The two parties at Walsall are in as active a state of election-warfare as if the polling-booths were already up. Meetings continue to be held, and abuse bandied about without stint. At a meeting of Mr. Glad- stone's friends on Wednesday, Mr. W. E. Gladstone, M.P. for Newark, and Mr. Forster, the late Conservative candidate for Walsall, were present, and addressed the meeting. Mr. Gladstone the candidate an- swered attacks that bad been made on his father as an old slave-trader, &c. ; and repeated his assurances that he felt secure of success. On the other side, it is understood that Mr. Smith's chances have greatly improved ; and that he now may count upon Lord Hathertou's influ- ential support.
The election-contest at Canterbury has given rise to a hostile corre- spondence between the candidates, in consequence of the report of a speech made by Mr. H. Wilson on Tuesday ; he was stated to have said, in reference to Mr. Smythe—" Parliament is his profession, di- plomacy his trade, and humbug his language." After some negotiation and delay, a note was yesterday received from Mr. Villiers, the friend of Mr. Wilson, disclaiming, on the part of the latter, all intention of saying any thing personally offensive to Mr. Smythe.
Mr. Edmund Antrobus, son of Sir Edmund Antrobus, is the Conser- vative candidate for the representation of East Surry, vacant by the death of Captain Alsager.
At a meeting of some of the East Starry electors in the Borough, on Wednesday evening, Mr. Antrobus was introduced by Mr. Barclay ; and after he had addressed the meeting in explanation of his political sentiments, resolutions were passed to sup, ort him.
There is a division in the Tory camp respecting the representation of Reigate. Mr. D'Arcy first came forward and canvassed the electors. This, he says, he could do in one afternoon, without the aid of a com- mittee, as the number of electors does not amount to two hundred. He seems to have thought himself secure and to have taken no measures
for meeting opposition ; when Lord secure, came forward as the suc- cessor of his father, also on the Conservative interest. It was thought that Mr. D'Arcy would have then withdrawn ; but he is determined to contest the representation, and some angry words have passed between him and the Chairman of Lord Eastnor's Committee. He wishes to throw the borough open. If this dispute continues, it is probable some candidate of opposite politics may come forward.
Mr. Octavius Morgan 'has come forward as the Conservative candi-
date for Monmouthshire, with a good prospect of success.— Worcester- shire Guardian.
The annual dinner of the North Staffordshire Conservative Associa- tion was held on Tuesday, at the Crown Hotel, in Stone. The chair was taken by Lord Sandon, the President of the Association ; and the company, which comprised most of the leading gentry in the Northern Division, consisted of between 200 and 300 persons. Lord Sandon, after eulogizing Conservative Associations, and boasting of the strength of the Conservative party in the country, summed up his reasons for not placing confidence in the present Ministers, notwithstanding the success of the British troops in the East— His "confidence" was not increased in the present Administration because they had thrown round them the glare of victory and the lustre of British arms. He looked at his own country, and, accosted as he was at every turn by grievances resulting from Ministerial inaptitude, he could not think their achievements elsewhere a sufficient apology for domestic mismanagement. Ile highly valued and justly estimated the recent display of British- valour—the recent triumphs of British arms; but he contended against the unnatural al- liance at present existing, through the Ministry, between the Crown, the So- cialist, the Radical, and the Chartist. He could not bear to hear the Ministry talk of that momentous question, the Repeal of the Union between Great Britain and Ireland, being sunk in the "_great cause" of Progressive Reform. Be had no increased confidence in the Ministry, because they manifested little regard whether ornot the Church should be maintained in all its integrity and in due efficiency. He had no increased confidence in the Ministry, because they. linked themselves with those who endeavoured to extend the suffrage to the !Ignorant and illiterate, so that the poorer classes were to have the sole do- minion in the country. He could not consent to prohibit a man from giving his vote in a fair, frank, open manner to the candidate that he preferred, and to substitute for it the mean, secret, clandestine refuge fur knavery—the Ballot. He had not seen in the domestic affairs of the country any reason for increased confidence in the Ministry, and that more particularly as they had offered the highest place on the judicial bench to a man who was agitating the country for an object which they themselves deemed tantamount to a civil war. These and many other considerations prevented him from reposing any increased confidence in them.
A public meeting for the purpose of seeking the abolition of Church- rates, the suppression of Ecclesiastical Courts, and the liberation of Mr. Baines, was to be held at Leicester -yesterday ; at which Mr. O'Connell, Mr. Easthope, and Mr. Wynne Ellis were expected to attend.
