5 AUGUST 1905, Page 2

The Churches (Scotland) Bill, having passed safely through the House

of Commons, was discussed on the second reading in the House of Lords on Monday. It was introduced by Lord Linlithgow in a clear and sensible speech, as the best compromise which could be found in the strife of Scotch ecclesiasticism. Lord Robertson followed with a strong criticism of the measure—a criticism with which we by no means agree—from the point of view of a constitu- tional lawyer. The terms of reference of the Commission seemed to him to be too wide : the word "equitable," out of the Law Courts, usually meant "what you had a mind to do but could not give a good reason for." The Bill, he argued, involved a dangerous interference with rights of property, and clause 5 meant a complete break with the old doctrine of Establishment.