22 SEPTEMBER 1866, Page 3

The Potteries had their Reform demonstration last week at -Stoke-upon-Trent,

when from 25,000 to 30,000 persons are said .to have been present at the open-air meeting. In the evening a Reform meeting was held in the- Music Hall, when about 1,400 persons were present, and where the speaker of the evening seems to have been Mr. George Melly, of Liverpool. He urged very justly that some Reform was needed, not only because there were so many of the respectable working classes who claim power, but also because there are so many-of the miserable and disreputable pauper class who, if they had it now, would abuse it, and who are never likely to decrease in numbers under the present apathetic middle-class regime. The sober and educated working men who wanted.tameet in Hyde Park on. the Monday of the riot week were scarcely, a more impressive demonstration in favour of a redistribu- tion of power, said Mr. Melly, than the scamps and scum who thronged thither on the Tuesday, and whose existence the present House of Commons se seldom recognizes and strives so languidly to improve. That seems to us very true. It is the class next above, and with the most opportunities of encountering and

suffering from the shortcomings of any other, that is most in earnest to reclaim it. The middle class are too far removed from the roughs to think about them. Mr. Melly only asked for "a fair share of power " for the working class in his eloquent speech, but he might, we think, have been at a little more pains to show what "a fair share " means, and that it does not mean that every individual in a class five times as numerous shall have as much voting power as any individual in the smaller class above.