4 MAY 1907, Page 2

On Tuesday Mr. Balfour in a very powerful speech con-

trasted the incompatible arguments of the Solicitor-General and the Lord Advocate for Scotland, and exposed the absurdity of introducing into prosperous areas a system specially devised to meet the unfavourable conditions which prevailed in the Highlands. What the Government, a predatory body, were proposing to do was to take a man's land and the capital sunk in it and then to speculate with it, and when there was loss to let it be borne by the landowner, the unwilling partner in an iniquitous bargain. Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, who wound up the debate, scouted Mr. Balfour's fears as groundless. If small holders under the Act became bankrupt, he contended that, gt;anted the Agricultural Commissioners discharged their duties efficiently, the landlords would very seldom suffer hardship ; but if such cases did occur, he agreed that the lose should be borne by the State. Mr. Munro-Fergnson's amendment having been rejected by 365 votes to 126, the Bill was read a second time,

thus be referred to the Scottish Grand Committee.