopt this compromise, will meet us half-way, and that they will not be too strict in their definition of what is a Sanitary Clause and what is a Police Clause, and, at all events, that the Police Clause may be allowed to pass without any prolonged discussion. I do not deny the force of what has fallen from both hon. Gentlemen who represent the opinion of a very large and important body of the people of Scotland—the medical officers of Scotland. I should be the last to depreciate the opinion of these gentlemen; and though I regret that they have come to the decision that nothing short of amendment on a very large scale of the clauses dealing with sanitary matters will content them, yet I think it would be worth while to defer the discussion on the Sanitary Clauses, and to content ourselves with passing into law the clauses as regards what are in the main unobjectionable improvement. But I think it would be impossible for us to-night to arrive at a definite conclusion as to whether a compromise such as has been adumbrated ought or ought not to be accepted. We cannot really decide that question on the floor of the House; and, therefore, I concur with this view: that we should pass the uncontroversial portion of the Bill, and that we should defer to another occasion the discussion of the Sanitary Clauses. But I hope that when the hon. Gentlemen consider what course should be adopted on the subject, they will feel that if it is decided to make this very important concession—if that concession is made—some concession should be made by them with regard to the discussion on the police portion of the Bill, and that it should be passed without any unduly prolonged discussion. I would suggest that the hon. Gentleman should withdraw his Motion for the Adjournment of the Debate, and that we should proceed to pass through Committee those remaining portions of the Bill which do not deal with sanitary matters, and which, therefore, are not of a contentious character.

(10.7.) DR. CLARK

I beg to withdraw my Motion. So far as I can see, the only other clauses that are controversial, and that would require to be postponed, are Clauses 383, 388, 389, 402, and 415, which are all really Assessment Clauses. The 450th clause is one of the Penalty Clauses, and I think it will require to be postponed; and the 480th clause, by which we are to have one law for the pawnbrokers and marine store dealers in one place and another in another. I do not care much about that. It is a question for the Government themselves to consider. But these are the only clauses that require to be postponed, so far as I can see—six, and three of them are consequential. We might take all the other clauses as they stand.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

(10.9.) DR. CAMERON

These are the clauses which are described in the Memorandum which has been circulated as the clauses that should be postponed. In one of the clauses it is provided that if a man break a lamp-post through carelessness he may be brought up before a Magistrate and fined. It is perfectly right to enforce some fine, but what is objectionable is that there should be a different remedy for the recovery of a civil debt in the case of a Public Body as compared with a private individual. As regards the Pawnbroking Clause, pawn-broking in Scotland is regulated by a general Act; and if it is advisable to amend that Act, I have nothing to press upon that point, though it appears a very curious thing that such a provision should be introduced here. But if the Government like to indulge in this futile form of legislation, and the pawnbrokers do not object, I do not object. As to the penalties, discussion would be required as to what should be considered the maximum. The Sheriff at the present time in summary cases has only the power of inflicting a maximum of two months' imprisonment; and according to some clauses of this Bill a Police Magistrate, who has no legal training, can give three months' imprisonment, or one month more than the Sheriff, who is a trained lawyer and an experienced Judge. I think if heavy penalties are to be given, at least they ought to be given by a trained Judge. I should certainly never dream of offering an opinion of my own against that of the majority; but the reason why I have made a stand upon the Sanitary Clauses is that I was convinced that my friends had not looked into the matter as closely as that matter required to be looked into, and that it required a certain amount of discussion to represent the bearings of the proposed legislation to the House in its true light.

*(10.14.) MR. LENG (Dundee)

I can assure the Committee and the Government that it will be extremely regretted in the police burghs generally if the Health Clauses should be withdrawn. It is now eleven years since this Bill first came before the House, and the great fear is that if it is cut in two—if there is to be a Health Bill as well as a Police Bill—eleven years more may elapse before a Health Bill is passed. If we were to adopt that line at the present time it would be very much to be regretted. Recognising the very conciliatory tone of the First Lord of the Treasury, and the desire that exists that the Bill should be passed, I would say to hon. Members let them use the time between this and the further stages of this Bill for the purpose of drafting reasonable Amendments for it. Do not let it be spoiled by passing it as it now stands. I trust that while the Government are conciliatory in their attitude they will not give way to the opposition which emanates from a limited class.

