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UP TO DATE. | [BY PETER.] The Home Rule Bill has passed the Second Read- ing by a majority of 43, and inch by inch the Government are redeeming their promises to the country at large and the sister isle Ireland. It is Aaid that the scene which followed the division on Friday night beggared description. I don't wonder that such should be the case considering the great interest which is manifest in every part of the United Kingdom, and the issues which are at stake. In spite of the unprecedented obstruction. Mr. Gladstone has practically passed his Bill, as far as the House of Commons is concerned, but no doubt considerable modification with respect to the pro- perty qualification will be brought about in Com- mittee. This seems to be the only question upon which the united Liberals, Radicals, and National- ists differ in the slightest degree, but I feel sure that when the great issue comes for final settle- ment the whole party will once again unite to defeat the ends of.their common foe. -0- That there are many ardent supporters of foot- ball in this district who regularly attend a place of worship on Sunday no one will deny, but I do not think there is anyone in this locality who would go so far as to publish what is said to have been circulated in Manchester. The following has been sent to me by a Lover of football:— The devotion of the North-countryman, to football is well known to be intense; but the following circular, sent to me (says Truth) from Manchester, -seems to show that the gltme is beginning to be regarded as a sort of religious rite :— FOOTBALL! FOOTBALL!' BAPTIST CHAPEL, South-street. WANTED. 700 Persons to attend the above Place of Worship (iX SUNDAY XEXT, THE 2XD APRIL, At three o'clock, when an Address will be Delivered by an Amateur. SUBJECT: "HOW THE WOLVERHAMPTON WAN- DBRERS WON THE ENGLISH CUP." —o— I understand that the Welsh members in the House of Commons have decided to attend and .speak at meetings to be held throughout England in support of the Suspensory Bill. —o— The Welsh Land Commission continues to arouse feelings, not only in the Principality, but else- where. I understand that Mr. Stuart Rendell has presided over a well-attended meeting of Welsh members, at which a report was presented by the sub-committee appointed some time ago in view of the appointment of the Land Commission, and it was agreed that steps should be taken in order to secure a fair and adequate representation of the case of the tenants before the Commission. A Gallery correspondent has also been informed that several Welsh G-ladstonite M.P.'s intend to give evidence on the Welsh land tenure .question before the Royal Commission just appointed. No doubt, they will in due time be examined at a meeting of the Commissieners at their head-quarters in Palace-yard. —o— Still the agitation against the Railway Rates go on. and fresh developments take place daily. Mr. Mundella, ha:> spent much time in connection with this question, and now announces that at an earlv date the terms of the reference to the Select Committee on Railway Rates will be published. -0- Yet again the question has arisen respecting the taxing of the advertisements of soaps, pills, and other articles which are put up in railway stations and rural districts, but the Chancellor of the Exchequer will not entertain anything of the sort at present. No doubt such a step would bring in a revenue, but why such a step should be taken I cannot imagine. At present many a struggling tenant farmer derives a small revenue from the few boards placed upon his land near a railway, and to place a restriction upon it would not benefit the country to any considerable extent. -0- While touching upon the question of taxation, I may also mention that steps are again being taken to induce the Government to impose a tax upon cycles for the relief of highway expenditure. If I remember rightly, the Liberals have been ap- proached upon the subject on a previous occasion, when Sir William Harcourt's reply settled it.' He said he'did not believe in anything of the sort, and that he believed many young men derived much from the health-giving exercise of cycling. I agree with those who would oppose the" imposing «>f such a tax. The cyclist does but little harm the roads, and the only cause for complaint is that many of them ride recklessly along the roads. —o— I find that the enginemen and firemen represent- ing numerous employes of the Great Western, Great Northern, and Great Eastern Railways visited Mr. Mundella, on Saturday. They depre- cated any Parliamentary interference with or regulation of the hours of railway servants. The President of the Board of Trade, in reply, said the Act would only apply in cases where excessive hours of working prevailed. He went through the Bill with the deputation, and in the end his visi- tors confessed themselves practically agreed. Mr. Mundella rejoiced to hear that the companies treated the enginemen and firemen so well, and was at one with them in deprecating any hard- and-fast limit of hours being adopted. Still, all must agree that excessive hours endangered the safety of the public and all concerned, and more particularly did this refer to signalmen, who must be protected. The Bill had passed through Grand Committee in an unprecedented manner, and its effect could only be for good. T-O Petitions to the House of Commons, says the Morning Leader, are easily manufactured, for, as the Speaker's reply to Mr. Dalziel showed there are practically no restrictions whatever as to the age or sex of the persons who sign them. Men and women, boys and girls may alike sign them, and there is even no reason, apparently, why the same person should not sign the same petition a score of times on the same day. He could not be punished in any way for so doing, nor if he could, detection would not be eay. It is well. therefore, to bear these facts in mind when we read of monster petitions with fabulous numbers of signatures being presented against the Home Rule Bill. They are almost as easy to manufacture as Belfast demonstrations, which Mr. Sexton under- took to organise much more effectively in favour of the Bill than the recent one of which so much has been made. In the endeavour to manufacture a fictitious opposition to the Bill the opposite party lias not many-scruples as to the means it adopts. -0- My friends of the Primrose League have cause to congratulate themselves upon the return of their strength just issued. I find that their numbers are as follows :-Kuights, 66,570: dames, 5.623 associates, 1,010,628 total, 1,131.821 habitations, 2.233. During the year one Primrose League County Councils, eight divisional councils, and 46 habitations have been formed. j I learn that the Public Libraries Act (1892) Amendment Bill has passed through Committee ia Parliament, and it is stated that the Bill will put an end to the present cumbrous method of sending round voting papers, and put the subject of free libraries in the hands of the representatives of the ratepayers. -0- I have been informed by a Welsh M.P. that Judge Cecil Beresford's district will shortly be changed. My readers will probably" remember the agitation which took place when' that learned gentleman was appointed to succeed his father, a very able tnan. The StilI" took upon itself the duty of giving vent to the feelings of the people of the Principality against the appointment of a county court judge who could not speak Welsh, and it is I said that the present position of Mr. Beresford is due to the action then taken by the Star. On every hand we see the people of Wales claiming to be served by those who are in sympathy with, or can «peak, their native tongue, and what is worse for a pi r son than to be called upon to give evidence in a court of justice in a tongue with which he is not conversant. conversant.



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