5 MAY 1866, Page 1


THE House was thronged on Monday to hear Mr. Gladstone make his promised statement as to the course the Cabinet would pursue. He announced that the Government accepted the vote of Friday on the Amendment as proof that one-half the House desired to see the whole. measure of Reform before pro- ceeding to action, and the passage of the second reading without a division as evidence that it wished action to continue. They would therefore proceed with the Bill and the Redistribu- tion Bill together, bringing in the Bills for Ireland and Scot- land at the same time. This declaration was accepted by Mr. Bouverie, speaking, as he usually does, on behalf of the moderate Liberals, as satisfactory, and he exhorted the Government to con- ciliate the Opposition by a Bill which should give a fair share of the vacant seats to the members for counties. If that were done, and Government declined to adhere to the mere words of their Bill, he thought a settlement might possibly be effected. It seems to be understood that if the counties are " fairly" treated, and the suffrage raised to 81., the Tories will let the Bill pass, but it is very improbable that the Government will go so far. If they do, they had better by half withdraw their Bill, for agitation will instantly recommence, the masses being still left outside the Constitution.