HC Deb 26 March 1919 vol 114 c403
54. Mr. N. M'LEAN

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that Act 1592, c. 31 (temp. James VI. of Scotland), established the right of the Crown to ownership of mines of gold, copper, lead, tin, and other metals and minerals; that the Act is unrepealed; and when he proposes, in view of mining unrest, to put the Act into operation?


I have been asked to answer this question. The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. The effect of the Act, 1592, c. 31, which is still in part unrepealed, was to dissolve from the Crown of Scotland such mines as had anciently been annexed to it, by providing for the feuing of them to the owners of the lands in which they were contained for a royalty of 10 per cent. The remaining part of the question does not arise.

Brigadier-General SURTEES

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is aware that in the year 1568, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the question of ownership was debated, and it was then decided that all minerals, with the exception of gold and silver, belonged to the proprietor of the soil under which those minerals were situated?


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that Elizabeth never reigned over Scotland?

Brigadier-General SURTEES

I do not think it was ever said that she did.


The hon. and gallant Gentleman should give notice of those questions.