§ Order of the Day for the Third Reading, read.
§ *EARL FORTESCUE
My Lords, I wish to say one word, and I will not detain your Lordships one minute in saying it. I wish to say that the London County Council since its establishment has confirmed all the apprehensions felt by many and expressed by myself when the Bill for establishing it was in progress through this House. I ventured to predict that its members, or the majority of them, would court popularity by discussing questions beyond the range of the duties intrusted to them, and that they would waste precious time and let their business get into arrear. They did so in reference to the election of female Councillors, and the claim on the management of the police. I predicted that they would try to avoid unpopularity when they found themselves obliged to levy heavy rates by having recourse to confiscation. Your Lordships are all familiar with their betterment scheme—that was one kind of confiscation—and with their atttempt to pull down gates on private property without giving compensation, which was another kind. Happily they were unable to carry either of those attempts into effect. And I earnestly hope that the ratepayers of London will choose wiser, juster, and more economical County Councillors when the time of election comes.
§ Bill read 3a with the Amendments, and passed, and returned to the Commons.