17 FEBRUARY 1866, Page 1

The debate, both on Wednesday morning and on Thursday night

in committee, brought out the enormous strength of the landed interest in the Commons. The larger borough members scarcely knew each other, and were disunited and feeble. Mr. Bright alone fought the landed gentry, and he made the great mistake of fighting them on a wrong issue, by taunts directed at the aristocracy, instead of on the strong ground of reason and prece- dent. He taunted them with being unable to give up their huntitig, though it is said that dogs especially carry the infection, ancl.Mr. Lowe charged him with wishing to set class against class even among dogs, with taking the side of the " humble cur," who is to be strictly punished for roaming about, against the aristocratic fox- hound. But Mr. Lowe and the country gentlemen carried every- thing before them, though compelled to accept the reduction of the price of a beast attacked by the plague from two-thirds to one-half, —one-half being at least quadruple its real value. They carried the clause for giving three-fourths of the value of a beast not yet attacked, but probably infected ; they carried the clause which pays two-thirds of the compensation-money out of the county rate, and it is far from improbable they may be able to put the remaining third also upon the county rate, and get rid of the cattle rate—the special tax on the interest which demands this remedy— altogether. If so, it will be Mr. Lowe's doing. He has been shrewd enough in discerning the true course of the plague ; and as for the relative claims of the public and the agricultural interest, it is not likely that the nominee of the Marquis of Lansdowne cares much for compensating the public.