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opportunities aright; never has she been more powerful, never more needed. If, however, she is to perform her great work, she must with her constitutional elasticity adapt herself to the changing aspects of the times. Abuses in respect of patronage and endowment need reform. This may be effected, not by disestablishment or injuring private rights, but by rearranging the overgrown endowments of individual churches or parishes, and spreading their benefits.
As an illustration of my meaning, I may cite the case of a church in this neighbourhood, which has two ministers of co-ordinate jurisdiction dividing between them an income approaching £8,000 per annum. The endowment is in land, worth originally possibly £300 per annum. The growth of the district in population, and the demand for land, has thus increased its value; but instead of the increment benefiting the parish at large, now containing some 50,000 inhabitants, it is confined to the clergy of its smallest ecclesiastical division. In fact, it has become instead of a Church Fund, practically a layman's property, as ,€28,000 has to be paid to extinguish one of the offices at the next vacancy. I am not in favour of a dull uniformity, or levelling down, but I do think that when, as in the case of this parish, circumstances have so changed, the wishes of the founder of the endowment, and the justice of the case, would be better met by dividing the overgrown iucome of the one church, so as to form endowments for other churches much wanted in the locality, assigning the patronage, if needs be, to the one owner.
The temperance question has for long exercised the minds of the people in Liverpool. Sunday closing has for years past had large support. So long as it was opposed by a substantial minority I objected to its introduction, on the principle that it is unwise to allow a majority tyrannically to interfere with the everyday habits of the minority. The question is one, however, solely affecting the working classes, and I feel bound to recognize their wishes. My inquiries have convinced me that the public mind in Liverpool has been so educated on the point that Sunday closing may be carried out with the warm approval of a large majority, and the tacit consent of the minority, our members all support it, and it is to the credit of the large public-house owners that they raise no objections to the proposal. No district legislation will, however, be acceptable. Any measure proposed should embrace the whole country, except possibly London. If public opinion is not ripe throughout the country for the measure, a further restriction of the present hours would be accepted as a boon. In other respects also the licensing laws require amendment. This is especially the case with the question of removals of licenses from old parts of a town, to other and newer districts, to make way for improvements. The friction is constant between the people of the district, the magistrates, and the licensees. To the indefinite Local Option proposals I am opposed, but I want to see some one system of granting new licenses adopted.
The Conservatives must maintain firmly the principle of combined secular and religious education, and the encouragement of voluntary as distinguished from Board schools. An effort should be made to' reintroduce the plan of the State meeting private benefactions by public grants, for the erection of public schools. A Board or State school savours more of a machine, and secures less personal interest in its scholars than is the case with denominational schools.
As regards Ireland, I strongly condemn the Liberal policy of alternately coaxing and coercing, bribing and bullying. By firmness alone can order be restored. The principle of the Arrears Act I believe to be vicious, and the Land Act demolished the sound economic principle of freedom of contract. It is worthy of note, as characteristic of Liberal legislation, that when the Land Act took away a portion of the landlords' property they were offered no compensation; but when under the Arrears Act it was desired to assist the tenants to secure rights, conferred by the Land Act, from their landlords, they were helped by grants of public money! No concession of local selfgovernment that savours of Home Rule should be accorded to Ireland which we are not prepared to grant in England, Wales, and Scotland. As a principle, we should strive to place the two islands under one system of Government, without invidious distinction, and to this end it is a question whether the Lord-Lieutenancy is a necessity. Some urge that Ireland is not ripe for such concessions, but I doubt if, under any system, she could be worse represented in Parliament than she is at present. I believe the labourers will soon see that they have been deluded, and used as a cat's-paw by their employers, the tenantfarmers. Emigration should be encouraged from the unproductive and over-peopled districts to places offering a better chance for the sustenance and enjoyment of a civilized life.
The great preventive of a healthy political life in recent years has been the one-man worship of both political parties. It is dangerous in the highest degree, and I hope the Conservative party will recur to the sound maxim of " measures not men."
Ab Conservatives we should, as a party, set our face against such an interference with our land laws as will prejudice proper freedom of . contract, but we should encourage such legal reforms as will make the sale of land as simple and inexpensive as other property. The laws of political economy will adjust most other difficulties in this direction. Lord Cairns' Land Acts are examples of real Conservative progress.