(10.18.) MR. JOHN WILSON (Lanark, Govan)

I wish to emphasise what has been said by the hon. Member for Dundee, and to state that my constituents are very anxious that this Bill should not be any longer delayed. I am sure that the passing of the Bill will give universal satisfaction throughout Scotland.

*(10.19.) SIR W. FOSTER (Derby, Ilkeston)

I think that a very reasonable offer has been made by the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury, and I hope that it will have the effect of getting a certain portion of the Bill through Committee. The opposition of hon. Members who speak for the medical profession is founded solely on the desire to put all systems of sanitary administration in Scotland upon one and the best level. If there is one thing to be avoided more than another in sanitary administration it is to have two different systems of arrangement in contiguous areas. It is for the sake of securing uniformity that my hon. Friend below the Gangway has raised this discussion.

(10.24.) MR. MARK J. STEWART

Unless we can come to some compromise with regard to this Bill, it is absolutely impossible that it can get through Committee. I am not in favour of every clause in it; for there are certain things in it which must be amended before it can be made a successful measure; but I am anxious that it should go through Committee, and I will not stand in the way of its doing so. I would venture to express the hope that the compromise which has been suggested will be carried out.

*(10.25.) MR. MARJORIBANKS (Berwickshire)

I quite agree that it is a matter for great regret that the Health Clauses in the Bill should not be passed along with the Police Clauses. This is a very important Bill on the whole, and there is practical unanimity on both sides of the House with regard to the Police Clauses; but, unfortunately, there is not that unanimity in regard to the Health Clauses. The same arguments that apply to the Police Clauses do not apply to the Health Clauses. My hon. Friends who object to the Health Clauses undoubtedly have something like a primâ facie case against them; and if they persevere in their opposition, they can no doubt defeat the Bill. I do not say that their opposition is well founded on every point, but it certainly seems to me that it would be advantageous to Scotland to have the Police Clauses passed even without the Health Clauses. I hope that hon. Members for Scotland will treat the matter in a spirit of fair compromise.

(10.28.) DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid)

The Committee appear to me in a very sensible frame of mind. I can see no difficulty in the way of settling this matter. I think that the Bill might be divided into two parts; and that if the Scotch people wish to have the Health portion pushed forward, it should be the duty of hon. Members to promote the welfare of the people of Scotland in that direction.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause postponed.

Clause 383.


Clauses 383, 388, and 389 are contentious. The only other clauses which will require to be postponed are 402, 415, which are chiefly Assessment Clauses, 450, which is a Penalty Clause, and Clause 480, under which there is one law for your pawnbrokers and marine store dealers in one place, and another for those engaged in those businesses elsewhere.

Clause postponed.

Clauses 384 to 387, inclusive, agreed to.

Clauses 388 and 389 postponed.

Clauses 390 to 395, inclusive, agreed to.

Clause 396.

MR. JOHN WILSON (Lanark, Govan)

I suggest that in the interests of poor people unable to pay the police rates that permission should be given to the Magistrate before issuing the warrant to relieve these poor people from the expense and trouble they may be put to in order to raise the money. I find in the Poor Law Act a provision whereby the poor can be relieved of the rates by coming before the Magistrate and pleading poverty. I think it would be wise to save the infliction and annoyance of a warrant in such cases.

* THE LORD ADVOCATE (Sir C. J. PEARSON, Edinburgh and St. Andrews Universities)

Although I should be willing to give the utmost consideration to any suggestion based upon those grounds, I must point out that the question has nothing whatever to do with this clause. This is not a clause to relieve anyone; it is a clause to provide for appeal where the collector has done something that causes anyone to feel aggrieved.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 397 to 401, inclusive, agreed to.

Clause 402.


This clause is out of its place. It is like 140 and 141, and should, therefore, follow them.


It is among the Assessment Clauses, and is quite in its proper place.


The proposals of Clauses 141 and 142 relate to the upkeep and maintenance of the pavements. The present law is that they are maintained by the landlords. If these clauses pass, then they will be maintained by the Town Councils or the Commissioners as the case may be; so that when we discuss Clause 140 it will govern and rule this 402.

Clause postponed.

Clauses 403 to 406, inclusive, postponed.

Clauses 407 to 414, inclusive, agreed to.

Clause 415.


This is also one of the Assessment Clauses.


I think that is true to a certain extent, but I must not be considered as acquiescing in the previous clause or the one under discussion. I think the hon. Member is mistaken, but as the one is postponed I do not object to the other being similarly treated.

Clause postponed.

Clause 416.


