HC Deb 28 July 1906 vol 162 cc222-57

Order for Second Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."

*MR. GULLAND (Dumfries Burghs)

expressed his pleasure at seeing so many English Members present, and his hope that they would remain to the end of the proceedings. He was particularly glad that this Bill had been produced, but he was sorry that the Secretary for Scotland had adopted verbatim the Bill of his predecessor; had he drafted a Bill of his own, he would have produced a more democratic measure, and one more in accord with Scottish sentiment as well as one more useful for the purposes of Art. The Bill was the outcome of the report of a Departmental Committee which sat in 1903, a Committee which reported very strongly on the inefficiency of the present Board of Manufactures. This Board consisted of twenty-eight trustees nominated by the Secretary for Scotland for life. They were no doubt most excellent gentlemen: they formed a kind of local House of Lords in Edinburgh. Their average attendance at meetings of the last six years had been seven and a half out of a possible twenty-eight, and there were very few of them who attended regularly. He could not do better than quote the Report of the Committee, which said— the system of appointment appears to have been, not to select those whose particular qualifications and occupations rendered them suitable for the work to be done, but to confer membership as a mark of distinction on eminent men, with little regard to their special fitness. On the Board there was no one representing the people, no one to whom a humble person like himself could make suggestions or offer reproof as the case might be. That was not the right kind of board for a National Board. The Committee had no permanent Chairman: Members took the chair in rotation, and consequently the Board suffered from a want of direction. The Report of the Committee showed the need for a vigorous strong Board. But what did this Bill suggest? It suggested a new Board to consist of seven members nominated by the Secretary for Scotland, and to hold office for five years. These gentlemen might be re-elected at the end of their term. That really was a continuance of the present system in a slightly modified form. He had the most perfect confidence in the judgment of his right hon. friend the Secretary for Scotland, and believed that so far as he was personally concerned he would make the very best appointments he could, but he could not help remembering that the right hon. Gentleman's predecessors in office were the people who were responsible for the nomination of the present Board, and though he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would still be in office ten years hence, he would be a bold man who would prophesy what would occur fifteen years hence. It might be suggested that as the appointments were to be made by the Secretary for Scotland there would be a certain amount of Parliamentary control, inasmuch as his actions would be subject to review in this House. In theory that was so, but in practice the House had no opportunity of reviewing the conduct of the right hon. Gentleman. Could the right hon. Gentleman guarantee them an opportunity of discussing the subject once in five years? In the present session, while three days had been given to Irish Estimates, Scotland had had only one day, and two and a half hour even of that were absorbed by an Irish Bill. He had during the present session heard grumblings about the nominations made by the right hon. Gentleman to the Scottish Fishery Board, yet the representatives of fishing constituencies had not been able to bring the matter under the attention of the House The Departmental Committee proposed that there should be fifteen trustees, eight to be nominated by the Secretary for Scotland and seven by other public bodies, i.e., three by the Royal Scottish Academy, one by the Town Council of Edinburgh, one by the University, one by the Society of Antiquaries, and one by the Royal Society. He was in favour of a small Board because it would be more efficient; he thought fifteen too large, but seven too small. He would suggest a Board of nine, of whom the majority should be representative and not nominated. Four might be nominated by the Secretary for Scotland and five by public bodies. One might be nominated by the Edinburgh Town Council, which just now at the request of the Scottish Education Department was starting an art school, taking over the school of the Board of Manufactures and finding the site and a good deal of money. The school was to be managed by a composite Board, on which the Town Council would have but a small representation. Then the Glasgow Town Council, which ran the best art gallery in Scotland, if not in the United Kingdom, and which certainly had the best art gallery building, in the kingdom, should have one representative. The other representatives, might be appointed by the Convention of Royal Burghs, the Royal Scottish Academy, and the Edinburgh University or some such body. What were the duties of this Board? One was that of buying pictures. In the past there had been no definite policy pursued in the purchase of pictures. The Board had been the recipient of many generous gifts, but undoubtedly people were more likely to give to a responsible representative body than to a State Department. Another very important duty was to get the people to see the pictures. The National Gallery wanted popularising perhaps more than any other institution in Scotland. Ever since he was a small boy he had visited the gallery regularly and had benefited much thereby, but he regretted that now when he went there some four or five times a year he found it almost empty. He attributed that very largely to the non-representative character of the Board, which failed to, do what it might to popularise the Gallery and to advertise it. With a representative Board they might have a more forward policy in this respect. Another important duty was to agitate for more money to be given for the purchase of pictures. To secure that the Board must be independent and in a position to assert itself a good deal more than it had done in the past. Up till now it had been far too apathetic, and in the course of the inquiry the Secretary to the Board of Manufactures admitted that during the South African War the Scottish Office refused to apply to the Treasury for money actually due to Scotland on the ground that it was an inconvenient time to put in the claim. Therefore it was clear they must have an independent Board which, if necessary, would agitate even over the head of the Scottish Office. Mr. Inglis, the Secretary to the Board of Manufactures, in his evidence, said, in reply to Sir John Stirling-Maxwell— I should suggest that this meeting of Committee might be very valuable in calling attention to the fact that we, the Board of Manufactures, cannot very well take action against the constituted authorities of the Government. we have made our remonstrance on various occasions, but the thing has been going on for very many years. Sir Walter Armstrong: But is it not the duty of the trustees of a fund which belongs to Scotland through the Treaty of Union to do their best to see that the matter is put right? —An Act of Parliament is an Act of Parliament; we kick, but we can do no more. But did you kick enough?—I do not think there is any doubt about that. I am quite sure there was plenty kicking. He was very much afraid that if they did not have an independent Board it would become a mere creature of Dover House. This same bureaucratic idea ran through the Bill. The Board was created but not trusted. The old Board appointed its own officers subject to the approval of the Secretary for Scotland, but subsection (5) of Clause 4 provided that the officers should be appointed by the Secretary for Scotland, while subsection (6) laid it down that the Board should comply with any instructions that might be laid down by the Secretary for Scotland. Thus the Bill made the Board a mere creature of the Secretary for Scotland. There was something still worse. The Board was not to be allowed even to hold its own property. The National Galleries were transferred to the Board of Works, a not very popular body in Scotland, for the Scottish people could not forget the way in which it neglected Holyrood Palace, with the result that the Lord High Commissioner was driven to live at an hotel. The Law Courts too had been allowed to get into a deplorable condition and the National Museum was badly ventilated. Much, however, was hoped from the approaching visit of the new Commissioner of Works. His contention was that the Board should be allowed to hold the build- ings which it had to administer. Dunblane Cathedral after its restoration was handed over to the Board of Manufactures by the Board of Works, but this Bill actually proposed to re-transfer it. He wanted to see a National Board of Trustees, to which should be entrusted the care and maintenance of their national monuments. He wanted to see a thoroughly representative body, strong and popular. His great objection to the Bill was that by it the national character of the National Gallery was to be taken away; the Gallery was to be run from London by some junior clerk in Dover House, and that, in his opinion, was not in accordance with Scottish ideas. It might be that in England there was a nominated Board who managed the national galleries, but surely what was needed was, not that Scotland should follow the English practice, but that they should level tip England to the Scottish practice. They had in Scotland some ideas of nationality, and they were quite capable of managing their own affairs. The right hon. Gentleman might say that the points which he was raising were Committee points and should not be raised upon the Second Reading stage. He should rather agree that that was the case, but he did appeal to the right hon. Gentleman if this Bill was read a second time to allow it to go to a Scottish Committee. Although they were glad to have the assistance of English and Irish Members upon Committees as a rule, still he thought that this was preeminently a matter for Scottish Members to settle. It should, therefore, go before a Scottish Grand Committee. He begged to move his Amendment.

