The Leeds Conference on the House of Lords question came
off on Wednesday, when Mr. Labonchere moved an amendment on Dr. Spence Watson's resolution for abolishing the veto of the House of Lords on House of Commons' Bills, intended to exact from the Government a pledge to bring in a Bill before this Parliament is dissolved, to abolish the veto of the House of Lords on the Bills passed by the Commons, and to give them full legal effect so soon as the Commons send them up again with or without the adoption of any of the amendments which the Lords may have carried. This was a very mild advance on the original resolution, which did not venture to tie the hands of the Ministry in any way as to the best mode of carrying out the resolution ; but for all that it was not carried, and Mr. Labouchere and Sir Wilfrid Lawson, who seconded him, had to go away murmuring at the reluctance of the Conference to go beyond the cues of the wirepuller& It was a very well-disciplined, rather than a very enthusiastic, Conference. Of course a great many strong things were said, as when the President, Dr. Spence Watson, said that the gods of the Lords were "privilege, prejudice, and property," and Sir Wilfrid Lawson quoted a schoolboy who had " misremembered " his text, and quoted Scripture for the statement, "And he said my House shall be called a den of thieves, but ye have made it a House of Lords." But no one reminded the assembly that they represented a decided minority of the people of Great Britain, and the barest possible majority even of the people of the United Kingdom as it was in 1892, not to prejudge the question of what it may be now.