14 JANUARY 1888, Page 1

Lord Salisbury's speech in Hengler's Circus, Liverpool, on Wednesday, was

hardly one of his greatest efforts, but it con- tained some important allegations, as well as some striking passages. He declared positively, and in emphatic terms, that no member of the Tory Cabinet of 1885, excepting only Lord Carnarvon, had ever expressed himself as favourable to Home- rule in Ireland. It is replied that in speaking at Newport in 1885, he himself referred to the notion that the federation of the Empire might begin by according Home-rule to Ireland, and said,—" I wish that it may be so ; but I think that we shall he holding out false expectations if we avow a belief which as yet, at all events, we cannot entertain." That sentence shows un- doubtedly a certain amount of indecision, but quite as certainly it is absolutely consistent with Lord Salisbury's statement of Wednesday night. It proves that though he would at that time have gladly believed that Home-rule might be safely given to Ireland, he held no such belief, but inclined to the opposite belief that it never would be safe to give it. Undoubtedly he was unwise to set the example of faltering. But faltering in your opposition to a policy, is a very different thing indeed from approving it