*MR. SMEATON (Stirlingshire)

seconded, and said that when he read this Bill two or three days ago he rubbed his eyes and wondered whether they were under a Liberal or a Tory Government. The Bill was, be believed, a relic of the: late Government, and not the production, of the present Secretary for Scotland. He had had experience of red-tape, centralisation, and officialism in another quarter of the globe, but he did not think that he had ever known a measure so saturated with the essence of centralisation, officialism, and red tape as was this Bill. The National Gallery belonged to Scotland, not to Edinburgh; it was a national institution, and there should be representation of all parts of the country —and more particularly of Glasgow, which had shown more liberality and enthusiasm in the promotion of Scottish arts than Edinburgh had—upon the Board which controlled it. The Board, he feared, would remain under the Bill a Board of Edinburghmen; and, what was more, they would not be able to eall their souls their own. They were tied hand and foot, slaves to the will of the Secretary for Scotland. He thought that representation on that Board ought to be more largely distributed and that its action should be largely free from official trammels Under the Bill the National Galleries would be managed from London. The Board would be appointed by the Secretary for Scotland, who would also appoint the Chairman. Then also the officers of the establishment were to be appointed by the Secretary for Scotland and the Board were ordered to comply with the directions given to them by that Minister. The whole thing was official from beginning to end; and the result would be that Scottish art would languish as it had languished for eighty years or more. Although the property and the buildings were to be vested in the old Commissioners it seemed to him that they were to be managed by the new Board. He did not see how the right hon. Gentleman could reconcile these two separate proposals. The measure was really a one man Bill, and the whole administration of the Scottish National Galleries would be managed from London by one man or by a local clique. A similar course had been the cause of the throttling of Scottish art during the last sixty or seventy years. The report of the Royal Commission showed how Scottish art had languished under the clique which had managed the National Galleries. In Glasgow, in the last fifteen or sixteen years, great efforts had been made to encourage art, and the success had been wonderful, due, in great measure, to the fact that officialism had been absent. There was a School of Art in the Western city which had sent out artists distinguished all the world over. There was the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Water Colours, the only Royal Society of the kind in Scotland, apart from the Royal Scottish Academy. There was a new art gallery in Glasgow housed in a building which cost £250,000, a far greater amount than had ever been spent by any society in Edinburgh. It was paid for partly by the surplus of an exhibition and as to a large proportion by public subscriptions. The Corporation of Glasgow paid £12,000 a year in the upkeep of their galleries, and they spent £1,000 or £1,500 a year for the purchase of pictures, and the bequests were always on the most liberal scale and amounted to £50,000. Did they find that state of things in Edinburgh?. Read the Bill in any way possible, and it was a red-tape centralising and officialising Bill. He for his part would, on the whole, rather see the Bill rejected because, in his opinion, it was past mending.

Amendment proposed— To leave out from the word 'That' to the end of the Question, in order to add the words 'this House regrets that this Bill does not follow the recommendation of the Departmental Committee of 1903 for the appointment of a representative rather than a nominated Board"—(Mr. Gulland)—instead thereof.

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."


was glad the Bill had been introduced, because a very serious state of matters existed in regard to art in Scotland, which, if the Bill was passed, it would do much to remedy. The point which had been raised was mainly with regard to the governing body, and he thought it desirable that the number of the Board of trustees should be small, as in that way they would secure more effective and more national control. He instanced the control of the great galleries in London: there the number of trustees was small. As to its being a representative body, he thought there was a good deal to be said, because if it were a strong representative body it could undoubtedly bring greater pressure upon the Government in regard to the money required for the undertakings which it was sought to benefit. Under this Bill they received a considerable additional grant, and he should hope that that grant might be yet increased. His hon. friend the Member for Dumfries had suggested that the Bill should be referred to a Scottish Committee, and he was entirely in accord with him, but he hoped that this was not the only Bill which would be referred to a Scottish Grand Committee. If, moreover, a Scottish Grand Committee could be set up and maintained as part of the ordinary procedure of the House it might do very important work not only in informing the Government as to the needs of art in Scotland, but in other matters. He entirely agreed with the strictures that had been passed on the Board of Works. The operations of that Board in Scotland had been very unsatisfactory; they had not only neglected the buildings, but they had in cases of repair allowed some very bad work to be done. Scotland had in fact been neglected by the Board of Works, and he should like to see a new Board in control of its own buildings and other buildings, and one which should appoint its own officers. So far he quite agreed with the criticisms upon the Bill, but as to the main point he was bound to say that there was a great deal to be said on both sides. Some hon. Members on the Opposition side of the House who were in favour of a representative body had rather abandoned that position in favour of the basis of the new Board. He granted the advantages if a fair representation could be obtained, but after all a representative system would not be established by giving representative members of the Board to Glasgow and Edinburgh, because that would not be a representative system for the whole of Scotland. The Bill would, however, give the Board a working control, and would give them something to do, and he hoped that they might have yet more to do in the future. He regarded this as a very urgent matter, and he should regret very much if there was any delay in pressing the measure. In supporting the Bill as it stood, however, he should like to guard himself against being supposed to be a supporter of nominated Boards. This was the only Bill in regard to Scotland under which he would approve of a nominated Board.

SIR JOHN TUKE (Edinburgh and St. Andrew's Universities)

