HC Deb 07 March 1912 vol 35 c548

asked the Secretary for Scotland, with reference to a resolution unanimously passed in July, 1910, by the Aberdeenshire County Council, that members of the council should be paid their railway fares to and from their homes to attend committee and council meetings, the principle of which was approved of by forty-one Scottish votes in this House against eighteen, if he can state what has been done to give effect to such resolution; and whether, seeing that in view of the fact that the granting of such a privilege might induce many desirable men to offer themselves as candidates for county council work, he is prepared to take action in the matter, more especially as the Scotch Education Office, with the sanction of the Treasury, gives to the governors of agricultural colleges and to the provincial committee of the training of teachers, similar privileges in the shape of their railway fares and personal expenses while engaged on that work?

The SECRETARY for SCOTLAND (Mr. McKinnon Wood)

Under the existing law and practice governing the question raised by my hon. Friend, travelling expenses—that is, the expenses of locomotion—are allowed to county councillors in the event of their being deputed as individuals or as members of a sub-committee to undertake some special work for the county council. It is not according to the accepted view of the law, permissible to pay out of the county fund the expenses of county councillors travelling to or from the ordinary meetings of the council or of district committees. The position of members of a provincial committee and governors of agricultural colleges is not analogous to that of members of an elected body, and is regulated by different provisions. I am aware of the resolution of the County Council of Aberdeen, which is not, so far as my information goes, generally supported by other local rating authorities. I cannot, in the circumstances, give any undertaking to legislate in the matter.

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