4 SEPTEMBER 1886, Page 2

On Tuesday, the debate on the Address was chiefly devoted

to the Crofter question, and was distinguished by the frequent interferences of the Speaker, who called Dr. Clark to order for his irrelevancy, and ordered Dr. Tanner and Mr. Harris, and two other Irish Members, to resume their seats for repeatedly disregarding his instructions to confine themselves to the amend- ment under debate. Mr. A. J. Balfour, the Secretary for Scot- land, maintained that the Act passed by the last Government had placed the Scotch crofters under a more favourable land system, as regards the tenant, than was known in any other part of the world, and declaring that it was the firm intention of the Government to carry out the Act in the spirit in which it was passed, deprecated one-sided 'attacks on landlords, when there were so many instances in Scotland of landlords who had gone to very great expense to establish their poorer tenants on a better footing. The real difficulty in the Highlands was not due to rack-rents, but to population, and in regard to several of the deer-forests, it was certainly true that there was no other profitable purpose to which such poor land could by any possi- bility be turned. Finally, the amendment on the Address calling attention to the grievances of the crofters was defeated by a majority of 82,-203 to 121.