§ CAPTAIN SINCLAIR (Forfar)
had given notice of the following motion:—That it be an Instruction to the Committee to leave out clauses 15, 16, and 17He said that before the Order was taken he would like to ask a question on the subject. The county of Forfar and burgh of Broughty Ferry strongly objected to some clauses that were contained in this Measure. They 46 objected to the powers which it was proposed to confer by certain clauses of the Bill, especially clauses Hi, 16, and 17. He understood that the Scotch Office was prepared to undertake to oppose those clauses in Committee, and also to send a representative to the Committee for that purpose. If an assurance to that effect could be given now, he would not move the Motion that stood in his name.
§ MR. H. H. ASQUITH (Fife, E.)
said he might state on behalf of the county of Fife, which entertained an equally strong objection to the clauses to which his hon. Friend had referred, that they also should be very glad if the Lord Advocate could give them some assurance that would dispense with the necessity of moving tins Instruction, and would insure that, when the case came before the Committee, the Scotch Office would look after the various interests concerned.
§ THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. GRAHAM MURRAY, Buteshire)
said that the matter had been under the consideration of the Scotch Office, and they were aware that those clauses were objected to, not only by the counties represented by the hon. Members, but also by other counties, and the Scotch Office had determined to oppose the clauses in Committee because they went beyond the general law. Therefore he was quite willing to give the undertaking that they would oppose the clauses in Committee, and they would send a representative there.
§ MR. EDMUND ROBERTSON (Dundee)
said that, as representing the promoters of the Bill, perhaps he might be allowed to say that he hoped the Lord Advocate would give them an equal assurance that he would not only oppose the clauses in the interests of the counties, but that he would have a fair regard to the interests of the towns concerned as well, and also that the action that he proposed to take in Committee was distinctly connected with the proposals made by the Government themselves in the Public Health Bill. When those clauses came up for discussion in the House, he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would be open to the arguments that would be placed before him, and that he would grant a modification of 47 the clauses in the direction they proposed in the Bill under discussion.
§ MR. HENRY ANSTRUTHER (St. Andrews Burghs)
said, as there was no Motion before the House, it would be irregular to continue the discussion, but, with reference to what the hon. and learned Gentleman had just said, whatever might be the view of the Government on the matter, he apprehended it would be quite open to those who represented the County Council of Fife to take any steps they might think fit to oppose these clauses before the Committee.
§ THE LORD ADVOCATE
said certainly the chief reason why the Government objected to the clauses was that they seemed to go further than the clauses in the Public Health Bill of this year, which, as hon. Members would remember, really represented a well-considered clause, which was inserted in the House of Lords, when the two sides were represented and the matter fully argued.