20 MARCH 1880, Page 3

The Corrupt Practices Bill has passed the Commons, after a

de- sperate resistance from the few Liberals left in town, and the hire -of cabs by candidates in boroughs has been legalised for England. Sir Stafford Northcote gave up the clause as far as regards Scot- land and Ireland, where a few votes can make no difference, but adhered stoutly to the clause for England, where contests will be ,desperate. A grosser attempt to secure an advantage to wealth was never made. The Corrupt Practices Act did not expire till 1881, and need not have been touched ; the Bill was announced :as one to provide against breaches of the law, yet after the Dissolution has been announced, with the House reduced to a residuum, the Ministry add a clause, which enables an unscru- pulous candidate to buy all the cabmen and cabovrners of his borough, and in spite of the clearest exposures of their object, force it through. That object may, nevertheless, fail. The weight of the cabmen is only great in large cities, and in them there are voters who will remember, with disgust, that the last act of the Tory Ministry was to try to disqualify any but the very rich from being elected.