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urban leaseholder is ridiculous. The farmer who takes an agricultural lease rents an existing house with land in cultivation for a term of years. The urban leaseholder rents for a term of years a barren piece of land on which he builds, or buys at its full value, a house, which must be surrendered at the end of the term to the family which has never spent a single shilling upon it. I may add that it would not make the slightest difference to the tenant farmer if his holding were included under the provisions of my Bill, for the simple reason that the term of agricultural leases is too short to come under the limitations of time therein provided.

In the next place my critic urges that the multiplication of freeholds would certainly lead to such an abuse of property by a few as would greatly injure the property of their neighbours. If it were true that a ground landlord was a necessary protection to an occupying owner, no man would be so foolish as to purchase a freehold house. But this is exactly contrary to fact. Freehold houses are urgently sought after in London, and, owing to their rarity, fetch an exceptionally high price. At Hampstead, Streatham, and a few other London suburbs, houses of a superior quality in material and workmanship have been built on large estates, the special attraction of which is that the ground is sold with the house. The originators of these building enterprises have sold rapidly. If the theory of the Spectator be correct, these unprotected freeholds would have been a drug in the market. This is equally true of freehold towns which have never yet discovered that the benevolent disposition of a ground landlord is necessary to their well-being. Were it otherwise, however, I should not be prepared to admit that the interests of scores of thousands of small leaseholders in great towns and in most of the metropolitan suburbs should be sacrificed to the exclusiveness of a few dwellers on ducal estates at the west end of London. If the Building Acts are not strong enough already it would be easy to strengthen them. If the common law as to nuisances is too weak, let the local authorities be armed with additional

powers.

The Spectator asks whether I do not perceive that the day after my Bill passes leasehold tenure will be abolished. Undoubtedly that is my object, but I desire that as far as possible it shall be achieved by painless extinction. My Bill does not propose that leaseholders who are too sordid and shortsighted to comprehend its benefits should be compelled to avail themselves of it. In so far as they are concerned the leasehold system would not be abolished. The vast majority of leaseholders, however, would gladly enfranchise, and the ground landlord would be powerless to deprive them of the right of enfranchisement. This is the corner stone of the measure. Considering that money can be easily borrowed on freehold property at from one to two per cent. less than on leasehold, and on a greater proportion of the value, any man who can afford to buy a lease can

afford to buy a freehold. The enfranchisement of most of the existing leaseholders is certain; there remains only to be considered land to be let for building purposes.

Two alternatives would be open to ground landlords: they would either have to sell outright or to build for themselves. No other course is possible if they would obtain for themselves something more than an agricultural rent. I am confident that most of them would be eager to sell, because, however limited they might be in their choice of investments, they would be able to get a higher interest for the purchase-money. The minority would have to build their own houses, and, as their interest was permanent, they would take good care that the houses were properly built. The leaseholder is, as a rule, not much more than a tenant at will, with a fine of twenty or thirty pounds to the lawyers for the cost of transfer. When he buys his inquiries and examinations are perfunctory, because he knows that if he is disappointed the inquiries and examinations of the next purchaser will be perfunctory also. The freehold builder, on the contrary, will be compelled to examine closely into every detail. He will take nothing for granted; he will bind the man who builds closely to his specifications. His tenants will enjoy the advantage of unification of ownership.

If I have dwelt too largely upon individual buying, it is not because I am oblivious to national advantage. A prominent member of the Conservative party, Mr. Edward Clarke, Q.C., said the other day at Brighton: "If there was one matter upon which those who wished well for the social fabric were at one at this moment, it was in the doctrine that freehold buildings should be multiplied. He could not conceive any social change more calculated to give stability to our political system in all its parts than that a large number of his fellow-countrymen should become actually possessed freeholders of their own property." If these sentiments, which sound so plausible upon popular platforms, are worth anything, let them be translated into action.

I submit that the means by which I propose to accomplish an end which is regarded as desirable by men of all parties are practical and equitable. Justice is written on every page of the Bill which I have introduced. It rests with the industrial classes, and leaseholders generally throughout the country, to determine how soon this great reform shall be accomplished. We shall, without injustice to any one, be able to effect such a redistribution of urban freehold property as would at no very distant time place some two millions of industrious men in the position of permanent owners of their own dwellings. We shall thus secure improved workmanship, a revival of the building art, better homes for the people, and increased prosperity to industry. HENRY BROADHURST.

VOL. XXXV. N.S.

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A POLITICIAN IN SIGHT OF HAVEN.

In a small but cheerful lodging overlooking the Thames, Angus found Markham. After a few words he began to pour out his old troubles. Was it possible to act honestly with party? Did it not lead to a constant sacrifice of convictions, or, indeed, learning to live without them? And then was party itself, morally speaking, better off; would not convictions, if simply and straightforwardly followed, place the party that so acted at a fatal disadvantage in its struggles with its rival? Were not politics an art in which a clever manipulation of the electors, and a nice opportunism in selecting measures that satisfied one portion of the people without too much offending another portion, possessed the first importance, while the high motives and great causes to which all politicians loved to appeal were as bits of broken mosaic that the Jew dealer throws in as a make-weight to complete the bargain?

