For the latest news from Scotland see our ScotNews feed at:

Electric Scotland News

In the news this week is an article in the Scottish Review "To get Justice in Scotland you must be rich or popular" and I highly recommend you read it. It tells the story of a boy and girl wrongly taken from their parents and put into care. Frankly it's a terrible story on the Scottish legal system and the state of our care system. How these people that run our system can not be put in prison is beyond me. The Scottish parliament must be taken to account for letting this happen. I might also add that it's only in the Scottish Review that you can read this type or story as all the other press in Scotland seem to not want to know this is going on.

Scottish News from this weeks newspapers
Note that this is a selection and more can be read in our ScotNews feed on our index page where we list news from the past 1-2 weeks. I am partly doing this to build an archive of modern news from and about Scotland as all the newsletters are archived and also indexed on Google and other search engines. I might also add that in newspapers such as the Guardian, Scotsman, Courier, etc. you will find many comments which can be just as interesting as the news story itself and of course you can also add your own comments if you wish.

Surging labour market boosts UK economy ahead of Brexit
British workers’ pay grew at the fastest pace in over 10 years and employment jumped much more than expected in the three months to the end of November,

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Putin’s domestic woes reveal the truth about Russian power
Beneath the shiny surface, Putin's Russia is a shambles

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Modi: the strongman losing his grip
In election mode, India's leader resorts to populist handouts to boost flagging support

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Robert Burns: 10 places you can visit with a link to Scotland’s national bard
FOR a man whose life came to an abrupt end in his 37th year, Robert Burns sure managed to get around.

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World’s first official Robert Burns club was founded in England
But Scots fans of Robert Burns may be in for a surprise - as the world’s first ever official Burns Club may have been in England, according to a writer

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Eating well with Canada's Good Food Guide
See the new guide.

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We can do better than this

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The bullies haven't gone away

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To get Justice in Scotland you must be rich or popular.
I have been learning a few hard lessons about the accountability of government in all its forms to citizens without personal riches who are not able to resort to crowdfunding appeals. A horror story.

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Brexit is seeing the UK thrive while the Eurozone stagnates
Listen to the Brexit doom-mongers talking Britain down and you’d think the world’s sixth richest country was on its last legs, about to commit economic hara-kiri.

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Scotland’s smallest pub launches haggis gin
The owners of Scotland's smallest pub are set to add to their growing gin library... with a unique new haggis gin.

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UK employers offer staff biggest pay rises for 10 years
Historically low unemployment is beginning to translate into faster wage growth.

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James Dyson is no Brexit hypocrite for moving HQ to Singapore
He knows world trade is Britain’s future so suck it to ’em, Sir

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Alex Salmond charged with attempted rape
Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has appeared in court charged with attempted rape and sexual assault. He faced a total of 14 charges at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, also including breach of the peace and indecent assault.

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Urgent appeal to save birthplace of bard
An urgent £100,000 appeal has been launched to save the humble cottage where poet Robert Burns was born.

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Forth Ports in the dock over future investment in Edinburgh
At the core of the problem are Victorian port facilities that can’t scale to handle the bigger cruise liners.

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Electric Canadian

Canadian Archive Reports
Added the 1892 report.

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The Canadian Annual Review of Public Affairs
The Canadian Annual Review of Public Affairs for 1915 which you can read at:

Canadian Fisherman
You can read volume 7 (1920) at:

The Annals of the Town of Guelph 1827 - 1877
Compiled under the directions of C. Acton Burrows, editor of the Guelph Herald (1877) (pdf) which you can read at:

Belford's Monthly Magazine
A Magazine of Literature and Arts, Volume 1 (1877) which can be read at:

Grand Priory of Canada
January 2019 Newsletter which you can read at:

The Canada Farmer
A fortnightly publication on Agriculture, Horticulture and Rural Affairs - Volume 1 (1864). This first issue talks about Forrest management and the need to manage and not to cut them all down. You can read this at:

Canadian Farmer Year Book 1916
3rd volume which you can read at:

The Canada Lumberman and Wood-Worker
25th edition 1905 can be read at:

The Canadian Horticulturist
Volume 10 (1887) can be read at:

Ethnic Histories
Canada is a multicultural country with a total population of around 35 million, or around 0.5% of the world's population. The most populous province is Ontario, with 13 million people, followed by Quebec, with 8 million, and British Columbia, with 4.6 million. The largest city in Canada is Toronto, followed by Montreal. Most people living in Canada self-identify as "Canadian". However, Canada is one of the most multicultural countries in the world, and responses to ethnic origin surveys are incredibly diverse. The following is a list of the ethnicities that the largest number of Canadians self-identify as. All numbers are pulled from the 2016 Census.

