28 APRIL 1894, Page 18

Lord Rosebery, who is President of the City Liberal Club ) .

—a club divided between Gladstonians and Liberal Unionists,. —took the chair on Tuesday at a house-dinner of the Club, and made a speech intended to reconcile, as far as possible, the "Dissentient Liberals" with the Gladstonians,—i.e., to- bring back the Unionists to the Gladstonian flag. He traced the break-up of the party back to the Reform Bill of 1885. (he called it the Bill of 1884, which it was also, though it was- not passed till 1885) rather than to the Home-rule Bill of 1886; and declared that the shrinking back of the more Conservative section of the Liberal party began before Home-rule was pro- posed, and was only stimulated and intensified by the shock of Mr. Gladstone's Home-rule policy. It is human nature, according to Lord Rosebery, that after a great advance in policy like the Act of 1885 and the attempt of 1886, there should be a revulsion of feeling, and a retreat of timid Liberals alarmed by these exciting measures. Bat now he hoped that they had become more or less acclimatised to the new conceptions of popular policy, and that they would no- longer be deterred by their vehement dislike of Irish Home-rule from acting with their old comrades, especially since they are under the guidance of a statesman who does not hesitate to uphold the national flag, and to identify the party with the growth and unity of the Empire. That is all very well ; but Lord Rosebery does not see that the Empire may grow, and yet be disintegrated. Putting Ireland, in relation to the Empire, under the same conditions- as our Colonies, will more than compensate for an attempt (not likely to succeed) to put the Colonies, in relation to the Empire, under the same conditions as the new Ireland.