2 DECEMBER 1911, Page 17

We deal elsewhere with the rest of the debate and

with the agitation against the Bill, but we may say here that we hold that the best way in which the House of Lords can deal with the intolerable situation created by the Government is to add a Referendum clause to the Bill and leave acceptance or rejec- tion of the Bill to the electors themselves. Whether they will take our advice we do not know, but in any case we are delighted to find so powerful an ally as the Times. In its leader of Thursday the Times specifically endorsed the Spectator proposal. In some quarters it has been suggested as an alternative that the House of Lords should reject the Bill absolutely. Although those who argue thus seem to have forgotten that the House of Lords has no longer the power of rejecting Bills but solely of delaying their coming into operation, let us say at once that if we cannot have a Referendum clause we are in favour of delaying action. If the Lords refuse to pass the Bill in the present Session all they will be doing, as all they have a right to do, is to insist that the final and irrevocable step in enactment shall not be taken till the country has had more time to consider the Bill. If the House of Commons will not discuss the Bill at any rate the country can.