Canadians - 32.32%
Although all citizens of Canada are considered Canadians, many Canadians also feel that is the term that best represents their ethnicity. Canadian is the largest self-identified ethnic group in Canada. Prior to European arrival, indigenous peoples (Inuit, Metis, and First Nations) lived in Canada. By the late 1850s, Canada had received many immigrants with origins including English, French, Scottish, Irish, German, Italian, and Chinese. People from a diverse set of ethnic backgrounds can identity as "Canadian".

English - 18.34%
Also called Anglo-Canadians, people who identify with English ancestry make up the second largest self-identified ethnicity in Canada. The history of the English Canadians dates back to settlements made in Newfoundland during the 16th century. Today, immigration from England still often occurs, due to relax immigration laws between Commonwealth countries.

Scottish - 13.93%
Scottish is third most common ethnicity that Canadians identify with. The province of Nova Scotia, which translate to “New Scotland” from Latin, was named for its Scottish influence. Dalhousie University in Halifax, McGill University in Quebec, and Queens University are universities in Canada that have Scottish roots.

French - 13.55%
French closely follows Scottish as one of the most commonly cited ethnic backgrounds in Canada. Their history in Canada dates back when the French colonized regions of North America during the 18th century. Quebec has the largest population of French Canadians. Canadians who speak French are considered French Canadians although some do not speak the language but are of French ancestry. The majority of people in Quebec speak French as their primary language.

Irish - 13.43%
Irish history in Canada dates back to 1536 when anglers from Cork arrived in Newfoundland. The Irish Canadians have been divided in two based on their beliefs, and these include the Roman Catholic and the Protestant Irish.

German - 9.64%
German is another commonly cited ethnic background for Canadians. Toronto has the leading number of German speaking Canadians followed by Vancouver. Alexander von Humboldt School Montréal and German International School Toronto are examples of two schools in Canada where German is the primary language.

Italian - 4.61%
Italian Canadians are another common ethnic group within Canada. Most major cities in Canada, including Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, have prominent Italian communities whose populations grew throughout the mid-20th century.

First Nations - 4.43%
Approximately 1,525,565 Canadians, or 4.43% of the total population, identifies themselves as First Nations. First Nations are part of the community of indigenous Canadians who were living in the area of what is now Canada prior to European arrival. There are 634 different First Nations bands that are recognized across Canada, from coast to coast.

Added 3 more ethnic races to our history section...

Maltese in Canada at:
Albanians in Canada at:
Greeks in Canada at:

Electric Scotland

The American Commonwealth
By James Bryce in three volumes (1888).

Book Review taken from the Edinburgh Review of 1889...

