96 Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. VII.
contribution to the funds of the House. The number of members this Session amounted to more than 500. The Liberals took Office at the commencement of the Session, being then in a majority, but they were afterwards turned out by their Opponents. The critical division of the Session was on the question of the Disestablishment of the Church of England, as to which the numbers were :—
For Disestablishment ... 116 Against ... ... ... 145
Majority against ... 29
This involved the resignation of the Liberal Cabinet.
The " House of Commons " resumed its debates on October 13, 1896, and continued them weekly through the winter. The annual dinner for some reason, which I do not now remember, was held as early as February 26, 1897, and was attended by Sir W. and Lady Charley, Sir Ellis and Lady Ashmead Bartlett, and Capt. the Hon. T. S. Brand amongst others. The Liberal party had recovered their position and were again in office, led by Alderman Strange as Prime Minister. I being still Speaker, had to make the principal speech of the evening.
Personal circumstances compelled me at a subsequent period to resign the speakership. Unfortunately my successor had not the experience and tact required to keep order, and control the business. The members got out of hand, and, I am sorry to say, that the 4' East-Bourne House of Commons " came to an end, as it was found impossible to get the members together again, notwithstanding that a new Speaker was forthcoming, a Barrister friend of mine, then living at East-Bourne, who, I think, would have been quite competent to pick up the threads of the work which I had been obliged to drop.
On January 29, 1883, we carried out at North field Grange, an experiment which, though we never repeated it, was a success, and might be repeated with good results by anybody having a house with sufficient reception rooms—and there are many such now in East-Bourne. We asked all the members of the Young