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MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1ST. HOUSE OF LORDS. The Companies Bill and the Women's Fran- chise Bill were each read a first time. Lord ONSLOW, in answering questions from Lord Kinnaird, made a statement upon Indian famine relief. Acting on previous experience, the Indian Government would not sell or store grain so long as private traders were able to satisfy the necessities of the people. The Government recognised the duty to intervene in exceptional cases: but they believed that, these cases apart, the requirements of the situation could be met by the action of private traders. On no former occasion had the Government been in such a favourable position to deal with distress, owing to the wise foresight of those who laid down the Famine Code. Lord WENLOCK (a former Governor of r Madras) remarked that previous experience showed that any interference with private trhde was likely to do more harm than good. MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1ST. HOUSE OF COMMONS. Mr. CHAPLIN, in reply to Mr. Drage, said he had carefully considered the report of the Departmental Committee on Poor-law schools, and had decided to make certain changes. Those changes he intended to carry out by means of an order of the Local Government Board, instead of an Act of Parliament. It was proposed to create a central body for Lon- t don, which would be responsible for the charge of certain classes of children; for example, those suffering from ophthalmia and skin disea- ses, those requiring special treatment during convalescence, those whose intellects were de- fective and who were physically weak, and those who were at present remanded to work houses by justices before being sent to indus- trial schools. Provision of a special character would be made, and it could be made by one authority acting for the whole ot London at less cost than would be entailed by each district making separate provision. Mr. BRODRICK stated, in answer to Mr. t;ibk, that the cause of the disaster to the troopship Warren Hastings was not yet known. Mr. LONG, in reply to Dr. Farquharson, said I it would be necessary for the whole subject of dog muzzling to be further considered in the light of the report of the Committee, which had been sitting for some time past fco inquire into the working of the laws relating to dogs. He understood that the Committee proposed that a petermined effort should be made to rid the country of rabies. He thought the owners of dogs, and the public generally, would support any well-considered scheme which promised to secure the complete extermination of rabies in this island, a result never likely to be secured under the existing system. Mr. G. BALFOUR, in reply to Mr. J. O'Con- nor, announced that the Government had no intention of introducing a bill for the local government of Ireland this session. Mr. CHAMBERLAIN, answering Mr. Hogan, said that in the event of the Premiers of the self-governing colonies accepting the invitation to participate in the celebration of the sixtieth year of Her Majesty's reign, the question of holding an Imperial Conference for the discus- sion of matters of common colonial concern would be taken into consideration. Mr. A. J. BALFOUR, answering Mr. M'Hngh, said he did not think it was advisable to add anything to what he said in the debate the other night on the subject of the establishment of a Catholic Universityfin Ireland. The House then went into Committee on the resolution dealing with a proposed grant in aid to fcheiVolur tary schools. Mr. BALFOUR said the Government pro posed to confine their bill to three questions- relieving the Voluntary schools from the pres- sure of rates; dealing with the 17s. 6d. limit; and the distribution of the aid grant. They proposed to put Voluntary schools by a simple enactment into the position occupied by scien- tific and learned institutions, and say that they should not be liable for rates at all. The second provision of the bill was that which relieved elementary day schools from the 17s. 6d. limit. That provision, and that provision alone, ex- tended beyond the province of the Voluntary schools, and included within its scope Board schools also. With regard to the aid grant, and its mode of distribution, the grant would be 5s. per scholar, instead of 4s., as provided in the bill of last year: and its distribution would be in the hands of the Education Department. To ask that Department, however, to do that un- aided would be to ask it to do too much; and they, therefore, proposed to encoarage the f8r- mation of associations of Voluntary schools, which should have the right to advise the De- partment how the money could best be expen- ded. His hopes for the beneficial working of the bill largely depended on the manner in which those interested in Voluntary schools used the power of associaiion given them in the measure. Mr. ACLAND, who followed, said there was nothing in Mr. Balfour's speech that appeared to give any assurance that a good deal of this money would not be wasted by simply going to make good a reduction of subscriptions. The Government had had a great opportunity. They had a great surplus last year, and they would have a great surplus this year. They had an immense majority in the House and on many points, they had to face a not unreasonable Opposition. With all those advantages, and without any limit of time to hold them back, it was a matter of profound regret that they had tabled such a measure, and had selected such a method of putting the measure before the House. Mr. COURTNEY said the Government's proposal was only defensible if it was admitted to be a temporary measure. Had it been re- stricted to the financial year, under some gua- rantee that it would be balanced by a further measure dealing with the Board schools, it would have been well supported but if it came with- out such a guarantee in its present naked de- j formity, there were forces at work in the mass of the people which would be hostile to the per- manence of such a settlement. In J8 course of the debate, which was ad- journed at midnight, the Government proposals were condemned by several Liberal Unionist members; and one or two Conservative mem- bers also protested against the character of the scheme.




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