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above figures I set off the decrease resulting from abolition of the freehold franchise with the increase from the lodger franchise. At present every freeholder of the value of 40*.; every copyholder or leaseholder, either for the life of one person or for a period of years not less than sixty, of the annual value of £o, is entitled to vote in counties. There are some boroughs which have freemen voters, and there are eleven boroughs which are counties corporate, in which non-resident freeholders exercise the borough franchise. Mr. Brand, one of the fairest and most acute critics of measures affecting property in land, proposes that when the owner is liable for half the rates, he should when non-resident be entitled to vote. Not only would this defeat uniformity by conferring plurality of votes, but Mr. Brand's scheme would give no fair representation of property; the absentee owner of ten perches and the owner of 10,000 acres in the same district would obtain identity of voting power. The most equitable reform is to make the residential franchise the only and the universal suffrage.
Equality of franchise is not a proposal unknown to the Conservative party. In 1859, Mr. Disraeli proposed equalization of the county occupiers' qualification with that of occupiers in boroughs. Mr. Walpole and Mr. Henley then resigned their places in Lord Derby's Cabinet, because, as the former said, "the reduction of the county franchise to a level with that which exists in boroughs is utterly contrary to every principle which the Conservatives as a party have always maintained." The Conservative party will now probably advance to equality of franchise; it is upon the question of uniformity that division will arise. Efforts will be made to retain the property qualification, and even in the Liberal ranks a certain amount of what Mr. Disraeli termed "education" will be needed. Mr. Disraeli proposed to cut out the owners of property in boroughs from the county register, alleging that we ought to take out of the counties all those who do not follow agriculture. Mr. Disraeli sought to diminish the urban element in county constituencies. It is useful to note his tactics, because they will form the lines of coming conflict. He had three ideas in combination applicable to the prospect we have in view. The first was one of assent to the principle o£ equality; the second was the separation of the property qualification in boroughs from that in counties. He would have provided that in all boroughs the property qualification should be exercised, as it is now in those eleven boroughs which are counties corporate. Thirdly, it was his policy to eliminate all congregated populations from the county constituencies. The fight will be upon these lines. It will be urged that the owner has an irrefragable claim to a separate vote, especially when the incidence of all rates is divided, as in Ireland and Scotland, and it will be proposed that the property votes in boroughs shall be for the boroughs and no longer for the counties. The objection to this is simple. The purpose of the franchise is the representation of the people; there is no more equitable mode of representing property than by a uniform residential franchise. The property franchise is the most inequitable representation of property that could be devised; for it gives to a rent-charger of 40s. upon a cottage in a town a vote equivalent to that of the owner, it may be, of the whole remainder of that Parliamentary district. The Liberal party, with those of any party who desire a settlement giving hope of equity and permanence, will have to contend for simple uniformity by the extension of the residential house and lodger franchise. This will disfranchise those who are qualified only as absentee proprietors, as freemen, and as graduates of six of the Universities. Those who champion the claim of the Universities against uniformity of franchise must answer the claim of the newer Universities and of those which are to come.
Mr. Gladstone is committed by his declaration in 1866 to the policy of dealing with the franchise in a separate measure, and the balance of argument appears largely in favour of that course. Some of his colleagues have held a different opinion. But Lord Derby, whose views on this matter of franchise in 1866 will be recalled, did no more than express a desire for some guarantee that the Parliament which granted the franchise should also deal with the redistribution of political power. The extension of the franchise into uniformity would be just and beneficial upon any distribution. Symmetry in legislation demands separate treatment of the two subjects. Party jealousy declares that they should be tied together. "Party," said Burke, "is a body of men united for promoting, by their joint endeavours, the national interest, upon some particular principle upon which they are all agreed/' That definition excludes the hope of working for the national interest in such matters with more than such unanimity. I trust Mr. Gladstone will introduce a Franchise Bill in 1884, acknowledging, as he did in 1866, that" it is convenient, advantageous, and desirable that the two questions should be dealt with by the same Parliament." No Minister can, however, insure that, except by a simultaneous treatment of the two subjects in one Bill, and a measure so composed must needs receive less thorough treatment. The prospect is that if Mr. Gladstone introduced a Franchise Bill in 1884, it would be met by a demand, as in 1866, for "the whole scheme of the Government." The Ministerial majority against that proposition would be seriously reduced, if some twenty of their own supporters and the Irish members voted against the Government. The consequent fortune of such a measure in the House of Lords it is not difficult to forecast. Longer experience and larger responsibility than mine would in that case have to determine whether, before the Franchise Bill left the House of Commons, the Redistribution of Seats Bill should be presented; whether, if the Franchise Bill were rejected in the House of Lords, an immediate appeal should be made to the country; or thirdly, whether following upon that failure, the two subjects, in separate Bills, or in a single measure, should be introduced immediately upon the commencement of the Session of 1885. It is easy to talk of waste of time. But if the next Reform Bill were passed after being the chief matter of two Sessions, there would, indeed, be much reason for congratulation. It is my earnest hope that the Government will not appeal to the country until they have at least exhibited their scheme as a whole. If the people are to fight for Parliamentary Reform in 1885, I hope they will be in full possession of the programme of the Liberal party, and that it may be worthy of their courage and their confidence. Then I should have no fear of the result, or of the passing of the Bills, whether divided or united. Upon one point all parties are agreed—they want no peddling measures. I have found much concurrence, not in one party exclusively, upon the subject of uniformity of franchise. With regard to redistribution, I have both in North and South, found much support for proposals which I will briefly restate. My proposal is that no constituency should contain fewer than 50,000 population, and that constituencies above that number should not be subdivided, but should return members in something like the proportion of one for every 50,000 population.
