“SCOTCH LAW CASES IN ENGLAND.
The CHAIRMAN said it had been discovered that appended to the Supreme Court of Judicature Act, 1875, constituting a high Court of Justice, there was a schedule under which persons resident in Scotland were liable to be brought before the Courts of Law at Westminster to defend themselves there, though the action might be without foundation. As the directors could not but think that this was an oversight when the bill was drawn up and passed, and as it was a violation of the Act of Treaty and Union between England and Scotland, they had petitioned Parliament in favour of a bill to amend this, called the Judicature Act Amendment Bill, which had been introduced by some Irish members – Ireland being affected in the same way as Scotland by the schedule – and had appointed Messrs McLaren, Cowan, and McLagan, M.P.s, to represent the Chamber in a deputation to Government on the subject.”
– Scotsman, Friday 31st March, 1876.
“THE ‘CURSE OF SCOTLAND.’
Edinburgh, September 23, 1876.
SIR, – What is the origin of the phrase ‘the curse of Scotland,’ as applied to the nine of diamonds? will you or any of your readers explain? The reason often given for its origin is that the Duke of Cumberland after the battle of Culloden wrote one of his brutal orders on the back of a card, which was the nine of diamonds. But the nine of diamonds, it is said, is known to have been so called before 1746. Another explanation given is this – The union of the two kingdoms of Scotland and England was, as is well known, very unpopular in Scotland at the time, and in consequence of the Earl of Stair having taken a very active part in promoting the union, he became so exceedingly disliked as to be called ‘the curse of Scotland,’ and having nine lozenges or diamonds in his coat of arms, the nine of diamonds card, by a natural process, came to indicate the house of Stair, and hence called ‘the curse of Scotland.’ But this explanation does not quite ‘hold water’ either, for although the Earl of Stair was one of the thirty-one Scottish Commissioners appointed to negotiate the Treaty of Union, he seems to have made himself no way conspicuous in promoting it. If our nine of diamonds has got its name in any way through the Earls of Stair and their coat of arms, is it not rather in connection with the doings at Glencoe than in the Treaty of Union? For during the discussions in the Scotch Parliament on the Union, Fletcher of Saltoun told the Earl of Stair that his Lordship deserved to have been ‘hanged for the bad counsel he had given to King James, for the concern he had in the massacre of Glencoe, and for his conduct since the Revolution.’ But has ‘the curse of Scotland’ anything to do with the Earl of Stair and his coat of arms? Though there are nine lozenges or diamonds in it, they are not placed at all like those in the nine of diamonds card, but are in the form of a Saint Andrews cross. – I am, &c.
– Scotsman, Monday 25th September, 1876.
We’ve already seen this in regard to Scotland but here’s how the union with England apparently benefitted Ireland. You’ll again notice the unwillingness to compromise in the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s reply, “raise our taxes to match yours?!”, “lose any representatives in order that every country be equally represented?!”, &c. Also, the distinction between England/Great Britain is muddied a bit here, as was becoming too frequent an issue of centralisation already;
At the evening sitting, Mr. MITCHELL HENRY called attention to the inequalities of Irish and English taxation, which he illustrated by copious statistics, showing that the aggregate taxation has increased in 25 years from four to eight and a half millions, and from 9s. 6d. to £1 12s. 2d. per head. This eight and a half millions amounted to one-eighth of the taxable income of Ireland, while the wealth of Great Britain paid only one-seventeenth. Taking imperial and local taxation together, Ireland paid 4s. 5d. in the pound on her annual income of £54,000,000, while Great Britain paid only 2s. in the pound on its annual income of £1,000,000,000. This unfair burden, he contended (moving resolutions to this effect), is out of proportion to her financial ability to bear as compared with England, and in violation of the promises made at the Union, and that permanent improvement is hopeless until the present mode of dealing with Irish revenues is altered. To the argument that a great portion of Irish taxation is voluntary, he replied that the Irish people, though more abstemious than either English or Scotch, regarded alcohol as a necessary, and Mr. Lowe’s argument that individuals, and not countries, were taxed, was a violation of the Treaty of Union. He did not ask that the duties on spirits should be reduced, but he urged that a larger portion of the taxes raised in Ireland should be spent there.
The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER replied that this would be an extravagant mode of redressing the inequality, which no prudent finance minister could sanction. As to the argument that Ireland as a poor country could not bear the same amount of taxation as England, it would involve a discrimination between poor and rich counties in England. The bargain at the Union had been modified undoubtedly, but it was in the interest of Ireland, which would have been crushed had the terms been strictly adhered to. He denied that Ireland was unfairly taxed, or that she was crushed by taxation. Property paid exactly the same in both countries, and the taxes on consumption were paid in both countries exactly according to the amount consumed; and as to the duty on spirits he saw no reason why the Irishman should not take his alcohol in the shape of beer. In Ireland the taxation was only £1 8s. per head, but in Great Britain it was £2, and, besides the exemption from imperial taxation which she enjoyed, the grants in aid of local taxation in Ireland were much larger than in other parts of the kingdom.
Sir J. McKENNA maintained that while the taxation per head in England had been diminished, in Ireland it had been increased, and Mr. BUTT, remarking on the deserted condition of the front Opposition benches, warned the Liberal party that, if it desired to conciliate the Irish members, it must not neglect this question. He insisted that the eight and a half millions of taxation paid by Ireland ought in justice to be reduced to little more than five millions.
Mr. ANDERSON, while willing to support a motion for equalizing the duties on alcohol, maintained that in comparison with Scotland, Ireland received an excessive amount of assistance, and contributed a smaller amount of revenue.
Captain NOLAN commented on the neglect of Irish interests in the matter of dockyards and other public works, after which the motion was negatived by 152 to 34.”
– Yorkshire Gazette, Saturday 9th June, 1877.
“ ‘SCOTLAND FOR THE SCOTS.’
SOME time since, and not very long ago either, ‘the Scotch argument,’ as we may term it, was a favourite one with English publicists and public men in their contests with Irish Home Rulers. There, it was said, is Scotland, which, like Ireland, had once a Parliament of its own, but which has, nevertheless, accepted the Union, and would not now dream of going back to the ante-Union state of things; it must be mere perversity which prevents Ireland from following her example. The argument had never much weight with the Irish, who considered that if Scotch men were content with a state of national degradation that was no reason why another people should exhibit a similar spectacle of degenerency. And now the example of Scotland is no longer held up for our imitation; the reason being the very sufficient one that the aforesaid example is no longer available. It is every day becoming more and more plain that Scotland is not content with her position in the empire, and signs are thickening that the change she desires, and will yet insist on, is not so very dissimilar, after all, from that demanded by Ireland. There now lies before us a pamphlet which is published by the eminent Edinburgh firm of Edmonston and Co., which is evidently the production of a Scot of more than average ability, and the object of which is “to lay briefly before the Scottish people the systematic neglect suffered by them at the hands of the Imperial legislature, in the hope that the time has come when it is evident that the present constitution of Great Britain does not provide a means of efficient administration for the three divisions of so great an empire, and that the attempted legislation for each kingdom forms an obstruction to leglislation for the other two.” We have been taught to believe that the Scotch are not swayed by what are sneeringly called sentimental considerations – that in their eyes national honour, for example, is as nothing compared with material advantages. The author of this brochure impliedly stigmatises this assertion as a libel. The noble lords and other persons who voted the Union for the sum of £20,540 17s 7d are here spoken of as ‘the creatures who sold their country like a mess of pottage.’ The ‘men who’ (in old times) ‘stood boldly forward as Scotsmen in the face of the world’ are contrasted with those who are ‘content to see Scotland daily becoming less and less a field for honest action or noble ambition; content to become Englishmen and to let themselves be called so; content to become utterly denationalized and see their hills and glens, with all their memories and traditions, made the hunting and pleasure grounds of the English idler and their own denationalized landholders.’ The design (of the existence of which strong proofs are given) to merge the Scottish judicature in that of England is denounced in unsparing terms, and in this connexion the declaration to Pope John the Twenty-second is quoted with enthusiastic approval, that ‘so long as one hundred Scotsmen remained alive they would never submit to the dominion of England.’ The neglected state of Edinburgh Castle, ‘the centre of a thousand stirring memories,’ is treated as an affront to the national mind, as is also the custom amongst Englishmen of speaking of ‘England’ when treaty obligations would compel them to say ‘Britain.’ Lastly, the Scottish people are called upon ‘to rouse themselves from their torpor and resolve with heart and hand to compel the British Government to maintain, if not the actual letter, at least the spirit of the Treaty of Union, by en masse asserting that Scotland has an individuality as a nation, with separate laws and institutions to protect alike from English interference and control.’ These are certainly not the slavish principles of public policy which have hitherto been supposed to prevail north of the Tweed. On the contrary, do they not bear a family resemblance to those which ‘the unreasonable Irish’ have been in the habit of advancing? But there is something even more notable to come. We have all heard much of the great material prosperity achieved by Scotland in the last half century. the writer of the pamphlet under notice admits all that is said on this point, but maintains, in opposition to all English notions, that the prosperity in question is so far from being the result of the legislative connection with England, that from the date of that connection to the present day there has been ‘an unceasing drain’ upon the people of the annexed country, and upon their money, ‘by the influence of studied centralisation.’ Recalling the vast sums expended in nursing the fishing industry in Scotland, and in cultivating the artistic tastes of the citizens of Edinburgh, we confess that, at first sight, this contention appears strange, but on reflection we cannot doubt that England has robbed Scotland as well as Ireland, though much less openly and to a much smaller extent. It is particularly noticeable, by the way, that Scotland and Ireland are both defrauded in the allotment of parliamentary representatives to the three divisions of the United Kingdom, for if the 658 members of the House of Commons were allotted proportionally to population, Ireland would be entitled to 112 instead of 105, Scotland to 70 instead of 60, and England to only 476 instead of 493. Nor can we doubt in the face of the evidence here presented that the Scotch labour under many serious grievances for which it is utterly vain to expect a remedy under present circumstances. Those sixty representatives who, because they had ‘loyally accepted’ the status quo! And now for the means proposed for securing the individuality and increasing the material prosperity of the Scottish nation. It is at this point we begin to feel ourselves at variance with the Scotch Home Rulers. The majority of them have not yet got beyond the idea of asking for a Chief Secretary with a seat in the Cabinet, and, although the writer of the pamphlet we have been examining alludes, in addition, to the United States system of local self-government as a possible model of a reconstructed set of Parliamentary institutions for the United Kingdom, it is evident that he does not contemplate a local Parliament with legislative powers for other than local or social purposes. His mistake is in thinking that a legislative union does not in the long run imply an administrative one – that the legislature of a small country can be united with that of a large without the one country being eventually absorbed in the other. Our experience is that with ‘a united parliament’ a Chief Secretary may be an instrument of scientific impoverishment, and the hope that an assembly empowered to pass only gas bills could avert provincialisation from a city requires only to be stated in plain language to be dismissed as chimerical. Our friends must go further, and we are confident that they will, possessing as they do so clear a conception of the character of the evils under which they labour from English rule. Meanwhile, in raising the cry of ‘Scotland for the Scots’ they have the hearty sympathy of those who want ‘Ireland for the Irish.’ ”
– Dublin Weekly Nation, 23rd March, 1878.
“A very strong movement has set in against Mr Cross’s Lord Clerk Register Bill and his Under Secretary for Scotland Bill. The latter is perhaps the less offensive, although it would tend to reduce the Lord Advocate to the level of a law officer and nothing more. But the proposal to abolish the existence (or rather the salary) of an ancient officer, whose usefulness no one questions, and whose position is one of the provisions of the Treaty Of Union, has given much offence. The Register Office cannot exist without a head, and that a vigorous one. It is true that the leadership, as in the case of Lord Dalhousie, has often been no more than nominal, but the abuse of an office is a reason for reform, not for abolition. There are many important public duties, many conflicting interests, and a large staff of responsible offices which give abundant employment to a man of energy and honour. That abuses exist in the House, mainly in the fact that so many persons actually serving the Crown have been on frivolous grounds denied the status of Crown servants, no one seeks to deny. But an office which, after paying all charges, yields a surplus in fees of £18,000 a-year need not be robbed of a salary for its responsible head. And by existing Acts, any surplus should go to reduce the fees, not to salary a new Under Secretary for the Home Department. And seeing that abuse above referred to has been prolonged and intensified under a Liberal régime, one might almost have expected that, out of more policy alone, the present Government would have striven to allay discontent by reforming the abuse, instead of intensifying discontent through an ill-considered bit of economy. It is not thought likely that, after the vigorous exposure of the wrong side of the proposal made by Mr Fraser as Dean of Faculty, the Home Secretary will hesitate to include his bills in the first massacre of the innocents.”
– Inverness Courier, 27th June, 1878.
“INJUSTICE TO SCOTLAND.
The attention of Parliament has been drawn this week by Mr McLaren and other northern representatives to certain flagrant examples of the injustice that is habitually done to Scotland by the present Government. It is an old story that Scotland pays a much larger sum into the national treasury, and receives a much smaller sum in return, than either England or Ireland. We remember this fact being brought out with singular force upwards of twenty years ago in an article contributed to a now defunct Glasgow journal by Professor David Masson; but in spite of the Scottish Rights Movement, in connection with which Mr Masson wrote his article, and all the subsequent efforts in the same direction, the evil has been aggravated rather than lessened during the intervening years, and the present Government has lost no opportunity of intensifying the injustice. For auditing the Poor Law accounts in England and Wales the Government pay £10,000; but in Scotland the local boards have to bear this expense themselves. England gets no less than £210,650 for medical officers’ salaries in connection with the working of the Poor Law; but Scotland gets only £10,200. While the whole cost of the County Court Buildings in England is defrayed from the Imperial Exchequer, only one-half of the expense of the Scottish Sheriff Court Houses is paid from that source – the other half being contributed by the local ratepayers. While £18,723 is the total sum given to the Scottish Board of Supervision, the Irish Board costs the country £127,000, an increase of £50,000 since 1873. Our Register Office, after paying all expenses, sends a clear profit of £5,000 to the Treasury; the Irish Office, on the contrary, costs the Government nearly £38,000 per annum, and never sends a shilling to the Exchequer. Yet Mr Cross, the model Tory Home Secretary, and the great friend of Scotland, has had the effrontery to take away the salary from the Scottish Lord-Clerk Register. The editor of the London Gazette and the other persons in the office of that print receive salaries amounting to £2,178; the total of the salaries paid to the editor of the Edinburgh Gazette and the other officials connected with that journal is £300, and this in spite of the fact that the paper yields an annual profit of £3,388. The Scottish Education Board, which cost only £3,500 a year, has been abolished; but the Irish Board, which costs £22,000, is continued, and at the very moment when the Scottish Board was being extinguished a second Board was instituted in Ireland to take charge of the higher education, with two commissioners at a salary of £1,000 a year each These are only a few items taken from a monstrous catalogue of wrongs, inflicted upon this part of the United Kingdom, and against which our representatives in Parliament have never yet protested with sufficient vigour, though we ought, perhaps, to except Mr McLaren from censure, seeing that he at least has done the utmost that lay in his power to get the evil remedied. But the Member for Edinburgh has certainly not been supported as he deserved to be by the other representatives from the North, too many of whom are either incompetent or lazy, or both. We observe that a fresh injustice to Scotland is threatened by a bill which has recently passed through committee, and which will probably be enrolled on the statute book before many days have elapsed. We refer to the Ancient Monuments Bill. This measure affects Scotland as well as England; yet its administration is to be solely vested in the Trustees of the British Museum. Surely the force of English impudence can no farther go. We are glad to see that a memorial has been issued by Lord Lothian on behalf of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, in which it is urged that the proper body to be entrusted with the administration of the new law north of the Tweed is the Board of Trustees for Manufactures in Scotland. Such a body as the Trustees of the British Museum, from the very fact that their duty compels them to act for (what we may call) a foreign institution, are not likely, we think, to discharge that difficult and delicate duty so well as a Scottish body such as the Trustees of Manufactures, who possess the qualifications of being a public and permanent body and also of being in intimate relations with the National Society of Antiquaries, and are officially charged with the custody of the National Museum of Scottish Antiquities. Many of the monuments in Scotland which fall under the scope of the bill, such as the inscribed and sculptured stones, are movable, and the Society of Antiquaries has from time to time secured the protection and preservation of many of these by inducing proprietors to present them to the National Museum, and from proprietors of most of the other monuments in Scotland it has received donations of antiquities which are preserved there along with the others. The Society has also made arrangements of a more or less permanent character for the preservation of monuments which are not movable. The Board has thus already established relations with the proprietors of the monuments to be preserved. It possesses their confidence, and having at command the society’s intimate knowledge of the monuments, is in every respect well-fitted to accomplish the objects contemplated in this bill, so far as Scotland is concerned. The Board of Trustees for Manufactures, which owes its origin to the Treaty of Union, and was first appointed in 1727, is also vested under the Act of Parliament with the trust of the National Gallery of Scotland, and the Gallery of Ancient Sculpture in the Royal Institution. We can only express a hope that our representatives in Parliament will do their duty in this matter, and that they will insist on the amendment of the measure that is proposed in the memorial subscribed by Lord Lothian.”
– Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette, 25th April, 1879.
“NOBILITY IN FETTERS.
THE House of Lords is made up of about five hundred members, to which number Scotland contributes but a small proportion. At the time of the Union in 1707 all the English Lords retained their seats in Parliament, but as the Scottish Lords were for the most part adherents of the House of Stuart, they were not permitted to enter Parliament as a body lest they should endanger the stability of the Revolution Settlement; and they had to be content with being represented there by sixteen elected members. That the proud aristocracy of Scotland, the numbering a hundred and fifty-five, should have submitted to such a degradation of their order as this process involved has always appeared to us a wonderful problem; but those of the Scottish Commissioners who were nobles were induced to swallow the bitter pill by a promise that they would be invested with English peerages, which would secure for them a place in the British Senate; and that by-and-by the same privilege would be extended to all the nobility of Scotland. This latter promise, we need scarcely say, was never fulfilled; had it been so, such contemptible proceedings as are witnessed every now and again in Holyrood Palace when the ceremony of an election is performed, would never have taken place, to elicit a sigh or provoke a sneer. Were the election of Peers a bona fide affair, carried out according to the terms of the Treaty of Union between two kingdoms, it would be viewed with respect, however much it might remind us that the gold of Scotland’s ancient and once illustrious nobility had become dim; but the votes, as a rule, are not the free suffrages of independent men, but rather acts of homage rendered by patrician serfs to a feudal superior, His Grace the Duke of Buccleuch; and therefore the election has come to be looked upon as little better than a farce.”
– Dumfries and Galloway Standard, Wednesday 21st April, 1880.
“The LORD-ADVOCATE, who was received with loud and prolonged cheering, said – I feel highly honoured by the presence of this large audience to hear my lecture on ‘Parliamentary Reform and Home Rule,’ and I shall at once proceed, without any prefatory remarks, to the subject of my lecture, promising, what I think the Lord Provost has already indicated, that it is this Scottish Home Rule, or government of the Scottish people by themselves, which is mainly the subject of my address. From time immemorial, and in various and characteristic modes, the people of Scotland have manifested their resolution to govern themselves according to their opinions and local traditions. During the century which intervened between the union of the Crowns of England and Scotland and the legislative union under the treaty of 1707, this spirit of independence took the form of a deep-seated jealousy of English intervention in our affairs… The Scottish Parliament, down to the last year of its sittings, displayed a very enlightened appreciation of the problems of social and legal reform brought before it, and its statutes have often been referred to as models of clearness and brevity. During the century which followed there was certainly much less of legislative activity than there was in the later years of the Scottish Parliament; and, indeed, it may be said with substantial accuracy that, during the eighteenth and the early part of the nineteenth centuries, Scotland had hardly any distinctive Parliamentary or political life. The Acts of the unreformed Parliament of Great Britain, which extend over a period of a century and a quarter – that is, from 1707 to 1832 – contain very few enactments applicable exclusively to Scotland; and the few chapters devoted to Scottish legislation are chiefly of the nature of administrative statutes, having a political rather than a social object – such, for example, as the well-known series of Acts passed after the rebellion of 1745, abolishing the military tenures, and taking away the jurisdiction in capital offences and the powers of inflicting capital punishment previously enjoyed by the Regality Courts of the great proprietors. I do not think that this remarkable surcease of legislative activity with respect to Scotland is to be attributed to mere indifference on the part of the Scottish representatives or to want of sympathy with the institutions of their country. It is evident that so small a body of representatives (they were only forty-five in number) could have no real influence in the British legislature, unless strongly backed by popular influence and support. But this attribute of popular influence was the one element in which the forty-five Scotch members were absolutely deficient. elected either by the few great proprietors or by the delegates of Town Councils, who were in their turn self-elected, the Scotch members of the unreformed Parliament were in no sense the representatives of real constituencies. One single English member elected and Scot or Lot, or what we now call household suffrage, or by the votes of the small country proprietors, would have more Parliamentary influence in the old House of Commons than the whole forty-five Scotch representatives taken together. It is to the votes of the English Liberal members in the unreformed Parliament, and to the exertions of the public out of doors, that we Scotchmen are mainly indebted for the gift of popular representation under the Act of 1832. Scotland has not been ungrateful for the boon, because she has ever since sent a powerful Liberal contingent to the House of Commons; and we know that in many a critical division the vote of the Scotch representatives has maintained the Liberal party in power, and enabled it to bring its measures to a successful issue. Since the passing of the Reform Act of 1832 the members for Scotch constituencies – although liable, of course, to be outvoted even on Scotch questions by the English and Irish members whenever they should choose to assert their powers – have in practice been allowed to manage the affairs of their own part of the kingdom very much as they pleased, and to vote, in the name and with their authority of the House of Commons, such measures of social and legal reform as were desired and were not in advance of the general public opinion of the country. I know that some of my Parliamentary friends have at times complained that the English members do not attend to their questions. We must be allowed to grumble like our neighbours; but I venture to doubt whether my countrymen would think it an improvement on the practice of Parliament, if English representatives who had not specially studied our institutions and laws were to begin to take a more active part in the discussion of Scotch measures than they have been in the habit of doing. Where the principle of a Scotch bill affects the United Kingdom, we must accept the challenge of a vote of the House of Commons as a necessary condition of the existence of a united Parliament. But in such cases – of which the Ground Game Act of last session is an example – the difficulty is generally avoided by bringing in a bill applicable to the United Kingdom, or by legislating for the three divisions of the kingdom in separate measure embodying the same principle. What is really to be desired in the interests of specially Scotch legislation, is not so much the co-operation of our friends from the South, as the presence in Parliament of a representation from Scotland commensurate with the population and wealth of this division of the kingdom.”
– Glasgow Herald, Wednesday 22nd December, 1880.
“THE JUDGMENTS INFERIOR COURTS BILL. – The petition to the House of Commons from the Convention of Royal and Parliamentary Burghs of Scotland in reference to the bill now before Parliament “to render judgments obtained in certain inferior Courts in England, Scotland, and Ireland respectively, effectual in any other part of the kingdom,” sets forth that the petitioners regard the general principle of that measure with satisfaction, but desire to point out that the English Courts have lately assumed and exercised a jurisdiction over persons resident and domiciled in Scotland, which is contrary to international law and to the 19th Article of the Treaty of Union. No jurisdiction of corresponding extent, it is submitted, is vested in the Scotch Courts over persons resident and domiciled in England. Accordingly the effect of passing this bill would, the petitioners urge, be to aggravate the existing inequality of jurisdiction, and to subject resident Scotchmen more stringently to the English Courts. The bill should not, in the opinion of the petitioners, be passed unless subject to the amendment either – (1) that English or Irish decrees should only be enforced under its provisions in Scotland when the jurisdiction in the Court which pronounced the decree is such as is recognised by international law between independent kingdoms; or (2) that one and the same rule of extra-territorial jurisdiction should be established for the Courts in the three kingdoms affected by this bill.”
– Scotsman, Monday 16th May, 1881.
“THE GOVERNMENT AND SCOTLAND.
