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FABIAN SOCIETY.--The Fabisa Soolety consists of Bootalleta. A state

ment of its Rules and the following publioations can be obtained from the

Seoretary, at the Fabian Office, 3 Clement's Inn, London, W.O.

THIS MISERY OF BOOTs. By H. G. WELLB. 3d., post free 4d. " THOSE WRETCHED RATES!” a Dialogue. By F. W. HATAS. d. FABIAN ESSAYS IN SOCIALISM. (43rd Thousand.) Paper cover, 11.; plain cloth, al-, post free from the Secretary,

FABIAN TRACTS and LEAFLETS. Tracts, each 16 to 52 pp., price ld., or 9d. per dos., unless otherwise statad.

Leaflets, 4 pp. each, price ld. for six copres, 1s. per 100, or 816 per 1000. The Set of 78, 38.; post free 3/5.. Bound in Buckram, 4/6; post free for 58. 1.--General Socialism in its various aspects.

TRACT3.-139. Socialism and the Churches. By the Rev. JOHN CLIFFORD, D.D. 138. Municipal Trading. 121. Public Service versus Private Expenditure. By Sir OLIVER LODGE. 113. Communism. By WM. MORRIS. 107. Socialism for Millionaires. By BERNARD SHAW. 133. Socialism and Christianity. By Rev. PERCY DEARMER. 78. Socialism and the Teaching of Christ. By Dr. JOHN CLIFFORD. 87. The same in Welsh. 42. Christian Socialism. By Rev. 8. D. HEADLAM. 79. A Word of Remembrance and Caution to the Rich. By JOHN WOOLMAN. 75. Labor in the Longest Reign. By SIDNEY WEBB. 72. The Moral Aspects of Socialism. By SIDNEY BALL. 69. Difficulties of Individualism. By SIDNEY WEBB. 31. Socialism : True and False. By 8. WEBB. 45. The Impossibilities of Anarchism. By BEENARD SHAW (price 2d.). 15. English Progress towards Social Democracy. By S. WEBB. 7. Capital and Land (7th edn. revised 1908). 5. Facts for Socialists (11th edn., revised 1908). LEAFLET8—13. What Socialism 18.

1. Why are the Many Poor? 38. The same in Welsh. II.-Applications of Socialism to Particular Problems.

TBACTS.—136. The Village and the Landlord. By EDWARD CARPENTER. 135. Paupers and Old Age Pensions. By SIDNEY WEBB. 131. The Decline in the Birth-Rate. By SIDNEY WEBB. 130. Home Work and Sweating. By Miss B. L. HUTCHINS. 128. The Case for a Legal Minimum Wage. 126. The Abolition of Poor Law Guardians. 122. Municipal Milk and Public Health. By Dr. F. LAWSON DODD. 120. “After Bread, Education." 125. Municipalization by Provinces. 119. Public Control of Electrical Power and Transit. 123. The Revival of Agriculture. 118. The Secret of Rural Depopulation. 115. State Aid to Agriculture: an Example. 112. Life in the Laundry. 98. State Railways for Irelard. 124. State Control of Trusts. 86. Municipal Drink Traffic. 85. Liquor Licensing at Home and Abroad. 84. Economics of Direct Employment. 83. State Arbitration and the Living Wage. 48. Eight Hours by Law. 23. Case for an Eight Hours Biil. 47. The Unemployed. By JOHN BURNS, M.P.

LEAFLET.-104. How Trade Unions benefit Workmen.
III.—Local Government Powers : How to use them.

TRACTg.-137. Parish Councils and Village Life. 117. The London Education Act, 1903: how to make the best of it, 109. Cottage Plans and Common Sense. By RAYMOND UNWIN. 76. Houses for the Feople. 99. Local Government in Ireland. 82. Workmen's Compensation Act. New edition for the Act of 1906. 62. Parish and District Councils. 54. The Humanizing of the Poor Law. By J. F. OAKESHOTT. LEAFLET8.134. Small Holdings, Allotments and Common Pastures: and how to get them. FABIAN MUNICIPAL PROGRAM, FIRST SERIES (Nos. 32, 37). Municipalization of the Gas Supply. A Labor Policy for Public Authorities. SECOND SERIES (Nos. 90 to 97). Municipalization of Milk Supply. Municipal Pawnshops. Municipal Slaughterhouses. Women as Councillors. Municipal Bakeries. Municipal Hospitals. Municipal Steamboats.- Second Series in a red cover for 1d. (9d. per doz.);

separate leaflets, 1/- per 100. IV.-Books. 132. A Guide to Books for Socialists. 29. What to Read

on social and economic subjects. 6d. net. 129. More Books to Read.