said he had placed a Resolution on the Paper in the hope that the claims of science in Scotland might have due recognition. The Secretary for Scotland, in reply to a deputation at Edinburgh some months ago, definitely indicated what course he was going to take in connection with the Arts, and distinctly showed that his mind held that the claims of art were a long way in front of the claims of science. The right hon. Gentleman proposed to occupy or take for the purposes of art two great buildings in Edinburgh at present in the possession of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and thereby dispossess that society of its ancient halls. The Royal Society of Edinburgh was the central society of science in Scotland; it was the clearing house of most matters scientific in Scotland. Through it had passed the works of a large number of scientists who had been born in that country—men who had developed important industrial agencies, who had improved telegraphs and other things, and whose work had contributed very greatly to the material well-being of Scotland. The Royal Institution was an institution of which Scotland was justly proud. It was proud of its past and its present. It was an institution which Scotland would be grieved to see injured in any way whatever. Judging from the speech the right hon. Gentleman made in Edinburgh it would seem that he had never thoroughly appreciated the importance of this society which he now proposed to dispossess of the rooms in which it had sat for eighty years. One of these great buildings was designed for the purpose of science and art, and rooms were actually designed and built in it for the purposes of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. They were now to be dispossessed. It seemed to him that this was only another instance of the way in which science was treated in Scotland. The Royal Society of London had £5,000 a year from a Government grant and £1,000 a year for publications, and it sat rent free in Burlington House. The Irish Royal Society received £1,500 a year as a Government grant, and sat rent free, while its fellows contributed £,310 to its annual revenue. The Royal Society of Edinburgh received in contributions from its fellows £1,200 a year, and £300 a year as a Government grant, and what became of that money? The £300 a year received as a Government grant from the Treasury was paid to the Treasury again as rent. That was the treatment that Scotland had received from a long succession of Governments. Although he blamed those Governments he did not blame them nearly so much as the succession of Scottish Members who had sat in this House, and had refused to combine together to obtain justice to Scotland. He had no doubt that the Secretary for Scotland would do his best, as he had assured the deputation he would, for the Royal Society, but he held that it would have been far better if they had obtained definite assurances from him as to the means of housing the Royal Society properly before bringing this Bill before the House. His statements with regard to art were very definite and very generous, but the future of science had been relegated to the background. He desired to be very frank with the right hon. Gentleman and to tell him that a considerable sum of money would be necessary to rehouse the Royal Society in such a manner as to maintain its dignity and prestige, and to house its extremely valuable library. He was glad of the one assurance which they had received from the right hon. Gentleman, namely, that the body proposed to set up would not dispossess the Royal Society of Edinburgh until proper accommodation had been found for it, but he would like to see some statement of that kind in the Bill, and therefore he asked the right hon. Gentleman whether he would accept as an additional clause something to the following effect— It is hereby provided that the society shall not be required to vacate its apartments in the Royal Institution Building appropriated to its use when the building was erected until equivalent accommodation on a suitable site shall have been provided out of public money for the use of the said society. In his anxiety to see the interests of art provided for in Scotland he was second to none, but under all the circumstances he maintained that they had the right to make equal demands in favour of science. He would urge the right hon. Gentleman if he got his Bill to-day to relegate it to a Committee. He also wished to ask the Prime Minister whether it would not be desirable to establish before the autumn session a Scottish Bill Committee and to allow this thoroughly and essentially Scottish measure to be the first which came before it. He begged to move.

MR. AKERS-DOUGLAS (Kent, St. Augustine's)

desired to say a few words upon this Bill, as he had the honour to take the chair of the Departmental Committee which considered the matter. While he generally supported the Bill of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, he desired to see incorporated in the Bill some such Amendment as that which had been suggested. When the Committee came to inquire into the composition and the work of the old Board it came to the conclusion that the composition of that body was not satisfactory; that it was antiquated and not satisfactory for its present purpose. It was too unwieldy, consisting of twenty-eight or thirty members. Against those gentlemen, comprising the Board of Manufacturers, he had nothing to say. They were largely recruited if he remembered rightly from legal circles, and included in their number only one or two members representing art and science in Scotland. It was quite clear that the members of that Board in the past had been selected without sufficient consideration, having regard to the duties they had to perform. Many of them lived great distances from Edinburgh, with the result that the attendance was not regular and there was no general continuity of policy. The Committee also considered that there ought to be a permanent chairman of the Board, a provision he was glad to see in the Bill. The absence of such a permanent chairman had, in the opinion of the Committee, led to a want of system and to a want of continuity of policy. This Bill met to some extent the recommendations of the Committee, in the appointment of a permanent chairman, in the reduction of and the reconstruction of the Board, and in limiting the period of service of members of the Board to five years. But it did not secure what many members of the Departmental Committee desired, namely, an adequate representation of the artistic and scientific societies of Scotland; that the Board of Trustees should consist of fifteen members, eight appointed by the Secretary for Scotland, and seven by art societies and other bodies in Scotland. He believed the Committee recommended that there should be three members appointed by the Royal Scottish Academy, one by the Royal Society, one by the Society of Antiquaries, one by the University and one by the Town Council of Edinburgh. He thought those bodies ought to be represented. The hon. Member for Dumfries had suggested there should be a member representing the School of Art, Glasgow. He had great sympathy in that direction, because he believed there was no School of Art in the two countries which was better carried on or which possessed better attributes than the School of Art, Glasgow. When the Bill came up for consideration in Committee he trusted they would be able to secure some concession from His Majesty's Government in the direction of representation of the learned societies and the galleries in Scotland. The question of the retention of the Royal Society in the Royal Institution buildings came before the Committee when they sat in Edinburgh, and certainly it was not contemplated by the Committee that the Royal Society should suffer. The Royal Society occupied the whole of the west side of the ground floor of the building, and a large octagonal room at the south end. He did not think that the Royal Society even there were properly housed, or that they had room for their excellent library; but the question the Committee had to consider then was the tenure of the rooms, and he considered— and he thought the Committee agreed with him—that whatever legal right the Royal Society might have, they certainly had the moral right to continue the use of their present rooms, or, in the event of those rooms being imperatively required for gallery space, they should not be turned out unless and until some equivalent accommodation could be provided at the public cost. He did not know what the intention of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Scotland was on that point. He had hoped he would have made a statement earlier in the debate, because it might have saved time. But he had no doubt the right hon. Gentleman was well advised in waiting to reply to the whole debate. What he should like to be assured was that if it was the intention, as he believed, to dispossess the Royal Society in the Royal Institution, at all events adequate provision would be made for their accommodation, or, at any rate, some money would be presented to them by the State for the purpose of finding accommodation. The Bill was not a Party one. They desired to see the Board properly constituted, and that it might be an efficient machine properly to carry out the duties which it was called upon to discharge. He still thought there ought to be a representative element on the Board, and that they ought not to be entirely in the hands of the Scottish Office. He appealed to hon. Members not to conduct this debate in a controversial spirit. He was perfectly aware that the Scottish Office during the late Government was of the same opinion as apparently the Scottish Office was now, but as a Member of the late Government he did not agree with that particular point, and he adhered to the recommendations of the Committee over which he presided. He was sure the distinguished member of the Committee sitting on the Treasury Bench would agree that they gave very great thought and took very great pains over their Report. He could not think that in the short period that had elapsed since that Report was presented any reason had arisen why the Members of the Committee should have changed their views. Whilst supporting the Second Reading of the Bill, he reserved his right to move or support Amendments on one or two points.


