24 JULY 1869, Page 1


TIIHE Irish Church Bill may be considered passed. After a strug- gle which, early in the week, threatened to become serious, the Government and the Lords arrived at a compromise which, if not satisfactory, has been successful. Lord Cairns privately offered • that if certain concessions were made about money,—concessions which re-endow the Free Church with an extra half-million or so, —the Peers would retreat from their Amendments, and the Ministry gave way. Mr. Gladstone, indeed, with half-a-dozen Peers in his Cabinet, could hardly resist, more especially as the country, heartily weary of the discussion, was willing to accept any termination of the dispute involving only some slight sacrifice of principle. Re- endowment even with half a million is re-endowment, but the country would have considered the paltriness Of the amount, rather than the importance of maintaining absolute equality. The affair therefore was settled English fashion, illogically and stupidly, but finally, and on the 1st January, 1871, the Irish Church will, as a State establishment, cease to exist. We could have desired a little more thoroughness, but still, an almost impossible task, the extinction of Protestant ascendancy in Ireland, has been accom- plished in a single session.