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"THEY HAVE RIGHTS WHO DARE MAINTAIN THEM."
Vol. IV.—No. 106.
A New Fraud.
necessarily be abandoned. So far as Mr. GladThe House of Lords has often opposed the stone is concerned we have Home Rule pure et wishes of the people and defied, for a time, the simple, and with that he will be certain to win. But votes of the House of Commons, but we doubt the position should not be dependent solely on if ever before it was used by a Tory Govern Mr. Gladstone or any other leader. The errors ment for the purpose of setting aside a compact which have been abandoned by the chief should deliberately made by that Government with the be abjured by the party in solemn conclave, House of Commons. This is what has been and their recurrence made impossible. Every done in the matter of judicial rents ; after active radical must now see to it that no candigetting the Land Bill through the Commons by date is selected for any constituency unless he a deliberate agreement with the Liberal leaders, | personally abjures the errors connected with the the Unionists, and the Irish leaders, the Govern- original proposals for Home Rule. We rejoice to ment propose in the Lords to disagree with their see that, in speaking at the Memorial Hall, Mr. own agreementin the Commons, and judicialrents Gladstone enlarged the scope of his programme are not to be settled by the Commissioners at and includes Home Rule for London and a their discretion but are to be reduced by the per- revision of taxation. centage of reduction in the price of agricultural production. This is not only a breach of faith,
Practical Work. but an infringement of common sense. The farmer loses, say, 20 per cent. on all his pro
As the days begin to shorten abundant work is duce, and may thus be deprived of the whole of
being provided for the long winter evenings.
Next to the inevitable agitation in favour of his profit, yet the landlord is to give up only a
Home Rule will come a campaign for the fifth part of the amount which he exacts from
adjustment of taxation by making the owners of the concern. The Government will now be exacting
ground values contribute to the public expendiiudicial rents admitted to be excessive. They
ture by which their property is improved. will be claiming arrears of rent proved to be un
The London Municipal Reform League and the just. In resisting these demands, the Irish
Land Restoration League have each inaugurated
a movement in this direction, and in the result people will have the sympathy of the whole world outside of Downing-street.
they will probably work together. An effective
agitation in this matter would lower rents, stop The Political Position.
overcrowding, and furnish abundant employ. The successes of the Liberal party are in exact ment. proportion to their departure from the errors In Ireland, Plans of Campaign will be arby which the Liberal Government was wrecked ranged to meet the present state of affairs, and last year. Mr. Gladstone has been emphatic / if these plans are effectively carried out the on the subject of land purchase, for which the Government will discover that they cannot with imperial credit is not to be employed. He impunity deride the demand for justice to states that the Irish members shall be retained Ireland. On the 16th of September a con"experimentally" at Westminster, and he ference of Land Restorers will be held at Oban, admits that the financial proposals must be from which we hope to learn that the men who readjusted. There remains of the original profess to lead the Scotch Crofters have objections to his scheme only the “ first order,' | gained courage, and will be willing to call a which failed to conciliate the classes, and must spade a spade.
The Corporation of London. begin to make exceptions and to say that “only The institutions of London are rotten to the on such and such conditions and within such and core. But they are being found out. The
such limits will the sons of the privileged be “good old days " when the poor might be
worthy of their fathers' privileges," the simrobbed in darkness and no man know of it have plicity and infallibility of the hereditary principle passed away. The P. M. G., and many another
is gone for ever, and there is no stopping short doughty champion of honesty and uprightness
of the admission that all great men are liable in the business of government, are on the war
to have small sons, and that, therefore, to act path, and scarcely a week passes without some on the hereditary principle as a principle of fresh scandal being routed out and paraded
government is to prefer chance to skill as a before the eyes of all men. The Corporation of
guide to the well-being of men. The whole London can no longer figure as anything else
aim and object of our political institutions is to than a gigantic lie, waiting for its death blow
get hold of the men who can rule. In the old from the first government that shall have the days this was left to chance, and in order to power and the elementary sense of honesty i gloze over the method it was called “Divine requisite to enable them to destroy it. Forged
Right.” But nowadays we have changed all tickets, packed meetings, and paid wirepullers
that. We have discovered that men who can are the only weapons by which this lie rampant,
rule are best chosen by and from among those if we may so call it, has been able to avert its
who are to be ruled, and we select them by doom so far. These weapons have recoiled
elaborate processes of sifting which we call upon itself. Royalty may smile upon this
election by ballot. All this is very good. But scoundrelism in high places, and Tory ministers
how is it consistent with these principles which may lull it by their flatteries into a false security,
we rightly follow in the choice of the House of but the people will soon put their hand to the
Commons to retain the other principle of plough, and will not turn back from it. The Cor
mere chance in the other chamber? This poration of the City of London must be ended,
fundamental inconsistency in our glorious
“British Constitution” will not endure for ever. because no mortal man could mend it. It is time, indeed, that the grotesque anomaly which
The next time the House of Lords attempts to makes the largest of our towns the only
thwart the people's will we shall see what will exception to the benefits of municipal self happen. government should be done away. But Londoners should remember that fortune helps
It is a great mistake to suppose that because those who help themselves, and should rouse
the harm done by the House of Lords is not themselves from the apathy which has led them
proclaimed on the housetops there is no harm to return a majority of representatives opposed
being done. Every week some small blow is to municipal reform.
