23 FEBRUARY 1889, Page 1

The Parliamentary debates were unusually uninteresting. Lord Granville's claw made

itself gently felt through the velvet paw here and there ; but he was not inclined to eulogise Mr. O'Brien, and yet could not keep off the Irish subject. Lord Selborne made a vigorous defence of his statement that the Irish Crimes Act, 1887, had made no new crime, though it had, of course, provided new modes of determining what is criminal and what is not. Lord Salisbury made very good fun of the whole O'Brien melodrama, and gave sub- stantial proof that Ireland is really rapidly returning to tranquillity. On foreign policy nothing new was elicited. In the House of Commons, the debate was equally perfunctory. Mr. Gladstone reserved his attack for the amendment on the Irish clause of the Address of which Mr. John Morley had given notice ; and was as mild as possible in touching on the proposal to increase the English Navy, the promised Irish measures, and the policy at Suakin and Zanzibar. And Mr. W. H. Smith was only too glad to clear the debate on the Address, of the Irish Question, by eagerly accepting Mr. Gladstone's recommendation to delay all Irish criticism till Mr. John Morley's amendment should be moved, The whole debate was dead-alive.