24 APRIL 1880, Page 1

Sir George Bowyer is much shocked at Lord Beaconsfield's Cabinet

for assuming that a new Parliament is certain to express want of confidence in it, without actually testing it by a vote.

He thinks Mr. Disraeli in 1868, Mr. Gladstone in 1874, and Lord Beaconsfield in 1880 have done wrong in venturing to anticipate the advice of Parliament. This, he says, is making a pl4biscite of the General Election, instead of a mere preliminary to deliberation. Perhaps it is, but English- men have contracted a useful habit of saving time, when it can be done without substantial loss, even at the risk of being sup- posed to substitute a French institution for an English one. There is no sorcery in the word " pl6biscite." What is objection- able in the thing is, that it requires the people to decide directly, complicated political issues which need thrashing-out in debate before they can be decided well. To discount a moral certainty, and save, for more useful purposes, by so doing some weeks for genuine Parliamentary discussion, is not to deprive Parliament of its natural privileges, but really to be jealous of them, and to maintain them.