Note G, pp.145-146.

[How Scotland Lost her Parliament Contents]

It being impossible to deny the injustice of England having 465 votes to Scotland’s 72 in all measure relating to Scotland alone, a pleasing fiction has been diligently spread abroad as to the magnanimity of the English members. It is stated that it is the habit of English members to pay such deference to Scotch opinion in matters relating to their country that they always vote with the majority of Scotch members. We have diligently observed the ways of the House of Commons for over thirty years, and have failed to discover the magnanimity boasted of. It is true the Scotch members get leave at rare intervals to debate over a Scotch bill by themselves, but when the division bell rings the English members troop in from the smoke-room and vote as their party whip directs, with complete indifference to the arguments or wishes of the Scotch members. This has not been done once, but scores of times in recent years. For example, here are twelve cases on one bill alone, The Local Government Bill for Scotland – 

 

Scotch Votes.

For / Agst.

Total Votes.

For / Agst.

1. That County Councils should have control of Police. 

43 / 18

75 / 102

2. That County Councils should have the same Licensing Powers as Burghs. 

48 / 12

127 / 164

3. That Police Burghs should have the same Licensing Powers as other Burghs. 

41 / 12

87 / 148

4. That County Councils should have power to acquire land compulsorily for public purposes. 

46 / 12

99 / 128

5. That Town Councils should have the same power regarding land. 

45 / 12

100 / 126

6. That County Councils should be empowered to maintain and protect public rights of way. 

52 / 10

149 / 176

7. That Railway Companies seeking Parliamentary Powers to close Roads should give notice of intention to County Councils. 

43 / 10

90 / 140

8. That Travelling Expenses of Country Councillors be paid out of rates. 

41 / 18

105 / 188

9. That power be given to regulate duties of Officers of Health. 

40 / 12

99 / 160

10. That Employers should not be empowered to deduct rates from wages of Service-Franchise Men. 

39 / 13

129 / 164

11. That £30,000, proposed to be granted to Highlands, should be devoted to Free Education. 

53 / 10

109 / 173

12. That the Highland grant should be devoted to benefit of Crofters and Cottars, instead of to relief of rates paid chiefly by Landlords. 

39 / 14

109 / 173

 

530 / 158

1278 / 1842

Again we have the same thing repeated on the Scotch Private Bill Legislation, the second reading of which was debated on the 22d January 1891. Fifteen members from Scotland voted for the Bill, twenty-six against it, yet the measure was carried by a majority of sixty-four, thus swamping Scotch opinion by English votes. How important a question this is to the well-being of Scotland we have referred to on page 96 of this work, so further comment is unnecessary. 

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