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THE U REFORMED" SHAM. IT has been stated that Mr F. E. Smith is under engagement to come te Newtown and speak for the cause of Protection and Toryism generally. Following osBge, ibis eloquent hopeful of the Tory party will be expected, like Jeese Collings, Sam Thomp- son, and others, to tackle the Express,' which the local Tories have seldom been courageous enough to attempt. Well, we shall be pleased to offer Mr Smith the congenial task of analysing his own speech. The other day this gentleman, in a moment of admirable frankness and equally ad- mirable reasoning, said the only fair Second Chamber would be one that would give the Liberal party when in power as good a chance or as bad a chance of carry- ing through legislation as it would the Con- servative party when in power." The most extreme Liberal asks nothing more than that. But does Mr Smith intend to tell the electors of these Boroughs that the Lans- downe-Rosebery plan of a "reformed" House of Lords is calculated, in his honest judgment, to realise that conception of fair constitutional government ? What is the plan ? It is to consist of three ele- ments. First, the present peers are to elect a section from among themselves. Then a section will be formed from among those who have performed admitted public ser- vice," such as pro-consuls, governors, field marshals, and others of that class at pres- ent in the House. To these two sections will be added a third selected or elected from outside the House. This is the new, remodelled," reformed," stronger Second Chamber which Mr Balfour flaunts before the country for the acceptance of democracy. Again we ask, does it consist with Mr Smith's estimate of a revising chamber in the strictest and fairest sense of the term ? As we pointed out last week, the Scottish Peers, in selecting their score of noblemen, re-elected every one save Lord Torphicen, whom they kicked aside for the sole reason that he supported the Budget, and simul- taneously represented the opinions of the Scottish people. That flagrant instance of political bias might incline a reasonable man like Mr Smith to doubt very strongly whether the first section of peers will make for a fair chamber. Will he, in fact, dis- pute the probability that it would be pre- dominately, if not exclusively, Tory ? Will he frankly vouchsafe the opinion that the second section of peers, composed of pro- consuls, field marshals, governors, etc., would not be anything like equally represen- tative of both parties ? So far, then, we should have the reformed House of Lords largely, if not wholly, anti-Liberal. What of the selected or elected" element ? Will he accept it as a reasonable view that Liberals could not hope to secure more than half of these ? So the remodelled House of Lords would be three-parts Tory. This is the stronger revising chamber desired by Mr Balfour, the avowed democrat. How does it appear to the man who desiderates a chamber from which Liberal and Tory legislation would receive equally fair treatment? Mr Smith will, no doubt, tell us when he comes.

£1.261 AN ACRE!



Llanidloes Rads. and the Colonel.