4 FEBRUARY 1888, Page 2

A controversy has been got up in the Times as

to the reason why a Home-rule conversazione in Dublin was substituted for a Home-rule dinner, and the reason given by the Home Secretary and others was that at a dinner the toast of "The Queen" could hardly be omitted without producing a very marked impression

on English constituencies, and yet could not be proposed with any chance of commanding the respect,—to say nothing of the enthusiasm,—of the guests. To this it is replied that a banquet had never been proposed, which, as Mr. St. Loe Strachey remarks in his excellent letter to Wednesday's Times, is very likely ; but then, why had a banquet never been suggested ? Was there not a good reason why it should not be suggested ? And if there were no such reason, why not sing the National Anthem even at the conversazione, just to show that the dis- loyal motives for excluding the Queen's name recently put forward do not any longer govern the minds of Mr. Morley's Irish friends ? Playing the National Anthem, of course, is nothing. What is wanted is evidence that the Irish audience do more than tolerate it,—that they genuinely sympathise with it. It is impossible to forget that no longer ago than September .5th, 1885, United Ireland boasted that the toast of "The Queen" had disappeared from the toast-list at the Dublin Mansion House, "we hope," said the editor, "never to be reinstated."