15 MAY 1886, Page 2

Sir Henry James's speech, which opened Thursday's debate, was much

the most remarkable speech delivered on that day. Indeed, excepting Mr. Campbell-Bannertnan's, to whose remarks on Mr. Gladstone's concessions we have referred in speaking of those concessions, and Lord George Hamilton's, which was not very new, Mr. Dillon's speech on behalf of the Irish Members, and Mr. Leatham's smart attack on the Bill from the Radical point of view, it was the only speech of moment at all. Sir Henry James, after an eloquent tribute to Mr. Gladstone, professed his intention to come to " close quarters " with the Bill ; and to close quarters he certainly came. On his remarks as to the violation of the unity of the Kingdom, and on the asserted supremacy of Parliament, under this measure, we have said enough elsewhere, and will only add that he pro- duced a considerable effect by quoting ftom "Historicus " (Sir William Harcourt) the remark that if, in relation to a Colony, the Mother-country ever parted with the claim of its Legis- lature to exercise a supreme authority over the legislation of that Colony, " it would dissolve the Imperial tie, and convert the Colonies into foreign and independent States ;" and this was, contended Sir Henry James, what was to be done with Ireland. As to the sovereignty of Parliament, Sir Henry James contended that it would be at an end. The Parliament at Westminster could do nothing to alter the Constitution of Ireland without the re-summoning of the Irish Members, so that there would be no strictly sovereign Parlia- ment as there is now. Indeed, a separate tribunal would have to decide whether the Irish Legislature had done what was ultra sires in relation is the powers conferred on it or not. The pro- tection of the minority was not really provided for at all; and the craving which had led to Home-rule would never be satisfied till it led to that Irish national independence at which it really aimed.