10 AUGUST 1872, Page 1

The dispute will not end so, however, we fear. Mr.

Ayrton intimated plainly that he left the letter charging him with evasion to the Premier, and that if Mr. Gladstone did not demand its withdrawal he should resign, and it was clear that on this point Mr. Gladstone intended to support him. " I am bound to add," said the Premier, " that the charge having been made, if it cannot be sustained, it must be distinctly and uncondi- tionally withdrawn, and that regret should be expressed for its having been made." The general question is to be forgotten in a side detail, Dr. Hooker smashed for a hot- tempered indiscretion, Mr. Ayrton pardoned for a cold, deliberate out-pouring of vitriolic contempt, contempt so expressed as to amount to brutal scorn, upon a man whom the Premier a few days ago himself described as " having deserved the gratitude of his country." If Mr. Ayrton had kicked his opponent, he could not have insulted him more savagely ; yet because Dr. Hooker, an excitable savan, had passed on him a much smaller insult,—for he evidently intended to question the First Commissioner's method of argument, not his personal truthfulness,—he is to bear the whole weight of the Crown's displeasure. Dr. Hooker must retract, and Mr. Ayrton need not even apologise. There is no justice in such a decision, and little regard for the welfare of a service into which, under such treatment, gentlemen will not enter.