25 JANUARY 1890, Page 1

Mr. Gladstone made a great speech at Chester on Wednes_

day. He expressed regret at the collision with Portugal, though he refused at present either to condemn or to question the proceedings of Lord Salisbury. On the Armenian and the Cretan questions, he reiterated the hope that we should not be found lending any support to Turkey, unless Turkey gave the Armenians and Cretans constitutional redress for their wrongs. Referring to the supposed intention of the Government of the United States to spend fifty or sixty millions sterling on the creation of a powerful Navy, he deplored the excuse this would probably supply for spend- ing more money on our own Navy in order to outbid the United States ; and then he made a most violent attack on the Government for appointing the Commission to inquire into "Parnellism and Crime," giving an account of its Par- liamentary origin so exclusively and marvellously one-sided, that to any one who did not understand the frightful strength of party prepossessions, it would have seemed impossible that any clear-eyed statesman could have given it in good faith as a summary even of his own view of the facts. The appoint- ment of that Commission had had "no parallel," he said, "in the conduct of the proceedings of Parliament since the evil reign of Charles II." Macaulay, we may remember, called that period the period "of dwarfish talents and gigantic vices, the paradise of cold hearts and narrow minds, the golden age of the coward, the bigot, and the slave." But if Macaulay had been living in 1888 and 1889, we do not think that he would have found "the coward, the bigot, and the slave "in the ranks of the Government which offered Hr. Parnell the oppor- tunity of prosecuting the Times for libel at the public expense.