4 NOVEMBER 1905, Page 2

But Mr. Merriman puts his finger upon the difficulty in

the whole scheme, the impossibility of giving such a Council any executive powers, any real right of making its advice effective, without giving it a right of interference with the Mother-country as well as with the Colonies. For a mere bureau of intelligence no executive powers would be required; but an Imperial Council must needs aim higher than this. Even though the terms of its reference were limited to matters of general Imperial con- cern, such as defence and commercial treaties, it must, sooner or later, if it is to be more than a name, have the right to dictate to the Legislatures, English and Colonial, how such problems should be met. At present we do not believe that the time is ripe for any such body. There must be a greater levelling up of the various units of Empire before we can have any permanent central representative Council, even though we begin by calling its functions only consultative. ,