§ MR. J. H. C. HOZIER (Lanarkshire, S.)
I beg to ask the Secretary for Scotland, whether he is aware that Thursday the 9th instant is the date fixed for the statutory meetings of the county councils of, at any rate, two important counties of Lanark and Renfrew; and whether, inasmuch as these and other county meetings will necessitate the absence from London of a good many Scottish Members, the Government can fix a more suitable date than Thursday the 9th for the Debates on the proposed appointment of a Scottish Standing Committee and other Scottish questions?
§ THE SECRETARY FOR SCOTLAND (Sir GEORGE TREVELYAN,) Glasgow, Bridgeton
The arrangements made respecting this Parliamentary business cannot, I fear, be altered now.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR (Manchester, E.)
I would ask the right hon. Gentleman 632 whether he could not give more favourable consideration to my hon. Friend's appeal. Then, with regard to the Crofters' Bill, I would ask him whether the announcement that this measure would be brought on in the middle of other business has not taken many persons in the Highlands completely by surprise, and whether, if the Government adhere to their intention, some injustice may not be done to persons not very fully represented in this House?
§ SIR GEORGE TREVELYAN
All that the statute requires is that the meetings of the county councils shall take place in May. It would be impossible to regulate our business according to the dates fixed for county council meetings. As to the Crofters' Bill, that is a measure which has been long expected and the questions put in the House of Commons with respect to it have contained expressions of complaint and surprise that it has not been brought on before this. I do not think that the Bill has been hurried forward, and I am satisfied that the right hon. Gentleman and Scotch Members on both sides of the House have a complete mastery of the subject.