19 DECEMBER 1885, Page 1


THE week has been full of rumours as to Mr. Gladstone's Irish policy. On Thursday the Standard assured its readers that Mr. Gladstone was prepared to recommend a scheme for Ireland of which these were the heads :—" The maintenance of the Unity of the Empire, the authority of the Crown, and the supremacy of the Imperial Parliament to be assured. The creation of an Irish Parliament, to be entrusted with the entire management of all legislative and administrative affairs, securities being taken for the representation of minorities, and for an equitable partition of all Imperial charges. One of the guarantees suggested would probably be the nomination of a certain proportion of the Irish Members by the Crown." Further, the Pall Mall Gazette declared the same evening that Mr. Gladstone's scheme was- really as follows :—" 1. A Parliament in Dublin, having complete control of Irish affairs. 2. The right of veto to be exercised by the Crown only upon the advice of an Irish Ministry. 3. The Irish repre- sentatives to continue to'sit at Westminster for all purposes of Imperial legislation. 4. The police organisation in Ireland to be entirely under Irish controL 5. Mr. Parnell to furnish adequate guarantees for the protection of the `loyal minority,' and the safeguarding of legitimate landlords' interests." Mr. Gladstone meanwhile telegraphed with regard to the Standard's intelligence (and doubtless the same applies with regard to the

• Pall Mall's) :—" The statement is not an accurate representa- tion of my views, but is, I presume, a speculation upon them. It is not published with my knowledge or authority ; nor is any other beyond my own public declarations?' And, in fact, nothing is known, or can be known, of views which in all pro- bability are not yet matured. It is, however, pretty certain that some scheme involving an Irish Parliament is brewing in Mr. Gladstone's head, and that his chief embarrassment is the mode of securing the Irish landlords against confiscation and personal insecurity, without refusing the Irish local authorities the command of the police. And no doubt that is the rock on which the whole scheme is likely to split, and which will make it unpopular not merely with Englishmen in general, but with Liberals and Radicals.