The new Foreign Enlistment Act, which passed its second treading
in the Commons on Monday, greatly improves the old Act, but we doubt whether it is even yet stringent enough. It -enables the Government to prohibit the building as well as the =escape of Alabamas, but it compels the Admiralty to release them on receipt of a bond that they are not to be employed for any illegal work. In the case of any rich Power wanting ships, would -that amount to anything more than an increase in the price? Again, -the Government is not invested with power to seize contraband of war, but, as at present, only warns dealers by proclamation that if caught it may be confiscated,— an absurdity when it has only to be carried across the Channel. Why should we dread our own 'Government in such a matter, or refuse to give to Her Majesty in 'Council power to stop anything Her Ministers deem advisable? Parliament could censure them for any misuse of such a power, or 'compel them to make compensation. No law can meet all cases, and to permit a cargo, say of torpedoes, to be carried to one 'belligerent while the other cannot stop it, is not fair neutrality. We shall have trouble enough with this war, without raising all these questions for the benefit of Birmingham.