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-L -+ PARLIAMENTARY. M 0 N D AY. In the House of Commons Mr. Chamberlain in- formed Mr Labouchere that. the resignations of Mr. Rhodes, Mr. Beit, aud Dr Rutherford Harris had been tendered and accepted. Answering Mr Labouchere, the Chancellor of the Exchequer said the only extra expense incurred by the Treasury in consequence of the military operations in Rhodesia was a small sum for the transport of 600 men from Capetown and Natal to Mafeking. General Good- enough and Sir F. Carrington had been informed that the Government were prepared to send any reinforcements they might think necessary to re- lieve the British Colonists in Mashonaland, but, they agreed that no more troops were required at present. The Government proposed to keep the Cape garrison at its full strength, and would supply the places of any troops that had been or might be sent to the front. For that purpose a battalion of the King's Royal Rifles had been ordered to the Cape from Malta. Mr Balfour, in reply to Mr Cog- hill, gave the terms of the reference to the Com- mission on Old-Age Pensions, and, in reply to Mr Channing, the terms of the reference to the Com- mission which is to inquire into the incidence of local and Imperial taxation. In answer to several questions as to the course of business, Mr Balfour stated that the resolution with reference to the Uganda railway would be taken the next day. Then the Coal Mines Bill would be taken, and afterwards the Light Railways Bill. The Finance Bill would probably be taken on Tuesday next. Replying to Mr J. Wilson (Falkirk), Sir M. White Ridley said he hoped the House would read the Coal Miues Bill a second time, and in Committee he I would propose to omit the checkweighing- clauses. The twelve o'clock rule was suspended, 206 voting for the motion and 116 against, and the House re- sumed the consideration of the Agricultural Land Rating Bill. Mr. Lloyd-George moved an amend- ment with the object of appointing an independent authority to value the agricultural land in each parish, but this w-as rejected by 220 votes to 112. Mr. Lloyd-George next proposed to omit the words enabling the Local Government Board to amend a certificate of payment, and after some debate the Government agreed to accept words limiting the power of amendment to the rectification of errors. The sitting, which began at three o'clock in the afternoon, was continued until a quarter past eight on Tuesday morning, when the report stage of the Agricultural Rating Bill was concluded. The closure was moved by Mr. Balfour at two o'clock, when the sixth clause was under consideration. The motion was agreed to by 245 to 92, and the clause was added to the bill by 253 votes to 94. Mr. Balfour again moved the closure at twenty minutes past three, and it was agreed to by 246 votes to 98. A few minutes after four o'clock Mr. Balfour moved that the question that clause 7 stand part of the bill be put. This was carried by 234 votes to 89, and the clause was added to the bill by 234 votes to 90. A number of other amendments were briefly discussed, and eventually the third reading was fixed for Wednesday, TUESDAY. In the House of Commons, on the motion for the consideration of the Great Western Railway Com- pany (Additional Powers) Bill, Mr J. H. Roberts proposed an instruction to allow the Committee to whom the bill was referred to receive evidence as to the expediency of modifying the tolls, rates, and charges which the Company was authorised to demand for the conveying of passengers, parcels, and merchandise over the lines of the Vale of Llangollen, Llangollen and Corwen,' and Corwen and Bala Railway Companies. After an explana- tion by the President of the Board of Trade, the motion was negatived. Replying to Mr Brookfield, Mr Brodrick said the commanding officer in South Africa had at present at his disposal 5,230 Imperial troops of all arms. Sir Matthew White Ridley, in answer to Mr II. D. Davies, denied that any" scene" took place at the recent triple execution at Newgate. Mr Chamberlain. replying to Mr F. W. Isaacson, said both the Cape and Natal Governments had offered to assist in suppressing the disturbances in Rhodesia, but up to the present the authorities on the spot had not advised the acceptance of the offers. Mr Gosclien informed Mr. E. Robertson that the statements as to the misconduct of British seamen on the occasion of their recent visit to Rome which had been published in some Continental papers were absolutely untrue. In reply to questions as to the order of business, Mr Balfour said he hoped the third read- ing of the Agricultural Land Rating Bill would be taken on Wednesday. The Uganda Railway Bill would be taken on Thursday and the Foreign Office vote on Friday. WEDNESDAY. In the House of Commons, oii the order for the third reading of the Agricultural Land Rating Bill, Mr Asquith moved that it be read again that day three months." He said that after the Biil had been battered about on the sea of criticism, escap- ing shipwreck only by being converted from a per- manent to a temporary measure, the Bill was no longer described as a measure for the relief of agricultural distress, but as the first ster of a root- and-branch scheme of the reform of the whole system of local taxation. He suggested that the Bill was in fact a measure to compensate