said he was sure the Members on the Ministerial side of the House welcomed the intervention in the debate of the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down. He was sure also that they would respond to his appeal not to conduct the discussion of this Bill on Party lines. The Government had no reason to complain of the discussion that had taken place. It was said that this Bill, which had been founded upon the Report of the Committee, presided over by the I right hon. Gentleman, had not followed the Report in. all particulars. That was true in regard to some of the details, but the spirit and the intention was to disentangle and simplify the various functions discharged by the present Board of Manufactures, and that was done by this Bill, taken in conjunction with the arrangements which were now being made administratively. On behalf of the Government, let him disclaim emphatically any idea that either in the form or in the spirit of their proposals was any preference shown, or intended to be shown, to the interests of art as opposed to those of science, or that there was any coolness or neglect by the present Government towards the interests of science in Scotland. This was a Bill which established new machinery. It was agreed on all hands that the present arrangements did not afford adequate scope for the development of either science or art. New arrangements were necessary, and a stimulus to these new arrangements came as strongly from the desire to benefit science and the institution which was specially identified with science in Scotland as from the desire to benefit art and the institution identified with art in that country. It was hoped that the Bill would afford adequate scope for the development for a considerable time to come of both science and art in Scotland. Let him say a few words about the present allocation of the buildings. By Clause 3 of the Bill the Board of Manufactures ceased to exist, and its place was taken by the Board of Trustees of seven members nominated, according to the Bill, by the Secretary for Scotland. The Board of Manufactures consisted of twenty-eight members, and there was no permanent chairman. There was a secretary with a salary of £500 a year, and the total annual cost of the whole of the salaries of the department amounted to £1,080. In former days the Board's revenue was devoted to the assistance of various industries in Scotland; hence its name. It helped fisheries, woollen and linen manufactures, the cultivation of flax, and other miscellaneous purposes. These were all passed away, and its duties now were confined to the encouragement of art and the management of certain institutions, including the conduct of the School of Art, the maintenance and management of the. National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery, and the management of the Applied Art School, recently affiliated to the School of Art. The buildings under whole or partial control of the Board of Manufactures were the Royal Institution, the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, and Dunblane Cathedral. The arrangements which were being conducted in conjunction with the Bill changed in important respects the present allocation of the buildings, and it was one of those changes to which the hon. Member for Edinburgh University this afternoon had taken exception as affecting the Royal Society. The Royal Institution building was at present divided between the Board Offices, the Royal Society, the Statue Gallery, the School of Art and Applied Art and the staff. The National Gallery building was used practically for the purposes of the National Gallery and the Royal Academy. What the Government were endeavouring to do was to give more space for these various institutions. The necessities had entirely outgrown the present arrangements. That was true of the governing bodies, but it was still more emphatically true of the buildings. The National Gallery had no room for development because in the same building it had to find quarters for the exhibition of the Royal Academy. There was not half the wall-space that was required for either of these institutions. The Royal Institution housed the Royal Society, which even now wanted greatly increased accommodation. In both buildings there was congestion, friction, discomfort, and damage to all the interests concerned. It was therefore necessary that the Government should be enabled to proceed a. further stage to-day in the arrangements which it contemplated under this Bill. Parliament alone could afford the assistance for which he pleaded in the interests of all the societies concerned. It was true that the Bill rejected a scheme put forward by the Committee for a. National Gallery to cost £200,000. As. to that he could say that nothing in the Bill and no arrangements under the Bill were a real obstacle to the attainment at some future date of the scheme outlined in the Report. The Government did not feel justified in putting that forward at the present time in the condition of public opinion either in this House or outside, and they were putting forward a less ambitious scheme in the full confidence that it would meet for a considerable time the necessities of the case. In the first place, under the new arrangements the Government proposed to give to the National Gallery the whole of the accommodation in the National Gallery building, which would greatly increase the wall space and, it was hoped, give scope for the development of the Gallery, which was a national one. In regard to the other buildings, arrangements were being made, in conjunction with the Edinburgh Town Council and the Heriot Watt College, for the establishment of a School of Art which should have adequate premises in another part of the city and he had no doubt that with the friendly co-operation of the Town Council and the college authorities the scheme would be brought to a successful conclusion. That left the Royal Society and the Royal Academy unprovided for. Both bodies had equal claims upon the consideration of Parliament, and it became a question as to which of these two bodies should occupy the Royal Institution building. There was not room for both, and after a full consideration of the case, taking in view the necessity that any public exhibition of pictures should be accessible to the public, the choice of the Government was clear that the Princes Street site was that to which the Royal Academy and exhibition pictures had the prior claim. He could assure the House, however, that the pledge which he gave to a deptation of the Royal Society in Edinburgh that their reasonable claims should be met in a reasonable spirit would be most thoroughly and accurately adhered to. In the first place, he ought to recognise the way in which the Royal Society had faced the situation, and he ought to recognise also on behalf of the Government with gratitude the fact that they were now in co-operation with the Royal Society in endeavouring to find an adequate solution of the problem. He himself had no doubt that by the time this Bill reached the Committee he would be able to report that the claims of the Royal Society had been adequately met. The question of the vesting of the buildings in the Board of Works had been raised That was not so simple an operation a some of his hon. friends seemed to think. It was not his duty on this occasion to enter into arguments as to whether the control of Parliament over the Board of Works was or was not sufficient. The practical point for them to consider to-day was whether it was an advantage or disadvantage that these buildings should be so vested. He thought undoubtedly there was a distinct advantage in so vesting them, inasmuch as they would be maintained and paid for at the cost of the Board of Works. They could not have it both ways. They could not avoid the control of the Board of Works if the Board, with the assistance of the Treasury, found all the money for the maintenance of these buildings, and it was partly the advantage of the new state of things that British money, so to speak, would go to this purpose, and that a drift for the upkeep of these national buildings would not be made upon money which was purely Scottish. That was really the practical purpose of this change. Requests had been made by both the Royal Academy and the Royal Society that they should be mentioned in this Bill. It was not considered necessary that they should be mentioned. This Bill was for a limited purpose. A good deal had been said to-day about the failure of the Board of Manufactures to carry oat its work. He did not think, however, that they should allow the Board of Manufactures to pass away without a recognition of its long history, and the useful work which it had done in Scotland. The necessities of the case had outgrown the situation, and this Bill proposed to set up an authority which had a definite and limited duty. In defining and limiting that duty it was hoped to increase and press upon the authority its sense of responsibility. The duty of this new Board of Trustees would be to manage these buildings and to purchase pictures as they were allowed by the grant. Much criticism had been passed to-day upon the constitution of the governing body. This was entirely a matter which should be discussed and decided in Committee. He would venture to place his own opinion before the House, but he acknowledged the weight of opinion which had been expressed to-day in favour of the introduction of some representative element. He could assure the House that he would not fail to show every disposition to consider the wishes of the Committee on the point. It was agreed that the constitution of the Board of Manufactures would not do. A Board of twenty-eight members was far too large for any business body, and those who knew anything of business in Scotland knew I hat it was extremely difficult to obtain an adequate meeting of any large body, or of any small body sometimes, in Edinburgh. He had been a member of committees which were national in character, and unless the business was important, it was extremely difficult to secure a big attendance.


