The Agricultural Rating Bill is getting through. The Radicals, elated
by the withdrawal of the Education Bill, are opposing it by every device possible, but still it does advance. On Tuesday an effort was made to stop the Bill altogether, on the ground that the Standing Order which refers all financial Bills to a Committee of the whole House had not been complied with, and after this had been ruled out, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer had promised to amend the practice as soon as possible, a shower of amend- ments began to fall. We need not detail them, for they were all defeated by majorities exceeding a hundred, and only one was of real moment. There was an excuse for excepting land in the Metropolitan district from the relief to be given by the Bill, but it was impracticable to make the distinction, and the amendment, though strongly supported by Sir William Harcourt, was defeated by 105 (236 to 131). A good deal of the fighting over the Bill is intended merely to waste time, as the Radical leaders do not intend to defeat it. They have hopes at the next election of carrying the counties, and do not desire to create permanent resentment among county electors.