§ SIR J. FERGUSSON (Manchester, N.E.)
I desire to ask the Secretary for Scotland whether, along with the invitation which he proposes to convey to County Councils to make suggestions in regard to the institution of Parish Councils, he will request information respecting the existence and extent of any commons or recreation grounds open to the public in the small towns and villages within their jurisdiction, and also as to the existence of free or popular subscription reading rooms or libraries in such places?
§ MR. RENSHAW (Renfrew, W.)
Before the right hon. Gentleman answers the question, I should like to ask him if, 353 in the Circular Letter which ho proposes to address to County Councils, he will inquire whether, in the event of Parish Councils being established, it would be considered advisable to devolve on them the duty at present discharged by Parochial and School Boards; and whether, in order to economise the cost of collecting the local rates, it would be considered advisable that in any new scheme the duty of collecting all rates, whether county or parochial, should rest with the County Authorities?
§ THE SECRETARY FOR SCOTLAND (Sir G. TREVELYAN,) Glasgow, Bridgeton:
I did not say that I proposed to ask the County Councils for suggestions in regard to Parish Councils specially, though I should be very glad to receive them, but with regard to defects which had been discovered in the working of local government, in order that I may take the opportunity of amending them. Either through the County Councils, or from other sources, it is essential to obtain information on the points suggested by the right hon. Baronet. In reply to the hon. Member for Renfrew, the Government will consider the suggestions he makes in the first part of his question. With regard to the question of the collection of rates, the Government have already received some valuable information from County Councils and will be glad to receive more.
§ MR. A. C. MORTON (Peterborough)
I would ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he will also ask for information respecting the closing of ancient rights of way, on which subject there are, I believe, more complaints from Scotland than in any other part of the United Kingdom?