Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

14 erthygl ar y dudalen hon



OPINIONS OF THE PRESS. -+- THE SIMLA COURT-MARTIAL. We perceive from a short conversation that took place in the House of Commons on Thursday evening last, that Captain Jervis has at length, and notwithstanding the adverse decision of the House of Commons, some Chance of obtaining justice. Mr. Griffith, one of the few independent members of the House of Commons, who do right and fear not," had placed a notice on the paper for Monday next, of a question which we imagine would rather have puzzled the Minister for War, notwith- standing the tremendous courage with which he flung him- self into the breach on Tuesday last to answer it. Time was, however, begged by Mr. Brett, who announced that he had placed the matter in the hands of the Duke of Cambridge, and that he hoped everything from his Royal Highness's justice and generosity. We have not the slightest doubt but that Mr. Brett's hopes will be fully justified by the event, but in the meantime what is to be- come of the Minister for War who dealt such hard blows to Captain Jervis, and who valiantly accepted the "whole responsibility" of that officer's dismissal from the service < Verily, in these latter days people in high places have large swallows and excellent digestion-for leeks and other vegetables of a similar description. The service is much indebted to Mr. Griffith for his sympa- thetic and independent conduct in this and other similar matters. It would be well for poor John Sentry-Box if a few more of the "military members" of the House Of Commons were as little office seekers and as fearless public men as Mr. Griffith.—United Service Gazette. THE LORDS' AMENDMENTS. If Mr. Disraeli is a contributor to what is known as The Speaker's Commentary on the Bible," it is to be hoped that he has been entrusted with the Book of Jonah. In that case he will probably put the conduct of the sailors who threw the prophet into the sea in a new light, and describe it as a course consistent with the true dignity of the crew." The 215 lodger quali- fication has been the Jonah of the House of Lords. They threw it overboard as the best chance of lightening the ship. They looked at their amendments as a whole, and decided, wisely enough, that it was impossible to keep them all. Something had to be sacrificed if the ship was to live in the heavy seas of the House of Com- mons and, as the lodger franchise only applied to large towns, it was the easiest thing to dispense with. In one respect, perhaps, their conduct was even more consist- ent with true dignity than that of their prototypes. The sailors knew nothing about Jonah when they took him on board. The Lords knew perfectly what they were doing when they adopted the jCI5 figure, though they found it convenient afterwards to say they had not understood the nature of the arrangement which had been come to in the other House. Having to make on humiliating concession, they chose to wrap it up in a perfectly transparent veil, in the hope that no one would confess that he could see what was inside. Mr. Disraeli is so good a hand at the external forms of making believe that he is naturally fond of exhibiting his alents. At least, this is the only reason that suggests itself for his taking the line he did on Thursday. There was no need for him to refer to the change in the lodger franchise at all, and if he did so with a view of securing a display of vacillation on the part of the House of Commons, similar to that exhibited by the House of Lords, he failed to attain his object. The fate which the Lords' amendments have encountered is pretty much what they deservpd. The principle of minority repre- sentation is so differently regarded by competent politi- cians on both sides of the House, that there is perhaps no great harm in their respective vaticinations being submitted to the test of experiment. The change in the copyhold and leasehold qualifications and the introduc- tion of voting papers were obviously inadmissible. Indeed, if the latter especially had not been got rid of, even an extension of the franchise so accompanied would have amounted to a positive evil.-Tl,.e Chronicle. THE END OF THE STRUGGLE. The division of Thursday night, which established the principle that minorities have a right to local as well as to Imperial representation, may yet prove a turning point in the history of Great Britain. For the first time since 1832 the "speculative politicians, the men, that is, who can think as well as vote, reason as well as feel, who want to build like architects, and not merely pile up excreta like coral insects, who believe that a representative chamber should be an organism, and not a powdery precipitate from electoral chemicals, have fairly defeated the practical" politicians, fairly driven a new idea into the thickest-headed Philistine among mankind, the bourgeois democracy. It has been a hard fight and a long one, and it has often seemed so hopeless that the reasoners despaired. The aristocrats would not listen, the bourgeoisie could not understand if they did listen, the people would not care, wire-pullers like Mr. Disraeli perceived that the innovation threatened their trade, and orators like Mr. Bright, in the true spirit Of political insolence, called the only proposal ever made for scientific representation the spawn of feeble and prejudiced minds. Still the "reasoners" and the "dreamers," and the "enthusiasts," and the "politicians of the writing-table fought on, opposing argument to assertion, sarcasm to horse laughter, intellectual enthu- siasm to brute anger, till they converted the peers, con- vinced the representatives of the workmen, won over the great newspaper-The Times actually became earnest, for the first time since the Crimean war-and, finally, being aided by a casual concurrence of circumstances, compelled the mass of members to consent to justice as a temporary experiment. Of course, the experiment is a small one, as English experiments, and indeed all fruitful experiments, usually are but is sufficient for a trial, which, if it works as we believe it will work, will change the House of Commons from a chamber representing a numerical majority into one presenting the whole nation-its brains as well as its stomach-and finally save us from the greatest of all our immediate dangers the rule of a bourgeois democracy, irresistible as any democracy must be, and vulgar in thought, aspirations, and action as an Anglo-Saxon democracy tends always to become. With ten-pounders for arbiters, Mr. Mill has beaten Mr. Bright, the architect the leveller, and the result of the long contest ought to en- courage the fanatics, dreamers, enthusiasts, and other believers in the moral right of the brain to guide the hands, to persevere in their efforts to make the sovereign assembly a real microcosm of the nation, com- petent to reflect people who can abolish pauperism, as well as those who pay rates to keep paupers alive. After the vote of Thursday we do not despair when redistri- bution is fairly on, and London obtains its fair share of members, of trying there Mr. Hare's plan, and so enabling the metropolis to supplement the rank and file of the House by seating every celebrity whom less organised constituencies leave out. We have a lever in that project which we have not in this one-namely, the possibility of convincing the workmen that it is their direct interest that the experiment should be tried. Meanwhile, the work to be done is to show the minority in every borough and county how completely the new experiment protects them from disfranchisement, how vivid it may again make their political life, how direct it makes their connexion with the Assembly which is supposed to represent all opinions, but which, on the bourgeois theory, ought to represent only those which have found place in the majority of heads. If the minority can only be thoroughly con- vinced at once of their power and their responsibility for its exercise, the first householder Parliament may accept a really broad plan of redistribution, abolish all the little nests of corruption and petty prejudice, transfer nominal power to the places where actual power resides, without running the risk of producing a House filled with men as alike, as useless, and as powerful as ciphers after an arithmetical unit. Even if the minorities cannot accom- plish this they may, if instructed, force on a most bene- ficial compromise, and by insisting on single seats and single votes, a plan to which even Mr. Bright seems dis- posed to yield-treble their own chance of representation. -Spectator.

[No title]








[No title]