§ Bill read 1a (according to order).
THE DUKE OF ARGYLL
said, this was a Bill which had just been read a first time, and which, as he understood, affected to a very large extent, and in an injurious manner, the property of many of the Royal Burghs of Scotland, as well as that of many individual proprietors in that country. He understood that it was a Bill which had passed through the other House with hardly a word of explanation or comment, and even without any debate. Many of those persons whose property 1679 was most injuriously affected by the Bill were not aware that it had been introduced. He therefore wished to ask his noble Friend below him (Earl Spencer) when he proposed to move the second reading of the Bill? It was one which, in his (the Duke of Argyll's) opinion, ought not to be passed into law during the present Session, because he thought that Parliament had not had time to consider it properly.
§ THE LORD PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL (Earl SPENCER)
said, he wished he could deal with the Bill, but unfortunately it was not in his charge. The Secretary for Scotland, who had charge of it, was obliged to be absent from his place that evening; but he should have proposed that the Bill be read a second time to-morrow, as the time for winding up the Business of Parliament was rather short.
THE DUKE OF RICHMOND AND GORDON
hoped that the noble Earl would not press the second reading of the Bill to-morrow. The Bill was not yet printed, and it was doubtful whether it would be circulated to-morrow. The Bill contained a number of intricate provisions which affected in a very serious manner an enormous amount of property all over Scotland.
THE DUKE OF ARGYLL
gave Notice that he would move that the Bill be read a second time that day three months. He had seen the Bill, and he knew that it was very seriously objected to by many of the burghs in Scotland. It was particularly objected to by the capital of Scotland. That morning he had received a telegram and letter pointing out the grave nature of the Bill. He did not think it ought to be proceeded with this Session.
§ LORD WATSON
said, the Royal burghs of Scotland were indebted to the noble Duke for the notice he had given of opposition to the Bill. The Bill had been pressed on in a somewhat rapid manner. It was not known to many of the persons interested in it, and it had not been submitted to all of the learned bodies in Scotland for their revision or approval.
§ Bill to be printed; and to be read 2a on Monday next.