The fact that Mr. Birrell pretends that the difficulty does
not exist proves to our mind that some " way out" of the Rome Rule imbroglio will be found. Liberals cannot really mean to be more Cossack than the Cossacks in their policy of crushing opposition. Very likely the " remedy " for the " inequality " of the Parliament Act will turn out to be also the remedy for the Home Rule Bill. If the Government fell on the Bill for reforming the Lords before the "third time of asking" of the Home Rule Bill they would not be.false in any deliberate or conscious sense to their pledge to Mr. Redmond.
What Mr. Birrell means by saying that the Government must necessarily fall if a Referendum went against the Home Rule Bill we cannot imagine. This does not happen in any country where the Referendum is in use. In con- nexion with Mr. Birrell's remarks about the universality of the knowledge that a Home Rule Bill would be introduced, it is worth noticing that he never even mentioned Home Rule in his election address. At the end of his letter Mr. Birrell referred to Lord Curzon in these words :—
" Lord Curzon has made it plain that the House of Lords, even as at present constituted and notwithstanding the Parliament Act, cannot be got to believe that it is no longer indispensable. If, said he the other day, these were now to be a general election, and if as its result Mr. .Asquith's Administration was to be confirmed in power, the Lords would then raise their hats to the people and give the Home Rule Bill a Second Reading, and afterwards set to work by way of amendment to make the measure 'palatable' to themselves. I know this culinary operation full well. It pro- duces dishes which the House of Commons throws out of the window."