On Thursday the Government agreed to appoint a Select Committee
to inquire into the distress of the unemployed, and the power possessed by local authorities to relieve it, and thereby have satisfied Mr. Keir Hardie, and for the time secured the adherence of the Independent Labour party. But we cannot say that they have strengthened their position by appointing one more of these Committees to fish for political suggestions which cannot possibly produce any good result, and will most likely end in making the Independent Labour party still more hostile. If State workshops are to be set up, all England will suffer; and if they are not to be set up, the Independent Labour party cannot be satisfied, and will probably be more disposed to throw over the Government than ever. The division on Mr. Jeffreys's motion expressing dissatisfaction with the Government for giving no attention to the subject cannot be taken before we go to press, but it is certain that Sir William Harcourt's concession will prevent any formidable combination of the various groups in the House against Ministers. The Select Committee will delay any such combination, as a child cast to the wolves delays the fate of the Russian mother who is pursued by them.