dealt at the people's good, until by mere force of
accumulation the evil becomes intolerable. It The House of Lords.
is owing to the House of Lords that the LORD ROSEBERY has given notice of a motion, museums and picture galleries are not opened which he will bring forward during the next to working-men on Sundays, and, therefore, the Session with regard to the reform of the House public-houses sow such a crop of vice and crime of Lords. Such a motion does credit to Lord on that day. It is owing to the same House Rosebery's heart, but scarcely to his head. that so much suffering and sin is caused among He ought to know that such privileged institu the poor by the refusal to allow Englishmen to tions as the House of Lords never reform marry their deceased wives' sisters. Again, only themselves. The more they are threatened the other day the House of Lords refused to with reform from without the more do they pass a clause introduced into an Irish Bill by “enclose themselves in their own fat," and turn Mr. Sexton which would have been of huge a deaf ear to the voice of prudence and wisdom. | benefit to thousands of labourers in Belfast, and There is an instinctive consistency about this introduced into the Irish Land Bill clauses obstinacy shown by hereditary privilege. For | which neutralise every good it might effect. the principle of hereditary privilege is either the same privileged obstructives refused to pass entirely right or entirely wrong. If you once a Bill last Session to prevent legalised robbery
in Scotland. But the list becomes tedious-and might be lengthened indefinitely. It is these perpetual acts of hostility to the people that make it impossible to allow any quarter to the House of Lords.“ Cut it down, for it cumbereth the ground,” will be the verdict of mankind upon this effete institution—this relic of the dark ages of feudalism.
Russia. It will be time enough for us to fight when Russia wants a piece properly belonging to us. The only just war is a defensive war, and that only when every other means has been tried in vain. Perhaps the only good part of this Irish question is that it prevents our statesmen from blustering abroad. Until we have Home Rule, England's danger will always be Ireland's opportunity. In truth, a Paper Union !
Parliament Hill for the People. We wish all success to the effort which is being made by Mr. Shaw-Lefevre, and many others, to save Parliament Hill from the hands of the builders. The importance of keeping spaces of land clear of houses is daily increasing with the increase in our population. The greater the crowd the more need there is of some places where there is no crowd and we can breathe at will. But such has been the action of our landsystem in the past that the people cannot even assert its right to air—for land in this case as often means air-except at a tremendous cost. The owners of Parliament Hill have demanded £300,000 for the redemption of this piece of land from their clutches. Parliament has voted £50,000 from the City Charities, and the Vestries of St. Pancras and Hampstead have contributed £50,000—from the ratepayers' pockets. Thus there is still required £200,000 in order to save many thousands of our posterity in London, through the ages from unhealthy conditions of existence at Hampstead. If this land were taxed on its actual value, these gentlemen-Lord Mansfield and Sir Spencer Wilson-would be only too glad to take far less than the sum which they now demand.
Out of Work. SOME time since the Government instituted an inquiry, which has cost a considerable sum, to ascertain the number of persons unemployed in East London, but the result of that inquiry has not been made public. Mr. Ritchie, as an excuse for delay, says “the question was of so extremely novel and difficult a character that delay is unavoidable.” Where the novelty exists it would be difficult to say, but one thing is certain, that everybody knows that the number out of work is very large. We do not require an elaborate volume of statistics but a remedy. The only effective remedy is to get landlords out of the way and allow the people to get to work upon the land. There would then be an abundance of employment.
