§ Order read for consideration of Bill under Section 9, Sub-section (4) of the Private Legislation Procedure (Scotland) Act, 1899.
§ MR. CALDWELL (Lanarkshire, Mid)
, in moving that this Bill be now considered, said: As this is the first batch of Confirmation Bills under Section 9 of the Private Legislation Procedure (Scotland) Act, 1899, I may explain that, no person having availed himself of the power given under Section 8 of presenting a petition against any order comprised in the Bill within seven days after the introduction of the Bill, and the Bill being thus unopposed, I will move that it be now read a third time. This batch of Bills is different from the Confirmation Bills which we had the other day under Sub-section 2 of Section 7 of the same Act, where, in the latter case, the orders being unopposed in Scotland, the Confirmation Bills are deemed after introduction to have passed through all their stages up to and including Committee, and where it is undoubtedly desirable that the Third Reading should be on a separate day from that of consideration.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY (Louth, N.)
said this raised a very important point in regard to these Scotch Bills. He asked whether any question as to the stages of private Bills would arise afterwards if similar proceedings were established in Ireland. It was very desirable that this matter should be considered fairly and in a manner which would relieve the people of Scotland from too many stages in this House. It was most desirable that those who had succeeded before the local tribunal should be spared, as far as possible, needless and harassing stages in this House.
§ THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. A. GRAHAM MURRAY,) Buteshire
I would remind the hon. Member that the Bills have been very carefully considered by the Scotch Office, and they have declared in favour of them. Of course, what we are doing is absolutely statutory. That was all settled by the House itself in the 171 Private Bill Procedure Act. I would also remind the hon. Member that these stages were arranged in deference to the wishes of the House at the time, in order that the House might still have command over a Bill. An interval of seven days has to elapse in these particular Bills, during which time an opponent at the local inquiry may have a motion brought forward in the House in order to get a remit to the Joint Committee of the two Houses. That has not been done, as a matter of fact, on this Bill, and therefore the Bill passes. I can assure the hon. Member that, if he is at all curious on the subject, I shall be happy to confer with him and let him understand exactly what is being done. What has been done now is in no sense outwith the power of the Scotch Office. We are simply and absolutely following the terms of the Act of Parliament.
§ Bill read the third time, and passed.