11 MAY 1901, Page 2

The Bill is not a heroic one, but it is

capable of being used to create a sound and efficient machinery which can be set to work up to its full capacity—which is certainly not pro- vided by the Bill—by subsequent legislation. We trust, however, that, if it is not already hidden away somewhere in the Bill, power will be given when a county borough possesses, as in so many cases, a single School Board, that such School Board and Borough Council may if they choose amalgamate, or rather that the Board and its functions be voluntarily merged in the Council. There should be no compulsion, but the power to amalgamate should be secured. We hold the multiplication of elected bodies to be a great evil. We are entirely in favour of a democratic system of local as of Imperial government, but we .want to concentrate, not to diffuse, the electoral virtue of the democracy. Our ideal is one elected body for all Imperial affairs and one elected body for all local affairs. All further differentiation and distribution of powers should be by way of• delegation instead of election. A man can choose one man to represent and rule him as regards Imperial affairs, and one also to do the same as regards local affairs ; but after that the voting capacity of the average man is exhausted, and he will not take the trouble to exercise his choice wisely, or even at all. That this is no mere theorising is shown by the fact that as elections multiply so do abstentions.