The Local Authorities (Enabling) Bill This Bill, which received its
second reading on Friday, February 14th, has been attacked in many quarters as presenting us with Socialism by the back door since it permits an extension of the scope of municipal trading. We fail to see the force of this criticism. It is obvious, and the Government admit, that further safeguards will be required to protect the ratepayers from loss, but, granted that this is achieved in the Committee Stage, there is little to be feared. The remedy lies still, where it has lain hitherto, in the hands of the electors. In fact, the Bill does little more than simplify the procedure which is required before a municipality can enter upon enterprises regarded by all parties as legitimate. The present procedure is both cumbersome and expensive, and retards the legitimate business of Parliament.
* * * *