On nominated boards.


said he was referring to elected boards. His hon. friend objected to the Board because it was nominated. Let them consider the question dispassionately. There were two sides to every question. Let them hear what could he said on the other side, because, after all, they had to come to a decision on the point on a future occasion, and lie held himself perfectly free to alter his opinion, as he dared say his hon. friend held himself free to alter his. This Board had to manage the galleries and to purchase pictures. The Committee's suggestion was that the Board should be partly nominated by various bodies and partly appointed by the Secretary for Scotland. His hon. friend had suggested, and other hon. Gentlemen had expressed sympathy with the view, that it should be an elected body. He thought all agreed so far that it should be a small body. But it was very difficult to elect a small body to carry out a national work. How were they to be elected and by whom? How were they to achieve a fair representation of all the interests? He was pointing out the considerations which had led the Government to put forward the Bill in its present form as, at any rate, the basis for discussion. Let them look also at the experience elsewhere. He had made such researches as had been possible. He had examined the constitution of the governing bodies of national galleries both at home and abroad. He had had the opportunity of conferring with men who were certainly great authorities in this matter, and he found no testimony whatever in favour of an elected board for this particular purpose. Nor was it asked for by those who were perhaps specially interested, namely, the members of the Royal Academy. At any rate, the Royal Academy raised no objection on that point. As to the principle of election it was his desire that they should arrive at the best solution of this particular point in the interest of all concerned. He could assure his hon. friends that every clause of this Bill had been the subject of most anxious and careful consideration, and that it had not been until after the most detailed examination of all its provisions, and of their possible consequences, that it had been brought before the House in its present form. These were Committee points, and again he gave the assurance that so far as the Government were concerned they had a completely open mind with regard to them. He had been asked whether he could give an assurance that this Bill would come on as the first Bill after the holidays. Hon. Members must know that he had the warmest sympathy with that suggestion, but he was not able to give that assurance at the present time. He was not able to give and indication of what the future of the Bill would be, but he appealed to the House to allow it to be read a second time now. No interest would be prejudiced through that being done. It would enable the Government to proceed further with the negotiations which were now going on, and which he confidently hoped would be brought to a successful conclusion. He would ask his hon. friends to remember that the present might be a golden opportunity for settling this question in a satisfactory way. If they allowed the opportunity to pass it might very well be that in a subsequent session they would find the interests of the Bill conflicting with the interests of some other Bill against whose claims it might have to be weighed.

*MR. BUTCHER (Cambridge University)

said that as he had not the honour of being a Scottish representative his apology for speaking on this Bill was that he had had a connection for twenty years with Edinburgh, and that the case for the Royal Society of Edinburgh was to his mind the case of Learning and Science throughout the United Kingdom. The charter of the Society went back to 1783, and the Society was now one of the great scientific centres of the whole United Kingdom. It had a library which was consulted by people from all parts of Scotland, and in the last ten years the cost of publication of its works of research had been actually doubled. The Secretary for Scotland would readily understand that this Bill did create very deep anxiety and apprehension in regard to the future of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and what the right hon. Gentleman had just said would be read with great relief not only in Edinburgh, but all over Scotland. The right hon. Gentleman had renewed in more emphatic terms the pledge which he gave some time ago in Edinburgh that reasonable claims of the Royal Society of Edinburgh would not be overlooked if effect was given to this Bill and the Royal Society was ejected from its buildings. The tenure under which the Royal Society held the buildings was very peculiar. It was only a tenant of the buildings, but at the same time a tenant under what was virtually a trust, and more than one distinguished Judge in Scotland had stated publicly that the Society could not fairly and equitably be dispossessed of its present accommodation without receiving equivalent accommodation elsewhere. That, he believed, was admitted now by the Secretary for Scotland. The Society had no formal legal right, it was true, but it occupied roomy which were built for three purposes, namely, art, science, and archaeology, and there it had been for the last eighty years. He urged that when a settlement came to be made with the Royal Society of Edinburgh it should be put in not only as good a position as it held to-day, but a very much bettor position. He admitted that no site could be superior to that on which the present buildings stood, but the Society should be put in a better position in regard to recognition from the State for the great public service it was doing. Scotland had received most penurious treatment in this respect as compared with the other parts of the United Kingdom. It would not be fair, of course, to compare the Royal Society of Edinburgh with the Royal Society of London as they worked on such a different scale; but he compared the Royal Irish Academy with the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Hs did not know to what the difference in their treatment was due. He believed that for some reason or other Scotland was not so articulate as Ireland. If hon. Members for Scotland would press their claims in the way Irish Members did theirs, lie did not think the anomaly and absurdity would continue. The Royal Irish Academy, starting with the s line grant of £300 a year, which was still enjoyed by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, had by successive increments gone up to £1,500, and was in addition rent free. The £300 received by Edingburgh had to be paid over for rent. That seemed to him a real Scottish grievance calling for remedy. He hoped that when the question of the housing of the Royal Society came to be considered by the Treasury Scotland would be treated in a much less parsimonious spirit than hitherto. The demand for an increased grant was unanswerable. It was a great relief to learn that the fear was groundless that under this Bill Art in Scotland was to be aided only at the expense of Science.

MR. CROMBIE (Kincardineshire)

said they were all agreed that Scotland should get more money, and he was sure they would have the aid of the hon. Member who had just spoken in their efforts in that direction. He had listened to this debate with a more or less impartial mind, and, while there was a great deal in the Bill with which they all thoroughly sympathised, there were points which created strong feeling. He thought the main point was whether the body should be representative or not. On that point, which was one of Committee, there was room for a great deal of discussion. For his own part he should be pleased to relegate it to the Committee, but his friends who were inclined to oppose the Bill felt that in Committee the Government might override their opinion. That risk would be minimised if the Bill were sent to a committee upstairs composed wholly or mainly of Scottish Members, but it could not be entirely prevented, because a Government could always have supremacy in a House where they had a majority. It would be unreasonable to ask the Secretary for Scotland to give a pledge on that subject. It was a matter for the Prime Minister and the Government, and he could only hope that the Bill would be sent to a Committee upstairs. If they were clearly to understand that in Committee there would be full scope for discussion, he would suggest that his hon. friend might withdraw his Amendment.

LORD BALCARRES (Lancashire, Chorley)

said he agreed that it was quite time that a reform was made in the arrangements for the management of the Scottish Art Galleries. In the words of the Report of the Departmental Committee, museums or art galleries managed on the principles which had hitherto obtained must be dead institutions without that organic life or movement which, from the very necessities of the case, ought to be an essential to the conduct of a museum and art gallery. For his own part nothing could have condemned the Board of Manufactures more than their own last annual Report. A few months ago an endeavour was made to secure for the nation the superb portrait of Sir Henry Raeburn, by himself. A few private individuals, headed by Sir Thomas Gibson-Carmichael, subscribed the money by which the picture was secured by the nation; but not a word appeared in the Report of the Board of Manufactures in regard to the matter. He was glad to say, however, that Sir Thomas Gibson - Carmichael had since been honoured by being made a Trustee of the National Gallery. He approved of the proposal in the Bill for a nominated Board, although the hon. Gentleman below the Gangway and his friends recommended a representative Board. He wanted to know, representative of whom?


