HC Deb 10 April 1905 vol 144 cc1038-9

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether, in view of notices to give up possession of their manses on May 28th being served on ministers of the United Free Church of Scotland, the Government will take immediate action on the Elgin Report, and, if necessary, will introduce, a suspensory Bill.

MR. BUCHANAN (Perthshire, E.)

Before the right hon. Gentleman answers, may I inquire whether the Government has recently received the Elgin Report and whether, if it is not so, the House may take it that, at the earliest moment after it has been received, the Government will legislate on the subject.


We have not received the Elgin Report. I should like to ask the hon. Gentleman what he means by "the earliest possible moment." I presume the Elgin Report will not only deserve, but require, consideration, and until we have given it that consideration legislation would be premature.


May I ask whether, if there is to be a delay in carrying out the recommendations of the Elgin Commission, the right hon. Gentleman will consider the propriety of passing suspensory legislation, especially in view of the recent action taken in regard to the eviction from manses in Scotland.


The supplementary Question of the hon. Gentleman is of a hypothetical character, and the particular hypothesis on which he goes is that we shall not be able to introduce legislation based on the recommendations of the Elgin Commission. I should hope that that will not be the case; but if it is the case I shall be glad to consider any alternative course which may be open to us under those circumstances.