Mr. Darby Griffiths, member for Devizes, has a peculiar function
in 'the House. He asks the questions nobody else will, getting snubbed very often, but sometimes eliciting useful in- formation. On Thursday he asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether it was with his consent that his budget had been anticipated in The Times. Mr. Gladstone of course replied that it was his especial interest to conceal it, and added in a drily significant way that ten or twelve members of the Civil Service always knew what his budget was about to be, and that during nine years none of them had ever betrayed hint. The meaning of that remark is obvious. Except these civil servants, no one knew the budget except the Cabinet Ministers, and the secret therefore, which many firms would have given hundreds of thousands to know, leaked out through one of them.