Returns for each county in Scotland of the name of any parish in which a vacancy for the appointment of a minister had been filled up by the electorate established under the provisions of the Church Patronage Act (37 & 38 Victoria, chap. 82, 1874), specifying—(1.) The population, male and female, of each such parish according to the last census at the time of election; (2.) The number of persons, male and female, who were qualified to vote in each case, distinguishing communicants and adherents; (3.) The cases in which the elections were contested, the number of candidates in each such case, and the number of persons, male and female, who recorded their votes in each case; (4.) The parishes in which compensation for loss of patronage has been awarded to or surrendered by former patrons in connection with each election under the Church Patronage Act, and the amount of the compensation awarded to or sur-
rendered by the patrons in each case (in part continuation of Returns No. 5, 1879, and No. 236, 1881)."— (The Earl of Minto.)
THE SECRETARY FOR SCOTLAND (The Marquess of LOTHIAN)
said, there could be no possible objection to granting the Returns the noble Earl asked for, as they were in continuation of Returns moved for by him in 1877. The noble Earl seemed to object to the Church Patronage Act of 1874; but on that point he was not at one with the general feeling of the people of Scotland, who were entirely satisfied with that Act. He should be happy to give the Returns asked for with the exception of No. 3, that relating to the number of candidates and the votes given for each, the information with regard to which it was impossible to obtain, as the elections took place under the ballot.
said, he wished to call attention to the fact that the Return relating to compensation for loss of patronage could not possibly be given in the form asked. A very numerous body of patrons had surrendered their rights to compensation; as the amount of compensation for patronage which had been surrendered had never been assessed under the terms of the Act, and did not require to be, it could not be stated. He would suggest to substitute for Paragraph 4 of the Returns, the following: —The names of parishes in each county in Scotland in which patrons have retained their right to compensation under the Act, and the amount of compensation awarded in each case, distinguishing the cases in which a vacancy for the appointment of a minister has been filled up by the electorate established under the Act.
Motion, as amended, agreed to.
Returns for each county in Scotland of the name of any parish in which a vacancy for the appointment of a minister has been filled up by the electorate established under the provisions of the Church Patronage Act [37 & 38 Victoria, chap. 82, 1874), specifying—
(In part continuation of Returns No. 5., 1887, and No. 236., 1881).
§ Ordered to be laid before the House.