The Glasgow Herald says:- We have no reason to be ashamed of our Scottish nationality, and yet we seem inclined to acquiesce, with the mildest forbearance, in the suppression of its symbols. Every cheeseparing economy is practised upon our national institutions, and nobody interferes. The great officers of State survive amongst us in title, but derive no emolument from their dignities; although, in England, the Master of the Buckhounds, the Lord High Almoner, and other functionaries as useless to the State as the High Constable or Privy Seal of Scotland, enjoy handsome salaries without protest. The Warden of the Cinque Ports and the Constable of the Tower are still well-paid and entirely unnecessary officials, though the Governorships of Edinburgh and of Stirling Castle are no longer awarded, even in name, to distinguished Scottish soldiers. Every Scottish office that could be suppressed or docked of its salary has been suppressed or has been docked. The submissiveness with which Scotland has accepted this treatment has naturally encouraged it, until the British Government appear to think that this ancient nation has no traditions or rights of its own at all, and is to be regarded as no longer an individual nationality. The Treaty of Union expressly stipulated that, north of the Tweed, the royal standard should show the Scottish lion in the first and fourth; yet at the recent review, when the Scottish volunteers marched past their Queen, the standard that floated over her head bore the English quarterings. On such an occasion the flaunting of this Southron flag was little else than an insult. the display of the Scottish flag would have been resented in Windsor Park. Is the emblem of their nationality less dear to the Scot than to the English that it is thus set aside?
The Royal Archers represent one of the most ancient and honourable bodyguards in Christendom. Their master-roll embraces the names of almost all, if not all, the oldest and best families in this kingdom. Whenever they are called out to attend the Sovereign they are entitled to present their feudal tribute of two barbed arrows, and in virtue of this to claim the continuance of their rights and privileges. The ceremony is known as the “Reddendo.” At Holyrood on the 25th ult. it was dispensed with. This decision deprived the officers of the Royal Company, at the head of whom were the Duke of Abercorn and Lord Lothian, of the customary audience with Her Majesty; and deprived the Queen of the fittest, and indeed only, opportunity of making a gracious acknowledgment of the Archers’ services. The omission could not be for the sake of saving time, as the Reddendo could have been easily gone through during the quarter of an hour that the Secretary of War kept the company waiting in the quadrangle of Holyrood till he came downstairs to administer the oath of allegiance. Most probably Mr Childers, or some Cockney Jack-in-office under him, who knew little and cared less about the traditions of the Scottish Archers thought that the Reddendo was some piece of Scotch nonsense which had better be let alone.
There is an old and honourable office – a relic of our ancient Court and household – that of Historiographer-Royal, the name of which had reached the ears of Mr Healy ere Parliament rose. It fell vacant by the death of Dr Hill Burton, and Mr Healy was anxious to know if it was to be filled up. The Home Secretary told him that its being filled up was “under the consideration of the Government.” Seeing that the Government quietly suppressed for several months one of the Scotch Judgeships, and then only filled it up for the purpose of facilitating the suppression of the major part of the duties of the office of Lord Advocate, this answer is rather ominous. the office of Historiographer-Royal is the little bit of blue ribbon with which the Sovereign, in the people’s name, can decorate the writer of its history. Mr Healy may regard with alarm any public sanction of the historian’s office; but he may soothe himself with the assurance that no Scottish annalist could by any possibility think it worth his while to give an Irish agitator a place in his pages. Why Sir William Harcourt, in replying to the meddlesome inquiry, should have spoken in so uncertain a tone we fail to see. If this office – whose dignity has been enhanced by the fame of its last holder – is allowed to lapse, the reason can only be a supercilious neglect of Scottish institutions or a most contemptible economy.”
– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Wednesday 7th September, 1881.
“TEASING THE SCOTTISH LION.
THERE is something the matter again with the Scottish lion. For a long time he has been dozing so very placidly that the world was beginning to forget his existence; but within the past week or two an occasional growl and tremulous motion of the tail have been perceptible to those keeping an eye and an ear open for his possible movements. Sometimes it is one thing which explains his uneasiness, sometimes another. The Volunteer Review, despite the deluge, was a brilliant success, yet there appear to be some unsatisfactory after-thoughts connected with it. There are complaints that, in spite of alleged orders to the contrary, the version of the Royal standard displayed was the English one after all, and not the Scottish, as provided by the Treaty of Union. Then the Royal Bodyguard of Archers were prevented from going through the immemorial feudal ceremony of “Reddendo,” or presentation of arrows to the Sovereign, a sort of petit serjeanty conditioning their tenure of privilege. This dreadful omission is bitterly ascribed to Mr. Childers, or some “Cockney Jack-in-Office” who did not know any better. Worse, however, remains to be told. It is irritating in the extreme to be deprived of your flag and your Reddendo, but it is simply past bearing to have your Historiographer-Royal taken from you. Yet nothing less than a calamity of this size is believed to be threatened. A dark rumour is spreading in the north that the Government do not mean to appoint any successor to the lamented Dr. Hill Burton, and will leave the annals of Scotland henceforth to write themselves. But the sorest point of all seems to be connected with the question of the Lord Advocate. A species of mystification of which this subject appears to have been made the instrument has not served to mend matters. When the late Lord Advocate, after having spent a fortune in fighting his way into Parliament through a series of contested elections, suddenly threw up his political career and retired into a puisne judgeship, he was understood to account for it by as good as saying that he had been thrown overboard because he would not consent to the degradation of his office in certain new arrangements which were in contemplation for the control of Scottish affairs. On the other hand the Home Secretary declared that the late Lord Advocate did not see anything detrimental in those arrangements to the dignity of his office, and this statement has not been disclaimed.
The Scotch mind has been puzzled by these contradictory pronouncements, and the only thing it can see clearly in the matter is that although its Lord Advocate may still be in theory what he has always been – that is, chief Scotch legal assistant in the Home Office – he will no longer be in practice what he has unquestionably been since the days of Dundas and earlier, Home Secretary, or rather Premier, for Scotland, with a dash of the autocrat in him. Indeed, the Government do not conceal that in appointing so prominent a Scotchman as Lord Rosebery to the Under Secretaryship of the Home Office their object is to reduce the political and administrative lead in Scotch affairs. This division of labour is what a good many Scotch politicians have long thought desirable, only they do not understand why it should have been contrived to throw an air of mystery over it. Others, who do not like the arrangement in itself, have inferred from the mystery that there is a dark plot on foot, hatched by Sir Richard Cross and brought to maturity by Sir William Harcourt, to deprive Scotland of the self-government it virtually enjoyed in the palmy days of the Lord Advocateship, and to turn it into a second Ireland, governed by an Englishman and on English ideas. Even so capable a Scotchman as Mr. Boyd Kinnear cannot see much else in the new arrangement; asks what Sir William Harcourt meant by emphasizing the control of the Home Office over Scotland, and by the novelty of putting the Scotch Solicitor-General on a level with the Lord Advocate as a channel of Scotch communication with himself; declares that ‘the legal adviser will be told to withhold his advice till it is asked, while the Under Secretary will be told he has only to sign letters that Secretary Harcourt dictates;’ and avers that, with all respect to Lord Rosebery’s talent and honesty, it is absurd to expect that he can set himself against Sir William Harcourt.’ This is truly awful, if there is anything in it. Sir William Harcourt’s tongue and temper have notoriously done no good in Ireland, and we cannot afford to have him provoking a new Home Rule agitation in Scotland. But the mere fact of appointing so influential and admittedly able a native as Lord Rosebery to an office involving Scotch control seems to indicate a desire to develop rather than crush Scotch aspirations for self-government, even although the Lord Advocate is somewhat shorn of his traditional glories, and left to depend on his powers of personal self-assertion. At all events, Lord Rosebery has the field fairly open to him, and it will be strange if with the support of his countrymen on any question he cannot succeed in the tremendous feat of ‘setting himself against Sir William Harcourt.’ Under a lay Premiership of its own nationality it may be hoped that Scotland will become, if possible, a more exemplarily tranquil section of the empire than ever, and utterly cease from troubling, through mere absence of occasion, even about slights to its Flag, its Reddendo, and its Historiographer-Royal.”
– Pall Mall Gazette, Wednesday 14th September, 1881.
“It is a month and more since the Queen reviewed her gallant Volunteers at Holyrood, and yet it has not been possible to obtain positive knowledge as to what form of Royal Standard was floated at the saluting point. It would seem as if the rain had ‘wiped away those trivial fond records,’ and that no one but the person who hoisted the flag knows for certain what was done. The conflict of evidence is almost complete, excepting that, if it were a jury question, it would probably be pointed out in the summing up that the English quartering must, from the preponderance of evidence, be held to have been shown. Why is not an official, or at least an authoritative, announcement made as to what was done? It was certainly stated before the Review that the Queen had desired that the Standard should be that provided by the Treaty of Union to be used in Scotland. By this every man, or woman either, in Scotland understood that the blazon would be, ‘quarterly, first and fourth, on a field or, lion rampant gules,’ and so on. There is one exception, for Mr George Seton writes to say that the three English lions or leopards should have the first and fourth in all parts of the country – England and Scotland both. This idea, which Mr Seton almost alone holds, is quite opposed, not only to general belief, but to general usage in other matters than flags. True it is that, in a sense not intended by Shakespeare, we may say that the bargain is more honoured in the breach than in the observance. But wherever the question has been seriously taken up, the obligation has been realised. It is observed, they say, on the Edinburgh Gazette to this day, and as recently as 1853, when the town of Brechin raised the question, it was acknowledged by Garter, in agreement with the Lyon Office here, that precedency should be given to the Scottish shield in quartering the arms for distinctive Scottish use. Let it not be said that the question is a matter of indifference. Too many matters in which sentiment and patriotism and national pride are involved, are now being treated in the nil admirari spirit, in the ‘nothing new, and nothing true, and no matter’ method of thought. The man who makes an apology for being proud of his country, and jealous of all its concerns, is in need of the advice given by one of the characters in ‘Contrarini Fleming’ – ‘My friend, never apologise for showing feeling; remember that when you do so, you apologise for truth.’ ”
– Inverness Courier, Thursday 29th September, 1881.
“SOME correspondence that has recently appeared in these columns has drawn attention to the amount of the annual grants made to the National Galleries of the United Kingdom, and to the disproportionately small sum which falls to the share of Scotland. This is not a singular experience in the case of Scotch grants in other departments than that of the encouragement of art. Instances are only too numerous where the sums disbursed on account of this part of the Empire are shabby and inadequate, whether regard be had to our needs, or to corresponding contributions made to England and Ireland…
A few figures relating to the votes for the year 1881-2 will illustrate how matters stand. The sums voted for the National Gallery in London, during the current year, amounted to £19,273, which includes £9500 for the purchase of pictures, £3892 for salaries and wages, and £2510 as an additional charge for maintenance and repairs of the building. On behalf of the National Portrait Gallery there was a grant of £3349, of which £750 was put down for purchase of portraits, £1083 for salaries, and £850 for maintenance. The amount voted for the English galleries was thus £23,132 in all. For the Dublin Gallery provision was made from the public purse to the amount of £3575 – £1000 to be spent in the purchase of works of art. £968 in salaries, and £1236 in maintenance and repairs. The entire contribution made by the State for the Scottish Gallery comes out of a vote of £2100 made in payment ‘of the annuity to the Board of Trustees of Manufactures in Scotland in discharge of equivalents under the Treaty of Union,’ part of this sum being applied in the maintenance of the School of Art and Museum of Antiquities, and disbursements being also made from it to certain officers of the Fishery Board. So far as can be understood, the actual sums spent on the National Gallery consist of £760 for salaries and wages, £350 in taxes and repairs, and £60 in cleaning – in all, £1170, or less than the expenditure for the repair and maintenance of the Dublin Gallery, and little more than the sun set aside for the making of additions to the collection in that institution. To the £1170, however, must be added a portion of the secretary’s pay; but as that official receives a general salary as the secretary of the Board of Trustees, which includes the management of the National Gallery, it is difficult to say how much of it ought to be apportioned to the expenditure of the Gallery. This information has been asked for in the letters we have referred to; but as yet it has been withheld. Making due allowance for this, however, it may safely be assumed that, under the grants as they at present stand, Ireland, leaving out of account the £300 of grant to the Irish Academy of Painting, receives at least double, and England more than a dozen times, the sum voted for Scotland. Objection may be taken that the sums voted for the Edinburgh Industrial Museum should enter into the comparison, and that when these are taken into account, Scotland is put in a more favourable position as regards the grants made to Art. No one doubts the excellent services which the institution in Chambers Street performs. But similar sums are given to Ireland; and though the new Museum at Dublin as yet exists only on paper, the £15,000 granted yearly since 1879 will afford ample scope for the erection of a building equal to the Edinburgh one. As to South Kensington, it is not necessary to quote figures to prove that that Museum obtains the lion’s share of the money devoted to Industrial work, although, after all, its galleries are not immeasurably better than our own in Chambers Street; while the Bethnal Green Museum, notwithstanding its annual grant of £7000, is admitted to be attracting fewer visitors every year. The question of Industrial Art may, therefore, very well be put aside; so far as regards that matter, Scotland receives, at most, no more than her due, and, in return for the sum which is received from the State, can show results which she need not be ashamed to place beside those of her neighbours. On the other hand, taking the grants for the promotion of the arts of painting, sculpture, and architecture, Scotland, it has been seen, is put off with a meagre pittance, which, were it not for the public spirit of the incorporated artistic bodies, would long ago have left the national collection in a deplorable condition.
This, however, is not all the case. The so-called grant is, as has been said, no grant at all, and merely represents the interest of a debt contracted at the Union. England then undertook to pay to Scotland the sum of £398,085, 10s., as a calculated equivalent for the latter country taking up on her a proportionate share of the English National Debt. The details of the disposal of that sum need not be entered upon here; but, after much legislation, and some years of delay, a remainder, represented by £2000 per annum, was, in 1727, granted to Trustees specially appointed to administer it for the benefit of Scottish manufactures, &c. That Board of Trustees remains to this day, and administers the sum out of which the National Gallery draws the only aid it obtains from the British Exchequer. In point of fact, it receives no contribution whatever from the public purse, in the sense that the English and Irish Galleries do; it only gets punctual payment of the interest on an old debt, while Scottish taxpayers have to reflect that while, in fulfilment of an obligation, a paltry £1200 or so returns to their country to assist in developing Art and artistic taste, the English and Irish Galleries receive a double share of assistance in the shape of a free grant. A result of undertaking a proportion of the English National Debt would seem to be to deprive us of our proportion of the State grants in aid of Art. Because a century ago a sum was specially set aside, as part of the national patrimony, for the encouragement of Scottish industry, it seems to be considered that nothing further is needed through all time for the encouragement of Scottish painting. The advantages of this new way of paying old debts may well be doubted. the present arrangement needs surely only to be stated to make its injustice plain, and to put matters in train for an early re-adjustment. It is unjust as between the three kingdoms, and it is specially unfair considering the deserts of Scottish Art. It has been by the unaided efforts of Scottish artists, exercised through the Royal Scottish Academy and other Art associations, rather than by the dole dispensed through the Board of Manufactures, that the national collection of paintings on the Mound has been added to and kept together, and made to approximate, as nearly as could in the circumstances be looked for, to what a Scottish National Gallery should be. That its dimensions and its merits must fall far short of that ideal will continue to be the case until bare justice is done, by putting it, like the London and Dublin Galleries, in possession of an annual sum to be devoted solely to the purchase of works of Art.
– Scotsman, Saturday 8th October, 1881.
“CONVENTION OF ROYAL AND PARLIAMENTARY BURGHS.
A largely-attended meeting of the Annual Committee of the Convention of Royal and Parliamentary Burghs was held in the City Chambers, Edinburgh, yesterday. Provost Brodie, North Berwick, presiding… The jurisdiction exercised by English courts in Scotland was under consideration, and a deputation was appointed to wait upon the representatives of Government within Scotland with a view to a stop being put to this usurpation of the English courts, which, it was maintained, was contrary to the Treaty of Union, and entailed unnecessary expense upon Scotchmen, in defending themselves in England…”
– Edinburgh Evening News, Tuesday 13th December, 1881.
“Allowing for the probability that the movement will be condemned in England as meaning no more than ‘craft in danger,’ the legal profession in Scotland deserve praise for their efforts to save their country from the assumption of jurisdiction by the Law Courts in England. If it were only a movement to protect some Mr Dunup against having his just and lawful debts, otherwise irrecoverable, enforced by a competent court, there would not be so much to be said about the incursion, even though it be a breach of the Treaty of Union. But as it has been and can be worked, the jurisdiction assumed is becoming a protection to evil-doers and a terror to those who do well. Cases of very great hardship have arisen, and must constantly arise, where a pursuer does not justify his name, and follow his creditor or his wronger, to the courts of the country where the offence lies. It is quite clear the Scottish law and the law courts of Scotland cannot be killed by inches, and if a direct enactment to do away with the provisions made at the time of the Union were proposed, Scotland would have a word or two to say on that matter – and there might even be many amongst her sons who would be disposed to ‘couple it with something – make it a word and a blow.’ The main plea relied upon at the meeting in the Advocate’s library yesterday, was the claims of international law. Scotland has not bartered away her nationality, though consenting to be joined to her sister, and if only the proposal be made broadly and plainly enough, there may be yet another ‘benediction of the poinards’ enacted at Stafford House. The evil of the present attack is its insidious character, and also its great injustice, for on many legal points we occupy a higher platform than our neighbours, and many litigants suffer serious damage by being compelled in this way to appear before a foreign court and plead to a foreign law. Practically, the meeting of counsel and agents yesterday, in which all important districts in Scotland were represented, means an appeal to the Cabinet to make the matter a special one, for the Lord Advocate, Solicitor-General, and Under-Secretary of the Home Department, all rolled together, cannot move against the Lord-Chancellor, if the keeper of the Queen’s conscience should, as regards our international rights, have no conscience of his own.”
– Inverness Courier, Thursday 22nd December, 1881.
HOW IRELAND BECAME PART OF GREAT BRITAIN. – To say that Ireland fell to England by conquest is neither wholly true nor wholly false. It is wholly false to say that it was conquered in the sense that Edward I. tried to conquer Scotland – conquered, that is, as a whole, the entire nation being united under one head for the purpose of resisting a common invader. It is not only doubtful whether, had the Irish been united, the Anglo Normans who went over would ever have possessed more ground in the country than was needed to cover their bones, but it is almost certain that the subjugation of the island would never have taken place; assuredly it would not with the force which actually went over. Of course, after the precedent set at Hastings, where the fate of England was decided in one pitched battle, and in view of the fact that a mob, however numerous, can avail nothing against the attack of disciplined troops, it is perhaps presumptuous to say so much; but we have only to point to the case of Scotland for justification, and to see how there the whole strength of England failed to hold in bondage a united, freedom-loving people, irregular and undisciplined though they were in comparison with the followers of the first soldier of his day. Ireland was not conquered as a whole, for it never resisted as a whole – never acknowledged for the purposes of the common weal one supreme head or ‘dictator whom all men should obey.’ It is not, therefore, absolutely true to say that it was conquered, neither is it absolutely false. It fell like the house that was built upon the sand, because it had no foundation and was divided against itself. Bit by bit it was subjugated by force of arms, and according to a system of warfare which aimed at preventing a repetition of resistance by means of extirpation – a system which required the constant presence of a strong military force in the conquered districts, and which provoked from time to time those outbursts of national and party anger which the system has periodically put down with bloodshed and violence. At no one period in her history has Ireland ever been united as Scotland was when she successfully resisted the invader; at no time has the sister island been animated by the Scottish love of freedom, and dogged determination never to acknowledge a foreign yoke; and certainly, at the time of the first attempt that was made upon her independence, Ireland was split up into rival factions as bitter and hostile to one another as the worst common enemy could desire. – Cassell’s Popular Educator.
THE IDIOT EARL OF DRUMLANRIG. – Connected with the Duke’s residence in Queensberry House, against which the whole fury and maledictions of the mobs were directed at the time of the Union, there is a tale of awful mystery and horror. His eldest son, James Earl of Drumlanrig, is simply stated in the old peerages, ‘to have died young.’ It is now proved, however, that he was an idiot of the most wretched kind, rabid and gluttonous as a wild animal, and grew to an enormous stature, as his leaden and unornamented coffin in the family vault at Durisdeer attests at this day. This monstrous and unfortunate creature was always confined in a ground floor room of the western wing of Queensberry House; and ‘till within these few years the boards still remained by which the windows of the dreadful receptacle were darkened to prevent the idiot from looking out or being seen.’ On the day the Treaty of Union was passed all Edinburgh crowded to the vicinity of the Parliament House to await the issue of the final debate, and the whole household of the duke – the High Commissioner – went thither en masse for that purpose, and perhaps to prevent him from being torn to pieces by the exasperated people, and among them went the valet whose duty it was to watch and attend the Earl of Drumlanrig. Hearing all unusually still in the vast house, the latter contrived to break out of his den, and roamed wildly from room to room, till certain savoury odour drew him into the great kitchen, where a little turnspit sat quietly on a stool by the fire. He seized the boy, took the meat from the fire, stripped and spitted him, and he was found devouring the half-roasted body when the duke returned with his train from his political triumph, to find dire horror awaiting him. the common people, among whom the dreadful tale soon spread, in spite of the duke’s endeavours to suppress it, said that it was a judgment upon him for his odious share in the Union. The story runs that the duke, who had previously regarded his dreadful offspring with no eye of affection, immediately ordered the creature to be smothered. But this is a mistake; the idiot is known to have died in England, and to have survived his father many years, though he did not succeed him upon his death in 1711, when the titles devolved upon Charles, a younger brother.’ – Cassell’s Old and New Edinburgh.
– Folkestone Express, Sandgate, Shorncliffe & Hythe Advertiser, Saturday 28th January, 1882.
“ENGLISH JURISDICTION OVER SCOTCHMEN.
This afternoon a deputation, consisting of representatives from the Edinburgh Town Council, the governors of the Merchant Company, and the directors of the Chamber of Commerce and Trade Protection Society, waited on Lord Rosebery and the Lord Advocate in their chambers, Parliament Square, with reference to the assumed jurisdiction by English courts over domiciled Scotchmen. Lord Provost Boyd introduced the deputation, saying that so far as he understood the matter, the practice, based upon an Act of Parliament entitled the Supreme Court of Judicature Act, 1875, was of a very questionable legality. It seemed to be in direct violation of the Act confirming the Treaty of Union, and they were of opinion that such a practice could only be warranted by some direct legislative express enactment, and which also should provide that writs of the Scottish supreme courts should in like manner run in England. Of course the present practice inflicted hardships upon the people of Scotland, but Mr Treasurer Harrison would address their lordships on that point, on behalf of the city, and also on behalf of the Trade Protection Society, of which he was chairman. – Mr Harrison said the Scotch were a practical people, or they probably would not have recalled the provisions of the Act of Union. The order adopted by the English judges evidently was never intended to oppress the Scotch but it soon began to press heavily on the people of Scotland. It was not long in operation before clever people in England found out that by making use of it they could oppress debtors against whom perhaps they had no very genuine claim, and induce them either to pay or compromise by the threat of being dragged into the English courts. A return to the House of Commons several years ago showed that out of 123 cases in which these judges’ orders had been put in force, there had been oppression in 120, and their experience was that the practice was going on still. The amount of costs was very much greater when an action was taken to England. He had statistics of several cases occurring within the past year showing the excessive costs of such cases. In one case £18 was required to recover £64 18s., and in another, where the account was £12 the costs were £68 12s. The proceedings complained of caused also undue delay, and except where resorted to for the purpose of extorting money were costly to both parties. They had, therefore, addressed themselves to their lordships with a view to getting a remedy to this state of matters applied.”
– Edinburgh Evening News, Monday 30th January, 1882.
