The Small Landholders (Scotland) Bill came in for some rough
handling by the supporters of the Government in the second reading debate in the Commons on Monday. Mr. Munro- Ferguson moved an amendment which, while supporting the principle of small holdings, recommended the Government to adopt purchase as the basis of their policy, and deprecated the extension of an extreme form of divided ownership beyond those crofter areas where the occupier provides equipment. Mr. Munro-Ferguson subjected the Government measure to a great deal of damaging criticism, especially on the ground of its defective machinery, which would promote litigation and introduce chaotic conditions which must affect England, for responsible ownership could not be destroyed in Scotland and maintained in England, and finally announced his intention of voting against the Bill as it stood. Sir Edward Tennant, who seconded the amendment, declared that the Bill seemed to him not only to transgress the ordinary canons of com- merce; it very nearly transgressed the Ten Commandments. Compared with this proposal, laud nationalisation seemed to him a rational proposal.