Lord Salisbury and Russia. LORD SALISBURY has suddenly discovered that there is “room for both England and Russia in Asia." We rub our eyes and wonder whether Asia has grown larger or Lord Salisbury's pretentions smaller. Not very long ago we were told by this self-same man to fight Russia to the death, either for no reason at all, or just because there was not room for both her and England in Asia. A short time in office has brought Lord Salisbury round to our way of thinking. The fact is, there is always land enough in the world for the nations of the world --except when two of them want the same | piece. If we fought Russia now, it would be because we wanted a piece properly belonging to
Royal Favouritism. ONE of the curses of Royalty is the favouritism which seems inseparable from it. This favouritism becomes an intolerable burden when a nation has for figurehead a Queen with such numerous relations and connections as ours is blessed with. In such a case the nation's best interests are fooled away in order to provide these relations and connections with incomes and uniforms. The Prince of Wales is gazetted Admiral of the Fleet in order to appear in blue and gold at the Review! The Prince Louis of Battenberg has a royal road ready levelled for him through doctors' certificates and over the heads of better officers than himself to the commandership of the Dreadnought, one of our largest ironclads! A large portion of our fleet is entrusted in the hands of one of the Queen's sons, the Duke of Edinburgh, while the Indian army is handed over to another, the Duke of Connaught, of“ stay-behind-the-battle” renown. He was not very much missed in India when he came home for the Jubilee. Now we shall be told that all this sort of thing is inseparable from Royalty, and if we have the one we must
grin and bear the other. Not so. There is a resisting the imposition of such a system, and it King and Queen in Norway, but their relatives is to be regretted that they were not better are allowed the same chances in life as every supported in their attempt. What has happened one else, and no more.
will, we trust, show to working-men the
necessity for closer union amongst themselves, Episcopal High-handedness. so that injustice and oppression may be successTheir lordships, the Bishops of London and fully resisted. Llandaff, have been giving the British democracy some pretty object lessons in the con The Triumph of the "Pall Mall Gazette." stitution and spirit of our so-called “national ” | It is not easy to estimate the value of the church. The Bishop of London has refused to service rendered to humanity by the action of give Mr. Stewart Headlam any leave to officiate the Pall Mall Gazette in the case of the Lang. in his diocese, owing to a difference of opinion worthy marriage. Few persons would have had on the subject of ballet-dancing. It is surely a the courage to undertake such a case, and fewer harmless and not entirely unchristian foible of still would have had the judgment and energy Mr. Headlam's to suppose that more can be necessary for success. The triumphant issue done in matters of this kind by sympathy than will not only secure justice to Mrs. Langworthy, isolation, and, at any rate, it cannot interfere but it will be a perpetual warning to wealthy with his general capability to perform the villains and astute lawyers. The longest purse, functions of a Christian minister. It is certainly the most able solicitors, the highest forensic overstating the matter to accuse Mr. Stewart ability, have all been defeated and disgraced Headlam of “doing serious mischief” as the because they worshipped wealth and despised Bishop of London accuses him. But the Bishop humanity. Even the most selfish lawyers will of Llandaff appears to us to have acted yet more have to be more careful in future, and will find it arbitrarily and despotically. He has suspended | necessary in their own interest to take truth a curate in his diocese without hearing him in and justice into account. his own defence, merely on the word of his rector, that his opinions are "unorthodox,"
The City Subway. which means that the curate's “doxy,” as the The progress of the City and Southwark saying is, is not the rector's “ doxy.” The most Subway Company shows that tunnels fifty feet striking feature in both these cases is that the below the surface can be easily opened under “flocks” are not consulted at all, but are simply London. By means of well-constructed lifts treated as dumb driven sheep, to be lead to these subways afford an easy means of transit Heaven by their priestly pastors without any which, at little cost, will relieve the congestion effort of their own.
of our streets. The chief difficulty in the way
of extending these tunnels is our absurd land The Midland Strike.
