26 MARCH 1864, Page 2

The working men's deputation to the Chancellor of the Exchequer

on his Annuities Bill, which we mentioned last week, \ did not confine itself strictly to that subject. Mr. Odgers requested before leaving to be allowed to express the feeling of the working men concerning reform, and , said with great earnestness that they felt it rather hard that all the pledges of the Government on this head had been thrown overboard. Afr. Gladstone replied that aro one regretted it more sincerely than himself, that he hoped soon to have an opportunity of expressing that opinion, but that a Government had really no power to make a fundamental change without strong support from the people of this country. If they declin,ed to agi- tate, the Government was like a steam-engine without steam. To this the spokesman of the deputation replied, with great sim- plicity, that the Whig leaders had promised, in 1848 and 1819, that if the working claw; would keep quid they would them- selves secure for them a share in the representation ; but that now they were reproached with the inertness which lwas then made the condition of this reward. To this Mr. Gladstone replied, in a tone of half-serious, half-playful remorse, that there was no answer to be given, and the deputation left him with a full confidence in his hearty sympathy with reform. It was probably this conversation that gave rise to various rumours that Mr. Gladstone has a reform plan of his own, for which, as far as we know, there is no foundation.