13 APRIL 1889, Page 2

The Government has kept its promise to extend local self-

government to Scotland, and its Bill for the purpose, introduced by the Lord Advocate on Monday, was received with very general approval. It transfers the government of the counties, so far as it was exercised by the Commissioners of Supply, who answer to the English Quarter-Sessions, and by all subordi- nate organisations, to a Council elected by all ratepayers for three years. There are to be no Aldermen, and only the Lord- Lieutenant, the Sheriff, who under the Scotch system is a sort of Minister of Justice for the county, and the Convener of the Commissioners of Supply, have ex-officio seats. The Scotch county gentlemen, who have done their work excel- lently, are therefore disestablished, but their rights as land- lords are better protected than those of their English brethren. They are to pay the average rate they have paid for the past five years, but all new rates are to be divided between owner and occupier. They are, moreover, to pay the whole of what is called " capital expenditure ;" but this will be controlled by a Joint Committee of Councillors and Commissioners of Supply. The control of the police will remain with the Sheriff, and, indeed, could not be transferred without breaking up the whole Scotch system of criminal justice, which is entirely different from the English one, and as a working system greatly superior to it. The debates on the Bill will probably have for a pivot this question of the police, which seems just now to be the central idea of all extremists.