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LONDON LETTER. £ rpMI 81m LONDON CORRESPONDENT,] SPECIALLY WIRED, LONDON, Tuesday Night. RAILWAYMEN'S GRIEVANCES. The trouble between the London and North-Western Railway Company and their men has taken precedence of all other public questions to-day, and a curious fact is that some Tory members of Parliament are speaking more warmly about it than Liberals. In the case of the former it is not exactly indignation which moves them so much as absolute consternation. In the absence of any real explanation from the company they feel that this attack upon the fundamental principle of Trades Unionism is indefensible. At least, they will not undertake to defend it either in Parliament or out of it. The right of working men to act together and collectively in making a bargain as to terms of employ- ment and wages is now universally conceded —in principle, at least-and this is appa- rently a wanton attack on that fundamental principle. The Great Western Company have followed the example of the London and North-Western in interrogating all their men as to whether they will stand by their Union or their employers in case of a rupture, but there is no news yet of any dismissals. The officers of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants declare that a strike was not contemplated when they made their recent suggestions to the railways, but those suggestions and the questions involved have fallen entirely into the background, in face of this new quarrel which has been thrust upon them. It is a quarrel which will rally every Trades Unionist to their side, and unless the company retreat from the intenable position which they have taken up a most disastrous strike appears to be Imminent. VENEZUELA DISPUTE. Confirmation has been received this after- tioun at the Foreign Office of the statement circulated in the United States to the effect that the Venezuelan Government have agreed entirely to the provisions of the suggested treaty for the settlement of the dispute between Great Britain and Vene- zuela, which has been arranged between the Governments of the United States and Great Britain. This apparently settles, after 12 months of anxious negotiation, the quarrel which suddenly assumed such alarm. ing features a year ago. REFORM OF WORKHOUSE EDUCATION. I hear that the negotiations between the Education Department and the Local Government Board with regard to the Supervision of the poor-law schools are progressing satisfactorily, and will probably be the subject of one of the little Bills of the coming Session. It is curious that the proposals to put the schools, the teachers, the inspection, and the grants of the Workhouse schools on the same footing M other public elementary schools should have been so long delayed. The poor-law schools date back to a time almost before the Education Department existed, and It was natural then that they should be governed and inspected by the Local Government Board, but the time arrived long before 1870, and, at least, in 1870, when the Education Department should have taken charge of them for many years, the Local Government Board blocked the way, and then, when the Local Government Board was willing, the Education Department, dominated by Sir John Gorst with his doctrinaire schemes for other changes, forbade this simple and necessary reform. But now he has learned wisdom, and something will be done very shortly. Legislation, however, will be necessary so the matter will have to await the consideration of Parliament. ASININE PROCEEDINGS. The London School Board had an extra- ordinary meeting to-day. It is the policy of the Clerical party to delay the business of the Board which they cannot prevent. The result has been the gradual accumulation of vast arrears of work. The Liberals, who are in a minority of one, but are supported by some of the more moderate of their I opponents, decided to have an extra meet- ing to clear off the arrears. The Clericals opposed, but were beaten, and so the meet- ing was held this morning. The Clericals then, as a protest against the meeting being held, fiercely blocked and obstructed all the business, and continually tried to reduce the Board to impotence by withdrawing from the room. But they could never take out members enough to atop the proceedings and secure an adjourn- ment, and so then they had to hurry back and obstruct again: In this manner, from early this morning until well into the evening, has been one long exciting sitting of clogged persistence on both sides, with the result that, though a considerable amount of business was got through, it was particularly infinitesimal considering the tiee and labour spent. EXPECTED COLLAPSE OF THE RUSSELL CASE. It is considered probable that the end of the Russell libel action, which has been Adjourned till next year, will not be reached. The course of the trial so far as it has gone is held to justify the opinion that a termination may be arrived at with. out troubling the jury further, unless it be to register a formal verdict. ARMY V. NAVY. Mr Brodrick has given point and strength to the persistent rumours that large demands will be made next Session for increased expenditure upon the Army. There may prove to be some justifica- tion for this, but it is being advocated by military men in private conversation as if it were mainly a question of jealousy of the Navy. They take the traditional attitude of the elder brother and ask discontentedly, when so much "fatted calf is being handed round, why none of it comes in their direction. This kind of argument is more likely to arouse in the taxpayers a suspicion of the wisdom of all the money which has been lavished on the Navy than a readiness to extend it to the Army. Meanwhile the promises of last year that the naval expenditure would be less during the coming year are being ignored. LONDON'S WATER SUPPLY. The London County Cuuncil this after- lioon decided by a narrow majority to promote Bills in Parliament for the acquirement of the London Water Com- pany's property. Most of the Tories refused to be bound by the compromise which had been arrived ab between the leaders of both parties, and so this relieves the Government from the pledge which had been given unofficially that they would not interfere if the parties in the Council could agree upon a scheme. There is therefore little doubt that the Government may again be forced to take the thorny question in laaud.

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