HC Deb 13 December 1911 vol 32 cc2364-5

asked the Lord Advocate if he is aware that, for the years 1906–10, out of the eleven Scottish Votes the numbers passed by Closure in this House and not previously discussed were, yearly, ten, eight, ten, nine, and seven respectively, or for the period an average of nearly ten Scottish Votes undiscussed per annum out of eleven, and also that for the years 1907–9 a total amount of £4,138,000 was likewise voted for Scotland without opportunity for discussion; and whether the Government will be prepared to propose a wider latitude for the examination of Scottish Estimates next year so as to secure more facility for the discussion of Scottish affairs?


In reply to the first part of the question, I have no doubt that the figures given by my hon. Friend are correct. With regard to the second part of the question, the Government has no power to give wider latitude in debate. By the practice of the House, discussion must be limited to the particular Vote which is read out from the Chair, and the Debate on that Vote cannot be made the opportunity for discussing a topic which arises on another Vote. The Government has no desire to limit discussion: but the practice of the House is quite well recognised.


In view of the facts stated in the right hon. Gentleman's answer, is he still of the opinion that the Government of Scotland is one of the best known to the world?


Yes, Sir.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say why the Scottish Office did not furnish the information to the hon. Member for Aberdeen instead of sending him to another Department?


Because that was the proper Department to send him to.