I desire to omit the words beginning with "other than," inline 7, and ending with "provided," in line 9. It is a matter of considerable importance, and yet I do not think there is any risk of its being contentious. A recent decision in the Court of Session raised the question whether public authorities were disabled from borrowing for the purpose of making, enlarging, ventilating and re-constructing sewers. Public authorities have been in the habit of doing so, and that there may be no doubt as to their power I propose to omit the words.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 417 to 421, inclusive, agreed to.

Clause 422.


This clause renders persons liable to a fine of £10 or 60 days' imprisonment, to be inflicted by an untrained Magistrate, although two months' imprisonment is as long a term of imprisonment as can be inflicted by a Sheriff. In certain instances the terms of punishment are longer, because a man may be sentenced to 60 days' imprisonment, and, failing a fine, to another 30 days. That confers upon the Magistrate power of very summary treatment. I desire the right hon. Gentleman to look into the matter, and consider whether it would not be safer to provide that the Sheriff should deal with the persons.

MR. ESSLEMONT (Aberdeen, E.)

This power has been always in the hands of the Burgh Magistrates, and I know of no case in which it has been abused. It is true there is a good deal said against unpaid Magistrates altogether, but that is a different question from the one now before the House.


I rather think the hon. Member will find that under this Bill all the penalties to which he objects are of 60 days or under, or if they do exceed that it is only in exceptional cases. It must not be regarded absolutely as a £10 fine or 60 days' imprisonment whenever this Bill mentions those penalties. In every case, as far as I recollect, it is a penalty "not exceeding" the one or the other, and I think we may well trust the Magistrates to award such penalties as, in their opinion, are fair and reasonable in the circumstances of the case. As to the proposal that these offences should be relegated to the Sheriff, I am surprised to hear that suggestion from the hon. Member, and at the same time it is not one that I can accept. To relegate these offences to the Sheriff would overwhelm those hard-working officers with additional work; and, in the second place, it would take away from the Burgh Magistrates a class of offences which I think they are more competent to deal with than the Sheriffs.


I do not wish to say a word against bailies and Burgh Magistrates, but what I say is that unpaid and untrained Magistrates should be restricted to small penalties.

MR. LENG (Dundee)

If this clause errs at all, I think it is in the direction of leniency. There are a number of human brutes who care little for the imposition of a fine, and I think the only thing likely to have a deterrent effect would be the power of imprisoning the offender. In my opinion, therefore, the alternative of imprisonment might with advantage be added to some of the clauses of the Bill.


I believe hon. Members must agree that the penalties proposed in the Bill are only fair and reasonable.


I do not say the penalties are too heavy, but what I should be opposed to would be increasing the powers of these Burgh Magistrates in the way of inflicting long terms of imprisonment.


Sixty days is the outside limit, with a further limit for caution, but I have never heard of this being used, or of any complaints being made on the point.


I move that the clause be postponed.

Motion agreed to.

Clause postponed.

Clause 423 agreed to.

Clause 424 postponed.

Clause 425 agreed to.

Clause 426 postponed.

Clauses 427 to 449, inclusive, agreed to.

Clause 450.


This clause refers to begging, and I should like to know if it introduces any alteration into the law of Scotland as it stands now. Does it introduce any new punishment?


It is substantially the same as the old Act.


Is it the same in respect to persons conducting themselves as vagrants?


Yes, substantially the same.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 451 to 469, inclusive, agreed to.

Clause 470.


I think these clauses ought to be postponed.


No doubt these clauses are very closely connected with the policing of our large towns, but they scarcely seem to me to be Public Health Clauses.


I did not understand that all the postponed clauses are Public Health Clauses. I think it would be better if we could in some way follow the clauses as they are put down in the Memorandum which we have received, and then, when we come to talk them over quietly after- wards, we shall easily be able to arrive at an agreement.


I have not gathered previously that the hon. Member intends to consider all these clauses as Public Health Clauses. It is perfectly plain that some of these go a long way beyond what is called Public Health.


The First Lord of the Treasury distinctly informed us that the Government did not wish to force these clauses through if we were not ready.


The Government have no desire to press any clause to which the Scotch Members make any objection, and if on consideration they think there is a primâ facie case for objecting, I do not desire to ask the Committee to accept it as part of the Bill at present. If they adhere to the view that has been expressed, we shall not endeavour to force the clauses through Committee.

Clause postponed.

Clauses 471 to 476, inclusive, postponed.

