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Asquith has in store an Education Bill, the same as, or perhaps worse than, the last, which our liberal-minded Primate, after the most strenuous efforts to bring it into harmony with the commonest principles of justice to the Established Church, was compelled reluctantly to repudiate. The resurrection of the Licensing Bill will strike a heavy blow at one kind of property, and the promised Reform Bill at another. The abolition of Plural voting is a practical assertion that property is entitled to no proportionate voice in the election of a Parliament, to which such vast interests representing property in every shape and form have hitherto been entrusted with perfect confidence, but which would then lie at the mercy of a House dominated by Socialism, and with no appeal from its decrees. Plural voting must "go," as Mr Asquith would say, before the Socialists can have quite their own way in the House of Commons.

The Premier wisely abstained from saying anything about the Church of England. He perhaps thinks he has got enough on his hands as it is; and something, too, must be left for another day. But it is perfectly well known that disestablishment will not stop at the Welsh border. English Nonconformists will have their pound of flesh. If they help to return the present Government to power, they will not be satisfied with Walpole's answer to the Dissenters after

1734. The Church of England may be indulged as the Cyclops indulged Ulysses, when he promised to devour him last.

With the establishment of Quinquennial Parliaments, Mr Asquith may naturally conclude that his work is done, and that he may seek in the bosom of his family for that repose and peace which Mr W. Churchill and Mr Lloyd-George have so long denied him. But in taking leave of the Albert Hall, we should call more particular attention to the restoration of Home Rule to a prominent place in the Liberal advertisement. Home Rule is now again alive and kicking at the door. It is where it was in 1886, when Mr Gladstone was obliged to let it in. Where Mr Gladstone failed it is hardly likely that Mr Asquith will succeed. We may, however, just remind the agricultural labourer that, as Home Rule will certainly make Ireland poorer, the Irish peasantry will flock over to England in increasing numbers, and lower the demand for native labour in every village in the kingdom.

On the subject of the House of Lords, Mr Balfour endorsed all that we have said in the earlier part of this article, and on many previous occasions also. The Budget is the culminating point of a conspiracy against the Upper House which has been maturing during the whole course of the late Parliament, and perhaps longer: and it is something more than this,

-it is at the same time a conspiracy against popular rights.

Its promoters desire to make the House of Commons independent, not only of the Lords, but of the people.

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labouring man only who suffers by the slackening of business. The weakening of all those guarantees on which men are accustomed to rely, who by dint of perseverance and selfdenial hope to build up large private fortunes, is sapping the energies and lowering the character of the English middle classes, the backbone of our population and the cradle of our wealth.

Mr Balfour sees in Social Reform the crying problem of the age, reform which shall deal with poverty and labour, and the causes which aggravate the one and depress the other. The Poor Law must be reconstructed, and some better methods than State-organised schemes must be found for the To take only the narrowest relief of the unemployed. As view of Tariff Reform, it is he very truly says-and the clear that it must at all events remark cannot be too widely benefit the labouring man. If circulated-Government may foreigners ceased to undersell add to the labour - supply us, home production would by making it more available. increase. Home production They may increase the number means the encouragement of of workmen seeking for em- home industries, the extension ployers, but they will not in- of home employment, and a crease the number of employers growing demand for labour. seeking for workmen. This is This, as far as the working the real problem, and it can only man is concerned, is the case be solved by encouraging en- in a nutshell, and he has a terprise, and diffusing a feeling concrete example in Germany, of security among all who have where pedantry has been recapital to invest. And how is placed by prosperity.1 No conthis feeling to be created? The ceivable rise in prices could Government policy, says Mr counterbalance what he would Balfour, is producing exactly gain by the revival of trade and the reverse, destroying con- agriculture. It is most desirfidence and credit; leading all able that this truth should be who have money in hand to brought home to him, both in prefer foreign securities, and town and country, by every diverting the capital which, means which Tariff Reformers under different conditions, have at their command. It would provide for our own should be put before him in as unemployed, into German and simple a form as possible. He American pockets. This is should no doubt be instructed a statement which is capable as to the agencies through of demonstration, and has been which Tariff Reform would demonstrated repeatedly. Nor operate, Colonial preference, is this all. It is not the commercial treaties, and 80

1 See article, "The Development of Germany," in present number of 'Maga.' VOL. CLXXXVII.—NO. MCXXXI.


forth, but his eyes should be steadily directed to the great end to be attained. Let him once thoroughly grasp and realise this, and we ought to be sure of his support.

