17 FEBRUARY 1866, Page 2

Mr. Cardwell on Thursday had just time to introduce, without

a speech, his new Constitution for Jamaica. It is unfair to dis- cuss it before he has been heard, but it seems at first sight a half- hearted measure, much too like the one proposed by Mr. Eyre. What Jamaica needs is a dictatorship, but Mr. Cardwell, unable to devise any new scheme, and unwilling to face the opposition which the creation of a really effective power might elicit, has simply copied the Constitution of Trinidad. In that island the executive is independent, but laws are made by a Council selected by the Crown from among officials and planters. Such a council in Jamaica is sure to be penetrated with the distinctive feelings of the planters, and the official element, including, as it is certain to do, an independent judge, cannot secure a permanent majority. Even this arrangement is only to endure for three years, too short a period for reforms such as compulsory education and a change of tenure to have any effect, even if men infected with the island influences have the nerve to commence them. Jamaica wants a man to rule it, not a constitution of any kind, at all events for the present. As it is to have a council, we can only trust that the members will be reappointed annually.