HC Deb 12 February 1894 vol 21 cc287-352

Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Amendment to Clause C (Establishment of fishery district committees),—(Sir G. Trevelyan,)—proposed on Consideration of Lords' Amendments [10th January]:— And which Amendment was, in line 58, after the word "thereafter," to insert the words,—"Provided always, that in any county, burgh, or police burgh where the distinctive mark has not been affixed to the names of more than two per cent. of the electors, the county clerk or town clerk shall certify this to the Secretary for Scotland, who shall then nominate the fishery members in respect of such county burgh, or police burgh for the ensuing three years."—(Mr. Renshaw.)

Question again proposed, "That those words be there inserted."

Debate resumed.

*MR. RENSHAW (Renfrew, W.)

said, that before he withdrew this Amendment in favour of the one given notice of by the Secretary for Scotland, he should like to ask, on a point of Order, what effect the provision already made in Sub-section (b) of Section (3), in which it was provided that the election of fishery members should be by all persons on the County and Borough Registers, would have upon the proposals now formulated in the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Scotland.


I conceive that this point of Order will not hold good. The Register of Voters is laid down in Subsection (b), and the Amendment of which I have given notice is, in certain cases, to dispense with elections, but in all cases where elections are held they will be held on this Register.


I think the words "as hereinafter provided" were in the original clause, so that the question will come under that saving clause.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.


The Amendment which I have placed upon the Paper is intended to meet a state of circumstances of which a great deal was said by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Dumfries, and by the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, on the last occasion that this Bill was before us. The English Act established no representative Fishery Board or fishery committee, and so far as I understand there is no desire in England for a representative Board. But in Scotland the strongest desire has been unanimously expressed for a representative Fishery Board, and amongst the fishing communities in Scotland there is no doubt that there is a very strong desire for direct representation on committees. Without that representation the Bill in their eyes would be comparatively worthless. But in the other parts of Scotland, while there is a wish to be represented and an intention to be represented both on the committee and on the Board, there is a great difficulty as to direct representation, and in certain parts of the country there is a positive unwillingness to incur elections, which must be troublesome and maybe expensive. In those districts the voters would, I believe, trust the Town Council or the County Council to nominate their fishing representatives, and I think their wishes in this respect should be attended to, but under no circumstances whatever, in any community, where there is a strong fishery element, should it be in the power of anyone, whether the Secretary for Scotland or not, to deprive them of direct representation. To meet those two demands, both of them legitimate, we have placed on the Paper the present Amendment. The Secretary for Scotland will in the order nominate the districts, choosing those in which there is a large fishery population, and in those cases elections will be as imperative and as natural as election for County Councils, Town Councils, and Boards of Guardians. It will come once only in three years, and will be carried out simultaneously with the town, county, and Poor Law elections. The fishing communities will, therefore, be quite sure of their right to direct representation, but with regard to other communities the House does not wish to force elections upon them. It shall be in the power of the County Councils, Town Councils, or Police Commissioners respectively, of the counties, burghs, or police burghs concerned, to apply to the Secretary for Scotland for authority to nominate the fishery members, and upon such authority being granted it shall not be imperative to hold an election. They may nominate the men who will represent their views, and they will have a large field to choose from, because they may choose their fishery members not only from their own district, but from the entire fishery district or county. That will make the Scotch fishery system representative, which in England it is not, and, at the same time, it will prevent that representation being burdensome or troublesome. I consulted hon. Gentlemen on both sides of the House, and in all parts of Scotland, and this proposal met with unanimous agreement. I beg to move:—

Amendment proposed to the proposed Clause 6— In line 58, after the word "thereafter," to insert as a new paragraph to Sub-section (3) the words—"(1) In the order creating a fishery district, the Secretary for Scotland may distribute or apportion the fishery members among such portions of counties, and among such burghs and police burghs, as he shall determine. The Order shall also specify the portions of counties, and the burghs and police burghs, in which, having regard to the extent and amount of the fishing interests, it shall be imperative that the fishery members shall be directly elected by the electors. In all other portions of counties, and in all other burghs and police burghs, it shall be in the power of the County Councils, Town Councils, or Police Commissioners respectively, of the counties, burghs, or police burghs concerned, to apply to the Secretary for Scotland for authority to nominate the fishery members, and upon such authority being granted it shall not be imperative to hold an election. Such authority shall have effect until recalled by the Secretary for Scotland, on a like application. (2) Any person to whose number or name a distinctive mark is prefixed as aforesaid in the Register applicable to any part of a fishery district, shall be eligible to be elected or nominated as aforesaid, for any county, or portion of a county, or for any burgh or police burgh, within such fishery district."—(Sir G. Trevelyan.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted in the proposed Clause."

*SIR C. PEARSON (Edinburgh and St. Andrews Universities)

moved to insert in the proposed Amendment, after counties, in line 3, the words "whether constituting the entire counties or not." He desired to raise the question whether, under the right hon. Gentleman's proposed clause, it would be open to the Secretary for Scotland to exclude absolutely from representation any given part or parts of a seaboard county. That obviously was a very important question, and it would be doubly important if the proposals with regard to assessment were carried. The right hon. Gentleman proposed to take power to restrict assessment to portions of counties, and if that wore carried there should also be power to correspondingly restrict representation.

Amendment proposed to the Amendment to the proposed Clause, In line 3, after the word "counties," to insert the words "whether constituting the entire counties or not."—(Sir C. Pearson.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."


The Order will include the whole of every county, but that county may in the Order be divided into districts for the purpose of apportioning the rate more highly on some than on others. With regard to the election of ordinary members I conceive that they will be numerically elected under the Order in proportion to the population of the different districts or parts of counties, but as regards fishery members, under the Order—and I gather it is the intention of some hon. Members opposite—they should be apportioned in some ratio to the incidence of the rate.

MR. BUCHANAN (Aberdeenshire, E.)

said, that the Amendment moved by the Government seriously altered the character of the Bill. As originally framed the Bill made the Committees strictly elected bodies, and they directly represented fishery interests. He understood that by the now sub-section it would be possible that in a county there would only be elected representatives of the maritime margin of the county, while in the interior of the county there would be numbers of fishery members nominated by the County Council. Under this arrangement, in Aberdeenshire, where there were large fishing communities, the non-fishery members might be in an overwhelming majority. That was a substantial alteration in the Bill, though it was, no doubt, wise and prudent for the Government to make it for the sake of progress. He was not disposed to object to it, but be thought a difficulty had been pointed out by the right hon. and learned Member opposite. They might have parts of a county excluded from having nominated fishery members, and yet rated; and other parts of a county not rated and yet having nominated fishery members. If these anomalies "were possible under the sub-section as it stood it would be desirable to take measures to prevent them occurring.


There was a question raised by my right hon. and learned Friend near mo, and by the hon. Gentleman opposite in the latter part of his remarks, which we should clear up. In the original proposals of the Government it was proposed that there should be power to apportion the rates on districts in proportion to the interest the people have in fishing; but the Government did not propose that any part of a seaboard county should be wholly relieved from rating. I put down an Amendment, which the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Scotland thought so much of as to put down another in the same sense, by which it would be possible altogether to relieve parts of counties from the rates if they have no interest in fishing. But if you do that, you must also remove from these parts of counties any privilege of sending members on the fishery committees. Under these circumstances, there is considerable divergence of policy between the clause we are now discussing and the next clause, which is proposed to be amended by the Government, and I hope the Government will modify their first clause so as to carry out the policy on which everyone on both sides of the House is agreed—namely, that taxation and representation should go together, and that portions of counties which have no fishery taxes should have no fishery representation.

*THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. B. BALFOUR, Clackmannan, &c.)

My hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeenshire fears that the effect of the Bill will be to give rise to inequality of numbers between fishery members and ordinary members. That is not so. It is provided that ordinary members and fishery members are to be equal in number. The point raised by my right hon. and learned Friend opposite is founded on a misapprehension. My right hon. Friend the Secretary for Scotland intends to propose as an Amendment in line 85, after "Counties," to insert "or portions thereof." The effect is not intended to be, and I submit would not be, to exempt any portion of the territorial area from the whole of the rate. If the words "or portions thereof" were not introduced it might be suggested that the gross rate was to be divided county by county; but the object of these words is to provide that there may be a differential rating corresponding to the differential representation, but not wholly to exempt any portion of the territorial area which has a representation, more or less. Under these circumstances, I submit that there is no necessity for the Amendment of my right hon. and learned Friend, because it would have the effect that certain portions would be entirely exempted from rating, and therefore from representation.

MR. J. PARKER SMITH (Lanark, Partick)

asked whether the right hon. Baronet would accept an Amendment containing some such words as the following:— Having regard to the direct fishing interests of such portions of counties, burghs, and police burghs. Those words would express the principle upon which he understood the right hon. Baronet proceeded. He was glad the right hon. Gentleman had gone some way towards giving relief to districts of counties, but he did not think they would be satisfied unless he went a great deal further, and relieved the upland districts both of taxation and of representation. He wished to move an Amendment of this kind when the present Amendment was out of the way, and he hoped that Amendments would be moved that such districts as Paisley and others should be removed both out of taxation and representation.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes 70; Noes 130.—(Division List, No. 429.)


said, he desired to move the omission of the words "and among such" in the same line. As the sub-section stood, the Secretary for Scotland would have power to split up a county, but he would have no power as regarded representation to split up a burgh or a police burgh. It might be said that there was less reason for doing so in the one case than in the other, and that was quite true. He ought in every case to have power to split up a county, but the power to split up a burgh would only apply in those cases where burghs were already divided into wards, as many of them were. As an illustration, he might refer to a paper which had been circulated among Members — Scotch Members, at all events—in reference to Aberdeen. The passage in the paper occurred in the course of an interview which certain gentlemen of Aberdeen had recently with the Chancellor of the Duchy. Treasurer Bisset, of the Town Council, said— Of course he saw that Sir George Trevelyan had, at the eleventh, or the eleventh and three-quarter hour, brought forward a proposal allowing certain counties to make application to him for power to nominate the fishing members; but in the great bulk of cases they had the election over the whole district for this small matter. Even supposing the Amendment given notice of by Sir George Trevelyan was given effect to, how would it affect Aberdeen? If in Aberdeen they had a contested election for fishery committee purposes, it would necessitate an election taking place in every ward in the City, although for the business of the Town Council there might not be a contest in more than one or two. It was quite obvious that this was a survival of the old objectionable method. He submitted that his Amendment would not compel the Secretary for Scotland to do anything, but that; it would enable him to act for the advantage of a burgh and apportion the representation. It would also save elections for a comparatively unimportant matter.

Amendment proposed to the Amendment proposed to the proposed Clause, In line 3, to leave out the words "and among such."—(Sir C. Pearson.)

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Amendment proposed to the proposed Clause."


who was indistinctly heard, said, he was afraid the Government could not accept the Amendment. It seemed to him that it involved the forget fulness of the very different condition of a county and a burgh. There might be more burghs and police burghs than there were members available, but if the phraseology of the sub-section were not adopted it might seem to be obligatory to appoint a member for each burgh and police burgh, though their numbers exceed that of the available members.

MR. R. T. REID (Dumfries, &c.)

said, it seemed to him that the real object of both right hon. Gentlemen was the same. He thought the complaint of the right hon. Gentleman opposite was well founded, because he could well understand that it might be convenient that huge burghs should be split for the purpose; therefore, he thought the object of the right hon. Gentleman was right, but he was afraid that the method proposed was not. The effect of the omission of words would be to make it impossible for the Secretary of State to group burghs together which were small burghs. He submitted that the object might be attained if after the words "police burghs" the words "or portions thereof" were inserted.


said, ho was quite ready to adopt these words.

Amendment to the Amendment proposed to the proposed Clause, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment to the proposed Clause amended, by inserting In line 3, after the words "police burghs," the words "or portions thereof.


said, he rose to move the Amendment which he mentioned a few minutes ago—after the word "determine," at the end of the third line of the sub-section, to insert the words— Having regard to the direct fishing interests of such portions of counties, burghs, and police burghs. He said, that that was very much what was the obvious and reasonable intention of the right hon. Gentleman, but it was not expressed in the Bill.

Amendment proposed, At the end of line 3, after the word "determined." to insert the words, "having regard to the direct fishing interests of such portions of counties, burghs, and police burghs."—(Mr. Parker Smith)


said, that was certainly the intention of the Bill, and it was the effect of the English Act. The words were not contained in the English Act, but it worked perfectly well. But, on the other hand, the words were perfectly innocent, and they might prove to he of some guidance, and he would accept them.

Amendment agreed to.

MR. RENSHAW (Renfrew, W.)

moved, after the word "counties," in line 7, to add the words "included in the order." It seemed to him that the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman in Section (6), Sub-section (a), where it was provided that the expenses were to he apportioned among the counties, which, he understood, was to be amended by the insertion of the words "or portions thereof," would have the effect of limiting the expense to certain portions of the county. He thought it would he a most unfortunate circumstance if that should he the case, and that it was very desirable that taxation and representation should go absolutely together.

Amendment proposed to the Amendment proposed to the proposed Clause, In line 7, after the word "counties," to insert the words "included in the order."—(Mr. Renshaw.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."


said, he could not accept the Amendment.

Question put, and negatived.

Paragraph, as amended, inserted in the proposed Clause.

SIR G. TREVELYAN moved— In line 68, to leave out the word "ordinary.