Mr. Ward, the Member for Sheffield, attended a public meeting in that town on Monday, to render his annual account to his constituents. He entered at length into an explanation of his votes ; specifying "the questions on which he had voted against the Government, and those on which he had voted with the Government against the Tories." After disposing of Whigs and Tories, he turned round upon the Radicals in Parliament, whom he describes to be in a very helpless predicament, at the mercy of the Chartists- " He must now say a few words of the Parliamentary Radicals. 'What had become of them ? What had they done ? He had spoken freely of both Tories and Whigs, but where were the good deeds of his own particular friends ? As a party they could hardly be said to exist. Chartism had killed them. Ile meant Chartism with its concomitants—the estrangement between the middle and working-classes and their refusal to cooperate for any common ends. Re blamed neither class for this. It was as natural for the working- men to desire the franchise, and to regard their exclusion from it as a hardship, as it was for the middle-classes to require some security that it would not be applied to the anti-social purposes avowed by many of the Chartist leaders, when obtained. But the effect of this state of things upon those who thought with himself that a large extension of the suffrage was both desirable and safe, and that the Liberal party could never work out the things which they pro- posed to contend for, without it, was this—that it put it in the power of Lord John Russell, or any other Ministerial leader to say, 'You cannot satisfy the masses any more than myself. Of the two, perhaps you are most disliked by them ; for you, Mr. Ward, who call yourself a popular Member, were very nearly knocked on the head the last time you visited your constituents at Sheffield; and you, Mr. Flume, who denounce the Reform Bill, have not a single petition to show in support of the changes which you recommend. Why ask me, then, to do that which no party demands, or will accept '? There was no answer to this : and Mr. Grote, with sound discretion no doubt, had dropped his annual motion of the Ballot; nobody had heard of Triennial Parliaments; and Mr. Hume fixed his franchise motion for the 28th of July."
The fact was, the aristocratic preponderancy in the "House of Com- mons was such, that a minority in the House had no weight unless be- lieved tobe not in a minority out of doors. No popular question could be advanced, as matters now stood, until the people had made up their minds what to contend for ; while the only symptom of combination that he saw was in the Parliamentary Reform Association of Leeds. But the Liberals must come to an agreement-
" They mast agree, and that soon ; for Toryism, identified as it was with a bad commercial system' and a monopoly of tbxlc, was gaining strength by their differences every day. Look at the actual state of parties. Within the limits of the Reform Bill, the rattle had been fought and lost. The Government, successful abroad—brilliant in its foreign policy, by the admission of the Tories themselves—stood here upon the verge of defeat. A Tory majority was certain, if Parliament was dissolved ; for bribery—the dry-rot of the con- stitution—and demoralization, were general in the small constituencies, and apathy in the large. He had long foreseen this. In November 1837, the first tame that he ever spoke as their representative, he told Lord John Russell that his Ministerial days were numbered, from the moment that he repudiated the principle of Progressive Reform. And what had been the result ? The Liberal majority of 1833 was reduced from 500 to 5. The loss of Canterbury, or Walsall, both of which they could hardly hope to carry, would bring things nearly to a dead-lock. The fate of Ireland would again be left to depend upon the humour of that most crotchety of clever men, Lord Howick, and the Government itself upon casualties, for they had not now a single vote to spare."
He regretted this ; for there were advantages in the Government being placed in Liberal hands. Even last session a great deal had been accomplished—the settlement of the Canada question, the Irish Muni- cipal Bill, the Education grant, Colonial reforms, and the liberalization .of the Church by introducing to the Episcopal Bench such men as Dr. Maltby, Dr. Stanley, and Mr. Thirlwall. Under a Tory Government none of the needful changes in commercial and fiscal reform could be effected. And on this head Mr. Ward enlarged, finishing with the Corn-laws— •
" This was a melancholy prospect, unless the people put their shoulder to the wheel. They must do so. There could be no dabbling or tampering with the question; and they had little help to expect. Lord Melbourne had de- dared it to be madness to think of so sweeping a change ; and Sir Robert Peel, if inclined to undertake it, would be thrown overboard by his agricultural friends. The imminence of the danger was, therefore, his only hope. He feared that the Whig Ministers would shrink from the task ; but he was con- vinced that, if they did shrink, they would lose office, and popular support. The country might have to go through the ordeal of Toryism again ; but a national party would then be formed, combining great political with great eco- nomical changes, and fighting its battle at once for cheap food, free trade, and larger social rights."
