14 APRIL 1866, Page 1


AMEETING of Earl Russell's supporters was held at his official residence, Downing Street, on the 9th inst. The attendance was large, exceeding 280, and the assemblage broke up apparently well content. Earl Russell addressed them for an hour, giving a history of his Bill, which he described as an extension of the Act of 1832, admitting that in limiting it to the franchise he had been influenced by Mr. Bright, and pledging his Government to bring in his measure for redistribution in this Parliament, and stand or fall by its success. No threat of dissolution was consequently made. Mr. Bright was unusually mild, and the remaining speakers consisted of men usually considered doubtful, but who announced their intention of voting for the second reading. Mr. Laing was the only Abdiel, for although Mr. E. James of Man- chester supported him, he has since been frightened by his con- stituents into pleading he did not mean it. A statement was circulated in the meeting that Government was sure of a majority of thirty-five, which greatly comforted those who, having to vote against their consciences, or rather against their intellects, trust that as compensation they may be on the winning side.