Mr. Gladstone's speech, though by no means one of his
greatest displays, was wonderfully cogent. He showed clearly that the " barriers " introdiitakby Mr. Disraeli's scheme were utterly un- trustworthy. They would be swept away in a session after the. passing of the Bill. It was impossible to make of the existence or non-existence of the Small Tenements' Act 11. moral distinction between pariah and parish,—borough and borough. In half the boroughs of the country that Act is operative in one parish and not in another, and many a small parish which has it not, will outvote a big parish which has. In Bristol, for instance, there are 78,000 persons in the compounding half, and there will be 5,493 voters under the Bill, while in the non-compounding half there are only 76,000 persons, yet there will be 10,431 voters. Again, the Bill is to be a "settlement," but by leaving the franchise de- pendent on Vestry action, it will introduce and perpetuate Reform debates in every vestry in the kingdom. The Act allowing com- pounding was a great social reform, but under the Bill it is made- an instrument for inflicting on compound householders an unde- served indignity. They cannot be Parliamentary electors, because as municipal electors they have had the sense to support a cheap way of collecting rates.