13 AUGUST 1887, Page 1

Lord Harlington, in returning thanks, defended stoutly the policy of

the Irish Crimes Act. He accepted full responsibility for the tardy changes introduced into the Irish Land Act after it had gone down to the House of Commons, and admitted that the Liberal Unionists had been fully consulted beforehand, and had then thought that these changes would not be necessary. As regards the closer junction between the different sections of the Unionist Party which had been advocated, Lord Harlington fully admitted that for many reasons it would be desirable, since it was not wise for the Liberal Unionists to be identified only with a negative policy. They ought also to be associated with a constructive policy which would have the effect of showing that they really deserve the confidence of the country. Bat the time for that closer junction bad not yet arrived. It would be necessary for the Conservatives and for the Liberal Unionists to deliberate together on the general features of a con- structive policy, before the time would be ripe for the junction desired. "I think," said Lord Harlington, "that progress is being made," and he expressed his belief that the Conservative Party, stimulated by the Liberal Unionist Party, is prepared to enter on a course of progressive legislation. "In the interval which will elapse between the end of the present Session and the assembling of Parliament for another Session, that progress will be farther continued, and we, the leaders of the Unionist Party, shall be able to place before the country a policy of reform and of progress which shall at the same time tend to consolidate the Unionist Party, to secure and establish the maintenance of the 'Union, and to confer on oar country benefits for which it has long been waiting, and for which, but for some policy of that kind, it may have long to wait." That is, we take it, a formal announcement of the readiness of Lord Hartington within a few months to join the Government in a policy of prudent and progressive reform.