“… Under the Treaty of Union it was expressly provided that the Scotch Courts should remain in full possession of their ancient privileges and independence; and, further, that no causes in Scotland should be cognoscible by the Courts of Chancery, Queen’s Bench, Common Pleas, or any other Court in Westminster Hall. The functions of Parliament were thus to be confined to the regulation of the administrative machinery of the Law Courts. These provisions appear sufficiently explicit to prevent the two countries from coming into collision on matters of legal jurisdiction; all the more that what the Scotch contend for – viz., that the writs of one country should not be valid in another – is in strict accordance with the principles of public procedure adopted by every nation, save England, in Christendom. Attempts have been made by the English Courts to get their writs made serviceable in Scotland; but until 1875, when the English Law system was rearranged under the Supreme Court of Judicature Act, these had been successfully opposed. No good cause could be shown for such a change. But what could not be got above board was obtained in a somewhat indirect fashion. The English Act in question passed through Parliament evidently without any Scotch members having examined it; or if they did, they had failed to discover the obnoxious provision which, if not in its intention at any rate in its working, has proved prejudicial to Scotland. The English Judges, acting within their power, framed an order which almost unreservedly enabled an English plaintiff to raise an action against any person resident in Scotland in an English Court, and compel the Scotchman to defend himself there against the conclusion of the summons. This applied not only to Courts in Westminster Hall but also to every County Court south of the Tweed. The fiction was, that service out of jurisdiction was only to be allowed when some action connected with the contrast which it was sought to enforce, took place within the jurisdiction; but this was found to be no safeguard. It was held not to be necessary that a Scotchman should have been to England in person to make a contract. If a man in Thurso, for example, wrote a letter to a firm in Plymouth ordering goods, it was held that the cause of action arose in England; and, if any hitch in the contract occurred – if a Scotchman failed to deliver the goods he had contracted to supply, or disputed part of an account for goods supplied to him – forthwith he was summoned to appear at Plymouth and defend the action. If he did not appear, judgment went by default; and the decrees of the English Courts could then be enforced in Scotland as if that country had no judicature of its own, and no Law Courts. The immense amount of irritation, inconvenience, and loss such a practice entailed was enormous. Rather than be dragged into what was to all intents a Foreign Court, whose order of procedure was unknown to him, and the expenses in connection with which were excessive, a Scotch defender often, as was shown, compromised the action, even although persuaded that the claim made against him was of a shadowy nature. The knowledge of such a fact led to imposition; and left Scotch merchants at the mercy of unprincipled Southern dealers with whom they might have unwittingly contracted; and who preferred bogus claims against them in the hope that the threat to take them to an English Court would lead to the money being forthcoming… By sworn affidavit – and some of those which have come to the light have not been very accurate – it is still possible for English plaintiffs to drag Scotch defendants to the English Courts. The cases cited by the deputation showed that either the English plaintiffs were densely ignorant of Scotch affairs – which was very likely – or that they were not very particular what found its way into their sworn affidavits. The case referred to by the Lord-Advocate himself was an excellent example. There an English attorney swore in an English Court that there was no Court in Stirling competent to try an ordinary debts recovery action; and what was more, he got an English judge to believe it. A vexatious suit in consequence was instituted against this defendant in an English Court – the whole sum on which the action was based being below £100…
… The plain demand is that the principles regarding the jurisdiction of the English and Scotch Courts should remain as they were fixed at the Union…”
– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Thursday 2nd February, 1882.
“CIVIL SERVICE EXPENDITURE.
The appropriation accounts of the Comptroller-General of the Exchequer, and the Auditor-General, show that the total sum voted for Civil Services for the year 1880-1 was £30,402,812, and the total expenditure was £30,143,322, being £259,490 less than the sum granted; while the extra receipts payable to the Exchequer were £216,148 in excess of the estimate. All the Scotch Departments show a surplus to be surrendered to the Exchequer, with the exception of the Fishery Board, which expended £226 15s 3d in excess of the grant, and the National Gallery, which receives an annuity of £2100 under the treaty of union. With regard to the former Department, however, the estimated extra receipts for the year were £6010, and those actually realised £11,499, which were paid over to the Exchequer; the increase arising from the herring fishery of the year having proved more abundant than was anticipated, and having consequently yielded more brand fees.”
– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Saturday 18th March, 1882.
“THE TREATY OF UNION.
Edinburgh, May 25, 1882.
SIR, – Your correspondent ‘The Treaty of Union’ has asked a most startling question, viz. – ‘Does not Disestablishment mean the abolition of the Treaty of Union?’ I reply most emphatically that it does. Some sentimental people imagine that the Treaty of 1707 is an antiquated document. and that it has nothing to do with the present relations of Scotland and England, that no one would think of disturbing the peace of the British Empire by appealing to it. Never was there a greater mistake made than to indulge in such vain fancies. Law deals with facts, not with sentiment. Probably, however, some people would not object to a dissolution of the present union, and therefore press for Disestablishment.
Looking at the matter from a purely philosophical point of view, one might be tempted to say – ‘Since England was the first party to put her foot through the Treaty in 1712 (five years after it was signed), she has no reason to complain if Scotland administers the finishing kick.’ This, however, is a matter of opinion. – I am, &c.
A. N. S. M.”
– Scotsman, Friday 26th May, 1882.
“The only Court which has exercised authority for many years past has been the Committee of Privileges of the House of Lords. In the now famous Mar case that Committee was practically composed of three Lords, of whom two were English lawyers and the third was Lord Redesdale, who is neither a lawyer nor a Scotchman. It could not have been supposed that such a tribunal could have adjudicated with authority on so elaborate and complicated a question as the succession to a Peerage which involved a large number of intricate and delicate questions that depend absolutely and entirely on a due appreciation of Scottish law alone. It might have been expected that even a group of English Peers would have paid some respect to Scottish feeling, and have allowed some authority to Scottish documents and legal decisions. This was, however, not the case. The most highly-prized traditions of Scotland were ruthlessly trodden under foot; her most ancient Peerage was declared to be a ‘creation’ of yesterday; the ‘Decreet of Ranking’ was declared to be a series of blunders; the decisions of the Court of Session were ignored; and the Treaty of Union was quietly set on one side. It was not to be expected that such a state of things could be endured, and we find accordingly that for eight years the tide of popular opinion has been swelling, and that a more and more determined front has been shown against the supporters of the English Committee of Privileges…
In the brief debate which took place on Friday the only argument of importance that was brought forward was that an anomaly would be created if the question of title were dealt with differently in Scotland and in England and Ireland. This was the objection to the measure which was urged by the Lord Chancellor, who omitted, however, to notice that although the Scottish Peerage stands in the same position as in the two sister countries, the tribunal which decides questions relating to them is wholly English…”
– Glasgow Herald, Tuesday 25th July, 1882.
“LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT FOR SCOTLAND.
“Nemo me impune lacessit,’ Broughty Ferry, writes:- Most Scotsmen must now be agreed that the present expensive and unsatisfactory system of legislating on Scottish local affairs in London has continued quite long enough, to say nothing of the fact that the bulk of the English and Irish members are profoundly ignorant of Scottish affairs. As matters at present stand the only persons who benefit are London lawyers and Parliamentary agents, Scotland and Ireland being mere preserves for these gentlemen. No wonder that our Scottish railways are complaining of their dividends being to a certain extent eaten up by the expense of legislating in London; and the fact is notorious that these local affairs could be settled in Edinburgh for a mere trifle in comparison with the expense of taking them to London. Scotland is also most unfairly treated in the matter of representation, as our proper proportion to put us on a par with England and Ireland is seventy-three members; and we are certainly entitled to demand a representative in the Cabinet, either in the shape of the restoration of the office of Secretary for Scotland or of the Lord Advocate. There is also another grievance of recent origin under which we at present suffer, and which is calculated to engender a feeling of hate towards England. I refer to the recent assumption of a certain jurisdiction by the English Cockney Judges by a clause smuggled into a recent English Judicature Act. Under this extraordinary arrangement an English plaintiff may in certain cases drag a Scotsman all the way to London, it may be for a paltry sum, that is, if the Scot is fool enough to pay any attention to their writ, as they call it, even although served through the Scottish Court. This sort of thing ought to have been stopped long ago, and the Scottish members can easily do so if they like. This is likewise a direct infringement of the 19th article of the Treaty of Union. This Treaty, which deprived Scotland of its local Legislature, was very unpopular at the time of its passing, and the Scottish Parliament was about equally divided on the subject, but England, by distributing its gold freely, secured majorities sufficient to carry the measure. Doubtless the ‘Anglified’ noblemen and lairds of Scotland who are descendants of those who signed the treaty and the aforesaid London lawyers will raise a howl against the restoration of local self-government, but the matter rests in the present day in the hands of the Scottish people, who are masters of the situation, and who need not consult either these parties in the matter. The English are proud of their country, and can they blame the Scots for cherishing the same feeling? In conclusion, if we are to preserve our nationality the Scottish members must be up and doing. If they had shown a tenth of the spirit of the Irish, Scotland would not have remained out in the cold so long. It is to be hoped, however, that they are now fully alive to the necessity of this. The disgraceful land system of our country must be so altered as to admit of the people being planted on the soil of their native country to the greatest possible extent, and in the Highlands these curses, deer forests, abolished and sheep farming restored. The Scottish people at home and abroad are not going to see their country become a mere annexe of England, and, speaking from personal observation, I can say that the spirit of patriotism is fully stronger abroad. It is, of course, possible that England may not relish the idea of Scotland having local self-government any more than Ireland, but if we are all three nations to live in peace this is what it must come to.”
– Dundee People’s Journal, Saturday 23rd December, 1882.
“THE UNIVERSITIES BILL.
THE following amendments to the Universities (Scotland) Bill are on the paper:-
Mr Bryce – On second reading of Universities (Scotland) Bill, to move – That no measure for the reform of the Universities of Scotland will be satisfactory which does not directly abolish all theological tests in those Universities, instead of referring the question of such abolition to an Executive Commission.
Mr James Campbell – To move, as an amendment to Mr Bruce’s motion, to leave out from the word ‘not’ to the end of the motion, in order to add the words ‘have due regard to the securities for theological teaching in the Universities which were given under the Treaty of Union, and which, although modified in details, have been respected in all subsequent legislation.
Mr Dick Peddie – To move, that in order to render any measure dealing with University reform in Scotland entirely satisfactory, provision ought to be made in it for abolishing the Faculty of Divinity and for connecting the Chairs of Ecclesiastical History and of Hebrew and Oriental Languages with the Faculty of Arts.
Mr Williamson – To move, that no measure for the better administration and endowment of the Universities of Scotland will be satisfactory which confers any power on Commissioners to suggest the dissolution of the University of St Andrews; which does not contemplate for the higher education of women at one or more of the Scottish Universities; and which does not provide for the transference of Chairs or Faculties from one College to another, as well as the suppression of such Chairs or Faculties.”
– Scotsman, Friday 27th April, 1883.
“THE OBSERVATORY MUSEUM. – Among the articles deposited in the museum during the month are three old prints with reference to the Treaty of Union, from Mrs J. Hutchinson, Townhead of Mouswald. The first is the copy of a memorial containing ‘Instructions by the Barons and freeholders of the County of Dumfries’ to the members of the Scottish Parliament from that county to oppose the then proposed Treaty, and is dated 29th October, 1706; the second is an account of the burning of the Articles of Union at Dumfries two months later; and the third gives the names of the members who voted in the division at the passing of the Treaty on the 16th of January in the following year…”
– Dumfries and Galloway Standard, Wednesday 30th May, 1883.
“THE SERVICE OF WRITS BILL.
A London correspondent, writing on Tuesday night, says:- Messrs Anderson, Cochran-Patrick, J. A. Campbell, A. Elliot, Armitstead, Bolton, and Buchanan, who have backed the Service of Writs Bill, have gained an important victory when one considers the difficulties to which private bills have been exposed in this Parliament. The utmost pains were needed to prevent the almost inevitable ‘block,’ and, thanks to the strategy if the members mentioned above, this seemingly unimportant measure was the only unblocked bill that came before the House last night. As a matter of fact the bill is one of the greatest importance for Scotland, inasmuch as it embodies a principle for which a constant struggle has been going on ever since the Treaty of Union. Scotchmen were expressly protected by the Treaty against the service of writs issued by the English Courts, and both in 1852 and in 1854 the Scotch members of Parliament vigorously resisted an endeavour that was made to bring Scotchmen within the meshes of the English civil law. An attempt, however, that was made to bring Scotchmen within the meshes of the English civil law. An attempt, however, that was made in this direction in 1875 was somewhat more successful, and through the carelessness of the Scotch members a hill extending the service of English writs north of the Tweed was allowed to pass the second reading, although at the last moment it was vigorously opposed and thrown out. By the Procedure Act the English lawyers managed to gain the point for which they had so long striven, and the object of Mr Anderson’s bill is simply to restore things to the status quo ante the Procedure Act.”
– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Thursday 14th June, 1883.
“THE Scottish members of Parliament who helped to ‘make a House,’ on Tuesday night last, for the discussion of Mr Anderson’s Bill to regulate the service of writs of the High Court of Justice in England upon persons in Scotland, deserve the thanks of their countrymen. Not only were they able to have the Bill read a second time, but they obtained in the course of the debate important recognition of the injustice under which Scotsmen at present labour, and which the Bill is intended to remove. That injustice, as has been already so frequently explained in these columns, arises in consequence of the Rules of Procedure passed by the English Judges, in virtue of the English Judicature Acts of 1873 and 1875, permitting service of the writs of the High Court of Justice in London to be made upon Scotsmen in Scotland. According to English practice, service of a writ gives the Court which issues it jurisdiction over the defendant, to the effect, at least, of compelling him to appear and state his pleas in defence, or, in default, of granting a decree against him. The awkwardness of such service to Scotsmen is increased by the provision of the Judgments Extension Act of 1868, which enables an English decree to be registered and summarily enforced against them as if it were a judgment of a competent Scottish Court. Before these rules came into operation, a Scotsman had to be sued by his English creditor in the Courts of Scotland. This is in accordance with the universally recognised rule of international law, and is founded upon obvious considerations of justice and expediency. For, inasmuch a a man is subject only to the jurisdiction of the Courts of the country where he is, and not of those where he is not, it seems both reasonable and natural that one having a claim against him should seek to establish it in the Court which has jurisdiction to entertain and enforce it. The recognition which the tribunals of one civilised country extend to the decrees of another depends upon the law of the country in whose Courts the foreign decree is sought to be enforced; and a French decree, for example, against an Englishman, or even against a Frenchman in England, would only be received and sustained by the English Courts if it would have been valid according to English law and procedure. It would, therefore, but for the provisions of the Judgments Extension Act already referred to, be perfectly competent for the Scottish Courts to refuse to recognise an English decree against a Scotsman following upon service of the summons upon him in Scotland. It may be doubted whether the Scottish Courts are even now bound to recognise such service as valid, if they were asked to suspend a decree in absence against a Scotsman obtained by means of it. When the Judgments Extension Act was passed, no service of English writs was allowed in Scotland. In the Common Law Procedure Act of 1852, by which power to order service outwith their jurisdiction was, for the first time, conferred upon the English Common Law Courts, Scotland was expressly exempted. Even now such power is not conferred upon them by express legislation; and the assumption by the English Judges, under the name of a mere Rule of Procedure, of a power which amounts to so serious and harassing an extension of their jurisdiction, is clearly a grave breach of constitutional law.
This question, however, has not yet been brought under the consideration of the Courts of Scotland, and Scotsmen having borne with the injustice till they could do so no longer, have now brought it under the notice of Parliament. The object of Mr Anderson’s Bill is to remedy the evil complained of, and to place Scotland and Scotsmen in the position in which they were before the Rules were issued. Nobody who opposed the second reading on Tuesday ventured to deny the existence of a grievance. It is, indeed, too plain for argument that for a Scotsman to be obliged to defend himself in England against an English plaintiff, with whom he has contracted, or to whom he is said to owe money, is, except in very special and exceptional circumstances, unjust. Even Sir Richard Cross had to admit it; and Mr Whitley was immediately contradicted, when he said the present law had worked well, and laughed at, when he said that in England there was a strong feeling against the principle of the Bill. Of course there will be such a feeling; for the Rules place a powerful compulsitor in the hands of every Englishman. A Scotsman, for example, may have bought goods from an English house by order given to their traveller in Scotland. He may find them disconform or inferior in quality, and may have a good answer to a demand for the price. But he has undertaken to pay that price to an Englishman, who gets an order for service of a summons upon him in Scotland, and will get a decree against him which can be summarily enforced there, unless he appears and defends himself in the English Court. Small wonder if, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, he prefers to abandon his claim, and suffer a small and certain loss, rather than engage in the losing speculation of an English lawsuit.
The Home Secretary and the Solicitor-General for England, while they admit the existence of the injustice and the necessity for the remedy proposed by the Bill, say it goes too far, and the Lord Advocate professes to think so too. Their idea seems to be that it will not only secure Scotsmen, but enable them to make reprisals, as it were, on Englishmen. Now, this is an entire misapprehension. The Bill consists of three sections, one of which contains only the short title, and the effect of the other two may be easily comprehended. Shortly stated, section 1 prohibits service of an English writ upon a defendant resident in Scotland, and who had no dwelling-house or place of business in England, in any action for recovery of any debt, damages, or costs. The obnoxious service is thus to be limited in two respects – first, as regards the class of action, and, second, as regards the person against whom it is raised. It will be observed, in the first place, that the Bill refers entirely to actions at common law. The Chancery jurisdiction of the English Courts is not in any way affected by it. As far as this Bill is concerned, the present obnoxious system, by which the Court of Chancery claims jurisdiction to administer the estates of deceased Scotsmen, and has recently ordered the transference to England of a Scottish trust estate worth nearly half a million, will go on unchecked. The present Admiralty jurisdiction of the English Courts is also fully secured to them by the Bill; for section 2 provides that actions in which they may have jurisdiction by reason of the situation of estate or effects, of the attachment of ships in England, shall not be affected by it. Again, the Bill in no way interferes with the jurisdiction or power of the English Courts in reference to actions regarding status arising out of the laws regulating marriage, legitimacy, and divorce. Now does it deal with that large class of common law actions, the object of which is to compel the performance of specific acts, or the specific implement of contracts. Actions, however, for ‘the recovery of any debt, damages, or costs,’ are those which may be enforced under the Judgments Extension Act – the enumeration is, indeed, in the very words of that statute; and in preventing service in such cases upon persons resident in Scotland and having no dwelling-house or place of business in England, the Bill simply seeks to secure for domiciled Scotsmen the protection of their own Courts and their own system of law. These differ from the English in many important respects. In England, as has been said, personal service within the jurisdiction always subjected a man to the jurisdiction of the English Courts; and before the Rules permitted service in Scotland, an English plaintiff used to lie in wait for his Scottish debtor’s visit to England, and have a writ served upon him in his hotel in London or elsewhere, if he thought he would gain his case more readily in the English than in the Scottish Courts. According to Scots law, on the other hand, the defender must have been a certain time in Scotland, have acquired a ‘domicile of citation,’ as it is called, before service can be validly made upon him. In Scotland, again, a man need not in general keep receipted accounts for more than three years; after that his oath of payment is a sufficient answer to a re-demand; but in England the corresponding period of prescription is six years. Many other differences between the laws of the two countries, as, for example, in sale and bankruptcy, might also be instanced. Indeed, it will not be doubted that Scotsmen have an interest as well as a right to be sued in the Courts of their own country; and actions for debt, damages, and costs include at least a fair proportion of those in which that interest is greatest, and that right consequently most important. The injustice, therefore, of trying such in England being admitted, the Bill as limited in this respect, even though not fully adequate to the complete not be regarded as an encroachment upon the privileges of Englishmen.
… Is it, then, as those who opposed the second reading seem to say, an encroachment upon the privileges of the English Courts to exempt such a one from their jurisdiction? The majority of Scotsmen are resident in Scotland, and have no residence or place of business in England; but nobody except the late Master of the Rolls was ever heard to say that the English Common Law Courts have jurisdiction over Scotsmen at all. The 19th Article of the Treaty of Union expressly provides for the maintenance of the Scottish Courts unimpaired in the character and independence of their jurisdiction, and the exemption of Scotsmen from the jurisdiction of the English Courts. The well-known maxim of international law, actor sequitur forum rei, teaches us that the plaintiff must sue the defendant in the Courts of the country where the defendant resides. The Imperial Parliament has not only never subjected Scotland to the jurisdiction of the English Courts, but has taken care expressly to exclude that country from it. It is, therefore, no encroachment upon the powers of the English Judges to take from them what they never had by law, and what they have only assumed since they were permitted to become a law unto themselves…”
– Scotsman, Monday 18th June, 1883.
“Mr ROBERT LOCKHART, jun., in seconding the adoption of the memorial, said that thirty years ago, as they had heard, a most influential public meeting asked for the appointment of an officer to administer Scottish business. They had had to wait all this time, and they were now to get something not so large as then demanded. This certainly illustrated the Job-like patience of the Scottish people. He thought if their members of Parliament had a little more of the fire of their brethren across the Channel, Scotland would receive more justice at the hands of the Government. As for the remark made by the Home Secretary, that the new officer should not busy himself too much, he thought they could promise him this, that they would find him quite enough to do, so much that he would require assistance before long.
The resolution was then unanimously adopted, and the Chamber adjourned.”
– Scotsman, Tuesday 10th July, 1883.
“SCOTTISH RIGHTS AND THE LATE EARL OF EGLINTON.
THE rejection of the Local Government (Scotland) Bill by the Tory Peers, has caused some references to be made by the press, notably the Mail in a leader last week to the important part which the late Earl of Eglinton took at the formation of the ‘National Association for the Vindication of Scottish Rights.’ The Mail remarked – ‘The demand for the appointment of a responsible Scottish Minister was brought prominently forward more than thirty years ago by the influential Association presided over by the late Earl of Eglinton, who, unlike the other Scottish Tory Peers, was a noble-minded patriot, and never gave up to his party what was due to his own country.’ Few of the readers of the Herald now, I daresay, were privileged to witness the grand ovation which the Earl received, or had the pleasure of listening to the noble speech which he delivered then at the inauguration meeting in the City Hall of Glasgow. I recall the scene to my mind. The Hall was densely filled in all parts. Hundreds of ladies graced the meeting with their presence – probably the advocates of ‘Women’s Rights’ could not have brought together a larger number. The gathering, for intelligence and wealth, was perhaps one of the most remarkable that Glasgow and its neighbourhood could then produce. The Earl of Eglinton wore the insignia of the Order of the Thistle, and looked every inch a nobleman. We were all proud of him, as well as the speech he delivered on that memorable occasion. The arguments he used then for a responsible Minister for Scotland were just what are being used now, and his words are well worth quoting at this time of day. He said – ‘The object which we have in view, stripped on the one hand of the aspersions which have been cast upon it, and on the other of perhaps a little too zealous advocacy by some friends – the object is to preserve for Scotland her national rights, so far as consistent with united imperial and legislative and constitutional Government. For this object this movement has originated – for this object had this Association been formed, and for this object it will strive; but we will not be induced to go a step further.’ Speaking of himself, he said – ‘There is one thing I have endeavoured to do, and which, individually ought to be impressed on every person with whom we are associated – that is our express determination to preserve in all its integrity the union between Scotland and England. We will not be parties to sow discontent between two countries; but our opponents will not take us at our word – they either will not read what we say, or wilfully disbelieve what we assert. The union of the two countries is as firmly established as is the House of Hanover on the throne. I don’t believe that any sane man in Scotland would try to dissolve the union, any more than that he would seek to draw the sword for the Duke of Monmouth. I remember a short time ago of meeting a noble friend in Edinburgh, to whom I mentioned my regret that the recent investure of three Knights of the Thistle had not taken place at Holyrood. He said to me – ‘I am for upholding and cementing the union.’ I say, so am I for upholding and cementing the union by doing away with the inequalities that exist.’ The Earl was exceedingly happy in an appeal he made to his ‘fair audience,’ of whom he was pleased, he said, to see present so large a proportion. ‘I would appeal to them, and ask what would be their opinion of the husband who covered himself with ornaments, while he gave his wife none; who spent all the money on himself, and who did not even allow her her own pin-money; who constructed beautiful houses and parks for himself, with all sorts of defences, and gave her no protection. I am afraid the answer would not be complimentary to the gentleman in question. That was precisely the care as regards Scotland and England. We demand that our national feelings shall be respected, our national rights preserved, and the treaty of union adhered to. Now the first demand which we have to make is that we ought to have a Secretary of State for Scotland, instead of being left to the tender mercies of a Lord Advocate. We say that a lawyer who is a subordinate officer of the Ministry, and therefore is unable to plead our interests in Cabinet discussions – who has his own professional business to attend to, and is therefore unable to attend to ours – is not a fit person to undertake the management of the affairs of a populous, a thriving, and an energetic country. Then we say we are not properly represented in the Imperial Parliament – that we have a right to a considerable increase in the number of members. Then we complain that our palaces and our royal parks have been allowed to go to ruin, or our Crown lands are sold and the proceeds are thrown into the national treasury – but we are told that the Queen does not live at Holyrood. The Queen does not live at Hampton Court, but the palace there is kept up in a style worthy of the Sovereign of the nation. But what right have they or we to say that the Sovereign, who has shown no distaste for the northern part of her dominions, might not wish occasionally to hold her Court at Holyrood? But the Queen could not hold her Court at Holyrood. The palace, park, and neighbourhood is in such a state that the humblest of the Scottish gentry would not live there, except under the wholesome dread of the bailiff.’ Cockney journalists poked fun at the ‘tartan’ for such a movement, and pictured the Scots as a race who spoke Gaelic, wore kilts, and lived on thistles. Scotchmen in kilts! I have only seen the ‘garb’ once this year, and that was at Tighnabruich. Verily the wheels of the legislative chariot go at a slow pace, although much for which the late Earl of Eglinton contended, in his love for ‘puir auld Scotland,’ is now ‘within a measurable distance,’ notwithstanding the gibs and sneers of my Lord Salisbury.”
– Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, Friday 31st August, 1883.
A case, brought before the courts, Orr Ewing vs Ewing, brought to light the way in which Scottish court jurisdiction was being overshadowed and subverted by English Courts who, as per the Treaty of Union, has no jurisdiction within Scotland or on Scottish affairs whatsoever. This led to calls for enquiry into the situation which was more widespread than just this one case. The financial amount in this specific case was, of course, what highlighted it. The case itself is elaborated upon in the ‘London Evening Standard’ report of December 8th, 1883.
“SIR, – I have read with much interest the articles and letters of your various correspondents which have appeared in your paper during the last few days on this subject. It appears to me that enough has been said to convince the public of the unwarrantable encroachment upon the rights of Scotsmen by the legal dignitaries across the Border, and while newspaper correspondence is all very good in its way, I think the time has now come for something more practical being done to remedy the evil, and I would suggest that, as an initiative step, the W.S. and S.S.C. Societies should unite in memorialising the Lord Advocate with the view of having the rights of Scotland vindicated, through the intervention of Parliament, and this memorial should be followed up by the various commercial bodies taking a similar step. Some people will no doubt say that the interest of the legal profession is entirely a pecuniary one. But what although? They are surely at liberty to protect their rights. The members of the profession have, however, a private interest as domiciled Scotsmen. The decision in the Orr-Ewing case affects all Scotsmen – particularly those who have amassed their fortune and retired from public life, and whose affairs are almost entirely under the charge of lawyers – and the profession may therefore be said to represent them also. As regards the pecuniary interest of the profession, it cannot be denied that the administration of Scotch trusts has in the past been satisfactorily accomplished in Scotland for the benefit of all concerned, and one result of the decision referred to is that the members of the legal profession may lose a very lucrative part of their business. To bow to this would be equal to the people submitting to a law which compelled Scotsmen to go to England to purchase goods which could equally well be supplied in Scotland. This, I am sure, would not be submitted to for a moment by merchants. The legal profession should therefore take the initiative, and I am sure the public will support them, as they must see that, in addition to much inconvenience, their hard-earned means – if invested to any extent in England – may be swallowed up by the expenses of unnecessary proceedings in the English Courts. – I am, &c.
“SIR, – With regard to this important question, a curious coincidence of it occurs in Scottish history, verifying the saying that ‘history repeats itself.’ In the reign of James I., 1427, some such question as this one which is now exercising the public mind must have arisen, for in Tytler’s ‘History of Scotland,’ Chap. II., James I., the following passage occurs in an abstract of the Acts of the Scottish Parliament for 1427:- ‘With regard to the case of Scottish merchants dying abroad in Zealand, Flanders, or other parts of the Continent, if it be certain that they were not resident in these parts, but merely visited them for the purposes of trade, all causes or dispute regarding their succession of their other transactions were declared cognisable by the ordinary Judge within whose jurisdictions their testaments were confirmed, even although it was proved that part of the property of the deceased trader was at time in England, or in other parts beyond the seas.’ From this it may be inferred, had our Scottish Parliament been in existence now, they would have made short work of the recent decision of the ‘House of Lords.’ – I am, &c.
Edinburgh, December 6, 1883.
SIR, – All Scotland – thanks to your advocacy of the rights of Scotsmen – is now alive to the great question at issue, the freedom of Scottish subjects, and the independence of Scottish Law Courts of foreign interference and control. As you well observe, in the flagrant Orr-Ewing case, ‘all Scottish business is now neglected, and Scottish rights ignored by England.’ And as your correspondent in to-day’s Scotsman well remarks, ‘Why, in the name of the sacred feeling of patriotism, do our Courts (Courts of Session, &c.) submit to be overridden? What are our sleepy-headed members of Parliament about that they allow what Jenny Geddes resented?’ This, then, is the important question, which all Scotland should now attend to, Why does the Court of Session – composed of so many legal gentlemen – tamely submit to such encroachments on its rights, and to such treatment on the part of Westminster officials? Can the Court of Session not defend itself, and so maintain the honour of Scotland? If it cannot do so, what is it worth? – I am, &c.
A SCOT O’ SCOTS.”
– Scotsman, Friday 7th December 1883.
“PERTHSHIRE SOCIETY OF SOLICITORS AND THE JURISDICTION OF ENGLISH COURTS. – A meeting of the Perthshire Society of Solicitors was held in Perth yesterday – Mr A. Graham, Crieff, in the chair – at which the effects likely to result from the recent decision of the House of Lords in the case of [Orr] Ewing versus Ewing with reference to the jurisdiction sought to be exercised over domiciled Scotchmen and Scottish property were taken into consideration. A Committee was appointed to communicate and act along with other societies in opposing what is considered an innovation on the rights of Scotchmen under the Treaty of Union.”
– Dundee Courier, Saturday 8th December, 1883.
“The vexed question of the jurisdiction of the English Law Courts in Scotland, which was brought under the notice of the House of Commons last Session, has been raised afresh by judgments of the House of Lords and the Queen’s Bench Division, and is at this moment being discussed North of the Tweed with no little excitement and indignation. Mr EWING, a Glasgow merchant, who died four years ago, domiciled in Scotland, left by his will, drawn up in the Scotch form in 1873, a fortune of something like half a million of money to the charge of six executors, of whom Mr. A. ORR EWING, the member for Dumbartonshire, was one. The whole of his property, with the exception of assets amounting to twenty-five thousand pounds, was situated in Scotland, and the executors, having obtained letters of probate and administration in England in respect to the twenty-five thousand pounds, proceeded to take the necessary steps to transfer it to Scotland, and add it to the bulk of the estate to be administered. It happened, however, that a nephew of Mr. EWING’s, a beneficiary under the will, had left ten thousand pounds to an ‘infant,’ whose friends commenced an action in the Chancery Division for the purpose of securing the administration of the whole estate by the English Courts. The executors admitted jurisdiction not simply as regarded the ten thousand pounds, but in respect of the whole twenty-five thousand pounds situated in England. They, however, denied – and the contention seems, on the whole, in accordance with common sense – that the bulk of the estate, which has never been out of Scotland, could be dragged from the jurisdiction of the Scotch Courts and thrown into Chancery. This view of the case was taken by Mr. Justice MANISTY, who held that the Court had, at all events, a discretionary power as to the exercise of its jurisdiction; but, on appeal, a judgment to a contrary effect was secured, and this in turn has been sustained by the final decision of the House of Lords. Unless, therefore, the Scotch Courts make a stand in the matter, a course which it is in their power to take, and which they are strongly urged by public opinion North of the Border to adopt, the whole of Mr. EWING’s estate will be transferred to the English Court of Chancery. To Chancery lawyers the prospect may be pleasant enough; but it is not surprising that in Scotland it has led to an excited discussion and much antiquarian research into the terms of the Treaty of Union.”
– London Evening Standard, Saturday 8th December, 1883.
“ENGLISH JURISDICTION IN SCOTTISH CASES.
December 10, 1883.
SIR, – You rightly say that it is a small matter to Scotland that the amended regulations of the English Judges under the Judicature Act make it unlikely that such cases as that of Orr-Ewing’s will occur again, so long as these amended regulations remain as they are. The real question for Scotsmen is the power assumed by the Parliament of Great Britain to authorise the English Judges, under any circumstances, to assume jurisdiction in Scotland. Such an assumption is absolutely excluded by the Treaty of Union; and nothing but a formal assent by the Scottish nation to an alteration of the conditions of Union can empower the British Parliament to give English Judges power in Scotland. The Lord Chancellor said the Chancery Court always made it a rule to enforce its judgments in Ireland or Scotland. But except for the Treaty of Union, which he sets aside, Scotland has no legal connection of any kind with England, and, according to that treaty, the Court of Chancery has not, and cannot have, any more authority or jurisdiction in Scotland than the French Court of Cassation.
To deal with such a question as this by remitting it to the hoped-for Scottish Administration Department – a department to be appointed by and subject to the British Parliament – would be a fundamental mistake. We surrender our position entirely if we fail to take the ground of the absolute obligation of the Treaty of Union. In my opinion, the taking our stand could be best done by general meetings in the chief centres of our population, which should one and all make formal protest against the assumption of jurisdiction in any form. That would keep the matter in proper shape for our – at more leisure – taking the most prudent and hopeful means of getting the Act authorising the English Judges to make rules which involve encroachments in Scotland rescinded, and for quashing all invasions by the Court of Chancery. If there are defects in our own law – as the Lord Chancellor suggests – these can be supplied constitutionally by legislation; but whatever legislation there is must be kept within the lines of the Treaty of Union. In my opinion, there ought to be tabled, as soon as Parliament meets, a formal protest by the Scottish members, in which they would disclaim any wish to precipitate matters, but would take up the position firmly, that the independent jurisdiction in Scotland of the Scottish Courts must be left untouched as the Treaty of Union places it. In such a protest the nature of the jurisdiction which the House of Lords has, as representing the old Scottish ‘King and Parliament,’ and not as a Court of Judicature, should be brought clearly into view.
It would be very valuable, as a following up of such protests, that the meeting called by the Convention of Burghs, as well as other public bodies in Scotland, should do anything which they can to forward the matter, but taking care to keep out from their resolutions anything implying an acknowledgment of right in the British Parliament to make any law which sets aside the Treaty of Union. So long as we stand absolutely on our Treaty of Union, our position is unassailable; but if we go to Parliament saying, ‘We hope you will be reasonable with us, and modify your rule for English jurisdiction in Scotland,’ we surrender our constitutional ground. In that case, we may, for the present, get very reasonable terms from England; but there can be no doubt that the same circumstances which have lately occurred will recur; and those who shall then feel themselves aggrieved will say any but complimentary things of the Scottish public spirit of the present day, and of those who guided their politicians, for having surrendered the Treaty of Union for a temporary accommodation which conceded a power to the British Parliament in the matter.
What is to be done to assert our independent jurisdiction ought to be done not only decidedly and resolutely, but soon; for the legal interests of the subjects of the two nations would, in a few years, get inextricably mixed up, so that great practical inconvenience could be alleged to be inevitable if the English Courts were to cease to continue to exercise jurisdiction in Scotland; and a plea of necessity created by our supineness would be given for any arbitrary action which the English might take on the ground of its being too late to make a change. – I am, &c.
“Edinburgh, December 10, 1883.
SIR, – While the question of English jurisdiction is under discussion, the following quotation from Mr John Hill Burton’s ‘Scot Abroad,’ bearing on the subject of English jurisprudence and its origin, may not be out of place. After speaking of those institutions which had been infused into Scotland though contact with her old continental friend and ally, France, which institutions ‘being those of the Roman Empire, as practised throughout the Christian nations of the Continent, made Scotsmen free of those elements of social communion – of that comitas gentium – from which England excluded herself in sulky pride.’ Mr Burton adds – ‘The Englishmen disdained the universal Justinian jurisprudence, and would be a law unto himself, which he called, with an affection of humility, ‘the Common Law.’ It is full, no doubt, of patches taken out of the ‘Corpus Juris,’ but, far from their source being acknowledged, the civilians are never spoken of by the common lawyers but to be railed at and denounced; and when great draughts on the Roman system were found absolutely necessary to keep the machine of justice in motion, these were entirely elbowed out of the way by Common Law, and had to form themselves into a separate machinery of their own, called Equity.’… ‘And the fact is, that the Scots got rather more freedom under the law of the despotic Roman Empire than the English achieved by that laborious structure, their Common Law.’
We have still before us, in these latter days, the spectacle of England wrapping herself up in her exclusive and sulky pride, and, regardless of comitas gentium or such contemptible details as legal principles, advancing with all solemnity and self-complacency, as if it contained the essence of logical truth, the proposition, ‘We have decreed it, therefore it is right.’ – I am, &c.
– Scotsman, Tuesday 11th December, 1883.
“When calling attention recently to the decision of the House of Lords appointing the trust estate of the late Mr JOHN ORR EWING to be administered in Chancery, we expressed an opinion that the Court of Session would decline to acknowledge the authority of that decision and would disregard it. Lord FRASER, one of the ablest Judges of the Court of Session, as well as a high authority in the province of international law, has, in a judgment pronounced by him on Saturday last, given it with emphatic clearness as his opinion that the Court of Chancery is seeking to usurp powers for which no authority is to be found in the general principles of international law, and which are also directly contrary to the articles of the Treaty of Union between Scotland and England. Four of the five surviving residuary legatees of the late Mr ORR EWING, after the recent decision of the House of Lords had been pronounced, raised an action of declarator and interdict in the Court of Session against Mr ORR EWING’s trustees, seeking to have it declared that the estates and effects of the testator should be administered in Scotland under the authority and subject to the jurisdiction of the Scotch Courts, and praying that the trustees should be interdicted from removing the estate and effects, or the writs and titles thereof, furth of Scotland, and his Lord ship has pronounced an interlocutor giving effect to the conclusions of this action. He finds that the defenders (Mr ORR EWING’s trustees) are not entitled to place the trust estate under the control of the Court of Chancery, or to administer the same under the direction of that Court, or to place the estate beyond the control of the Scottish Courts. He finds that the trustees are not bound nor entitled to render any accounts of the estate under their charge to the Court of Chancery, nor to part with the custody of any of the writs, title-deeds, or evidents of the estate. He further interdicts the trustees from removing the trust estate, or any of the writs thereof, furth of Scotland or beyond the jurisdiction and control of the Scottish Courts, and from rendering any accounts of the estate to, or otherwise placing the administration thereof under the authority and control of, the Court of Chancery. Practically this judgment declares the recent decision of the House of Lords to be of no effect, and interdicts the trustees from yielding obedience to it. Probably this action will eventually be carried by appeal to the highest Court, and it will then be seen whether the House of Lords, sitting as the Supreme Court of Appeal for Scotland, is prepared to maintain the decision which the House of Lords, sitting as the supreme tribunal in the Chancery Division of the English Court, has pronounced. Lord FRASER has accompanied his judgment with a very full note of the reasons which have brought him to pronounce it; and whether the judgment in the long run be upheld or not the reasons adduced in support of it by the learned Judge seem to the non-legal mind both just and equitable. ‘It is perfectly clear,’ says his Lordship, ‘that if the practice of the Court of Chancery in England is inconsistent with international law, no Court of a foreign country is bound to respect it.’ When the Chancery suit in Mr ORR EWING’s trust was before the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice Sir GEORGE JESSEL, the late Master of the Rolls, objected to Scotland being considered as a foreign country, and described it as a foreign jurisdiction. Lord FRASER considers the distinction immaterial. ‘Scotland has a law different from that of England, and quoad that law it is an independent State, entitled to demand from England adherence to the rules of international law which determine the rights of natives of foreign States which may be made the subject of action in her Courts.’
Holding then, that in matters such as this England and Scotland are foreign States, his Lordship goes on to discuss very fully the rules of international law dealing with the case of a party who dies possessed of movable estate situated in different countries. He states it as a rule of the law of nations that an executor is not entitled to collect the estate of the deceased until his right to do so has been confirmed by the competent Court of every country where there is property to ingather… The application of this rule in the case of Mr ORR EWING’s trust would have been very simple. Mr ORR EWING died domiciled in Scotland, and nineteen-twentieths of his estate were situated in Scotland. His executors under the Scotch confirmation were the executors of the domicile. These same executors, acting in England under a grant of probate in their favour, were there acting only as ancillary executors. Their duty was simply to realise the estate in England, settle with the English creditors, and transfer any balance to Scotland, there to be administered by themselves as the executors of the domicile. This was exactly what the executors did. Before any proceedings were taken in the Court of Chancery at all the English estate had been realised, the English creditors settled with, and the balance over transferred to Scotland. It follows from this that if Lord FRASER is right in holding Scotland to be in matter of law a foreign State, and is also right in his reading of the rules of international law dealing with the case of a man dying possessed of personalty in different countries, then he is also right in holding that the Court of Chancery is unwarrantably seeking to exercise jurisdiction where it has none… If Mr ORR EWING’s trustees do not obey the orders of the Court of Chancery they may be committed to prison for contempt of Court. On the other hand, it is not possible for them to obey the orders of that Court without a breach of the interdict Lord FRASER has laid on them, and a wilful breach of interdict may in like manner be punished by imprisonment. What are the trustees to do? Resign, and leave lawyers and Judges to fight the question out?”
– Dundee Advertiser, Tuesday 18th December, 1883.
“THE MEMBERS FOR GLASGOW AND THEIR CONSTITUENTS.
Mr GEORGE ANDERSON, M.P., who was received with cheers, said he had better begin at once by saying a few words on a subject that had occupied a good deal of public attention lately – he meant the aggression of the English Law Courts upon the Scottish Law Courts. (Cheers.) That subject appeared to have reached a sort of climax in consequence of the extraordinary conflicting decisions that had been given by the Court of Session and by the House of Lords. The effect of these decisions was to put the trustees in the Orr-Ewing estate in a very curious position. If they obeyed the Court of Session they must disobey the House of Lords; if they obeyed the House of Lords they must disobey the Court of Session; so that they seemed pretty sure to be imprisoned for contempt of Court either in one country or the other. (Laughter.) he thought Scotland owed thanks to Lord Fraser – (cheers) – for his decision, by which he maintained the independence of the Scottish Courts. (Renewed cheers.) It might be supposed that, seeing the House of Lords would settle the question; but that was not quite certain, because the recent decision of the House of Lords was given on an appeal from the English Court, and, therefore, was an interpretation only of English law – (hear, hear) – whereas when they came to sit in appeal on Lord Fraser’s decision it would be an appeal from the Scottish Court, and the House of Lords was bound to give it as an interpretation of Scottish law. (Hear, hear.) It was quite on the cards that they might have the House of Lords contradicting itself by giving two absolutely conflicting decisions. Even at the risk of being charged with contempt of Court himself, he felt bound to say that the recent decision of the House of Lords was both unjust and absurd. It held that a Scottish estate amounting to no less than £460,000, which was being administered by Scottish trustees in favour of Scottish beneficiaries, under the supervision of the Scottish Courts, was to be taken to the Court of Chancery in England, and administered there, merely because one English beneficiary of only £10,000 had asked the Court of Chancery to take it. The Lord Chancellor in giving his decision, said that the Court was bound to give justice to the English petitioner, and he seemed to be entirely regardless that justice to the English petitioner of £10,000 meant flagrant injustice to the Scottish beneficiary of £460,000. (Cheers.) Every one except the Lord Chancellor knew that Chancery was a bye-word and a reproach to English Justice. (Hear, hear, and cheers.) Scotland wanted none of it. The 19th section of the Treaty of Union exempted Scotland from it. It said in the plainest terms that Scottish causes should not be cognoscible by the English Court of Chancery. (Cheers.) There was a certain limited jurisdiction allowed, but it only amounted to this, that if the bulk of an estate was situated in England, then the Chancery Court might have it; but, even then, it was subject to the consideration that any Scottish beneficiary, if he felt aggrieved, could appeal to the Court of Session, and the Court of Session might refuse validity to the proceedings of the English Chancery Court. Scottish Lord Advocates had hitherto guarded Scotland against further aggressions, for the English lawyers had always had their eyes upon Scotland, and had been anxious to secure jurisdiction over Scotland if they possibly could. Lords Moncrieff and Young had resisted these attempts, but in 1875 there had been a very insidious attempt made which, unfortunately, was successful. It was in the time of Lord Gordon, and he either failed to observe it, or failed to point it out. Scottish members naturally looked to their law officers, and to the legal profession in Scotland to guard them against law bills, and if that had been attempted by a Scottish law bill, it would have been noticed and would have been checked. But it had been dressed in the small technicalities of an English law bill, and was unnoticed, and by that means they were able to filch away the liberties of those in Scotland. (Cheers.) No doubt every Scottish member who was in Parliament in 1875 had been to some extent blameable for that, but still he did not think to a large extent, because the thing was not pointed out to them. The evil had not been felt for some time, but by degrees they began to learn their power to take Scotsmen to England to defend themselves against actions that ought to be initiated only in Scottish Courts. It was not a distinct Act of Parliament which gave this power; it was only an English Act of Parliament giving the Lord Chancellor power to make rules under which Englishmen might be served in Scotland. That was how it had been done, and that was how he had got the power which was so much complained of. About a year ago it had become a crying evil. there had been a number of cases tried under it, and a great many Scottish members had made complaints about it. At all events, he himself had done so. At length the Lord Advocate went to the Lord Chancellor, and the Lord Chancellor promised to reconsider the rules – (laughter) – but he took a long time to do it. There was great hesitation and great delay in giving up his newly-gained power, and it became evident that if pressure was not put upon him he would not do it at all. So a bill was prepared, which was supported by all the Scottish members; and it was being read a second time when the Lord Chancellor, seeing they were in earnest, produced a new set of rules.”
– Scotsman, Friday 11th January, 1884.
“More than even we anticipated the great gathering held in Edinburgh on Wednesday has proved to be national both as regards its unanimity and objects, and not less enthusiastic than harmonious. No meeting equal to it from a purely patriotic point of view has taken place in Scotland during the current century. It constituted in itself an embodied protest against the government of our ancient kingdom by Westminster officials, in accordance with English ideas at variance alike with the sentiments of the people and with the Treaty of Union; and the resolutions which emanated from the Conference will go forth with the force of an irresistible demand in favour of the construction of a State Department for the transaction of distinctly Scottish business, with a Cabinet Minister at its head. As we remarked on Wednesday, the union of all parties in the demonstration furnishes the best guarantee for its success. Its freedom from party bias is evidenced from the circumstance that men differing so widely in politics as the Marquis of Lothian (who presided), the Earl of Aberdeen, the Marquis of Bute, the Earl of Elgin, Lord Balfour of Burleigh, the Earl of Stair, Dr Cameron, Mr George Anderson, Mr Ramsay, Mr Cochran-Patrick, Admiral Sir John Hay, Bart., Mr J. Balfour, and the Hon. Edward Majoribanks took active part in the proceedings, and joined cordially on behalf of the great object of the Conference.”
– Dumfries and Galloway Standard, Saturday 19th January, 1884.
“THE ROYAL SCOTTISH ACADEMY’S DINNER.
Lord FRASER, said that the College of Justice had had a glorious career for more than three centuries and a half; and he ventured to say it never at any previous period in its history stood so high in the estimation of the people of Scotland than it did at present. One of the most pitiful pages in Scottish history was that where Lord Hailes told them of the misery of Baliol, who, when King, was told by Edward that cases from Scotland must come up to Westminster Hall, and that he himself must come up to defend them. They thought that that kind of thing had been put an end to by the Treaty of Union, but eight years ago an attempt was made to carry cases from Scotland to what? To a Court in London composed of English lawyers, ignorant of the laws and history of Scotland. But the outbreak of indignation soon extinguished the proposal. (Applause.) Since the Union, there had been various attempts made to nibble away that famous Treaty. But there was a limit to everything; and now, apparently, the Scottish people had awoke to the necessity of vindicating their independence. Reference had been made especially to the way in which Scotland had been treated with regard to grants to public institutions. They might hope from what they heard the other day that there would be a serious recognition of the claims of Scotland on the part of the Government. (Applause.)”
– Scotsman, Saturday 16th February, 1884.
