October 27th, 1911.
ON TUESDAY Parliament reassembled for an Autumn Session under new and unexampled conditions. The Government of this country is now administered by a Single Chamber, for the old House of Lords has been suppressed by its own act and deed, and the Second Chamber that is one day to take its place remains in abeyance until Mr Redmond has dismembered the United Kingdom, and the Welsh Dissenters have made havoc of the Church of the Principality. Then, perhaps, Mr Asquith will proceed to elaborate the scheme adumbrated in the preamble to the Parliament Act, and provide us with a brand-new Second Chamber. But meanwhile the Ministry is in the position of being able to subvert any of the institutions of the country which are not to its liking. The time of this Autumn Session is to be placed at the disposal of Mr Lloyd George, whose ambition it is to give a Christmas-box, regardless of cost, to a particular section of the community. Next year it is to be the turn of other Ministers to bestow like favours on those whom they desire to propitiate. For reasons best known to the Cabinet, a rearrangement of portfolios has been effected. For some time past there had been rumours of a change, but in regard to details the prophets were wrong. Mr Churchill does not go to Ireland, vice Mr Birrell adorned with a coronet. On the contrary, he changes places with Mr McKenna, and takes charge of the Navy. . . Mr Churchill’s appointment is the one we like least. His known opposition to naval expenditure suggests the fear that he may try to cut down the Estimates at the very moment when Germany is increasing hers. Our feeling towards Mr Churchill is that of the epigrammatist towards Dr Fell.