§ THE EARL OF MINTO
asked Her Majesty's Government, "Whether certain Returns moved for last Session relating to Scotch Teinds (Tithes) have been completed, and will be soon distributed to Peers; also, whether it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to introduce a measure to place the Law of Teinds on a reasonable and an equitable basis? The very fact that he was obliged to ask his first Question was strong evidence that the Office of Teinds in Edinburgh, no less than the whole of the antiquated and unjust procedure and law connected with teinds, stood urgently in need of thorough reform. Early last Session, in the month of April, certain Returns calculated to throw considerable light on the defects of the present system were ordered by the House; and that now, 10 months later, he was unable to learn whether they had been completed, or even commenced. Unless there was good reason for such extraordinary delay, he thought an immediate inquiry ought to be instituted into the condition of the Office, to ascertain whether it must be attributed to the negligence and incompetency of the officers at the head of it. His second Question required no explanation.
THE DUKE OF RICHMOND AND GORDON
, in answer to the last Question, said, that in view of the various Bills Her Majesty's Government had in hand, and intended to introduce before Parliament, he could not give the noble Earl any assurance of being able to deal with the Question to which he had referred during the present Session. With regard to the noble Lord's first Question, he had correctly stated that on a Motion made by him in the early part of last Session, an Order was made for certain Returns 1119 relating to Scotch Teinds, which Returns certainly ought to have been prepared and laid upon the Table long before this time. He could not account for the delay, but would promise to take immediate steps to ascertain why the Returns had not been prepared, and would, so far as was in his power, insist upon their being laid on the Table forthwith.
§ House adjourned at half past Six o'clock, to Thursday next, half past Ten o'clock.