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SIR R. T. REID ON Of HE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM.' Sir Robert Reid, M.P., speaking in Lon- don on The future of Liberalism,' said that if Liberalism was to have a future at all it would not be sufficient for them to go on mumbling those general benedictions upon what were called Liberal principles without being particular and specific as to what it was they meant to do (cheers). A change had come about in the questions they had got to consider, and that iwas due, in his opinion, to the pressure of population. The population of this country was growing en- ormously, and the territory in which we lived was not growing. It was only just to say that all classes of the population were greatly increasing in wealth, and a very good thing too but they had not succeeded yet to any considerable extent in getting rid of a number of evils that were in our midst. The things they had to think about if they intended to command the confidence of the country in the future were these-the ir- regularity of labour, sweating, pauperism, the evil effects of drink, the depopulation of agricultural districts, and 'the crowding of population in places like London, with its frightful consequences to the dwellings of the people (cheers). Those were the kind of questions they would have to consider if they were to be a party worth returning to power at all. What kind of a country was it that allowed an individual to exercise the control over his fellow-creatures' destiny that Lord Penrhyn claimed the right to exercise ? (hear, hear). The attitude of the Conservatives on that question was deplor- able, and indeed they could not get much done with land, liquor, and education from a party supported by the landed interest, by brewers, distillers, and the Established Church (cheers). Liberals must suppprt the Conservatives in good measures, if they brought in any. The Independent Labour party consisted of honest men who wanted to do what they thought to be in the public interest. As regarded the ultimate prin- ciples the party advocated, he thought they were not attainable in our generation (shame). He thought their ideal was a very fine one of a community of labour by the nationalisation or municipalisation of land and of all the chief instruments of industry. He would go so far as to say thatJae believed that that was the finest ideal of human so- ciety—(cheers),—but he repeated it was not attainable in one generation. It might come hereafter. But if it came-and there was no one in that room who would be more de- lighted to look forward to that as an ideal than he would be-it would be after long years of education and after careful and protracted organisation (cheers). He had, however, never heard that the men who held that ideal were unwilling to support less ad- Tanced opinions that were immediately prac- ticable, and he hoped they would not think it beneath them to help humbler aims pro- vided they were in the right direction (cheers). As to sweating, he thought they could do a great deal by an extension of the inspectors, to begin with,land by putting all sorts of places where men worked in the same sort of position as factories occupied under the Factory Acts. As to pauperism, he believed they could form a system by which men and women should in old age re- ceive some assistance such as should enable them to be independent of the workhouse or of poor relief (cheers). In regard to drink, he was a strong and hearty supporter of the proposals in Sir William Harcourt's bill (cheers). With regard to the depopulation of the agricultural districts, he thought the remedy was to deal with the land laws, not only in the country districts, but also in the great urban districts, in such a way that there should be no piece of land in the country which a public authority should not be at liberty to buy at a fair price in the public interest, so that they should dimi- nish, if they could not destroy, the effects of the land monopoly (cheers). In regard to crowding in London, the present state of things was a disgrace to civilisation. He would arm the London County Council and other great bodies that governed municipa- lities with the largest powers, so that they should be able to put down insanitary con- ditions, and should be able to fine persons who allowed, for their own profit, such dens to exist as did exist in London. As regar- ded the irregularity of labour, he had tried to think that out, and he was not at present able to suggest a remedy (shame). Well, could any gentleman get up and suggest a remedy? (cheers). It was very easy at public meetings to come forward and talk generally about a social programme and ex- press sympathy with those in favour of social reform, and that was a trick that had been played a great many years (hear, hear). But what one wanted was to be par- ticular and definite, and not take advantage of people's sympathies in the wrong direc- tion and unfairly (cheers). Home Rule was wanted all round, and the House of Lords must be dealt with. In the House of Com- mons the bowlers always got the better of the batsmen. It was always possible to stop a Government doing its work, because the mass of business to be done was greater than any single Chamber could get through (cheers).