“Not even the most hostile of critics will venture to assert that the case of Scotland was not well-presented by those members of the deputation who addressed Mr Gladstone. They asked for nothing unreasonable. Lord Lothian admirably pointed out that they were making no movement against the Union – that they were seeking nothing in the nature of what was ordinarily understood as Home Rule. The Lord Provost of Edinburgh further emphasised this point, and made others of marked importance. It was not said – perhaps it was unnecessary to say – that what is now asked was left to Scotland by the Treaty of Union. We have lost our separate Minister, as we have lost some other things, partly from one cause and partly from another. It may be said, without the slightest desire to cause irritation, that Scotland has suffered administratively and in other respects through the aggressiveness of English Departments and English institutions. Even the semi-independence of the Lord Advocate was, as Lord Balfour showed, abolished by the late Government; and a still later and most glaring instance of aggression is to be found in the attempts of English Law Courts to take charge of Scottish cases. Lord Fraser has declared that this latter aggression is a clear breach of the Treaty of Union, and his authority will not be lightly disregarded. It is, therefore, not against the Union, but in fulfilment of the terms of the Treaty, that the present demand is made. The Scottish people are not sticklers for trifles in the matter of political government, so long as their work is fairly done. Probably that is the reason why some of the English aggressions of the past have not been resented; possibly some of them might even at the time be advantageous. But, as the Lord Provost of Edinburgh showed, the increase in wealth and importance, and consequently in administrative requirements, has made the existing order of things intolerable. Mr Anderson, in the excellent statement which he made to the Premier, indicated an opinion that it was chiefly in regard to Parliament that a separate department is required. He spoke from the fulness of personal experience, and he was supported by what had previously fallen from Lord Balfour. But we are inclined to think that he underrates the inconvenience caused to the country by the present system of administration, not because he fails to see it, but because his grievance, which is the grievance of all Scottish members of Parliament, is all but unbearable. Only those who have to do with municipal and other like matters know in how many cases the present system fails, and how much public business and public interests suffer from the want of a department specially charged with Scottish affairs. The case pointed out by Lord Balfour as to the allocation of road grants in Scotland is but one striking instance of a great grievance. For two years, sums have been voted towards the completion of the Museum of Science and Art in Edinburgh; and this year, as last, the vote will lapse because departments, squabbling among themselves, cannot or will not decide on the plans for the new building, or on the appropriation of it. Does anybody suppose that this would have happened had there been a Scottish Minister at the head of a Scottish department? It is very much the same with other things. Scotland would get better attention as to harbours, telegraphs, public buildings, and matters of many kinds if she had a department with a strong Minister at its head. Mr Duncan McLaren pressed the claim with all the authority of one who had long advocated it, and he was deservedly complimented by Mr Gladstone. It seems to us that he put more stress upon the question of the appropriation of the office of Privy Seal than was necessary. Indeed, he appeared to be under some mistake in regard to what has been proposed as to that appropriation. But this is a small matter, and it does not lessen the force or weaken the authority with which Mr McLaren spoke as to public opinion in Scotland.”
– Scotsman, Wednesday 20th February, 1884.
“JURISDICTION OF ENGLISH COURTS IN SCOTLAND.
THE decision of the First Division of the Court of Session in the Orr Ewing case, confirmatory of the judgment of the Lord Ordinary (Fraser), is unquestionably just, and one which it is very much to the interest of Scotchmen to see maintained. Much the larger part of the estate in question in the case is situated in Scotland, the testator was a domiciled Scotchman, and the trustees are Scots. The Court has accordingly ordered that the estate shall be administered in Scotland, that no part of it shall be removed for administration elsewhere, and that the beneficiaries shall be protected from interference by the English Court of Chancery. Probably we have not heard the last of this matter, but the people of Scotland must offer all constitutional resistance to an encroachment of the English Courts into affairs essentially Scotch, which is in direct contravention of the 19th article of the Treaty of Union. This is not a mere sentiment, though as a sentiment it is deserving of respect. It is a substantial interest of the Scottish people that they should not be dragged away from home into the unfamiliar and costly processes of litigation in the English courts.”
– Dundee Courier, Monday 3rd March, 1884.
“THE REPRESENTATION OF SCOTLAND.
‘A Liberal,’ St Ninians, writes:- As there is a great likelihood of a general election taking place towards the close of the year, it would not be amiss if attention were called to a few of the questions which are stirring the public mind at the present time. Great attention has been called to the representation of the people of the three kingdoms by the utterances of Mr Gladstone when he ushered in, if I may so speak, the present Reform Bill. They have been at once seized upon by the Conservatives as a pretext for opposing a Bill which they knew full well they dare not oppose openly. Of course, Mr Gladstone made a blunder when he spoke of redistribution at all, but he spoke only of his own opinions, not of the general opinions of the Cabinet. Mr Bright followed Mr Gladstone, and pointed as a conclusive argument to the Treaty of Union. The Treaty of Union! What does he say of the Treaty between England and Scotland? Where are the rights and privileges conferred upon us by it? It seems to me that they have taken wings and flown away. Where is our national Mint? Why are we the most heavily taxed of the three kingdoms when it was agreed at the Treaty of Union that we should only bear one-fortieth of the taxation? I wish that some of our more prominent statesmen would turn their attention a little more to Scotland, for the treaty with Ireland seems to be considered more sacred than that with Scotland. Why it is I cannot imagine. Taking Mr Gladstone’s own figures at the time when he was addressing his constituents in Midlothian, we find that Scotland, if we go by population, instead of having 60, as it has at the present time, should have 70, and if we calculate by the amount of revenue it gives it should have 78 members. Taking the mean between these, Scotland should be represented in Parliament by 74 members. Applying the same rule to Ireland, it should have 84 members, instead of 103, as the Prime Minister would like to give it. According to a late return, we find that the smallest Irish constituency, viz., Portarlington, has an electorate of only 141, while the smallest Scottish constituency, viz., Wigtown Burghs, has an electorate of 1340. Yet we find that they have both one member to represent them. Again, Galway, with an electorate of 1106, has two members of Parliament, while Aberdeen, with 14,489, has only one member to represent it. Can any person, with these figures before him, say that Ireland has 103 members by justice, while Scotland has only 60? Why, the thing is simply unjust. But I am sure that the Prime Minister will not be followed by the body of the Liberals, and I hope that no member will be returned to Parliament at next election who is not prepared to stand up for Scotland and see her representatives augmented. I would like to see discussion raised on these momentous questions in this paper, for it would allow of much information being diffused among the public, this paper being emphatically the ‘People’s’ Journal.”
– Dundee People’s Journal, Saturday 5 April, 1884.
Sir, – At the present moment, when two millions of hitherto unenfranchised men are about to be given a voice in the government of the nation, it may not be amiss to say a few words regarding a matter which could not fail to bring contentment to a most important portion of the empire, facilitate the progress of legislation, and prove very beneficial to England and Scotland. National self-government, as expressed in the simple words ‘Home Rule,’ is unfortunately misinterpreted by the majority of the people of Great Britain, who understand it to mean ‘separation,’ and who are, therefore, opposed to any such arrangement. This parrot-cry has in large measure served its purpose just as did the shrieks regarding ‘the rights of property’ and ‘confiscation’ keep back for a time much-needed reform of the Irish land laws. But our working-men of today are, I rejoice, a reading, thinking class. Education is doing its work well, and a few years will discover not only a strong Irish cry for legislative independence, but this demand will be endorsed by a most influential British democracy, and the sooner it is recognised that Mr Parnell’s scheme for the restoration of the ‘Parliament of Grattan’ is not outside the pale of practical politics the better. ‘Disintegration of the empire’ is so often dinned into our ears that the unthinking are apt to suppose that there is really something in it. Let us look around and discover for ourselves. The Isle of Man is self-governed; Australia has her own Legislature; the Canadians govern themselves; and who will have the audacity to assert that England is weaker in consequence? Hungary, having the right to make her own laws, increases the security of Austria. The most admirable feature of American government is her State Parliaments. And why not allow this system which has proved so very beneficial elsewhere to have a fair trial in the sister country? What is advocated by Irish Nationalists is neither ‘separation’ not parochial nor county government. Most people fail to see the medium – are ignorant of the federal arrangements existing betwixt many countries. Home Rule is simply the making of Irish laws in Ireland by Irishmen. The connection would continue, imperial affairs be managed by the representatives of the three kingdoms, Ireland contribute her fair share towards the upkeep of the army, navy, &c., and the work of Parliament would thus be minus Irish legislation. At the present time we hear frequent complaints regarding the insufficiency of the machinery of the House of Commons, the delay in the passing of much-needed measures, and a remedy is eagerly sought. The real remedy lies in allowing an Irish Parliament to legislate for Ireland, a Scotch Parliament to make Scotch laws, an English Chamber to rule England, and have an Assembly to settle Imperial affairs. The governing of Ireland from London has now gone on for eighty-four years, and during that period we find that there has ever been discontent, that coercion and bayonets have been constantly in requisition, that even to-day an army of occupation consisting of some forty thousand armed men is necessary to maintain your grip of ‘the tight little island.’ Cockney rule is, therefore, a failure. It has created and fostered discontent, ruined native industries, caused periodical famines, has the country steeped in poverty, her children from necessity flying her shores, her population – and her people are very prolific – rapidly decreasing, and the mode in which she is governed a by-word amongst the nations. An English king, after the battle of Fontenoy, had reason to curse the laws which robbed him of such subjects as the daring fellows – Clare’s dragoons – who there saved the honour of France and brought discredit on the English arms. May not a day yet come when we shall regret that bigotry and prejudice so blinded the British people as to allow them to tolerate the tyranny which has given millions of wealth producers to America, and statesmen, scholars, and soldiers to nearly every civilised country? Should we read that in Russia a portion of the empire was governed from a place in which sodomy was prevalent, that the perpetrators of this horrible crime held high positions, and that the important office of Crown prosecutor was entrusted to a man of the stamp of George Bolton, we would unhesitatingly denounce such rule. Yet we tolerate it at our own doors. Dublin Castle government is indefensible – is a disgrace to the enlightened England of to-day. Abolish it, and gain the friendship and goodwill of the Irish nation by substituting Home Rule which would mean a union based on equality and not on the infamous practices of Castlereagh. – Yours sincerely,
A GREENOCK ‘HEALYITE.’ ”
– Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette, Monday 9th February, 1885.
“SCOTTISH NATIONAL RIGHTS.
A public meeting under the auspices of the Scottish National Rights Association was held last night in Roxburgh Hall, Edinburgh, for the purpose of discussing the ‘Vindication of Scottish Rights.’ Mr Romans, Newtongrange, presided, and there was a small attendance. The chairman said there was nothing that would secure nationality to Scotland and attention to specific industries but Home Rule. The three Parliaments – Scottish, English, and Irish – might meet in one Imperial Parliament to review what had been done in these local Parliaments, and, if need be, send it back for reconsideration. – Mr J. H. Waterson moved: ‘That this meeting resents as a direct violation of the Treaty of Union and an outrage on Scottish national sentiment the growing practice of using the terms of England and English instead of Britain and British, and it appeals to all who desire to foster the principle of British unity and brotherhood to make an immediate and resolute stand against the mischievous attempt to Anglicise the United Kingdom and treat the other nationalities as mere provinces or dependencies of England.’ He was very much amused, he said, during the recent war to hear people talk about the English army. If Scotchmen had been placed in the same position as Irishmen there was not one but would have become what the English Government, forsooth, had called them – rebels. – The resolution was agreed to, as was also another adopting the appeal on the same subject, embodied in the manifesto issued by the Scottish National Rights Association, and addressed to the electors of Scotland. The proceedings then terminated.”
– Edinburgh Evening News, Saturday 9th May, 1885.
“THE SECRETARY FOR SCOTLAND BILL.
The following is the text of the Bill intituled an Act for appointing a Secretary for Scotland, which was introduced in the House of Lords by Lord Rosebery on Friday evening last:-
Be it enacted by the Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords, spiritual and temporal, and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-
1. This Act may be cited as the Secretary for Scotland Act, 1885.
2. It shall be lawful for Her Majesty to appoint a Secretary for Scotland (hereinafter called the Secretary), who shall hold office during Her Majesty’s pleasure.
There shall be paid to the Secretary out of moneys to be provided by Parliament a salary of two thousand pounds a-year.
The Secretary may appoint such permanent secretaries, inspectors, clerks, and other officers as he may, with the sanction of the Treasury, determine.
There shall be paid out of moneys provided by Parliament to such secretaries and other officers of the Secretary’s office such salaries as the Treasury may from time to time determine.
3. The Secretary, if not a member of the House of Lords, shall, if otherwise qualified, be capable of being elected to and voting in the Commons House of Parliament, and the office of Secretary shall be deemed to be an office included in schedule H of the Representation of the People (Scotland) Act, 1868, and in schedule E of the Representation of the People (Ireland) Act, 1868.
4. The Secretary may adopt an official seal, and describe himself generally by the style and title of ‘The Secretary for Scotland,’ and, save as hereinafter provided, any act to be done or instrument to be executed by or on behalf of the Secretary may be done or executed in his name by the Assistant Secretary, if such Assistant Secretary be authorised to do or execute the same by any general order of the Secretary.
A rule, order, or regulation made by the Secretary shall be valid if it is made under the seal of the Secretary and signed by him; and the production of such a copy of such rule, order, or regulation, purporting to be certified to be true by the Assistant Secretary, or any other officer specially appointed by the Secretary for the purpose, shall, unless the contrary is shown, be a sufficient proof that any such rule, order, or regulation of the Secretary was duly made.
5. (1) All powers and duties vested in or imposed on one of Her Majesty’s principal Secretaries of State by the enactments specified in part 1 of the schedule to this Act, and all powers and duties vested in or imposed on one of Her Majesty’s principal Secretaries of State in relation to the Universities of Scotland.
(2) All powers and duties vested in or imposed on the Privy Council or any Committee thereof by the enactments specified in part 2 of the said schedule, and, generally, all powers and duties of the Scottish Education Department as defined by the Education (Scotland) Act, 1872, in relation to Education in Scotland.
(3) All powers and duties vested in or imposed on the Commissioners of Her Majesty’s Treasury by the enactments specified in part 3 of the said schedule or the Local Government Board for England by the enactments specified in part 4 of the said schedule.
So far as such duties and powers relate to Scotland, shall on and after the appointment of the Secretary be transferred to, vested in, and imposed on the Secretary.
Any report, act, or thing required or authorised by the said enactments, or any of them, to be made or done to the said Secretary of State or Privy Council, or any Committee thereof, or the Commissioners of Her Majesty’s Treasury, or the Local Government Board for England, and any report required to be made to Her Majesty by virtue of any of the said enactments shall, so far as such enactments apply to Scotland, from and after the appointment of the said Secretary, be made or be done by or to the Secretary.
6. The Secretary shall have the place, trust, and office of Keeper of Her Majesty’s Seal, appointed by the Treaty of Union to be kept and made use of in Scotland in place of the Great Seal of Scotland, with all such powers, privileges, and liberties as do by law and custom belong to the same.
7. Nothing in this Act contained shall prejudice or interfere with any rights, powers, privileges, or duties vested in or imposed on the Lord-Advocate by virtue of any Act of Parliament or custom.”
– Montrose, Arbroath and Brechin Review; and Forfar and Kincardineshire Advertiser, Friday 22nd May, 1885.
“VINDICATION OF SCOTTISH RIGHTS.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE EVENING TELEGRAPH.
SIR, – Annexed I beg to hand you for publication a circular which in the beginning of November I addressed to all the Parliamentary candidates that were then before Scottish constituencies. To this circular I received replies from twenty-eight candidates, all, except one, favourable in its object. Besides these twenty-eight, there were some candidates who, though not replying directly to the circular, yet, on being questioned on the platform, gave replies favourable to the principles of the Association… To all true Scotsmen I am sure the above information will prove interesting, for there is now some hope that a check will at last be given in Parliament to the growing tendency among our brethren South of the Cheviots to speak and act as if Scotland were merely an English province, and the Scottish people had no position in the Empire, or right to share in its administration unless under the name of Englishmen. In conclusion, I trust you will permit me to add, in hope that all Scotsmen who value the honour of their country, and who wish to aid this movement, will send their names wither to me or to one of the corresponding secretaries. It is proposed to extend the usefulness of the Association, and, in order to effect this object, it is desirable that there should be a thorough organisation of all Scotsmen who are favourable to the movement. – I am, &c.,
THOS. TURNER, Hon. Secy.”
“The Scottish National Rights Association,
Office, 3 East Register Street,
Edinburgh, 28th October, 1885.
Sir, – I have the honour of drawing your attention to the following statement. The first clause of the Treaty of Union between Scotland and England provides that the two countries should for ever be united into one kingdom by the name of Great Britain, and that the flag and ensigns of the two countries should be conjoined. The third clause, provides that the Parliament of the two countries should be styled the Parliament of Great Britain. And the twenty-second clause provides that ‘the Crown of this realm and the Queen of this realm… shall be understood of the Crown and realm of Great Britain.’ These provisions, so carefully worded, were inserted in the treaty for the sole purpose of saving the national honour of Scotland. They were expressly intended to prevent – what is now being so generally done – England and Englishmen from assuming an Imperial position in the Union, and thus placing themselves before the world as having at last annexed or absorbed Scotland. For about a century – so long as the Scottish representatives in Parliament, small in number though they were, continued to represent Scottish feeling – these clauses were maintained almost in their integrity. But when, in the course of time, the Scottish nobility and gentry, from whom till lately the Scottish representatives in Parliament were mainly chosen, came to be brought up and educated in England, they, though attentive to Scottish material interests, became indifferent to Scottish national sentiment and to the maintenance of Scottish honour. The result has been that for some time back it has been the general custom of English public men and of the English press to speak and write as if only England and Englishmen had any share in the government of the British Empire; and that though Scotsmen may share in such a privilege, they only do so, and can only do so, under the name of Englishmen – thus arrogating to England and to the English name, if not to Englishmen, all the honour and glory connected with the doings of the British people and the administration of the British Empire. I need hardly point out to you that in thus claiming for England and for Englishmen the exclusive or almost exclusive use of the Imperial nomenclature contrary to the express provision of the Treaty of Union great offence is necessarily given to all those Scotsmen who are proud of their country and of their history. And further, that if this unjust and arrogant assumption by Englishmen of an Imperial position within the United Kingdom be not checked, irritation and discontent are sure to increase among the Scottish people to an extent which cannot fail to lessen and ultimately destroy that good feeling which has so long subsisted between the two kingdoms. I therefore take the liberty, as you are a candidate for a Scottish constituency, to put to you the following queries:- 1. Are you in favour of all officials, officers, and representatives of the British Government, of any grade whatsoever, being instructed and enjoined to avoid using, in an Imperial sense, the terms ‘England’ and ‘English?’ 2. Will you, if elected, endeavour to give effect to the policy involved in the above question and either personally take steps to carry it out, or support to the utmost those who may so do?
(Signed) THOS. TURNER,
– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Saturday 9th January, 1886.
“Signs are not wanting in the north country that, if England does not speedily mend its manners, Scotland will be reluctantly compelled to cancel the Treaty of Union. There was a great meeting in Dundee this week, convened for the express purpose of thanking Mr. Jacks, M.P. for Leith. Mr. Jacks is the gentleman who, as the resolution unanimously passed says, did resolutely protest in the House of Commons, ‘on the evening of the 22nd of January, against the use of the terms ‘England’ and ‘English’ in an imperial sense, instead of ‘Britain’ and ‘British,’ in violation of the express conditions of the Treaty of Union.’ The reckless southerners who have so far looked upon this ‘protest’ as at the most hardly a matter of national importance, will now see that they have underestimated it. Should ‘Britain’ be called ‘England’ again, the relations between the two countries may be strained to the point of snapping. That, among other disasters, would deprive us of four Cabinet Ministers.”
– St James’s Gazette, Saturday 6th February, 1886.
“… The union of the Crowns on the head of James the First of England was of comparatively small account on the union of the nations. Cromwell’s union in 1654 would have effected infinitely more than the union of the Crowns in 1603 by means of its far-seeing and significant provision that free-trade should be established between the two countries. But with the Restoration came the Navigation Act, and its deplorable repeal of that beneficent provision. The savagely restrictive and shamelessly selfish policy of England in the domain of trade during the latter half of the seventeenth century goaded Scotland almost to madness; and while there were at present whispers in the air that the first effect of granting Home Rule to Ireland would be that she would establish as against England a protective policy, it was well that it should be remembered that it was mainly the existence of such a policy on the part of England that convinced statesmen of the absolute necessity of a legislative union between England and Scotland. Had England not appealed alike to the interest and patriotism of her poorer neighbour, by conceding her every desire in matters of trade, Scotland, soured by the hapless failure of the Darien scheme, and inflamed by the cruelty of a commercial oppression which bound her rising in chains, would have rejected union at the point of the sword. To consent to it without these terms would have been to accept, in a more insidious form, that which at Bannockburn she had resisted with conspicuous success, and so it came about that upon these terms the union of the Parliaments of 1707 was effected. No doubt an ultra patriotic party remained, and the cry for repeal was one of those which could be used with effect to beguile patriotism into rebellion in the ‘15 and ‘45, and this union, too, had to be sealed with blood. The two facts which stood over against one another in marked historical contrast were undoubtedly Bannockburn and Culloden. The object of both was one; but as Bannockburn aimed at unity by the subjugation of the little kingdom, and the cruel overthrow of the race of Scottish kings, so Culloden, not so bloody, but as cruel, had a kindlier message and a more enduring result for both the nations in whose history it closed and began an epoch. The kingdoms were incorporated; neither was incorporated. He had dwelt upon this commercial aspect of the Union in order to enforce one consideration upon their minds, namely, that whatever view they inclined to adopt upon the general question of Home Rule for Scotland, they should at least be agreed that if Home Rule were a step towards legislation which would make Scotland in matters of trade the enemy of England, they should reject such Home Rule. The question of trade was but an illustration; for he might put the proposition more broadly to them, that if Home Rule. whether for Scotland or for Ireland, was inconsistent with common action where international interests were involved, then again they should reject it. But to his mind the whole question of Home Rule could be, and ought to be, treated as one which was in no way inconsistent with the unity of the Empire and with legislative and imperial control. If municipalities and counties could and were, may not separate nations also be entrusted with the control of their internal affairs? It was the question stated thus and limited thus, by the results of experience and history that he thought it very worthy of calm and full consideration. The question need not be considered alarming, for, as was too seldom remembered, it was almost directly raised within the four corners of the Treaty of Union itself. The eighteenth article was in these terms:
That the laws concerning the regulation of trade, customs, and such excises to which Scotland is by virtue of this Treaty to be liable, be the same in Scotland from and after the Union as in England; and that all other laws in use within the Kingdom of Scotland do after the Union and notwithstanding thereof, remain in the same force as before (except such as are contrary to or are inconsistent with this Treaty), but alterable by the Parliament of Great Britain; with this difference betwixt the laws concerning public right, policy, and civil government, and those which concern private right, that the laws which concern public right, policy, and civil governments may be made the same throughout the whole United Kingdom, but that no alteration be made in laws which concern private right except for the evident utility of the subjects within Scotland.
The distinction thus early taken between public right suitable for the determination by a united Parliament, and private right, which was to be governed by its ‘evident utility for the subjects within Scotland,’ shed a flood of light upon the whole problem. It was assumed by the Treaty of Union itself that there must, in questions affecting Scotland alone, be some consideration other than the mere vote of a British Parliament; and this safeguard was accordingly introduced in the interests of the lesser kingdom. Before leaving the subject of the terms of union, he might be permitted to recall the fact which stood in so startling contrast to those of the union between England and Ireland – namely, that the whole fabric of the Scottish judicial system was kept separate and entire. Looking at the matter again, from its executive and administrative side, it was seen that the ordinary units of local government, the burgh and the county, were insufficient in the management of Scottish national affairs; and thus there were formed a variety of central authorities – such as the Scottish Prison Board, the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses, the Board of Supervision, the Scottish Board of Lunacy, and the Scottish Fishery Board – whose existence was a standing testimony to the insufficiency of any system by which the administration of all British affairs could be centralised in London. That such boards were not of greater value might be due to their non-representative character, and was unquestionably also largely owing to the fact that they were hampered on the right hand and on the left by the constant necessity of setting in motion those wheels which revolved so leisurely in the Government offices in London. The defects of this administrative scheme were largely due to the fact that, separated from it, there remained in England the entire system of Scottish legislation, and that while the distance was long and time was short, these boards were so largely go-betweens. The question of Home Rule for Scotland, therefore, proved upon examination to be not so extensive and far less alarming than was commonly supposed; for in Scotland there was at present a considerable instalment of administrative autonomy, and there was and always had been judicial autonomy in satisfactory completeness; and it would be the mere complement of these to place alongside of them, and over precisely the same national area, a system of legislative home rule. Besides this legislative home rule was in precise accord with the spirit of the Union between England and Scotland. Next, considering the question from the point of view of Parliament itself, Mr Shaw directed attention to the increased and increasing burden of work falling upon Parliament – work which was beyond the power of any single assembly. The question had so arisen as to whether this Imperial Parliament could continue to be three local Parliaments, over and above; and if Ireland had a question to put on that subject, Scotland, too, might let her voice be heard. Was it out the question, for instance, that over every great development of Scottish enterprise requiring the sanction of a private bill, there should hang as a terror that uncertainty and ruinous expense which were involved in a contest before London Parliamentary Committees? It seemed hardly doubtful that this scandalous clog upon the industry and prosperity of the Scottish people entailed upon Scotland the enormous burden of about £200,000 per annum; whereas, were a judicious local system introduced, £130,000 would be absolutely saved, and the remaining £70,000 would be spent within Scotland, instead of finding its way into English pockets. Another and unquestionably serious and grave result of the block of business, arising out of the immensity of labour thus continued to the lot of one assembly, is one which it was quite in vain for them any longer to blink – namely, that violence comes to be as effective a mode as, if not a more effective mode than any other of securing the attention and interposition of Parliament. It would be a day of rejoicing not only for these three kingdoms, but for the British Empire, when this enormous evil was abated; and he humbly suggested that its abatement could by no means be more effectively secured than by relieving the Imperial Parliament of its distinctively English, Scottish, and Irish business, and leaving it free to attend to its imperial concerns… Mr Shaw renewed his deprecation of centralisation, and, alluding to the appointment of a Secretary for Scotland, said he frankly owned that he looked upon the concession of a secretaryship as far less in itself than in what it had begun. The institution of that office was but a fringe of the greater change – the wider, more comprehensive, and more radical reform – to which, with increasing constancy, the eyes of Scotsmen were turned. If the concession of a secretaryship were not a concession in the direction of Home Rule, and if they did not frankly accept it as such, it might turn out that in it there was little to be thankful for and much to fear. A strict centralisation, plus a secretaryship, might succeed in producing a Scottish administration with not a little family likeness to Dublin Castle, and with as much love lost between it and the Scottish nation, as there was between the Castle government and the inhabitants of the Emerald Isle.”
