On Wednesday night, a Bill for transferring tolhe Secretary for
Scotland certain duties now exercised by the Home Secre- tary, passed its second reading. The Bill was objected to by Mr. Childers and several of the Scotch Members, on the ground that it did not go far enough. Scotland, it was urged, ought to have a Secretary of State with a seat in the Cabinet, who should exercise the Royal prerogative of mercy in Scotland, and be alone responsible for Scotch home affairs. To this proposal we see no theoretical objection, provided that the Scotch Members really desire the change. It must, however, be admitted that Mr. Matthews pointed out some very strong arguments against so comprehensive a change. The Home Secretary has in his hands the carrying out of several very important Acts, in which uniformity of administration is very important. To pick out the threads of government when they have once been twisted into the rope of a centralised Executive, is by no means an easy task.