Amendment agreed to.


proposed, in line 74, to leave out the word "county" before "electors," so that the clause should read— The electors within such police burgh shall not be entitled to vote in such election.

Amendment proposed to the proposed clause, In line 74, to leave out the word"county"before"electors."—(Mr. Renshaw.)

Question proposed, "That the word proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."


expressed the hope that the Secretary for Scotland would not accept the Amendment, the effect of which would be to say that where an election took place no county elector should be entitled to vote.


said, the Amendment would not have such an effect as the hon. Member seemed to anticipate. This was taken with a subsequent Amendment for the purpose of clearing the matter up and providing that no Elector within such burgh shall vote for the election of fishery members for the county.

Question put, and negatived.

SIR G. TREVELYAN moved— In line 75, to leave out the words "such elections," and insert the words "the election of fishery members for the county.

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the proposed Clause."


desired to say one word. He confessed he had tried to follow his right hon. Friend in dealing with the Acts of Parliament concerned, but the right hon. Gentleman had been quite too nimble for him. He did not know what would be the effect of the Amendment which had not been put down on the Paper, and which had just been accepted by his right hon. Friend, and still less did he know what was the effect of the consequential Amendment which his right hon. Friend had proposed. He would accept, with all humility, the assurance from the right hon. Gentleman that it was perfectly right, and would offer no further objection, but he begged respectfully, as an independent and private Member of the House of Commons, to submit that they ought to have, not a lengthy, but a sufficient time to consider the effect of the varying Amendments to this clause.


explained, that the effect of the Amendment was this—that where fishery members were elected in the terms of this section for a police burgh, and the police burgh might, for other purposes, form part of the county, the electors in that, police burgh should not be entitled to vote for fishery members who were elected for a county outside.

MR. ANSTRUTHER (St. Andrews)

thought the adoption of the Amendment would make confusion more confounded in the minds of the elec- tors. He had had an opportunity of consulting with some of his friends in the East of Scotland, and they had been almost unable to follow the various changes that had been made in the Bill. He hoped the words proposed would not he adopted.

Question put, and negatived.

MR. MAXWELL (Dumfriesshire)

proposed— In line 82, after the word "clerk." to insert the words "and making up and auditing of the accounts of its receipts and expenditure. He said, all those who were cognisant of local business in Scotland knew that it was laid down in the Local Government Act and the Education Act that the accounts must be made up previous to Whitsuntide, and it was very desirable that the accounts of this body should be made up on the same date. The question of audit was very important with regard to the fishery district committees if they were to spend money provided by parties whom they did not directly represent. In the Local Government Act it was laid down that the Government was to appoint an auditor. He thought it was very desirable that some of these county auditors should be employed for the purpose of auditing the district fishery committee's accounts, and something ought to have been done in this sub-section towards providing for the submission of these accounts to the different contributing bodies. It was essential they should have annually presented to them a copy of the accounts of the district fishery committee. He begged to move the Amendment.

Amendment proposed to the proposed Clause, In line 82, after the word "clerk," to insert the words "and the making up and auditing of the accounts of its receipts and expenditure."—(Mr. Maxwell.)

Question proposed., "That those words be there inserted in the proposed Clause."


said, there were considerable numbers of Orders entrusted to Local Bodies in which all cases of detail were left to the common sense of those bodies, and he had equal faith in the common sense of the bodies who would be nominated and elected under these Orders. On these committees would be members of Town Councils and Burgh Councils quite competent to deal with sums infinitely greater than those they would have to deal with on the fishery committees. The other members would be practical men elected by the same constituencies, and it would only be showing distrust of these bodies and hampering them with elaborate and probably, in the long run, expensive conditions—because every condition of that sort, sooner or later, meant a salary —if they were to adopt the Amendment. He thought they ought to leave this body to deal with their own clerk and their own little budget as they thought proper.

Question put, and negatived.


said, he desired to move— In line 83, after the word "expenses," to insert the words "other than those which may be incurred in connection with mussel fisheries."'

DR. R. FARQUHARSON (Aberdeenshire, W.) rose to a point of Order. He desired to know whether this Amendment would interfere with his Amendment, which stood next?


I think the hon. Member should move his Amendment first, and as to save that I will so put the Amendment of the hon. and learned Gentleman.


said, his Amendment was of a thoroughly straight and easily understandable character, and had been on the Notice Paper ever since the Bill had been introduced. He wished, in the first place, to disclaim all hostility to the Bill itself, which in many respects was a good one, and appreciated and desired by the people of Scotland. He did not agree with the statement made by some that if his Amendment were adopted the Bill would be destroyed. His is Amendment only struck at the particular method of raising the money which had been proposed by the Government, and if adopted they might very fairly leave it to the ingenuity of the Government to find some other means of getting the whole of the money essential to carrying out the Bill. Nor did he wish to leave the impression on the House that he was not full of sympathy with the fishermen themselves. They were his neighbours in the county in which he lived; he knew many of them, and he was aware of the bravery and industry with which they carried on a difficult, uncertain, and frequently a dangerous occupation. The only excuse for a rating clause of this kind would be the overwhelming necessity of a depressed industry, and the agriculturists he represented were not convinced that the fishing industry, depressed as it was at present, was as depressed as their own industry, which had got to be taxed for the benefit of the fishermen. His constituents, therefore, objected to pay this tax, and they were backed up in this case by the Municipality of Aberdeen, and by the County Council of Aberdeenshire, representing the whole agricultural district by means of its elective members. The agriculturists he represented objected to paying this tax, because they had no fishery interests and could have no advantage in any way from the operations of this Bill if it became law. The Government had admitted the force of this contention in the case of other counties, because there were numerous exemptions of those parts of Scotland which were not in any way likely to come under the beneficial influence of the Bill. If they exempted a large portion of the county, then the tax on the remainder became greater and more oppressive. His contention was that there should be no rating at all, but that the money should be got in some other way. He might say a word or two about the special conditions of his own county. Aberdeenshire was a large county, and was sharply divided into two parts, one purely agricultural and the other of which contained a considerable fishing population. The Western Division, which he represented, was entirely detached from the fishery part; they took no part in the fishing industry, and had very little opportunity of obtaining any of the fish from these seaboard places. They heard the other day a bitter cry from the neighbourhood of Inverary, where it turned out that even His draco himself could not got a fresh herring for breakfast; and if the Duke could not obtain this, what must be the condition of the crofter fanners in Aberdeenshire? What chance was there of their getting any share of the harvest of the sea? From no point of view did his constituents get any benefit from this Bill, or from this rating clause. He thought it was rather a new departure to tax any part of a county, or country even, to supply plant for any industry, and he did not think it had ever been done before. He did not say it was a bad principle; but in his part of the country the people liked to have reciprocity, and if the agriculturists had to pay for fishermen's boats and other articles, then they would be glad if the fishermen would contribute towards their artificial manures and other requisites for their industry. They were told that this tax would be a very small one; that even the penny in the pound would not be wanted, and that only about one-sixteenth of a penny would be called up. He was very sceptical indeed about this. Looking to the objects for which this money was to be applied they might be sure that every penny of the rate would be called up, and that in a very short time it would be found to be not enough, and the authorities would be coming back to Parliament asking for sanction to borrow more heavily. It was no part of his duty to suggest an alternative means by which this money could be raised. The hon. Member for Dumbartonshire had suggested that the tax should be a national one, but that had already been decided in the negative. It might also be argued that, as the benefits of the fishing industry were largely general though out the country, an Imperial tax might meet the necessities of the case. He should like to press that point of view; but it would be merely an act of presumption on his part to suggest to the superior wisdom of the Government how to find the money if this rating clause were dropped out, and he should therefore content himself by moving the Amendment, which he hoped would meet with the favourable consideration of the Government.


pointed out that the hon. Member could only move to omit the first paragraph of Sub-section (a).

Amendment proposed to the proposed Clause, In line 83, to leave out paragraph (a) of Sub-section (6).—(Dr. Farquharson.)

Question proposed, "That the words 'The expenses' stand part of the proposed Clause."

*MR. PAUL (Edinburgh, S.)

desired to support the Amendment, and said that as it really went to the root of the Bill this would be a, convenient opportunity of endeavouring to elicit from the Government some explanation of the manner in which they had treated the County of the City of Edinburgh under this Bill. His hon. and learned Friend the Member for Dumfries suggested that Edinburgh was included in the County of Midlothian. It was not necessary for him to set his authority, which was so small, against that of the hon. and learned Gentleman, which was so high; but he could appeal to the action of the Government themselves, because they had inserted in the Schedule words which were expressly intended to include Edinburgh. To these words the Government had declared their intention of adhering, and he must take it, therefore, that Edinburgh was now, for the first time, included in the Hill. He was sure there was no class of persons less anxious to evade the discharge of their just obligations than the ratepayers of the City of Edinburgh. They only asked for justice and fair play; and if under this Bill a rate or tax were levied for the whole of Scotland, in no part would it be more cheerfully paid than in Edinburgh. He knew that the House had decided—and he thought on very reasonable grounds— that a rate which was in its nature a local and not a national tax should not be imposed upon the whole of Scotland, and the Government had adopted the principle of rating the seaboard counties. He should not argue against that principle, which had its advantages and disadvantages; hut he wished to point out that that principle did not apply to the City of Edinburgh, which was a county of its own, which always had been a county of its own, which had a separate Lord Lieutenant, which had no seaboard, and which had no professional fishermen. And if it was to be argued that Edinburgh had fishing interests because of the consumption of fish for which it was responsible, he should like to know why was the City of Glasgow not similarly rated!' He had been told that Edinburgh was rated because it was in the County of Midlothian, which had a seaboard, and that Glasgow was not rated because it was in the County of Lanark, which was not a seaboard county. But Edinburgh was not in the County of Midlothian, and Glasgow was not in the County of Lanark. Edinburgh had always been a separate county, and Glasgow was made a separate county a year ago; therefore, that argument fell to the ground. Glasgow was a very fortunate city, and in no respect more fortunate than in being represented by his right hon. Friend the Secretary for Scotland. He was sure that nobody in that House would suggest that his right hon. Friend would intentionally do injustice to any constituency of Scotland, or any individual in Scotland or elsewhere. He was sure the right hon. Gentleman approached this question in the most absolutely impartial spirit; but there was such a thing as unconscious bias, and it was possible his light hon. Friend might be led to take the Glasg-we-ian point of view. The population of that great city must consume more than double the amount of fish that the population of Edinburgh consumed; they had constant opportunities of besieging the right hon. Gentleman's attentive oar, and be had no doubt that not only his constituents but the whole of Glasgow would not find it a deaf ear. He did not suppose that, except London, there was such a, fishing mart as Glasgow. Glasgow had direct access to the sea: there were people in Glasgow owning boats on Loch Fyne and bringing down herrings to the market, and it had all the signs of the fishing industry in every sense of the word. But Edinburgh had no more interest in the fishing industry than any inland county of Scotland which was exempted from this Bill. He knew there was one strong reason for including Edinburgh. It was worth rating. Its rateable value was £2,000,000. A penny rate on £2,000,000 would produce a sum of more than £8,000a year, which, no doubt, was worth Inning. But Glasgow would produce a good deal more. He knew the Secretary for Scotland had said that it was practically impossible that a penny rate would ever be imposed on the City of Edinburgh. As he understood this rating clause, it was for the fishery committee—on which, no doubt, the Town Council of Edinburgh would be represented—to say what money they wanted, and for the Secretary for Scotland to apportion how the rate necessary to raise that money should be distributed. No doubt his right hon. Friend would apportion it with absolute justice; and he bad no doubt that every Secretary for Scotland who had yet held office would do the same. But they did not know about the future. The Secretaries for Scotland in the future might be, for all they knew, a totally different race of men, and, at all events, his constituents objected to having their rates apportioned by the Secretary for Scotland, whosoever he might be. The practice to which they had been accustomed was to raise and apportion their rates themselves. He sincerely hoped the Government, by making a reasonable concession, might make it unnecessary for him to vote for this Amendment, which he knew would have a serious effect on the Bill. But he was bound in that House to watch over, as far as he could, the interests of his constituents; and if the City of Edinburgh was to be included for no intelligible reason, so far as he could see, he should be compelled to support his hon. Friend the Member for West Aberdeenshire.

SIR W. WEDDERBURN (Banffshire)

said, he would like to say a few words in reference to the attitude of the hon. Member for West Aberdeen. So doubt that hon. Gentleman's constituency was one that was interested in the Bill, and he had very forcibly brought forward the case on its behalf. But his constituency was a little one-sided. He (Sir W. Wedderburn) had the honour to represent a constituency which was also deeply interested, and which might be said to occupy an impartial position. ft was a constituency in which one-half of the population was seaboard and one-half agricultural. This constituency had not raised its voice against the Bill, and he was glad to say that when the matter was brought before the County Council, and that body was pressed to adopt Petitions against the Bill, they decided against doing so. He thought this decision was a wise and a neighbourly one. In these matters they must not be too pedantic as to representation going with taxation; there must be a certain amount of give and take, both as to the past and future. With regard to what had been said as to the crofters, he thought it would be found that the opposition did not originate with the crofters or the workmen, but with the capitalists and others in Aberdeen, and he thought they should be very careful and not allow themselves to be made a cat's-paw for the wrecking of the Bill—

Several hon. MEMBERS rose, and


was understood to call upon Mr. Anstruther.


said, he begged hon. Members' pardon; he had not finished. He hoped hon. Members would excuse him if he delayed them by stating his views. He thought the direction he had mentioned was not the only one from which the attack came. It was an attack on a part of the Bill. It was as if they were to set up a machine and not provide the means by which it was to he brought into operation. Other ways had been suggested than that which the Government proposed. The hon. Member who led the attack proposed other ways. There were different ways — the rating of the coast parishes, the rating of the maritime counties, or the rating of the whole of Scotland, or by drawing upon the Imperial Revenue. The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. A. J. Balfour) proposed that the money should be raised from the maritime counties or else from the Imperial Exchequer.

