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Radicalism of the Local Govern nothing could have been more ill-
de majority upon this occasion. This manded by the public opinion of dread of reform, and suspicion of the country, and both afforded an the Government which undertakes opportunity to the Tory Govern- it, must give placo to wiser and ment to show that Toryism was more generous feelings. If the in sympathy with that opinion, and Unionist party is to hold its own, was capable of dealing with such it should encourage and not thwart questions in a bold, liberal, and its leaders when thoy propose legiscomprehensive spirit. The Union- lation which is of a progressive and ist and Tory party have full con- reforming character. It is not fidence in Lord Salisbury, and it is only the Cabinet which may fairly to be supposed that he has sum complain of the want of confidence moned to his Cabinet the men displayed upon the Land Transfer whom he thinks best qualified to Bill debate, and the fear of proadvise him upon the great questions gressive views still entertained by of the day.
If the measures of certain timorous politicians. The such a Cabinet sometimes appear speeches delivered by Lord Ran. to their party to be of too Radical dolph Churchill during his visit to a nature, it may be safely prophe- Walsall and Birmingham at the sied that it is because there are end of July have called down upon good and substantial reasons for him the wrath of the dreaders of the same, and that in the new reform, and have been so severely order of things under which we criticised in some Conservative live, such measures have become quarters as to give occasion to the necessary in order to meet the enemy to rejoice over & supposed public demand.
“split in the camp," from which If we exclude the regrettable they might take confort to thera fiasco of the Tithe Bill, the selves under their suffering from a most damaging thing that has real infliction of the same kind occurred to the Unionist party Although no such misfortuno really during the present year has un exists in the ranks of the Uniondoubtedly been the action of the ists, public opinion is undoubtedly House of Lords in rejecting the right in attributing importance to Land Transfer Bill of the Gorern- the speeches in question, and it ment. It was not that the Bill is well to draw attention to the was perfect, and as a matter of matter, Lord Randolph is too fact it was improbable that it influential a man to be treated would have passed the House of with disregard or indifference, and Commons during the year, but its his services to the constitutional rejection was a practical rebuke
are too valuable and too to Lord Salisbury's Government recent to be forgotten. Like overy: for having dealt with too bold a body else, Lord Randolph doubthand with the Land Laws. Oon. less has his faults, but these are sidering the position occupied by far moro than balanced by the the House of Lords bofore the
courage, cloquence, and ability of public, and the constant allegation which he is the undoubted pos(untrue though it be) that it is
All these qualities, for specially a “ House of Landlords," instance, were conspicuous in his
speech upon the Royal grants, reliance upon the support of public which has, perhaps more than any opinion. On the other hand, it is other speech, placed the true issues to be observed that this reliance involved in that question clearly may be all the more justified by the before the people. To run down unpopularity which their opponand condemn Lord Randolph ents have brought upon themselves. Churchill is as foolish as it is Those opponents, still claiming irrational and ungrateful. No to be the Liberal party, havo other living man has done as absolutely defied and scouted much, or anything like as much, Liberal ideas in their wild at to popularise Toryism among the tempts to force the majority to masses, and to show that the so submit to the will of the minority called Liberal party has no mon
in Parliament and in the country. opoly of the principles of pro- They have, moreover, supported gress.
and upheld those who have conIt is right to call attention to stantly abused the forms and prothese matters, because they directly cedure of the House of Commons, affect, or may soon come to affect, and have apparently had no other that unity of the party which is so object but to cast a slur
that absolutely necessary to preserve House and upon parliamentary the balance of the constitution government. Through the action and prevent the dismemberment of these men, self - restraint in of the empire. The party' is at speech and manner seems to have present united and determined, been banished from the debates and if properly led and guided, of the House of Commons, order will doubtless succeed in its has been perpetually infringed, patriotic objects. Nor was there and the course of public business ever a better opportunity than the wantonly and wickedly interrupted. present for the popularising. of the The impudent and puerile attempts party which holds the reins of of some of the delinquents to cast power. On the one hand, there upon the Government the reproach are vast social problems which of having wasted public time are require solution, and which can easily seen through by all persons only be solved by wise and vigor- of ordinary intelligence; and the ous measures introduced by minis fact is well known and understood ters who have a united party that upon the Radical section of behind them, as well as a majority the House must be charged the in both Houses of Parliament. grave offence of having done their Moreover, the changes in the utmost to lower the character of electorate of the country, and the the House of Commons, and to consequent widening of the foun. bring into disrepute and contempt dations of the constitution, have that system of representative govopened the door to reforms which ernment which has so long been could not have heretofore been the pride and glory of our country. accomplished without opposition Insatiable vanity and an irrepreswhich it might have been difficult sible spirit of self-assertion are not to overcome. With perfect consis- sufficient excuses for conduct which tency, the party which has carried it concerns the whole country to household suffrage and given local discountenance and prevent. Our government to the people may best statesmen are being worn out, pass on to further measures of and our whole system of legislation amelioration and reform in full thrown out of gear, by men whose
action would not be tolerated for a deen, Dundee, Sunderland, and single day in any town council or the Camborne division of Corn. parish vestry in the kingdom. So wall, are responsible for much of far as the Irish members are con the evil which has so greatly incerned, they may excuse themselves creased during the existence of the upon the ground that their most present Parliamento Scotland, inlikely way to obtain a Parliament deed, has not much to boast of in College Green is to make them- in connection with this question ; selves intolerable at Westminster. for Caithness and the Kirkcaldy This, however, cannot be accepted burghs have, in the persons of Dr as a valid excuse for the language Clark and Sir George Campbell, which these gentlemen habitually added in no small degree to the employ, and which they constantly amount of pertinacious loquacity have to "withdraw.” The “with by' which 'so much of tho public drawal” appears to cause them no time is wasted and useful legislasense of shame; and it is evident tion impeded. The net result of that some sharper course must bo all this has undoubtedly been to adopted if this gross abuse is to deservedly affix upon the Opposibe checked, and decency restored tion the unpopularity which such to the debates of the House of conduct alike entails upon those Commons.
