18 DECEMBER 1909, Page 1

Mr. Balfour's election address was published in last Saturday's papers,

The claim of the Government simply amounted to this : "that the House of Commons, no matter how or when elected, is to be the uncontrolled master of the fortunes of every class in the community, and that to the community itself no appeal, even on the extremest cases, is to be allowed to lie,"—a claim for which there is no analogy whatever in the Constitution of the United States. The attack on the House of Lords was only the culmination of a long-drawn conspiracy, the Govern- ment having come into office not to work but to destroy the Constitution by establishing what is in effect a single. Chamber Legislature. These single-Chamber conspirators wished the House of Commons to be independent not merely of the Peers but of the people. This claim might be tolerated if there was any security that the action of the elected embodied on all great and far-reaching issues the deliberate will of the electors. But no such security existed. Above all, the people had a right to be consulted when a Government used the need for money as an excuse for adopting the first instalment of a Socialist Budget, for treating property not according to its amount but according to its origin, and for a vindictive attack on political opponents. That right could never have been exercised if the Peers had not used on behalf of the people the powers entrusted to them by the Constitution.