MR. A. J. BALFOUR (Manchester, E.)

said, the hon. Member must not suppose that he suggested every maritime county should be rated. His idea was with regard to those practically interested.


thanked the right hon. Gentleman for the correction. But he would point out that if only fishery villages were to he rated, the amount produced would be less than he had supposed, and it would have to be supplemented from the Imperial Exchequer —which was one method, at any rate, of relieving the expenses in such cases. Those were two means which, in his opinion, they should not wish to draw upon. There were two other means, and he did not say there were not difficulties and objections to both; but, on the whole, he believed the Secretary for Scotland had given the question very careful consideration, and he had taken the method which was fairest and the only way in which they could get the money they wanted. There was only one other point to which ho wished to refer, and he hoped the House would be indulgent, because he was speaking on behalf of a very energetic fishing population. He spoke on behalf of 500 men, who did not wish to have the least misunderstanding in regard to this Bill. It was said in another place that this was a charitable arrangement in regard to them, and that they would ask for further concessions. They did not wish to encourage such an idea. They wished to he taken at their reasonable market value, and treated accordingly. It had been said that the Petitions in favour of their Bill came from insignificant villages; but he could instance one town in his own constituency which had taken a leading part in regard to the matter, and which was shown by the last Report of the Fishery Board to have boats valued at a- very considerable rate, £14,000, and it was said that the nets used would cover ten square miles. Such a place as that could not, he insignificant, and those who spoke in that way must he ignorant of the facts. They heard of the scare about the Navy; but what was the use of having a Navy if they had not trained men—what was the use of a weapon if they had not men trained to use it? They knew that the Mercantile Marine had many foreigners—there were no foreigners here. He appealed to all Scotch Members in the House not to assist in the wrecking of this Bill, hut to help in carrying it as a charter for their fishermen.

*SIR H. MAXWELL (Wigton)

said, he agreed with the hon. Baronet opposite in the views which he had expressed with regard to the charge which had been made against the fishermen. He did not believe that if they got this assistance they would go further and ask to have nets and boats provided for them. Hie thought such an assertion was scarcely worthy of notice by the hon. Baronet. It came to this—that the bounty was a bounty being conferred upon a special industry — [Cries of "No!"]—and the question was what was the source of that bounty to be? [Cries of "No!"] Hon. Gentlemen said "No"; but he would like to have pointed out to him in what respect the proposed expenditure differed from a bounty conferred upon different industries by various Governments? He did not sec the difference, and he did not think the great majority of his fellow- countrymen would see the difference. The hon. Member had traced the opposition to these proposals as coming from Aberdeen-shire. He (Sir H. Maxwell I had been in consultation with his own constituency and persons in other parts of the country, and one and all had expressed dismay at the provisions under this clause, and he could not understand that a, city like Glasgow should be exempted from rating for the purposes of the fishery industry while Edinburgh was included. One would have thought that anyone going along the Broomielaw at Glasgow any morning, summer or winter, and seeing the herring steamers from Loch Fyne, would have felt that Glasgow was entitled to bear its share. Hundreds of thousands of tons were brought in as part of the ordinary commerce. Therefore, he repeated, Glasgow should bear her share. He did not see any distinct ion between the proposed expenditure in this case and a bounty upon a special industry. He believed, however, that all parts of the country were willing and content to contribute the rates required — provided they were fairly levied. Let every district be rated in proportion to its interest in the industry. He did trust that although, as the hon. Member for Dumfries had said, the proceedings on this Bill had been very confusing, they had not yet reached a stage at which the Government could not reconsider their position on this question.


I would wish to point out what it is important to understand—that the question before the House is not whether there should be a national rate over the whole of Scotland. That is not what we are discussing. The question that is before the House is a very serious one—whether means should be afforded for carrying out the provisions of this Bill. What are the provisions of this Bill? The English Act has been in operation during the last five years. Scotland is a country in which the fisheries are more important than they are in England; yet Scotland has been deprived of the advantages of the English Act, and we have brought in a Bill which resembles the English Act in many important particulars. It ordains that Orders shall ho made by the executive authority for different portions of Scotland, and, as in the English Act, those orders are to he compulsory. In another respect the Bill resembles the English Act in that it includes only the seaboard counties. The Bill, however, differs from the English Act in two most important particulars. It creates a representative Fishery Hoard. Every one of the district committees will send one member to the Board to manage fishery interests, and until very lately it had been maintained that that power is not an injury, but a privilege to the district. The English Act does not give facilities for making and preserving mussel-beds, whereas the House and the Government have recognised that the Scotch mussel-beds are running to waste and ruin, and, therefore, the Bill provides that the title to the mussel-beds must be shown, by which the beds will be acquired by the fishery committees, while bye-laws are to be passed for the preservation of the beds, and penalties imposed for violation of those bye-laws. Such a Bill is the only hope for Scotch line-fishing in the future. In dealing with the question of these Fishery Boards we were obliged to draw upon some source. We could not have recourse to the Imperial Treasury. Scotland is very well used, as compared with other parts of the United Kingdom, in matters of grants from the Imperial Treasury in the case of fisheries. The grants are very large—larger, at any rate, than those given to England; and it is quite impossible, in the present state of national finance, to go to the Treasury and ask for a sufficient sum of money to put the Bill in force. Well, we were obliged to draw the no somewhere, and we drew it at the seaboard counties—the counties that are interested. The counties of towns and cities are included where interested. Hon. Members ask me whether Edinburgh is interested. One of the most important matters is that of dealing with trawlers. Is that not a question of interest to Edinburgh? Is Edinburgh not interested in mussel-beds? She has a very considerable interest in mussel-beds. She actually possesses a bed of her own, though it is leased—for the same reason as other beds in Scotland are leased—at a very small sum of money; but if, as we propose, the bed were under the control of a fishery committee, it would soon become extremely valuable. Edinburgh is a county of a city, and she is interested, as I have shown. In the Lancashire Order Bury, Salford, Manchester, and Wigan were included, because they are within the confines of Lancashire. One of my hon. Friends has asked, "Why not include Glasgow?" In the same way an English Member might say, "Why not include Birmingham?"


It is not a seaport.


Birmingham was not included because Warwickshire is not a seaboard county, and Glasgow is not included because Lanarkshire is not a seaboard county: but, though Edinburgh and Aberdeenshire are included in the Bill, the Government can understand that their inhabitants may well feel some uneasiness. I wish, therefore, to place before them what the safeguards are which are in the Bill. I trust hon. Members will listen to the next few sentences, as I hope they will clear away all misunderstanding. In the first place, the Secretary of State had to apportion the rate according to the interest of each district. In the Lancashire Order Cheshire and Cumberland were included, and the rate was apportioned to each according to its interest. Cheshire, with its immense rateable value, was apportioned only l-62nd part of the burden. It will be the same in Scotland. The Secretary of State will have power to apportion the expenses so that the burden upon each district will be in exact proportion to its interest in the fishing industry. Hon. Members talk of maximum rates. I must ask them what will be the maximum rate in the City of Edinburgh? If this rate is according to the city's interest in fishing industry it will be very low. Something has been said about a rate of 1d., but in the circumstances I have stated it will be long before 1d. rate, or even ¼d. rate, will be levied. In heavily-rated Lancashire the rate comes to only 1–16th of 1d. In Cheshire it comes to next to nothing. Putting aside the question of the representation which Edinburgh and Aberdeenshire would have on the Board the next safeguard is that the Order will be laid before the House of Commons and the House of Lords, and if either House thinks that there is any injustice in it they will be able to strike it out of the Order or will be able to annul the Order. When the Order has been passed and the assessment has been made, any single body, from the Comity Council downwards, that is interested will be able to lay before the Secretary for Scotland a remonstrance against the execution of the Order on other grounds, and especially on the ground that undertakings have been taken in hand which do not give a promise of ultimate recoupment. If a Secretary for Scotland does his duty he will absolutely refuse to recognise any scheme from taking over a mussel-bed in which there is no chance of ultimate recoupment. I believe that when the Hill comes into operation all these apprehensions will prove to be unfounded. Such apprehensions have never been heard of in England, where the system is all but the same, except in particulars in which I think the Scotch Act is preferable. We have done our best to meet objections in "another place." Of course, we have had a good deal of chaff and have been subjected to some invective on account of the changes we have made in the Bill; but that is the regular lot of Ministers who carry Bills through the House of Commons and submit them to the House of Lords. I have done all in my power to meet the wishes of hon. Members: but I must point out that if this Bill, which is so important to the fishermen of Scotland, is to be of the slightest value to them funds must be provided for carrying it out. Under our scheme such funds will be provided more hugely by those districts which are largely interested in fishing, and in a very small degree by those districts which are not so interested in it. The necessary funds, however, must be provided, and I am afraid that this will be a vital amendment to the Bill.


said, he wished to associate himself in every way with the case put for the City and County of Edinburgh so clearly and so ably by the hon. Member for South Edinburgh (Mr. Paul). He could not think that the Secretary for Scot-land (Sir G. Trevelyan) had answered that case. Edinburgh did not want to be excused from being rated for this great Scottish industry, and was perfectly willing to take her share in a national rate. It must, however, be a national rate, and the case of Edinburgh was that Glasgow, which was infinitely more interested in fishing than Edinburgh, was, for some reason at present unexplained, totally excluded. The light hon. Gentleman had repeated the worn-out argument that Edinburgh was part of the seaboard County of Midlothian, whilst Glasgow was not part of a seaboard county. Edinburgh was not part of the County of Midlothian, but was a county in itself, just as Glasgow was, and there was no argument for the exclusion of Glasgow which did not extend in a threefold manner to the exclusion of Edinburgh. The right hon. Gentleman had compared Glasgow with Birmingham. He (Viscount Wolmer) could think of only one point of similarity between them— namely, that they both consumed a great quantity of fish. Glasgow was a great port, whereas he did not suppose that there was anyone in Birmingham who earned his livelihood directly by means of the fishing industry. Fleets of fishing boats went out from Glasgow to Loch Fyne, and Edinburgh was not half as much interested in the Firth of Forth as Glasgow was in Loch Fyne. The interest of Edinburgh in the fishing industry was purely national, whilst that of Glasgow was both local and national. The right hon. Gentleman (Sir G. Trevelyan) said that Edinburgh owned mussel-beds. The right hon. Gentleman was totally misinformed on that point. Edinburgh owned no mussel-beds, but it owned some oyster-beds, which brought in £15 a, year. As he had said before, Edinburgh did not wish to be excluded from a national rate, but she did protest against the gross favouritism which was shown to Glasgow.

MR. A. J. BALFOUR (Manchester, E.)

