10 NOVEMBER 1883, Page 1


THE Government have given out, semi-officially, that the County Franchise Bill will be the first measure of the next Session, and that it will probably be accompanied, rather than followed, by a Redistribution Bill—both applying to Ireland, as well as Great Britain—so that the Conservatives and the House of Lords will not be able to plead that the whole plan of the Government is laid before the country in an inadequate form. This is very satisfactory. It is almost necessary to separate the two measures, not only for the great advantages of method which their separation secures, but in order to give the House of Lords the opportunity of bowing gracefully to the will of the country, as declared at the general election, on the one point distinctly submitted to the country. But it is most important not only that the Conservatives and the House of Lords should be informed of the general lines of the Redistribution measure, but that the Liberals should be satisfied that it is to be a really large measure which may settle the question for a generation or two. It is stated by one journal, which professes to know, that the three-cornered constituencies will be done away with. We are not surprised to hear it, for the minority seat—which has a -sort of stamp of inferiority on it, and which, in case of a vacancy, is always filled up by a majority Member—has not worked well. But it is most important that the same principle,—the principle -of adequately representing every aspect of political conviction which is sufficiently wide-spread to be entitled to representation, —should be worked out so far as it can be in some other way; and we earnestly hope that the adherents of true democracy will insist that it shall be so.