16 JUNE 1877, Page 3

A novel discussion was raised on Monday in the Commons

as to the employment of Secret-service money. Mr. Parnell and several other Irish Members suspected that some of this money was spent in paying spies in Ireland, and wanted to reduce the vote by £4,000, unless they could obtain assurances upon the subject, or a statement of the geographical distribution of the money. They got no information, however. Sir Stafford Northoote stated that the old practice of using part of the money for compassionate allowances had been abandoned, and that in all doubtful eases the employment of the money was brought under his notice; but he would give no farther details, and the vote, 124,000, -was passed by 92 to 43. We dare say some of the money is spent in Ireland, but if Mr. Parnell thinks that improper, he should move that the vote be rejected, not that it be reduced by one-sixth. The remainder, if still allowed, could still be spent in Ireland. The true objection to secret-service money is that it is to be used for purposes which Parliament cannot discuss, and the true justification for it that there are such purposes, which a succession of Cabinet Ministers of both parties think it right to spend money on.