The interesting and able speech of the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill has been a strange illustration of the topsy-turvey fashion in which this measure has been discussed, or, rather, has not been discussed. The right hon. Gentleman appears anxious by his management of this Bill to crowd the stages of Second Beading and Committee into the discussion of the Lords Amendments. Practically upon the Lords Amendments this House has for the first time taken the Bill into consideration, as in the ordinary course it would have taken it into consideration in Committee, and on this stage also the right hon. Gentleman has delivered a very excellent Second Reading speech upon the general merits of the Bill. I do not mean to follow the right hon. Gentleman into the survey he has made of the English and Scottish Acts, and of all the points in which the two Acts differ, and in which the Scotch Act is superior to the English Act. I shall confine myself to what is, after all, the central point in this Amendment. We have had from hon. Members for Edinburgh, and from one Member for Aberdeen, an earnest protest on behalf of their constituents against the injustice of taxing them for an industry in which they are in no way concerned, and that protest has brought from the right hon. Gentleman a really very strange apology for the course the Government are pursuing. He tolls us that Edinburgh is interested in the fishing industry because it is on the Firth of Forth, and because the Firth of Forth is closed to trawling. The City of Edinburgh overlooks the Firth of Forth, but is not on it, and I think it would be neither better off nor worse off if the Fishery Board were tomorrow to open the Firth of Forth to trawling. How the effect of the trawling industry near the Bass Rock can touch the interests of Edinburgh I am at a loss to understand. As to the statement about the mussel-beds, that has been disposed of by my noble Friend (Viscount Wolmer), who pointed out that -Edinburgh did not own a mussel-bed. If it did, this is not the occasion on which we should interfere with the free exercise by Municipal Authorities of the management of their own property. I pass to the point of the inclusion of Edinburgh and the exclusion of Glasgow. The right hon. Gentleman based his argument on that point entirely on the English Act. He said that in England the great Municipalities within the area of seaboard counties were rated, but that large Municipalities not within such area were not rated. I will adopt than principle, however crude and unjust it may be, and apply it to Scotland. The right hon. Gentleman in another part of his speech was boasting of the great superiority of his Bill in this matter of local rating over the English Bill, and saying that he had found means by which the unfairness and crudeness of the English measure had been excluded from the Scotch measure. Why did he not go a little further and find some means by which the difference in treatment between Edinburgh and Glasgow might have been avoided— the difference between a town on the seaboard and a town not on the seaboard; between a town which is a port and a town which is not a port—so as to prevent a town not on the seaboard paying for the fishing industry when a town that is on the seaboard does not pay for it? I desire neither that Edinburgh nor Glasgow should be rated under this Bill; but I say that if you are to rate Edinburgh it is impossible to avoid rating Glasgow. It is impossible for the right hon. Gentleman to help feeling the innuendo that has been used, that his connection with Glasgow has biased his views on this matter, but something extreme is necessary to make us understand the policy of the Government. I should, however, be very unwilling to argue this question on the merits of Aberdeenshire, Glasgow, or Edinburgh. I would venture most respectfully to lay some general considerations before the House which I think ought to influence them on this Amendment, or on some Amendment proceeding on general lines. I do not want to lay down general principles as regards subventions to industries. I say that there may be circumstances and industries which do justify, on the part either of the Local Authorities or of the general public, something in the nature of a subvention, and I go further, and say that if there be an industry which it would be most dangerous from a national point of view for us to permit to languish, if there be an industry which naturally excites the sympathy of the general English and Scotch public, that industry undoubtedly is the fishing industry. The House has from time to time shown its sympathy with that industry by voting subventions to piers and harbours out of national funds. I hope, therefore, that the House will not suppose that I am laying down any doctrinaire views about subventions, or that I am otherwise than of opinion that probably of all industries the one which most deserves a subvention is the special industry whose interests we are considering to-day. My objection to this proposal is of an entirely different character; it is not to the nature of the subvention, but to the source from which it is to come. It appears to me from that point of view to be of itself illogical, and to be of itself unjust, and none of the pro- visions inserted in the Bill appear to me to have removed the injustice. The Government had made it a special merit of their Bill that it introduces into the management of the fishing industry what they call, and what is, the elective principle. A more perverted form than that in which the principle appears in this Bill has never, I think, been conceived by a Parliamentary draftsman in his wildest moments. What do we commonly understand by the elective principle? It is that those who pay the taxes should vote the taxes, and that the body which represents the taxpayer should control the money which is raised by taxation. These have hitherto been regarded as fundamental points in any system of representative Government I have ever heard of, and I do not think that any analogy for the Government proposal can anywhere be found. I may be wrong in this, for the Statute Book covers a very wide field, and very eccentric legislation occasionally passes this House. But, speaking generally, it will not be denied that the main principles I have laid down are principles which we have hitherto regarded as essential to any system. The system of this Bill is that one set of people should pay, and another sot of people should raise the taxes; the principle of this Bill is that those who pay the taxes do not administer the taxes, that those who contribute the rates have no controlling voice as to the manner in which they should be expended. But there is another point on which I think the Bill violates all sound principle. I see no objection to a rate being raised for the benefit of a portion only of the community which raises it, provided always that it be the larger area which deliberately and voluntarily taxes itself for the benefit of the smaller area. Take the ease of Imperial funds. We think we are not, and we are not, suspending any principle of justice or equity or sound policy when we vote part of our taxes for the benefit of a small portion of the community—when, for example, we lend our credit for the construction of a, particular railway in the North of Scotland or the West of Ireland. I out to allow the North of Scotland to tax us for its railway, or the West of Ireland to tax us for its harbour, would be the grossest absurdity that could be conceived. Yet that is, in effect, what you are doing under the Bill. You are allowing a body which does not represent the whole county to tax the whole county not for the benefit of the whole county, and I say that such a proposal is a violation of every sound principle which has hitherto guided, and ought in the future to guide, our legislation. I do not desire to deal minutely with the English analogy. The English Bill may or may not be open to criticism; but it is not open to the criticism I have directed against the proposals of the Government. Even if it be true, as I think it is not, that you can find some obscure analogy for the strange course you have now insisted on pursuing, I say that ought not to divert us from the broad path of constitutional procedure, and induce us to allow a minority to tax a majority for its own benefit, and to depart from the principle that those who pay the taxes should vote the taxes, and should control the expenditure of the Bill. All these principles you violate by this Bill, and all these principles we ought to safeguard. The plain solution, although the Government shy at it, and will not accept it, is that we ought to contribute out of the general funds of this country to carry out purposes which you think to be of national importance. You allege yourselves as one of the justifications for this Bill—the Chancellor of the Duchy, who had an evil hour-and-a-half with his constituents the other day in the Aberdeen Town Hall on this measure, himself urged—that if the fishing industry is one of national importance requiring a subvention from other sources to make it a prosperous industry, then lot the subvention be a national one. The right hon. Gentleman opposite has told us in carefully measured terms that the burden his Bill will throw on the ratepayers of the seaboard counties of Scotland will be in most cases absolutely infinitesimal. If it is infinitesimal when it is distributed only over the seaboard counties of Scotland, excluding Glasgow, what would it be when distributed over the Imperial Exchequer? The right hon. Gentleman's argument bears against his own policy; therefore, I hope that in the interest of sound justice the Government will even now retreat from the position they have taken up.


The Leader of the Opposition charged the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill with having made a Second Reading speech on the consideration of the Lords' Amendments. Well, I really would put it to the House whether the right hon. Gentleman has not himself exactly followed the example which ho charges to my right hon. Friend, for his speech has gone to the root of the whole Bill. He has stated the principle which, he says, governs this Bill, and he has objected to the whole Bill on the assumption that his statement is accurate. If I understood the right hon. Gentleman aright, he says the principle under which it is proposed to raise money for the purposes of this Bill is this—that a body which does not represent the whole county is to tax the whole county for the benefit of a portion of the county.


That is quite true.


I object to that argument entirely. I say that the body which is going to ho the taxing body under this Bill does represent the whole county, and that the taxation that it raises will be expended' for the benefit of the whole county. I do not think that it is at all a proper thing to separate one particular industry of the county from the general interests of the county, and to say that because a certain industry is going to receive a greater advantage from particular taxation that, therefore, the general interest of the county is not advanced by any benefit that the particular industry may gain. On the contrary, I say that the particular industry is so much wrapped up in the interest of the county that the whole county is benefitted by the advantage of the particular industry. The right hon. Gentleman says that the taxing body does not represent the whole county. I say that in that statement he entirely misrepresents the facts. The fishery committee which cares for the whole district (which will include several counties) in the first place is made up of representatives of every County Council and every Town Council in the district. Secondly, it is constituted of fishery members, but these members though they are to be chosen out of a certain limited number of people—namely, those interested in the fishery—are elected by the constituency of the whole county. They are elected by the same body as the County Councils, and at the same time and on the same paper. If that is the case, surely this Elective Body is one that does represent most fully the whole county, and is, therefore, justified in raising this taxation on the whole county. Then the right hon. Gentleman says that the proper way to find the money for these Local Bodies is to give a subsidy out of the National Exchequer. Now, I must say that that is a strong proposition to be made. It does seem to me that if you are setting up Local Bodies to deal with local affairs, the proper course is that those Local Bodies should raise the money out of the districts affected. You draw a distinction between the district committees and their work, and the Scottish Fishery Board and its work. The Scottish Fishery Board deals with the whole of Scotland, and therefore, very rightly, draws its money from national sources; but these new bodies you are going to set up deal only with fishery matters within the district in which they are elected. It seems to me that the only proper course is to require the districts with which these new bodies deal to raise the money. My right hon. Friend has shown that the rate will be allocated in a way which will only throw a very small charge indeed on those portions of a district which are not much interested in fisheries. I think that those who have objected to the proposal have said that they were willing to contribute towards the interest of the fisheries. I think that under the proposal of my right hon. Friend the amount that these various portions of the districts that are not directly interested in the fisheries will have to pay will be so small that really there is no great need to object to the burden to be thrown on them. The real burden will be thrown more on the fishery portion of the districts. I hope, therefore, that the House will give support to my right hon. Friend in resisting this Amendment, which, if carried, would destroy this Bill altogether.


said, the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down had said as much for the system of rating under the Bill as it was possible to say in its favour, but still he (Mr. Ferguson) felt obliged to support the Amendment. One reason why he supported the Amendment was because he believed that were the system of rating under the Bill put into force it. would be extremely unpopular, and would bring with it a great deal of dissatisfaction with the promoters of the Bill. Since the measure was last discussed in the House it had been brought before various Town Councils in Scotland, and in every case where objection had not been taken to the whole principle of the Bill objection had been taken to the fact that they specially were rated. It would be all very well if Edinburgh were omitted from the scope of the Bill with its £2,000,000 of rateable value— Leith would be in no better position. He had had an interview with the Leith Town Council on the matter, and he thought theirs a reasonable view. They said they had no objection to contribute towards the encouragement of fisheries; but if they were called upon to do so the whole country should contribute, and contribute equally. He must say he saw great difficulty in apportioning the rates according to the interests of different localities. He thought that in practice that would be a difficult thing to carry out, but he was certain that the exclusion of Glasgow and the inclusion of Leith would be altogether indefensible. The fish from the Forth were landed at New haven, and the great bulk of it was despatched by train to Glasgow. Leith had no special interest in it, and if Leith and Edinburgh had an interest in the Forth being closed to trawling they might say that Glasgow had an interest in the Clyde being closed also, or any other place in the neighbourhood where she drew her fish from. There was another reason which induced him to support the Amendment. He believed that a considerable sum of money might be advantageously spent in the development of fishing, and by the inclusion of Glasgow and other places in the Bill they would draw their money from a larger area. The primary idea in Scotland was that the money should come from Imperial sources. The Secretary for Scotland stated that they should not ask for money from the Treasury, because they had so much for fishing purposes already as compared with England, but in saying that, the right hon. Baronet pointed out very justly that in many ways Scotland was at a great disadvantage in its contributions to revenue, and its receipts from the National Exchequer. The right hon. Gentleman might have pointed out that the fishing industry of Scotland was greater than the fishing industry of England, and, therefore, they might have expected for a double reason that an even larger contribution than was at present received from Imperial sources would be given for the protection of Scotch fisheries. Supposing the money could not be obtained from Imperial sources, he did not suppose that anyone would object to a rate being applied equally and equitably over the whole country. It was to the interest of the whole fishing community and everybody concerned that the clauses relating to the mussel-beds should be as speedily as possible embodied in legislation. Assistance in cultivating these beds would be highly remunerative, and hardly any burden would be placed on the committees or the Imperial Exchequer in the matter. He failed to perceive the principle upon which certain portions of Scotland had been excluded from the Bill. The interest of the man who ate the fish was as great as that of the man who caught it. Much of the opposition which had been offered to the Bill had been based on narrow interests and unpatriotic sentiment. But that was certainly not the case with the opposition which was now being offered. The great Corporations were opposing the Bill because the principle upon which their districts were going to be taxed could not be justified. On that ground, while he recognised to the full the importance of the Bill, not only from a national point of view, but from the point of view of his own constituency, whore there were a considerable number of fishermen, he intended to vote for the Amendment.

MR. R. T. REID (Dumfries, &c.)

said, that supporting the Amendment was equivalent to voting against the Bill altogether. For his own part, he did not intend to support the Amendment. This seemed to him to be the crucial part of the Bill. Where was the money to come from by which alone the machinery of the Bill could be worked? The hon. Member for East Aberdeen had pointed out that there were only four sources from which it could come. The first was an Imperial subvention. For his own part, he sympathised much with the view that an Imperial subvention ought to be conceded in this case, and there would have been no difficulty raised to this from the other side of the House, because the Leader of the Opposition had declared that it would be the best method. But a private Member could not propose an Imperial subvention, and the Government were not prepared to make such a proposal. The next alternative, which was one which he believed was about to be proposed by the Leader of the Opposition— namely, that the parishes on the seaboard interested in fishing should alone be rated, would be destructive of the Bill, because it would be impossible to raise the money on so narrow and restricted an area. Of the two remaining alternatives one was that the whole of Scotland should be rated; and the other was that the rating should be levied on the seaboard counties of Scotland, which numbered 24 out of the 32 counties of the country. The first of those alternatives was proposed by the hon. Member for Dumbartonshire months ago, and he (Mr. Reid) had supported him. He did not know that the hon. Member for Edinburgh had supported the proposal. He did not make that a matter of reproach, but it was supposed at that time that Edinburgh was included within the Bill and was not protected, although he (Mr. Reid) suggested that Edinburgh would require to be expressly included. It was absolutely impossible to justify the imposition upon 24 out of the 32 counties in Scotland of rating for purposes which were common to the whole country. He could not understand how it could be suggested that Edinburgh ought to be included in the Bill while Glasgow was excluded. It would have been more reasonable to, say, include Glasgow and exclude Edinburgh. He knew there was great jealousy between the two places—["No, no!"]—well, emulation. He came from a part of the country equi-distant from the two, and he did not wish to take a side in the controversy. But it seemed monstrous to suggest that little villages in Inverness-shire, for instance, should be rated, whilst the powerful City of Edinburgh should contribute nothing. No amount of argument would satisfy him that that would be fair play. They had proposed that the whole of Scotland should be rated, but what had been the result? The decision had been given against them. The House had decided that the whole of Scotland should not be rated, and, therefore, the only remaining alternative was that proposed in the section. He did not like that alternative. Ho liked the other far better; but the House refused that constructive Amendment, and now they were met with a destructive Amendment, and it was because it was a destructive Amendment that he proposed to vote against it. It was impossible to doubt that if the Amendment was carried three out of the four possible methods of providing the money would be closed to them. The only one which would remain would be one which was practically no real proposal, though he admitted that it was captivating—namely, that of taxing the parishes. They had come to the point, therefore, that in this Bill they were absolutely precluded by a past Resolution of the House, and the effect of a Debate, from any method except the method now proposed, and in proposing to destroy that method the hon. Member for West Aberdeen was, in fact, proposing to destroy the Bill root and branch— to inflict upon it a blow from which it could not rally. Notwithstanding its defects, he could not take the responsibility of destroying the Bill.