Clauses 477 and 478 agreed to.

Clause 479 postponed.

Clauses 480 to 534, inclusive, agreed to.

Clause 535.


I wish to direct the Lord Advocate's attention to this clause. It says— It shall be lawful for a Magistrate in case of any offence committed by a child of not more than twelve, to summon the parent or guardian of such child to appear in Court, and ordain such parent or guardian to find caution for the good behaviour of such child as aforesaid, and to sentence the person ordained to find such caution to imprisonment till such caution be found. If a boy commits an offence, the Magistrate does not punish him, but punishes the parent if he cannot find caution. Surely that is not intended?


By the proviso you have to show that the child is under the control of the parent before calling on him to find caution. I have had before me cases where parents aided and abetted the crime in order to get the child sent to a reformatory or industrial school. The object of the clause is not to punish such a child sent out to steal, but to punish the parent who sent it out. The clause proposes to punish parents when they have responsibility, but they will not be punished unless they are guilty to such an extent as I have mentioned. I know of no clause which is more needed.


If anything were required to make me more dubious than ever of the sagacity of unpaid Magistrates, even if they have been chief Magistrates of a great city, it is the defence my hon. Friend has got up for the proposal to punish the parent, who has committed no crime whatever, for a crime committed by his child, if he is so poor that he cannot find caution.


I said the desire was to punish the parent for the crime of sending out the child to steal, as I have known to be done. Nothing has convinced me more of the incapacity of my hon. Friend than his having supposed that poverty was a crime under the clause.


The clause says nothing about the fault of the parent or guardian, but faults on their part can be punished under the innumerable offences created by the Bill. I think the punishment of a parent sending his child out to beg is provided for in the Vagrancy Clause just passed. This clause calls upon the parent to find security instead of punishing the child. That is a capital provision constantly adopted in first offences. If the parent cannot find security, however, he is liable to imprisonment.


The last part of the clause shows that if the parent has exercised all due caution there can be no offence.


That is during the six months which the security runs. My point is that if the parent cannot find security he may be sent to prison, and surely that is not intended.


I think there is some change in the first part of this clause since we passed it in the Committee, as it stands if a man, from poverty, cannot find the security he can be imprisoned till he has found it.


I think it would be wiser to postpone this clause, and I will undertake to give it my very careful attention.

Clause postponed.

Clauses 536 to 547 inclusive, agreed to.

Clause 548 postponed.

Clauses 549 to 558, inclusive, agreed to.

Clause 559.


; My Amendment is to substitute the "Secretary for Scotland" for "Lord Advocate." The analogous minister to the English Home Secretary is the Secretary for Scotland, and he would be the proper person to put the Court in motion.

Amendment proposed, In page 204, line 11, to leave out "Lord Advocate," and insert "Secretary for Scotland."—(Dr. Cameron.)

Question proposed, "That 'Lord Advocate' stand part of the Clause."


The objections to the Amendment are that the Lord Advocate has always made the applications in the High Court of Justiciary, and it would not be appropriate for the Secretary of Scotland to appear there to make motions. Secondly, the Lord Advocate has been the official, so far as I understand the practice in Scotland, who has to initiate any proceedings for fixing forms of procedure even in Police Courts. It is expedient that should be done from time to time to secure uniformity, and I see no reason why the rule should be altered.

Question put, and agreed to.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 560 to 562, inclusive, agreed to.

Clause 563.


I can relieve the Committee of one clause. This is a purely Departmental clause, and is I think unnecessary in this Bill. I move that it be omitted.

Clause omitted.

Postponed clauses further postponed till after the Schedules.

Schedule I agreed to.


I think Schedules 2 and 3 should be postponed, as they will require Amendment if they are retained.


It was my intention to move the postponement of the Schedules, as it would not do to pass them till we have decided whether they should include the Police and Public Health Acts or not.

Schedules 2 and 3 postponed.

Schedule 4.


The other Schedules, I think, may be considered non-contentious, although they occupy many pages.


In connection with the clauses I think they may require a little modification; but I do not press the postponement if the right hon. Gentleman thinks differently. Some details, h[...] ay want modification. I thought the right hon. Gentleman agreed to postpone all the Schedules?


I have no objection to the postponement of all the Schedules, and to do so will probably conduce to brevity afterwards. They will have to be gone over carefully in consequence of alterations made in the Bill.

Schedules 4 to 11, inclusive, postponed.

Committee report Progress; to sit again upon Monday next.