The speeches on the other side were not a little
odd. Lord Robert Montagu spoke for two hours in a House often small enough to be counted out, dividing his speech pretty equally between an attack on Cabinets and a panegyric on the Privy Council. Mr. Gladstone, in one of his least happy efforts, rebuked Mr. Dillwyn for condemning a Ministry which had sanctioned abuses of the Prerogative when addressing a Parliament which had endorsed that sanction, and made what Sir Robert Peel, with his usual levity, afterwards described as a "shabby and flabby" criticism on a censure which he himself had formerly pressed in speeches in the country even further than Mr. Dillwyn. Mr. Fawcett repudiated, what no one seriously imputed to him, being under Court influence ; and Sir Stafford Northcote spoke twice, once on the motion and once on the amendment, having apparently become convinced that in his first speech he had not vindicated sufficiently the use of the Prerogative by the Government. In his second speech, he no longer treated Lord Lytton's long telegram to the Queen as a strictly private matter, with which the Administration had no concern, but explained its substance as one of pure informa- tion as to the advance of the troops, and declared that the reply given to it was seen and approved by the Government. Lord Hartington well said that if the Ministry had but given this serious consideration to the matter sooner, they would have been spared much debate. Indeed, the contemptuous levity with which Sir Stafford Northcote at first treated the question as to the separate communications between the Viceroy and the Sovereign was a fully sufficient reason for urging the inquiry further. The debate was adjourned (probably sine die) ; but the motion for adjourn- ment showed 46 supporters against 301 who opposed the adjournment Amongst the 46 were Lord Arthur Russell, Mr. Howard, and Sir Robert Peel.