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FOR THIS TIME ONLY. THE REFERENDUM TO BE DROPPED. On December 14th, at Brixton, Mr Austen Chamberlain made an important statement with respect to the Referendum proposals, making it clear that Mr Balfour's sugges- tion is to be applied to this election only. In other words, that the proposal will now be dropped out of the Tariff Reform pro- gramme. Mr Chamberlain said the Prime Minister had told them Tariff Reform was no longer practical politics. When his oppon- ents said Tariff Reform was side-tracked, put on a shelf, or dead, he told them they were talking nonsense. It was calculated nonsense, intended to deceive people who wanted Tariff Reform, and who, if they realised that Tariff Reform was, as he be- lieved, of all big issues the biggest and most pressing, would vote for that and on t-hat, and leave all other questions to abide their time. Why, proceeded Mr Chamber- lain, does Mr Asquith say that Tariff Re- form is now on the shelf ? He says Tariff Reform is put into a siding because Mr Balfour has agreed that the question should be submitted to a poll of the people before it came into force. Well ,now, I make you a frank confes- sion. The idea of submitting Tariff Reform to a Referendum or a poll of the people was no part of the original plan of the Unionist party. It was no part of their original scheme for dealing with differences between the two Houses. Under this scheme the Referendum was to apply to grave ques- tions, especially of a constitutional char- acter, where irreconcilable differences arose between the two Houses. We had no in- tention and no idea of extending the Refer- endum to Budgets—and Tariff Reform would be part of a Budget—whether we agreed to them or not. It was not intended, and it was not suggested, that Budgets should be referred directly to the people. Accordingly I tell you frankly that, like the rest of my colleagues, I had no original idea of suggesting that the Referendum should be applied to the Budget, and I should not myself have made the proposal. When, however, Mr Balfour made it at the beginning of the election, I accepted the ground which he chose for the Unionist party to fight upon, and I said: Be it so with all its objections, I am not afraid of taking Tariff Reform directly to the judgment of the people" and I say "for this election," as Mr Balfour has said: If you put a Tariff Reform Government in power, you shall see what Tariff Reform it, and then say Aye' or No' whether you like it or not." We have not re- ceived much encouragement from the Gov- ernment in our proposal to refer Tariff Re- form to the nation. But that promise was made, and it stands for this election." We stick to it. Is that any excuse for say- ing that on that account we side-tracked Tariff Reform, put it on a shelf, and do not mean to proceed with it ? I beg you and others to make no mistake on this subject. If we were put in power by this election," our first work would be to prepare a Tariff Reform Budget, and you would have an opportunity of seeing it and voting on it. And if we do not win now, but win later on, whenever the Unionist party wins, Tariff Reform wins. Whenever there is a Unionist Government put in power, Tariff Reform—whether it is put to the Referen- dum or not-Tariff Reform will be put on the statute book-or the Unionist Govern- ment will go out of power.


-----The Welsh National Memorial.

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One Man One Vote.

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-------------SEEN AND HEARD.