‘And the other matter of which you spoke?’ questioned Moung Thwa, ‘the matter of an opposite nature.’

‘The other matter,’ said Moung Ka, ‘is that the British Government has decided on the partition of Britain. Where there has been one Parliament and one Government there are to be two Parliaments and two Governments, and there will be two treasuries and two sets of taxes.’

Moung Thwa was greatly interested at this news.

‘And is the feeling of the people of Britain in favour of this partition?’ he asked. ‘Will they not dislike it, as the people of Bengal disliked the partition of their Province?’

‘The feeling of the people of Britain has not been consulted, and will not be consulted,’ said Moung Ka; ‘the Act of Partition will pass through one Chamber where the Government rules supreme, and the other Chamber can only delay it a little while, and then it will be made into the Law of the Land.’

‘But is it wise not to consult the feeling of the people?’ asked Moung Thwa.

‘Very wise,’ answered Moung Ka, ‘for if the people were consulted they would say “No,” as they have always said when such a decree was submitted to their opinion, and if the people said “No” there would be an end of the matter, but also an end of the Government. Therefore, it is wise for the Government to shut its ears to what the people may wish.’

‘But why must the people of Bengal be listened to and the people of Britain not listened to?’ asked Moung Thwa; ‘surely the partition of their country affects them just as closely. Are their opinions too silly to be of any weight?’

‘The people of Britain are what is called a Democracy,’ said Moung Ka.

‘A Democracy?’ questioned Moung Thwa. ‘What is that?’

‘A Democracy,’ broke in Moung Shoogalay eagerly, ‘is a community that governs itself according to its own wishes and interests by electing accredited representatives who enact its laws and supervise and control their administration. Its aim and object is government of the community in the interests of the community.’

‘Then,’ said Moung Thwa, turning to his neighbour, ‘if the people of Britain are a Democracy—’

‘I never said they were a Democracy,’ interrupted Moung Ka placidly.

‘Surely we both heard you!’ exclaimed Moung Thwa.

‘Not correctly,’ said Moung Ka; ‘I said they are what is called a Democracy.’

  By PanEris using Melati.

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