19 JULY 1879, Page 2

The unmeaning Bill called the Irish University Bill passed its

second reading on Monday, and its third on Tuesday, in the House of Lords, in the former case after a slight discussion, in which Lord }hilly made a very telling criticism upon it,—a criticism to which Lord Beaconsfield referred in his most inso- lent fashion, when remarking sarcastically that Lord Emly's noble leader in the Lords had described it as "a most effective speech." The reason of this was that Lord Emly in this speech referred to communications which took place between the Irish Government and the Roman Catholic prelates, to which Lord Beaconsfield is very unwilling that any publicity should be given, and on the very existence of which he now desires to throw discredit. Lord Endy said that in February certain pro- posals were submitted by the Irish Government to some of the leading Roman Catholics, and that recently he had seen a copy of these proposals, and had seen it under no seal of secrecy. Lord Beaconsfield angrily treated the whole story contained in "the extraordinary speech" of the noble Baron as a romance ; said that neither he nor his colleagues knew anything of these negotiations ; and he repeated on Tuesday that if, as he sup. posed, there was some vestige of fact at the bottom of the statement, it was a very small vestige, and one of which he and his colleagues,—his colleagues, however, not including the Irish Secretary,—knew nothing; and that the word "negotiations" must have been wrongly applied. In the Commons on Thursday, Mr. Lowther, the Irish Secretary, admitted the communications, but described them as quite unofficial. No doubt, there is some sense in which Lord Beaconsfield's disclaimer can be reconciled with facts, but we venture to affirm that it is not likely to prove nearly, so natural a sense as that in which Lord Emly's declara- tion can be reconciled with facts, But with a general election in the near future, Lord Beaconsfield is, perhaps, even too eager to wash his hands of all complicity with Roman Catholics. If you are not careful, you may sometimes wash a stain in, instead of out.