15 MARCH 1873, Page 1

A rumour prevails that Mr. Gladstone will not go back

to power in any case, but will leave the headship of his party to Lord Granville. If that is true, the Catholic Bishops will have inflicted an almost, irreparable loss upon the country ; but there is no proof whatever that it is true, or is anything more than a report founded on Mr. Gladstone's visible weariness of very ex- hausting labour_ That on the possible, though improbable occurrence of such au event, Lord Granville would become the Liberal chief, may be taken as clear, but the leadership of the party in the Commons is by no means so certain. That is by far the most important office in the State, and there is no one whom the country absolutely designates for it. Under those circumstances—which, however, may never arise—seniority weighs heavily in the scale, and Mr. Cardwell, besides being much the senior of every commoner in the Cabinet, has been Mr. Gladstone's colleague when neither of them were Radicals. His name seems to have been telegraphed over England on Thursday, but only on t he basis of a rumour which seems to us at least as improbable as it would be disastrous.