Mr. Bryce's three elaborate volumes on the political institutions of the United States will be read with attention and eagerness by all who take an interest in politics, and more especially by those who are in the habit of regarding the political institutions of America as in every way superior to our own, and of admiring them as combining in themselves the best forms of popular government, and as reflecting on the whole the nearest approach to ideal perfection. An attentive perusal of Mr. Bryce’s pages may probably tend to diminish this admiration, while with those who are somewhat sceptical as to the perfection of the American Constitution, it may have the effect of confirming their suspicions and of strengthening their belief that however admirably the institutions of America may be adapted to the requirements of the American people, those under which we live on this side of the Atlantic, are more elastic and in some respects superior. Mr. Bryce is not only an enlightened, he is also a very candid critic, and has answered the question Americans so persistently put to strangers with an elaborate frankness which, though perhaps at times a little galling, they can scarcely fail to admire. Of course the book which Mr. Bryce’s will most readily suggest to an English reader is M. de Tocqueville's Democracy in America, but the two works are conceived on quite different lines. Mr. Bryce’s object, as he tells us, has been less to discuss the merits of democracy than to paint the institutions and people of America as they are, and to trace what is peculiar in them not merely to the sovereignty of the masses, but also to the history and traditions of the race, to its fundamental ideas, and to its material environment. The European work of which the three volumes remind us most, is Von Hoist’s Constitutional Law of the United States, though as compared with this they are much fuller, more critical, more popular, and less legal. Taking the American Commonwealth as it is, Mr. Bryce proceeds to describe its framework and constitutional machinery, the methods by which it is worked and the forces which move it and direct its course, and divides his work into six parts. The first contains an account of the several Federal authorities, the President, Congress, and the Courts of Law, describes the relations of the National or central power to the several States, and discusses the nature of the Constitution as a fundamental supreme law, showing how in a few points it has been expressly, and in many others tacitly and half unconsciously modified. The second deals in a similar way with the State Governments and gives some account of the systems of rural and city governments which have been created in the various States, and which form, to say the least, an extremely interesting subject of study. The Third deals with the political parties, and sketches the organizations which have been instituted for winning elections and securing office. The object of the Fourth Part is to sketch the leading political ideas, habits and tendencies of the people and to show how they express themselves in action. Part V. contains a number of illustrations, drawn from recent American history, of the working of the political institutions and public opinion, together with a number of very pregnant reflections on the merits and demerits of American democracy. The Sixth and last Part is devoted to the Social Institutions of the United States and deals with many topics of great interest, such, for instance, as the Bar and Bench, the Universities, the Churches, the Clergy, the influence of Religion, the position of women, the influence of democracy on thought, the relation of the United States to Europe, American oratory, the pleasantness and uniformity of American life. But to indicate all the topics of interest on which Mr. Bryce dwells is here impossible. There is not a chapter in the whole of his three bulky volumes which is not instructive. Description and criticism occur in almost every chapter and several are devoted wholly to the latter. There are three chapters in the last volume which will be read with special attention, but more particularly the last of them which discusses the question—How far American experience is available for Europe. From this it will be seen that Mr. Bryce’s admiration of the American institutions is very qualified, and that even the Americans, proud of their institutions as they are, are alive to the fact that they have still some things to learn from the older countries, and that their own experiments are not in every respect to be imitated. Of the literary ability which the volumes exhibit it is needless to speak. In this country, at least, Mr. Bryce’s work is without a rival, and its excellence will make it a standard work on the subject wherever the English language is spoken or understood.

You can read these volumes at:

John Galt
Fixed a few errors on his page as links to his books were not working. You can see the changes at:

Scotland from Above: Edinburgh to Fingal's Cave Route (HD)
Added this video to our community at:

Dig It!
A video channel which I've added to our community at:!

BBC Making Scotland's Landscape
In this first programme, Iain Stewart uncovers how, over thousands of years, the actions of mankind and the climate nearly led to the downfall of Scotland's trees and forests. It was only in the 18th century that man realised the extent of the damage to timber stocks, and measures were taken to re-populate the landscape. The impact was profound, but not everyone agreed with the results.

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Maitland of Lethington and the Scotland of Mary Stuart
A History by John Skelton in two volumes (1887). Added links to these volumes at the foot of our Mary, Queen of Scots page at:

Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Bart
By J. G. Lockhart in 7 volumes (1837). Added links to all 7 volumes towards the foot of our page on Sir Walter Scott at:

Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
Got in the February 2019 section 2 issue which you can read at:

The Antiquary
A Magazine devoted to the study of the Past Edited by Edward Walford, M.A.

AS a Preface to the First Volume of The Antiquary, I think that I cannot do better than reprint my original Prospectus.

"It is with a firm belief in the above sentiments that The Antiquary has been projected. In spite of the fact that this age lives so much in the present, worships progress so keenly, and looks forward to further progress so hopefully, there is in the breast of our 'nation of shopkeepers ' a deep-seated reverence for antiquity, a religio loci, which shows itself in the popular devotion to ancient art, whether in architecture, in painting, in design, or in furniture, and in the eager reception accorded to fresh discoveries of relics or works of antiquarian interest, and which finds its expression in the hearty and general welcome accorded year after year to our leading Archaeological Societies when they make their annual excursions and hold their 'Congresses' in pleasant places."

It is hoped that a Magazine devoted to the work of cherishing and fostering the antiquarian spirit in the various paths of inquiry and research, will meet with the support which it aspires to merit. The Gentleman's Magazifie has for some time ceased to fill the position which Sylvanus Urban once held as the organ of all students of antiquity; and we desire reverently but hopefully to take up the work which he too hastily abandoned.