Supplement to October, 1906.
V.-General Politics and Fabian Policy.

127. Socialism and Labor Policy. 116. Fabianism and the Fiscal
Question: an alternative policy. 108. Twentieth Century Politics. By
SIDNEY WEBB. 70. Report on Fabian Policy. 41. The Fabian Society:

its Early History. By BERNARD SHAW. VI.--Question Leaflets. Questions for Candidates : 20, Poor Law Guard.

ians. 28, County Councils, Rural. 102, Metropolitan Borough Councils. Book BOXES lent to Societies, Clubs, Trade Unions, for 103. a year. Printed by G. Standring, 7 Finsbury St., London, E.C., and poblished by the Pabian Socioty,

% Clemept's lun. Strand, London w O.

The New Reform Bill.





Published by John Heywood, Deansgate and Ridgefield, Manchester,

and 1, Paternoster Buildings, London; and to be obtained also of the Secretary, 2 L Hyde Park Mansions, London, N.W.


Since the time of the Chartist agitation, no attempt has been made to formulate a thorough scheme for the reform of the laws regulating our Electoral System, if the confused, inconsistent, and often unintelligible mass of Acts of Parliament on the Statute Book can be dignified by such a name. From the Statute of Edward I., establishing freedom of election, down to the County Electors' Act (1888), there have been between one hundred and fifty and one hundred and sixty Acts to regulate the Franchise, Registration of Electors, and Procedure at Elections, etc. ; of which, no less than one hundred and sixteen have been enacted since the passing of the Reform Act of 1832-a measure intended by Lord John Russell to settle finally the question of Reform.

With the single exception of the Corrupt and Illegal Practices Act (1883), no attempt has been made to codify any section of Electoral Law. One Act of Parliament nullifies another, and a superstitious reverence for antiquated modes of draughtmanship has only made confusion worse confounded. A vote is given to every male householder, only to be taken away from him by a cumbrous and iniquitous system of registration, with an arbitrary term of qualification, and an intentionally complex arrangement of claim, objection, and revision.

It is often said that the points of the People's Charter have been embodied in English law; but, as a matter of fact, the Ballot alone has been adopted in its simple entirety. The Suffrage has been considerably lowered, and some approach has been made to the establishment of Equal Electoral Districts, but nothing whatever has been done with regard to the Payment of Members and the Duration of Parliaments. The abolition of a Property Qualitication for Members has been merely a nominal reform, and can only 6. rendered effective by Payment of Election Expenses.

In the following draft bill an attempt has been made to put into practicable legal shape the aspirations of advanced politicai reformers. Its provisions include the following points :ADULT SUFFRAGE.








To make a complete Reform Bill, provision should also be made for the establishment of Equal Electoral Districts, automatically re-adjusted according to population after every census; the consolidation of the eighty-five statutes dealing with the Disqualification of Candidates, and of the thirty-one dealing with the procedure at an election; the further simplification and strengthening of the law relating to Corrupt and Illegal Practices; and the Abolition of the House of Lords.

Until the electorate consists of the whole adult population, and perfect freedom of choice of members, combined with the fullest control over their legislative action, has been secured through Payment of Members and their election expenses, and the Second Ballot, the people will be seriously handieapped in the promotion and enactment of those measures of social reform, which will ultimately result in the socialization of industry and the establishment of the Commonwealth on a co-operative basis, for which end alone political reform is of any value.





PRELIMINARY. 1. This Act shall come into operation on the First Day of January, 1892.

2. In this act the term “ Public meeting shall mean any meeting open, without ticket, to all electors in the constituency in which the meeting is held :

Period of electionshall mean the period from the date of the issue of the writ by the Clerk of the Crown or the Speaker to the date of the declaration of the poll :

Returning officer” shall include deputy returning officer :
Public funds" shall include both national and local funds :

" Person” shall mean a man or woman of the age of twenty-one years or more :

Registration Day" shall mean the 15th day of March, June, September, or December, respectively:

Qualifying Period” shall mean four weeks.

