The councils assess within certain limits the communal taxes, maintain roads, bridges, &c., and generally superintend local affairs.
In the session of 1907 he introduced an Irish Councils bill, a sort of half-way house to Home Rule; but it was unexpectedly repudiated by a Nationalist convention in Dublin and the bill was promptly withdrawn.
The details of the case will be found in Wilkins, Concilia, in Mansi, Concilia, under the various councils named, and in Haddan & Stubbs, Councils and Eccl.
Abroad unsuccessful attempts were made by local councils to enact that officials and vicars-general should be in holy orders (Hefele on Councils of Tortosa in 1429 and Sixth of Milan in 1582).
Of the elected members 3 are returned by the " black " clergy (the monks), 3 by the " white " clergy (seculars), 5 18 by the corporations of nobles, 6 by the academy of sciences and the universities, 6 by the chambers of commerce, 6 by the industrial councils, 34 by the governments having zemstvos, 16 by those having no zemstvos, and 6 by Poland.