"We shall not, however, allow ourselves to be so restricted iin our choice of subjects as was our predecessor half a century ago. We have many other questions to discuss which were unknown to our grandfathers, or at all events unappreciated by them. The more intelligent study of History, the wide spread of Art education, the increased interest felt in the study of local traditions and dialects, as shown in the establishment of societies for promoting it; these and other causes have enlarged not only our sphere of knowledge but also our sympathies.

"Our pages will furnish original papers on such subjects as fall within the scope of our Magazine, as indicated generally in the following list; and our columns will also be freely open to correspondence on Old Abbeys, Alchemy and Witchcraft, Ancient Ballads and Dramas, Ancient Castles and Seats, Local Antiquities, Archaeology, Architecture, Arms and Armour, Ancient and Modern Art, Articles of Vertu, Autographs, Bells, Books and Bookbinding, Bibliography, Eccentric and Forgotten Biography, British and Anglo-Saxon Literature, The Calendar, Cathedrals, Ceramic Art, Church Furniture, Church Restoration, Curiosa, Dress and Vestments, Early Voyages and Discoveries, Early Printing and Block Books, Epitaphs and Inscriptions, Engravings, Excavations and Explorations at Home and Abroad ; Exhibitions of Paintings, Sculptures, &c, ; Family Pedigrees, Genealogy, Heraldry, Illuminated MSS., Inns and Hostelries, Letters and Extracts from Family Archives, Local Traditions and Folk Lore, Manorial Customs and Tenures, Meetings of Learned Societies, Monumental Brasses, Numismatics, Obituary Notices of Antiquaries, Old English Poets, Travellers, &c,, Parish Registers, Picture and Art Sales, Provincial Dialects, Archaeological and Historical Books, Seals, and English and Foreign Topography.

"On all these subjects we shall endeavour as well to elicit the opinions of others as to teach and supply information ourselves; and we trust that our pages will fortn a medium of intercommunion between persons of common tastes and pursuits wherever the English language is spoken.

"With this object in view we invite correspondence from those who have a right to speak on their special subjects because they have studied them deeply and lovingly ; and we do not doubt that the result will be acceptable to a large and increasing number of readers. It is hoped that in this respect our efforts will be largely seconded by the secretaries and correspondents of local societies.

"We shall provide a column for inquiries on all subjects of antiquarian interest, without in any way trenching on the domain of our pleasant and instructive contemporary, Notes and Qtieries, for whom we feel a love and veneration second only to that which we reserve for the laced coat and ruffles of Sylvamis Urba?i. In another column our Subscribers can make known their wants of scarce volumes, engravings, prints, &c. We hall also give prominence to all information relating to art sales, whether past or approaching, while books of an antiquarian and retrospective character will be duly noticed, or reviewed at length."

It is for my readers to decide how far the above professions and promises have been realized : my duty is to thank most sincerely those writers whose pens have enabled me in some measure, I hope, to keep faith with the public.

E. Walford, M.A.
Hampstead, N.W., June, 1880.

You can read the first 4 volumes at:

The Story

Showing that discussions have been going on for a long time about Devolution and Independence.

The Limits of Scottish Home Rule
Taken from the Edinburgh Review of 1890

FOR good or for evil, the problem of Scottish administration, if not of Scottish legislation, suggested by the comprehensive phrase of ‘Home Rule,’ does not stand where it did at the General Election of 1886. The Scottish Home Rule Association was, indeed, in existence before that time; and what is now known as ‘Home Rule all round’ had been adopted and advocated by several of the more pronouncedly Democratic of Scottish representatives. But neither the Association nor the cry had any appreciable effect upon the fortunes of that contest. A great deal has happened, however, since 1886. Mr. Gladstone, who. was defeated then, has placed the Disestablishment of the Church of Scotland—regarded as an exclusively Scottish question—in the forefront of that Liberal programme with which he hopes to win the next General Election; and he is confessedly in the ‘something must be done’ stage of opinion in regard to Scottish Home Rule itself. Lord Hartington has recently spoken of the Scottish Home Rule Association as if it were une quantité négligeable but he has recognized its existence and has engaged in controversy with its Secretary. An eminent nobleman, who takes little or no interest in the party controversies of the time, but who takes a very warm interest in everything relating to his country, has advocated the re-establishment of a Parliament for Scotland in a recent number of The Scottish Review. Another eminent nobleman, who is at once an ardent partisan and an active Nationalist, and who is universally recognised as Mr. Gladstone’s chief lieutenant, at least on this side of the Tweed, said no later than the beginning of the present month, and at a dinner of the Scottish Liberal Club, ‘that the question of Scottish Home Rule is a question of great importance, and if adopted by the Liberal party, would become a question of extraordinary significance.’ In the meantime, Government have introduced a measure dealing with that important portion of Scottish administration which is covered by private bills, and dealing with it in a manner expressly intended to conciliate Scottish public opinion.

