The part of this speech which was waited for with
the greatest eagerness was that containing the concessions offered to those Radicals who insist that the Irish Members shall be left in Westminster. It is said that Mr. Chamberlain, in par- ticular, was confident that a great change in this direction would be made. He was disappointed. We have given the text of Mr. Gladstone's offers elsewhere, but may say here that they amounted only to a promise that, if a law were proposed altering Customs and Excise duties, "the Irish Members" should be summoned, and that Government would favourably consider any working plan for conjoint representation on the reserved subjects. These promises were regarded as unsatisfactory, and it was reported that on Thursday the Secretary for War would explain and amplify them ; but Mr. Campbell-Banner- man did nothing of the kind. He only made the promise to summon Irish Members to attend taxing debates more definite; but that scheme is regarded in the House as un- workable. There seems reason to believe that the Parnellite objection to representation in Westminster is much stronger than was supposed. To begin with, the Irish Members, if always present, would be called on to defend local Irish legislation, and would completely overshadow the Government in Dublin.