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desire to forward public business. If, indeed, it had only been on The leader of the Opposition has one or two occasions that they had his responsibilities as well as the failed to maintain their own dignity Minister, and the Government may by assisting to uphold that of the well complain that they have not House of Commons, the fault might received from Mr Gladstone and have been forgotten, if not conhis colleagues that assistance which doned. But, night after night, they had a right to expect during during the Procedure debates, we their repeated attempts to vindi- have seen the same thing; and the cate the reputation of the House 18th March, on which night the of Commons.
first “closure" resolution was at It may perhaps be urged that length passed, witnessed one of the the turbulent followers whom Mr worst examples of irregularity on Gladstone leads are amenable to the part of the Nationalists, and no control, and susceptible of none inability or unwillingness in the of those influences of good man- Opposition leaders to repress their ners, gentleman-like feeling, and turbulent allies. Upon that memdecorum, which formerly enabled orable evening, immediately before the House of Commons to main- the “ Orders of the Day" were tain the dignity and high character called, Mr Dillon rose to move of its debates. This may indeed the adjournment of the House, in be true of political buffoons like order to bring forward a matter of Mr Labouchere, to whom notoriety, "urgent public importance," and however obtained, is as the breath his demand was supported by most of his nostrils, and sundry other of the Liberal, i.e., the Gladston“ free lances,” whom it is useless ian Liberal, members. The matter to name; but if the weight and of “urgent importance" was one authority of the front Opposition from the discussion of which at bench were really thrown into the the moment no practical result scale, and seriously employed for could possibly have arisen. A the sake of that representative priest of the name of Keller or principle which has been so griev- Kelleher, resident at Youghal, had ously brought into contempt of been subpænaed as a witness in late, it is at least probable that a the Court of Bankruptcy, had public opinion might be formed disobeyed or refused to obey the within the House itself, which subpoena, and the judge had conwould assist in repressing those sequently, as a matter of course, obtrusive and self-opinionated no- issued a warrant for his arrest. bodies, who are impervious to the There had been a riot at Youghal milder influences of good sense and in connection with this affair, in patriotic feeling. If there are which the police had been stoned, within the walls of the House of and, having been ordered to charge, Commons men whose deliberate had killed one of the mob. As aim and object it is to bring the this part of the business was alBritish Parliament into discredit, ready the subject of judicial init should surely be the primary quiry, it was obviously improper object of every British statesman to discuss it at the moment in to defeat these enemies of his Parliament; and unless it was to country, and no party object or be contended that Roman Catholic possible party advantage can ex- priests in Ireland are above the cuse Mr Gladstone and his col- law, it does not seem very clear leagues from this obligation. what possible reason there could
have been for dragging the case be- greatest bores in the House, if fore the House of Commons, espe- interrupted, only pause in their cially as the news had arrived by harangues, and with a smile of telegram, and full and accurate de- conscious superiority, await the retails could not be known until the turn of the silence which will enfollowing day. Nevertheless, the able their sweet voices to be heard. forms of the House seem to have Meanwhile, it is satisfactory to permitted the absolutely useless note the success which has been and obstructive debate, which achieved by good temper, forbearlasted for six mortal hours, to ance, tact, and common-sense, in the utter disgust of all right- the person of the new leader of minded persons. Then the Irish- the House of Commons. Mr W. men divided on the question of H. Smith has fully justified the adjournment, and, according to confidence of his colleagues in inthe “Times,' Sir William Har- trusting him with the arduous and court, Messrs J. Morley, H. Fow- delicate duties of this position, ler, Marjoribanks, and other Glad- rendered still more difficult by the stonians who occupy seats on the sudden resignation of one who front bench, thought it consistent had, during his brief tenure of the with their duty to walk out of same office, evinced so conspicuous the House and abstain from voting. an ability and so completely won This miserable exhibition of party the confidence of those he led. spirit will doubtless not be lost Those who watched the short and upon the country; but it is almost brilliant career of Lord Randolph enough to make one despair of the Churchill in his capacity of leader future when one sees such a total of the House of Commons, and who absence of patriotic feeling, not to had prognosticated therefrom his say of decorum and the common great success in the future, may decencies of parliamentary life, in have been surprised to witness, but men who aspire to be leaders of a cannot have failed to recognise, great political party.
