After the Finance Bill had been formally read a first
time in the Lords on Monday, Lord Denman moved the second reading of the London Elections Bill. Lord Derby, who moved the rejection of the Bill, admitted the hardship of successive occupation, but maintained that it could be remedied by a one-clause Bill applicable all over the country, which the Lords would be only too willing to pass. The real object of the Bill, however, was to disfranchise the plural voter in London, and as the House had already rejected a Bill for abolishing plural voting for the whole country, he hoped they would reject this attempt to do the same for the restricted area of London. Lord Crewe, who wound up the debate, met the charge of piecemeal legislation by retorting that the whole policy of this country was piecemeal. If the Government had really intended to secure an electoral advantage, the Bill was a very poor attempt to attain that end. Lord Derby's Motion having been carried by 157 votes to 40, the Bill was thrown out. As long as no attempt is made to establish the principle of " One vote one value" the House of Lords is quite right to refuse to endorse that of " One man one vote," whether introduced directly or indirectly, completely or partially. The attempt to reform our electoral system where reform would give a party advantage to the Liberals, but to leave it unreformed where reform would be to their dis- advantage, is a piece of pure partisanship which should be stoutly resisted.