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between the Australian Governments and Her Majesty's Imperial Government, while the functions of Governor should be limited as much as possible to the class of functions which are discharged by the Sovereign in the present working of the Constitution, and to those State ceremonies which are as necessary, and have their high uses as much in Australia as in England. In treaties with foreign nations why should not Australia, so far as Australian interests may be affected, be at least consulted through her Representative Council ? And why should not Englishmen in Australia be on an equal footing with Englishmen within the United Kingdom as recipients of marks of the Royal favour. It is not a question of the value of honours. If we were starting afresh, with a clear field before us, it might be fairly open to doubt whether it would be wise to originate any system of honours. But the question now is, “Why should Her Majesty's subjects in Australia be treated differently from Her Majesty's subjects at home?' and this has to be considered in view of welding together harmoniously and durably all parts of the Empire. If it be replied, as I think I have heard it stated, that there really is no difference shown in this respect at present, my reply is based on a very notable fact. In South Australia, in Victoria, in New South Wales, as in other colonies, we have men of high character and large fortune who have rendered important services to their Sovereign and country, and who deservedly enjoy the respect of their fellow citizens. In what single instance has any one of these men been thought of for the honours of the Peerage, while men, unquestionably inferior to them within the United Kingdom, not unfrequently receive that high consideration from the Crown?

I throw out these suggestions without reserve or hesitation, not as forming any matured plan, but as pointing to the direction in which well-considered changes must take place, if the 'integrity of the Empire, which is so often and so lightly on men's lips, is to be preserved. And I claim to have done some little to foster a British spirit and to keep together the elements of British progress in Australia. Whatever may be thought at the present moment, the question raised will very soon present itself with an irresistible demand for solution.

One word on the subject of Australian loyalty. A few days ago I heard a gentleman publicly declare that the Australian colonies were more loyal than England herself. This may be so. I venture on no comparison of the kind. In regard to the large mass of the English people in Australia there can be no doubt of their genuine loyalty to the parent State, and their affectionate admiration for the present illustrious occupant of the Throne; and there need be no fear of their loyalty being tried hy injustice and wrong on the part of the Imperial Government. But this loyalty is nourished at a great distance, and

by tens of thousands daily increasing, who have never known any land but the one dear land where they dwell. It is the growth of a semi-tropical soil, alike tender and luxuriant, and a slight thing may bruise, even snap asunder, its young tendrils. The sentiment of Australian loyalty may be fairly likened to the passion of human love. It will bear the strain of a common trial, and be the stronger for the sacrifice; it may kindle into resentment at occasional coldness and disdain, and yet live on; but it will wither and die under continued slight and neglect.

HENRY PARKES.

!

HOMES OF THE POOR.

SINCE the article in this Review in August of last year, the hopes then held out of immediate legislation for the purpose of carrying into effect the unanimous recommendations of the Committee of the House of Commons which sat in 1881 and 1882 have been fully realised. I believe that every member of that Committee was determined that if possible such should be the case, and the Bill framed on their Report and brought in by Mr. Shaw Lefevre on the part of the Government, was at once passed into law.

