12 APRIL 1873, Page 2

In reply to Mr. Stapleton on Monday, the Prime Minister

stated that the advertisement in the Westminster Gazette for sub- scriptions to aid the Carlist cause was, in the opinion of Sir J. D. Coleridge and Sir G. Jessel, not illegal, though a contract for any such object would be illegal, and would be void in law. " There was nothing to prevent any person giving or any person asking money for -such a purpose." And consequently, said Mr. Gladstone, it was not in the power of Her Majesty's -Government

n any way to go beyond the law. Of course not ; but great lawyers differ strangely, and Mr. Gladstone might in any case have exerted his great moral influence to check this pernicious interference in the internal disputes of other countries,—a subject on which we have spoken at length elsewhere. As to the law of the matter, Lord Lyndhurst certainly declared such requests illegal forty years ago, and as recently as 1860 Mr. Whiteside, Mr. Edwin James, Sir Hugh Cairns (now Lord Cairns), Mr. Bovill (now Chief Justice of the Common Pleas), and Sir R. Bethell (now Lord Westbury), all concurred in saying that such requests for subscriptions were wholly illegal, and that those who requested and those who gave subscriptions, might be indicted for a conspiracy. No doubt an indictment for conspiracy -of this kind would probably enough fail, but if the course of proceeding is really illegal, whether it is punishable or no, very much fewer Englishmen would embark in it than if it be per- fectly legal. Can it be that the British Government has any -sympathy with the Carlist cause in Spain?