*MR. RENSHAW (Renfrew, W.)

said, that in supporting the hon. Member for West Aberdeen, ho did so not because he did not appreciate the difficulties the Government would be placed in if the Amendment was passed, but because it expressed precisely the views expressed, not only by the County Council of Renfrew (of which he had the honour to be a member) in a Petition they had presented to the House, but in the burghs of Renfrew, Paisley, Greenock, and Port Glasgow. In regard to the exclusion of the City of Glasgow, if the Bill had been introduced two or three years ago, it would have been a much more difficult question to deal with, because Glasgow was then partly in the County of Renfrew and partly in the County of Lanark. At present they had in the County of Renfrew some burghs that were practically part and parcel of Glasgow. Those burghs were to be rated for fishery purposes, while the great City of Glasgow, the largest consumer of fish, escaped. He observed that the Lord Advocate in addressing his constituents at Kincardine minimised as far as possible the probable rate under the Bill. He had said that it would begin with a small amount, and that by-and-by there would be no rate at all. That, of course, was a most seductive prospect to the ratepayers; but unfortunately they had experience to guide them in these matters. Whenever an attempt had been made to minimise the amount which would be levied under a particular statute the ratepayers had found that the maximum rate was speedily reached. They were told that any possible rate under the Bill would be a very small sum. Well, a 1d. rate in the seaboard counties, including the County of the City of Edinburgh, would realise £60,000. That was a large sum, particularly having regard to the fact that the money partly derived from the herring brand and partly from the Imperial Exchequer at the disposal of the Fishery Board only amounted to £23,000, or one-third of that sum. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Berwick had said that though the District Committee was to consist of so many fishery members and so many ordinary members they would all be connected with the counties paying the rates. That was perfectly correct, but what would be the position of matters in the particular district in which his own county would probably be included? A population of 667,000 would elect half the district committee, and 870 fishermen would elect the other half.


said, that it was true that the fishery members would be selected from those connected with the fishing interest, but they would be elected by the whole body of County Council electors.


said, that the ordinary members would represent 667,000 people, whilst the fishery members would have to be selected out of the 870—


Not necessarily. They would be selected from any persons interested in the fisheries, including fishermen, fish salesmen, boat-builders, net-makers, and so on.


said, that the fishery members would have a preponderating decision as to the expenditure of money, and for that reason he felt bound to support the Amendment.


said, he was willing to admit that he should have preferred an Imperial grant; but it was no use discussing such points now, as they had got past them. The question for them now was, would they pass the rate as it was proposed by the Government or would they wreck the Bill? He was no great admirer of the Bill It was a very small Rill, but better than no Bill at all, and for that reason he was determined to support it. He could not sympathise exactly with the hon. Members for Edinburgh and Leith, for they did not object to the payment of the rate, but to the fact that somebody else was excluded. But the Government had drawn a certain line, and in following that they were bound to exclude Glasgow, as it was not a maritime county. They were there, if they could, to pass the Rill. They had been told that it was a non-contentious measure, and when he first read it he was inclined to think that it was. He understood non-contentious measures to he measures of little use to those for whose benefit they were brought in, and of very little interest to any one. But such as the Bill was, with all its defects he Wits prepared to support it through thick and thin, so that it might be passed. Stress had been laid on the (dosing of the Firth of Forth to trawlers. He understood from that that there was a power somewhere in the Secretary of Scotland or the Fishery Board to close the Firth against trawlers. He wished that power could be further extended to the north and west. There was not a week passed that he did not receive piteous complaints from fishermen of the destruction caused by trawlers. He wished the Secretary of Scotland to extend his benevolence from the Firth of Forth to the Firth of Clyde and other places.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 147; Noes 115.—(Division List, No. 130.)


said, he had next to move an Amendment the object of which was to take from the district fishery committees the power of incurring any expenditure in connection with mussel-beds. He had, he said, followed with great interest the remarks which had fallen from hon. Members opposite, and especially from the hon. Member for Dumfries, in regard to the difficulty they experienced in supporting the Amendment on which the House had just divided, in view of the fact that the carrying of that Amendment involved the wrecking of the Bill, but he ventured to suggest that his present Amendment would not have that effect. It would merely enable them to discriminate between the proper and legitimate local expenses that might be incurred under the Bill in regard to the election of representatives to sit upon the Fishery Boards, while it would exclude from the expenditure to be incurred by the Boards when they came into existence any outlay upon mussel-beds. He thought that that was a wise and proper course to adopt in regard to the Bill, because it was in regard to the mussel-beds that, in all probability, considerable expenditure would be incurred on various parts of the coast of Scotland. When on a previous occasion this Bill was before the House the right hon. Gentleman in charge of it admitted that the expenditure in connection with mussel-beds would be the main item. No doubt, his colleague had since sought to minimise that statement, but it could not be doubted by any one who had taken the trouble to look into the matter that the cultivation and development of mussel-beds was an exceedingly risky and hazardous business, whether carried on either on a large or small scale. It was open to peculiar risks, and it was quite possible that operations carried on under the Act would prove an unremunerative investment. Yet the rates were to be made liable for this purpose, and also to be pledged for the repayment of any loans incurred for capital expenditure on the acquirement of mussel-beds. It was quite possible that the various fishery committees throughout Scotland would, in their respective districts, proceed to develop mussel-beds, with the result of largely increasing the production of mussels and creating a competition which would end in reducing prices to so low a point as to make the cultivation of mussels absolutely unprofitable. Under such circumstances, expenditure in connection with them might place upon the ratepayers a very serious and improper burden. No doubt, the Government attached considerable importance to the manner in which the Bill dealt with the question of the mussel fisheries, but he was bound to point out that under the existing law it was possible to obtain any protection that was necessary for mussel-beds at a small cost. In their Report for this year the Scotch Fishery Board notified a case in which a protective order had been obtained, and they mentioned that the expense of obtaining such an order usually amounted to about £10. They thus had already a cheap and inexpensive method of securing protection for mussel-beds and, that being the case, there was no reason for imposing on the ratepayers of the seaboard counties the responsibilities and expenses that would fall upon them under this clause. He wished especially to draw the attention of the House to the fact that if his Amendment were carried, and if, in consequence, expenditure on mussel-beds by the district fishery committees was not allowed, the duty of dealing with the question would naturally devolve on the Fishery Board, and he believed it would be well if that Board were given the opportunity of developing some mussel-beds by way of experiment. By that means they would obviate undesirable competition between different districts in respect of the development of mussel-beds, and economical administration would be secured. He would ask the House to consider for a minute or two the case of one special district. Under the scheme proposed in the Bill a rate was going to be levied on the ratepayers of one district for the benefit of the ratepayers of another. The case he wished to refer to was that of the great mussel-bed of the Clyde. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Berwickshire would admit that that was the largest, the most important and most productive mussel-bed in the whole of Scotland. It was situated in the county which he (Mr. Renshaw) had the honour to represent in that House; it extended over 4,000 acres; it gave employment to 40 or 50 persons; and the destination of the mussels gathered there was almost invariably the east coast of Scotland. Under the Bill as it stood the cost of developing these beds would fall upon the County of Renfrew and the counties grouped with it, but they would derive no appreciable benefit from what was done. Some few years ago the bed produced 10,000 tons of mussels per annum; but in a recent year the production sunk to something like 50 tons, and that was undoubtedly a strong proof of the necessity for this Bill. Last year about 4,000 tons were taken from the bed, and no fewer than 3,786 tons went to Fraserburgh, Peterhead, Nairn, Aberdeen, and adjoining districts. Thus, although Renfrew, Ayrshire, Wigtownshire, and the other counties in the group were to bear the expense of developing the beds, the people to reap advantage would be the Aberdeenshire fishermen, who would obtain their bait at a reduced price. And that was not the only injustice, because the fish caught with this bait went almost wholly to Glasgow and to England. Thus grave injustice was done to his constituency, and he appealed to the House, therefore, to accept his Amendment.

Amendment proposed to the proposed Clause, In line 83, after the word ("expanses,") to insert the words ("other than those which may he incurred in connection with mussel fisheries").—(Mr. Renshaw.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."


For reasons I largely explained to the House during my speech on the last Amendment, and which I do not propose to again inflict on hon. Members, I have to say that it is quite impossible for me to accept the Amendment proposed by my hon. Friend. The Resolution on which this Bill is founded lays down the principle that the district fishery committees should regulate the management and development of the mussel-beds within their several districts. I am of opinion that great pecuniary advantage would be derived from well-managed mussel-beds, and I may point out that great care this been taken in the Bill to insure the satisfactory supervision of proposals for acquiring mussel-beds by district committees. The Secretary for Scotland is, in fact, distinctly enjoined not to sanction such proposals unless the schemes seem likely to be remunerative. As to the Clyde beds, I am informed that if properly managed they could be made to supply nearly the whole of Scotland. In a Paper laid before the House it is stated that during 10 years 130,000 tons of mussels, valued at nearly £24,000 a year, were obtained from them. The beds however, are now rapidly deteriorating: but if they were properly attended to they would be a source of immense wealth. It is to secure the preservation and utilisation of this class of bed that this Bill has been brought forward.


said, he did not think the hon. Member opposite had any right to assume that the mussel-beds would become a tax on the ratepayers. He was acquainted with beds from which considerable profit was derived, and he was confident that it would be a great advantage to the fishing industry and afford a field for further employment were the mussel-beds largely extended. There was no form of property from which a good return could be got more easily than from mussel-scalps. Much jealousy existed in regard to private rights in mussel-scalps. It had been easy enough in the past to get a lease of the foreshore for a Public Department, but there had been no corporate power to secure that the beds were properly dealt with, and he felt it was very necessary that they should be protected. He therefore approved the proposal that the beds should be under the control of Local Authorities, such authorities would be in a position to safeguard the interests of fishermen, and he consequently held that these constituted some of the most valuable provisions of the Rill.


said, the business of establishing mussel-beds irrespective of the wants of particular districts, and solely with a view on the | part of the fishery committees of making an income for themselves, was one which be was not inclined to approve. Ho was not surprised that the hon. Member for Leith supported the provision, because he was reminded of a resolution passed at a meeting in an east coast village, in which the Hill was strongly supported in the interests of the line fishermen of that district, who would by reason of its provisions be enabled to get their boat at a much reduced cost at the expense of the west coast. The circumstances of the east and of the west coast varied very considerably, and the provisions in the Bill affecting mussel-beds would benefit chiefly the east coast line fishermen. Little or no benefit would be derived by the inhabitants on the west coast, where mussels were not used for bait, to nearly the same extent as on the east coast, and where, moreover, there was a superabundance of them. He did not think they ought to allow the committees to incur heavy expenses in the development of an industry which after all assumed the character of a financial speculation, especially when the burden would fall on the west coast people, and the advantage be reaped solely by the east coast fishermen. Under these circumstances, he should support the Amendment of his hon. Friend.


said, he should like to give the hon. Member for Renfrewshire the real history of the ease he had cited in which protection was secured for a mussel-bed. The chief reason for obtaining Provisional Orders was to secure the protection of beds against the ravages of outsiders, but in this particular case the main mischief was done by a local fisherman who had had the enterprise to familiarise himself with the law on the subject, and having ascertained how long it took to secure a Provisional Order, set to work and took away tons of mussels while the inquiry was proceeding. He, in fact, nearly ruined the beds. Steps were promptly taken by himself (Mr. Haldane) to put an end to the proceedings; he applied to three Public Departments and expended an enormous amount of time on he question, but the conclusion arrived at was that it was necessary to institute legal proceedings before the mussel-bed could be effectually protected pending the making of the Provisional Order. Thou arose the question as to whose duty it was to institute the proceedings. The result was that in the absence of such a provision as this the fishermen were exposed for four or five months to the trial of seeing the mussels taken away without the slightest possibility of any legal step being taken to prevent the marauding. He was consulted whether, in the absence of any better provision, it would not be well for the fishermen to go out in their boats and capture the persons who were removing the mussels and throw them into the sea. He told them ho could not take the responsibility of giving them that advice. Fortunately a Provisional Order was obtained, but only after a good deal of delay, and the practice was stopped. He, therefore, resolved that as far as he was able he would not allow any Fishery Bill to pass, except some powers of regulation, such as those in the present Bill, were put into it.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 75; Noes 138.—(Division List, No. 431.)

MR. RENSHAW moved to insert after the word "committee," in line 84, the words "to be made on or before the 31st day of March in any year." In line 116, the representation on behalf of the County Council, or of the Town Council, to the Secretary for Scotland, to consider the amount claimed as excessive, was to be presented "on or before the 1st day of August," whilst no date was fixed for the requisition with regard to the expenses of the district committee to be laid before the Local Authority who would have to levy the rate. As the County Council held a statutory meeting in May, usually to take into account the expenses of the year, he thought the 31st of March should be inserted as the date for making the requisition.

