Page:Problems of Empire.djvu/114

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A Paper read before the Royal Statistical Society, January, 1903.

Congestion of Parliamentary business and remedies.THE great and increasing difficulty of carrying on the business of a vast Empire, the affairs of the United Kingdom as a whole, and the domestic concerns of England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland, with our present Constitutional machinery, is generally admitted. The congestion of business in the House of Commons has become so serious as to threaten a breakdown in parliamentary government. Two remedies present themselves. On the one hand, Parliament might be relieved of the Imperial business by the establishment of an Imperial Parliament, with Colonial representatives, to deal with all Imperial business. For this remedy public opinion is not yet ripe, either in the mother country or the Colonies. The Colonies are not yet prepared to tax themselves for the maintenance of the Navy and Army, and until they are prepared to bear their fair share of Imperial burdens they have no right to a voice in the control of Imperial policy. On the other hand, it is possible for Parliament, while retaining in its own hands Imperial business, as well as all matters