18 FEBRUARY 1888, Page 3

Do Radicals really think that it will never be necessary

or expedient for this country to enter into a secret treaty ? At all events, Mr. Laboachere thinks so, for he keeps worrying Sir J. Fergusson as to a Treaty about Italy ; and on Thursday he asked " whether any despatch or despatches were received in the course of last year from her Majesty's Ambassador at Berlin suggesting that this country should give certain pledges or assurances to Italy, in order to induce that Power to enter into an alliance with Germany and Austria, or with either of those Powers ; and whether such pledges or assurances were given." Sir James Fergusson, of course, declined to give any informa- tion ; but the question is to be raised again. The immense advantage of a solid understanding with Italy, the immense dis- advantage of a premature misunderstanding with France, are as nothing compared with the chance of giving a blow to the detested Government. Fortunately, Mr. Gladstone, who must know pretty nearly what the truth of the matter is, has dis- tinctly approved the foreign policy of the Government, and spoken of its continuousness.