We have no doubt that the agricultural labourer would, as a rule, respond gratefully to any proposal that would convert him into a small landowner. Mr Balfour, in speaking of the policy to be pursued by the next Unionist Government on the land question, attaches great value to ownership in comparison with tenancy. The comparative merits of the two systems is too wide a question to enter upon here. There is much to be said for both. But the Government preference for tenancy has nothing to do with its agricultural value. The choice is purely political. The extension of ownership in land would be a shock to the Socialist conscience, and a fatal bar to the metamorphosis which that particular kind of property is designed to undergo. The object is to have only one landlord in Great Britain, namely, the State, and all landowners, great or small, to be its tenants. To plant a number of small freeholders all over the country would effectually defeat this charming ideal, and delay perhaps indefinitely the coming of that "new earth" which Mr Lloyd - George assumes to be at hand-a world in which there will be no dukes, and in which

"faiths and empires gleam Like wrecks of a dissolving dream;"

and therefore we cordially approve of Mr Balfour's policy, especially as it would be carried out not only with due regard to the rights of property, but with the concurrent object of strengthening the territorial interest, in recognition of the immense benefits conferred upon the country, as Mr Gladstone once explained, by a resident landed aristocracy.

Lord Curzon in his speech at Oldham on the 15th of last month quoted the dictum of M. Renan, that "all civilisation has been the work of aristocraoies." Those who start at the assertion should read the book, 'La Réforme intellectuelle et morale.' What was true of France is certainly no less true, as Lord Curzon shows, of Great Britain.

In the eye of the Socialist these benefits are curses. If they are told of the breaking up of great establishments by the load of taxation, and the discharge of the numerous labourers engaged in them, they have a ready answer. The Duke would have to dismiss so many work - people, would he? How should we provide for them, say you? Why, by seizing the Duke's estate, to be sure, and dividing it among them. This is the goal towards which the Socialists are working. Lord Lansdowne, Mr Balfour, and Lord Curzon all see it as clearly as Lord Rosebery did. The hour has arrived, we understand, when England must change her nature: throw off her tra

ditions and her character like a worn-out garment, forget her great and glorious past, and sit at the feet of the Socialists to learn a new lesson and begin a new history. Our political Constitution is a cumbrous machine only fit for firewood, our social arrangements are degrading superstitions, our family life and our domestic sanctities must all be abandoned, if we would emancipate ourselves from the tyrannies of property and morality and emerge into the happy freedom reserved for the Socialist elect.

There are two classes to be appealed to against the powerful conspiracy described by Mr Balfour-the educated classes who know what Socialism is, and the danger with which society is threatened by its ultimate success; and the less instructed classes, who very naturally are bound to think more of their immediate material interests. We draw no hard-and-fast line between the two. We are very well aware that among our peasantry and artisans are to be found the same sympathies, and the same appreciation of our social order, as animate those above them. But it is only natural that with those whose life is a daily struggle to secure the means of subsistence, such considerations should take a second place in their political calculation.

Should the Conservative and Unionist party be returned to power, the working man is promised three things which

there can be no doubt that Mr Balfour will lose no time in accomplishing. These areTariff Reform, of the results of which we have already spoken. It means higher wages and more employment, out of all proportion to any rise in prices which could possibly ensue. Secondly, there will be a change in the poor law, which will rob it of much of its harshness, and provide relief for the aged and deserving poor on more generous and sympathetic terms than have hitherto prevailed. Thirdly, a Conservative Government will enable every agricultural labourer as he goes forth to his work in the morning to feel that it only rests with himself to become a small farmer and live on his own land.

But both employers and employed have many interests in common which are alike threatened by these apostles of the new faith. Both alike are interested in the security of that capital out of which the workman's wages are paid. Both alike are interested in the question of religious teaching: all Church people, both rich and poor, desiring that their children shall be placed in no worse position than the children of Nonconformists, and that they shall be educated in the religion of their parents by teachers who sincerely believe in it. Both alike must most earnestly desire that the country should be placed beyond all risk of invasion, and that our national defences should be in the hands

possibility. Let him beware that he is not some day awakened to a dreadful sense of their reality.

of men who recognise the responsibility which rests upon the rulers of the British islands. Towns and villages, farms and factories burned to the ground The Government present or reduced to a heap of ruins; themselves to the people armbanks and shops plundered of in-arm with Socialism, boasttheir contents, and sheep, cattle, ing of the mischief they have and horses swept into the in- already done, and even now vaders' net-are spectacles so preparing for more. We have remote from the experience of Mr Balfour's warning- and the British workman that he Lord Rosebery's. What will can scarcely believe in their the country say to it?

Printed by William Blackwood and Sons.

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