§ MR. LENG (Dundee)
I beg to ask the Secretary for Scotland whether re- 387 presentations have been made to him of the desirability of reducing the qualification of members of Parochial Boards in Scotland to the same rating as that of members of Boards of Guardians in England; whether he has had any communications with the Board of Supervision on the subject; and whether he will state the nature and result of those communications?
§ THE SECRETARY FOR SCOTLAND (Sir G. TREVELYAN,) Glasgow, Bridgeton
The Ratepayers' Association of Dundee have memorialized the Scotch Office to reduce the qualification for elected members for the Parochial Board, which now stands at a rating of £40 a year. There am some 10 parishes in Scotland, containing about a quarter of its population, in which the qualification is restricted, and in the most important of these the figure stands at £20 or £40. On December 5th last I wrote to the Board of Supervision in Edinburgh suggesting the propriety of reducing the qualification on these Boards to £5. The Board of Supervision met to decide the question on December 29th, and found themselves unable to accede to the proposal. The Board resolved instead to make an inquiry into the circumstances of each separate parish and to decide on each separately. I have applied for the result of the decision several times since, but am told that nothing can be determined until after the meeting of the Board next week. I am assured that the Board is proceeding with all possible rapidity, and I can only transmit that assurance to my hon. Friend.