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be shown that from day to day and by the force of circumstances the horizon of an arrondissement member is limited to the confines of his district, that he at last forgets France by dint of thinking of Carpentras or Pithiviers, that he knows no more of political matters than their relative value, that he can only appreciate legislative measures according to the exclusive interest of a few of his employers, and not for general consequences.
I have heard numbers of arrondissement members accuse themselves of having voted against their conscience, in a question of the denunciation of certain commercial treaties, for instance, because, if they had voted otherwise, it would have disappointed their influential electors. .
.. But enough has been said. These premisses suffice to prove that the scrutin d'arrondissement is a terrible danger for the morality of the electoral body, and it leads fatally to the perversion of the administrative and parliamentary systems. To say all and leave nothing to the reader's imagination is an offence to his good sense.
‘But, some will say, 'if it is really thus, how is it that the republicans of France were not absolutely unanimous in favour of the scrutin de liste in the months of May and June 1881, as they have been since 1848?'
To answer this question I shall be obliged to quit the serene domain of theory and to make some personal remarks. It will be, I hasten to say, with lively regret, but it is impossible to alter the truth.
A principal fact, which must be undeniably established, and which has been singularly forgotten the last six months, is that on the 13th of July last year, when M. Bardoux drew up his Bill on the reestablishment of the scrutin de liste, he acted with the perfect approbation of the President of the Republic. M. Grévy was even supposed by the public to have instigated M. Bardoux; and nothing seemed more likely, since M. Grévy voted for the scrutin de liste in 1848 and 1875. I, personally, can recall to mind that three weeks before the drawing up of the Bardoux Bill, the President of the Republic did me the great honour of praising a pamphlet I published on the scrutin de liste, and which he wished to induce me to complete by a work on compulsory voting, of which he declared himself a resolute partisan. As for M. Gambetta, he knew the text of M. Bardoux's Bill only one hour before the sitting where it was drawn up. M. Bardoux, whom I met that day as he was going to see the President of the House, asked me to accompany him as being the author of a pamphlet on the scrutin de liste; and I remember that he read his Bill to M. Gambetta only after having told him that Vol. X. -No. 55.
M. Grévy entirely approved it. M. Gambetta, for his part, thought the Bill an excellent one, and only advised the modification of a detail. This was made: it related to a clause by which every department called to return more than ten members was to be divided into electoral circuits. This clause was struck out, and in the course of the day M. Bardoux gave in his Bill, which was then sent to the commission d'initiative parlementaire. The majority of the Opposition was hostile to the Bill. As to the republican members, they were known to be divided; but this division is not to be wondered at. Having been returned by the scrutin d'arrondissement, they wished to keep that method to which they thought, though erroneously, they owed their great victory on the 14th of October. As for the members of the Senate, they said with one accord: “This affair only concerns the other House; we will vote the law as they send it to us.'
Less than a year afterwards the Senate threw out M. Bardoux's Bill, which had, according to republican tradition, passed the Lower House; and there is some merit in it having so passed, for certain members of the Left had been made to believe that they would not be re-elected by the scrutin de liste.
The majority of senators who rejected the scrutin de liste was -composed of the monarchical minority (this is not to be wondered
at, for it was asserted that the scrutin de liste would double our democratic forces), and about fifty republican senators, of which the half voted against the Bill because M. Grévy had ceased to be a partisan of it.
Why and how had M. Grévy, within the space of some months, become the adversary of a measure of which he had for forty years been a partisan? We must look for his reasons in the speech M. Waddington made before the Senate, and in M. Jules Ferry's speech at Épinal. As to the anecdotes maliciously spread about by some reactionary journalists, they are not worthy of attention. They are beneath the illustrious citizen called by Parliament to preside over the destiny of the Republic for a period of seven years. M. Grévy's true friends could never suppose him to be afraid of seeing M. Gambetta plébiscité (returned by a great number of departments) by the scrutin de liste: both President and Republic had been informed in the most positive manner that M. Gambetta would present himself as candidate for three or four departments at the utmost.
In reality what determined M. Grévy's conversion was the conviction that the scrutin de liste would bring a very strong majority of Republican Whigs (we should say in French membres de l'Union républicaine) to the Assembly, and that this majority, with M. Gambetta as leader, would be a reforming one. M. Grévy thought the moment come to create a Tory party in the Republic. By his personal influence he had decided nearly thirty Republican senators (we could give their names) to vote against the scrutin de liste, and à week after the vote M. Ferry made the Epinal anti-progress speech.
This was all; and we find this quite sufficient.
