16 MARCH 1872, Page 3

The regular fight on Thursday over the Ballot Bill was

chiefly confined to payment of expenses, Mr. M'Cullagh Torrens offering the extremely pleasant suggestion that the Returning Officers, ex- penses should be paid out of the Consolidated Fund. Why did he not move that hustings should be of ebony inlaid with ivory, for they certainly in ten years' time would be as costly? The object is to keep down election expenses, not to enable every Returning Officer in England to dip his hand into the Treasury, sure that his member will fight for him, and that Government will not like to resist. There were actually 54 advocates for that mad piece of extravagance, but of course it was defeated by 362, and, to judge by the tone of the House, the expenses of elections will yet be put upon the rates. Till the final vote is passed, however, we distrust the rich, who plead in the most adroit manner for the poor ratepayers and their own monopoly at one and the same time. They are not afraid of the workmen, who would have to be supported even if they were elected, but of the men with brains.