‘We are all Scottish Home Rulers now.’ This is at least as true as that 'we are all Socialists now.’ Some curious evidences of the fact have been afforded since the present year began. Various interpretations have been given of the successful resistance offered by Unionists to Home Rule in the constituency of Partick, and of their recovery of the Ayr Burghs. But it seems reasonable to infer from the polling in these two constituencies, that Scotland is no longer prepared to efface itself for Ireland or for the Enthusiasm of Humanity as employed for the settlement of Irish questions. In other words, when the problem of relieving the Imperial Parliament of work which it cannot perform by means of ‘delegation’ on Gladstonian, or any other lines, actually comes within the range of practical politics, Scotland will put in a claim to equality of treatment with Ireland in the actual solution. Then a proposal for giving Scotland Home Rule is now a recognised 'annual' both in the House of Commons and in the Convention of Royal Burghs, which, sitting for two days a year in Edinburgh, does its best, although with but a limited amount of success, to recall the departed glories of the Scottish Parliament. It was this year defeated in both Assemblies. But, in the House of Commons, all of the Scottish Liberal representatives who took part in the discussion upon the motion in favour of Home Rule, which was brought forward by Dr. Clark, were in favour of some scheme of the kind. In the Convention, indeed, Home Bale would appear at first sight to have met with a decided check. A proposal to give Scotland a special Parliament and Executive was defeated by 52 to 11, whereas the corresponding vote last year was 41 to 24. This may mean, however, nothing more than that the special form of Home Rule which was suggested does not meet with approval from men of the particular class from which the Convention is drawn. This is, indeed, probable enough. Among the numerous schemes, the broaching of which may be traced to the extension and popularisation of Local Government in Scotland, is one to infuse new and democratic life into the Convention of Royal Burghs, and to make it the apex to a pyramid of Parochial Boards, County Councils, and District Committees. It is but natural that such a proposition should, by members of the Convention, be preferred to the creation of a new body, which would certainly supersede the Convention altogether, and that the more closely this latter scheme is scrutinised, the less it should be liked. Besides, the most resolute opponents of a Parliament for Scotland are the active promoters of a National Council, or, as they prefer to regard it, a local-national Assembly for Scotland, which differs from a Parliament only in degree. When addressing the Glasgow University Liberal Club in November of last year, Lord Rosebery, speaking of a pamphlet that has been published in Edinburgh, described it as ‘the charter of Scottish Home Rule,’ as giving ‘a reasonable basis and a reasonable theory of Home Rule?' Presumably, therefore, it is in this pamphlet that we are to look for the Home Rule of which Lord Rosebery approves, and the acceptance of which by the Liberal Party would be an event of ‘extraordinary significance.’The author of the pamphlet proposes in effect that the Imperial Parliament should delegate to a local-national assembly in Scotland, and consisting of some 144 members (two for each of the existing Parliamentary constituencies), certain powers, of which these are given as specimens:—Taxation for the exclusive purpose of Scottish administration; the supervision of the Civil Service establishments necessary for administration in Scotland; the extension of municipal government subject to general laws; education, sanitary regulations, poor law, piers and harbours, subject to general policy and the rules of the Board of Trade; fresh water and sea fisheries, subject to general rules; public charities, licenses, private bill legislation, and the appointment of civil servants for the administration of Scottish affairs. The writer of this pamphlet seems, however, to have a suspicion that the delegated powers which he mentions are rather too small for the consideration of a local-national Assembly of 144 members, for he says ‘If there were a plan for enabling the different parts of the United Kingdom to deal with affairs superficially and exclusively their own, party divisions would not be a necessity, nor even desirable in the body entrusted with the work. There is nothing of party in helping forward piers and harbours, or in education or in licensing questions, or even in regard to Disestablishment. They would all be better settled in accordance with individual opinion and due consideration of the requirements of the case, than they would on party grounds. Take Disestablishment as the strongest instance. It has been said again and again that it ought to be settled in accordance with the wishes of the Scottish people. That is a proposition which has our hearty assent. But, as a matter of fact, it is complicated by party considerations; and it would be almost an impossibility to get at the real feeling of the people of Scotland on the subject at a general election of members of the House of Commons.’ If this reasoning is to have any practical effect at all, it means that the Disestablishment problem would, so far as Scotland is concerned, be much more satisfactorily solved by a local-national Assembly than by the Imperial Parliament.