And now, if asked how, in our opinion, the regrettable conflict caused by the vote of the Senate will end, we think we may reply without embarrassment. If the President of the Republic thinks the way of democratic reform can be barred by rejecting the scrutin de liste, he is mistaken. By the scrutin d'arrondissement as by the scrutin de liste, a progressist majority will be returned at the coming elections. This majority will certainly be smaller, less united, less governmental, less stable, less powerful against réactionnaires and intransigeants to consolidate the normal development of our institutions, than if it had been elected by scrutin de liste; but that there will be this majority is certain, and it is not less certain that the republican party does not think the moment come to divide into Whigs and Tories in presence of a still too numerous monarchical minority. If the Senate imagined that its vote of the 9th of June would hinder the revision of the Constitution, it is deceived, for from this day forth there is not a circuit where the four-fifths of the republicans do not demand the reform of the electoral law of the Senate. Finally, if the enemies of the Republic hoped this conflict would be fatal to our young institutions, they also are deceived. Certainly this incident, which could and should have been avoided, is to be deplored, and there is no need to say why. But our confidence in the future is none the less perfect and entire. We know the wisdom and patriotism of the republicans too well to be alarmed. The delight experienced by the reactionary members at the vote of the 9th of June, and the sad verities in store for us at the coming elections through the employment of the scrutin d'arrondissement, will, we are convinced, bring the whole republican party, without exception, back to its old and noble tradition on the scrutin de liste question. The end of the crisis provoked by the rejection of the scrutin de liste Bill will be the voting of it. There will, we sincerely hope, only have been time lost. For the good of the Republic, may this lost time be as short as possible!
This article was written last July, and would have appeared, but for an error in transmission, in the August number of this Review. We congratulate ourselves on that delay. Our legislative elections took place on the 21st of August, and they have proved our previsions to be correct.
1. As we had foretold, and in contradiction to the senatorial majority of the 9th of June, universal suffrage elected on the 21st of August a republican progressist majority of deputies, and this majority has been obtained in spite of that most vicious instrument, scrutin d'arrondissement. With scrutin de liste our elections would simply have been admirable. Not a single intransigeant would have been named, and the réactionnaires would have lost 100 seats instead of 50.
2. The Senate had imagined that the vote of the 9th of June would hinder the revision of the Constitution. As we had announced in our article, the Senate was deceived ; and the direct consequence of the vote of the 9th of June has been that revision has been demanded on all republican programmes. M. Ferry himself, in his most patriotic Nancy speech, has acknowledged that revision was imminent.
3. We wrote, six weeks ago, in our article: “The delight experienced by the reactionary members at the vote of the 9th of June, and the sad verities in store for us at the coming elections through the employment of the scrutin d'arrondissement, will, we are convinced, bring the whole republican party, without exception, back to its old and noble tradition on the scrutin de liste question. Our hopes have been ful. filled. Everywhere scrutin de liste has been urged by the republican committees; and the sad and shameful scenes of Charonne, which could never have taken place with scrutin de liste, as is asserted in our most important papers (Temps, Journal des Débats, République Française, Siècle, Dix-ncurième Siècle, Rerue Politique), have converted the last advocates of scrutin d'arrondissement. M. Grévy's most intimate friends have acknowledged this stubborn fact. Thanks to the intransia geants, Bonapartists, and ticket-of-leave men of the Rue St. Blaise, the whole republican party has been brought back to its old tradition on the scrutin de liste question.
• We must add that Léon Renault, Bardoux, Sénard, and a few other eminent republicans who have been defeated by obscure but active and cunning hommes ds clochers, would have been victors with scrutin de liste. Léon Renault said that he had turned into an argument against scrutin d'arrondissement, which is perfectly true.
WOMEN AS CIVIL SERVANTS.
The great and increasing demand for remunerative employment of women calls for frank discussion of their present position and future prospects as members of the working community. Necessity now forces many women out into the world where the law of the survival of the fittest, and therefore of the strongest, holds good for all comers. Equality with men they can never attain, for the best work will always be done by those who possess the most physical and mental power; but that the amount of energy and ability women have at their disposal will eventually command the same market price as that of the other sex I firmly believe. At present every branch of labour on which women can enter is overcrowded by them, and therefore they are ready to engage themselves at a much lower rate than would be offered to men; but when a wider range of employment shall be open to them, they will receive due pay for good service.
While public interest seems especially directed towards this question, viz. the necessity of providing fresh opportunities for the gain of a livelihood to the large female section of the community now clamorous, and in no way to be ignored, it is well to understand clearly what has already been done, what labour market is already open, and where any vista of fresh modes of activity may be found. At the risk of taxing the reader's patience with a good deal of dry practical detail, it seems worth while to give an account as thorough as may be of one important line of employment which has been experimentally offered to women : that is to say, their admission to one department of the Civil Service.
One of the most encouraging prospects before women, and that because the commencement made promises of further development, is their admission to the Public Postal Service. Nearly two hundred women find occupation in three important branches of the post-office, and their numbers, it is said, are likely to be greatly enlarged. Ten years ago the Clearing House, a branch of the Receiver and AccountantGeneral's Office, was opened to female officers, the idea being to give employment to ladies in reduced circumstances. Sir John Tilley first suggested that these clerkships should be filled by gentlewomen, and Lord John Manners, then Postmaster-General, favoured the plan, and took much interest in the nominations. In the year 1872 the