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©w JúnhDlt Camspnknt.


JúnhDlt Camspnknt. [We deem it right to state that we do not at alj +imes Identify ourselves with our correspondent's opinions.) The reconstructed Ministry has resumed the parlia- mentary campaign under difficult and yet somewhat favourable circumstances. Ireland, the Irish and Scotch Reform Bills, the Alabama claims, education, bankruptcy reform, the Abyssinian war, the budget, and the demands of the more advanced Reformers, constitute so many difficulties but there appears to be a pretty general desire to give the Ministry a fair trial, and no factious opposition for opposition sake is anticipated. When Mr. Disraeli accepted the onerous and important post of Prime Minister, it was very generally remarked that he was the natural successor of Lord Derby, and his conduct during the debates since his accession to this high honour has borne out the remark. He speaks somewhat slower and in a more dignified way than when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, as though he felt the additional weight of honour that rests upon him. The Foreign Secretary's speech on the Alabama claims has produced a very favourable effect. All hope of an amicable settlement is not lost, and it may be hoped that ere long John Bull and Brother Jonathan may come to a mutual ar- rangement. It might have been thought that we have had dis- cussions enough as to the propriety of this or that suffrage relating to men, but now we are threatened with an agitation for women suffrage. A petition signed by 1,500 inhabitants of Liverpool has been presented to the House of Commons, praying that in any future measure for the reform of Parliament, pro- vision may be made for granting the suffrage to women, under similar conditions to those of men. Of course there are arguments in favour of women having votes, and perhaps the world will come to this some day, but women are scarcely prepared for them yet. But about the greatest argument against giving votes to women is the practical argument that they don't want votes. Let the reader make inquiries among his female acquaintances, and he will find that a woman having a desire for a vote is quite a rare exception. Why, then, should we encourage a new agitation? Woman's true sphere is home; and society would not be improved by the establishment of a Woman's Suffrage League by bands of women parading the streets with bands and banners; or by publie meetings with Mrs. Strongmind as chairwoman, and cut-and- dried resolutions moved and seconded by women. A meeting of delegates from the London trades has just been held, with Mr. George Potter in the chair, which suggests some important considerations. The chairman, after having referred to the manner in which he considers trades'-uaions work, says: "But if the workmen were made a party to the contracts for work, and were to participate in a share of the profits realised, then they would take a wider and fairer view of the demands made for services, because labour would then receive, not a hypothetical share which wages represented, but a bona fide share in the profits arising from industry." It is rather strange that the advocates of trades'-unions should thus advocate the workmen having a share of the profits realised," and yet shut their eyes to the obvious corollary to such a proposition— that the right to a share in profits ought to involve the liability to a share in the loss. I share in the opinion that co-operation, where practicable, would be a powerful corrective to the evils of trades-unionism (even their staunchest advocates must admit that there are some evils connected with it), and co-operation of course includes a share of losses as well as of profits. A great conference on the rela- tions of capital and labour is talked of, and a National Labour Parliament is to be convened in London during the first week in May. This has a very grand sound, and the performance is scarcely likely to come up to the promise but too much praise cannot be given to any attempt to settle disputed questions by fair argu- ment rather than by strikes. This Labour Parliament will discuss the position and prospects of trades- unions, the advisability of legislation on the subject, plan for organised emigration for surplus labour, And the representation of labour in Parliament. Sufficient attention has never been devoted to one of these points—emigration. It has been proved over and over again that families could be aided to emigrate for less money than they can be supported in the Union workhouse—not a very extravagant supposi- tion; and yet this alternative is always presenting itaelf, and always the most costly step is taken. Could we have an organised system of emigration, for instance, applied to the still existing distress in Fast London, what a boon this would be to the per- sons assisted to emigrate, to the ratepayers of the dis- trict, and to the workmen who would thus be relieved of poor and competing brethren. Mr. Charles Dickens has had a glorious reception and a brilliant success in America. On the 18th of next month the journalists of New York will give him p, farewell banquet, and on the 23rd he leaves for England. He will be heartily