Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

7 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

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Newyddion
Dyfynnu
Rhannu

On the day on wIuch the result ?t tne roÙing in South Buckinghamshire was ce- 'red the London "Daily N ew M?d t* j~t- declared ?? "The immedi?e qnestion is Home R?-" The Prime ??"?- tee UnA 'don3 his utmost to make thia ?s?.e i^vt, S »n,e <i.T Wore ? e<;t:Qn h, sent to the Iblej,ai cand.dite mew™ in which the vote] weM exhor?d m wh?eh the ?0?1? that t fthh.e „l«c- SH?? South Buck, will i-e»b» the import- ance of acconiing vou thlr support in o/utT tb. ?t the hands Of the Government mav be strengthened ui nnaHy ?ettnn-, pi?bl?s onneéted with Iri.h fe]f-goVtH'nm.ent" wOlch have censed such grave disseiisioii in the p?t." The new Unionist member fox S,,ith Wuckir,Iianxsliii,o w?s opposed ii, the cl, atituencv bv a strong and popular i' candidate, and he also had to rneet very vigorous and not too punctilious cam- paign conducted on the Government s be- half by Lord Lincolnshire, who is 1 he largest landowner in the distiiet. Th-P motion of Sir Alfred Cripps as Lord rar- lnoor to the Upper House had deprived South Buckinghamshire of a representati ve who completely commanded the allegiance of the gr-eat. majority of the electors, aTd after such a loss there is always a tendoncy to reaction. Yet Mr. Du Pre beat his op- ponent by 2,331 votes. In Bethnal (ireen the Unionist candidate was contesting a constituency which had been steadily Liberal for more than twenty years, with the exception of the war time of 1900, when an ii-resistible appeal A as Inade to the patriotism which again i iani- Jested itself last Thursday. Liberalism Was represented by a newly-promoted Cabinet Minister, whose prominence is eii-P to the fact that he has been Mr. Lloyd George's factotum for Insurance Act pur- j ixxses. Mr. Masterman utilised his record in this respect for all it was worth, and v M i ^hokscmely instructed as to its real value. ? ?? algo copied h.s chief by covering the S?gerbread of hi,? p'erformancG? with a Z"p- thick gilt layer of promises, and the .Star," the London evening paper, "hich! ?ubli,h,,d by the "Daily News," td., ? el-h  the Rethnal Green electors to vote | for l?qr Masterman as the man who could T ,d,eli'e'r the goods." Of course, as Mr. | H '"??? George md?gna.ntiv protested in the; ]Ff,)U?S() of Commons a day or two :wo T?- beral never temot voters with anything i that co 13ever tempt vot.ers .with an:t!lIlg: T? ?? eolourabiy be considered a 'rIbe. 7le f Daily News itself remarked on the day Of tb, P°"'n? With every dav that PQat T L^ truth about the (Insurance) !.????'?s better known to the people." It ?'? ?s have become so well known in t-efra'?''? ??'? ?'s ele?t?rs ca.rehl1y ?'? ?-'turnin? ATr. Masterman ?'?t h? ?? deliver n,7, ,Ninstei.-naii '?'sed. d eliver Lhe goods as 1)ro- Our Ministerial friends have been trying to draw such solace as they can from ac- claiming the exiguous Socialist vote in Bethnal Green-316-as really given in sup- port of the Government. Admittedly the Socialist candidate intended to oppose Mr. Masterman, admittedly he did his utmost IA. oust the Insurance Act champion rom his Parliamentary seat, admittedly Mr. Seurr's campaign was a vehement protest against the principle and the methods of Liberalism, yet our Ministerial Mark Tap- lays assure us that when the 316 Bethnal Green electors did their best to return Mr. Scurr to Parliament in place of .Mr. Master- man, that was their playful way of carry- I ing a vote of confidence in the Government. They were supporters of Mr. Asquith just bccause they sought to get rid of his nominee in their own way. Mr. Scurr him- self remarked on the subject, I am re- joiced to have defeated the Government by taking away votes," and added, We have struck a blow for purer government." "From this our hard pressed Liberal commentators on the result of the polling derived—once more—a mandate for the (Cabinet's policy. The Liberals retained Poplar, though the anti-Ministerial majority was 614, and the Unionist candidate approached within 278 votes of the Liberal nominee—a man ex- ceptionally well known in Poplar public life —although the constituency has been consis- tently Liberal, for decades past, and in 1892 they polled no less than five thousand and seven votes upon a smaller electorate. The flimsy excuse is again being urged that the Socialist standard-bearer—who was, in his agent's words, working to defeat the Libe- ral candidate"—can be counted as a Min- isterial supporter; thai: the Insurance•• Act was the dominating consideration with the electorate. The broad fact remains that upon the predominating issue, be it Home Rule, or be I,it the Insurance Act, the Gov- crnment's nominee sustained an enormous loss of the votes that has but to be ap- proached upon a correspondin.g scale else- where to turn the Ministry clean out of office. When the Parliament Act was under discussion the Premier declared in the clearest terms that bye-elections would pro- vide a recognised outlet for tiie expression of public opinion upon a measure that was passing through under the provisions of the Act. The Government can, if it chooses ignore Poplar and Bethnal Green, but it will destrov all shred or claim to be r-onside-, I, as a constitutional administration, and will turn the Parlia.ment Act into a genuine re- volutionary instrument of party warfare. It is a profound misfortune that at so critical a juncture as the present, when the peril exists that we may relapse to a barbaric form of settling domestic policies—civil war- fare, that we had all come implicitly to believe to have been abolished Wre than a bentur* v ag-o-tbe conditions under which th3 Home Pule Bill is being pressed forward are so beclouded and uncertain. A great constitutional change is being effected under an admittedly temporary political interreg- num un4er conditions that resemble the usurpation of pøw", by Rn clicMchic dicta- toTHhip, determined to ignore every manifes- tation of public discontent until it has achieved its ends. This dictatorship simul- taneously asserts., a claim for obedience to its decrees or the ground that it has been con- stitutionally approved by the people, bolster- ing itself up with the new theory of the "divine vkrht of the people" that has super- seded the exploded conception of the "divine right of monarchy." The Parliament Act 1las been set up as an expedient for the passiiig into law under ab- norma l conditions of a measure whose prin- ciple h-is been twice specifically and em- phatically condemned by the public. In the face of such a situation any laws rassed possess such vabdity as may be couferrad by the force available to compel obedience to them, and not that with which legislation is endowed bv the sanction of public opinion, i When a law is backed by nothing morally stronger than mere force, force may pro-1 perlv be employed to oppose it. But civil war opens up such a nrospect that in general public opinion in Britain is prepared to endorse extensive sacrifices upon both sides if made with the object of averting it.

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