6 SEPTEMBER 1890, Page 1

According to a telegram in the Times, dated September 4th,

the American Senate has adopted the principle of fixing a time at which the vote on a Bill resisted by obstruction must be taken ; and the Tariff Bill, which is so resisted, will accordingly be voted on Monday. This is important. The House of Representatives has already adopted this peremp- tory " gag," but it was thought that the Senators would resist this " infringement of the ancient liberty of debate." They have, however, yielded to the expressed wish of the community, who are sick of protracted suspense, and in so doing have dealt a grave blow to the practice of obstruction. It is true that they have yielded only for the particular occasion, but they have set a precedent of which in future they will be unable to get rid.. Their example is the more striking because the Senators are elected by the Legislatures, and are exceedingly proud of their com- parative independence of momentary opinion. We trust the House of Commons will take the lesson to heart, and under- stand that the democracy which trusts them with such a dangerous amount of power, does not desire to see a small faction break its own weapon in its hands. The first resolve of every true democrat ought to be the dismissal of any Member, of either side, who has either promoted or connived at the practice of obstruction. He must be at heart an enemy of popular power.