26 SEPTEMBER 1863, Page 3

Social Science is only an inaccurate term for the whole

body of opinion on public questions which need thorough discussion by real students, but which are either not suitable or not ripe for Parliamentary discussion. A volunteer Parliament of such a class—often having far more real command of the whole facts than Parliament could possibly have—is an important agency in the country, so long as it is kept to practical issues. We are happy to see that the approaching discussions at Edin- burgh are likely to be of this kind. In the sanitary department there will be papers on the sanitary statistics of colonial and native schools and hospitals, and on the army in India, by Miss Nightingale ; on disease in cattle, by Professor Gamgee ; and Mr. R. R. Torrens, the Registrar-General of South Australia, is to read papers on the Australian system of land transfer by registration of title, which is his own invention, and also on the colonial relations between Great Britain and her colonies, which, in the present state of the transportation question, with Canada declining to arm herself, and New Zealand drawing heavy reinforcements for the re-establishment of order there, is sure to create a warm and useful discussion. There is no sign of the Social Science Association wandering into vague or sentimental ethics.