11 DECEMBER 1909, Page 3

The Times of Monday printed an admirable letter on "The

Lords and the Country" from Lord MoAeagle. Admitting that he had voted on Constitutional grounds against Lord Lansdowne's amendment while strongly disapproving of the Budget, Lord Monteagle rightly maintains that the situation is now entirely changed. It is no longer a question of the Budget, or of the authority of the Lords in finance. The efficiency, if not the very existence, of a Second Chamber, hereditary or other, is at stake. "No longer as peers, but as citizens, we resume complete freedom of action. The question of a Second Chamber is immeasurably greater than either Home Rule or tariff reform, and I at all events as a Unionist, albeit a free-trader, cannot hesitate for a moment as to my course at this crisis. I shall oppose the Government by any constitutional means in my power." We cordially applaud Lord Monteagle's decision. On the other hand, in view of the diversity of opinion shown by members of the Unionist Free- Trade Club, the decision reached at Tuesday's meeting—that the Club could not take united action, and members must vote according to their individual convictions—was the only one possible in the circumstances.