30 MARCH 1912, Page 2

The Minimum Wage Bill passed through its remaining stages in

the House of Commons on Tuesday night. The most important feature of the debate was the Prime Minister's statement early in the evening describing the failure of the last attempt of the Government to bring about a settlement of the dispute outside the House. He repeated his opinion that, although be considered the 5s. and 2s. rates reasonable, it was impossible to incorporate them in an Act of Parliament. Speaking with evidently deep feeling, Mr. Asquith made a last appeal to both parties to come to an agreemenirat this the fifty-ninth minute of the eleventh hour. Declaring, finally, that the Government had exhausted all their possible powers of persuasion, argument, and negotiation, he pressed the Bill upon the House as the best possible solution of the great emergency. Mr. Bonar Law added some sympathetic words, in which, while repeating his dissatisfaction with the Government's policy, he announced his intention of putting no obstacle in the way of the Bill.