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BRITISH POLITICS.

FRANCHISE BILL WITHDRAWN.-.

"WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE I'OSTPONED.

LONDON, 27th January.

After all 1 lie excitement which preceded j

the arrival of thb Franchise Bill at tho

committee st;ige in the House of ConimoiiK, ! to-day's actual proceeding's partook ol' tlio

nature of an. anti-climax.

Precautions to avoid trouble from the; militant suffragettes led to the presence of 2000 police in and about, the precincts oi' the House. There was a very iarge ;itten dance of members, and the public galleries

vrero crowded.

The PrimĀ® Minister said that the ruling of the Speaker, warning the House against amending the Franchise Bill in committee in such a fashion as to materially affect its substance, and thereby necessitating its withdrawal, was entirely unexpected. Tho Government had considered the point, and believed that precedents justified the ac tion it proposed to take.

He denied that the Ministry had been guilty of sharp practice, but it would not bo real to continue the discussion of Sir lldward Grey's amendment. The Govern ment had therefore decided to withdraw tho bill, but would proceed with the matter of electoral reform in the present session. The Government would give facilities for tho introduction of a private bill dealing With women'.= suffrage next session.

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