14 APRIL 1866, Page 2

The Duke of Argyll on Thursday week at Liverpool, and

Mr. Goschen last Thursday in the City meeting, both addressed them- selves to answer the ' thinking ' Liberals, as they have nick- named us and those who think with us. The Duke of Argyll said there was nothing for the middle class to fear, there was no danger of its losing representation through any blank redaction of the franchise, because the great Reform Bill, while apparently ejecting the aristocracy from all representation, has really left them very powerful. Yes, but how? Filet, as landowners who can still command the votes of numberless retainers,—eecondly, as peers, through the House of Peers. Without the influence of landlords they would only secure seats in the House of Commons by the sacrifice of their opinions. The middle class have no such influence except through buying votes, and that is not a mode of securing representative influence which the Duke of Argyll could recom- mend; and if he did, it would secure influence only for the worst part of the middle class. Mr. Goschen admitted in his very able speech that there was much to be said for our views, but asserted that it was of no use to urge them, because Parliament would not accept them. Certainly not, if no Minister, however much he is convinced, will broach a new experiment. If no great house would introduce a new loan to the public, the security, however sound, would have little chance ; but whose fault is that,—the sound security's, or the timid capitalist's?