Under the existing law, in Acts of Parliament the masculine pronoun includes the feminine.


Adult Suffrage. 3. Every person over twenty-one years of age, who has continuously resided in or occupied the same premises for the space of four weeks next previous to any registration day, or has during that time resided in or occupied different premises in the same constituency in immediate succession, shall, with the exceptions hereinafter provided, be entitled to be registered as an elector, and when and so long as so registered, to vote at all elections taking place in the constituency in which the said premises are situated.

Provided also that none of the persons hereinafter mentioned shall be entitled to be registered as electors, namely :

Persons who have been declared by legal process to be of

unsound mind;
Persons actually undergoing a sentence of imprisonment or

penal servitude; or
Persons scheduled for corrupt or illegal practices.

In view of the future “ending" of the House of Lords, Peers of Parliament are given the franchise like other citizens.

The law regulating the Naturalization of Aliens should be simplified and the expense reduced. The cost of a Letter of Naturalization is now £5, having been raised from £1 to that amount by the Home Secretary in 1886. A statutory declaration should be sufficient.

4. No person shall be registered as an elector who has not satisfied the conditions herein specified; but it shall be presumed, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that every adult person satisfying the condition as to occupation or residence, is qualified to be registered as an elector.

5. No person shall be disqualified from being registered as an elector by reason of being a peer of Parliament, or a woman, or a woman under coverture, or a person in receipt of parochial relief, or a member of Her Majesty's military or naval forces; nor on the ground that any rates due in respect of the premises in which he resides are unpaid.

6. Any person registered or entitled to be registered as an elector may be a candidate at any election, whether parliamentary or otherwise, and, if elected, shall be entitled to sit ; provided that no person shall be entitled to sit in both Houses of Parliament.

This section makes women eligible for membership of all representative bodies, and removes the existing disqualification of clergymen for membership of the House of Commons.

Any genuinely Democratic bill must sweep away, as is herein proposed, the whole existing tangle of complicated franchises, making simple residence for the briefest practicable period the basis of the qualification. Such a measure would add, not one million but nearer three millions of adult men to the registers, to say nothing of the nine millions of adult women. The new franchise should apply to all elections, whether for Parliament or any local public body. The creation of "faggot votes” would be impossible, and duplicate votes would be prevented (see section 23).

The number of electors now registered is 6,067,133 (H.C. 368 of 1890), but over 250,000 of these are duplicate registrations, some men having fifteen or more constituencies. The number of adult men in the kingdom is about 8,500,000, the estimated population in 1890 being 38,200,000, and the percentage of males over 21 as ascertained by the last census being 22-3. Accordingly, over two and a half millions of adult men are at present excluded from citizenship. The “ Registration Bill ” promised by the official Liberal leaders is expected by Mr. Ğladstone to raise the number of the electorate to "seven millions” (see his article in Lloyd's News, 4th May, 1890, republished under the title of « Rights and Responsibilities of Labour," office of Lloyd's Weekly News, London. One penny). This timid and inconsistent proposal, which is denounced by Lord Hartington as revolutionary, would still leave over one and a half million adult men without the elementary right of citizenship.

The existing qualifications of Parliamentary electors, which are contained in thirty-eight statutes, are seven in number, four being peculiar to connties, and three common to both counties and boroughs:

Counties. 1. A freehold estate of 40s. or upwards. 2. A copyhold estate of £5 annual value. 3. A leasehold for either twenty years of £50, or sixty years of £5

annual value. 4. An occupation of lands or tenements at a rental of £50 or upwards.

Counties and Boroughs. 1. The occupation of land or premises of the clear annual value of £10. 2. The occupation of a dwelling-house. 3. The occupation of lodgings of an annual value, if let unfurnished,

of £10. There are also 32,000 liverymen and freemen in boroughs who are electors under qualifications that will die out.

Manhood, or what is incorrectly called Universal Suffrage, prevails in France, Germany, Spain, most of the United States, New South Wales, South Australia, and New Zealand. The State of Wyoming alone enjoys true Universal Suffrage. In Austria, women who own property to which the franchise attaches may rote, the payment of certain taxes being the chief qualification.

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