12 AUGUST 1905, Page 2

On Monday in the House of Lords, Lord James of

Hereford called attention to a point which vitally concerns the working of our legislative machinery. The House of Lords during the Session had initiated and passed sixteen Bills, useful and un- controversial measures, on which so far the House of Commons had not taken a single step beyond putting them on the notice-paper. He also complained that Bills passed by the House of Commons were not sent to the House of Lords till the fag-end of the Session, when it was impossible to examine them properly. The result was that the legislative functions of the House of Lords were becoming a nullity. Lord Spencer and Lord Lansdowne agreed with Lord James's protest, but no solution was suggested. It is part of the inevitable congestion of our legislative machinery, the find remedy for which can only be some form of devolution. At the same time, we do not see why the two Houses should not come to some understanding on the first grievance. Surely a day might be appointed for the consideration in the Commons of non-political measures originated in the Lords, with the understanding that time was not to be wasted in re-examining points which had already been adequately considered. The growing impotence of the Upper House will as certainly bring our Parliamentary system into discredit as any restrictions on the liberty of the Commons.