Whatever else may have been the effect of Lord Salisbury's article in the November number of the National Review on 'Labourers' and Artisans' Dwellings, it has at all events effectually aroused public attention to the subject, which is undoubtedly a matter of the highest importance. We may hope from the flood of literature and from the number of speeches which have suddenly come before us, and which still continue to come before us, that public attention will be kept alive until the evils have all been dealt with ; but it is strange to find, from these writings and speeches, that many have either forgotten or have been ignorant of much that has already taken place in legislation and administration, and that some even appear to look upon this as a new question brought forward now for the first time. Much has indeed already been accomplished by legislation and through administration; if it had not been so the case would at the present time have been almost hopeless. The practical question of the day is, however, still one of vast importance. Has the object been accomplished ? If not--and no one can possibly assert that such is the case-is it legislation or administration which is at fault? Is existing legislation, if properly administered, still deficient to meet all existing evils, or does the fault lie at the door of the local authorities, in weak, or careless, or partial, or parsimonious administration of the law ? or is there still room for amendment in both legislation and administration ? Before answering these questions, we must set clearly before us what it is we mean to do, what is the exact problem which we have to solve ? No one can dispute Lord Salisbury's premisses. His description of existing evils is, indeed, if anything, below the mark. Having myself personally visited most of these courts and alleys in all parts of London, in many cases more than once, the magnitude of the evil is very painfully and very deeply impressed upon my mind. At the same time I can fully appreciate the force of Lord Grey's remark that caution is necessary in any attempt to abate the evil. Healthy homes are undoubtedly a necessary of life, just as much as food, or fire, or clothing. On the one hand, the State has clearly the same right to prohibit the use of unsanitary houses as to prohibit the sale or use of unwholesome meat or drink; on the other hand, the same cautious rules must apply in dealing with the poorer classes as to providing any such necessaries of life out of State or local aid whether the matter in hand be food and clothing or be sanitary dwellings. And the reason for Lord Grey's warning will become more apparent when we come to consider later on the statement of the London Trades' Council presented to the Committee on the subject of the Artisans' and Labourers' Dwellings Act 1875. There are some things also which it is absolutely necessary to take into consideration before forming any opinion as to what is to be done. First and foremost is the fact that we have to do with people as well as with houses; secondly, that the classes of people that we have to deal with in one part of London are totally different in character and in habits from those with whom we have to deal in another part, and as with the people so with the houses, it is impossible to apply one general rule to all cases. The circumstances which have led to the present unhappy state of things in one part of London are wholly different from those which have produced results equally evil though different in kind in other parts; in some cases the present evil has been (the growth of centuries-houses, perhaps 150 or 200 years old, crowded together in the narrowest courts or alleys, without light, without air, built it may be in healthy enough places originally, and with plenty of light and air all round, but now closed in on all sides by other buildings, and become gradually utterly unwholesome. some cases, again, the present evil has arisen mainly from the want of

proper sanitary laws when the houses were first built; in others from pure carelessness, or wilful neglect, or ignorance.

The questions, then, which we have to solve may be thus shortly stated :

First : How are we to prevent the further growth of the evil, and to insure that in future none but sanitary houses are built ?

Secondly: How are we to insure that such houses, when properly built in the first instance, are maintained in a sanitary condition ?

Thirdly: How are we to deal with past evils causing present mischief—to get rid of old slums, and old unsanitary houses elsewhere?

Fourthly: How are we at the same time to take care that other evils, such as overcrowding, do not arise through want of proper and timely provision of wholesome dwellings, and how are we to secure

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this provision for people of the lowest class, as well as for those earning good wages, and at the same time to avoid the evils of pauperising and so demoralising them ?

As to the first question :-It is at all events one comfort that we may feel assured that, so far as original construction of houses is concerned within the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Board of Works, the evil is one which cannot grow; the large powers possessed by the Board in the Metropolitan Building Acts and the careful way in which those powers are exercised may make us comparatively easy as to the present and the future. There are, however, even here certain points as to which amendment and extension are in the opinion of some of the medical officers of health necessary; and outside their jurisdiction, in the suburbs of London, fresh powers are undoubtedly required—the evil there is growing apace. The House of Commons Committee were unanimously of opinion that the principle of the sanitary provisions of those Acts should be at once extended to the local authority in the suburbs, a matter as to which there should be no delay, for the growth of houses outside the jurisdiction of the Board is rapidly increasing year by year, month by month, day by day. This therefore is clearly a point for fresh and immediate legislation.

As to the second question :- What is to be done with houses after they are once built under proper sanitary regulations, is another matter. The principle is clear that as an owner is not allowed to build unsanitary houses, and is held responsible for their being properly built, so also Parliament has a right to call upon him, if be wishes to let houses as human habitations, to see that they are maintained in a fit state for habitation ; I only speak of course of the necessary conditions for health. The Nuisance Removal Acts in the metropolis, and the Public Health Acts rest upon this principle. Any premises in such a state as to be injurious to health are a nuisance; such is the law. If a house be thereby rendered, in the judgment of the justices, unfit for human habitation, the justices may prohibit the using thereof for that purpose, until satisfied that it is rendered fit

Mr. Torrens's Act of 1868 proceeded upon the same principle. Under this Act, on the report of the officer of health that an inhabited building is in a condition dangerous to health, so as to be unfit for human habitation, the local authority, after ascertaining from their surveyor that the causes of the evil can be remedied by structural alterations, or that the premises ought to be demolished, has power to order the owner to remove them, and in default to remove them themselves at the owner's cost, or they may order the owner to execute the necessary structural alterations, and in default may either shut them up or pull them down, or themselves execute the necessary alterations at the owner's expense. This provision, as it stood in the Act of 1868, pretty nearly carries out Mr. Chamberlain's present third proposal, that the local authorities should have power to close

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