"What course is open to a man," he asked, "who wishes, above all, to be honest and to speak the truth; who wishes neither himself to be corrupted nor to corrupt the people; who has no desire to preserve any privileges for the richer classes, but yet will not go one step beyond what he believes to be just in gaining the favour of the masses? The common theory of modern government seems to be that we have given power to the people, and therefore, whatever may be our own opinions, we must acquiesce in their wishes. We may dexterously pare a little off here and there, at this or at that point, but, having placed power in their hands, we must accept and act upon their views. Should it happen that we can add a little semi-spontaneous enthusiasm on our own account, why, so much the better. Now, with this theory I cannot come to terms. I stick at the old difficulty. Shall a man look first and foremost to his own sense of what is right, or shall he follow his party?"

"Does not the question answer itself when stated in words?" replied Markham. "If the world is to make any real improvement, does it not depend more upon the individual resolution to see what is true, and to do it, than upon any possible combination into which men may enter? Is not the great thing that we have to hope for that a man should cherish and respect his own opinions beyond every other thing in life, so that it should be impossible for him to act in disregard of them? What form of slavery can be more debasing than that which a man undergoes when he allows either a party or a Church to lead him to and fro when he is in no real agreement with it? Truth to your own self or faithful service to your party? Can you hesitate about the choice ?"

"But might he not say," urged Angus, "the highest truth to me

personally is to follow faithfully my own party? I feel that I am doing the best of which I am capable when I act under and obey a man in whose capacity and devotion to great ends I believe. I prefer his judgment to my own. I do not trust my own views as regards all these complicated questions of the day; but I have faith in those who lead us, and wish to strengthen their hands in all ways possible.'

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"Yes, a man might speak in that sense who accepts the Catholic theory; who is ready to hand himself over to authority, and believes that he need not solve great questions himself, but may leave others to do it for him. If he slavishly give up the attempt to bring this world and that higher part of himself, his own intelligence, into harmony with each other; if he be content to act without seeing the just and the true and the reasonable in all that he does, then he may use this language, and plead an easy faith and easy devotion in excuse for effacing his own reason and making default, as far as he is concerned, in the great plan of the world. Your words are well chosen to snare a man's soul, but they cannot alter the fact that you are born a reasonable being, and that there is no rightful deliverance from the use of your own reason.'

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"But is not party a necessity ?" replied Angus. "Here are two great parties in existence, and is it not a counsel of perfection' to say that a man must follow his sense of right, and act in complete independence of party? Suppose all the clearer-sighted and noblerminded men did this, and retired from party, would it improve matters ?"

"Have a little faith, Mr. Bramston, in right for right's sake. More good will come from the best men being true to themselves than from any co-operation of theirs with others. Unless the good man keeps true to himself you will get but little profit from his goodness which is sacrificed in order that he may work with others."

"But is not party," again urged Angus, "a reasonable thing in itself? Is not co-operation a natural and right means by which men unite their strength to obtain certain results ?"

"Yes," replied Markham, "as an instrument, as a means towards a distinct end. A party organised for some common purpose in which men distinctly and definitely agree, in which each unit preserves his own consciousness and volition, is a natural and right instrument for men to use. But you politicians, Mr. Bramston, make party an end and not a means. You do not strive to live in real harmony with your own opinions; you care far more to be one of a party-to shout with it, fight with it, win with it."

"But suppose for a moment," said Angus, "that my sense of right went entirely with the most popular measures of the party; supposing that I sincerely approved of every gift which it was possible to take from the richer and give to the poorer. Suppose that I were

Bastian-you probably know Bastian-with only this difference, that I believed heart and soul in what I promised, and so long as these services were done for the people I cared but little what was the exact form that they took? "

"And suppose the party were divided by two rival schemes for endowing the people ?"

"I probably should be guided by the wishes of the people," said Angus hesitatingly.

"Yes; that is pretty nearly the only answer which is left you. As you have dismissed your own intelligence as your guide, what else can you do but follow the wishes of the people? And now please to say, Mr. Bramston, however good may be your intentions, is this a true position for any man to hold? Has he the right as regards himself to give others the keeping of his intelligence, to become in consciousness as a polype that leads but a semi-detached life in the polype group? Can he really help his fellow-men by such mental subservience and denial of his own reason? Do you think that progress lies before us if we simply exchange holy mother Church for holy mother Party?"

"And yet," said Angus hesitating, "granted that men ought not to accept a party programme any more than they accept a Thirtynine Articles, granted that no man who has freed his mind can take either his theology or his politics in a lump from others, still practically if any Government is to do great services for the people, if it is to educate them, if it is to give them decent dwellings, to improve their sanitary condition, and on all sides to soften and improve the circumstances of life, I cannot disguise from myself that I can do more towards this end by simply supporting the Government than by insisting on my own opinions."

"Ah, Mr. Bramston, you are introducing a large'if.' You ask me, if a body we call Government, enjoying certain honours and rewards at the expense of its rival, has for its object, in all the greatest matters that affect human life, to proclaim a certain number of universal schemes, be it for education, for regulating labour, for providing against distress, or for adding to the comforts of existence, whether in such a case we must not dismiss our separate intelligences to the second place, and simply support the Government against the rival that waits to dislodge it. To which question I at once answer ‘yes;' as I should if you asked me whether the men who make up an army sent to conquer a neighbouring country had better give up their own judgment in all things and be moved at will by the hands of their general. Defeating an enemy and defeating a political rival have only too many points in common; and in either case separate intelligences would be a great hindrance to success. It would be best in both cases—to use the mildest phrase—that they should be disciplined.”

"Is it a fair comparison, Mr. Markham, between what men do in

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