13 SEPTEMBER 1890, Page 2

The Mayor and the officers in command of the military

force are loudly accused of weakness ; and undoubtedly they forgot the maxim that if soldiers are called out at all, order should be at once restored, even at a sacri- fice of life. The responsibility rests entirely with those who render firing necessary. In the present state of opinion, however, we do not wonder at the hesitation to act strongly, though we believe it often causes more bloodshed, and scarcely understand why there is no intermediate means of protecting an English town. What prevents the Munici- pality from hiring a thousand stout men in the port at half-a- guinea a day, swearing them in as special constables, and maintaining order in the streets by physical force P What with the weakness of the Magistrates, the reluctance of the citizens to turn out, and the absence of police reserves, the officials of an English town seem to have no alternative between abandoning it to the roughs or shooting the latter down. That is not a fitting state of affairs, especially at a moment when labour is in a state of ferment, and all who work are incited by leaders whose ultimate object is not to secure high wages for them, but to try a Socialist experiment.