§ MR. T. H. COCHRANE (Ayrshire, N.)
I beg to ask the Secretary for Scotland, with reference to the statement in his decision refusing the application of Skelmorlie to have a separate Parish Council, that it would be in direct opposition to recent legislative precedents; would he state to what recent legislative precedents he referred; whether, seeing that under the Local Government Act of 1894 he has recently obtained power to give Parish Councils to parishes situated similarly to Skelmorlie, he will reconsider his decision; and, whether, as he had been informed that Skelmorlie was a parish situated partly in one county and partly in another before he directed an inquiry to be held, what steps he proposes to take to relieve the inhabitants of the unnecessary expense thus incurred.
§ SIR G. O. TREVELYAN
Section 49 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1889, is the precedent which I had more particularly in view. The Boundary Commissioners who were constituted by that Act were enjoined to frame orders dealing with parishes so that each parish—''If the Commissioners shall in the whole circumstances of the case deem it necessary or expedient, may be within a single county.I am informed that whereas there were 64 civil parishes in two or more counties in 1888, there are now only seven. I think the decision in the case of Skelmorlie, on the evidence produced at the inquiry, was a right decision. The order has been gazetted, and any representation made in the course of the statutory 40 days will be carefully considered 744 before it is confirmed. I have no power to relieve authorities appearing at an inquiry of any expenses which they may incur.