Representative of other galleries, and of the people of Scotland.


said he could not, see any advantage of having scientific societies associated in the management of the National Gallery, or that the Royal Burghs had any status whatever in the matter of looking after a National Gallery. The Royal Burghs in England were not represented on the body which looked after the National Art Gallery in London. The hon. Member for Dumfries Burghs had said that he thought a representative body would be in a better and more independent position in pressing for money grants, but he did not think that a body representing the Royal Burghs, or the Geographical and other scientific societies would be in a stronger position to demand money from the Government than a nominated Board. He did not agree with the hon. Gentleman who seconded the Amendment, that this was a one-man Bill, and that the new Board would be dominated by a Secretary in London. After all, he did not think it was fair criticism to say that because the Secretary for Scotland had to spend the greater part of the Parliamentary year in London he was not under the control of the people of Scotland. The next question after that of representation which exercised hon. Members opposite was as to how the property was to be dealt with. Before they could settle how the property was to be vested, it should be clearly understood what the policy of the new body was to be. An hon. Gentleman had said that Edinburgh Castle and Linlithgow Palace should be transferred to the custody of the new Board. He was no great admirer of what had been done by the Office of Works in dealing with the ancient buildings and palaces of Scotland. He himself, having an intense interest in the preservation of these ancient buildings, thought that greater power should be given to those in charge of them to prevent damage being done. He hoped that it was not proposed to transfer the buildings referred to in the Bill to the new Board. The buildings of the British Museum, for instance, were not vested in the trustees of the British Museum, but in the Board of Works. He ventured to suggest to the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Scotland that he should consider the propriety of recognising in the text of the Bill the title of the Royal Society and of the Royal Scottish Academy to full recognition and accommodation, in either the existing or the proposed new buildings. He was prepared to support the Bill as it stood, though it was in the nature of a compromise, and he was sure that when hon. Members come to work out their scheme of representation, about which they talked so glibly, they would find that the task was more difficult than they thought.

MR. PIRIE (Aberdeen, N.)

was grateful for the request coming from the Opposition side of the House and made by the hon. Member for Edinburgh University that this Bill should be referred to a Scottish Grand Committee. He thought that suggestion, coming from the Conservative side of the House, formed a welcome landmark. He hoped the Secretary for Scotland would not only take to heart the question of referring this Bill to a Scottish Grand Committee, but would do so in the case of all Bills applying exclusively to Scotland. Scotland had been treated with deplorable parsimony for the last ten years. In regard to Art that parsimony had been increasing. His only point of alarm was that the Secretary for Scotland was not able to give a pledge that this Bill should go to a Scottish Grand Committee, but except upon that one point he was in agreement with everything the right hon. Gentleman had said. He earnestly urged that a Scottish Grand Committee should be constituted before the end of the session and that this Bill should be sent to it.

MR. R. DUNCAN (Lanarkshire, Govan)

said it was essential that this question should be settled in accordance with the instructed opinion of Scotland. They had great artists in Scotland, also living voluntary associations of art-lovers, and he pleaded for a national system in this matter. Such a system could not be carried out by a wooden officialdom, and he should like to have an assurance that this matter was to be settled principally by Scotsmen associated only with those Englishmen and Irishmen who took a living interest in our national affairs.

MR. BOLAND (Kerry, S.)

said the Irish Nationalist Members had great sympathy with the aspirations of Scotland in this matter, and would endeavour to assist Scottish Members in securing what they desired. There should, he argued, be freedom in art, and he hoped when the case of Ireland was dealt with they might secure the support of Scottish Members for their claims.

MR. C. E. PRICE (Edinburgh, Central)

hoped that the Government would consent to the Bill being referred to a Scottish representative Committee whose decision would be accepted by all the Scottish Members.

*MR. MITCHELL-THOMSON (Lanarkshire, N.W.)

appealed to the House to give the Bill a Second Reading. He personally as a Scotsman welcomed the Bill simply because he felt that by it they were getting from the Treasury some money which belonged to Scotland. That was an achievement upon which he was perfectly prepared to congratulate the Secretary for Scotland. The right hon. Gentleman was getting money which had been owing to Scotland not for the last fifteen years only, as had been stated, but from a date very much further back. If there was any blame attaching to the matter it attached to generations of predecessors of those who represented Scotland to-day. He desired to associate himself with what the Secretary for Scotland had said in regard to the constitution of the Board. The proposition that these Boards should be elected was entirely novel and it was not the proposition put forward by the Committee. The Committee proposed that the members should be nominated, but that they should be nominated by various bodies and representatives of those various bodies. His objection, so far as he cared to raise any objection, was that it was very difficult to fix responsibility for elected bodies on the Secretary for Scotland, but if there was a nominative body responsible to the Secretary for Scotland, anybody dissatisfied with the action of that board could come down and say "The board for which you are responsible has committed what we believe to be a mistake. Now we wish to have your opinion, and want to know whether you are prepared to put it right." Again, if they were to have a representative body how far was that representation to go? A claim had been put forward for a Glasgow representative on this Board, but, as the hon. Member for Leith Burghs had pointed out, there were other districts in Scotland with very high claims to representation, and if they admitted all those claims they would go near to make the board as cumbrous and as unwieldy as the old one. The point raised by the hon. Member for Leith Burghs as to the fabric had been already dealt with; the real point-was that the Board of Works were in future going to undertake the maintenance and the upkeep of these buildings, and if any Members who objected to handing these matters over to the Board of Works were prepared to say that the new Board were to undertake the maintenance and upkeep of the fabric, the Committee no doubt would be prepared to consider that. He personally dissented from any such suggestion, because he thought that that matter ought to be left to a national Department. As to the Royal Society, the Secretary for Scotland had, when in Edinburgh, given an assurance on this matter; the right hon. Gentleman hail repeated that assurance to-day, but he thought that the House would much appreciate it if the Prime Minister in his capacity as First Lord of the Treasury could contribute something more to that assurance. In his view this matter could be adequately discussed in the Committee stage and he hoped therefore that the hon. Member would withdraw his Amendment.

*MR. J. M. HENDERSON (Aberdeenshire, W.)

said the Board need not be of so unwieldly a number as twenty-eight; it might well be a body of twelve. On that board they should have the representatives of the four principal towns in Scotland. Glasgow had an excellent-Art School and a splendid gallery; Aberdeen had a splendid gallery which, though smaller than that of Edinburgh, showed that the inhabitants of that town had done more for the progress of art in twenty years than Edinburgh had done in double the time. The feeling that existed in these towns was that everything was being done for Edinburgh. The Bill spoke of Edinburgh and did not recognise any other gallery but the Edinburgh Art Gallery. They could easily get a Committee of twelve from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee and the other large towns of Scotland. He did not care whether they were elected or nominated so long as the large towns of Scotland who had spent large sums on their art schools and galleries were recognised. He failed to see why, if the whole of the grant was used for the purpose of buying pictures, all those pictures should go to the Edinburgh gallery. It, was quite right to spend money to make Edinburgh attractive, but if money was to be spent for the pleasure and enlightenment of the people of Scotland and the Empire that money ought to be spread over the country, so far as the purchase of pictures was concerned, so that each town could have its share. All these four towns had good galleries, and would claim some of the fund in order to stimulate the generosity of the citizens, already so great and commendable. He hoped the Prime Minister would see his way to give Scotland a Committee entirely of Scottish Members, because this was naturally a Scottish subject, and he was quite sure, they would never give satisfaction in the north until these large towns were represented.

