TOPICS OF THE DAY.
THE FIRST MOVE.
Tim controversy on the nearly exhausted subject of the Speaker- ship, has elicited few new points this week. The Tories now pre- tend that the Reformers only determined to oppose MANNERS
S.urroN after having found out the certainty of their defeat on the Address. This is an absurdity on the face of it. It is noto- rious that some of the Liberals, who will vote on every other ques-
tion of importance against Ministers, have been entangled by pro- mises to support MANNERS SUTTON, incautiously given before the Opposition candidate was in the field, and from which they would now gladly back out. But the Tories well know that every man who votes for ABERCRONIBY may be set down as a decided Anti-
Ministerialist. The fact is, that the Reformers fight the battle of the Speakership at a disadvantage; but they have wisely re- solved to take the very first opportunity of beating the enemy. Had the Address been the first move in the battle, the Tories would have been met there. •
The first notice on the subject, in the London press, appeared in the Spectator of the 10th of January—that is, in the first week of the elections. Even at that early stage, it was shown by an extract which we quoted from an extremely well-informed country - paper, the Reformer, published at Hertford, that MANNERS SUTTON was already in the field : and we called the attention of
the Liberals in town and country to the necessity of "starting well." The blunder of the Whigs in appointing a Tory Speaker to the chair of the last Parliament was pointed out ; and it was distinctly statcd that no excuse would be given for committing the
fault over again, and choosing the Tory stop-gap, as Mr. ABER- CROMBY would undoubtedly be put in nomination by the Re-
formers. He was the man to whom they looked from the first, in the well-grounded confidence, that all personal and private objections on his part would yield, as they have done, to his sense of public duty. Unquestionably, rather than allow the Ultra Tory nominee of the Court to be palmed upon the House, some other leading Liberal would have been proposed, had Mr.
ABERCROMBY persisted in refusing to be nominated. It was re-
solved at all events to oppose Ministers on the question of the Speakership. That was the first thing to be done. The amend-
snout on the Address comes next in order of time. There again the Tories will be opposed by the whole force of the real Reformers. If by any hocus-pocus they could bring the Address first on the carpet, the only probable difference would be, that the majority against them would be larger than we anticipate on the question of the Speakership. The Times and other Tory papers are endeavouring to hold up Mr. O'CONNELL as a bugbear to the Whigs. They pretend that Mr. ABERCROMBY is his nominee. This is contemptible as well as false. It was to Mr. ABERCROMBY, not Mr. SPRING RICE, that the preference of the English and Scotch Reformers pointed from the beginning. It would appear from the Times, that Mr. TENNYSON was O'CortsTELL's candidate. Well, even according to this version, he withdraws his support from TENNYSON, and agrees to exert all his influence to secure the return of ABER- MOREY. Is this like dictation ? Had the English and Scotch Reformers withdrawn Mr. .ABERCRGMBY and taken up Mr. TENNYSON to please the Agitator, then indeed there might have been some pretence for the imputation of the Time; some excuse for declaring that O'CONNELL nominated the Re- form candidate for the chair. The only way in which this change could have been brought about, would have been by snaking it manifest that TENNYSON would unite a larger amount of support than ABEECROMBY. In that ease, we hold that it would have been the duty and sound policy of the Reformers to support Mr. TENNYSON, even although he were proposed by Mr. acoN- NELL; for we can conceive of nothing more contemptible in the conduct of a statesman, than an abandonment of the right course of politics, merely because a man he does not like has the good sense to pursue it with him. But we repeat, that Mr. ABER- CROMBY from the first was the man whom the Reformers wished to put in the Speaker's chair; and O'Corontia., if' he had a fa- vourite candidate, as the Times asserts, (whether truly or not, we cannot say,) had the wisdom to give him up, and join heart and hand with the English and Scotch Reformers in preparing for the great contest. There never was a plainer question than that which is to be decided next Thursday. The right of the majority to elect their Speaker, is indisputable. The policy of electing a Speaker who concurs in opinion with the majority, is equally plain. The Whigs departed from a rule, up to that time considered invariable, when they put MANNERS Surrorr in the chair of the last House of Com- mons. But their conduct on that occasion is now admitted by themselves to have been a blunder: and yet, with their eyes wide open to the evil consequences of their mistake, it is hoped that they will take it as a precedent for their future conduct! Do the men who urge them to commit this folly consider the Whigs perfect idiots?
But not only are the Reformers called upon to abandon their own candidate — the " discreet, reflecting, liberal, just" Mr. ABERCROMBY-50 "considerate in his views and resolute in en- forcing them, of long experience, sound sagacity, and reputation perfectly unblemished,"--not only are they called upon to give up the man so described in May last by the Times, but whom are they to choose? Who but an Ultra Tory pensioner, perfectly indepen- dent of the Commons, and an eager expectant of favour from the Court,—a man whose principal occupation it has been for months past, even when Parliament was sitting last spring, to intrigue for the dismissal of' a Liberal Ministry, and the consequent dis- solution of that Housc whose existence it was his duty to prolong, and whose privileges he should have laboured to defend.
"Look at this picture, and look at that," and then choose be- tween them, ye professed Representatives of the Commons of England! A glance at them must determine your votes. It is a point on which there is, there can, and your constituents are re- solved that there shall be, no mistake.