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roperty; and if the late Chancellor and the present can only get to e alike on the main principles of any scheme of land transfer, we iay look for some practical results of great value.

When Lord Selborne and Mr. Chamberlain sit in the same abinet, it may be thought that the subject of Church Reform could ot be touched with any hope of agreement. We do not think so. There is a vast field for reform outside disendowment and disestabishment. The abuses of Church patronage are becoming daily more inpopular, and it is clear that the time is at hand when they may be lealt with to good effect. And in their view of these abuses the vhole Liberal party might well be united, and carry with them nany of those who sit opposite. Men like Mr. Walpole know that he best way to protect any institution is to purge it of its defects.

There are two questions, not at first sight apparently connected, which still have an element in common, and which perhaps might be liscussed as forming part of one scheme of local government. These questions are (ist) the claim of the ratepayers to a greater share than they at present possess in the disposal of the funds raised by rate. This is a claim urged through their advocates by the ratepayers themselves. (2nd) The claim of the ratepayers to regulate certain trades, notably the beer and spirit trade, in special localities. This is a claim urged for the ratepayers by persons outside. Both these claims affect the status of the county magistrates, and each has something to be urged in its favour. With regard to the first, however, it is to be remembered that the interest of the ratepayer as tenant is confined to the term of his holding, and that all rates are ultimately allowed for in the rent. With regard to the second, it will have to be proved that the present licensing body is less considerate than a body of ratepayers would be, whilst care will have to be taken lest a committee of ratepayers might not turn out to be the secret agents of the publican.

Such are some of the questions which are sure to occupy the attention of the present Parliament. But there is another question, or rather group of questions, which has perhaps a stronger claim for notice than any we have enumerated. It is not likely that the question to which we refer will be taken up till towards the natural terin of the life of the Parliament, as, whenerer it has been settled, the Parliament must of necessity cease to exist. Our readers will see that the question we refer to is that of the suffrage, involving that of the redistribution of seats, and necessitating a Boundary Commission, which cannot well begin its labours before the completion of the next census. It seems probable that the Boundary Commission will be appointed in 1882, and not report till the next year. In this

case the question of the redistribution of the seats could not well be E discussed till 1884 ; nor the question of the suffrage till the following

year. It is to be remembered that the suffrage question involves issues of a very complex character. What is to be done with the freeholder ? of hand it is true make the amount of the mortgage debt rather smaller, but they diminish the power which the landowner possessed of raising money for temporary purposes, and in no respect lighten the total amount of bis incumbrance. Nay, the larger their amount, the more difficult they are to be floated; or, in other words, the higher the rate of interest at which they have to be borrowed. The funds,' are an investment which suits the temporary as well as the permanent invester. Exchequer bonds, Treasury notes, or whatever they may be called, only suit the man who wants to dispose of his money for a short time—a much smaller class of capitalists, excluding almost all trustees and public bodies. It follows then that the demand for Exchequer bonds is sooner met than the demand for the three per cents, and as soon as that demand is met, or nearly met, the price of these securities must fall, or, in other words, the Government borrows at a higher rate. Whether the manipulation of this part of finance may not be accompanied or closely followed by a fresh arrangement of the public securities of the country, such as was attempted some thirty years since, is beyond our power to foretell ; but it seems not impossible.

There is one great advantage in a large majority like the present. It enables a Government to deal with a class of subjects such as cannot safely be touched when parties are nearly balanced. Such, for instance, is a subject which has never yet been successfully handled, the Government of London. The Corporation of London, the City Companies, the various Trusts and Boards and Vestries, the Gas Companies and Water Companies and Dock Companies, have hitherto been too wily or too strong for the Executive, and it is only when the Executive is backed by an exceptionally strong majority in the House of Commons that it can hope to deal with these enormously powerful vested interests. The last Government might have dore something, but it had merely what naturalists call a' notochord instead of a backbone; besides which, if it had made all its bargains on the scale of the Water Companies job, the poor ratepayer or taxpayer

would have had small cause for thankfulness. The Land Question has already come to the front. There seems at last to be a chance of dealing with it, to some degree at all events, irrespective of party. When we see a Tory Lord Chancellor introducing a Bill such as Lord Cairns introduced in the House of Lords, and a Tory member proposing to make the Agricultural Holdings Act compulsory in the House of Commons, there is good hope ; particularly as the squires are beginning to see that unless they do something they will lose, as they already have to some extent lost, their hold on the counties. Closely connected with the question of the tenure of land is the question of the devolution and transfer of real

2 No fewer than three notices of Bills to amend the Agricultural Holdings Act were given on the first day of the meeting of Parliament, by Mr. Chaplin, Sir Aler.

property; and if the late Chancellor and the present can only get to see alike on the main principles of any scheme of land transfer, we may look for some practical results of great value.

When Lord Selborne and Mr. Chamberlain sit in the same Cabinet, it may be thought that the subject of Church Reform could not be touched with any hope of agreement. We do not think so. There is a vast field for reform outside disendowment and disestablishment. The abuses of Church patronage are becoming daily more unpopular, and it is clear that the time is at hand when they may be dealt with to good effect. And in their view of these abuses the whole Liberal party might well be united, and carry with them many of those who sit opposite. Men like Mr. Walpole know that the best way to protect any institution is to purge it of its defects.