MR. COCHRANE (Ayrshire, N.)

said he fully appreciated that the difficulties which the right hon. Gentleman had had to face in getting an adequate Board were very considerable, but he thought that in getting a small Board the right hon. Gentleman was on the whole going on right lines. It would not be possible adequately to find representation for all those bodies which might reasonably claim representation. The number of such bodies in Scotland was large, and if the right hon. Gentleman appointed a representative from every body which could put in an adequate claim to be represented the Board would be too large and unwieldy. The right hon. Gentleman had told the House that he had carefully studied this question and made inquiries as to what were the customs of similar galleries abroad. Then again some hon. Members suggested that this Bill should be submitted to a Scottish Grand Committee. If ever there was a question of an Imperial nature, surely it was this one. The claims in regard to this question were not upon the Exchequer of Scotland, but upon the Imperial Exchequer, He did not think Scotland had had anything like just or fair treatment in this session of Parliament, and he hoped that in future Scottish affairs would not be dealt with on a Saturday afternoon at the end of the session, but that adequate time would be allowed for their discussion. With regard to the Scottish Grand Committee, the right hon. Gentleman, whilst he had informed himself by every possible means, appeared to have taken that course which was always the least satisfactory. After saying he had looked into every corner of the question, he had wound up by saying that he had an open mind.


said that what he stated was that he would approach all these matters in Committee with a readiness to give full weight to all the arguments used.


said he did not think that a Scottish Grand Committee would be a very satisfactory body to deal with this question on many grounds. In the first place these were subjects of Imperial interest, and a purely Scottish Grand Committee would not be the best body to deal with science and art. As Scotsmen he thought they would be wise and liberal-minded if they invited the assistance and support of Members from other parts of Great Britain, who would be willing on a Committee to give them the benefit of their advice and experience. In dealing with the question of science, the right hon. Gentleman's words had fallen short of what he had anticipated. This was a question of the most vital interest, and all the right hon. Gentleman had said was that he had not any coldness towards science. He thought that was a very unsatisfactory and insufficient way of describing the feelings of the Secretary for Scotland towards science.


What I stated was that the Government did not wish to treat these two separate interests except upon absolutely equal terms.


said he had listened very carefully to the right hon. Gentleman and had written down his words.


And I also have got them here.


said he was not aware that the right hon. Gentleman was in the habit of contravening in any way the custom of the House by reading his speeches verbatim et litera im. The actual words used were what he had stated. He was pleased that their feelings towards science were not of a lukewarm character, and that the Government were taking a warm, firm and intense interest in the promotion of science. He hoped that the Secretary for Scotland would use all his efforts to see that the claims of Scotland were fully recognised. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman would not mind taking the House into his confidence and giving them some idea of the terms which he thought would adequately and fairly meet the claims of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.


That would not be possible without prejudice to the arrangements which are now proceeding.


said he had a most profound mistrust not of the right hon. Gentleman or his sincerity, but of the action which would be taken by the Treasury when this matter came to be dealt with. He had always found that the Treasury considered themselves custodians of the national purse, but the limit of their generosity was generally reached when they crossed the Tweed. He was somewhat fortified in that view by an expression of opinion by Sir Francis Mowatt, before the Departmental Committee. He stated that the rates of the National Gallery were paid by the Treasury in Ireland, but in Scotland they were not paid by the Imperial Exchequer. The treatment of the two nations had never been the same, and Ireland had always been the spoiled child whilst Scotland was the snubbed child of the Government. It was contended that the treatment had been equal, but Scotland had been content to be snubbed in this matter, and they had never been treated with the same consideration as was extended to It eland. He did not grudge any of the grants made to Ireland, but he thought they should stand together and see that Scotland was fairly treated. With regard to the Royal Society, it would have been more satisfactory and helpful and would not in any way have delayed the consideration of this measure had the right hon. Gentleman felt himself in a position to give some sketch as to what he thought was fair and adequate treatment. One hon. Member had stated that a suggestion had been made that £120,000 should be spent on National Galleries in Scotland. Any sum short of that would not be adequate treatment for science and art in Scotland. With regard to the Royal Society, it had done a great work in Scotland, but ever since the year 1780 they had been struggling along with inadequate means. They received now a miserable contribution of £300 a year, which the Government took back in the form of rent. He appealed to hon. Members not to be satisfied with a mere statement that the right hon. Gentleman intended to do his best. As far as the Second Reading of this Bill was concerned he should support it.

MR. A. DEWAR (Edinburgh, S.)

thanked the Secretary for Scotland for the close attention he had given to Scottish interests, for he had taken a great deal of trouble in the discharge of his duties. The right hon. Gentleman actually went up to Edinburgh in order to get the mind of the Scottish people on the spot. They thanked him for that, and they thanked him for this Bill. Since the year 1847 they had had a nominated Board in connection with the galleries, and it had not been a success. The failure was due to the fact that it was a nominated Board and to nothing else. He had taken the trouble to go over the Report which had been issued, and he wished to make a few quotations to show how the Board had failed. The Report said— we are satisfied that the present composition of the Board is not satisfactory. we have no intention of reflecting upon the capacity of the individual members of the Board, because a mere perusal of the list of distinguished men who at present compose it is sufficient to refute such a suggestion. That was perfectly true, for he had analysed the composition of the Board, and he found that it contained ten Privy Councillors, seven peers, seven baronets, six judges, two knights, and five esquires. There was not, however, a business man upon the Board, and never had been. He recognised that some of the members were business men, but they had never devoted their business faculties to this particular Board, and his point was that the reason they had not done so was that they were responsible to no one and they received no salary. Nobody in Scotland had any real control over the Board, and its members were asked to attend only about ten meetings during the year. The Report said— A. certain number whose names we need not mention never attended at all. An average of 7½6 did attend, and the rest never came near the meetings. And what did these 7½6 do?

The Report said— they could give no satisfactory account of their meetings, duties or powers. we learn that their meetings were not frequent and no minutes were, kept. The curator discharges his duties admirably, but he is unduly restricted by the policy, or want of policy, of the Board. That was a very serious indictment of the Board which was in charge of Scottish art, because all they did was to interfere with the only man who knew anything about the subject. But the Report contained a more comprehensive indictment for it said— Many of the pictures are so badly hung that it is impossible to see them. The first duty of those in charge of an art gallery was to hang pictures where they could be seen. The Report went on to say— A valuable picture was lately bequeathed, but no room could be found for it except with difficulty. The National Gallery is not reasonably clean. That was not the way to stimulate public generosity, and if there had been more business men on the Board, they might have taken more trouble to provide accommodation and see that the gallery was kept in a condition in which the public could comfortably visit the establishment. It was said that the management was such as to fail to inspire the public with confidence. To whom was this Board responsible? Surely not to the Secretary for Scotland. If the members of this Board had been receiving salaries the Minister at the House would have had Some control over them. Then came a more serious charge— they have failed to press Scottish claims for equivalent treatment in regard to the purchase of pictures. The salaries paid to Scotish officials compare unfavourably with the salaries paid in analogous institutions in England and Ireland. we can find no trace of anything like a specific statement that national buildings should be maintained on a sin i lar system in Scotland to that of the sister isle. Had such a statement be fully and clearly put forward we cannot but think that Parliament Would have recognised the justice of the claim. we think the failure to have put forward any such case amounts to a dereliction of duty on the part of a, Board to which the art paintings of Scotland were entrusted. All this was due to the fact that the Board was nominated and therefore irresponsible. He asked the right hon. Gentleman to give effect to what after all was the suggestion of a Committee that this Board should be made more representative. Why not elect some members from the Royal Scottish Academy and other representatives from various parts of Scotland? Some of those representing town councils might also be useful on the Board, for at any rate they would see that the gallery was kept reasonably clean. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would carefully consider the question of sending this Bill to a Grand Committee. Where were the English Members who were going to assist them in regard to this Imperial question,? It was known that this debate was coming on. They would not come to the House when the Bill was in Committee, and the great advantage would be that if it was sent to a Grand Committee they would have the same men there and it would be got through at once. They had only had a Saturday afternoon for their Caledonian day, and it was not too much to ask that they should have their next Caledonian day upstairs.

