27 JUNE 1896, Page 19

Lord Rosebery, who speaks beet on non-political subjects, gave a

pleasant address at Uxbridge on Thursday on Free Libraries. He was opening a free library in the Uxbridge Road, built, as is now usual, at the expense of Mr. Passmore Edwards. After rendering honour to that gentleman, who really deserves more than he gets, and praising outdoor sports in England—confusing, however, sport with reading about sport—he made the most intellectual remark of his speech. He thought that the multitude of impressions now made every day upon the mind of newspaper-readers tended to make them apathetic, and also inclined them to substitute newspaper thinking for independent thought. The first remark is only too true ; but the second, though it ought to be, curiously enough is not. The influence of the Press is declining, while its circulation extends. Half the Unionist members sit for boroughs and districts in which the "influential " Press is definitely Gladstonian. Look at Manchester or Scotland. The regular thing in Scotland is to read every word of the Scotsman, and then vote Liberal.