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l OUR LONDON LETK^T s I «

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l OUR LONDON LETK^T s I « I [From Our Special Corresponde.nt.] I There is always something interesting about the family parties in the House of Ccroinons, and the new House will have a number of them, though not so many as the last. A goodly number of separations and exchanges have been effected by the elec- tion. There are still, of course, Mr. Cham- berlain find his son Mr. Austen Chamber- lain, vvlule the brothers Harcourt and the brothers Craig have emerged scathless from the fight. There are also two Balfours in the House, who are not, however, related. Lord Morpeth, who sits as a Unionist, will again be faced by his brother, Mr. Geoffrey Howard, who is on the Government side. The Master of Elibank will be joined in the new House by a brother, as also will Mr. Arthur du Cros. There will be one Cecil in the new Parliament, as there was in the last. It will, however, be Lord Hugh this time. He comes back after four years' abseiice, while his brother, Lord Robert, h-:» lost his seat. His fate is shared by Mr. Strwsrt Bowles, who gives place to his father. Sir Charles McLaren, who had a son for company in the last Parliament, will also have one in this, but not the same son. Mr. Russell Re-a will be in his accus- tomed place, but his father has suffered de- feat. Mr. Wedgwood Benn will be in similar his father. Sir John Benn, having failed to secure re-election. An interesting change is bvonght. about by the success of Mr. Ne] Primrose, whose brother. Lord Daloieny. has retired from the stsge. It is interesting to note that the House of Com- mons will assemble' without having amongst lib; sir hundred and seventy inc-iiibers a j Gladr.t'onc, a Bright, or an Acland. It is a great many years since that could be said. The terrible disaster to the Brighton ex- prp-ns is another instance of how accidents will happen in spite of every precaution I that human foresight and ingenuity can de- I vise. For yeais trains have been running safely and swiftly over the particular place where this catastrophe occurred, carrying I their hundreds of passengers in what seemed like perfect security. But there came the I fatal moment when something failed and brought the inevitable tragedy. It is a curious commentary upon the manner in which railway travelling has become part j and parcel of the national life that accidents have very little, if any, effect upon the popu- ( larity of the railways. The fact is, of j course, that railway travelling is one of the safest modes of journeying from place to place. At such a time as this people are apt to forget that, but it is nevertheless a fact. The proportion of accidents to the number The proportion of accidents to the number of people carried every year by the railways is very small indeed, arid; going by the law of averages, it would be easy to prove that travelling in the train is a good deal safer than walking about the streets of London. In recent years the railway companies have put into operation many mechanical contri- vances, the object of which is to minimise the possibility of accident, but unfortu- nately there will always be the something nately there will always be the something unforeseen. A good many people must have been won- dering lately whether such a calamity as has dering lately whether such a calamity as has befallen Paris would be possible in London if the Thames were to rise as the Seine has done. Remembering how London, to a much larger extent than Paris, ie un- dermined by tunnels for various purposes— sewers, tube railways, and such things-the bare idea of any such occurrence is horrify- ing. We have the assurance, however, that no such disaster could possibly occur here. The County Council, looking to the possibility of a rise of the river, long ago took such pre- cautions as, it ie claimed, would be quite adequate to deal with any overflow. If they had not already taken such steps, one may be sure that the appalling experience of Paris would have led them to attend to the matter without any loss of time. It is doubtful whether the recommendation for the appointment of two additionaf; High Court judges will be acted upon 4 the Government. The judges, who complain of being overworked, are naturally in favour of it, and some members of the Bar advocate it also—it may/ be because some of them think they would jlook rather well in the judicial robes. After all, two more judgeships would mean two more prizes .for the Bar. At the same time, of course, there should be enough judges on the Bebch to deal .with the busi- ness. It will be remembered that the Lord Chancellor rather questioned the assertion that the present judges are overworked, and suggested that they could accomplish a good deal more if they would consent to eit a few hours extra every week. There is, however, another way of meeting the difficulty-by extending the jurisdiction of the County Courts. At present their juris- diction is strictly limL^d, and there is little doubt that an extension of their powers would be popular. It would be cheaper, if nothing else, and that is a very important consideration with most litigants. Besides, it is not denied that many of the County Court judges are as capable and as learned in the law as some of those in the High Court. That they occupy a rather less exalted posi- tion is not to be taken as proof of inferiority in that respect or in any other. Judgeships are bestowed, as often as not, for political services, and many a judge sitting in a pro- vincial court-house would have been lording it in the, King's Bench if only vacancies had occurred at an opportune time. On the whole, there would probably be as much law and as much justice administered in the County Courts if their jurisidiction were ex tended as there are now in the superior courts. The City of London is jealous of its privi- leges. It does not bestow them lightly, and tLe?« upon whom they are hs,. k; w."d are pro P()'t:')1Î.t.eJ;V tu*oud of them. There does not appear *»") tie anything specially desirable in the liberty enjoyed by certain regiments to ihutsh through the City in !.r;vsie days with cuKmrs flying and bayonets fixed. To the man who cares nothing for tradition it seems a little ridiculous, perhaps, that there should be any icstric,tioii, but a good deal of interest attaches to it,, nevertheless. Every privilege conferred, like every picture in the advertisement, tell6 a story. Permission to carry the colours and the fixed bayonets is enjoyed as a permanent privilege by the 3rd Battalion of the Grev-ulicr Guards, the Buffs, and the Royal Marines, in recognition of their past services, and it is not to be cheapened and made a thing of no account by granting it to all and sundry. So, when the 7th Royal Fusiliers, famous in song and story, asked for it. on the ground thrt it is inconvenient to apply for permission on every occasion when they pass through the City, they were met by a refusal. If any proof were needed of the remark- able success of the Queen'e Hall Symphony Concerts, one had only to look round the great hall on Saturday afternoon. There was scarcely a vacant seat, and the immense audience signified their approval of the various items of the excellent programme in a very enthusiastic fashion. The concert was one of the best of the series. The out- standing feature was a superb performance of the Franck Symphony in D minor, a work which has not often h<?en heard in London. This Symphony is a composition of extra- ordinary beauty, and those who heard it for the fir-st time on Saturday heard it to advan- tage. for the orchcatra was in its best form. Miss Marie Hall, the gifted young violinist, and that fine singer, Mr. George Henschel, contributed to a most delightful programme. A. E. M.

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OLDEST WOMAN SUBJECT.

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AGRICULTURE'S CHANCE.

CHURCH AND THE MASSES.

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.1 NO DOUBT ABOUT IT.*

. "A SHEAF OF BANKNOTES."