11 SEPTEMBER 1909, Page 14


[To THE Roma CIF %nor "ISPEcreaTop.."/ Si-la—The eyes of all Englishmen scattered over the world must be turned anxiously to your political crisis. In your hearts are party ambition and strife ; ours are full only of the Mother-country. I am carried back to the straggle for the Reform Bill which my boyhood witnessed, and to the enthusi- astic celebration in the Forbnry of Reading of the passing of a measure taken to be the final triumph of political good over political evil. In that case, as in the present, it was proposed to quell the opposition of the Lords by a swamping creation of Peers,—a violent measure surely, and one likely to form a precedent for violence. The speeches reported to us, notably those of Mr. Lloyd George, seem to betoken a war of classes, than which nothing can be more perilous. The Socialistic aspect of the Budget is apparently that which in many quarters commends it as much as its financial policy. Party government seems to have broken down. No longer is there a clear division of parties. On the Government side you have four or five sections—Liberal, Radical, Labour, Socialist, Home-rule—mancsuvring, each for its special object, and playing on the balance of nartv. Lord

no really and steadily leading man appears. In the Commons there seems to be a weakness of knees, with a tenderness to evasion, which perhaps betoken.;

the subterranean influence of local combinations. - What will the end be P Will it be-a single House, with universal and female suffrage, to rule the whole Empire, including .India P The hereditary Upper House surely must go. It belongs to the feudal age; with the needs as well as the sentiments of which it was in keeping.: Remote saved us from Home-rule ; but that was a very special case, in which it had the other House really on its side. To preserve the balance of the State it would- have to be replaced by a, standing House of legislative revision and control, fitted to the requirements of modern times. It is to be hoped that in some powerful and fruitful brain this vital need of the country and the Empire is being kept steadily in view.—I am, Sir, &c.,