MR. MORTON (Sutherland)

did not see any great difficulty in allowing this Bill to have a Second Reading after the promise of the Prime Minister that the next stage would not come on until the autumn session. He was sorry that the Government had introduced what in his opinion was a miserable Bill, unworthy of Edinburgh and Scotland. Surely a few months might have been allowed for the Members for Scotland to consider this matter with their constituents before the Second Reading was taken. He should like to know what the late Government did for Scot-arid; they ignored her on every possible occasion except when they wanted money. He was not satisfied with the present Bill, because he was certain it would not do what the Scottish people wanted. He did not think the people of Scotland would be satisfied in any way with this attempt to set up autocratically and bureaucratically a Board which would not represent the Scottish people. The Secretary for Scotland had told them that they ought not I to discuss this question until they got into' Committee, when he would give every consideration to this matter. Nominated boards had been the curse of Ireland and they were proceeding now to be the curse of Scotland. There were a number of them, and they did not care for the Secretary of Scotland or anybody else. They simply told the right hon. Gentleman what they wanted, and he had to do it. What was wanted was a board which would be fairly representative, not of any particular political views, or of the Scottish Office views, but of the views of the people of Scotland. He quite agreed with what had been said as to the way in which Scotland had been treated by this and other Parliaments in recent years with regard to money. Scotland was not begging for money at all, but simply asking for her fair share of Imperial funds. In asking that the erection of the buildings should be paid out of the public purse they were only asking for what they were entitled to and what was overdue. Under the present First Commissioner of Works it was quite possible that they might get fair treatment in regard to buildings. About thirteen or fourteen years ago he called attention to the neglected state of some of the castles and palaces in Scotland, and he was glad to say that something was done both at Stirling and Linlithgow. The Prime Minister, who was at that time Secretary of State for War, gave him Dumbarton Castle, and he (Mr. Morton), gave it to the town of Dumbarton for a museum, but the castle had not yet been handed over. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would consider that matter and fulfil his promise. A promise had been given to-day that an opportunity would be afforded in Committee for the discussion of the various points which had been raised, and he supposed, that they must accept it. His hon. friend the Member for Ross-shire had described this as a Caledonian day. Being a Caledonian day, it was surprising that the Prime Minister did not arrange to have the bagpipes.


Will the hon. Gentleman kindly address himself to the Bill?


suggested that his hon. friend should withdraw his Amendment.


said the Secretary for Scotland had promised to do his best to get a Scottish Committee for the consideration of this Bill. He hoped the Prime Minister, who was now in his place, would give effect—


The hon. Gentleman is not entitled to make a second speech. If he is asking leave to withdraw his Amendment, let him do so, but he must not enter into a review of the debate.


asked leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Leave not being granted, the debate was continued.

*SIR HENRY CRAIK (Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities)

said all who had listened to the speaker who had just sat down must be convinced, by a useful object lesson, of what would be involved in referring all Scottish questions to purely Scottish committees.


That is not the subject matter of the discussion now before the House. The subject matter of the discussion is the Bill. What the character of the Committee will be to which it is ultimately referred is a different matter altogether.


said the matter had been referred to frequently during the debate, and he thought he might be in order in touching upon it. His reason for rising was to urge once more the claims of the Royal Society for Edinburgh. He was sorry that the Secretary for Scotland had not been able to give greater assurances on that point. The assurances given had all been of a very general character, but Scottish Members would like to know how in the event of the Royal Society being turned out of its present location it was to be housed. He knew from experience how easy it was for the representative of the Government to say that such and such a question was under consideration with the Treasury, and that to give a greater undertaking might prejudice the negotiations that were going on. In the end when the Second Reading of a Bill had been got, and the particular emergency the moment avoided, very little was heard of the bargain with the Treasury. He should like exceedingly if they could have an assurance from the right hon. Gentleman that the place which had been indicated in the negotiations with the Scottish Office would be the place fixed by general consent in Edinburgh as the future location of the Royal Society.

*MR. CLAUDE HAY (Shoreditch, Hoxton)

said that as a Scotsman he was very much disappointed at the speech of the Secretary for Scotland on this subject. Everything had been left by him in a very vague condition, and the right hon. Gentleman would have them accept the assurance that when the Bill got into Committee full weight would be given to any recommendations brought forward. Hon. Gentlemen on both sides of the House had pointed out that the Scottish people had often been disappointed, if not deceived, by the Treasury. In the matter of the Royal Society they felt very strongly that there ought to be no loophole left for the Treasury. The right hon. Gentleman ought to put in the text of the Bill a provision which would prevent the eviction of the Royal Society unless it had assured to it all the advantages which it now enjoyed. It had been urged that the Bill should lie referred to a Committee composed entirely of Scottish Members. That would be against both the desire and the practice of Parliament, when dealing with matters affecting the Imperial Exchequer, and it would at the same time be very unfair to exclude from the Committee Scotsmen who, though not representing Scottish constituencies, wished to see that their native country was fairly treated. Personally he felt strongly that by leaving the nomination of the Board entirely in the hands of the Secretary for Scotland it would not conduce to the creation of a Board which would give the best results in the interest of art, literature, and science, in Scotland as a whole. He had great misgivings in supporting the Second Reading of the Bill, in view of the very vague assurances which had been given by the right hon. Gentleman.

*MR. BEALE (Ayrshire, S.)

said that, both as an Englishman and as representing a Scottish constituency, he was exceedingly surprised at the way in which some hon. Gentlemen seemed to underestimate the reputation of the Royal Society of Scotland. He hoped that after the Secretary for Scotland's clear statement of the intention of conserving to the Royal Society of Scotland at least the same advantages as it enjoyed at present they might rely on its being regarded as a national and not merely a Scottish question to see that faith was kept Scottish Science, which had contributed to British Science such names as Black, Clerk, Maxwell, and Lord Kelvin.

Question put, and agreed to.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read a second time, and committed for Tuesday 23rd October.