the satisfactory result which has It must be painful to old mem- been brought about by the simple bers of Parliament, who remember display of the qualities to which what the House of Commons has we have already alluded. Mr W. been, to witness the melancholy de- H. Smith has won for himself the terioration which it has undergone respect and regard of every wellof late years. Night after night, regulated mind in the House of during the present session, has the Commons, and both friends and Speaker been called upon frequently opponents must now admit the to interpose his authority, either to wisdom of the choice which placed reprove unbecoming language or him in his present position. The to check the irrelevant remarks of House of Commons never fails to diffuse and rambling orators. As appreciate straightforward honesty, to obeying the feeling of the House and quiet, unobtrusive determinaby refraining from speech when tion to do the work which has to the sense of the majority present be done; and many a more brilis obviously in favour of coming liant orator and experienced statesto a decision upon the question man than the present leader of the before it,-this, which in old times House of Commons has failed to was the almost invariable practice, secure such a general consensus seems now to be regarded as an- of approbation. Of course, the tiquated and obsolete; and the utmost tact and most invariable
good temper on the part of Mr arbitrary Government, but simply Smith cannot enable him to escape a man who had refused to attend the attacks of those wirreconcil- the summons of a judge to give eviables” among the Nationalist dence before his court.
In no party to whom delicacy and de- other country in the world would
are alike unknown, and such proceedings as we have relatwho, by their language and con- ed have been permitted on the part duct during the present session, and in behalf of a person who had have afforded incontestable proofs deliberately refused to obey the of the unfitness of Irish represen- law; and that they should have tatives to conduct the business of been allowed to take place, affords that separate Parliament in Dub- the most striking comment upon lin which Mr Gladstone fondly be- all the balderdash and nonsense lieves to be the end and object of which Irish demagogues pour forth their political aspirations.
against the tyranny of the govOf the unfitness, indeed, of Ire- ernment to which Ireland is subland for such an institution, and jected. An idle and foolish atof the impossibility of handing tempt has been made to represent over to her “native” government Father Keller as one of whom it the control of law and order, a had been required that he should striking proof has just been afford- reveal secrets committed to him as ed in the very
of Father a Catholic priest. This, however, Keller, to which we have alluded. is utterly untrue. The priest was Having been most properly arrest committed to prison-not, be it ed for contempt of one of her observed, by any action of the Majesty's Courts, this reverend Government, but by the order of gentleman was permitted to select the judge whose authority he had a slow train for his journey to deliberately defied — for refusing Dublin, in order, we are informed to answer a simple question as to by the newspapers, “ to give time whether he remembered being at a for arranging a demonstration on certain place upon a particular his arrival in Dublin”! At every day,—a question which had nothstation on the way crowds of peo- ing to do with the secrets of the ple, warned by telegram of the confessional, and answer to coming of the hero, were present which he could not have been alto greet him with enthusiastic lowed to refuse without the adcheers. At Thurles he was met by mission that a Catholic priest, as Dr Croke, Archbishop of Cashel, such, may decline to answer questwelve priests, and some thousands tions at all, or indeed to appear as of people. At Dublin he was re- a witness when duly summoned by ceived by the Lord Mayor and the constituted authorities. Imseveral Nationalist members of mediately upon the committal of Parliament, and driven in the Father Keller, two of the NationLord Mayor's carriage to the Im- alist members of Parliament adperial Hotel. At the several places dressed an excited crowd, lo whom mentioned he received addresses, one of them pointed out what had and replied in short speeches, de- just occurred as part of the “inscribing himself as a martyr to his famous system of alien misrule" devotion to the “rack-rented and existing in Ireland. One is curioppressed tenantry,” of whom he ous to know what would be the was the pastor. Be it observed system of “native rule" as opthat this priest was no victim to an posed to that which is thus so
emphatically condemned. Recent the responsible Ministers of the events have shown us that juries Crown, it would have been the would be compelled to disregard duty of Parliament to have accedtheir oaths, and to give their ver- ed to them with as little delay as dicts not in accordance with the possible. That there should be evidence, but with the opinions of bitter opposition to the granting the people—i. e., of the National of such demands is a natural conLeague; and if this is to be one of sequence of the lessons which Mr. the results of “Home Rule," we Gladstone has been teaching his can hardly be surprised if it should party ever since he awoke to be carried a step further, and that the consciousness of the necessity no witness should be compellable of the Irish vote to his political to give evidence, if that evidence predominance. If, however, that might be attended with unpleasant opposition is conducted beyond a consequences to the followers and certain point, the indignation of servants of the same authority. the British people will infallibly be Seriously speaking, it has long aroused. Indeed the tone and lansince become painfully evident guage of a portion of the Gladstonthat the time has come when the ian press has already been calculaw must be strengthened, and, lated to excite deep and justifiable having been strengthened, must anger within the breasts of peaceful be put in force.
