The Chancellor of the Exchequer ended his Budget speeches with
a hint which excited much comment. He said that it was his duty to warn the House against its tendency, and that of the constituencies, to increase ex- penditure. That, he said, was not a party question. "It is my duty to warn the House on that subject. It may be, and probably will be, the last occasion on which, from a responsible position, I shall be able to use these words to the House of Commons or to the country ; but I do so now with feelings of the deepest responsibility." Sir William Harcourt, like all the Old Whigs, really dislikes expense, but he may have meant to express his conviction that there must be a Dissolution before next April, and that it would end in a defeat. The Times, however, we see, is inclined to connect his mystic utterance with the rumours which have risen and died away, that Lord Rosebery, pressed by sickness and by disappointment, wishes to resign the Premiership. Sir William Harcourt would then have to select another Chancellor of the Exchequer.