welcomed here as a matter of course, and on dit that a number of English journalists, actors, and artists, not wishing to be out- done by their American brethren, intend to give him a hearty welcome in the good old-fashioned style, namely, at the festive board. Here is an advertisement of a gentleman who expresses his readiness to deliver three lectures con- taining an uncompromising exposure of the mental, moral, physical, social and economical evils resulting from the use of tobacco." What a fearful bill of indictment against smokers is here indicated If all these varied evils do exist in cigars and tobacco, verily we as a nation are in a bad way, for the consumption of tobacco is largely on the increase. It seems that while in 1861 there were only thirty-five million pounds of tobacco consumed in the United Kingdom, in 1865 there were thirty-nine million pounds, or twenty-one ounces per head per annum; so that the anti-tobacco missionaries do not make much headway. By-the-way, what has become of the Anti-Tobacco /Society ? If it is alive it shows no signs of animation. The weather is genial, seasonable, and promising, and I suppose it is Spring—early Spring, we will say; ) put we condemned Londoners see nothing of Spring's delights" which are supposed to be now reviving." No doubt" verdant leaflets clothe each spray," or some of the sprays at all events, though we are yet far from "blithe" But we in London see nothing of all this, fer every tree and every bit of greenery has been cleared away, and the denizen of the great city may say with Tom Hood (it is a great compliment to the younger to say that the Tom Hood is meant) Where are ye, London meads and bowers, And gardens redolent of flowers Wherein the Zephyr wons? AWl Moor Fields are fields no more; jSee Hatton Garden bricked all o'er, And that bare wood, St. John's. I have a personal grievance, and will relieve my mind by grumbling, especially as others must suffer from the same thing. Not to mention names—for the grievance does not exist in connection with one railway only—let me state that I have a season ticket to gravel on the North-North East Railway, between London and Greenheath. Some five miles beyond Greenheath, on the same railway, is Slushton-in-the- Hole, where a friend has the misfortune to live. Now when 1: do myself the pleasure and the misery of going to Slushtdn to see my friend, the railway people ignore my season ticket to Greenheath, and make me pay from London to Slushten, although I have pur- chased the right to travel as far as Greenheath on merely showing my ticket. Of course, I can avail myself of this right; get out at Greenheath and go on to Slushton by the next train But I submit that I ought not to be called on to perpetrate such an absurdity. I see that in Liverpool there is a movement for obtaining a farthing local postage for letters posted and delivered within the borough. With all due respect to the Liverpoollians the arguments in favour of so great a change must necessarily be to a great extent one-sided. It may be perfectly practicable to have a cheap local postage—although a farthing seems unconscionably cheap but we must bear in mind that the grand principle of the penny postage is the average cost and profit. If you post a letter to a friend living half a mile off, the charge of one penny may in the abstract appear rather high, but what About a man living at John o'Groat's sending a letter to a friend at the Land's End for a penny ? The United Kingdom penny postage as it exists is a glorious boon, and there is nothing in it to grumble at. Would it not be better to agitate for a halfpenny postage for newspapers? The anomalies of news- paper postage are great. As much. is charged for carrying the smallest newspaper in existence a few miles as for conveying anywhere in the United King- dom a paper that weigha nearly four ounces. The uni- form penny postage for printed matter under this weight is a great improvement on previous systems, but we want further reform in the same direction. We might take a lesson in this matter from America. There any newspaper under three ounces may be sent to any part of the United States for one cent postage, each additional ounce or part of an ounce being charged another cent; and weekly newspapers sent by the publisher to actual subscribers within the county where published go free. The latter arrangement would never find much favour here, for it is obviously unfair to the Post Office. It is partly owing, however, to this system of cheap newspaper postage that America is so far ahead of us in the number of her journals. And apropos of America, I am very sorry to hear that the reduction of postage on letters to and from that country and our own, from one shilling to sixpence, is about to be altered. The eld rate of one shilling is to be restored. More's the pity. The„sixpenny rate, it is said, does I not pay. Perhaps not, at first; but give it time to work, and it would soon pay better than the shilling rate. And when are we to have a reduction of postage between this country and France ? Fourpence for a quarter of an ounce is a barbarous rate, worthy of the civilization neither of England nor France.




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