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. IIMPERIAL PARLIAMENT. I

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IMPERIAL PARLIAMENT. HOUSE OF LORDS.—JULY 2. THE MILITIA BALLOT. Lord Wemyss moved the second reading of the Militia Ballot Bill, which, as he explained, was the same measure that was submitted to their lordships last year by the Secretary of State for War. He con- fessed that in his judgment the bill was far too drastic, and he hoped the House would, after agreeing to the second reading, modify its clauses in Committee. In 1898, on this subject being brought forward, the Secretary of State for War stated that, although he was not pre- pared to enforce the ballot, yet it was not a power which he would readily part with. The noble lord in the following year brought in a bill, identical with that now under consideration—not for the purpose of imposing the ballot, but in order to improve the machinery of the ballot, so as to make the system available at the present time.' It was now a derelict bill. Not only had the Govern- ment left their bill derelict, but they had adopted the unprecedented course of sending out a whip to whip it out of life. Instead of strengthening our military system the Government were destroying it by the way in which they treated the Volunteer furce. Lord Cowper bad always held that compulsion ought not to be resorted to in this country unless it were proved to be absolutely necessary. The momentous events of the last nine months had not in the least degree altered his opinion in this respect. Lord Newton declared that after considering the Government proposals for home defence and the bill proposed by the noble lord he emphatically preferred the latter. Lord Lansdowne maintained that the Government, situated as they were at the present moment, would not be justified in advancing this bill in its progress through Parliament. He admitted saying in 1898 that in his opinion the existence of the)militia ballot was of vital importance to the military system of this country and that nothing would induce him to part with that great reserve of power. He added, however, that the machinery of the ballot was more or less of an obsolete character and required revision. Therefore he proposed to have that machinery examined, and if necessary, to introduce a bill on the subject: but he distinctly stated that her Majesty's Government were not to be understood as pledging themselves either to have recourse to the ballot or to pass a Ballot Bill through Parliament in that or any other Session. In 1899, he introduced a bill in order to see what reforms should be made in case legislation became necessary, but there was no intention of passing the measure. He wholly repudiated the idea that the Government had changed their minds. The noble lord on the cross bench bad now appropriated their bill, but he denied that it would in the least degree meet the present emergency. After a vigorous defence of the emergency measures of the Govern- ment, he said it would be impossible at this time to describe fully the proposals they had in contempla- tion for the Militia. He would, however, describe some of the measures' affecting the Militia that would be adopted in the immediate future. In the first place action would be taken without loss of time to remedy the grievance with respect to clothing. Then a scheme had been prepared giving to Militia officers more frequent oppor- tunities of attending courses of instruction with- out having to incur any private expense, while something would also be done to add to the efficiency of the non-commissioned officers. He boped, further, to be able to increase the length of the training undergone by militia recruits. A scheme had likewise been considered allowing the whole of the militia to accept a longer liability for service abroad, and in consideration of their assuming that liability the bounties might be considerably increased with the further condition that the Militia Reserve should be put an end to altogether. As these matters were still under consideration it was not unreasonable for the Government to express a hope that their lordships would not proceed further with a Ballot Bill. He proposed, therefore, to ask them to vote for the -41 previous question." On a division the "previous question was carried by 90 votes against 31, and the bill was consequently lost. BILLS ADVANCED. The Colonial Solicitors Bill, the Mines (Prohibition of Child Labour Underground) Bill, the Prevention of Corruption Bill, and the Volunteer Bill were read a third time arid passed. HOUSE OF COMMONS. DUBLIN ELECTRIC LIG ITTING. The Dublin Electric Lighting Bill, which was dis- cussed last week, when the report stage was agreed to by a narrow majority, was again debated at con- siderable length on the motion for the third reading, and ultimately the bill was thrown out by 174 votes against 168, amid the cheers of the majority of the Nationalist members. CHINA. Mr. Brodrick, replying to Sir E. Ashmead-Bart- Jett, informed the House that the German Admiral at Taku had received intelligence contirming the news of the murder of tjie German Minister at Pekin by Chinese regular troops. He also stated that the total allied forces numbered about 13,000 men, but ,that as yet it had not been thought possible to make a further advance. Questioned with regard to the -state of affairs in the Yang-tzse provinces, he said that the Consuls in those regions had been in com- munication with the Viceroys, who were aware that they would be supported by the British Government in preserving order. ] THE AUSTRALIAN COMMONWEALTH. ( Mr. Chamberlain announced that as a result of communications with the Australian colonies the Government had decided not to bring in a bill for the appointment of four additional judges to repre- sent the colonies in this country, but that they would take an early opportunity to consult the colonies as to the advisability of establishing a supreme per- manent Court of Appeal for the whole Empire. HOUSING OP WORKERS. The Housing of the Working Classes Act (1890) Amendment Bill was considered as amended, and on the motion of Lord E. Fitzmaurice a new clause was agreed to, which provided for the transference of the powers conferred by the measure on a district council to the county council, when the former authority failed to put the Act into operation. A clause moved by Mr. Channing and proposing that when land was acquired under the Act otherwise than by agreement no additional compensation should be given to the owner because his property was pur- chased compulsorily was resisted by Mr. Chaplin, on the ground that the clause, which had been already discussed at the Committee stage, would expose pro- prietors whose land was taken under this legislation to exceptional treatment. Sir H. Fowler pointed out that there were precedents establishing the principle of the clause, which was, however, after further con- versation rejected by 150 votes against 96. A clause providing that in cases of compulsory purchase the amount of compensation should be determined in default of agreement by a single arbitrator appointed by the Local Government 133oard or, in London, by the Home Secretary was passed, and after other amendments had been dis- posed of, The bill was ordered for third reading. r\ IL AGRICULTURAL HOLDINGS. Cultural Holdings Bill as amended^" ° F' on the Ministerial side oflhf w 1 that they were ^ng°^td measure unexpectedly. They called ntf0"?-" the second clause of the bill? which provisions for the settlement of differences between landlords and tenants by arbitration, and insisted that it was faulty because it did not require the arbitrator to specify in his award the amounts given in respect of different claims. Objection was also taken to the clause which restricts the landlord's right of distress and to the proposal that the tenant should be entitled to claim for improvements made without the landlord's consent and altering the cha- "Wter of the holding. These criticisms of the bill ca'ae from Lord Willoughby de Eresby, Lord Percy, iuarr Cecil, and other members. Mr. Long the retention of the arbitration clause in cedm^,SeQt form on ground that it simplified pro- memv,' aanJ? the Attorney-General assured the obstar-ln ;^ii? Were dissatisfied that there would be no <L.rfitr°f„hre,n on 0f kw ,rom Mr Chftnn;„~ County-court. Agriculture tn et^ fcke President of the Board of Ere X-ntSS^n cord of the condition ofZT^°? T re" refused on the ground that thecd'e would'operate unjustly and necess.tate.needless expenditure. After %sWt conversation a division was token, and the proposal was rejected bv 142 votes against 46.

I HOUSE OF IORDS.—JULY 4.…

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