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THE congested state of public business has been the all-absorbing subject of discussion in political circles during the last two or three weeks. The Education Bill, in spite of the splendid majority for the Second Reading, had to face a mass of amendments which could not possibly be disposed of before the middle of August. Under these circumstances the policy announced by Mr. BALFOUR on Monday last is probably the best that could be adopted, although it must be confessed that the postponement of the education question to the next Session is disheartening to the friends of religious education and to the Voluntary Schools. The withdrawal of the Bill is not wholly due to the obstruction of its oppon- ents, but in part to divisions among its friends, many of them considering the Bill too revolutionary in its character. The Unionist party was divided amongst itself, and from the first declaration of the schism, success for the Bill as a whole was im- possible. The sole chance of success was to drop the controversial clauses, and go for those parts which were generally acceptable, but the Cabinet Council of the previous Monday, decided against this course, and therefore there was no way out of it but with- drawal, and Mr. BALFOUR faced the House of Commons with the simple statement that the Bill would be withdrawn and that a substitute would be presented next session. We need hardly add that the intimation was received with hysterical delight by the Radical Opposition, but we cannot think that any scheme that can be bixmgfit forward by the Government will be more acceptable to Liberals and Radi- cals than the one now withdrawn. There is no doubt that the jubilation exhibited by the Opposition on Monday night was not because the scheme fell through one Radi- cal newspaper, more out-spoken than the rest, deplores the failure of the Bill, and hopes the Opposition will not claim the credit of killing it. Meanwhile, the country will naturally look forward to the resumption ot those measures which were sacrificed to the exi- gencies of the Education debate. The Irish Land Bill has yet to be faced, and promises to afford sufficient food for reflection until the season closes. Then there are the Agricultural Rating Bill and the Light Railways Bill to be advanced, as "ell as the Church Benefices Bill. Over, and above them all, however, we have the foreshadow- ing of a measure dealing with the reform of Parliamentary procedure, a reform which the events of the past month or two render absolutely vital to the good Government of the country. Parliament will do well to take up this great question for the legisla- tive machinery has already displayed a lamentable tendency to slow down to almost a complete stoppage, and unless something is done to control the abuse of party weapons, we do not see why the whole engine should not eventually be brought to a standstill.

















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