The real practical pinch for the Anti-Parnellites is not any
difficulty in securing Irish support for their deter- mination not hastily to offend Mr. Gladstone, but lies else- where : first, in getting a leader powerful enough to replace Mr. Parnell,—which seems at present a mere dream,—and next, in keeping the Gladstonians up to their determina- tion to put Home-rule in the front of the battle, and not to allow any other Radical measure to undermine its posi- tion and secure a preference. Mr. Maguire, M.P., puts the case vigorously enough in a letter to Thursday's Times. Sir• William Harcourt, he says, has hinted that if the Lords reject Irish Home-rule, other Radical measures would be taken up before an appeal to the country were made,—other measures which would take up much time, and raise a number of dis- tracting issues, like " One man, one vote," which would inevitably raise the whole question of the redistribution of seats. Under these circumstances, he says, " the independent Irish Nationalists have a right to demand one of two things,— (1), that the Liberal leaders should make known, not indeed the details, but the general lines and leading provisions of their Bill ; (2), that if they will not do this, they should assure- the people of Ireland that they intend to make the Bill a vital measure to their Government, and that they intend to see it through, even if other dissolutions should be necessary. If neither of these demands be complied with, the Irish people have no right to expect that, as they are now told from every platform, the return of the Liberals to power means the speedy grant of Home-rule." That is quite reasonable from the Irish Home-ruler's point of view, but it shows the diffi- culty of the position. If Mr. Gladstone concedes this dominant position to his Irish measure, he relegates the Newcastle programme to the Greek Kalends. If he refuses it, he loses all hold on the independent Nationalism of Ireland,. and places even the priestly party in a most ambiguous position.