The Birmingham School Board is divided into two parties, so ,
strongly opposed that the members of the minority have forgotten. all decent respect for the law, and that, too, on a matter which, by their own confession, the leaders do not regard as a matter of absolute wrong and right, but of temporary expediency. The School Board has issued a precept for a rate to produce £13,500, and the Town Council to whom the precept was issued, and which. has a majority of secularists on it, has replied by asking for a pledge that no part of the £13,500 should be applied to the payment of poor children's fees in denominational schools. The School Board, quite rightly, as we think, refused to give. a pledge not to apply a legal rate to a legal purpose distinctly contemplated in the very statute which gives power to impose the rate ; and the minority consequently threatened that they would " humiliate " the School Board, by keeping it waiting for- its rate till a mandamus could be obtained, which is not till April. And this open contempt for law, as compared with a party principle, is shown by men who avow that they were will- ing enough a year or two ago to make Denison's Act, which embodies precisely the same principle, compulsory. If this sort. of thing goes on, we shall have provincial Leagues before long- proclaiming the duty of violating the law, whenever they cannot gain their own objects in a year or two's agitation. At this: rate, Englishmen will soon cease to be law-abiding.