Amendment proposed to the proposed Clause, In line 84, after the word "committee," to insert the words "to be made on or before the 31st day of March in any year".—(Mr. Renshaw.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."


I do not see any objection to the insertion of the words.

Question put, and agreed to.


I beg to move— In line 85, after the: word "counties," insert the words "or portions thereof, or among the". As I explained to the House very fully, the great desire which the Government have in conferring on the Secretary for Scotland the powers of apportioning the rate in the smallest portions in the districts that are influenced is in order that the very different fishing interests that exist between one portion of a county and another portion between the upland districts and the fishing villages should be duly taken into consideration. This Amendment would enable that object to be carried out.

Amendment proposed to the proposed Clause, In line 85, after the word "counties," to insert the words "or portions thereof, or among the".—(Sir G. Trevelyan.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."


As the House is aware, I have an Amendment on the Paper which to all appearance is identical with the right hon. Gentleman's, but we have different objects in moving them. I would be glad if the Lord Advocate would explain how it is that the right hon. Gentleman's Amendment would not have the effect of laying the duty on the Secretary for Scotland, to relieve from any taxation whatever portions of a county which have no direct industry in the fishing industry. That is the effect of the Amendment I have put on the Paper, hut it is not the intention of the Government; and I should he glad if the right hon. Gentleman enabled me to distinguish between the words, which appear to resemble each other in a very remarkable manner.


The object of the Amendment of my right hon. Friend is that there should be different ratings in different portions of a county. But that does not mean to leave out some portions altogether, which the right hon. Gentleman has in view.


I am put rather in a difficulty by this. I wish to have my Amendment at least recorded, and I would like to move to add to the Amendment of the right Gentleman the words— Or such parts thereof as the Secretary for Scotland may declare"—


The right hon. Gentleman cannot: move that Amendment.

Question put, and agreed to.

On Motion of Sir G. TREVELYAN, the following Amendment was agreed to:— In line 90, after the word "county," to insert the words "or portion thereof, or in any such.

MR. HUNTER (Aberdeen, N.) moved— In line 96. to leave out from the word "burghs" to "assessment," in line 99, and insert the words "in the manner prescribed by, and subject to the provisions of the Act 41 & 42 Vict., c. 71, s. 70. Sub-section (3). This was merely a drafting Amendment with a view to clear up what appeared to him to be an ambiguity in the language of the clause. As the words now stood, it was proposed that the rate collected by the County Council should be as an addition to the general purposes rate. The effect of this arrangement was that the rate would be divided between owner and occupier. Of course, it could not be the intention of the Government that a different rule should apply in burghs in Scotland, and yet the words would have the effect of introducing a different system of taxation in burghs. He therefore proposed to apply the section of the 41 & 42 Vict., which provided that the rate in burghs should be divided in the same manner as it was divided in counties.

Amendment proposed to the proposed Clause, In line 96, to leave out from the word "burghs" to the word "assessment." in line 96, and insert the words "in the manner prescribed by, and subject to the provisions of the Act 41 & 42 Vict., c. 74, s. 70. Sub-section (3)."—(Mr. Hunter.)

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to he left out stand part of the Clause."


We accept the Amendment.

Question put, and negatived.

Question, "That those words be there inserted," put, and agreed to.

MR. COCHRANE (Ayrshire, N.) moved— In line 106, after the word "clerk," to insert the words, "and of the personal and travelling expenses of the members of the committee. He did not desire by this Amendment to establish a principle which was to apply-to County Councils and other Representative Bodies also; but he thought there were special considerations in connection with members of fishery district committees which would appeal to the House. These members were to be selected from a special class—they were to be persons connected with the fishing industry, and, therefore, they would not he wealthy men who could pay their own expenses. The fishery committees would have certain executive functions, such as the care and control of mussel-beds; and line fishermen, who were particularly interested in mussels, were of the working classes, and to make them pay their travelling expenses attending these committees would he to throw a heavy burden on them which would prevent the best of them from being able to give up their time to the duties of these committees. The right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill had indicated that he would be prepared favourably to consider the claims of members of the district committees who attended the Central Fishery Board in Edinburgh, and to provide from the Treasury their personal and travelling expenses. But the case of the members who attended the district committees was much stronger. In the first place, the persons selected to attend the Central Fishery Board would probably be men of means, while those who attended the district committees would be, he hoped, practical fishermen, acquainted with the needs of their districts. Again, the members of the district committees would have longer distances to travel than the members of County Councils. There would be eight Fishery Boards and 24 counties composing those Boards, which would give an average of three counties to each Board. Even in his own County of Aryshire, which was served by an excellent system of railways, the cost that would be thrown on fishermen attending the district committees would be excessive. The central point for the district would be Stranraer, and the fare from Largs to Stranraer was 11s. So that in Ayrshire, which had an excellent rail-way system, it was possible to make out a strong case in favour of the Amendment. But in such places as the Islands of Lewis and Skye there were very inefficient services, and people were as far from the mainland as if they resided in Ireland. He therefore thought that he had made out a sufficient case for the Amendment.

Amendment proposed to the proposed Clause, In line 106, after the word "clerk," to insert the words "and of the personal and travelling expenses of the members of the committee."— (Mr. Cochrane.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."

DR. MACGREGOR (Inverness-shire)

said, that as he had a similar Amendment on the Paper, he desired to support the proposal before the House. A large number of his constituents were deeply interested in this Bill as a whole, and especially in this Amendment, for, while the Amendment was applicable to all districts included in the Bill, it applied with double force to the Highland Counties. There the distances were very great as compared with the Lowland Counties, and there also the communication was less. In many parts of the Highlands there were no railways at all. He could name districts in which it would take two days to reach the place of meeting in the best of weather, and in winter or stormy weather probably three or four days, on each journey, which, with a day for the meeting, would mean a loss of five days to members of the committees. He held that it would be unfair and unreasonable to expect poor working men to sacrifice not only their time, but the expenditure necessary to travel to attend the meetings of the committee. He had ascertained as a matter of fact that it was impossible to do it under about a guinea a day. Assuming there were only four meetings a year it meant 20 guineas a year to a poor fisherman or his representative; therefore, it was out of the question that they could possibly attend to this matter. Accordingly, it meant the disfranchisement of these districts, and surely a Liberal Government did not propose a Bill which in any shape or form would disfranchise a large portion of the community. That, however, would really be the effect if this Amendment wore not accepted. He would illustrate his point by reference to the County Council of Inverness. The first Council that was returned was largely composed of Liberals. At the last election men refused to stand because they could not afford the time or the means to attend the County Council, and the result was the County Council now consisted largely of landlords and factors. That meant that a Conservative County Council represented a democratic community, and a community which returned a democrat to this House. The anomaly was at once apparent, and the same remark would apply to the Fishery Bill if the payment of travelling expenses was not allowed. He appealed to the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill if he could not apply the Amendment to all districts that a special exception should be made in favour of the Highland Counties. Special legislation had already been applied there on the land, and why should it not also be applied on the fishery question?


supported the Amendment. After showing the expenses that would have to be borne by the representatives of the fishery district committees in attending the meetings in the Highland districts, he said that the Liberal Party at the General Election evinced a great regard for the working classes. Here was an opportunity for them to show their regard for the working men; and as many fishermen might be appointed who could not possibly bear the cost that such appointments would entail he hoped the Government would accept the Amendment.


said, they were naturally anxious and curious to know what attitude the Government were determined to adopt towards the Amendment. This demand now made on behalf of the fishermen was certainly a somewhat singular commentary on the indignation expressed by the hon. Baronet the Member for Banffshire earlier in the evening, who said that give the fishermen the provision out of the rates provided for under this Bill and they would ask for nothing more, whilst people who said they would were maligning them. Yet here, within the space of two hours, a demand was put forward on their behalf for a further subsidy under this Bill—["No !"] Had not the demand been made? [Dr. MACGREGOR: Not for a subsidy.] He thought it had been made in a remarkably articulate manner. If it was not a subsidy, what was it? A subvention or an assistance? This Bill imposed certain voluntary duties upon the representatives of the fishermen. If this demand that in the discharge of a voluntary duty in the public interest they were to be remunerated for expenses out of pocket were granted, how could they prevent the same demands being made on behalf of other persons discharging any public duty, from Members of Parliament down to Parish Councillors? He knew there were many hon. Members in favour of a subvention to all persons taking part in public duties, but he never thought when this Bill was first brought forward and claimed by the light hon. Gentleman in charge of it to be a non-contentious measure that any such far-reaching principle as this was contemplated. They had had this demand made on behalf of the fishermen because they were a poor class, but he was sufficiently acquainted with the fishermen to know they were a public-spirited class, and many of them were willing to undertake this burden on behalf of the industry they followed. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Berwickshire had reminded them that these representative members were not only to be fishermen. They were to be fish-curers, fish salesmen, boat builders, or anybody connected, in whatever manner, with the fishing industry. Surely, therefore, to offer persons in such positions as some of these people occupied their travelling expenses to and from the district meetings would be really somewhat unworthy of the dignity of the duties to which they were calling them. He trusted they should hear from the Government a clear declaration of their policy in this matter.


I have ascertained as far as I can what is the practice at present in England. In England I believe the boroughs may pay and do pay the travelling expenses, at any rate, of such of their members of the committee who cannot be expected to leave their avocations and support themselves without such payment. In the counties they have not got power to do so; they cannot find money for that purpose. Of course, there comes in the question of subsistence allowance and of travelling expenses, which I take to mean the actual expenses of travelling—that is, the faros. The other cases will come under the third rule, and the Secretary for Scotland under such rule will inquire whether this power has been abused. The Government are prepared to accept the Amendment of the hon. Member for Ayrshire with certain alterations. I should propose after the word "payment" to insert the words— And in case the committee approve, if may be applied to the reasonable travelling expenses of members of the committee."' I suppose, and I hope, the committee will only make use of this provision in the case of men to whom it is a very real object to get their fare. In the shape I have stated to the House we shall be prepared to accept the Amendment.


intimated that he would withdraw his Amendment in favour of that of the right hon. Gentleman.

Amendment to the proposed Clause, by leave, withdrawn.

SIR G. TREVELYAN then moved— To insert, after the wont "clerk," the words "and, in case the committee approve, it may be applied to the reasonable travelling expenses of members of the committee.

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."


Does that mean the keep as well as the travelling expenses?



SIR J. FERGUSSON (Manchester, N.E.)

said, they had heard of a good many duties which were to he imposed upon the Secretary for Scotland in carrying out this measure. He was to divide counties, to settle differential rating, and so forth. In the presence of the infinity of difficulties presented by the varying and now strange resolve at which they had arrived perhaps that was the only way out of the difficulty. But in addition to that the right hon. Gentleman had now said that the Secretary for Scotland would exercise a control over the discretion of the district committee in this matter. That was to say, the Secretary for Scotland was to examine and find out whether the members of these committees who could not afford their travelling expenses had alone received them. He thought that was the necessary inference from what the right hon. Gentlemen had said, if, indeed, it had any meaning at all. The right hon. Gentleman surrendered this very important and novel provision, that the committee might grant travelling expenses to their members, and it would necessarily result in their all getting them. He had no doubt some of them would be very much obliged for it. At any rate, it was certain they could not place very much reliance upon the supervision of the right hon. Gentleman who was to say whether only the members of the committee who were necessitous were to receive their expenses.


felt bound to say that in future he should know what interpretation to put upon the word "non-contentious" coming from the lips of the right hon. Gentleman.

Question put, and agreed to.

*SIR H. MAXWELL rose to move— In line 111, after the word "and," to insert the word "may. He explained that the object of the Amendment was to provide that when any county or portion of a county or a burgh had had an assessment fixed by the Secretary for Scotland, and felt that it had been credited with a closer interest with the fishing industry than it really possessed or had come to possess owing to a possible change in circumstances, that then an appeal might be had in the manner prescribed. He begged to move the Amendment.

Amendment proposed to the proposed Clause, In line 111, after the word "and." to insert the word "may."—(Sir H. Maxwell.)

Question proposed, "That the word 'may' be there inserted."


said, the hon. Baronet proposed to bring this appeal from a burgh or county which felt itself aggrieved at the wrong time and to the wrong person. Under the Bill a very much more powerful appeal to a very much more powerful and probably friendly body even than the Secretary for Scotland was given at an earlier period, for when the Order of the Secretary was made including a particular county or part of a county or burgh in the area of taxation and apportioning the rate, if that county or burgh was in any way wronged by that Order the representatives of it and the inhabitants of it would be able to go to the House of Commons and to the House of Lords, and he was very sure from the proceedings in connection with this Bill hon. Members must have seen that a more powerful and attentive court of appeal could not possibly be obtained. It was to the House of Commons and the House of Lords they must make appeal against any injustice which the Secretary for Scotland might admit into the Order. It was not to himself that the appeal should be made nor at this time. Long before the assessment was struck by the committee the whole question of whether a particular district ought or ought not to be included in the rateable area and rated according to certain proportions would have been settled by the Secretary for Scotland in the Order; that would have been submitted to both Houses of Parliament, both Houses of Parliament would have passed it, and the question could not be again raised. This was a question of, when the rate was struck, whether it had been struck for a legitimate purpose, and into that the Secretary for Scotland would inquire when he had been invited to do so by any body affected by that rate.

