13 NOVEMBER 1909, Page 2

There was a heated discussion in the French Chamber on

Monday, when the supporters of electoral reform showed themselves to be in a large majority. In two divisions the principles of proportional representation and of the scrutin de lists were affirmed. M. Briand, however, announced that as there was scarcely time to vote the Estimates for next year and the Old-Age Pensions Bill, he could not consent to the debate on the Bill for electoral reform being continued. If the Chamber persisted, the Government would resign. This startling declaration induced the Chamber to reverse the sense of the two divisions. We hope that M. Briand took this course only for convenience, and not through dislike of the principles of the Bill. But however that may be, it is plain, after these divisions, that the old system of scrutin d'arrondissement will not hold the field very long.