Lord Avebury denied the allegation that proportional representation was making
no advance, and Lord Balfour, we are glad to see, gave the weight of his authority to the pro- posal. Lord Carrington objected to the Bill, but, on behalf of the Government, agreed to the second reading, of ter which it will go before a Select Committee. Lord Ripon, who also spoke, said that it was a remarkable thing that so far as the experiments had gone they had not succeeded, and that, he thought, should make them cautious when looking into a proposal of this kind. He hoped that the Committee would remember that the plan, if voted, was to be carried out, not by themselves, but by the returning officers and the unhappy voters. Returning officers were a very honourable and admirable set of persons, but he did not want them to have more power in the allotment of votes than was necessary. The dislike of Liberal Peers and M.P.'s to any plan for increasing the efficiency of the popular voice in our representative system by such methods as the Referendum and proportional representation, or even an equitable distribution of seats; is not a little remarkable.