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£4,400,000 and have charge of the elementary education of more than three million children, are as free from it as were the benches of county magistrates, which, prior to 1888, administered all county business and were wholly responsible for the local government of the counties. This lack of popular control over the spending of public money, as has been explained, was one of the principal grounds of the opposition of the Liberals to the act. Another ground was that the act was a premium to those communities which, with a view to economy, to obviating the establishment of school boards and avoiding the attendant school board rate—had left elementary education in the hands of the voluntary agencies. The communities which established school boards under the Act of 1870 have been paying local school board rates since the boards came into existence. They will continue of course to pay these local rates, and the rate-payers in these places, as Imperial taxpayers, will also have to pay their quota to the £750,000 or £800,000 additional taxation necessary to meet the grant of five shillings per scholar to the voluntary schools.

The injustice of such an arrangement in respect to poorer districts in which school boards are maintained, was so obvious that with the act for the relief of the voluntary schools, there was passed an act affording relief from the Treasury to these school boards. This relief will go to school boards in areas where a rate of three-pence in the pound on the poor law valuation of houses and land produces less than seven shillings and sixpence per child of the number of children in average attendance. From figures issued by the Education Department after the act was passed, it was shown that 794 school boards will receive extra grants under the act, and that the new measure will involve an additional demand of about £143,000 on the Imperial Treasury. A number of large working class urban communities such as West Ham, Leeds, and Leicester will receive relief from the act; but the greater part of the total sum will go to the relief of the school boards in the more thinly settled agricultural counties of England and Wales. The school boards of London, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham get no relief under its provisions.

IV. LONDON WATER COMPANIES. The only important measure affecting the local economy of London passed in the session of 1897 was the act to amend the law respecting the Metropolitan Water Companies. London and Bristol are to-day the only large cities in England in which the water supplies are not in the hands of the municipalities. London is supplied with water by eight dividend-earning companies. In the summer of 1896, there was a water famine in East London owing to the inability of the East London Water Company to meet its statutory obligations. It was this breakdown on the part of the East London Water Company which led to the amending act of 1897. The act gives water consumers a new remedy against the metropolitan water companies, and brings these companies under the cognizance of the court which deals with traders' grievances against the railway and canal companies. Under the act, when a water company has failed to perform any statutory duty, or there is reason to complain as to the quality or quantity of the water consumed for domestic use, any water consumer, or any local governing authority, may complain to the Railway and Canal Commission, and the Commission may hear and determine the complaint, and if satisfied that the complaint is well founded, may order the Company within reasonable time to remove the ground of complaint. The Commission is further empowered to enforce such order in like manner as any other order of the Commission, and may award damages to the complainant. Power is given in the act to local authorities to aid any water consumer in obtaining the determination of any question which appears to be of interest to water consumers within the district of such local authority in regard to the rights, duties and liabilites of any of the Metropolitan Companies, in reference to the quantity or quality of water supplied or the charges made by them. This is an important addition to the powers of the London local governing bodies, and should act as a deterrent to the Water Companies in the arbitrary assessment of water rates which has for so long characterized their actions.


Among the bills and resolutions that failed to pass were the Eight Hours Day for Miners Bill and the Alien Immigration resolution. Both were private member's measures. The Miner's Bill was introduced by Mr. W. Allen, and was defeated on second reading by a majority of 41: for the bill 186, against 227. The last time the bill was defeated at this stage was in 1892, when, as in 1897, a Conservative Ministry was in office. In 1893 and 1894, the second reading stage was carried. In 1896, it was also carried, but further progress was prevented by the adoption of an amendment introducing the principle of local option. Party lines are always broken in the divisions on this bill. It was so in 1897, when about fifty Unionists voted for the bill; while Mr. John Morley and about thirty Liberals voted in the majority against the bill. The Alien Immigration Resolution was introduced by Mr. Lowles. It was withdrawn without a division; but in the discussion on the resolution, Mr. Ritchie, the President of the Board of Trade, announced that the Government had not forgotten their pledges on this subject, and that they "hoped at no distant date to be able to propose legislation of the character desired."

Mr. Samuel Woods, of the Miners' Federation, was returned to the House of Commons in the session of 1897. He was of the 1892-95 Parliament; but failed of re-election at the general appeal to the constituencies in 1895. At a by-election at Walthamstow, he captured a Conservative seat, and on his return to the House was cordially received by members on the Government as well as Liberal benches. During the session Mr. F. Maddison, of the official staff of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants and editor of the Society's weekly newspaper, succeeded to the seat at Brightside, Sheffield, rendered vacant by the death of Mr. J. A. Mundella. Mr. Maddison is the first representative of the railway labour interest to obtain a seat in the House of Commons. Hitherto the only direct trades union representatives in the House have been those of the miners. The Miners' Union, since the second Reform Act of 1867, have at no time been without several representatives in Parliament.

The seat at Walthamstow was the only one lost to the Government during the session of 1897, and at the end of the session political parties in the House stood thus:

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The Conciliation Act of 1896, as was anticipated, made it possible to bring disputes between employers and employed before Parliament. The most important labour debate of the session, outside those arising out of the Workmen's Compensation Act, took place on January 19th, when nearly the whole of the sitting of the House of Commons was taken up with a debate on the dispute between Lord Penrhyn and his quarrymen, and the action of the Board of Trade under the Conciliation Act. On February 17th, there was a shorter discussion on the application of the Arbitration Act to a dispute which had arisen between the Linotype Company and their workpeople at the Company's factory at Manchester.

A Royal Commission to enquire into the working of Irish land legislation was created during the session of 1897, and has already begun to take evidence in Dublin. There was also appointed a committee charged with the codification of the labour laws. The Royal Commission on Agricultural Depression in Great Britain, appointed in 1893, made its final report on August 4th, 1897; and during the year, the Royal Commissions on the licensing of the liquor trade, on local taxation in England, and on the procedure at Parliamentary election petition trials were all at work.

EDWARD PORRITT. Farmington, Conn.




I is not the intention of the writer to endeavor to prove that

war is a blessing to mankind, but simply to show that it is by no means an unmixed evil, and that from it have come many inventions which, first applied to military engines and serving warlike ends, have been turned with great success to industrial processes.

When savage man appeared upon the scene he found himself surrounded by enemies many of whom were far more powerful than himself and provided by nature with adequate means of offence and defence. Against these he was well nigh powerless. . He could not bite, scratch, kick or hook, and was unable by his size to either effectually conceal himself or flee from his pursuers. Thus driven to the wall, he was forced to exercise his ingenuity, and from the animate and inanimate world about him to draw allies to help him in the struggle. A chance stone found by the way serves to aid the fist by giving a blow of greater impact, and when this is pointed it in part serves the purpose of a claw. A branch picked up in the forest serves as a walking stick, helps to dig roots, and at the same time in a fight lengthens the arm by just so much. This stick was in all probability the first weapon of man, for he looked upon it more as a personal possession since it was not thrown away like the stone. When the stone was fastened to the end of the stick we find a much more efficient weapon

and one which is used in many places in the world to-day. Later developments of this are the battle axe and mace, the policeman's club and the scepter of authority. Necessity demanded that the first efforts of man should be directed to the formation of those implements and weapons which should preserve his life from the attacks of beasts of prey and his no less ferocious fellow beings. Bourdeau says upon this point:

“Taken together, the creation of utensils is posterior to that of arms, for they respond to less pressing needs. Before all

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