In the debate on Thursday, the Speaker intervened almost as
often as in the Crofters' debate, calling Colonel Saunderson twice to order, Sir William Harcourt three times, and twice insisting on an apology from Mr. W. Redmond. Colonel Saunderson justified—not forcible resistance of a Home-rule Act, but forcible resistance to any gross injustice by an Irish Parliament which might result from the passing of such an Act ; and he termed the probable Government under such an Act, a Government by "gaol-birds," because Mr. Davitt had said that it would be com- pletely in the hands of the suspects whom Mr. Forster locked up in prison in 1881 (but who, as they were never tried, ought not, we submit, to be called "gaol-birds," a "gaol-bird" being properly a person on whom a legal sentence of imprisonment has been passed). Mr. John Morley retorted that if Colonel Saunderson acted on his own doctrine, he would soon become, in his own person, a "gaol-bird ;" and he delivered a very temperate and forcible defence of his own administration during the Belfast riots, in which he was, we think, completely successful. But how he can find in the story of the riots any food for the hope with which he concluded his speech,—that Irishmen of all religious, and ranks, and stations would unite together to give Ireland a strong Government,—we cannot imagine.