18 AUGUST 1967, Page 7

A hundred years ago

From the 'Spectator.' 17 August 1867—The Reform Bill became law on the 15th inst. Lord Derby on Monday advised the Peers to accept the Commons' amendments without further dis- cussion, as being of no great moment either way, and after a few words from Lord Salisbury and Lord Stanhope, the House acceded, and passed the Bill, which on Thursday received the Royal assent in the usual form. From this week. therefore, the Householders become the ultimate power within the Empire. They cannot exercise their new authority till after 1st January. 1869, but any member who between now and then fails to conciliate the new constituency will in the spring of that year find himself driven from his seat. Next session, therefore, is pretty certain to be marked by bids for popularity, which will make it at least as dangerous as any session of the Reformed Parliament could be, and far more useless.