Wherein then would the actual work of such an Assembly—as distinguished from its constitution, which need not now be considered—differ from that of such a National Legislature as is suggested by Lord Bute and the Scottish Home Rule Association? ‘A National Parliament,’ says Lord Bute, ‘would probably begin by separating into parties over some such question as Disestablishment, and it would go on to concern itself with matters like Compensation for Unexhausted Improvements, Education, Public Works, and similar topics.’ There is so substantial difference, therefore, between the views of Lord Bute and those of the pamphleteer, except this, that Lord Bute regards Disestablishment as a party question, and the pamphleteer does not. In other words Lord Bute is much more obviously abreast of the political thought of the time than the pamphleteer, for if there is one doctrine which can be said to be more decidedly than another an integral portion of the programme of the advanced Radical party it is Religious Equality, which is included in any and every scheme for Disestablishment.

The true difference between the local National Assembly proposed by the author of Lord Rosebery’s ‘Charter of Scottish Home Rule’ and the National Legislature which the Scottish Home Rule Association desires, lies in the comparative degree of their subordination to the central Imperial authority. According to the constitution of the Association, its first object is ‘ to promote the establishment of a Legislature sitting in Scotland, with full control over all purely Scottish questions, and with an Executive Government responsible to it and the Crown.’ The proposed Legislature and the proposed Assembly agree in this, that the powers to be conferred on either the one or the other must be delegated. It is by an Act of the Imperial Parliament that the Scottish Legislature will be created; aud it is the Imperial Parliament that can alone define what are purely Scottish questions. But once the Legislature is created, it is to have ‘ full control ’ over all questions which have been declared to be ‘purely Scottish.’ The powers of the proposed Assembly are much more limited. Under it ‘every legislative Act of the Assembly must have the sanction of the Imperial Parliament? Acts of Assembly in fact are to be laid before the Imperial Parliament much in the same way as the schemes of the Educational Endowments Commissioners. ‘ When these schemes are completed, they may be sent back for amendment, or they may be challenged in Parliament. If they are not challenged, or if a vote be not carried against them, they become law. An Act of Assembly would have the latter ordeal to go through. Let it be laid before Parliament, and if it be not challenged, or if it be carried on a vote, it will become law. Only one thing should be understood—the Act must be accepted or rejected as a whole. If it be rejected, the effect would be to send it back to the Assembly for reconsideration.’

