29 JUNE 1867, Page 2

The new Libel Bill has passed through Committee in the

Com- mons, and will, we suppose, become law without further resistance. It will, we venture to say, be denounced within five years as the most dangerous relaxation ever made in our laws. As soon as it passes any newspaper can report with impunity any statement a blackguard may choose to make at a public meeting, whether about men or women, with impunity. The only redress will be by action against the libeller, perhaps unknown, perhaps a man of straw, perhaps a man whom no one, if his gpeech were not reported, would think it worth while either to sue or to confute. The House appears to forget altogether that a spoken slander is forgotten almost as soon as uttered, but a reported slander lives in type, may be repeated years after the character of the speaker is forgotten. Hot-tempered, rough men say every day things which, if not printed, do no harm, but if printed may produce endless mischief and annoyance.