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IN PARLIAMENT. MONDAY. In the House of Commons Mr Labouchere further questioned the Under Secretary for the Colonies in regard to Matabeleland, aud was in- formed that the Chartered Company were being notified that no action taken on the spot would prejudice any future arrangement which might be come to. The Premier informed the hon. member that the Government had no intention of propos- ing to the House to devote a day to a discussion on the affairs of Matabeleland, whereupon Mr Labouchere gave notice that at the earliest op- portunity he should take the usual steps to obtain a day. Mr Gladstone made a statement as to the Government programme for the present sittings. He said they felt it to be their duty to confine business as far as possible to the passing of the Local Government Bill and the Employers' Liability Bill, and to the final disposal of those Government bills which were passed through the House in the earlier part of the session. They proposed to reserve the power of taking any non- contentious business of pressing necessity. He thought they were excluded by their agreement with the House from dealing with the question of the evicted Irish tenants. Mr J. Morley informed Mr Sexton that he saould be prepared to bring in a measure to revive the thirteenth section of the Land Act of 1891, for a time, provided the pro- posal received the assent of the Opposition. Mr Balfour said he could not give an opinion on what was a fragmentary part of a larger policy. The debate on the motion for the second reading of the Local Government Bill was resumed by Mr Acland. Mr A. J. Balfour criticised the bill. He thought it did not contain the necessary safeguards against extravagant expenditure, and he declared himself opposed to the poor-law portion of it. He thought, however, that if they discussed the bill in the tone of Mr Fowler and Mr Acland they might be able to tarn into a real and substantial improvement upon the existing system of local administration. TUESDAY. In the House of Commons several further ques- tions were addressed to the Under Secretary for the Colonies in regard to recent events in South Africa. Mr Buxton said there had not yet been time to receive a detailed despatch as to the death of Lobengula's envoys. As soon as he got any in- formation he would communicate it to the House. In reply to Mr T. Bowles, Mr Gladstone said Her Majesty's Government were perfectly satisfied as to the adequacy and capacity of the Mediterranean1 fleet for the purposes for which it existed, and they had no intention of proposing a day for the discussion of the subject. The right hon..gentle- man, in answering a question respecting arbitra- tion in labour disputes, said he could not hold out any idea of the Government concurring in a plan of compulsory arbitration. He could not see how it could be made applicable in the present dis- pute in the coal trade, and he was atraid that to attempt it might cause a reaction unfavourable to arbitration itself. Mr T. Bowles returned to the subject of the attitude of the British warships during the blockade of Bangkok, and Sir E. Grey repeated that the ships received no order" to move outside the blockade lines, and that no such demand would have been admitted if made. Mr H. Gardner informed Mr Lough that a case of pleuro-pneumonia had occurred in the Metro- politan Cattle Market. The House again resumed the debate on the motion for the second reading of the Local Government (Parish Councils) Bill. Sir G. O. Morgan complained that charities which were only incidentally ecclesiastical and substan- tially civil were by the definition clause taken out of the operation of the bill. Mr Goschen and Sir W. Harcourt spoke towards midnight. The latter right hon. gentleman said the Government could not throw over the poor-law part of the measure. The bill was read a second time without a division. WEDNESDAY. In the House of Commons on the order for the consideration of the Employers' Liability Bill as amended by the Standing Committee on Law, Mr. Tomlinson moved that the Bill be recom- mitted to a Committee of the whole House, on the ground of the great importance of the measure, Sir E. Hill seconded the amendment, and Mr Mathews appealed to the Government to accede to it. Mr. Asquith said acceptance of the amend- ment would be fatal to the passing of the bill dur- ing the present session. Sir E. Clarke supported the Government. Mr A. J. Balfour lett the re- sponsibility in this matter to the Government, and said he would not advise his hon. friend to divide the House. Leave to withdraw the amend- ment was refused and it was negatived. The House then proceeded to consider the bill as amended. Mr. W. M'Laren moved a new clause providing that contracts in certain cases should be exempted from the application 2, which pro- vides against contracting out beforehand, his desire being, he said, to strengthen the bill by preserving mutual insurance funds. Mr. Cobb seconded the new clause. Mr Asquith strongly objected to the amendment. He said the working classes had indicated their opinion that a bill that did not safeguard them against negligence in the conduct of their employers and did not protect them from improvident contracts would not satisfy their requirements. The debate was adjourned. THURSDAY. In the House or Commons Mr. Gladetone infoimea Mr Dodd that the Lord Chancellor was in many cases acting OB the recommendation of the House respect- ing the appointment of county magistrates. Mr. Labouchere moved the adjournment of the House in order to discuss the impolicy of permitting the Chartered Company of South Africa to establish any claims to contract any engagements with regard to the territory or government of Matabeleland, or to continue its warlike operations in that territory." The hon. member went into the history of that Com- pany, and said that its attack on Matabeleland had been undertaken to retrieve its fortunes, and that it was the duty of the Prima Minister to say tlmt henceforth all that was done should be done with justice, mercy, and humanity. Mr J. Ellis seconded the motion. Mr Maguire, as one connected with the Company, defended its proceedings, and said the war was now practically over. Mr Buxton said he believed the war was not of the Company's seeking and certainly it was not of the Government's seek- ing. Until he could show that one single man was killed more than necessary to ensure victory Mr Labouchere ought not to speak of a massacre. Hos- tilities were now practically at an end, and the Government would take advantage of any oppor- tunity to bring the war to a speedy conclusion. Public feeling in South Africa could not be ignored, but the settlement which the Government would endeavour to bring about would include all safe- guards of the rights of the natives. Mr Gladstone spoke to similar effect, and severely censured Mr Labouchere for his use of extravagant language. The motion was negatived without a division. The House then resumed consideration of the Employers' Liability Bill as amended, and Mr W. M'Laren's contracting-out clause was further discussed. The House of Lords re-assembled, that is to say, nine or ten of the peers sat for as many minutes. They had one little formality to go through, amd that was doubtless particularly agreeable. It was to re- ceive the Marquis of Breadalbane, who, appearing in full uniform as Lord Stewart of Her Majesty's Household, brought a message from the Queen to the effect that in accordance with their lordships' request the Royal assent would be withheld from the Meri- onethshire intermediate and technical education scheme. Being gratified by this compliment to their powers of obstruction, the noble lords adjourned. FRIDAY. In the House of Commons, Mr Buxton, replying to a question, said he understood that a message had been sent to Lobengula, under a guarantee of his personal safety and good treatment, asking him to i come in, so that hostilities might be brought to an end. The House resumed consideration of the Employers' Liability Bill as amended, and the debate on Mr W. M'Laren's proposed new clause permitting "contracting out" in certain cases was continued. Mr C. Fenwick, speaking as the secretary to the Par- liamentary Committee of the trade unions of the country, said these bodies had unanimously declared against the principle of contracting out of the Act Mr D. Plunket (a director of the London and North-Western Railway Company) said the new clause was brought forward mainly, if not altogether, in the interest of the workmen them-! selves. If the law stepped in and destroyed the basis of consideration of the arrangement existing between the Company and their men, the Company would cease to make their contribution to the insurance fund. Mr Burns denied that this bill had been imposed on the new Liberalism by the pressure of trade unionism. Mr Roby, while heartily approving of the bill, said he should vote for Mr M'Laren's amendment because it dealt with existing arrangements only. Mr Nevil^and Mr Knowles also supported the am%dn|eBafc.' On a division Mr M'Laren's proposed was rejected by 236 to 217. c