25 JANUARY 1896, Page 17

The Italian Ambassador (General Ferrero) was present at the banquet,

and in responding to the toast of his health. made the happy remark that of two people who were on bad terms with each other, it used to be said that they were " at the Antipodes," but the speeches referring to the attitude of our Colonies to the United Kingdom and to each other, showed that such a phrase had totally lost its meaning, and would express the happiest relations at least as well as the unhappiest. In other speeches of Mr. Chamberlain's, it was noticed by way of illustration of the great area and potential expansion of our Colonies, that even Queensland, where Lord Lamington is to be the Governor, is about three times as great in area as the German Empire,—a hint received with great cheering,—and that in a single generation its popula- tion has increased fifteenfold. It was impossible to overrate the importance of our relations to such mighty dependencies as these, and nothing can be more obvious than that the enthusiastic expressions of loyalty which we received from Australia and Canada alike, will outweigh more and more as time goes on, the supposed significance of our "splendid isolation" on the Continent of Europe. Besides, as the presence of the Italian Ambassador showed, that isolation, even though it is splendid, is not absolutely complete.