The Joint Committee of Lords and Commons has rejected the
first great plan of amalgamation, that of the London and North- Western and Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Companies. No reasons are given, but it is believed the Committee are opposed to the ultimate result of all these plans, which must be absorption by the State. We rather regret the failure of the
Bill, as the first great amalgamations would have been in the North, and the consequent rage of the manufacturers, tormented to death by high prices, preferences, and slow speeds for their goods, would. have gre ttly simplified the inevitable end. There is nos hurry, however. We shall one day have a Parliament which will deal with these oligarchies in a different spirit, will pay them their contract price plus 10 per cent. for forced sale, and leave them to grumble as they like. Great oligarchies are in no. danger here till they are in the way of statesmen, but the first great need for taxation or loan will settle their fate very quickly. Mr. Gladstone could " stump " private enterprise in railways out• of existence in a month.