– Scotsman, Tuesday 30th March, 1886.
“AN EARLY HOME RULER.
Andrew Fletcher gauged very correctly the depth of John Bull’s love for Ireland. The typical Englishman of the time made it a boast that his countrymen were the frankest and justest traders on the face of the earth. At the same time it was a cardinal article of his faith that if any profitable trade was in the possession of his neighbours it was his duty, as a patriot, to dispossess them of it. And such a policy was as loudly applauded when applied to Ireland as when applied to France and Spain. These turbulent people across St. George’s Channel had to be held in check by the sober wisdom of the Englishman. If, thought the English public, the conquering people relaxed the strictness of the reins, these impudent Irishmen might think of setting up for themselves, and of declaring themselves independent of England. It was in vain to speak of injustice to Ireland. The Englishmen had conquered the Irish, and that conquest conferred the right of using them at discretion. They had no sovereign rights, these Irish, and if they were allowed too much freedom they might break with this country, and set up an independent Government, to the ruin of this steady-going nation. If the nation were not ruined, it might at least be seriously handicapped, for Ireland lay more commodiously situated for trade, and had better harbours than England. With equal freedom and privileges, the Irish might carry away the English trade. All things considered, therefore, it was the safest way to keep Ireland dependent, and not give her a chance of setting up on her own account. Fletcher, it may be imagined, had no sympathy with this doctrine. On the contrary, he cordially sympathised with Ireland, and pleaded for justice being use towards her long before O’Connell poured forth his mellifluous oratory, or the British Parliament came forward with their tardy measures of redress. Justice, he maintained, was due from one nation to another, even in point of trade. It was true wisdom in any Government to encourage industry everywhere throughout its dominion, and to make it possible for men to enjoy the fruits of their own labour. He would not even admit the accuracy of the plea founded on the contention that Ireland had been conquered by England. To him it seemed that historical proof went to show that the relation of Ireland to England was that of a very strict union, rather than of a conquest. But even though it were admitted that the native Irish had been conquered, he argued that the English colony had never been subjected. Yet the English favoured that colony till they began to flourish and grow rich. That was a crime not to be tolerated. Englishmen could bear a people who continued poor, but when they began to acquire wealth, then was the occasion come for the exercise of rights acquired by conquest. This had been the consistent policy of England. He instanced the legislation with respect to tobacco planting, the woollen trade, and to commerce with the English plantations. And all this was done, continued Fletcher, to a nation ‘who affirm you have no shadow of right to make laws for them; that the power which the King’s Council has assumed was gotten by surprise; and that their first submission was founded on a treaty of union, which now, on account of some rebellions suppressed, is called a conquest.’ The far better plan would, he said, be to have such a union between the three countries as he sketched out. Ireland and Scotland would then grow in wealth, and that increase would be in no way prejudicial to England. The English were afraid that Ireland would try to set up for herself; but the best way of bringing that about was for England to tempt and provoke her to do so by continuing to ill-use her as she had been doing for some centuries. No, he pleaded, it was a cowardly and oppressive thing to aim at keeping the Irish low and weak; for, he said, ‘the light of nature teaches that men ought not to use one another unjustly on any account, much less under the specious pretext of government.’ But this impetuous Scottish Radical saw he was preaching to the wind. Men had made up their minds that it was altogether unnecessary to give exact justice to other nations. the policy of judging of the interests of communities by the prejudices of those who lived near the seat of Government was to get full swing. Even at that early date he told Englishmen that there was trouble brewing for them in their own American colonies. He tried to show them that a policy of self-advantage would in the end be destructive of the prosperity of England itself.”
– Newcastle Chronicle, Saturday 24th April, 1886.
“MEETING IN EDINBURGH.
At a largely-attended meeting of the Conservatives held in Edinburgh last night, resolutions were adopted disapproving of the Irish bills of the Government. The chief speakers were Mr. J. H. A. Macdonald, M.P., and Mr. George Auldjo Jamieson. The latter gentleman announced that he would give way to any politician at next election who would vote against the Home Rule Bill and would pledge himself to maintain the unity of the Empire, and he appealed to Liberals and Conservatives to unite in supporting only such candidates. Mr. Macdonald condemned the bills as mere makeshifts to enable the Government to get over the difficulties which they foresaw might arise from the teaching of Mr. Parnell. He believed there was a better way out of the difficulty than by the insane and monstrous proposal of the Government.”
– Glasgow Evening Post, Tuesday 4th May, 1886.
“They had heard a great deal of the Treaty of Union. They might learn something, perhaps, from the history of Ireland during the last century, but he thought the House might also learn something from the history of Scotland in connection with this matter. (Hear, hear.) They were told that the Treaty of Union was obtained against the unanimous sense of the Irish people – (Parnellite cheers) – that it was obtained by the foulest corruption, and that it had long failed to bring prosperity and content to the people of Ireland. Every one of those things might have been said, and long was said, with even more truth, of the Treaty of Union with Scotland. (Cheers.) Was the Treaty of Union with Ireland obtained without the sense of the people of Ireland? (Parnellite cries of ‘Yes.’) So was the treaty with Scotland. (Cheers.) If he might quote Sir Walter Scott, he said, ‘Men otherwise the most opposed to each other – Whig and Tory, Jacobite and Williamite, Episcopalian and Presbyterian – all agreed in expressing their detestation of the treaty.’ Was the treaty with Ireland obtained by bribery? So was the treaty with Scotland. The only difference was that the Irish representatives, to do them justice, seemed to have driven a much better bargain with the Imperial Parliament than the Scottish representatives. (Laughter and cheers.) The list of the bribes that were given to obtain the Scottish Treaty of Union had been published, and it had been well said that it would be difficult to say whether the descendants of those noble Lords and honourable gentlemen would be more shocked at the fact that their ancestors were corrupted or scandalised at the smallness of the bribes. (Great laughter.) It was said the Treaty of Union had failed to bring content and prosperity to Ireland. (Parnellite cheers.) So the Treaty of Union with Scotland also failed to bring content and prosperity to Scotland for many a long year…”
– Scotsman, Saturday 22nd May, 1886.
“The President of the Local Government Board asserts that the characteristics of the nationality of Scotland have been preserved, and that in […] of that preservation Scotland is as complete and different a nation now from England […] was before the Union, and he instances the Courts of Justice, the Presbyterian form of worship as the ‘State faith,’ the elementary schools and ‘the four democratic universities.’ The Courts of Justice are not as they were before the Union, The right of appeal from the Supreme Court of Scotland to the highest tribunal in England is an innovation of comparatively modern date; and recent attempts on the part of English judges to establish jurisdiction in Scotland are fresh in the memory of most of us, although Sir Lyon Playfair seems to have forgot them. The Kirk yet remains. How long she may […] is probably a question of time. The elementary schools, after losing much of their original character, keep their footing; and the four universities show no signs of decay. But where are the rest of the characteristics of Scotland as an independent nation? A Board of Customs, a Coard of Excise, and a Postmaster-Generalship existed in the Scottish metropolis before the Union, and for a long time after it. The Board of Customs was the first to be abolished; in due time the abolition of the Board of Excise followed; and men still living recollect the Postmaster-General for Scotland demitting office to make way for a Secretary to the Post Office in Scotland. About 14 years ago the secretaryship was abolished, […] a General Post Office for all Scotland no longer exists! Sir Lyon Playfair, who not very […] filled the office of Postmaster-General at St Martin’s-le-Grand, is, no doubt, aware of the fact that since the Scottish postmaster-Generalship was abolished all the best positions in the postal service in Scotland have been given to Englishmen or Irishmen, very rarely to Scotchmen. In our own city no Scotchman has held the Postmastership since Mr Dougald Bannatyne retired, nearly fifty years ago. Again, the surveyorship of the postal service are, we believe, valuable and coveted prizes; but, so far as we are aware, no Scotchman has held such an appointment in Scotland since the advent of the penny postage, with perhaps the exception of one individual. We have been thus particular in our reference to the Post Office because the President of the Local Government Board, who so confidently affirmed that every characteristic of Scottish nationality that existed before the Union has been preserved intact, did himself for some time preside over the great department. A little over thirty years ago the Association for the Vindication of Scottish Rights, headed by popular noblemen and learned professors in our ‘democratic universities,’ was in full vigour. The chief complaints of that association were (1) systematic violations of the Articles of Union; (2) the obliteration, one after another, of the ‘characteristic of Scottish nationality.’ Who has not heard of the slight put upon the Scottish Lion? In the Articles of Union it is stipulated that when the Royal Arms are displayed in Scotland the lion should occupy the place of honour – the right-hand side of the crown – instead of that fabulous animal the unicorn, which occupies that position in England. The case of the lion may be considered a trivial matter, and it has been ridiculed as such by Scotchmen as well as by Englishmen; but the more trivial it is the less cause can be found for the stronger of the two contracting parties persistently ignoring the un[…] legal rights of the weaker. It is virtually obliterating one of the last remaining characteristics of Scottish nationality. Would the Irish nation quietly put up with such tampering, even in the most trivial matters?”
– Glasgow Herald, Thursday 10th June, 1886.
“ ‘THE CASSIN O’ THE UNION.’
THURSDAY last was the 180th anniversary of the Treaty of Union between England and Scotland, that historical document having been subscribed on 22nd July, 1706. Mr GLADSTONE, in his recent speech in Glasgow, reminded his audience that for many years after its accomplishment the Union was unpopular in Scotland, and that fierce agitation for its repeal took place. Mr GLADSTONE might have added, that so recently as 1844, the then Lord Advocate for Scotland mistook a humorous invitation to a dinner in Glasgow for a serious conspiracy to repeal the Union, and actually threatened to interdict the treasonable gathering.
In all the discussion regarding ‘repeal’ and the ‘disintegration’ and ‘dismemberment’ of the empire we have not observed any allusion to that amusing incident, which we now recall: Mr GEORGE OUTRAM, then Editor of the Glasgow Herald, and equally well known as the author of ‘Lyrics Legal and Miscellaneous,’ including the famous ‘Annuity,’ ‘was a genuine Scotchman, to the backbone, intimately acquainted with Scottish history and tradition, thoroughly familiar with Scottish peculiarities, and saturated with Scottish lore. He accordingly conceived the idea of a ‘Scotch Denner,’ to which each guest should come in the costume of some famous Scottish worthy. At this dinner all the dishes and viands were to be peculiarly Scotch, and the gathering was to be one which would ironically renew the once popular lamentations over the Union with England, as destructive of the independence and ancient prestige of Scotland. The ‘denner’ accordingly came off in Mr OUTRAM’s own house on 22d July, 1844, being the 138th anniversary of the Treaty of Union. The appearance of the guests and even the whole management of the proceedings were such as to reproduce a festive gathering of Scotchmen ‘all of the olden time.’ The invitation was as follows:-
‘RICHT TRUSTIE FRIEND, –
‘Forgie me that I steer your memorie eennow, anent that wearifu’ Treaty of Union wi’ the Englishers, whilk, as ye weel ken, was subscrivit by the unworthie representatives of our forbears, on the 22d day of July, A.D. 1706, in ane unhappie hour. For I do sae allenarlie wi’ the intent that ye suld devise means to red us for aye of that wanchancie covenant, the endurance whereof is regarded by ilka leal-hearted Caledonian with never-devallin’ scunner. Wherefor I earnestly entreat of you that , on Monday the 22d of the present month, bein’ the 138th anniversary of the foresaid dulefu’ event, ye wald attend a great gatherin’ o’ Scotsmen, to be halden after the gude auld Scottish fashion, at Scott Street of Glasgow, whan it will be taen into cannie consideration how we may now best free oursels o’ that unnatural band, either by a backspang, if we can sae far begunk the southron, or by an evendown cassin o’ the bargain, an’ haudin of our ain by the strong hand, if need be. An’ to the intent that we may be better preparit for what may come, it is designit, on the occasion of the said gatherin’, that we sall subsist upon our ain national vivers allenarlie, an’ sae pruive how far we can forega the aids o’ foreign countries in respect of our creature comforts, varyin’ our fare wi’ the flesh o’ the red deer an’ the trouts o’ Lochleven, suppin our ain Kail, Hotch Potch, or Cockyleekie, whiles pangin oursels wi’ haggis an’ brose, an’ whiles wi’ sheep’s head an’ partan pies, rizzard haddies, crappit heads an’ scate-rumples, nowtes’ feet, kebbucks, scadlips, an’ skink, forbye cistocks, carlins, rifarts an’ syboes, farles, fadges, an’ bannocks, drammock, brochan an’ powsowdie, and siklike – washin the same doun our craigs wi’ nae foreign pushion, but anerlie wi’ our ain reamin yill an’ bellin usquebaugh.
‘Trustin that you, an’ mony anither leal Scotsman will forgather at the foresaide time an’ place, to bend the bicker, after the manner of our worthie forbears when guid auld Scotland was a kingdom,
‘I subscrieve myself,
‘Yours to command,
‘Given at Scott Street of Glasgow, on the eleventh day o’ July, Anno Domini, mdcccxliv.’
On the back of the letter, under the address, were the words:-
‘Be this letter delivered with haste – haste – post haste!
Ride, villain, ride!
For thy life – for thy life – for thy life!’
Lord Cockburn, frightened by the apparently serious terms of the missive, threatened to interdict the ‘treasonable’ meeting; but his official apprehensions were removed, and the festive meeting was duly held, and the following was the bill of fare:-
‘ANE BUIK O’ ANCIENT SCOTCH DISHES
FOR THE GATHERIN’.’
‘There’s pea intil’t, an’ there’s beans intil’t,
An’ there’s carrots, an’ neeps, an’ greens intil’t.’
‘Lang may she live, an’ lang enjoy
Ilk blessin’ life can gie,
health, wealth, content, an’ pleasour,
‘Can ye tell me, fisher laddies,
What’s gotten into the heads o’ the haddies?’
‘Stove him weel wi’ wine an’ spice,
An’ butter in the bree;
I’se warrant he’ll ken neist time
A feather frae a flee.’
‘Fair fa’ your honest sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the puddin’ race.’
‘John Anderson, my jo,
Cum in as ze gae by,
An ze sall get a sheip’s head
Weel baken in a pie.’
‘An first they ate the white puddins,
An’ syne they ate the black.’
‘Gie me lock brose, brose,
Gie me lock brose and butter.’
‘They a’, in ane united body,
Declared it a fine fat howtowdie.’
‘He pang’d himsel’ fu’ o’ collaps an’ kail,
Syne whang’d at the bannocks o’ barley meal.’
‘It was fed wi’ fouth o’ gerse an’ oats,
An’ was wirried an’ sauted at Johnnie Groat’s.’
‘My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart’s in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer.’
‘There’s bread an’ cheese at my door cheek,
An’ pancakes the riggin’ o’t.’
The following was the toast list:-
‘ORDER OF THE TOASTS AT THE GATHERIN’ ON
THE 138 OWERCOME OF 22D JULY 1706.
The Majestie o’ this Realm, being the Land o’ Cakes.
The Memorie o’ the Last Queen o’ Scotland.
The Cassin o’ the Wanchancie Covenant.
The Abolition o’ a’ Assessments an’ Blackmails.
A speedie Parliament in Parliament House.
The Abolishment o’ Stake Nets, an’ the restoration o’ the auld Manier o’ Fishin’.
A Dour Douncome to the Cadgers, an’ a Kittle Cast to the Customs.
The Buirdly Barons o’ the Borders, an’ the Auld Road to Carlisle.
The Laird o’ Raasay and Commissioners o’ Benachie.
True Thomas o’ Ercildoune, Sir David Lyndsay o’ the Mount, an’ a’ the Famous Scottish Menstrils.’’
‘Nota bene. – The farder order o’ the ceremonie at the pleasour o’ the companie.’
The toasts on the occasion were alternated with many of the chairman’s most amusing songs, some of them being composed for the occasion, and which, with the ‘order o’ the ceremonie,’ protracted the ‘pleasour o’ the companie’ till an early hour the following morning.”
– Kirkintilloch Herald, Wednesday 28th July, 1886.
“… The question was whether they would get their business managed better in a Scottish assembly or in an assembly managed in London, where the Scottish members constituted scarcely more than one-tenth of the whole. As regarded efficiency, it needed no argument to show that an assembly of Scotsmen having nothing to do but manage Scottish business must necessarily do it better than an assembly which contained, as he had said, only one-tenth of its members Scotsmen, which had to legislate for a population ten times more numerous than Scotland, and which had, besides, the whole burden of Imperial affairs to carry. The Legislature could no more make laws without time – and the Imperial Parliament had not got time – than the Israelites of old could make bricks without straw. (Applause.) If the Union, he continued, had to be made now, no Scotsmen would ever dream of surrendering State rights. That Treaty established that Scottish autonomy should be protected by a continued self-denying ordinance on the part of the English members. Therefore if Scotsmen adopted Home Rule or applied the federal principle they should be substituting a perfect for an imperfect mode of carrying out the purposes of that Treaty. It would not be a repeal of the Union, but it would be for the first time the realisation of the whole designs of the authors of the Treaty. Dr Hunter then went on to say that the great complaint was that the Imperial Parliament was overburdened with work, the result being that it was very perfunctorily discharged. Changes of procedure, he said, would do little to remedy the evil. The true remedy was to delegate the powers which Parliament could not beneficially use to those who could do so, and to restrict the functions of the Imperial Parliament to imperial business. This was the simple and obvious remedy.”
– Scotsman, Tuesday 23rd November, 1886.
The same argument is used again 9 weeks later;
“… [Dr Hunter] next dealt at some length with the interests of Scotland in this great question, and contended that the logic of events compelled us to make up our minds for Scottish Home Rule. If Scottish and Imperial interests clashed, they must decide which was most important. At the Treaty of Union Scottish interests and Scottish nationality were fairly well secured, and it was believed that England, in all honour and good faith, would sacredly observe the conditions of the Union. If, now, we substituted Home Rule, we should only be securing the basis on which the treaty was consummated.”
– Scotsman, Tuesday 25th January, 1887.
“… A writer who chooses to remain anonymous deals in the first article with ‘The Union of 1707 viewed financially.’ He first calls attention to the difficulty which he states exists in getting people to listen to any facts, figures, or fancies, whenever anyone has been rash enough to discuss, otherwise than with absolute and unqualified approval, the Union effected in 1707 between the free and independent kingdoms of Scotland and England. ‘So completely,’ he continues, ‘has the Treaty of Union been regarded as the mainspring of Scotland’s prosperity in the nineteenth century (of the eighteenth not so much is, or needs be, said), that almost every event in that country’s previous history has been relegated to obscurity or depreciated as trivial and insignificant, while the condition of provincialism into which Scotland has sunk is regarded as the acme of its good fortune.’ The writer then deals with several incidents in which the Government is called ‘English,’ the Queen the ‘Queen of England,’ ‘England’s Army,’ England’s Navy,’ though, he says, ‘the “English Parliament” considerately allows Scotland an inordinate share of the burden of maintaining both of these branches of national defence.’ He argues that only a few years after the Union ‘the Scottish leaders, alarmed at the critical condition of the old country, had to meet together and consider how its trade was hampered and destroyed by prohibitions, regulations, and impositions, laid on by England,’ but a few lines later on the writer believes it was true that ‘to ruin the trade and commerce of Scotland there were not made the outrageous attempts which the commercial classes of England used with only too complete success against their Irish competitors.’
“Scotland, he thinks, would have had her share in the ‘good fortune which has befallen the United Kingdom since 1807’ if the Union of the English and Scottish Parliaments had never taken place. ‘So long as general prosperity increased by “leaps and bounds,” it was natural,’ he says, that inequalities in the contract ‘should be overlooked, but when, as now happens, the pressure of unprosperous times makes itself felt, burdens formerly borne without complaint become more galling.’ He then enters into a long inquiry, and on reviewing the results which he has endeavoured to deduce from such inquiry, states, ‘that Scotland contributes to the Imperial Exchequer a sum not far short of a million pounds sterling in excess of the proportion which corresponds to its population, but say £900,000; that of the expenditure of the general taxation of the United Kingdom there is applied to Scottish purposes a sum less than that to which it is fairly entitled in proportion to its population by £1,250,000; that the transference of the Union of Scotland with England causes a withdrawal from the former country of expenditure from private revenue which would otherwise directly benefit it, which must amount to many millions annually, but which may be moderately stated at £2,000,000, making an annual total of upwards of four million sterling – or about a pound per head per annum for the whole population of Scotland.’ If the golden shower, the product of the toil of Scotland’s hard and industrious sons, was poured upon it, it is easy to perceive, the writer contends, that the population of that country would increase; that Scottish national feeling would revive; and that ‘Scotland would rise from the position of a subordinate and little regarded province of England, as it virtually is under present arrangements, to that of a kingdom administering freely its own domestic affairs, and sharing, according to its population, wealth and importance, in the management of the Imperial concerns of the British Empire.”
– Nantwich Guardian, Wednesday 9th November, 1887.
“ ‘NATIONALIST DELUSIONS,’ FROM A
‘RADICAL UNIONIST’S’ POINT OF VIEW.
Newton Grange House, Mid-Lothian,
December 5, 1887.
SIR, – It appears to me that the ‘Radical Unionist’ proves exactly what we Scottish Home Rulers complain of, and what is set forth in the manifesto to which he refers. We desire a Union, not an obliteration; we desire that in all Imperial questions the different nationalities will be all blended into one British nation, and in local matters each shall have the management of its own affairs. It is of no use for ‘Radical Unionist’ or for anybody else to stuff down the throats of Scotsmen of the present day that this has been the object and practice of English statesmen since the Union of 1707. Why, the very last foreign treaty made by the Imperial Government is entered on the Rolls of Parliament as being between England and the other contracting Power. Where, let me ask, is the British nation here that the Unionist is ‘willing to defend at all hazards?’ She legally is not named in the treaty. It would not be difficult to direct attention to scores of similar bumptious errors of spoken and written phraseology in direct antagonism to the Treaty of Union, and unless we Scots are prepared to blot from history the noble deeds of our forefathers, and to forfeit any claim in the history of the future of our race, as it appears to me, the present is the time for the nation as one man to unite and demand that Scotsmen alone shall manage the domestic or local affairs of Scotland.
The present Treaty of Union, shamefully onesided as it is, has been pusillanimously broken and defaced by the stronger party to that treaty. There must be no facilities for similar infringements in our amended Union. Our Church, education, justices, and taxation for local purposes must be exclusively under the control of Scotsmen. That piece of bunkum speech which we are having dunned in our ears from almost every Englishman who addresses a Scottish audience, that Scotland has only to say to the English Parliament what she wants, and she will get it, won’t go down now. We know that the very opposite is the fact, and indeed in an assembly where everything is decided by majority of votes, it must be so, seeing that Scotland has only 72 votes to England’s 465. This is the point where your Radical Unionist correspondent is himself labouring under a delusion, and if he will spend a session at Westminster and attend the House when Scottish questions are being submitted, he will very soon come to know that Scotland is ruled entirely by England, the same as a German brass band overrules the music coming from a penny whistle. – I am, &c.,
– Scotsman, Tuesday 6th December, 1887.
