20 FEBRUARY 1875, Page 2

The Home-rulers in Parliament are taking up this Session the

attitude of injured Moderates, who always speak so respectfully of their opponents that they are bound, in justice to themselves, to exact respect from their opponents. Yesterday week Mr. Sullivan tried to extract from Mr. Lopes an apology for speaking of the Home-rulers on the 10th of September last as " a disrepu- table band," but Mr. Lopes would only declare that, speaking some- what loosely in an after-dinner speech, he had used the words in the sense of a "not creditable party," and that he was describing, not the private characters of its members, but the anti-Imperial prin- ciples of the party itself. As he would not withdraw the offen- sive word, Mr. Sullivan on Monday raised a question of privilege about it in an elaborate speech, in which he cited a great many precedents of what he held to be similar breaches of privilege noticed by the House, and declared that the attacks on the Home-rulers were becoming so systematic,—he cited, for in- stance, the case of Sir J. D. Astley, M.P. for North Lincolnshire, who had, however, apologised for speaking of some of them as a "pack of scoundrels," and Mr. Hall, M.P. for Oxford, who had declared some of them not "fit" to sit in the House of Com- mons, as well as Mr. Lopes,—that it became necessary to stop them. Mr. Disraeli, in a very amusing speech, - in which he remarked that the invective of the Recess always had a conventional and unreal character, and that after-dinner speeches had no slur attaching to them on that account, since almost all the more important speeches of the House of Commons were after-dinner speeches,—appealed to Mr. Lopes to withdraw his not very violent oratorical excess, which Mr. Lopes did somewhat ambiguously and sulkily, rather expressing his regret if any one had been offended by his words, than any sense of sell-reproach for them. However, the excuse was accepted, and the motion of censure withdrawn, the Home-rulers assuming a tone of magnanimous and dignified generosity, as of men to whom the language of vituperation was strange and shocking.