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PREFACE

THE OBJECT of the following pages is twofold. First, to recount, as briefly and clearly as may be, the process of the 'democratisation' of Parliament; secondly, to put what appears to me to be one of the most important questions to which that process has given rise-the question of the competence of a democratic House of Commons to direct to a satisfactory issue the socialistic tendencies of the future.

It would have been easy for me to expand my materials into a larger book, to insert in the text much that I have relegated to notes, and to add much which I have omitted altogether. But I have preferred to aim, above all things, at clearness and brevity, in the hope that what I have written may be read, if not by the general public, at any rate by some who are not professional

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