25 JANUARY 1896, Page 18

Lord James, in his speech to the Liberal Unionists on

Thursday night, declared the opinion of the Liberal Unionist leaders,—namely, the Duke of Devonshire, Mr. Chamberlain, and himself,—that it would not be wise for that party- to merge itself in the Conseivative party except in places where the Liberal Unionists and the Conservatives are really in absolute harmony, and where there is no Liberal Unionist conscience which might be offended by the amalgamation.. The party held the scales between Conservatives and Glad- stonians at the last General Election, and it would be very unwise to ignore the many Liberal Unionists who would really prefer returning to the Gladstonian party so soon as the danger of Home-rule had been, or seemed to have been, finally averted. At present it is not finally averted. Mr. Justin McCarthy boasted only last April that his party held the then existing Gladstonian Government in the hollow of- their hand, and while that danger remains, there is the greatest need for Liberal Unionists, as well as for Con- servative Unionists, to ward off the great danger of a Govern- ment under the heels of the Irish party.