A correspondence which appears in yesterday's Times clears up the
difficulty in understanding the Central Birmingham quarrel. It seems that the Conservatives openly proclaimed their intention of putting forward Lord Randolph Churchill for Central Birmingham on the first vacancy ; that the Liberal Unionists greatly deprecated this course, but said, neverthe- less, that if he were persuaded to come forward as a candidate, rather than divide the constituency, they would support him; and that the Conservatives understood this as virtually a promise that the Liberal Unionists would join in asking him to come for- ward, which, of course, it was not. On the contrary, they hoped that he would not come forward, because it would be a breach of the general arrangement between the Liberal Unionists and the Conservatives, that a Liberal Unionist should every- where be nominated for a Liberal Unionist seat, and a Con- servative for a Conservative seat. Consequently, the Liberal Unionists did all in their power to persuade Lord Randolph not to come forward, and they succeeded. But had he come forward in spite of these remonstrances, they were prepared to support him. Lord Randolph, on the other hand, had promised to stand if the Liberal Unionists would support him ; but the Liberal Unionists would not support his candidature; they would only vote for him in case his candi- dature was determined on. It is easy to see that a misunder- standing was certain to arise out of such very complicated understandings as these, and that both parties are perfectly honest in thinking that they have been badly treated by the other side. Surely, however, the Conservatives will now
recognise that Central Birmingham itself greatly prefers Mr. Bright's son to the titled exponent of Tory democracy.