“MR ASHER, M.P., AND HIS CONSTITUENTS.
MEETING AT INVERURIE.
Mr Asher, M.P… referred to the practice of a member of Parliament visiting his constituents once a year, and saying something to them regarding the session that had taken place since he was formerly amongst them, but said if he were to adopt that course that night, and ask their attention to what had been done in Parliament in regard to Scotland, and matters in which they were specially interested, he should have very great difficulty in finding anything to say – (applause) – because the last session had been marked by many important incidents, but by none more striking than this – the entire absence of anything of the nature of legislation for Scotland, and he thought there was among the members for Scotland a very well-founded cause of complaint at the manner in which Scottish business had been treated. The only bill exclusively relating to Scotland which could be mentioned was a bill relating to the law of bail. He was not depreciating that measure. It related to a small matter, and no doubt in so far as it went it effected a very proper reform; but he must say he could not expect his constituents to take a very great interest in that subject, because it really was passed in the interests of the criminal classes, and he was glad to say that there was a very small representation of that class in the constituency which he had the honour to represent – (laughter)… He could only say, therefore, as a Scotch member coming to his constituents, that the past session had been a blank, and that they had not even had the opportunity of having the ordinary discussion incident to the granting of the Scottish votes. That there should be a very great feeling of dissatisfaction on that account he was not at all surprised, and the continuance of that state of matters would lead people to be turning their minds in the direction of how these grievances were to be obviated, what were the new arrangements which could be made which would admit of Scottish questions receiving the attention in the House of Commons which they deserved; and he had not the least doubt that it was to the neglect of Scottish questions in the House of Commons that they must attribute the prevalent, and, he rather thought, increasing demand throughout Scotland for something of the nature of Home Rule – (applause.)”
– Aberdeen Free Press, Monday 14th January, 1889.
“It is said that the Government is hopeful of changing opinion in Scotland by the legislation to be brought forward for that country. A more feeble hope could not be whispered. Scotchmen have never got anything from a Tory Government worthy of acceptance excepting what has actually been forced and obtained with the assistance of the Liberal party. But the simple truth is that Scotchmen just now are more concerned with the Irish question than even with the precious University Bill, which is to be revived this session for the twentieth time. The neglect of the Government has been brought home very closely to the people of Scotland and they have made the Irish cause their own. The action of the Government and of the Irish Secretary has created a feeling of distrust and indignation north the Tweed which no peddling legislation will either remove or subdue. Bye-elections have shown what Scotland thinks of the Government, and what it is prepared to do with the Coercionists. Lord Hartington, Mr Chamberlain, Mr Goschen, and even the Duke of Argyle may stump all Scotland for a year and a day, but they will never restore confidence in a Government which arrests Irish Members of Parliament for their political speeches, and which even invades the private dwellings of Scottish gentlemen and puts the shackles upon their Irish guests. Scotland will not help the Government. neither will Wales, England, too, loathes the Government’s policy.”
– Daily Gazette for Middlesborough, Thursday 21st February, 1889.
“Professor BLACKIE, who was received with loud cheers said – Ladies and Gentlemen, – I determined to prepare no speech for the present occasion. I am not a man that makes speeches; I speak – (laughter) – ‘Out of the fulness of the heart the mouth speaketh.’ I say in the first place, this is the greatest honour done me in the course of my long life. I have been rather on the whole a lucky dog and a good, honest working man; but never was such an honour dreamt of by me that I should be called to unfurl a flag to Robert the Bruce on the field of Bannockburn. (Cheers.) Well, I thank God that up to this octogenarian period, though I should have gained nothing else, I have gained the love of my fellow-citizens and all good Scotchmen. That is all I want; I care not for fame, but I care for love. As St Paul says, ‘Love is the fulfilling of the law,’ it is the cement of society; it is the salvation of the State, and it is the reward of an honest working life. (Cheers.) I say there are two sacred grounds – if I may use the plural – in Scotland – the one is the field of Bannockburn and the other is the Greyfriars’ Churchyard in Edinburgh. On the one we gained our political independence and on the other our liberty of conscience. These two have made Scotchmen what they are. Had it not been for Robert Bruce and Douglas and Randolph, and for the Covenanters and John Knox, and my dearly-beloved friend Jenny Geddes – (laughter) – we should have all been the slaves and puppets of English masters. Now, I have great respect for our English brethren; but I wish them to know they are merely partners in trade with us. I wish a real union not an absorption. I wish them to understand that Scotland is still Scotland that it is for the benefit of the Empire that Scotland should be Scotland, England should be England, and Ireland should be Ireland; that it is not for our good we should be anglified and dressed up, with a London polish. Indeed, I am not sure that the Union of 1707 was such an immense benefit to Scotland. We owe our success to our pluck. A hard-working, intelligent people always succeed, and that is why Scotchmen succeed everywhere. Though I am a friend of the Union, and proud to belong to the British Empire, yet there is a certain danger to a smaller nation from being united to a bigger. Do not let a long period of peace juggle you out of your nationality. beware of London, beware of officialism, of centralisation, of monopoly, of measuring things by red tape from London. Assert your independence, be true to yourselves.’
… Let us hope that England is learning now to be a little wiser in her attitude towards fraternal nationalities. Meantime, let us remember today that Scotland has her duty to perform, though it is not against a foe from over the border. there are other forces against which Scotchmen will require to be on their guard. The first is the tendency to centralisation, and the extinction of the Scottish Parliament… The removal of all our Scotch legislative business to London has carried away with it many elements that should have strengthened the Scottish nation and the Scottish nationality… In the days six hundred years ago it was the Scottish nobles that so often by their vacillation and their selfishness exposed Scotland to the domination of her southern neighbour. And had it not been for the perfidy of Scottish nobles William Wallace would have achieved the liberties of Scotland, and the battle of Falkirk would have been the battle of Bannockburn. (Cheers.) The transference of our national business to London has taken away the business from the people amongst whom it is understood to be mismanaged by people who know little about Scotland, and seem to care even less. we want, therefore, Home Rule for Scotland. (Cheers.) We want to have the management of our Scottish affairs, not only in the interests of Scotland but in the interests of the Empire itself. (Cheers.)
– Lennox Herald, Saturday 29th June, 1889.
“Scotland, indeed, has special grounds for expecting liberality in the consideration of her claim for a grant for pictures to her National Gallery. It will be found, on a reference to ‘The Year’s Art, 1889,’ that last year the National Gallery, London, received out of imperial funds for general purposes, after deducting the sum of £12,968; and the Irish National Gallery also, irrespective of the grant for pictures, received £1501. The Scottish National Gallery, on the other hand (but this does not appear, as I shall show, in ‘The Year’s Art’), from Imperial funds only received the paltry sum of £100, the remainder of the amount required for keeping the Gallery open being received out of Scotland’s own money – viz., the £2000 a year payable to her under the 15th article of the Treaty of Union.
This £2000 a year, a set forth in the Treaty, stands as an equivalent to Scotland in respect ‘the subjects of Scotland, for preserving an equality of trade throughout the United Kingdom, will be liable to several Customs and Excises now payable in England, which will be applicable towards payment of the debts of England contracted before the Union.’ The fund is at present under the management of the Board of Trustees for Manufactures, but strictly under the supervision of the Treasury, whose sanction has to be obtained for all expenditure. The payments by the Board on account of the Scottish National Gallery are regulated by a Treasury minute of date 25th February 1858, which may be found in extenso by referring to a file of the Scotsman under date 20th March following. These payments amount only to £1142 in the aggregate, and cover nothing but salaries and ordinary items of management.”
– Scotsman, Thursday 4th July, 1889.
The centralisation issue continues. This letter is in response to an article detailing the Scottish School Boards taking it upon themselves to ensure the history books published in Scotland with regards history do not make the mistake any more of substituting Britain/British for England/English;
“COLONEL WHITE’S LETTER.
Fort Wayne, Ind., U.S.,
September 24th, 1889.
To the Scottish Society of Literature and Art, Edinburgh.
GENTLEMEN, – The enclosed clipping I cut from (I think) the ‘Scottish American.’ It gives no location of your society, but I address you at the old capital of our country, hoping to find you there. I hail with much pleasure the important steps you have taken as embodied in the article. This, I assure you, is a continual source of mortification to your countrymen everywhere, and no place more so than in the United States. To read in newspapers from associated press reports, the public speeches of your statesmen and others, the studied ignorement of Scotland, and substituting England for Britain, with the evident design and plan of obliterating our country as a nation from the living operations of the world, fires every Scottish heart with indignation. It is no idle, thoughtless accident of speech or pen that brings this about; the authors are well acquainted with British history. They know well, if they were straight off to insist that all national distinctiveness should cease and determine, every Scot both at home and in America would have to be reckoned with. No, they are more covert in their methods; they began by calling us North Britons, but they never called themselves South Britons. No, the pomposity of the English press and English statesmen ever since the Union have insidiously used their opportunities to make it appear to foreigners and the rising generations of the whole English-speaking peoples that Scotland occupied the same place relatively to England as does Ireland and Wales. In fact many of the unwary and unread have been carried away with their continued assertiveness, and to themselves it has become like to the sailor’s yarn, who having told it so often, he got to believe it himself; and so the Englishman is getting it into his conceited head that Scotland was conquered by them, and that Scotland had no rights but what England was disposed to grant her, hence history is purposely distorted to give this untruthful and unfavourable appearance. So I say again, I hail with pleasure and pride your action in this matter. It will encourage many others, I hope, to join you in the struggle for the preservation of what is dearer to Scotsmen than their lives, that is the imperishable fame of their country, and its love of freedom – a freedom that neither Roman nor Norman could subdue. This subject I could illustrate in many ways, which I will forego at present, I being an utter stranger to you. Yet, as a Scotsman and an American citizen, I say most emphatically that it ill becomes the English race who submitted humbly to the yoke of a conquering bastard, and who, and who for several generation filled the position of menials to their masters, to say an unbecoming word which detracts from the glorious history of the sacrifices made by Scotsmen for centuries, to secure their independence as a nation, and knowing, too, as they do, that since the Union they have shed their blood like water in every quarter of the world, for the supremacy of the British arms, and have also been in the van of every scientific and commercial enterprise in all parts of the globe. I hope for great and good results from the work you have undertaken. I hope and trust you will not leave a vestige in the school books of our country that is not strictly true, and which will detract from the famous history of Scotland. Let the youth of the coming generations be taught and inspired by the great and glorious deeds of their forefathers who for more than 480 years successfully withstood in battle their perfidious enemies who were treble their number, from whose self-sacrifices and unconquered heroism we are beholden for the freedom we enjoy and for the perseverance of our national independence. – I am, respectfully yours,
J. B. WHITE, Colonel,
Member of Congress,
United States of America.”
– Dalkeith Advertiser, Thursday 31st October, 1889.
“Mr Gladstone said in his great speech introducing the Irish Home Rule Bill in 1886. He said – ‘Scotland has never had reason to entertain the desire for domestic legislation. Scotland, wisely recognised by England, has been allowed and encouraged in this House to make her own laws as freely and effectually as if she had a representation six times as strong; consequently, the mainspring of the law in Scotland is felt by the people to be Scottish.’ (Cheers.) This is the grand difference between Scotland and Ireland in their relation to the Imperial Parliament. Scottish legislation is inspired by Scotsmen, and is in compliance with Scottish demands.”
– Scotsman, Wednesday 11th December, 1889.
“ENGLISH INTRUSION IN SCOTTISH HERALDRY.
SIR, – I live far away from any good library where I can read over the articles of the Scottish Union. Is it not embodied therein that the office of Lyon King-at-Arms should always be upheld? How, then, comes it that the honours of knighthood and baronetcy to Scotsmen of Scottish blood and land have of recent years been sometimes emblazoned in the Herald’s College in London, and not in the office of Lyon King-at-Arms in Edinburgh? Some society which looks after Scottish rights should take up this question, and the more so now that Scotland has a Secretary of her own. The recent English Peerages of the Dukedom of Gordon, Baronies of Marjoribanks (extinct), Tweedmouth, Hamilton, and sic like may go, if they like, to Herald’s College, as by the Treaty of Union no new Scottish Peerages can be created since 1701. – I am, &c.
– Scotsman, Saturday 18th January, 1890.
“ST GEORGE FOR THE COINAGE.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE DUNDEE ADVERTISER.
SIR, – The resolution of the Government to perpetuate the production of the patron saint of England – St George overcoming evil in the form of a dragon – on the new gold coinage is not fair to Andrew, Patrick, and David, who are left out in the cold. If we are to have saints on the coinage the reverse ought to be quartered. If we are not, then Scotsmen should demand that a design emblematic of the four British nations should appear on all British coins. An artistic, durable, and eminently just design can be made by intertwining the rose, thistle, shamrock, and leek. When the ‘Britanniar.’ small-typed on the obverse has gone the future antiquary will say, ‘These are English coins!’ The spirit of the first article of the Treaty of Union is transgressed. English fairness, I should say, does not desire this. The other three nations have a right to demand that it shall not be carried out. Let us hold to the motto ‘Dieu et Mon Droit.’ – I am, &c.,
A SCOTSMAN AND BRITON.
Liverpool, 26th April 1890.”
– Dundee Advertiser, Wednesday 30th April, 1890.
“PROPOSED DEMOLITION OF AN INTERESTING HIGH STREET TENEMENT.
AT the Edinburgh Dean of Guild Court yesterday, an application made by the National Bank of Scotland for a warrant to take down and rebuild the tenement at the east corner of Cockburn Street and High Street and was continued for a week. The tenement in question, though not dating further back than 1689, has a certain historic interest. While facing the High Street and Cockburn Street, it also has a considerable frontage to Milne’s or Mylne’s Square, which represents one of the earliest of the improvements in old Edinburgh to afford more breathing space to the aristocratic dwellers in the crowded and narrow closes, before the gentry moved across to the green field on the other side of the Nor’ Loch. It was undertaken by Robert Mylne, a nephew of that ‘master mason to the King’ whose tombstone, with a rhyming epitaph, is in Greyfriars’ Churchyard, and himself a holder of the same office. Robert Mylne was a man of note, and left his impress on many parts of the city. He was the builder of the additions to Holyrood designed by Sir William Bruce, and his name is commemorated not only in Milne’s Square, but in Milne’s Court further up the High Street, and in the Mylne battery at the Castle… Apparently a man of means, Robert Mylne purchased the sites after the extensive fire in Parliament Square in 1700; he is heard of also as the possessor of the estate of Balfargie in Fifeshire; and dying in 1710, he was interred at Holyrood. The tenement is also associated with the stirring times of the Union, for it was in a ‘laigh shop’ or cellar on its basement floor that the deed of Union is said to have been signed and sealed. the tradition on the subject is that the Commissioners assembled in an ornamental summer-house at Moray House to affix their signatures to the treaty of Union, but, driven out of that place by the infuriated mob, they took refuge in the ‘laigh shop’ already referred to, and there completed the deed which was to have so beneficial an influence on the fortunes of the two countries. The entrance to the ‘laigh shop’ or cellar from the High Street has long since been closed, but the cellar still exists, and will not, it is understood, be disturbed by the proposed building operations. The rebuilding of the tenement is undertaken primarily to afford accommodation on the street level for the growing business of the bank.”
– Scotsman, Friday 13th June, 1890.
“SCOTLAND AND ITS MONEY VOTES.
On the motion for the adjournment.
Dr CLARK proceeded to call the attention of the House to the position of Scotland under the Civil Service Estimates, especially as regarded the salaries of its officials, compared with those of English and Irish officials – Scotland, he said, paying 2s. more per head for taxation than England did, and the probate duty in Scotland was growing faster than it was in England. As far as Scotland was concerned, it was paying more money per head, and getting almost nothing back again. Scotland had got no Government docks, although it could build ships about 50 per cent. cheaper than the Government could build them in their own dockyards. The Home Secretary in England received £5000 a year, the Chief Secretary for Ireland £4425, and the Secretary for Scotland had less than one half – £2000 a year. The Under Secretaries were paid in the same fashion. The English and Irish were paid at the rate of £2000. The Under Secretary in Scotland was only paid at the rate of £1500. The system extended to the clerks. The principal clerks in England were paid at from £900 to £1000, in Ireland from £700 to £900, and in Scotland from £300 to £400. The system was even carried out in the Scottish Office itself. As far as the law officers were concerned, they had the Attorney-General for England getting £7000 a year, the Attorney-General for Ireland getting £5000 a year, and the same officer in Scotland only got £2300 a year. £2300 a year for the services of the right hon. gentleman the Lord Advocate!.. The Solicitor-General in Scotland received £900, in contrast with the much larger sums paid to the English and Irish officials. He would like to know on what ground this disparity could be supported… The entire sum for England was £166,000. It was £133,000 for Ireland, and only £9808 for Scotland. The whole cost in Scotland was under £10,000, while Scotland contributed very much more of revenue than Ireland did. Looking at the matter on the basis per head of the population in England, the cost was 2½ times more than in Scotland, and in Ireland it was 10 times more than in Scotland. Let them take the Medical Department of the Board by which the public health Acts were carried out. The cost in England was £17,416; in Ireland £4400, and in Scotland £500. The result was they had not got the same attention paid to public health matters in Scotland that they had either in England or Ireland, and he believed a great deal of preventable disease that might not occur from the parsimony of this House in everything that was Scottish. The President in England had £2000 a year, the same officer in Ireland had £2000 a year. In Scotland the President had only £1200 a year… In England the prison surgeons got from £400 to £500 a year. In Ireland they were paid from £350 to £400, and in Scotland they were paid from £250 to £300. The assistants in England began at the same salary as the principal officers in Scotland… Then there were the grants in aid. He was sorry to say that so far as these were concerned Scotland was treated in the same shabby fashion. A sum of £16,000 was voted every year by Parliament for teachers and for scholarships in London, under which young English lads could be educated free by the State, and were able to compete unfairly with the Scottish lads, who could not get anything of the kind. A sum of £3800 was given in addition for the museum, making £20,000 voted by Parliament for technical education in London. They had the same thing in Ireland, where £7000 was voted for the teaching of technology and for scholarships for Irish lads. This House absolutely refused to vote a single penny for Scotland in that direction… When two years ago £15,000 was voted for England and Ireland, only £500 had been granted to Scotland, and that was only granted for one year. There was a Watt College at Edinburgh performing the same functions that they had got in Ireland and England performed by the State. Government had refused to give a single penny of this £15,000 grant. In the case of the college at Dundee, it only got it for one year, and it had been stopped… A commission appointed by this House had been sitting, and they had come before the Treasury and told them that the sum granted was utterly inadequate, and would not perform the work they had to carry out. It was the same with the National Galleries. They were paying their money that they were compelled to pay under the Treaty of Union. The value of money at that time, nearly two hundred years ago, was quite different from the value of money now; so that, as far as Scotland was concerned, in all these matters Ireland got more than she wanted, and Scotland got nothing… Looking at the grand total, the grants in England amounted to £1,000,000, in Scotland to £230,000, and in Ireland to over £2,000,000…”
– Scotsman, Wednesday 25th March, 1891.
“MR ERNEST NOEL AT GRANGEMOUTH.
MR ERNEST NOEL, Unionist candidate for Stirlingshire, addressed a well-attended meeting last night in the Town Hall, Grangemouth. Mr Andrew Mackay presided…
If disestablishment was to take place in Scotland, it should only be after having been put plainly to the country, that men might vote aye or no on it. (Applause.) An institution that was so ancient and bound up in the Treaty of Union between England and Scotland was one that should not be swept away, perhaps, by a majority of Welsh disestablishers. (Applause.) If it were done, it should be by the people of Scotland alone.”
– Scotsman, Tuesday 6th October, 1891.
“The Scottish Home Rule Association have issued a protest against the misuse of the terms ‘England’ and ‘English’ for ‘Britain,’ the ‘British Empire,’ its peoples and institutions. All true Scots will sympathise with the position the Association takes up. The protest says:- Of late years a custom has sprung up of applying the names England and English not only to Britain, but also to the whole Empire, its peoples and its institutions – a custom which practically demands that Scotsmen should cease to be Scotsmen and consent to be Englishmen, that Scotland should be blotted from the map and reappear as the Northern Counties of England, and that the Articles of the Treaty of Union, which so carefully provided for the adoption of the common name ‘Britain’ and ‘British,’ should be dishonourably set aside. This practice is a deliberate attempt to defraud our country and countrymen of their Treaty rights and privileges, and to degrade Scotsmen from their proper historical position and make their country a mere province of England. Of late years there has sprung up an evil habit of using both in the press and on the platform the words ‘England’ and ‘English’ for the ‘British Empire’ and the ‘British People.’ This habit is an insult and injury to the Scottish people, and an offensive piece of arrogance on the part of all those who use the terms. Against this insult to the Scottish people we enter our protest. This habit of Englishmen and their imitator, the Anglicised Scot, of speaking of the ‘English Army,’ the ‘English Navy,’ the ‘English Government,’ etc., is both unconstitutional and nonsensical, as no such Army, Navy, or Government exist.”
– Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette, Thursday 9th June, 1892.
“Although the realms of England and Scotland came under the sceptre of one sovereign in 1603, the latter continues for over a century afterwards to have a separate and independent Legislature, which never had a House of Lords, the Peers and Commons sitting together. By the Treaty of Union, in 1707, it was provided that in future the Peerage of Scotland should be represented in the British House of Lords by sixteen of its members. It was further declared and enacted that from that date there should be no fresh creations of Scottish Peers. Since the Union the body of Scottish Peers has been largely reduced. In consequence of the rebellions of 1715 and 1745 a good many titles – some of them among the most illustrious in the national annals – were forfeited. A number of them have, at various times since, been restored; but the roll has gradually and inevitably diminished owing to the failure of heirs. The majority of the Scottish Peers are now also Peers of Great Britain or the United Kingdom, and have thus, in their own right, seats in the House of Lords. The small number not possessed of this qualification, or not included among the sixteen representative Peers (who are invariably selected from among those with Scottish Peerages alone) are in exceedingly poor plight. In fact, they are virtually without the commonest privileges of citizenship. They can, if they like, record their votes at the Holyrood farce; and there their functions under the Constitution end. They are altogether debarred from interfering in elections to the House of Commons, or from becoming members of that assembly. In this respect the Irish Peers are much more favourably situated. Those of them who are not representative Peers of Ireland may be elected members of the House of Commons for English constituencies, as in the case of Lord Palmerston, who might otherwise never have been heard of as a statesman. The Scottish Peers under the disabilities to which we have referred are of course a mere handful. Nor do they appear to be at all anxious to have their position improved. Generally speaking, staunch sticklers for Conservatism, they are seemingly averse to the existing order of things being disturbed. Sooner or later, however, the whole question of the ‘mending’ – and possibly the ‘ending’ – of the House of Lords must come up for settlement; and then the Scottish Peers, whether they desire it or not, will be relieved of their gilded trammels.”
– Falkirk Herald, Saturday 16th July, 1892.
“In a statesman like Lord SALISBURY the careless use of the term will be certain to encourage the substitution of England for Great Britain by foreigners, who cannot be supposed to have a full acquaintance with the details of our history. It must be borne in mind, however, that the claim of the perfervid orators last night was founded upon the Treaty of Union. Some ingenious antiquary, raking among the dust-heaps of early history, might be able to show that we have really no absolute right to the name of Scotland at all, and that its use is only justified by that same careless habit of speech of which complaint is now made. As a matter of fact we stole the name of Scotia from Ireland, and coolly appropriated it to this country. The Dalriadic Kings of Ulster who settled in Strathclyde previous to the Ossianic period applied the name of the beloved Green Isle which they had left to the new country which they had conquered. It is not easy to tell at what period the name of Scotland was given to the country that lies between the Pentland Firth and the Cheviot Hills. Of this, however, we may be certain, that the limits of Scotland were well defined long before the Treaty of Union, and that the Scottish politicians who signed that Treaty made an honest effort to preserve the name of their country. A wise English politician would respect this feeling, even though he might deem it absurdly sentimental.”
– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Thursday 18th August, 1892.
“Before the great battle of Trafalgar – as we are told – ‘Along the line the signal ran, “England expects that every man this day will do his duty.” ’ Among the British sailors were two Scotch chums from Paisley, who doubtless in their youth ‘paidled in the burn and pu’ed the gowans fine,’ the one named John and the other George. When the signal appeared it was too much for the Scottish Lion in the breast of one of them, who accosted his chum as follows:- ‘I say, Jock, what does Maister Nelson mean by saying England expects that every man this day will do his duty?’ To which his comrade replied in equal sang froid:- ‘Man, Geordie, ye’re a stupid chap. Maister Nelson kens fine that he needna tell Scotchmen to do their duty.’ Scottish honour was in this amply upheld. -I am, &c.,
CHAS. D. CRANSTOUN.
– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Tuesday 23rd August, 1892.
“SCOTTISH NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF VICTORIA. – Mr Theodore Napier, as president of the Scottish National Association of Victoria, [Australia,] which is a branch of the Scottish Home Rule Association and has the same object in view, ‘the restoration of Scotland’s national and political liberty,’ had written to Mr Gladstone, under date July 23,…
I trust, sir, that as a true lover of that land to which you owe, not only your Parliamentary seat, but your very life’s blood and national spirit, you will not, in the day of your power, forget her national and political welfare; for Scotland has had too long to ‘pay the piper’ on account of the one-sided Treaty of Union with England; and the voice of her representatives, and of the nation through them, has for too long a period been drowned in the overwhelming English vote.”
– Scotsman, Wednesday 14th September, 1892.
“Mr ALPHEUS MORTON asked the Secretary for Scotland whether his attention had been called to the fact that, in accordance with article 16 of the Treaty of Union between Scotland and England, the Scottish Mint at Edinburgh was to be continued; and if, as the Scottish Mint no longer existed, he could say whether the Government intended to carry out and maintain article 16 of the aforesaid treaty?
Sir GEORGE TREVELYAN – The provision in article 16 of the Treaty of Union for the continuance of the Scottish Mint at Edinburgh was repealed by the statute Law Revision Act of 1867, and the article as now in force only provides that the coin shall be of the same standard and value in Scotland and England alike.”
– Scotsman, Friday 2nd June, 1893.
“Dr MACGREGOR – Seeing the difficulty Scotchmen find in getting redress of their grievances in this House, may I ask the Lord-Advocate whether he does not think the time has now come when Scotland might resume control of her own affairs. (Laughter.)
No answer was returned to this question.”
– Glasgow Herald, Friday 5th January, 1894.
“Dr HUNTER said that the hon. baronet who last spoke [Sir John Lubbock] seemed to be unaware of the fact that the whole legal system of Scotland was different from that of England. They had their own courts and judicature preserved to them by the Treaty of Union. Their ecclesiastical system also was totally different, and was based on the principle of equality. Scotland had always, in all its institutions, shown a passion for equality, but nobody who knew anything of the history of England would say that England had exhibited the passion for equality. (Hear, hear.) with regard to education, what could be more different than the system of Scotland and England. The system of England seemed to him to be one for making the religion of the teachers high and their salaries low. (Laughter.) Scottish ideas in that respect were very different. The poor law administration and municipal administration were also different. the smallest town in Scotland had its own supply of gas and water. They did not object to Londoners allowing themselves to be robbed by gas companies and the water companies. That was the Londoner’s affair. But when people said there was no difference between the countries, he could tell them that the differences were very great.”
– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Wednesday 18th April, 1894.
“Mr A. MORTON was not at all satisfied that all had been done that was necessary to prevent Stirling Castle from going to decay. So far as he could understand, the only amount in the votes relating to the Castle was £1000 for ordnance store buildings, including the purchase of land. Did the Secretary for War intend to do anything more to restore that castle, and to prevent it being destroyed? With regard to the other castles in Scotland, he saw an item of £300 for Edinburgh Castle, but he regretted that he had been unable to get the Office of Works to do what was right. No doubt some work was in progress at Edinburgh, but so far as he could judge from personal inspection, the right hon. gentleman did not propose to spend enough to put the castle in a satisfactory state, either for its preservation or for the comfort of the troops. Another historical castle was Blackness, which appeared to be allowed to go to ruin; and the only sum for it was to be spent on the reconstruction of a pier. Dumbarton Castle was another historical castle that his attention had been called to. He did not see it mentioned, unless it was included in the lump sum of £1000. He wanted to know whether the right hon. gentleman intended to do something to prevent it going to ruin. These castles were the keys of Scotland, and it was provided in the Treaty of Union that these castles and the two Royal Palaces, to which he had alluded on a former occasion, should be kept up at the expense of the United Kingdom, and they had been grossly neglected by the British Government. Now, however, that they had the War Minister and so many other members of the Government, who, though not all Scotsmen, represented Scottish constituencies, one would think that at last these buildings would be taken proper care of. (Hear, hear.)
Mr WEBSTER called attention to the condition of the old Parliament House of Scotland. At present he thought that the room that was used by the old Parliament of Scotland was being used as dormitory for soldiers, and he thought that instead of that building being so used the Government ought to build other dormitories and keep that historical building for purposes similar to those for which it was originally used – public meetings or for a future Parliament of Scotland. (Laughter.)
– Scotsman, Saturday 7th July, 1894.
“The complaints of the rural population of the Highlands of Scotland have been persistently ignored, while those of the people of Ireland have received the most careful attention. Notwithstanding the treatment they have received, the people of the North of Scotland are loyal to the Crown and to the Treaty of Union, while the people of Ireland, in spite of the many benefits conferred upon them, are neither the one nor the other. In Ireland agitation is conducted on disloyal and unlawful lines, but in the Highlands of Scotland the utmost order is invariably maintained. These and other considerations prevent any comparison between Ireland and the Highlands of Scotland, and consequently the moral which Lord Rosebery attempted to draw yesterday is entirely inapplicable.”
– Dundee Courier, Friday 21st September, 1894.
“HOME RULE ALL ROUND.
SIR, – Will you allow me to make some observations on this question. To accomplish such an object has been the aim of our leaders ever since we came into life, and we had hoped that either by ourselves or by amalgamation with an existing paper, with our numbers and the literary abilities which we possess that aim would have been realised long ago. In your letter to me you seem to think that the difficulties do not lie with the financial section of the venture. I only wish that I could see eye to eye with you, for I have no fear of the literary talent being short, if the paper we identified ourselves with made Home Rule All Round its leading political Confession of Faith. We have on our roll of membership at home and abroad sufficient talent to maintain our principles on that score for a long time to come. But you can readily understand how disgusting it is to an unselfish patriotic mind, after furnishing a thoroughly just and ethical article in favour of Home Rule, probably to a paper which styles itself Liberal, to find in next day’s issue a slashing abusive defamatory article, with scarcely an attempt at reasonable argument, and when the patriotic writer replies, his reply is, without assigning a cause, thrown into the waste basket. Had our cause an organ whose special object was to promote the principle of Local Self-Government to each national division of the Empire, we would have no fear of lying slanderers. In point of fact, it would be our interest to encourage the vapourings of such defamers. The fact is, the Fourth Estate of the un-written Constitution has descended very much to a mere trade. It furnishes its columns with materials that pay best, indifferent as regards truth and consistency or the promotion of national rights. In this stage of our political history it has practically come to this, that our professorial politicians who are endowed with the largest amount of wealth command the biggest turn-over in the trade. This unsatisfactory state of constitutional Government may be expected to continue so long as the absurdity of a hereditary legislature has power to make or prevent making the laws, unless events bequeath to us another Cromwell suited to the times…
Does it not appear to you that such important questions, being strictly Scottish, as the Scottish Church, the Scottish Licensing, the Scottish Fishing and Land laws, would be more in harmony with Scottish national rights and justice if let alone to be dealt with by a purely Scottish Legislature. I have never been able to see by what law of equity, we Scots should presume to force upon Englishmen and Irishmen our democratic or contracted views upon either of the above questions, and vice versa, those two nations ought to leave us to frame our regulations upon all such local matters as may appear to us to be most conducive to our national characteristics and welfare.
England enjoys Home Rule already. Not only so, but she rules at her will the home affairs of the other three nations which compose Great Britain and Ireland. Any abstraction from the present system would lessen her sway over these nationalities. Parnell struck upon the only possible course which is likely to make John Bull susceptible to reason and justice – viz., get possession of a weapon which will prevent John from getting his own home affairs ruled. It is very much to be regretted that we Scots, chiefly arising out of religious differences, cannot see our way to go hand in hand with Ireland in the work of promoting Home Rule. If Mr Gladstone had framed his Bill on the principle of Home Rule all round, and stuck to it, it would have been an Act which would have immortalised him throughout the whole British-speaking race; but he is not sound on real Home Rule. His object was to get rid of Irish opposition both at home and in America. He cared nothing for the freedom of his own countrymen, who have been worse used as a nation than has Ireland, notwithstanding we have a solemn Treaty of Union for the protection of our national rights and interests. We are tremendously over-taxed as compared with either England or Ireland. You will remember that in the Local Government Act for Scotland the power of the English vote thrust down the throats of our Scots members twelve clauses of purely Scottish local affairs which large majorities of the Scots voted against. Can an educated, free-born country be expected to peacefully submit to this. We, who are proud of our fought-for independence, surely are justified in complaining of such treatment. I have never met with a Scottish Home Ruler, and I have been one all my life, who has any wish or idea of breaking up the Imperial Union; at the same time, although I lived in England a quarter of a century, I have no desire to be ruled by Englishmen. Let us work together harmoniously in all Imperial affairs, but in all purely Scottish affairs, rely on it, our safest course is to manage them ourselves at home in our own way. – I am, &c.,
Chairman of Executive Committee,
Scottish Home Rule Association,
Newton Grange House, Newbattle.
April 16th, 1896.”
– Perthshire Advertiser, Monday 20th April, 1896.
“I understand your able writer proposes to proceed with the history of most of the Scottish Earldoms. When he arrives at the period of the 16th century. I hope he will endeavour to write a separate history of Lord Kellie’s alleged new title of Mar, with documentary proofs of its creation and career; but I fear he will find this a somewhat difficult task, or it would surely have been published before the year of grace 1896!
Perhaps some day we shall be enlightened as to why the authorities for the ‘Decreet of Ranking’ in 1606 failed to rank, and were ignorant of an Earldom of Mar of only forty years’ standing, on Lord Kellie’s assumption; why the Erskine family never held or claimed that alleged new peerage till 1875; in what manner was it attainted, or restored from the Jacobite attainder? and by what authority a London Committee for ‘Privileges’ can call into existence a new Scottish Earldom, not on the ‘Union Roll’ of authentic Peerages in 1707, while by the Treaty of Union the Crown and Parliament are precluded from creating a Scottish Peerage? These are questions into which an inquiry has been persistently refused. – Yours, &c.,
Blaragie, Kingussie, October 2nd, 1896.”
– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Wednesday 7th October, 1896.
[FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.]
As most people know, North Bridge Street is doomed to early demolition. With it will disappear not a few houses of antiquarian and historic interest, including the old Veal Market Inn, which stands in the passage way leading to Cockburn Street. Here it was that the Treaty of Union between England and Scotland was signed in 1707. Appropriately enough, considering the amount of bribery and corruption attending the transaction, the apartment where the Commissioners met is now utilised as a cellar of the Inn. It is claimed for this historic hostelry that it is the oldest in Edinburgh, albeit only six landlords have reigned in it from the commencement. There is a tavern, however, in West Cross-causeway which shows the date 1622 over its portals. Only the other say the license was transferred from father to son, when it was stated that it was the first public-house planted outside the walls of Edinburgh. There is probably no other place of business in the city that can claim so long and so unbroken a descent – a fact that speaks volumes as to the continuity of thirst throughout the ages.”
– Alloa Journal, Saturday 26th December, 1896.
“Mr Morley devoted a great part of his time to a discussion of the Irish grievance, but he did not on this occasion forget that he is a Scottish member. Perhaps he was reminded of the fact by crossing the Border, and it may be hoped that he will not forget it when he crosses it again going south. While claiming for Ireland a right to special consideration in matters of finance, he insists apparently on an equal right for Scotland. Perhaps that is putting it too strongly, but at any rate he claims some right for Scotland to have its financial relations also considered. This of course means that the financial relations of the three Kingdoms should be carefully examined, and to this no Unionist will raise objections. Mr Morley himself recalled the fact that there should be such an inquiry, though it came to nothing. That Government would not agree to a lopsided inquiry into Irish finance alone, which could never be anything but misleading. It would only consent to an inquiry which included Scotland. But a Home Rule Government came in and an Irish inquiry was instituted, and every appeal from Scottish representatives to include Scotland was rejected. And now it is very questionable if Mr Morley’s Irish friends will thank him for urging the claims of Scotland; for it is not equal justice that they want, but what they call justice to Ireland at the expense of England and Scotland.”
– Scotsman, Monday 18th January, 1897.
“Mr. Morley, discussing the subject entirely from the non-party stand-point, did the State an excellent service by the reminder that the Irish claim for consideration is based upon most explicit arrangements in the Treaty of Union on which Unionists are always taking their stand. Not only is it imperative that the whole question of the financial relationships of Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom should be reconsidered, but Mr. Morley hinted that Scotland, too, should have her claims examined, and he quoted Mr. Goschen in support of his contention. Probably he had been reading a protest which has just been issued by the Scottish Home Rule Association, comparing the revenue derived from the different parts of the United Kingdom, and contrasting the expenses of Government in Scotland and Ireland. The population of Scotland is considerably over half a million fewer than the population of Ireland. Yet Scotland produces £10,247,388 of revenue, and Ireland only £6,895,807. The Government of Ireland, on the other hand (according to the figures of the Scottish Home Rule Association), costs £4,586,370, while the Government of Scotland only costs £1,919,058, annually. These are not figures from which hasty inferences should be made; but they do enforce Mr. Morley’s demand for a thorough investigation. “
– Sheffield Independent, Monday 18th January, 1897.
“THE Right Hon. John Morley, addressing a meeting at Broughty Ferry on Saturday evening last in support of the Liberal candidate for Forfarshire, said whatever sop or dole the Government gave to the schools in England, they would have to give an equivalent grant to Scotland and he hoped Scotland would be firm against the grant being distributed for the purposes defined in the destination except it was in accordance with the wishes, views, and intentions of the people of Scotland. he described the Rating Act as a clumsy device for distributing public money for the purpose of a single class to give relief to some people who did not want it, and did not give any adequate relief to the people who did want it. The controversy regarding the financial relations of Ireland should stand clear of Home Rule, not that he was backing out of Home Rule, for he was more firmly convinced than ever that the Liberal party was right, and that the country would by and bye recognise it.”
– Shetland Times, Saturday 23rd January, 1897.
“The nature of the grievance of which Scotland complained was that in their local services their officers were only paid about half what the same class of officers were paid in England and Ireland. The cost of the Local Government Board in England was £181,000, in Ireland £131,000, and the sum paid by Parliament for the Local Government Board in Scotland was £11,000. He thought that the English and Irish Estimates were far out of proportion to what they ought to be. Salaries were also paid in England and Ireland to the officials, and they had items in the English Local Government Board estimates and in Scotland which were paid by the local authorities and not by the Imperial Parliament. He hoped that instead of levelling up the Scottish to the English system, they would level down the English to the Scottish. Other illustrations of the difference in cost and salaries were found in the Departments of the national Secretaries of the three countries and in the prison and police services. The grievance in Scotland was not so great as it was ten years ago owing to the financial changes made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Still there were some grievances remaining, and they in Scotland ought to have them redressed, either by an equivalent grant or by having them wiped out altogether… Of the total revenue collected 76 per cent. was collected in England, 12.7 was collected in Scotland, and 9.8 was collected in Ireland. They voted last year for Scotland about a million and a-half, for England ten and a-half millions, and for Ireland a little over four millions. As things stood at present, the taxation per head in Scotland was higher than either the taxation in England or in Ireland. He supposed it was because they drank too much whisky, unfortunately for them. But what they had a right to demand was an equivalent grant for Scotland equal to the prodigality and extravagance that went on in Ireland and in England. He appealed to the fairness of the English members. They were taxed more heavily on Scotland than they were in England, and it was only just they should have an equivalent grant for Scotland.”
– Scotsman, Saturday 3rd April, 1897.
“It is high time, indeed, that the common practice of including the whole United Kingdom in the word ‘England’ should be stopped. Such a practice forms a direct breach of the terms of the Treaty of Union between England and Scotland and the wonder is that long ere now the people of this country have not insisted upon their rights in the matter. Fortunately, through the medium of a petition, Scotsmen are now making their voices heard on the question. Many thousands have already signed the petition, and the signatories include representatives of all classes of society. Among those who have signed it, for example, are the Duke of Sutherland, the Marquis of Bute, the Earl of Kinnoull, and upwards of thirty Scottish members of Parliament. It is gratifying, too, to learn that many of these members of Parliament are Unionists, and that the movement is, consequently, devoid of all political significance. It is, of course, as much the interest of Unionists as it is that of Separatists to see that Scotland is fairly and honourably treated.”
– Dundee Courier, Friday 4th June, 1897.
“THE ROYAL ARMS.
To the Editor,
Sir, – We know the Scottish Lion, but why does your correspondent ‘F. S. A. C.’ make the English leopards into ‘lions’? His suggestion to make the fourth quarter of the royal arms a blazon of Canada, India, and the Colonies is a good one; but what does he suggest it should consist of, taking care, of course, to avoid bad heraldry in the shape of a confused jumble of symbols?
A correspondent, in your issue of June 17, under the heading of ‘Those Flags,’ talks of ‘a practice common in Scotland of putting the arms of Scotland in the first and fourth quarters of the royal arms, vice those of England deposed, and reversing the position of the lion and unicorn,’ as if it were wrong so to do. If your correspondent knew as much about heraldry and the Treaty of Union as he seems to know about the union-jack he would know that such positions are the only correct ones in Scotland, and are universal on all palaces, Courts, and other public buildings, and are also used on the notepaper, etc., issued by the Stationary Office to the Secretary for Scotland, the Lord Advocate of Scotland, the High Court Justiciary, and other Scottish Departments.
On a certain occasion, when her Majesty was presented with a casket, at Holyrood Palace, containing a loyal address, she noted the wrong quartering of the royal arms and returned the casket to have them altered on it to the correct royal arms of Scotland. – I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
NORMAN D. MACDONALD.
Advocates’ Library, Edinburgh, June 29.”
– St James’s Gazette, Wednesday 30th June, 1897.
“This ‘Britain, not England’ petition, as it has been called, has been before the Scottish people individually for eleven months, and has now, we understand, been forwarded to Lord Balfour of Burleigh for presentation to Her Majesty. This effort at assertion of long dormant rights by the Scottish people has called forth the most idiotic and ill-considered vituperation from the pens of the Cockney writers in the London dailies, whose contempt for everything Scotch – except whisky, sport, and scenery – is only equalled by their antipathy to English provincialism. Still, the signing of the monster petition made gradual headway, and from being the butt of many a skit at first, it, as the months wore on, came to be regarded in a more serious light even by scoffers, some of whom, although occupying high places, did not at the last moment disdain to append their signatures. We in Buckie are very intimately acquainted with the many and varied uses of petitions, and the fishy manner in which it is possible to get up a signed petition, but, happily, in organising this Scottish national petition there was no personal element of inducement to sign it for private ends. Genuine as this expression of national opinion undoubtedly is, we do not suppose Her Majesty will take the trouble to verify the 104,647 signatures of Scottish people of all ranks, classes and conditions – in which, by the way, is included the contribution from Buckie – but there can be little doubt that the formidable document, with its marvellous collection of autographs, extending to 1430 yards in length, or more than three quarters of a mile, is hardly likely to be ignored by so august a personage as our beloved Queen, who has shown in many ways that she has a warm heart to dear auld Scotland… The petition is in every sense representative of the Scottish nation, for the signatures have been obtained for it, not only from every part of Scotland, but from Scotsmen in England, Ireland, Canada, United States, Australia, South Africa, India, and elsewhere. Every reform is now carried out by the power of the pen as a constitutional means of expressing national or local sentiment; and if a representative work of such magnitude as this under review does not attain its end, it would be difficult to conceive any other constitutional measure that would compass an end where this failed.”
– Banffshire Advertiser, Thursday 16th December, 1897.
Then there are many articles just mulling over the “monster petition” and it’s request and the varying sides of the issue which amounted to; “We’re Scottish and, therefore, British not Scottish and, therefore, English,” and, “You speak English, therefore, you shouldn’t mind being called English.” As it’s been so succinctly put previously;
“The Swiss spoke French, but that did not turn Switzerland into a part of France.”
– Dundee Courier, Tuesday 8th January, 1884.
I can’t help feeling the huge amount of attention to this fight, at this point, had the effect of somewhat distracting the multitude from the issues that kept impeding the desire Scots had of obtaining Home Rule.
“So far as Mr [Frederic] Harrison’s patriotism is concerned, his love for his own country, and his pride in the name of Englishman, no Scot will find fault with him, or have any other feeling than that of hearty sympathy. Mr. Harrison loves England just as we Scottish people love Scotland; and is proud of being English just as we (with quite as good reason) are proud of being Scots. We all love the name of England when applied to England. We always use it when speaking of England. Nor have we the slightest objection (as Mr Harrison seems to think we have) to Mr Morley, or Sir Wm. Harcourt, or Mr Asquith, when they come to Scotland, speaking of themselves as English, seeing that they are English, any more than we would object to Mr Lloyd George calling himself Welsh, or Mr Dillon and Mr Redmond calling themselves Irish. We want each nation and land to have its own distinctive name; but when these have combined under a common united name, we want the new State thus formed to get that name, not only that the United Kingdom may be distinguished from any of its component parts, but that the honour of each of the constituent nations may be conserved, in the interests of a larger fraternity. We want England to be called England; but we do not want its name forced upon Scotland or on the whole United Kingdom to the dishonour of the nations that are not English, and this in flagrant violation of the very basis of Union. When Great Britain and Ireland are referred to, we object to their being called ‘England and Ireland’ as if Scotland were a mere English county.”
– Scotsman, Friday 18th March, 1898.
“Even in the time of Ptolemy these Islands were known as Britain, and a Greek poet who flourished nineteen centuries ago referred to the position of the British Isles. The name is thus more ancient than that of either England or Scotland, and apart from any geographical considerations, it has been since 1707 the only legal name for the united realms. Scotsmen have bore no small and no inglorious share in the toils and struggles that helped to build and consolidate the British Empire. They have given of their valour, they have freely shed their blood in the creation of this grand Imperial whole, and their efforts deserve a better reward than that which would be bestowed by those who desire Scotland to occupy the position of a mere province… at Waterloo the Gay Gordons leapt forward shouting ‘Scotland for ever,’ so at Dargai their gallant charge was led by the ‘shrill blast’ of the bagpipes. The realm of Britain owes something to the constant valour of the Scot, and while it is right and fitting that England should be accorded all the dignity and privileges that justly accrue to it, Scotland cannot reasonably be expected to accept the ignoble position of a conquered province.”
– North Star and Farmers’ Chronicle, Thursday 31st March, 1898.
“Down to the time that the last Universities Act was passed the Imperial Parliament had always recognised its duty with regard to keeping up the universities off Imperial funds. The first break that was made in the matter was when £30,000 was taken of purely Scotch money for the purpose of assisting the universities. He always thought it was an unfortunate step to take because it appeared as if they were to absolve the Imperial Parliament from the obligation which was clearly within the terms of the Treaty of Union. If it were found in connection with other universities that need existed for putting their libraries on a more efficient footing, then, he thought, the Business Committee might also consider, in conjunction with the other universities, whether united action might not be taken at least to make a demand for more money, because last session, so far as grants to Scotland were concerned, we were about £70,000 a-year short of our fair proportion.”
– Glasgow Herald, Thursday 7th April, 1898.
“THE TREATY OF UNION.
‘J. Lunan’ writes:- What is it that those English Jingoes and their confederate ‘Humming Birds’ blame us for in Scotland? Simply for defending our freedom and our rights as by law established. The freedom to form our own characters under our own conditions and the right to our honest name. (This established also by law.) We insist upon the Treaty of Union being fulfilled as regards the free rights, the national sentiments, and national name of the Scottish people. The effort to cajole us into acquiescence is an affront to our intelligence; and, at the same time, a verification of the stupidity of those who prompt the attempt. Scotland declines – without thanks – the opportunity of sliding down this declivity to national; extinction all for the glorification of the English name. Glory may be a fine thing emotionally, but justice is better. Here is a verse from ‘Bannockburn,’ by Mr J S. Rae, which all of us should learn to sing:-
May our children, ocean sundered,
Freedom’s cry ne’er slight nor spurn;
But as fearless break the tyrant
As the Scots of Bannockburn.”
– Aberdeen People’s Journal, Saturday 3rd September, 1898.