4 APRIL 1914, Page 2

In the Commons on Tuesday Sir Edward Grey made two

offers, one of which may have far-reaching developments. The first was the promise of an early General Election if the Opposition would allow the Plural Voting Bill, as well as the Home Rule and Welsh Disestablishment Bills, to go through this Session. The second was the im- portant one—that if a Federal solution of the Irish question within the proposed six years' Exclusion of Ulster would ease the situation, he saw no reason why such an arrangement should not be come to. Sir Edward Grey, however, stated plainly that the Government were not prepared to go beyond the idea of Exclusion for six years. There was talk of setting up a Provisional Government in Ulster directly the Home Rule Bill became law. That would mean resistance to estab- lished authority, and if there were such a movement the Army most be used to suppress it. He appealed to both sides to drop the dangerous discussion about the relations of the Army to the Government. We may add that a large private meeting of Unionist Members was held on Tuesday in favour of some Federal settlement, and that the atmosphere of the discussion in the House itself was calmer than on any day since the beginning of the crisis.