3 FEBRUARY 1866, Page 1

The latest rumour about Reform is that the Bill will

be confined to a reduction of the qualification from 50/. in the counties to 101., and from 10/. of rental in the boroughs to 6/. of rating. The- Star, in an article obviously intended to be very important, declares that the Cabinet is still discussing the comparative advantages of rating and rental, and observes that while a rental franchise of 6/. will add 200,000 to the constituency, a rating one will only add 75,000 and be entirely delusive. So will both be. An addition of one-fourteenth to the register will have simply no meaning at all, and an addition of a fifth will have just this meaning—that the dregs of the middle class will be represented, and the body of the working men will not. If the Bill is really of this kind, we trust some one independent member will move that the country desires to see the question settled, and that the Ministerial Bill unsettles it, and ought therefore to be withdrawn. We cannot,. however, believe that Mr. Gladstone, with such an immense career before him, will break it by consenting to appeal to the country on such a contemptible issue. It ishe opportunity of his life which he is losing in rejecting the only plan which, while enfran- chising the workmen, will settle the question for thirty years.