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ratepayers. This, of course, includes most of the rest. If this is avoided, as I believe it will be, many minor difficulties will be solved. Two other points, however, may be mentioned in connection with County Government.
(1) Compensation for malicious injuries is now awarded by Presentment sessions subject to the approval of the Grand Jury, and to a cumbrous and expensive appeal to the judge at Assizes. The Bill of 1892 left it to the Grand Jury subject to such appeal. But as these cases frequently involve burning questions between landlord and tenant, neither a tribunal composed like the Grand Jury of landlords, nor an elective body like the County Council, representing the tenants and largely composed of the latter, could be regarded as impartial or satisfactory. Indeed, such business, if entrusted to the County Council, would be a sure means of importing those elements of class dissension into its proceedings which should be most sedulously excluded. The matter is purely judicial, and there seems no reason why the jurisdiction should not be given, as suggested by Mr. Bagwell a few years ago, to the ordinary Courts of Petty Sessions, Quarter Sessions, and Assizes.
(2) Capital expenditure was to be subject, under the Bill of 1892, to the approval of a joint committee, on the analogy of the Scotch Act of 1889, and appointed half by the Grand Jury and half by the County Council. It is understood that the general principle of the Irish Bill will be to reject all safeguards not adopted in England or Scotland, and in this point of view the Grand Jury would be objectionable as nominating half such joint committee. But if the system has worked well in Scotland, and if the larger ratepayers, whether landlords or tenants, were substituted for the Grand Jury, a valuable safeguard with no landlord taint about it might be afforded.
Two points only will be touched on in this connection.
(1) Mr. Balfour alluded to the unnecessary expenditure involved in the double collection' (of County Cess and Poor Rate) 'under the existing system. This is far from being a mere detail; in fact, at first sight the unification of collection might seem to involve a much larger change, which is obviously not to be attempted now-namely, the fusion of County and Poor Law administration. This latter process (to say nothing of other difficulties) would involve a formidable dislocation of existing areas of taxation, especially where Poor Law Unions extend into more than one county. But joint collection could probably be effected, when the incidence of both rates under the new arrangement was on the occupier, with but little disturbance beyond such a real
earrangement of boundaries within a county as would prevent
Poor Rate areas and County Cess areas from overlapping ; and the advantages of such a simplification would far outweigh the inconvenience in making the change, and would be a movement in the direction of a possible larger fusion hereafter.
(2) Whether the two rates are collected together or not, the mere fact of the incidence of the two being assimilated would remove one serious obstacle to another reform-namely, the concentration, in auxiliary Asylums under the control of the Lunacy authorities, of the harmless lunatics now scattered, often in the most miserable condition, through the various Workhouses. This transfer, which was recommended by the Lunacy Committee mentioned above, would now involve the transfer of the cost of such lunatics from the Poor Rate, of which half falls on the landlords, to the County Cess, the whole of which falls on the tenants. The Poor Relief (Ireland) Bill just withdrawn provided for such concentration in auxiliary Workhouses under the control of the Poor Law authorities, by the creation of Joint District Boards for the purpose; but if the Asylum Boards, now entirely nominated by the Lord-Lieutenant, were reinforced by representatives of the County Councils, as recommended by the Lunacy Committee of 1891 and as proposed in the Bill of 1892, and the incidence' difficulty were at an end, there would be no objection to the transfer to the Lunacy authorities, and no necessity to create the Joint District Poor Law Boards for this
A gradual transfer will probably take place, from the Poor Law to the County authority, of various sanitary and other functions which have been piled on the Boards of Guardians as the only representative bodies available, but for the discharge of which they are often quite unfitted. Setting these aside, future changes will be chiefly in Poor Law administration. The vast change in the circumstances of the country is reflected in considerable alterations in the character of the Workhouses and the nature of the relief, but the system has hardly undergone corresponding modifications. Outdoor relief has enormously increased, and the able-bodied have practically disappeared from most country Workhouses, which have become more and more hospitals for the sick poor rather than refuges for the destitute. But the rules and regulations of the Local Government Board remain in many important respects unchanged. Reformers will seek for improvement chiefly by means of better classification, including classification of the Workhouses themselves, as well as classification within each Workhouse. Concentration of Workhouse lunatics seems to be almost within our reach. Concentration of Workhouse children is being tried, and several alternatives for ' classifying' them are suggested. The classification of the sick and the infirm by concentration in separate establishments, and accompanied with improved nursing arrangements, is being practised largely in England. And such reforms will probably be promoted by the new system in Ireland. And behind these, again, stand the questions of amalgamation of Unions on a large scale and of possible fusion with the County system. And, though these last questions may seem rather remote and visionary, they are already discussed both on the platform and in the study; and it is quite possible the new system may bring them within the sphere of practical politics.
2 2nd Report, $ 12.
But, after all, these are largely matters of machinery, and in conclusion we must come back to the crucial question from which we started : Who are to work the machinery?' and it is on the healing influences of other kinds now working in Ireland that I mainly rely for a satisfactory answer : on the social reconstruction and industrial revival which are taking place there, and which I hope and believe the Government intend to foster by their industrial policy, as they are taking advantage of them in their scheme of Local Government Reform.
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Naval Policy in Peace and War, 383, 511
Bennett (Ernest N.), Sidelights on the
(in reply to Mr. Bowles), 503-504 Bent (J. Theodore), The Island of
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Biography, The Limits of, 428-436
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Bosanquet (Mrs. Bernard), Commercial
Botti (Dr.), his excavations at Alex-
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Declaration of Paris, 335-336
Long Reign, 343-351
Brontë (Charlotte) as a novelist, 774-
Buckman (S. S.), The Speech of
Buildings, Ancient, Deliberate Decep-
Burial Service, The, 38-55
the Carpathians, 236-249
the Barrack Schools, 56-68
CABOTS, The Home of the, 734 -
- Chantilly and the Duc d'Aumale,
Cambridge, University of, the woman | Democracy, Modern, British Mon-
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Diamond-fields, South African, annex-
ation of the, 373-376, 509-510
Dinner parties sixty years ago and
dries in Religious Houses, 232-235 Dragon's blood tree of Socotra, 981
Light of the War, 681-686
Eliot (George) as a novelist, 777-778
Empire, The Ethics of, 516-530
of progress in, during the Queen's of the execution of, 143-144
England's Advance North of Orange
English Enterprise in Persia, 124-134
Lord Salisbury on, 387-404, 569-
for the, 173-183
FALSETTO; The True Nature
Fenwick (Mrs. Bedford), Nurses à la
University Problem, 205-215
Fleet, changes in the construction &c. of
the, during the Queen's reign, 884-
Ethics of, 84-95
France and Russia in China, 487-502
Armament, The Limits of, 942-956
Frenchmen and Englishmen compared,
Furry dance, the, 727-728