On Tuesday, on the order for the second reading' of
the Registration Bill, Sir Edward Clarke moved a resolution de- clining to proceed with the Bill " in the absence of proposals for the redress of the large inequalities existing in the distribution of electoral power." We have dealt with the general question elsewhere, but may note here that he showed how very great would be the expense caused by the system of revision twice a• year proposed by the Bill. Already Registration costs the
(local authorities £300,000 a year, and the Members £500,000 a year. In future the cost could not be less than £600,000 a sear to the localities and £750,000 to the Members. How, be asked, were working-men Members going to find £400 or £500 a year for Registration work. Mr. Shaw Lefevre, who replied on behalf of the Government, relied upon two arguments to meet the Unionist demand that the over-representation of Ireland should be reduced. First, the Act of Union for- 'bids this being done; and, next, the Unionists would not -benefit by redistribution. He would be prepared, " when the proper time came," to consider redistribution, and he was sure that the result would not be unfavourable to the Liberal Tarty. Under these circumstances it is very self-denying of Mr. Shaw Lefevre and his colleagues not to concede the demand -of the Opposition. It is just, and it would tell in favour of the Gladstonian party, and yet it is to be sternly put aside.