There are two questions, not at first sight apparently connected, which still have an element in common, and which perhaps might be discussed as forming part of one scheme of local government. These questions are (ist) the claim of the ratepayers to a greater share than they at present possess in the disposal of the funds raised by rate. This is a claim urged through their advocates by the ratepayers themselves. (2nd) The claim of the ratepayers to regulate certain trades, notably the beer and spirit trade, in special localities. This is a claim urged for the ratepayers by persons outside. Both these claims affect the status of the county magistrates, and each has something to be urged in its favour. With regard to the first, however, it is to be remembered that the interest of the ratepayer as tenant is confined to the term of his holding, and that all rates are ultimately allowed for in the rent. With regard to the second, it will have to be proved that the present licensing body is less considerate than a body of ratepayers would be, whilst care will have to be taken lest a committee of ratepayers might not turn out to be the secret agents of the publican.

Such are some of the questions which are sure to occupy the attention of the present Parliament. But there is another question, or rather group of questions, which has perhaps a stronger claim for notice than any we have enumerated. It is not likely that the question to which we refer will be taken up till towards the natural term of the life of the Parliament, as, whenerer it has been settled, the Parliament must of necessity cease to exist. Our readers will see that the question we refer to is that of the suffrage, involving that of the redistribution of seats, and necessitating a Boundary Commission, which cannot well begin its labours before the completion of the next census. It seems probable that the Boundary Commission will be appointed in 1882, and not report till the next year. In this case the question of the redistribution of the seats could not well be discussed till 1884 ; nor the question of the suffrage till the following year. It is to be remembered that the suffrage question involves issues of a very complex character. What is to be done with the freeholder ? to be excluded ? It appears as if an occupation franchise would be the best solution of the difficulty. One of the best changes effected by the Reform Bill of 1831 was the striking out of all non-resident freemen in boroughs. If it had extended to non-resident freeholders in counties, all the scandal of faggot votes would have been done away with. It is to be hoped that the next opportunity of effecting this reform will not be lost. It never has been the theory of the Constitution that parliamentary votes should be proportionate to the wealth of the voter, and it is mainly in consequence of improved facilities of locomotion that faggots have multiplied. Sturges Bourne's Act may be all very well for ratepaying elections, but in parliamentary or even in municipal voting larger issues are involved, and the voting power of each elector is not to be measured by the amount at which his house or his factory is rated to the poor.

The fact that this paper has been devoted to a kind of vaticination of future political events has given it rather a fragmentary character. We trust, however, that our readers will observe that we have throughout endeavoured to point out those measures which may fairly be expected, not only to engage the attention of Liberal politicians, but to secure the support of the whole Liberal party. Our opponents are very fond of twitting us on our differences. We may much more fairly twit them for their unanimity. Stet pro ratione voluntas may be a very good motto for a despot, but it is a very bad one for a body of representatives, and we trust it will never be that of those who support Liberal opinions in the House of Commons. If the Liberal party loses its traditions of free discussion, founded on free thought, the sooner it surrenders its claim to guide the country the better. It is all very well for our opponents to rush violently down the steep places of household suffrage at the suggestion of a leader who has educated them out of their most cherished convictions, and landed them in a minority of a hundred. The Liberal party will not adopt measures against their convictions simply at the bidding of a leader however gifted ; and if they meet with political misfortunes, as they have done more than once, they trust to the returning good sense of the constituencies, which, sooner or later, are sure to retrieve temporary error and to show that the voice of the people, if not so inspired as the common saying would have us believe, is upon the whole a less uncertain guide than many are apt to imagine.

NOTICE TO CORRESPONDENTS.

Communications to the Editor should be addressed to him at 39 Paternoster Row, E.C.

As the Magazine has an ample staff of Contributors, MSS. are not invited without previous correspondence, and uninvited MSS. cannot be returned ez

when islands are changing hands, our Government may devise some plan for handing Cyprus over to Greece-Cyprus, that invaluable

place of arms,' the peculiarity of which seems to be, that the only parts of it where we could post our garrison under conditions of ordinary salubrity are the tops of the mountains in the interior; just the places where it would be absolutely and inevitably useless.

In entering upon office at this moment the Liberal party has undertaken a great and onerous charge. There are difficulties in Europe, difficulties in Asia, difficulties in Africa. How is the Afghan business to be settled? We have extinguished the old life of the nation, and chopped to pieces the body politic, and now we have to seek for a Medea's caldron, out of which to extract a national life, younger and better than its predecessor. It is a hard task to reconstruct a nation even under favourable circumstances; harder still, nay, wellnigh impracticable, when the components are hill-tribes, in whom, as was the case with the Irish septs and the Scottish clans, the elements of attraction are hardly so strong as the elements of repulsion.

Next door to the question of the reconstruction of Afghanistan stands the question of Indian Finance. We all remember the sort of incredulous satisfaction with which the roseate tidings of solvency in India was received less than three months since. It was so opportune for a Government which had just challenged a general election! Might it not be a mistake? Impossible! But it was a mistake, and a mistake the consequences of which will have to be grappled with, and which will be another thorn in the couch of the Indian Minister.

So long as it appeared probable that India could pay her way, there was plausibility in the arguments advanced by those who wished to place to her debit all the charges of the Afghan war. The war might be a piece of high Imperial policy '-let us hope that grandisonant adjective will not in future be in such general use as it has been during the last six years—but it was somehow or other for the good of India. So it was India that must pay. We hope not. In spite of the unpopularity of taxation, we trust that the present Government will do justly and fear not, and that one use of their great Parliamentary majority may be to strengthen their hands in this most important matter, and to enable them, while they do all in their power to lighten the burden of home charges, to do so not at the expense of equity and the duty we owe to our Indian fellow-subjects.

The question · Who is to pay?' is more easily answered in the case of the Zulu than in the case of the Afghan war. principle of cantabit vacuus is eminently applicable to the South African colonist; and he has the additional satisfaction of knowing that Mistress Mother-Country has already found the money. India has a vast population and a revenue counted by tens of millions. It is possible by great efforts of taxation, involving serious political risks, to screw a few millions more by annas at a time from people

The great

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