Question put, and negatived.

CAPTAIN SINCLAIR moved, in line 11(3, to leave out "may" and insert "shall." He explained that the object of the Amendment was to protect the interest of the counties or burghs which might object to the assessment as fixed by the Secretary for Scotland. In the clause as drawn, the inquiry for which these bodies might ask might be ranted by the Secretary for Scotland. A provision in the Local Government (Scotland) Act provided that the expenses of such inquiry must be borne by the Local Bodies, and he thought this would be a salutary provision to apply in the case of these committees. He therefore begged to move the Amendment.

Amendment proposed to the proposed Clause, In line 116, to leave out the word 'may, "and insert the word' shall."—(Captain Sinclair.)

Question proposed, "That the word 'may' stand part of the proposed Clause."


said, that in the interests of all concerned it would be better to leave the clause as it stood at present. It was quite possible that some small Local Body might raise a question which, on the face of it, was trivial, or a question the whole of the circumstances of which were thoroughly well-known to the Secretary for Scotland, or a question the principle as to which no inquiry was at all necessary and might be cleared up by a simple interchange of correspondence. The hon. and gallant Member proposed that the expenses should fall upon the Local Body, but the proposal might have an operation the hon. Member was not quite prepared for; for if the Secretary for Scotland were obliged in all cases to order an inquiry it might deter these Local Bodies from making an appeal which he hoped they would always make where they had reason to consider themselves aggrieved. He trusted the hon. and gallant Gentleman would not press the Amendment.


asked leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Proposed Clause (C), as amended, inserted in the Bill.

The following Amendments of the Lords were agreed to:— line 8, leave out "and requirements. Line 9, leave out from "district" to the first "and" in line 10. Line 10, leave out from "Board" to the end of the Clause. Line 23, leave out "appointed" and insert "nominated. Leave out Clause 10.

*MR. J. B. BALFOUR moved, in lieu of Clause 10, to insert the following Clause:—

(Title to mussel or clam beds to be intimated to the Board of Trade.)

Any person having or claiming to have a right or title to mussel or clam fisheries, or mussel or clam beds or scalps in the sea adjoining Scotland, and within the exclusive fishery limits of the British Islands, shall, within a period of two years from the passing of this Act, lodge with the Board of Trade a copy of or an extract from any charter, conveyance, lease, deed, or other document which instructs or is founded upon as instructing his right or title to the same, along with a chart or charts of the mussel or clam fisheries or beds or scalps so claimed, and shall at the same time notify in writing to the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Woods, Forests, and Land Revenues, that such copy or extract has been lodged, and all mussel or clam fisheries or beds or scalps which at the expiry of a period of two years shall not. be so claimed, shall be held to vest in and belong to the Crown, and shall be treated accordingly. In case the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Woods. Forests, and Land Revenues shall intimate in writing to a claimant that they are neutral in respect to the claim made by him the said Commissioners need not be called as defenders in any action, nor need notice of any subsequent proceedings relating solely to such claim be served on the said Commissioners. In the event of the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Woods. Forests, and Land Revenues intimating to a claimant that the same mussel or calm fisheries, or mussel or clam beds or scalps, or any part thereof comprised in his claim are claimed as the property of Her Majesty, or in the event of the right or title of any person to such mussel or clam fisheries or beds or scalps not being instructed to the satisfaction of the Board of Trade, the person making such claim shall, in the event of his insisting in it, bring an action of declarator of his right in the Court of Session, in which in the event first mentioned the Commssioners of Her Majesty's Woods, Forests, and Land Revenues shall be called as defenders, and in the event second mentioned the Board of Trade shall be called as defenders, and if the claimant shall fail to bring such action within a period of 12 months from the date of the intimation of the claim by the Commissioners on behalf of Her Majesty or from the date of the intimation by the Board of Trade declining to admit the claim the mussel or clam fisheries or beds or scalps in question shall be held to vest in and belong to the Crown, and shall be held to be within the management of the Commissioners of Woods or the Board of Trade, as the case may be. He said, that a Committee which sat some few years ago had unanimously recommended that a statutory obligation should be laid on all corporations and individuals claiming rights in these beds to show their title to them, and in March, 1892, the House passed a unanimous Resolution in the same sense. The Government had adopted this view, believing; it would be the means of protecting and improving the property in mussel-beds. He begged to propose the new clause.

Question proposed, "That the Clause be inserted in the Bill."

*MR. RENSHAW moved to omit the proposed chaise, in order to call attention to what be thought would be a great hardship that might occur under it. Under the clause, it was proposed that any person having, or claiming to have, a right or title to mussel or clam fisheries, or mussel or clam beds or scalps should, within a period of two years from the passing of this Act, lodge with the Hoard of Trade a copy of or an extract from any charter under which he held possession. He was perfectly well aware that in some parts of Scotland the proposal to strike Clause 10 out of the Bill had been made the subject of objection. He should like to direct the attention of the Secretary for Scotland to the words of one of his supporters in regard to this matter. Speaking at war on the 6th of February, the hon. Member for the war Burghs made use of this language—very different indeed from the language of the hon. Member for the Inverness Burghs, who spoke with very great respect of the other House and the protection it afforded to his constituents against any unfortunate legislative errors which might be committed by the House of Commons. The hon. Member for the Burghs said— The House of Commons passed the Bill (the Sea Fisheries Bill) without a Division; it passed the House of Lords upon the Second Reading; yet in Committee this Bill was mutilated by the House of Lords beyond all recognition. Such political rascality was without parallel in political history, ancient or modern. That was strong language.

*MR. SPEAKER (interposing)

observed that these matters wore scarcely relevant to the clause.


said, ho was only leading up to the point at which the hon. Member for the war Burghs did deal with this question of title to mussel-beds. The hon. Member said— The main purpose of the Bill was to provide protection for the mussel-beds. The Lords had vested claims in these beds; while, by this Bill it was enacted that whenever anybody claimed the mussel-beds, they were bound to show their title deeds. The Lords agreed to that on the Second Reading; but when it came to discussion in Committee, they obliterated all necessity of showing title deeds. He insisted that not only should they show their title deeds for the mussel-beds, but: that they should show the title deeds for the land they hold also. The point he wished to raise was that, however difficult it might be to a few individuals to show their titles, and satisfy a Court as to their titles, it was also a difficulty, which would be equally felt by the Representatives of the people where burghs of old standing owned the mussel-beds, as they did in some cases. The real hardship under this Clause 10 as it was proposed now, and as it was originally proposed, applied not to the rich territorial magnates, but to the poor fishermen along the coast, and those humble classes of the community fishing with boats.


Have they titles?


said, they had not; but under the Bill they would be absolutely precluded from following the trade and occupation they had hitherto pursued, and which had been an honourable occupation. Upon this point he should like to refer again to the letter written to the hon. Member for the Kilmarnock Burghs by the Provost of Port Glasgow. The Provost said— These mussel-beds have been used by the public from time immemorial, and if Clauses 9, 10, and 11 of the Bill be passed as they are, it will be in the power of the Fishery Board to take possession of the beds, and let them to outsiders, thus depriving the people of the right they had so long enjoyed and exercised. These mussel-beds would pass out of the hands of the people who had had possession of them from time immemorial into those of the Fishery Board and the district fishery committee. That was not only so, but whilst people had been getting their livelihood from these beds hitherto, without difficulty, although they had no especial title, by Clause 15 these beds were to be held subject to the rights of the Crown—that was to say, they were to be subject to special regulations laid down by the district fishery committees. The obligation to show a title raised a serious difficulty to the humble members of the community whose privileges he had endeavoured to bring forward, and he therefore begged to move the omission of the clause.

Moved, to leave out the proposed Clause.—(Mr. Renshaw.)


thought be might be allowed to say a won't or two on the subject of this clause, because when the late Government was in Office and Lord Lothian was Secretary for Scotland a Departmental Committee was appointed to inquire into this question of mussel-beds in Scotland of which he (Mr. Marjoribanks) was Chairman. The members of the Committee travelled round the whole coast of Scotland. He was some what surprised to hear the hon. Gentleman speak in the way he had done with regard to the right of these fishermen to poach on the mussel-beds, because these men of whom the hon. Member was making' himself the champion were simply trespassers, and nothing more.


pointed out that in the case of Port Glasgow the fishermen had been in possession of these mussel-beds from time immemorial, and they were now going to be deprived of a very valuable possession they had hitherto enjoyed.


said, that was not so. These mussel-beds were patrimonium principis, and no right could hold good against the right of the Crown. When the members of the Committee of which he had spoken travelled round the coast of Scotland in pursuance of the investigation they had undertaken they found that the mussel-beds of Scotland were being very much injured through want of care. They also found that the right to these beds, except where it had been granted to individuals, was in the Crown, and could not be destroyed by any length of user. They therefore thought, in framing their Report, that it was advisable to take advantage of that right of the Crown, and to make the property in the beds as clear as possible, in order that where they had been granted to individuals those individuals might be made responsible for their protection, and where the property was in the Crown the duty of protecting them might be thrown on the Local Authority. If the House did not insert this clause they would lose one of the greatest advantages to the whole of the fishermen of Scotland. To set up a right on behalf of individual fishermen who had taken mussels from places where they had no right to fish for them, against the interests of the whole fishing trade of Scotland, seemed to him a very strong matter, and an extraordinary pro- position to come from the hon. Gentle-man opposite.

*SIR MARK J. STEWART (Kirkcudbright)

said, he would like to ask the Lord Advocate whether the same right attached to mussel-beds as attached to salmon fisheries—that was to say, whether a person having a right or charter from the Crown acquired a right of immemorial usage on a user of 40 years? He asked this, as there were a number of poor and industrious fishermen who would be deprived of this right of fishing mussels if they had to prove a charter, but who had a user of 40 years of this fishing.


said, the mere fact of a person fishing for salmon more than 40 years (the prescriptive period was now shortened to 20 years) would not confer upon him a right to do so, unless his possession was had upon a sufficient title— for example, a title containing a general grant of fishings, or a barony title. Twenty-five years ago the question was raised whether a right to a mussel scalp could be acquired in a similar way, it being doubtful at the time, and it was then decided that such a right could be established by prescriptive upon a habile title. The hon. Baronet was probably aware that by the law of Scotland a right could not be set up by the mere fact that a person had been taking mussels for a length of time from particular places.


said, he thought there would be a, great hardship under this clause as regarded the smaller places where fishermen had been accustomed to go and help themselves. He really felt that in this respect the clause was too wide. He would suggest that the clause be limited to the case of the larger beds dealt with in Clause 9. By that clause it was the duty of the Fishery Board, within a period of six months, to draw up a list of the beds at present existing around the coast of Scotland. It would be reasonable enough to call upon men who were challenged by this list— which would be published — to show their title and establish their claim, but it would be unreasonable to call upon everyone who had a foreshore or had been accustomed to gather mussels for private use to put in a statement of claim. This would entail an enormous amount of trouble in regard to very small cases, which no doubt it was not: intended to cover at all. If they were going to call upon every person who had a foreshore or took mussels, as he had described, then they were creating a burden of lawsuits. He would again urge the limitation of the scope of the clause.


said, he would point out to the hon. Member that the clause only aimed at the man who set up a title adverse to the Crown and to the public, and in such a case it did not seem unreasonable to insist on his showing his title. The fishermen's rights were not interfered with. There were cases, no doubt, within the hon. Gentleman's own knowledge, of rights being claimed— when the beds were not used by the person claiming the right and when no one else was allowed to use them. It was to settle questions of that kind that they brought forward this clause. They wished that persons who made such claims should not do so without some title, which they ought to show and establish.

MR. HALDANE (Haddington)

said, as one whose constituents were interested in this matter, he wished to point out that the object of the clause was to set up the title of the Crown to mussel and clam beds, not in a private capacity, but as trustee for the public. If the title of the Crown could be once established, then the, fishing population would not, indeed, get any new user of the beds, but would get restored the old user which they used to enjoy without interference. The object of the clause was not to take from anybody what was legally theirs, but to define legal rights in those matters. If the title of the Crown were established it would be all the bettor for the public and for the fisheries. But the Crown did not seek to set up any new right. Its purpose was to put an end to a state of things which was becoming intolerable; and his ease as representing a large number of fishermen was that of many other Members. It was necessary to know who were the owners of these beds to be preserved if the fishing industry was to continue. It was vital to get rid of those shadowy claims which had the effect of paralysing the fishing industry, and it was because this clause appeared to do it without injustice to any one that he held the view he had expressed.


said, he shared the view of the hon. and learned Member in this matter. He would not oppose the clause being added to the Bill, but, at the same time, there was a great deal to be said for the view of the hon. Member for Renfrewshire. The Lord Advocate had made a gesture of disdain or distrust. [The LOUD ADVOCATE dissented.] Yes, the right hon. and learned Gentleman had made an unmistakeable gesture when the hon. Member had said that there were certain poor men who would be deprived of their rights by the acceptance of this clause. The word "right" was hardly the proper one to use. All round the coast and at various parts there were instances of tacit privilege of fishing for mussels enjoyed by the community. What would be the result of this clause? Why, exactly the same, or exactly parallel, to what happened through the establishment of Crown rights in Scottish salmon fisheries. Up to 1858, there was no such right—at least its exercise was measured by a Crown rental to the extent of £5 a year. A decision in the Court of Session of that year established the right of patrimonium principis—the right of the Crown in salmon fishing, and thereafter ensued an inquisitorial proceeding—an inquisition into the chartered titles of persons exercising the right of salmon fishing round the coasts. The result was, that many landowners, ex officio proprietors, as they were called, were deprived of supposed rights, which they had exercised for many years. No general objection could be taken on that score; but along with these ex officio proprietors there were a number of men in a humble position in life, fishermen on the coast of Berwickshire, for example, who had from time immemorial exercised, if not the right, at any rate, the privilege of net fishing for salmon on a very small, but still on a remunerative scale, and this was completely put an end to by the establishment of the Crown right. The same thing would take place with regard to these bait beds in places where there was no restriction on the fishing. If those mussel-beds were a part of the patrimonium principis these persons would be interfered with in the exercise of this privilege, and so far it would be a hardship on members of that class, which it was the object of the Bill to benefit. But he took a wider view of the matter. He took it that there could be no doubt that a case had been made out for the protection of these mussel and clam fisheries in the public interest, and, accordingly, if his hon. Friend went to a Division he was afraid he could not support him.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 109; Noes 32.—(Division List, No. 432.)