If the Scottish people make up their minds that a constitutional change of some kind must take place, and that a body more or less accurately representing them shall be established for the purpose of looking after their special legislative and administrative interests, they can have but little hesitation in deciding for a National Legislature as opposed to a local-national Assembly. The chief reason for a change, is that, owing to the present embarrassed condition of the Imperial Parliament, Scottish business cannot be adequately attended to in it. Make it absolutely clear, however, what are ‘purely Scottish questions,’ and entrust the ‘full control’ of these to a Scottish representative body, and it becomes abundantly clear that for good—or more probably for evil— the Imperial Parliament would be troubled with these questions no more. The case of a local-national Assembly subordinate in all respects to the Imperial Parliament would, however, be widely different. It may be doubted if Scotsmen of ability or even self-respect would care to become members of an assembly, not of legislators, but of bill-draughtsmen for Westminster. But even if they did, their labours would be quite as liable to be thrown away as the labours of Scottish members of Parliament at the present moment. Suppose, for example, they were to prepare an Act of Assembly for the Disestablishment and Disendowment of the Church of Scotland. It would, according to Scotland’s ‘ charter of Home Rule,’ have to be submitted to the Imperial Parliament. What, in that case, would there be to prevent such an Act being voted down by legions of English representatives ‘ whipped ’ for the purpose out of the smoking rooms at Westminster ? As things are in the Imperial Parliament, it is possible for something in the shape of a compromise between English ignorance or prejudice and Scottish knowledge and national feeling on the subject of Scottish legislation to be arrived at. A Scottish measure may be modified, marred, or mangled, but yet it may pass the Imperial Parliament in some form or other. But ‘the charter of Scottish Home Rule’ admits of no compromise; the Act of Assembly ‘must be accepted or rejected as a whole.’ It is quite conceivable, therefore, that the interposition of an Assembly between the Scottish people and the Imperial Parliament would have the effect of retarding and not of facilitating the progress of truly important Scottish business. Take, for example, the question of Disestablishment, partly because it has been placed in the forefront of the official Liberal programme, partly because the author of 4 the charter of Scottish Home Rule ’would include it, although with some hesitation, in the list of subjects which he would not object to see considered by a local-national Assembly; but, above all, because various ‘ proposals ’ are afloat, the general object of which is, in the event of legislation for the Disestablishment of the Church of Scotland, to temper the wind to the shorn lamb, by minimising Disendowment, or substituting for it something of the nature of Concurrent Endowment. It is not only conceivable, it is absolutely certain, that when the subject of the Disestablishment of the Church of Scotland came to be considered by an Imperial Parliament, in which English members must of necessity be an overwhelming majority, English opinion represented by this majority, or entrenched behind it, would, having regard to the future of a much more imposing Establishment, seek to modify the Act of an exclusively Scottish Assembly. But, according to the author of that Assembly, the Imperial Parliament is to have no such authority. The Act must either be accepted in its entirety, or sent back to the Assembly which parsed it It is quite credible, therefore, that a small minority in the Scottish Assembly might be able, by invoking the aid of England in the shape of the English majority in the Imperial Parliament, to defeat or indefinitely delay the triumph of Scottish opinion upon the Church question.

In plain words, if 'Home Rule for Ireland’ is to be followed or superseded by ‘Home Rule all round,’ if a Pentarchy, consisting of England, Scotland, Wales, and the two Irelands is to be set up, let it be a real and not a bogus Pentarchy. If in a fit of national despair, caused by the congestion of business at Westminster, the British Constitution must be remodelled, let the change be of a final and thorough, not merely of a tentative and tinkering character. Let the desired relief for the Imperial Parliament be found not in ‘delegation' so much as in Delegations. Let a National Legislature be set up in each section of the Pentarchy, and let it be entrusted with the full control of genuinely national and truly important business—the Church and the land, not piers and fisheries—and let Delegations from the different Legislatures assemble at stated times to deal with Imperial business. The establishment of a Legislature of this kind in Scotland with an Executive responsible to it, would resuscitate Scottish patriotism under provincial if not parochial and grotesque conditions; it would narrow Scottish ideas; it would stereotype Scottish prejudices. But greater honour, because greater power and freedom, would be involved in the membership of such a Legislature than in the membership of a local-national Assembly, subordinate not only to the Imperial Parliament but to the Departments in London. If, moreover, the Imperial Parliament were to be asked at every turn, to supervise, sanction, or reject the work done by one or other of the local-national Assemblies —work of whose character, moreover, it would be elaborately because constitutionally ignorant—whence would the needed relief come? If there is congestion at Westminster now, the establishment of local-national Assemblies would be followed by chaos.