Our Colonists justly regard the Conservative party as their best friends; they feel that the modern Radical theory of non-aggression is being pushed to a perilous extreme. They have emigrated to far-off lands there to live as Englishmen, not to found separate nationalities. If England had not possessed a spirit of enterprise in the past, misnamed to-day, for political purposes, "aggression," where would have been our power or our commerce? English Colonists are also the best customers of the mother country. Compare France and Australia for example: the one imports of British manufactures the equivalent of 10s. per head of her population, whilst Australians require goods from our looms and factories to the value of £6 10*. per head.
Such generally are the opinions that, as a Conservative, I hold and defend, and such in the main were the political sentiments that I submitted to the electors of Liverpool in the recent contest. The Standard, with its curious Conservatism—an undetermined and incalculable quantity—amongst other courteous observations, charges me with having an " unprincipled programme." It is not my ambition to represent the Conservatism of the Standard. I am, however, quite willing to stand at the bar of public opinion, and to be judged by that great Constitutional party which it has been my privilege to serve earnestly for many years past, and in whose ranks I shall continue to use my best energies, confident that that party ere long will take its proper place in the Councils of the Empire as the party of national security and rational progress.
Arthur B. Forwood.
ACCORDING to the Annual Local Taxation Returns presented to the House of Commons, August 9, 1882, the balance-sheet of the County Treasurers of England and Wales, exclusive of the metropolis, for the year ending Lady-day, 1881, may be thus stated:—
The cost and management of the gaols had been transferred to the Prison Commissioners before the date of this return by the Act of 1877. The Loans outstanding at Lady-day, 1881, are given as £2,995,311. The average of the county rate, on an assessment of £119,056,839, is 2%d. The average of the police rate, on an assessment of £75,755,858, is 1§d. This sum of £3,002,060 is somewhat
VOL. XLIII. Y
less than half the amount expended in England and Wales, exclusive of the metropolis, for the same period for relief to the poor and purposes connected therewith,—the exact amount heing £0,220,164. The above statement will show at a glance the nature of the work which the magistrates in Quarter Sessions assembled in England and Wales have had to perform beyond their duties connected with the administration of criminal law and their appellate jurisdiction, and the expense at which it has been carried out. These several duties have been at various times imposed upon the Quarter Sessions by statute, and it is admitted upon all hands that the magistrates have, as a rule, paid the greatest attention to the duties thus laid upon them; and in those counties where the accounts have always been audited and regularly published, and where financial matters have been thoroughly sifted by a carefully selected finance committee, as has very often been the case, it is hardly possible to hope that any more economical arrangement can be effected. The whole question was thoroughly examined by a Committee of the House of Commons in 1868, over which Col. Wilson-Patten, now Lord Winmarleigh, presided. It is evident, not only from the report of, but also from the evidence given before, that Committee, that the dissatisfaction that existed did not arise from want of confidence in, or distrust of, the magistrates and Courts of Quarter Sessions, but from the fact that the levying and expending of funds received for county purposes was the only instance in the fiscal system of England and Wales of the taxpayer having no control through his elected representatives of the moneys raised and expended for public requirements, and that no good system existed by law for a proper audit of the county expenditure. Such were practically the suggestions of Mr. Wyldc, in consequence of whose Bill the Committee was appointed, but it is only due to the magistrates to place upon record the terms of the report finally, and on this point unanimously, agreed upon by the Committee.
1. That the administration of the financial business of counties has been hitherto conducted by the magistrates with a general regard to economy.
2. That nevertheless a desire prevails ou the part of county ratepayers in favour of placing the county finance more directly under their own control by means of County Financial Boards.
3. That this desire appears to arise from considerations of public policy, and in some instances from a want of sufficiently detailed information as to county expenditure, rather than from dissatisfaction with the magistracy.
It will be seen from the above balance-sheet that in many, at all events, of the heads of expenditure-—as, for example, in the case of criminal prosecutions, &c.—there is little or no discretion left with the local authority. Or, if we take another case, in which some