Lords Amendment disagreed with— Page 5, to leave out Clause 12.

Lords Amendments agreed with— Page 6, line 11. to leave out "covered by this Act," and insert "to which this Act applies. Page 6, line 33, to leave out "Act," and insert "section. Page 6, line 30, to leave out "the district for which it is made," and insert a fishery district. Page 7, line 2, after "byelaw," to insert "all byelaws made in pursuance of the provisions of this section shall before coming into operation be confirmed by the Secretary for Scotland. Page 7, lines 3 and 4, to leave out "provided for in the preceding part of this section. Page 7, line 5, after the first "and," to insert "with the consent of the Secretary for Scotland, "and after the second" and, "to insert" after due publication. Page 7, line 20, to leave out the second "the," and insert "a fishery. Page 7, line 21, to leave out "scalp," and insert "fishery," and after "bed," insert "or scalp. Page 7, line 39, to leave out "forfeiture to be delivered or paid," and insert "penalty to be paid or forfeiture to be made. Page 7, line 42, after "of," insert "mussel or clam fisheries within.

Lords Amendment disagreed with— Page 8, line 1, to leave out from "applied," to the first "and," in line 4, and insert" in defraying the costs of the fishery district committee under this Act.

Lords Amendments agreed with— Page 8, line 11, to leave out "the district constituted by the order," and insert "a fishery district. Page 8, line 17, after "clam," insert "fishery or. Page 8, line 20, after "clam," insert "fishery or. Page 8, line 25, after "mussel," to insert "or clam fishery or. Page 8. line 35, after the first "the," to insert "sea. Page 8, line 38, to leave out from "if," to the end of the Clause, and insert "this Act had not passed. Page 9, line 12, to leave out from the first "of," to the end of the Clause, and insert "by any superintendent of the herring fishery or the officers employed in the execution of the Herring Fishery (Scotland) Acts. Page 9, line 16, to leave out "if;" and to leave out "feels. Page 9, line 19, to leave at "he.

After Clause 20, to insert Clause B:— B. Nothing in or done under this Act shall—

  1. (a) Where the soil under any mussel or clam fisheries, or beds or scalps, is vested in the Crown, and is under the management of the Commissioners of Woods or the Board of Trade, entitle any person to acquire that soil without the consent of the Commissioners of Woods or the Board of Trade, as the case may require; or
  2. (b) Affect any powers, authorities, rights, or privileges exerciseable by the Board of Trade in the public interest.
Except in so far as powers are expressly given under this Act nothing in this Act contained shall affect or alter the rights of any person having or claiming to have a right or title to mussel or clam fisheries, or mussel or clam beds or scalps, in the sea adjoining Scot land, and within the exclusively fishery limits of the British Islands. To agree to Amendment in lines 38 and 39, to leave out "includes all persons interested in fisheries," and insert "shall include all persons engaged or employed in the industry or business of sea fishing, excepting fisheries for salmon and fish of the salmon kind as defined by any Act relating to salmon.


Does this include the fishmonger?


I do not think it does.

Consequential Amendment proposed to the Bill,

To insert the following Schedule:—


Seaboard Counties of Scotland.
Berwick. Orkney.
Haddington. Shetland.
Midlothian. Inverness.
Fife. Ross and Cromarty.
Forfar. Argyll.
Kincardine. Bute.
Aberdeen. Dumbarton.
Banff. Renfrew.
Elgin. Ayr.
Nairn. Wigtown.
Sutherland. Kirkcudbright.
Caithness. Dumfries.—(Sir G. Trevelyan).

Question proposed, "That the Schedule be added to the Bill."

Amendment proposed to the proposed Schedule, after the word "Midlothian," to insert the words "including the county of the city of Edinburgh."—(Sir G. Trevelyan.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."


said, the Secretary for Scotland had promised the Member for South Edinburgh that he would not insert the City of Edinburgh in the form put down in the Amendment —that was to say, as part of the County of Midlothian.


said, he did not see why the word "including" should be used.


The County of the City of Edinburgh can hardly be included separately amongst "seaboard counties of Scotland."


said, the Secretary for Scotland had very nearly exhausted the patience of Scotch Members. They could not help it if the right hon. Gentleman had given an erroneous and absurd title to the Schedule. It would not be the only feature in the Bill that would come under that description. The County of the City of Edinburgh was not included in Midlothian in the municipal sense, and his proposed Amendment would involve the right hon. Gentleman in new and fresh contradictions in the Bill, which was already enough of a Chinese puzzle. There was in a certain sense a derogation implied in endeavouring to make this declaration in the Schedule, and as a Representative of the County of the City of Edinburgh he insisted upon this confusion being shut out from the Bill.


moved to amend the proposed Amendment by omitting the word "including," in order that the County of the City of Edinburgh might he inserted as a separate county. The City of Edinburgh was a totally different conception in a political and municipal sense to the County of Midlothian. It was bad enough that it should be included in the Schedule at all whilst Glasgow was excluded. There was no reason why the Secretary for Scotland in this matter should act in defiance of the opinion of the people and the Town Council of Edinburgh.

Amendment proposed to the Amendment proposed to the proposed Schedule, to leave out the word"including."— (Viscount Wolmer.)

Question proposed, "That the word 'including' stand part of the Amendment proposed to the proposed Schedule."


wished to point out to the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill that it was only at the present stage that the House had had anything to do with this Schedule. It was on the Motion of the right hon. Gentleman himself on a Wednesday in January that the words were inserted in page 2— As specified in the Schedule appended to this Act. If the right hon. Gentleman's difficulty was that if he accepted the Amendment the title of the Schedule would not be borne out by its contents, he would ask the right hon. Gentleman if there was not some stage, either there or in "another place," at which he could amend the Amendment he himself inserted in January, so as to exclude the anomaly which had been mentioned.


I think the substantial Debate on the question whether Edinburgh should ho included or excluded took place at an earlier period this evening, and I then laid the arguments before the House which convinced me and I hope convinced some hon. Members. I am very sorry if the word "including" should offend anybody's susceptibilities, but I am bound to say that the mere word "including" ought to be no more a reflection on Edinburgh than it is a reflection on Manchester to include that City in the County of Lancashire.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 106; Noes 46.—(Division List, No. 433.)

Words inserted in the proposed Schedule.


said, he had an Amendment to propose which was not on the Paper — namely, after the word "Edinburgh," to insert the words "County of the City of Glasgow." He thought that if the former Amendment was suitable to the title of "seaboard county" the Amendment he proposed was even more conformable to that title. Very strange things had been said about Glasgow in the course of the evening— things which appeared to have struck the Members for Glasgow dumb with amazement, for not one of them had spoken, as far as he knew, except the right hon. Gentleman (Sir G. Trevelyan), who was almost officially bound to speak, although he united his responsibility as Member for Glasgow very closely with that which belonged to him as Secretary for Scotland. It was a very remarkable tiling that not a single Member for Glasgow had opened his mouth upon Glasgow or upon fish in this connection. He thought they must have been conscious that the assertions made with regard to the non-piscine characteristics of Glasgow did not square with their experience nor with the facts of the case. If it was right that Edinburgh, which on the right hon. Gentleman's definition ought never to have been inserted, as it was not a seaboard county, should be in the Schedule, Glasgow should be in it two or three times over. The man who said that Glasgow had no connection with fish would say anything. No less an authority than Bailie Nichol Jarvie demonstrated the connection of Glasgow with fish when he quoted its own coat-of-arms, which consisted of a tree, a bell, a book, and a fish. How could it be said that Glasgow had nothing to do with fish when a fish was pushed before the eyes—he did not say the nose— that might be reflecting upon the coat-of-arms and upon the fish—of any one who studied the question in even a superficial way. He did not believe that any of the Members for Glasgow knew why a fish was in their own coat-of-arms, and he was not going to toll them; but he put it before the House in the light of a fact which it was not open to them to refute, that the affirmation of the non-connection of Glasgow with fish was contrary to the most elementary circumstances in the history of Glasgow. Fish stared out of Glasgow with its own coat-of-arms, and they could not deny it, and yet they came to Westminster and said that Glasgow had not a fishy connection. It was well known in Scotland that there was a herring which derived its name from Glasgow, and which was called a "Glasgow Magistrate," whether out of compliment to the Magistrate or as a sarcasm upon the herring he should not attempt to say. The facts about the relations between Glasgow and fish had been so largely dwelt upon by previous speakers in the Debate that it would be tedious repetition in him to traverse the field again, and therefore he did not, to use a law term, "condescend" upon the fleets of herring boats, whose capital, if not their crews, came from Glasgow, which spread themselves all over the Western main in pursuit of fish. Glasgow, as our emporium for fish, had the largest fish interest in Scotland, and he supposed the second fish interest in the United Kingdom. When the utmost expense was incurred in continually dredging the Clyde to bring the sea up to Glasgow, or practically to take Glasgow down to the sea, to contend that it was not a sea-hoard county was to attempt to raise an insurrection against the most elementary facts of geography. To say, again, that Glasgow had no fishing interest was, he thought, a contradiction of the facts of commerce which no man with any knowledge of business, and especially of Scotch business, who had not an ulterior motive to serve, would take it upon him to affirm.

Amendment proposed to the proposed Schedule, At the end of the foregoing Amendment to insert the words "The County of the City of Glasgow."—(Mr. R. Wallace.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted in the proposed Schedule."


said, that as a Member for the City of Glasgow, or for a district partly within and partly without the city, he desired to say a word. He could not, for his own part, sec why Glasgow was not considered on the seaboard. It was their boast in Glasgow how, during the last 50 years, they had made themselves one of the best and most accessible harbours in the country. Far be it from him to investigate the reason which had led to the exclusion of Glasgow from the Schedule —far be it from him to object. But if he were asked to find a reason why Edinburgh should be included and why Glasgow should not he confessed he found it extremely difficult. They knew what had been the feeling between Edinburgh and Glasgow in the past, the desire being that in matters of this kind they should be treated with perfect symmetry. Glasgow, however, was now on the right side of the hedge, and though he was not able to say how it had come about, being on the right side of the hedge he was content to continue there.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 54; Noes 103.—(Division List, No. 434.)

MR. RENSHAW moved to leave out "Renfrew." The county, he said, had a large industrial population, which had no interest in fishing, and he thought it would be a great hardship to inflict upon the inhabitants a burden of that kind. When the point was raised in the House of Lords, Baron Play fair promised to explain on the Schedule why it was proposed to include Renfrew in it, and he hoped the Secretary for Scotland would now vouchsafe them that explanation.

Amendment proposed to the proposed Schedule, to leave out the word"Renfrew."—(Mr. Renshaw.)

Question proposed, "That the word 'Renfrew' stand part of the Schedule."


It is impossible to accept this Amendment. Renfrew is a sea-board county, and not only that, but anyone who glances at the map will see that upon its coasts is to be found one of the most important mussel-beds in Scotland. As to Renfrew having but a small fishing interest, that point will be fully considered in the Order. While Renfrew must bear her share, small as it may be, of the burden she will also have her share in the privilege and responsibility of managing the fishery interests.


said, that as a member of the County Council for Renfrew, a county the upper part of which had as little to do with the fishing interest as inland counties, he felt bound to support the Amendment.

Question put, and agreed to.

Schedule, as amended, added to the Bill.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a Committee be appointed, to draw up Reasons to be assigned to the Lords for disagreeing to certain of the Amendments."

SIR J. FERGUSSON (Manchester, N.E.)

said, he wished to draw attention to the fact that whilst that House had disagreed with six of the Lords' Amendments they had agreed to 40 of them. In his opinion, the Government ought to be very much obliged to the House of Lords for so amending the Bill as to have prevented it from being passed in hot haste, and to have afforded the Government an opportunity of reconsidering the measure in a way that almost amounted to re-writing many of its most important provisions.

Motion agreed to.

Committee appointed as follows:—Sir G. Trevelyan, The Lord Advocate, The Solicitor General for Scotland, Mr. Bryce, Mr. Marjori-banks, Mr. Causton, Mr. McArthur. Sir C. Pearson, Sir W. Wedderburn, Sir H. Maxwell, and Mr. Renshaw.

To withdraw immediately.

Ordered, That Three be the quorum.

Reasons for disagreeing to Lords' Amendments, reported and agreed to.

To be communicated to the Lords.— (Sir G. Trevelyan.)

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