17 FEBRUARY 1866, Page 2

Mr. Childers on Monday introduced, in a speech of a

quarter of an hour, a Bill which may prove of more importance than the lengthy discussions on the cattle plague. It permits the Com- missioners of the Public Works Loan to lend money at 4 per cent. for the construction of dwellings for the poor. The Act will apply only to populous places, and the loan is not to ex(eed half the value of the buildings, but still it will enable vestries, town councils, and even individuals, to obtain money for the reconstruc- tion of dwellings for the poor at a very low rate. We should have preferred a larger measure, giving power to take sites as railways take them, and with a wider margin for loans, but in this country a policy on any question seems impossible, and we must be thank- ful for what we can .get. Only if Mr. Gladstone really intends to begin the campaign against pauperism on which his reputation will ultimately depend, he must make his arrows just a trifle sharper.