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DEFIANCE TO THE LORDS. THE second reading of the Parish Coun- eiU Bill has been passed by the House of Commons without a division. The Tories swallowed the pill with but little persuasion. That it was distasteful medicine is apparent -from the great cry which they are raising :against the poor law clauses, and doubtless when the Bill is in Committee the Opposi- tion will seek to remove from it all its de- mocratic bearings, and sap its usefulness. Not only is this the purport of their action in regard to the Parish Councils Bill, but will also be, towards the other great measure ,to be passed during the Autumn Session. The Opposition has declared through its Press that the policy to be adopted is emas- cnlatioij. It rests in the hands of the ,Gowrnivent to say whether they will allow "this laudatory design to take effect. The Z5 Inxsijiess of the Government is to estimate the Opposition at its own valuation. Ob- struction is not dead, for already Mr GIBSON Bowwrs and Mr PARKER SMITH have shown iheir anxiety to facilitate the progress of .Iwisittess by giving notice of a long string of pointless amendments. The policy of Mr 'OlabstonE of explanation, conciliation, 4wd concession'" is lost on the h>trd hide of obstruction, and the same weapons as its exponents fight with should the Government be prepared to carry on the warfare. It is a matter for sincere congratulation jthat Mr. JOHN MORLEY, at Manchester, al- layed any fears that the Government would Allow itself to be beaten by the intellectual And cultured party. Speaking for the Gov- .erament, he has declared that the line of ac- -tion to be taken by the Liberal ministry is to preserve an undeviating and unflinching attitude, both towards the Opposition and ithe Tory House of Lords. The Government 4o not intend to be awed or frightened by .the loud threats of either disciple of those august sections. They do not intend to ,whittle down their bills so as to make them useless in order to enable a set of men, who represent only their own interest and class privileges, to accept them. If a measure is to be passed which will benefit the masses of the people, it is bound to strike at some of the privileges of the superior classes. Whether the House of Lords ac- cepts the Bills or rejects them, or mutilates them beyond recognition now, there is loom- ing in the near future a day when the foes .of democracy will be removed to a place which will deter them from wreaking ven- geance on the bills of the representative House. The ridiculous veto which these Aieaveii-uoi'u legislators possess is simply in- tolerable, and the Government can keep the .confidence of the country in no better way than, when constructing and passing their measures, to treat the existence of the House ,of Lords as beneath contempt, and its occu- pants as absurd nonentities. The point to be principally assailed in the Parish Councils Bill is that relating to the poor law. Deputations have visited Mr GLADSTONE, pointing out that the reform of the poor law should be dealt with in a ^separate bill, and after due inquiry by a Royal Commission. A party of squires has met in London and declared the passing of the Act in its entirety would be nothing short of a "social catastrophe "—perhaps -go, to them. Circulars are sent out by Tory I"rds of Guardians to cher Boards having ri the poor law, pointing oability of the Bill touching -CLW system. One of these circulars d Forden Board of Guardians on ednesdav, and without any protest by any member, the Board adopted this antiquated Tory view, and ordered a resolution to that effect to be sent to the Local Government Board. In what way does the Parish Coun- cils Bill interfere with the present mode of administering the poor law ? It does not touch out-relief or the workhouse test. But it has dared to say to every magistrate, who by law, is an ex-officio guardian, that he shall not administer the law without the people of the Union elect him to do so; and instead of one man having a large number of votes, every man is placed on an equality and allowed one vote. This is the beginning and the ending of the Bill's interference with the poor law, and why ffueh glaring inequalities should be allowed to exist while a Royal Commission is in- vestigating the rottenness of the poor law system is not quite clear, except that the Tory squire wishes to hug his power for a few years longer. We trust the poor law will be dealt with in a separate bill; the sodner the better. The mere divesting of the squire of his robe of superiority and placing the labourer, so far as voting is concerned, on the same footiug will not alter the fact that the poor law requires readjustment.


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