After he had finished, Mr. Ward was put to a cross-examination by some persons, who appear to have been of the working class. Then a Mr. Otley, in a very moderate speech, moved a resolution expressing want of confidence in Mr. Ward, because, along with "Mr. Parker and others of the same class," he had "proved himself a class legislator, and a firm supporter of the present refined and accomplished system of tyranny, oppression, and cruelty." Mr. Dunn met this by a vote of thanks to Mr. Ward, "for his manly and independent conduct in Parliament during the past year " ' - and the Master Cutler of Sheffield, who presided, declared the vote of thanks to be carried.
On Tuesday last, a general meeting of delegates from all the principal railway companies in England was held at the Queen's Hotel, Birming- ham, for the purpose of considering the best means to be adopted for preventing a recurrence of the accidents which have lately taken place on railways. A numerous and highly influential body of directors, with some of the most eminent engineers and managers of railways, at- tended. Mr. George Carr Glyn, the Chairman of the London and Birmingham Railway Company, was called to the chair. The parties present were the representatives of considerably above 50,000,000/. of capital. The utmost cordiality was manifested, and the strongest desire expressed by all present to adopt every possible means of accomplishing the proposed object. Those who were most conversant with the ma- nagement of railways stated their conviction, that by far the greater part of the accidents which had occurred . were' referable to the neglect and disobedience of orders on the part of the railway ser- vants; and while some few casualties must be expected to occur in any mode of locomotion by such immense numbers of persons as are conveyed on railways, it must be to an improved state of discipline and moral responsibility on the part of the men employed on railways that the exemption from accidents must be looked for. In these senti- ments every person who delivered his opinion concurred. The delibe- rations of the meeting lasted for several hours; during which time the regulations and signals adopted on all the principal lines were fully discussed. Resolutions were unanimously passed in which the" grave responsibility" of railway directors was admitted, and their regrets ex- pressed at the accidents which had occurred. Looking forward, how- ever, to the beneficial result of unremitting vigilance and habitual caution, they "deprecate any sudden or hasty legislation on the sub- ject; being convinced that the means referred to, aided by such im- proved arrangement and mechanical adaptations as a more matured expeaience may suggest, will amply accomplish the desired object." The resolutions also recommend greater care in the selection of engine- men and firemen, and a more strict punishment of neglect of duty. The question of the appointment of a conductor or captain of each train, was "taken into serious consideration," and negatived, on the ground that it would distract attention, divide authority, and diminish the responsibility of the engineman.
On Saturday night, one of the bridges crossing the Midland Counties Railway, near Leicester, fell in, and obstructed the traffic on the road. The engine of the mail-train from Derby, which came up shortly after the accident, was embedded among the fallen materials, but none of the passengers received injury by the shock. After a detention of four hours, the train continued its route. On Sunday night a more extensive damage to this railway occurred near Loughborough, owing to the floods. A large portion of the embankment and rails were carried away, and the trains were of course obliged to stop. Signals of the danger were made in time to the approaching trains, by which means accidents were avoided.
The London and Aberystwith mail was overturned on Monday rimm- ing last, near Strethough, going at the foot of Plialimmon. In conse- quence of the snow-storm, the coachman had provided an extra pair of horses ; and the postilion missed his way in crossing the road, where on one side is a ravine of considerable depth, into which the coach and two inside passengers (J. Hughes, Esq., and Mr. Monkhouse, of Abe- rystwith,) were precipitated, the whole turning over twice or thrice ; and yet both gentlemen miraculously escaped with only a few slight scratches and contusions. The coachman and guard threw themselves off, and were not hurt ; and the postilion received no injury, although be was in a most perilous situation. In a few hours, the coach, &c. was righted, and proceeded on its journey.—Hereford Times.
At the Hearn Castle Colliery, near Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire, on Saturday, a man and a boy were killed, and another boy was danger- ously wounded, either by the carelessness of the men at the pit-mouth, or by the defect of the machinery. The three were at the bottom of the shaft preparing to ascend, when the "tram" full of coals which had been just drawn up, fell down upon them. A Coroner's jury re- turned a verdict of" Accidental Death."
On Friday morning last, the glazing-mills of the Kennall Gunpowder Company, near Penryn, exploded ; by which a man named Martin was killed, and two others were slightly injured. The force of the explo- sion was so great, that the poor fellow's head was picked up full a quarter of a mile from the works, and other parts of the body were found at different distances.
A fire was discovered at Earl Stoke, the seat of Sir John Cam Hobhouse, on Friday night. Mrs. Henry Hobhouse was awakened by the smell of smoke. An alarm was given, when the steward dis- covered that it issued from the dining-room. On making a breach in the wall, the flames burst out in a large body ; but a supply of water being promptly provided, the fire was got under before much damage was done. The joists in the room in which Mr. and Mrs. H. Hobhouse slept, over the dining-room, were burned at the ends, and the carpet was singed.