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IThe House of Lords.


I The House of Lords. To THE EDITOR OF THE Weekly News. Sir,—Mr. S. Glynne Jones, B.A., in presiding at a political meeting held on the premises of the Congregational Church, Colwyn Bay, told his audience that Lord Lansdowne has in the innnooency of his heart moved the amendment to the Budget, and he (Mr Jones) says that it is a glaring example of humbug and hypocrisy," &c. A short while ago Mr. Jones delivered an address on the House of Lords in the same room not very complimentary to the Upoer Chamber. I would ask what proof can he give that the record of the Peers has not been creditable in the past, or that the constitution of the Upper House is not such that it has defended and pre- served the just rights of the people and State for centuries. The talk of ending the House OIl Lords as a Second Chamber is sheer nonsense, for every government in the world has got a second chamber, and as to mending it, then, of course, you only do so by paving it more power or control. Mr. Jones refers to the revolutionary period of Charles I., but we know too well that our present Monarchy holds the happiest alliance with our King and country, which has con- tinued from the Victorian era and is the most loyal the world has ever known. We know that in the period of 1649 the House of Lords was abolished (the only time in its history), but does Mr. Glynne Jones believe that the execution of the King at that time and the abolishing of the Lords, and the substituting of a one-chamber system of government really conduced to the liberties of the people of those times ? The country did not think so itself, evidently, because the people found that they had created a tyrant in the form of an oligarchy, calling itself a House of Commons. It was tolerated, not because they did not object to it, but be. cause it was held by the force and might of arms, and it was only after eleven years they rebelled again, and overthrew the tyrant they themselves had created, and they then restored their Monarch, they restored the House of Lords, and all their old institutions. And although Charles II.'s Court was not all that it should have been, it was much preferred to the tyrany of a House of Commons un- bridled and uncontrolled by a Second Chamber. But why is it that our Second Chamber, our present House- of Lords, is so much ill spoken of and called a "conclave of nobodies"?—as was done by the present Lord Advocate. It can. not be too, weill known that at the time when the very foundations of our liberty and justice were being laid the predecessors of the House of Lords were the only body actuating the King, and that for two centuries, from the Nor. man Conquest to the date of the first repre- sentative Parliament in 1265, the Barons, Earls, and Thanes were the only arbiters of national policy, the real deciders and fixers of national taxation. In the House of Lords of the present year, 124 of the members owe their seats to no her. editary rights whatever, and of those who were in by virtue of the hereditary right 167 have served a good apprenticeship in the House of (Commons, II9 had been distinguished in milit- ary service, 24 were judges or eminent lawyers, 39 have been Colonial Governors or Ministers, and 5'5 have served their country in civil and diplomatic services. Surely, a House so illustrious and with a record of centuries of achievements cannot be superseded. It was the late Lord Salisbury who said: If I am to endeavour to describe in one sentence the functions of the House of Lords, I would .say that the House of Lords interprets the per- manent as opposed to the passing opinions of the people." There seems to be no question as to the legal right of the House of Lords, but every evidence that was overwhelming for them to exercise thosei rights in the way they have done during the last 200 or 250 years. So lately as 1861 Mr. Gladston.e-the Grand Old Man—said that the House of Lords had never abandoned its right to amend or reject the Finance Bill," and Mr. Gladstone's opinion on that subject should carry weight in present. day politics. There is great significance in the attitude of Sir Robert Perks, for there is no question that he represents a large body of solid Nonconformist opinion. No one has been more doggedly faithful to the Liberal party; but the irresponsible Socialism of his people was too much for him, and Lord Joicey, a for- mer Liberal M.P., addressed a letter to the Sec- retary of the Montgomeryshire Boroughs Liberal ASlSIOciation explaining his resignation of the presidency in a most striking attack on the Budget. I will not xveary you with its contents, which I think ought to be universally distributed by the Press. Whitfield's Tabernacle, London is perhaps the matter is introduced into the Nonoonfoirnist Churches and their Lecture Halls. It surely must affect the membership adversely of many m who would seek only for that spiritual guidance and comfort they expect to receive in a church. Whitfields Tabernacle, London, is perhaps the most prominent case of a chapel beinc used for political purposes of a violent type. It was used by Mr. Hemmerdle, M.P. for East Denbigh- shire, who addressed a gathering on Sunday, November 14th, on the virtues of the Budget and the vices of the Peers. And at the Angel-street Congregational Church, Worcester, an address was given, by the Rev. A. T. Guttery, of Lon- don, who urged: the sweeping away of arro- gant Parliamentary Chambers," and said it would be a scandlal if Nonconformists did not make Mr. Lloyd George's position triumphant. But we need not go out of Wales to find the misuse of God's House for such ungodly pur- poses and this leads me to the belief that the proud boast of the Government that hungered for the Disestablishment of the Church has been cut short by the intervening hand of Divine Providence, and in such a manner, too, that those who planned the overthrow of our ancient inheritances will have something more to occupy their attention with for a long while after the new Government is formed. 1873.-How history repeats itself- Mr. Disraeli in the Commons debate before the fall of Mr. Gladstone's Ministry on March 3rd, 1873:—"You have had four years of it: you have threatened every Corporation in the country; you have examined into everybody's affairs you have criticised every profession and vexed every trade. No one is certain of his property, and nobody knows what duties he may have to perform to-morrow. I believe that the people of this country have had enough of the policy of confiscation."—Yours, & G. DUCKERS.

--....--Colwyn Bay Free Churchmen.