31 AUGUST 1878, Page 2

We learmby telegraph from Melbourne that Mr. Berry's-Bill for the

reform of the Victorian Upper House has passed, or is passing, the-Legislative Assembly by unexpectedly large majori- ties. Its rejection by the Upper House is, nevertheless, we sup- pose, a predictable certainty, so that Sir Michael Hicks-Beach will have to legislate against dead-locks next Session. Mr. Berry's proposal, as we understand, is that a- measure which has passed the Assembly by an absolute majority in two sessions in different years shall ipso facto become law, unless the Council claim an appeal to the people,—in which case the electors shall be invited to vote " Yea " or " No " on the Bill, which shall abide the result. There will be a great objection in-Parliament to sanction anything in the nature of a plebiscite, but it must be remembered that the system of taking a direct vote of the con- stituency is in certain cases, under the Local Government Act of Victoria, commonly resorted to. The other likely alternative, that of abolishing the present Council, and-substituting one nomi- nated.-for life in its stead, should hardly be more acceptable to the members of that body. Whoever else might be nominated, the gentlemen who have so indiscreetly abused its powers certainly would not.