But has the day for preaching the gospel of despair actually dawned? Need that day dawn at all? The ideal, which was embodied in the legislation specially identified with the name of Mr. Gladstone, before he became a convert to Home Rule for Ireland, although he himself was not quite conscious of it, is still left. That ideal is the substitution for an incorporating union between the different Legislatures of the United Kingdom of an obliterating union between the various peoples composing it. For the realisation of this ideal, we must trust mainly to the magic of time, and to that revolution in the methods of human locomotion and intercourse, which more than anything else in our time is calculated to put an end to that weakest and most pernicious form of patriotism—the self-conceit of race. Still legislation may aid, and as a matter of fact has aided, in the realisation of this ideal. The Irishman lost one, at least, of 'the badges of conquest,’ when, by the enactment of a single measure dealing with the County Franchise for all of the Three Kingdoms, he was placed on a footing of absolute political equality with the Englishman and the Scotsman. He will lose another, if the Local Government problem for Ireland be solved on the same lines as was the same problem in England and Scotland. There is no reason, except in national, racial, and legal differences, which are yearly becoming of less importance, why every large question affecting the Three Kingdoms, such as the land problem, should not be similarly dealt with, in a single measure, on its being forced on public attention by circumstances. But, even allowing that this ideal—at once truly imperial and truly democratic—has been discarded or submerged in the controversy of the hour, are the resources of Devolution—in the old Gladstonian sense and regarded as a substitute for 'Home Rule all round’—absolutely exhausted? If Government succeed in its present scheme—and the prophecy may be safely hazarded that some Government will succeed in some scheme—for handing over the more laborious work of Private Bill procedure for Scotland to an essentially Scottish Commission, the example thus set will, beyond all question, be followed in and for the other portions of the United Kingdom. When this matter of Private Bill procedure has been finally disposed of, members of both Houses of Parliament will be relieved of incomparably the more serious and embarrassing of their non-Imperial duties. Why should not the time and energy thus set free be utilised for the consideration of ordinary Scottish, English, Welsh—perhaps also Irish—measures by Scottish, English, Welsh, and Irish Members of both Houses of Parliament. If the Imperial Legislature can define ‘ purely Scottish business/ and delegate it to a subordinate Scottish Assembly, it can much more easily, and without upsetting or even straining the Constitution, 'devolve’ this business upon a Grand Scottish Committee. Such a Committee would, of course, have to be entrusted with much greater powers than Grand Committees have at the present moment, but the limits of their powers would necessarily be defined by Parliament. If it be urged that the Scottish members are elected for Imperial and not Scottish purposes, and on party not Scottish lines, the answer is that the moment it became thoroughly understood that they were to have, in any real sense, the control of national business, national considerations would affect their election. Suppose, for example, it were certain that after next General Election the vote of the Scottish members were to be decisive on the question of Disestablishment, how much more truly burning would that question become than it is at present? But if we are to have any constitutional changes with a view to relieving the Imperial Parliament and giving prompt expression to the popular will, why not look even further afield? Even if the adoption of the Referendum be too revolutionary a proposal, why not give Parliamentary sanction to the Plebiscite, which the promoters of ‘the charter of Scottish Home Rule’ tried in the case of the proposal of the majority of Edinburgh Town Council to confer the freedom of that city upon Mr. Parnell ? Instead of dissolving the Imperial Parliament to decide whether the Scottish Church is to be disestablished and disendowed, why not declare that this question shall be settled through the vote,—and after a certain period allowed for consideration—of a majority of the electors (or of the adults) of Scotland, that majority being of certain dimensions decided beforehand? At all events, the Plebiscite would be much less of an innovation than the setting up of National Legislatures, or even of local-national Assemblies for the different portions of the United Kingdom.

One other suggestion falls to be made, because it springs naturally from the completion of the edifice of Local Government in Scotland, which has now come within the range of practical politics. In the course of time, and it may be hoped within a very short time, Scottish Parochial Boards will be reformed, and the County Councils will be entrusted with a number of powers which were with unnecessary caution withheld from them by the Act of Parliament that brought them into existence. It might be desirable that delegates from the County and Town Councils should sit once or twice a year together in conference—say by rotation in the leading centres of Scottish municipal life—and consider various public questions affecting them, and coming within the sphere of Local Government as defined by Parliament. Such a committee or Convention would be found invaluable for the purposes of consultation both by the Scottish members and by the Secretary for Scotland. It might even be entrusted with powers for preparing ‘schemes’ to be submitted to Parliament similar to those already possessed by the Educational .Commissioners. If this were the case, the burdens that at present prove too much for the shoulders of Scotch members would be greatly reduced. If finally there were delegated to this body, and to the similar bodies which would be established in England, Wales, and Ireland, a limited amount of work of an administrative character, the London Departments would be relieved to an equal extent with the Imperial Parliament. In any ca^e Devolution of the kind which is here hinted at rather than can fully formulated, has yet to be tried. It could he tried, moreover, almost at once, and certainly without a reconstruction of the British Constitution, whereas the establishment of National Legislatures, or of local national Assemblies, could only be accomplished after years of agitation. After all, it is the will of the nation, not the mere machinery of representative institutions, that effects the solution of great political reforms when the times are ripe. This will make itself felt through a Grand Committee quite as effectually as through a Legislature or an Assembly.

William Wallace.

And that's it for this week and hope you all have a great weekend