12 MARCH 1892, Page 3

Yesterday week, Mr. Bryce made an excellent speech in favour

of his resolution for legislative interference to secure freer "access to mountains and moorlands, especially in Scot- land," which was in the end carried without a division. He canditioned for proper provisions to prevent any abuse of such rights of access, but some amount of minor abuse is, we fear almost inevitable wherever there is a large and miscellaneous population to avail itself of the privilege. Still, those minor abuses on which Lord Ekho dwelt with so much humour are not nearly so serious as the exclusion against which Mr. Bryce argued. Mr. Bryce justly maintained that the rights of property are much more endangered by the "selfish, reck- less, and sometimes perverse and spiteful" use of proprietary rights which the law now allows, than by any careful and guarded limitation of them. He showed that in Scotland especially, the old rights-of-way known as " drove-roads " had almost perished, and he contended that even jealously guarded narrow paths up mountains or over moors are not sufficient to give that sense of freedom on wild land which is half the delight of mountain scenery. The debate was enlivened by a very promising maiden speech from the Solicitor-General for Scotland (Mr. A. G. Murray, elected last year M.P. for Bute- shire), who assented to the resolution, but said a good deal more against its abuse than he did in favour of its principle. Especially he remarked, amidst .much laughter, that this resolution was becoming a favourite subject with the' " hecklers," those platform-orators who "give away with lavish generosity everything in the world except what belongs to the speakers themselves."