29 JANUARY 1910, Page 2

We are not going to insult Mr. Balfour and the

rest of the 'Unionist Party by defending them against this preposterous attempt to create prejudice and dissatisfaction. There is not the slightest risk of treachery in the Unionist camp on this point. Even if no other considerations kept them straight, the Unionist leaders know that their party would be broken into a thousand pieces by the abandonment of theUnionist principle. The innuendoes of the Liberals may, however, be useful as a warning to Unionist leaders to be very careful in their action as regards the Budget. They must not lay themselves open to any suspicion of coquetting with the Irish Party. We are of course well aware that Unionists cannot be asked to vote against their political convictions merely for fear lest they should find themselves in the same lobby as the Irish Members. But though it would not be possible or desirable to push the dread of an associated opposition to the Liberals so far as this, Mr. Balfour will be wise if he is specially ' careful to avoid anything which can be represented as a combination with the Irish to turn out the Ministry.