31 MARCH 1866, Page 1


THE Government has receded a step. Its original idea was to con- ceal its views upon redistribution until the Franchise Bill had been passed, thus compelling the menaced Liberal members to vote for the Bill, lest future constituencies should reject them. If they could plead the point of honour they would be independent, and either vote for their party or their boroughs, as their political consciences might dictate. Earl Grosvenor's motion, however, placed the Cabinet in a dilemma, and on Friday night Mr. Glad- stone informed an amazed House that he should resist that motion as equivalent to a vote of want of confidence, but after the division upon the second reading should introduce a Bill for the redistribution of seats, not in order to carry it, but solely " to give information to the House as to the intentions of Government." We have exposed the utter worthlessness of this concession else- where, but it had an effect, Mr. Kinglake and Mr. L. Oliphant instantly retreating from their hostile position, and the journals ' friendly to the Bill asserting that Government had agreed to the _only substantial point in Earl Grosvenor's proposition. Of course Lord Grosvenor himself refused to accept so meaningless a com- promise, which is not very likely to bewilder the average ten- pounder. He of all men knows the difference between payment in specie and in a bill at twelve months.