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PARLIAMENTARY J OrrrlN GSt…

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THE -REFORM CBIBIS: WILL THERE BE A DISSOLUTION? It is becoming more and more evident (observes the Dail/y Telegraph) that if the Government permit the House of Commons to proceed upon Captain Hayter's amendment in the recently developed spirit of blind and insolent antagonism to all Reform, few persons io or out of Parliament would regret the downfall of an Administration thus confessing itself to lack both the earnestness and the dignity indispensable to all great measures. It is the consistent and uniform allegation of those who advocate despotic rule, and decry oui" representative forms, that, under an abso- lute regime, enlightened laws are announced, and take instant effect without damaging dis- cussion but that under a constitutional sys- tem, two-thirds of the virtue and vitality of any good scheme are frittered away during the tedious and desultory debates between its introduction and its passage into law. By a curious coincidence, the two greatest representative assemblies of the world, the English, House of Commons and the American House of Representatives, are affording conspicuous illustra- tions of political scepticism. To a. De Tocqueviile, the afctitade of own assembly would at this mo- ment be haoiliating spectacle; to a Metter- niach or a Hesseirode, a triumphant evidence of foolishness. During the present session of Par- liament we have bad a rich and exhaustive programme of legislation laid before us by one of the most earnest thiiskers and persuasive speakers that ever stood in the place once filled by Canning, by Peel, and by Palmer- Eton. It is admitted that in eloquence Mr. Gladstone is equal, if not superior to Mr. Canning; in ratiocina- tion and earnest thoughtfulness equal, if not superior to Sir Robert Peel. Bat in the eyes of Lord El oho, Mr. Lowe, and the bulk of the Conservative party, the great and varied of the present leader of the Commons are of no avail, because he lacks lacks the worldly wisdom and knowledge of mankind which were the most eminent characteristics of his immediate predecessor. On this pretext, all the urgent and pressing legisla- tion for which Ireland, with her Habeas Corpus Act suspended, cries aloud, is to stand over sine die; all the complicated and entangled measures for dealing with the overshadowing incubus of our National Debt which Mr. Gladstone contemplates, and which he alone can carry through, are to be abandoned all the law reforms which, with the consent and assistance of one of the purest Lord Chancellors that ever sat on the woolsack were about to be matured and per. fected, are to be intercepted and arrested; all measures of needful improvement and practical jMyantage are to be set aside, until Sir Ra.ina.ld Knightley hag elaborated his scheme for chock- mg pribei-y^ until Captain Hayter has adjusted such a IRediBtributicHi of Seats Bill as will leave the borough of Wells at the disposal of Sir William Hayter, and until Mr. Ijowe ia summoned to be the Dens ex machind in pulling ner Majesty's Government out of the slough of despond, m which, if the amendment of to-night j be carried, they -will be found wallowing and floundering. No (EdipnS is wanted to solve the transparent enigma presented in the attitude of the House of Commons. It jE, not true, be the phraseology of Lord Grosvenor what it may, that "this House is ready to discuss, with a view to its settlement," any measure of. Parliamentary Retorm. It is not true that Captain Hayter and the incumbents ot other boroughs destined to a diminution of their importance, if not to extinc- tion, by tbe Government scheme of grouping, would be propitiated by any coneelvecole measure which did not leave their boroughs intact. It is not true that Sir Rainald Knightley and his coadjutors care one fig about that taint of corruption in boroughs by whieh, despite what Mr. Disraeli says to the con- trary, the Conservative party have never been back- ward in profiting. The soheme now before Parliament has been accepted by us, as it has been accepted by all true and earnest Reformers, because, in the interest I Zlt House of which more than 400 members W,j.te), upon the hustings to advocate Reform, we Q. that, honour and sincerity should not be proclaimed to the world as no longer the characteristics of the British House of Commons. We call upon her Majesty's Government to sound no uncertain note about the significance of the division which is now imminent. If they are defeated, and if they tamely acquiesce in that postponement of Reform for which the majority of the Bouse is really manoeuvring, Lord Eussell will not only lose all claim to support from the Liberal party m or out of Parlia- ment, but he will crown along life spent in the service of the State with an act so derogatory to his name that no previous services will suffice to remove the stigma.

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