citizens and law-abiding people. It Many of Conservative is bad enough to stigmatise by the friends have been inclined to mur- opprobrious epithet “coercion,” mur against the Government for a legislation which has for its sole want of vigorous action during the object the enforcement of obedience past six months, during which the to laws which have been adopted spirit of disaffection has been ram- by every civilised community, and pant in Ireland, and the authority which are absolutely essential for of evil men has set at defiance the preservation of society and the that of the law. The answer, how- protection of the lives and property ever, that all has been done which of innocent people. But when the ordinary law permitted, has such legislation is described as appeared to us to be sufficient, but "trampling on the Irish," and we only sufficient upon the understand- are solemnly warned that “after ing that further powers would be coercion is passed, every outrage demanded as soon as the opportu- that the Irish may commit, from nity could be obtained. That op- moonlighting to dynamite, will be portunity has come at last, and condoned in advance," the matter the Government may rely upon is becoming somewhat serious. the support of public opinion in Yet such is the language of the any and every attempt which they "Pall Mall Gazette,' no later than may make to enforce the law. It March 17th, with other expressions is not our purpose to discuss to- tending to palliate and excuse such day the particulars of the demands crimes as have already disgraced which Lord Salisbury's Cabinet Ireland and stained the name of have thought fit to make under the Irishmen. We hope indeed, that exigencies of the present moment. when the same newspaper declares We do not hesitate to say that the that “a union of heart and of symposition of Ireland and of Irish pathy has sprung up between the affairs is so critical, that whatever English Liberals and the Irish demands might have been made by Nationalists,” and that “we are all
brothers-in-arms—allies in the same strengthened by the concessions so campaign,” it is not intended to in- obviously made in deference to timate that even the extreme class their agitation, we cannot but reof “ Liberals” for whom alone the cognise the patriotism which in• Pall Mall Gazette' can assume to duced them to take action last speak, are prepared to countenance year, and the resolution with which crimes which are repulsive to all they have held their ground. The law, human or divine. Yet such is attitude of the Liberal Unionists the inference which may certainly has been an interesting study for be drawn from such language, some months past, and is, up to the and it is melancholy to read such present moment, alike of interest an approximate to the direct en- and importance. couragement of crime. Indeed, Their treatment by the Gladwe fear still further encourage- stonians has been amusing in the ment will have been given by the variations of its impertinence. At amendment moved by Mr. J. Mor- the time of the general election, ley upon the proposal to facilitate every Gladstonian, from the great the introduction of the “ Bill for leader himself down to Mr. Labouthe better Prevention and Punish- chere, vied with his neighbour in ment of Crime in Ireland," and the the strength of the abuse which he culpably unpatriotic tone adopted poured upon the followers of Lord by the Gladstonians in the debate Hartington and Mr. Chamberlain. which followed.
We remember the strenuous advice This style of comment upon given by Mr. Gladstone to the coming legislation; the hostile criti- electors of various constituencies cism of a Bill which had not even to reject Liberal Unionists—how been introduced ; and indeed the Mr. Ferguson was overthrown at whole attitude of the Gladstonians Carlisle by a bitter speech delivered and their Nationalist allies since during the stoppage of a trainthe beginning of the session,-must how honest Peter Rylands was have convinced all reasonable and assailed with cruel words, and enimpartial men of the wisdom and countered by a contest which is patriotism which dictated the course said to have shortened his life-how adopted by the Liberal Unionists an opposition to Lord Hartington in opposing and defeating the was suggested and encouragedHome Rule Bill of last year. Mr. Courtney's rejection advised These men knew with whom they —and triumph expressed over had to deal: that the Nationalists the defeat of Mr. Goschen and Sir would never be satisfied or con- George Trevelyan. Until the tented, and that Mr. Gladstone elections were over, and the conwould never weary of concession, stitution of the new Parliament if only by concession the great end definitely ascertained, no language of keeping his party together and was too hard for the poor Liberal himself in office might be accom- Unionists. To do justice to the plished. They saw that a stand advanced wing of the Radical Gladmust be made somewhere against stonians, they have scarcely devithe extravagance of Nationalist ated much from the tactics then demands; and although we may enjoined by the leaders of their wish that they had resolved to party. Mr. Labouchere and politimake this stand some years ago, cal nobodies of his rank and type before the Parnellites and Land- have persistently said such disLeaguers had been so greatly agreeable things as they could