10 APRIL 1920, Page 2

The New York State Legislature last week decided by large

majorities to expel the five Socialist Members returned at the last elections. The expulsion of these Socialists when the Session opened has caused a lively controversy in America. Many moderate men, while diaclaiming any sympathy with Socialism, have pointed out that the Legislature ought not to override the choice of the electors, who returned the Socialists in due legal form. The question has been raised more than once in the House of Commons, notably in the cases of Wilkes and of Bradlaugh, and it is now settled law that any one, not a felon or a bankrupt, who is duly elected, may take his seat. The New York Legislature will not, we think, be able to maintain a proscription of any political party as such, though it may of course make the open profession of Bolshevism a felony, and thus disqualify any extreme Socialist candidate for member- ship. The safer course is that which we follow in this country. Nothing is more educative for the fanatic than to be forced to associate with ordinary citizens in a Legislature, where he soon finds that the rhetoric of the street-corner is useless.