28 DECEMBER 1878, Page 2

Avery silly controversy is going on as to whether the

present Ministry can be held responsible for the present distress ; or whether it is due to causes which were in existence five years ago,

before the present Administration came in. Of course both pro- positions are more or less true. The present Administration are responsible for any aggravation of the dilative,* which is due to needless war, to needless fear of war, aid to the waste of taxes on war materiel And of course ite is only a limited part of the commercial depression from which we are suffering which can be attributed to this cause. No doubt if the Liberals had been in power now, we should have had a time of general depression, of commercial failures, and perhaps even a declining revenue. The famines in the East, and the bankruptcies of borrowing States, could not have been averted. by any statesmanship, nor in all probability could the more dis- creditable dishonesty of a certain portion of English commerce have been avoided. One lunatic seems to suppose that because the Liberals were in power when some of the great commercial fraud& were already on foot, the Liberals ought to be charged with them. It would be just as wise to say, that because the Liberals were,in power at the last epoch but one of maximum sun-spots, the Liberals ought to be charged with the sun-spots, or that Lord Beaconsfield is responsible for the snow-storm of Christmas Day.