20 FEBRUARY 1886, Page 1


PARLIAMENT reassembled on Thursday, and Mr. Glad-

stone made a statement as to the course of public business. After mentioning that the Government would accept the Address, and proposing to refer Procedure to a Select Com- mittee, he observed that between his speech and March 23rd the Government would only have eight clear days, which they must devote to Supply. They could not, therefore, bring forward "measures of a positive and substantive character about Ireland" until after that date. They were, however, studying Irish ques- tions most anxiously, including those relating to social order, "which must always come first in the view of an executive Government," those relating to land, and those relating to "any measure which requires attention in connection with the future government of Ireland and the method of that government." It will be seen that the Premier put order first, but he had previously taken the meaning out of his phrase by stating that the Ministry "do not propose to meet the case of Ireland by suggesting to the House at the present moment the re-enactment of repressive criminal legislation." The state- ment as a whole has created much dissatisfaction, both because Ireland is abandoned to the League, and because of the farther delay; but, as we have shown elsewhere, it followed logically from the situation. You cannot expel the Irish Members as a preparation for Home-rule, and without their expulsion no Crimes Act will pass ; while some delay in framing such vast measures was inevitable. The country must not only be told that Home-rule is decided on, but acquainted with the method of Home-rule. The situation is irritating, but it is necessary to be reasonable.