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OUR LONDON LETTER. [From Our Special Correspondent.] Attacking the King's Civil List is not such a popular policy as it- was twenty or thirty years ago, when to protest upon every possible occasion against allowances to the Royal Family was one of 0 the distinguishing characteristics of an advanced politician. Now it. is left almost entirely to the Labour Party, and, except for a few members, even that 1 arty is not particularly enthusiastic about it.. The reason, of course, is that Royalty was never so popular in lillR country as now, and never so firmly estab- lished in the affections of thev people. The total allowance is a large one, and criticism of certain items in it may be justified, but speaking generally, and putting it bluntly, the nation is satisfied that it is getting value for money. This feeling is reflected in the House of Commons, and it was for that reason that only two members outside his own Party supported the Chairman of the Labour Party in his' amendment to reduce v the amount that we pay for Royalty. There was one sentence in Mr. Barnes's speech which will have a familiar sound to politicians whose memories run backwards two or three decades. The Royal Household and its servants, he said, "contained a nest of parasites who were battening on the nation under the shadow of the Throne." There is the real old and unfashionable Republican ring about that. In the old days it would have called forth deep- throated approval in Hyde Park, and would have been applauded by a good many even in the House of Commons. It shows how much views have changed when the people's representatives in the present House receive it with loud laughter. But it was a more genuine amusement which was shown in all parts of the House when the Labour leader referred to a recent appointment to high office in the Court of a gentleman whose qualifications, so far as Mr. Barnes has been able to discover, are that he is "a man of fini figure, a good golfer, an excellent shot, well known on the Turf, and has the repu- tation of being one of the best-dressed men in London." Certainly if the official thus described has no other qualifications he is not badly paid at two thousand a year. The Speaker had to give a casting vote the other day for the first time since he has pre- sided over the Commons. It was on the Regency Bill, and there was not much at stake. There have been occasions when the casting votes given by Mr. Lowther's prede- cessors in the Chair have had very importan,t consequences. Perhaps the most sensational case was that in 1805, which led to the im- peachment of Lord Melville, the Treasurer of the Navy, and the friend and colleague of Pitt. The voting on that occasion was 216 for, and 216 against. Lord Melville's fate was in the hands of Mr. Speaker Abbott. In his "Reminiscences," Ir. Mark Boyd de- scribes the scene: Yet it was long before the Speaker could give his vote; agitation overcame him; his face grew white as a sheet. Terrible as was the distress to all who awaited the decision from the Chair, terrible as was the Speaker's distress, the moment of suspense lasted ten long minutes. There the Speaker sat in silence; all were silent. At length his voice was heard; he gave his vote, and lie condemned Lord Melville. One man, at least, that evening was overcome. Mr. Pitt was overcome; his friend was ruined. At the sound of the Speaker's voice, the Prime Minister crushed his hat over his hrows to hide the tcjars that poured over his checks; he pushed in haste out of the House." Heralds have proclaimed, with old-world pomp and ceremony, that the Coronation of his Majesty King ifeorge will take place next June. It will fqllow the procedure adopted at the Coronation of King Edward, and will he splendid and magnificent, enough, though not by any means such an elaborate and picturesque and long-drawn-out affair as Coronations were wont, to be a century ago. When the last King George of not particu- ¡ larly blessed memory was crowned the record for costliness and extravagance was made, and is never likely to be broken. On that I occasion the Coronation banquet in West- I minster Hall was given for the last time. And that was also the last time that the j King's Champion, in a suit of white armour, and riding on a mighty white charger, I clattered into Westminster Hall, and challenged any person who should deny the risdit of the new Sovereign, "being readv in person to combat with' him, and in this quarrel will adventure his life against him, on what day soever shall be appointed." Proudly he dashed his gauntlet down upon the floor, perhaps all the more defiantly because he knew nobody would accept his challenge. After a time, as nobody showed fight, the Herald picked it up and returned it to the Champion. The omission of this and other imposing ceremonies from present-day Coronations is, no doubt, regretted by lovers of the picturesque, but after all they do not mean anything in these', days, and would be itiore thau a little absurd. Will the Government find a post for Lord Kitchener? That is the problem which is exercising many minds just now, and is likely to cause the Government considerable embarrassment. The position is difficult. Lord Kitchener declined to take the Mediter- raneaut porst which would have given him a place on the Committee of Imperial Defence, Ile ii, consequently, among the unem- ployed.. There i no uther post at present open, and if there were it is more them doubt- ful whether Lord Kitchener would accept it. It is difficult to imagine s, man-who is admit- fiedly the greatest organising military genius the country at present possesses, consenting tio perform the routine duties of an ordinary .official post im the Army. Since the office of .com.df!r.i..OItiAf WAS abolished there would seem to be no post under our Army system worthy of Lord Kitchener, and unless the Government can see their way to create one, it looks as though our finest soldier will be condemned to waste his days in compara- tive idleness; though, even so, there seems to be no sufficient reason why the country should not have the benefit of his services on the Committee of Imperial Defence. If the Unionists obtain a majority at the next general elcetian there are more unlikely things than that Lord Kitchener will be offered the post of War Secretary. The full preliminary programme for the season of Promenade Concerts, which will open at Queen's Hall on August 13, shows that the management intend to keep to the general schoiuc which h;is proved so popular iii previous years. The pro- grammes for all the concerts have been pre- pared so as 1o appeal to music-lovers of a wide variety of tastes. The first part of the Monday evening concerts will be devoted to Wagner, as usual, and Friday will be the classical evening, each programme including a Beethoven symphony. On the other four nights of the week will be given composi- tions more frankly popular in character, and Saturday night, as heretofore, will be the people's night. But popular music at the Promenades, as most people by this time know, does not mean poor or trashy. On the contrary, even in the most popular of the popular programmes, will be found works of great interest to musical people. A. E. M.





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