system, which gives a landlord under whose OUR railway engine drivers are as fine a body property a foot of the tunnel is driven the power of men as can be found on the face of the earth, to compel the Company to purchase the whole and it is much to be regretted that they should of his property. Of course landlords avail be subjected to the obvious injustice of having themselves of this power to demand enormous to give constant attendance throughout the week “compensation.” Parliament has authorised without receiving a week's wages. It was for the Company to use the public land under the purpose of extending this system to the streets without making any payment therefor, Midland Railway that the directors drove their and rightly so, because no harm is done by a men to a strike which has proved discreditable tunnel fifty feet from the surface. If the Comto the Company and disastrous to the men. pany are entitled to public lands on these Common sense revolts at the idea of men being terms, because they do no damage, for the same compelled to dance attendance from Sunday reason they should have the same right under morning to Saturday night, while their chance private lands without being subjected to blackof employment depends upon the caprice of a mail. This blackmail is now mercilessly levied foreman who may use his power without any by landlords even when property is not only not sense of responsibility. The men were right in injured but it is greatly increased in value by
improved means of communication. Throughout a portion of this double subway the tunnels are taken over and under each other instead of being driven side by side. The object of this costly and inconvenient arrangement is to keep the subway from touching private property, and being subjected to unjust demands. The Company are thus put to a great outlay, and the levels are seriously disturbed solely because our landlord legislators give unjust privileges to themselves.
At the Mansion House the other night Lord Salisbury piqued himself upon the settlement of the Afghanistan difficulty by peaceable means. His information was rather startling in face of the intelligence which appears in the daily papers, which says that fighting is going on in that region. The question is, who is to be believed ?
The idea of Home Rule for London and the taxation of ground values was more cheered than any other sentiment uttered by Mr. Gladstone at the Memorial Hall.
We speak of taxing “ground values " instead of “ground rents” because all ground values should be taxed, whether they assume the shape of ground rents or remain in possession of the owners.
LORD WEMYSS mourns that “bold bad” men will help one another. He would prefer that the principle of human society should be “the devil take the hindmost, O.”.
“STOUT sinning is better than rickety righteousness," says the Saturday Review. We now know why our contemporary always sins so stoutly.
“I FEAR the Greeks, with gifts in their hands," said the Trojan of old. We fear the Tories most when they bring in “popular legislation." They aggravate where they pretend to settle. The Allotment Bill will make it far more difficult to deal with the question properly in the future.
A CORRESPONDENT writes : “If the law did not step in, the Scotch Crofters would be cleared off the face of the earth by the landed interest.” This is exactly the reverse of the fact. If “the law did not step in" there would be no landlords ; and occupiers would not be disturbed by demands for rent by men whose only title is a "legal” claim given in defiance of justice and common sense.
MR. CHAMBERLAIN says “the Government knows better than we, and so, perhaps, they are right after all in proclaiming the National League,” and he goes on to say that, therefore, all responsibility rests with the Government. Has Mr. Chamberlain forgotten that the Coercion Act throws the whole responsibility of the proclamation on Parliament ?
THANKS to the exertions of the Labour Members of Parliament, the Mines Regulation Bill may prove to be of more benefit than its authors intended.
The Post Office Savings Bank Bill has been abandoned in consequence of the interested opposition of wealthy bankers. We trust the time is not far distant when we shall have a government which will not allow itself to be intimidated by the claims of the privileged classes.
---It seems that there is but one National Conservative Weekly Newspaper in existence and that one says, “ It has been our painful duty from time to time to criticise the management of the Present Grand Council of the Primrose League.” It appears that the Council propose to establish a “ weekly organ," and the proprietor of the only Conservative Weekly is a protectionist and disbelieves in competition.
George. Ranger. One of the principal obligations attached to land tenure was that the landholder should provide for the defence of the country.
George, Ranger, a Royal Duke, and Commanderin-Chief of that army which landlordism does not provide as it should, actually presumes to obstruct those who volunteer to make up for landlordism's short-comings, and drive them away from Wimbledon.
If ever there was a just occasion for resumption it occurs now. Wimbledon should be at once resumed for the public weal.
George, Ranger, may have the assurance to demand compensation. What for? For breaking covenants and defrauding the State.
It is high time the masses should study the land question to know what their rights are, and get some return for the use of their soil.
Landlordism, instead of being a beneficent institution, is an unmitigated curse. The soil should now be managed in the interest of its owners, not of its holders, who should be summarily dismissed. Compensation, forsooth!