20 MAY 1905, Page 3

We are glad to record that Mr. Balfour in the

House of Commons on Thursday gave a firm reply to Mr. Keir Hardie when the latter tried to force the Government to promise to hurry on the passing of the Unemployed Bill by announcing that contingents of unemployed in Leicester, Glasgow, Newcastle, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, and Birmingham contemplated marching on London. "It is only force which carries any measure through this House," said Mr. Keir Hardie. "It is not force," replied the Prime Minister, " which carries any measure through this House." Any such demonstrations of force as were suggested would be " inimical, and not favourable, to the prospects of the Bill." That was the only possible attitude for the Prime Minister to assume in face of threats, and we congratulate the Government upon showing no weakness in this case. What are we to say, however, of Mr. Chamberlain's incitements to the working classes in regard to the question of the unemployed ? His language implies that the lack of employment is specially severe—which, in fact, it is not—and that it is due to the refusal of the Free-traders to change the Fiscal policy of the nation. There is apparently nothing which Mr. Chamberlain would not cast on the dying fire of Protection in order to obtain a temporary blaze.