Mr. R. Dudley Baxter publishes a letter fiercely attacking the
groupings of boroughs proposed by Mr. Gladstone. His objec- Mr. R. Dudley Baxter publishes a letter fiercely attacking the groupings of boroughs proposed by Mr. Gladstone. His objec- tions are that in many eases the distances between the grouped boroughs are excessive, and in many others the boroughs have no homogeneity. Harwich, for instance, is linked with Malden,
a town thirty-seven miles off by railway, Evesham and Tewkesbury with Cirencester, forty-one miles away. Dartmouth, a watering- place and seaport, is coupled with Totneea and Ashburton, agrieul- tural places; Lymington, a seaport, with Andover, an agricultural town, and forty miles away. Many of these objections are valid, but the Government had only a choice of evils. They must either disfranchise these boroughs altogether, in which case the Tories would defeat them, or group them under all disadvantages. Distance will at all events make bribery difficult, and want of con- nection compel electors to choose men known outside the locali- ties in which they live. We have rather too much localism pre- vailing in our elections.