the landed interests of the country for the Finance Act of 1894. Mr Cripps supported the Bill. Sir H. Fowler denied that the Bill w,mld relieve agricul- tural distress, or that it would reform lacal taxa- tion. So far as the real distress was concerned, the Bill was an idle mockery, aud where there was no distress it would lead to the simple squandering of public money. Mr G. Whiteley said that in his judgment the success of the Government in carry- ing this Bill and the Diseases of Animals Bill would in the long run be more disastrous than their failure to carry the Education Bill. He had over- whelming evidence from the county in which he lived that the Bill was entirely repugnant to the majority of the electors in the towns and urban dis- tricts. If any member representing those districts desired to put that assertion to the proof he would resign his seat along with him, and they could take the feeling of their respective constituencies. Mr Chaplin said that when the time arrived for him to go before his constituents to justify his position in regard to the Bill he should be quite ready to do so, because he believed he should meet with a favour- able reception for the course he had pursued. Before the debate closed Sir W. Harcourt delivered a speech in condemnation of the measure, and Mr Balfour replied on behalf of the Government. The motion for the third reading was carried by a majority of 152 THURSDAY. In the House of Commons Mr Chamberlain, in answer to Mr Maclean said Sir F. Carrington was solely responsible for advice to the Government in regard to the forces required to put down the re- bellion in Rhodesia. Before the rebellion beuan the Imperial Government had taken over the sole responsibility for the maintenance of peace and order in Rhodesia. The Loid Advocato (Mr A. G. Murray) in asking for leave to introduce a bill for Scotland similar to the Agricultural Land Rating Bill for England, said the object of the English bill was to redress the inequality existing between personalty and realty in the matter of local taxa- tion, and the application of relief to the agricultural class, which most suffered. In applying that relief to Scotland they could not follow the lines of the English Bill, because the Scotch system of rating was so different, and they were therefore driven logically in the Scotch case to the principle of an equivalent grant. They proposed to give L214,E 00. The relief would be applied not directly to the rate but to the valuation on which the rate was levied, and that valuation would be reduced to three- eights of the present sum. Sir G. Trevelyan stated that on the second reading and afterwards a great deal would be said about the Bill. The Bill was then brought in and read a first time. In Committee, Sir M. White Ridley, in moving the second reading of the Coal Mines Regulation Act (1887) Amendment (No. 2) Bill, stated that the particular difference between his bill and that in- troduced by Mr Asquith last year was that he did not propose the constitution of a central board. Neither did he propose that there should be dis- trict boards. He bad, however, adopted the pro- posals contained in the bill of last year with regard to ft the special rules. The other provisions had reterence to dealing with abandoned mines, inspection, and the use of explosives. In accor- dance with the promise he had given, the clause as to checkweighing would be withdrawn. After a long discussion the bill was read a second time and referred to the Grand Committee on Trade. The House afterwards proceeded with the consideration of the Light Railways Bill as amended by the Standing Committee. In the Houseof Lordson Thursday, Lord Herschell raised the question of the form of trial in the case of Dr. Jameson and his fellow-defendants. He said that if any question of Jaw that might arise would be conclusively dealt with by the majority of the three Judges before whom the trial took place, it seemed to him to be a very serious question whether it was expedient it should be by means of trial at bar. The Lord Chancellor replied that the question of how the trial should take place was in the discretion of the Attorney General, to whom the law had accorded the right, if he thought it proper, to demand a trial at bar. He understood that the Attorney General had asked for and the Court had made an order for trial at bar, and the question, therefore, whether there ought to be a trial at bar had already been determined. The Government had nothing to do with the question. Personally he thought the case was eminently one that ought to be tried at bar, which was in reality a trial by the whole Court of Queen's Bench. Lord Herschell thought that in the case of a prosecution of this kind the Government conld not antirely detach itself and say the whole matter was for the determination of the Attorney General. Lord Salisbury said Lord Herschell seemed to lay down the doctrine that wherever Parliament had entrusted special functions, perrogatives, or powers of dissent and assent to the Attorney General the Cabinet as a whole was responsible for all he decided. Against such a doctrine as that he must enter his protest. The discussion then ceased. The Agricultural Land Rating Bill was brought up from the House of Commons and read a first time.

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