Mr. Gladstone on Monday explained the course which would be
taken about Procedure. He proposed to refer the whole matter to a Select Committee of thirty, with Lord Hartington, it is understood, at its head, and to accept the paper embodying the proposals of the late Government as its basis of discussion. The Government would bring forward no new scheme, but would amend that of their opponents in detail. Mr. Gladstone added,—" With regard to coercive or penal procedure, I still adhere to the opinion that not a great deal is to be hoped for in that direction." If these words indicated the final determina- tion of the Government, the Committee would be of little use, as no rule short of the Closure will check a party bent upon obstruction ; but it is understood that the Committee is free to consider all proposals, its Chairman is convinced of the necessity of the Closure, and there are methods of taking a vote without discussion which seem less arbitrary and amount to exactly the same thing. The reform most earnestly debated will probably be the proposed creation of Standing Committees ; but the matter hinges, like all others, upon the project for Home-rule. If the Irish go home, the present Rules only need small reforms to prevent waste of public time.