who practise and those who seek It would, however, be unjust to to profit by it. The people of Irish members to cast upon their Great Britain are, as a rule, both shoulders alone the responsibility an observant and a practical people, of the deterioration of those de- and they have watched with a disbates. Moreover, Messrs Sexton, approval amounting to disgust the Healy, and other Nationalists manner in which the whcels of who inflict themselves continually legislation have been clogged by upon the House, are occasionally tho misbehaviour and egotism of amusing; and although they have men whose position and abilities an objectionable habit of repeating are not such as to entitle them to the same charges, and not unfre- engross a tenth part of tho time quently nearly the same speeches, which they are wont to occupy, to at wearisome length, it must be the exclusion of better men and frankly owned that there are Eng- tho undue protraction of debates. lish and Scotch members who per This question of House of Oomform the identical feat with less mons obstruction has become one excuse and with less ability. Mr of such magnitude and importance, Labouchere has probably occupied and so dangerously, threatens the as much of the public time, and very existence of our system of
that as little to the public advan- parliamentary government, that it į tage, as any of his confrères; but is high time for the constituencies
Mr Labouchere, like Sir Wilfrid to bestir themselves in the matter; Lawson, is sometimes funny, and for the credit of those constitusomething may perhaps be excuscd encies which send obstructionists to any one who enlivens the dry dul- to Parliament is seriously affcoted, ness of legislative discussion. The and this will be still further the same, however, cannot be said of case if the same men should be the Cony beares, Huntors, Storeys, again returnod for the samo conRobertsons, and others of the same stituencics. The question is really kidney who could be mentionod; so far above party considerations, and the constituencies of Aber that men of all partics in a con.
stituency which has been unlucky of obstruction in the House of enough to return one of these mis- Commons is marked and definite, chievous egotists, might well com and the identification of the bine to return a representative Unionist party with the former who would relieve it from this cannot fail to strengthen them in reproach. If constituencies the country. Three years of Lord situated are again cajoled by their Salisbury's administration have members into affording them an- already shown that it may
be other opportunity of mischief, they credited with a readiness to move must not complain if a future with the times, and simultaneousHouse of Commons, determined ly with a resolution to move in to prevent our parliamentary sys à constitutional spirit. Theirs is tem from falling into utter dis- the true Liberal party, because repute, should deal summarily and it is founded upon really Liberal severely with the offenders, even principles. They may be exposed, to the extent of suspending them indeed, to the taunts of statesmen from their parliamentary duties, out of place; assailed by the and thus depriving. the constitu- clamour of irresponsible and irencies of the representation which repressible demagogues in and they have so unwisely intrusted out of Parliament; harried by to unworthy hands. It is, how- obstructionists and denounced by ever, to be hoped that those elec- the blatant mob-orators and selftors who are Liberal in thought sufficient crotchet-mongers who are and deed as well as in name, will the inevitable curses of a democtake the matter into their own racy ;—but, sustained by their own hands at the next general elec- consciousness of rectitude and by tion, and purge themselves of the the support of a united party, reproach which their representa- they will continue, on the one tives have brought upon them. hand, to oppose the wild and Meanwhile it is for the Unionist extravagant theories of revoluleaders to profit by the position tionary politicians, agd on the into which their opponents have 'other, to encounter with a bold been brought by their inability to front the political and social procontrol that unruly and insubordi- blems of the day, and to attempt nate section of their followers who their satisfactory solution in the have justly brought down upon spirit of constitutional progress, their heads the indignation of all and with an earnest determinathe true friends of parliamentary tion to deserve the confidence of government. The contrast be- their countrymen.' tween the party of order and that