30 OCTOBER 1841, Page 1

It is admitted, that without renouncing its political creed, a

" Conservative " Ministry might do sound service in the advance- ment of the country, by bringing the practice and administration of government to a level with the point attained of late years in theory. Whether the present Cabinet do or do not intend to per- form such a function, a few months will show ; but some papers of their party are skilfully helping them to a knowledge of their op- portunity. The Times assumes the lead in this vocation ; and it has this week taken up two crying evils, not partaking of a party-poli- tical character' which press for amendment. They are the consti- tution of the Army and the state of business in the Courts of Equity. The Times, with the aid of Colonel MITCHELL, has discovered that the system of disposing of military commissions by purchase results in preventing the growth of any scientific knowledge of the art of war among military men : as money is the means of obtaining each successive commission, money, not merit, is the means of pro- motion. Superior attainments are even a dangerous drawback in many cases, since they provoke the invidious dislike of superior officers less endowed in that respect. The consequence is, that, as a class, the officers of the British Army may be said-to be selected for their riches, with a premium set on ignorance. Here is a field for useful and popular reform ! The obstacle anticipated by the Times is in the commencement—the cost of first buying up all the old commissions; in which, as well as the system under which they were purchased, the holders have vested interests. "Where there is a will, there is a way "—let the Conservative Government but evince the will in this instance, and we engage that means shall be forthcoming to set the improved system afoot, without either in- creased charge to the public or injustice to individuals. The subject of the state of business in the Equity Courts, where justice is only to be obtained at the cost of long delays, if not of more than it is worth, is of deeper importance to a large class. The Times shows clearly enough, that the arrears are not charge- able against any one party or any particular Judge : that even Lord ELDON'S proverbial indecision was of no effect in causing the ar- rears, compared with the tendency to delay inherent in the Court of Chancery itself, is proved by the fact that the inquirer is sent rLATEST EDITION.] back to the reign of HENRY the Eighth for the beginning of the complaints which are repeated to this day. So long an endur- ance of the evil shows that it cannot lie merely with the inadequate staff of lawyers engaged in the business : it must be sought in some essential defect of the very system. But whatever it is, that Government which should remove it would earn the blessings of a large class, possessing no small share of influence in society.