24 APRIL 1920, Page 2

The Scottish members of the House of Commons on Friday

week had a pleasant debate on Scottish Home Rule—a subject in which no Scotsman of our acquaintance takes any real interest. The debate came to an inconclusive end because there were not enough members present to adopt the Closure, so that no division could be taken on Mr. Johnstone's Bill. The most amusing speech was that of Captain Elliot, who said that " the idea of devolution by national units was fan- tastic." Scotsmen and Irishmen " knew in their hearts that if. England ever got Home Rule the border nations would sink again into the obscurity from which they were raised by the power, the wealth, the ingenuity, and the driving-force of the

WI race." " If he were an Englishman, he would not offer Ireland a *Republic ; he would threaten them with a Republic." The Secretary for Scotland expressed his belief in the principle—largely on the ground that he had to travel constantly to Edinburgh—but he thought that, as the Speaker's Conference on Devolution was about to report, the Bill had better be dropped.