The first act of redistribution must be to do justice to the counties. In England and Wales there are 299 borough seats, and 185 county seats. But the population of the counties, is nearly 14,000,000, while that of the enfranchised towns is under 12,500,000. The smaller boroughs are, however, for the most part purely agricultural, and really belong to the counties, from which it is a great social error to cut them off. There are 139 Parliamentary boroughs each containing fewer than 50,000 people. I suggest that these boroughs should be enlarged into county districts, which, in many cases, would bear their names, so that hereafter we should have a member for the Canterbury division of Kent, another for the Salisbury division of Wiltshire, another for the Guildford division of Surrey, and so on. In this way, the work of redistribution would not be very difficult, and provision might be made for readjustment of boundary, if any constituency was shown, upon the publication of a new Census, to have fallen considerably below 50,000. This plan promises the advantage of preserving variety in the constituencies, for some would include six or seven times the population of others. In place of the unmeaning division of counties by the points of the compass, historic continuity would be preserved by the names of rural towns; and I should hope this arrangement would get rid for ever of the question of suspending a writ, or of disfranchising a constituency. The punishment for bribery and corruption would then be individual not territorial, which would be a gain both in justice and purity.
ANCIENT INTERNATIONAL LAW.
IT has been remarked by some of the later writers on International Law that many of their predecessors have committed the grave mistake of asserting that the ancient world had no conception of a valid and binding International Law. This accusation is one to which English and American writers, as compared with Continental jurists, are particularly liable; but those who make the charge, being wholly concerned with modern international relations, do not find it within their scope to do more than adduce a few passages from the ancient historians and moralists, containing but the scantiest refutation of the theory to which they object.*
One or two illustrations will be sufficient. Chancellor Kent writes:—
"The Law of Nations, as understood by the European world and by us, is the offspring of modern times. The most refiued States among the ancients seem to have had no conception of the moral obligations of justice and humanity between nations, and there was no such thing in existence as the science of International Law. They regarded strangers and enemies as nearly synonymous, and considered foreign persons and property as lawful prize. Their laws of war and peace were barbarous and deplorable. So little were mankind accustomed to regard the rights of persons or property, or to perceive the value and beauty of public order, that in the most enlightened ages of the Grecian republics piracy was regarded as an honourable employment. There were powerful Grecian States that avowed the practice of piracy; and the fleets of Athens, the best disciplined and most respectable naval force in all antiquity, were exceedingly addicted to piratical excursions. It was the received opinion that Greeks, even as between their own cities and States, were bound to no duties, nor to any moral law, without compact; and that prisoners taken in war had no rights, and might lawfully be put to death, or sold into perpetual slavery, with their wives and children.
* The publication of Mr. John Hosack's work on the "Rise and Growth of the law of Nations," which contains a very interesting chapter on Ancient International L»wi has rendered the above statement less accurate than it was at the time at which the article was written.
Even the French publicists, belonging to a nation justly distinguished for its cultivation of this branch of knowledge, have not escaped this error. M. Laurent, in his "Histoire du droit des Gens," states his view thus :—
"Les Grecs ne se croyaient lita ni par le droit ni par l'humanit6; ils ne se connaissaient d'obligations reciproques que lorsqu'un trnitd les avait stipuleea. La notion de devoirs decoulant de la nature de 1'homme reconnue par les philosophes n'entra pas dans le domaine des relations internationales."
It is only fair to add that the writers of this class generally modify to some extent the severity of their criticisms, by noticing the existence of some usages which tended in the direction of justice and humanity, and that they credit the Romans with some efforts in the cultivation of the Law of Nations as a science; but they severely condemn the latter people, too, for " their cunning interpretation of treaties, their continual violation of justice, and their cruel rules of war."
The causes of this error are not far to seek. The modern development of International Law may be said to date from the end of the sixteenth or beginning of the seventeenth century, its foundations having been laid in the works of Suarez, Albericus Gentilis, and Grotius. It was an easy, but an illogical, inference that no such system had ever existed before; and the error was perpetuated by a too careless facility in adopting the opinions of men whose authority as jurists was universally recognized.
Those who have any definite idea of the successes achieved by the ancient civilizations may well be surprised at the severity of the criticisms quoted above. The various arts and sciences, which belong to and form part of the civilization of a nation, keep fairly even pace with one another in their gradual development. Foremost amongst these in point of time and importance, as being absolutely necessary to the continuous existence of an independent political community, is the science of Law. Thus at Athens in particular, and to a greater or less extent in other Greek States, concurrently with a successful cultivation of the arts, a sound system of municipal law and a satisfactory administration of justice were established. The several States which formed the Hellenic family were bound together by closer ties than can well be imagined possible under any modern system. They acknowledged a common ancestry and spoke a common language: the constant recurrence of religious and other festivals, in which solemnities in honour of the gods were combined with international athletic competitions, formed also a strong bond of union; while the smallness of the territory belonging to each State, and the consequent proximity of .their capitals, tended, by promoting mutual intercourse, to draw closer the relations already recognized.
Under such circumstances, it would indeed be marvellous, if,