The Times of Thursday published a letter from Lord Curzon,
in which be retorted on Mr. Birrell, and explained what he meant when he spoke in the House of Lords about
making the Home Rule Bill more "palatable" if the people approved of Home Rule by a substantial majority at a general election
Does not everyone know that the one thing that would fill Ministers with dismay would be that their Bill, with all its faults and absurdities upon it, should be passed without amendment by the Lords? Is there a single candid politician who is not per- fectly aware that when the Bill came in such conditions again before the House of Lords, and entered the Committee stage, the order paper of the House would swarm with amendments put down by the Government themselves, in order to render their own Bill a less impossible and a more practicable and palatable measure; and that it is they who would `raise their hats' to the Lords and would incite and entreat the latter to exercise those functions of debate, revision, and amendment for which they have continually told us that the House exists, and endeavour thereby to mitigate the hostility of Ulster, to improve the finance, and to remove many of the admitted and glaring imperfections of the Bill ? . . . What humbug then it is to pretend that, if the Home Rule Bill were approved after reference to the people, the House of Lords would be making any new or extravagant claim if they endeavoured to render it a more practicable and palatable measure—more palat- able, not to themselves (for that would, indeed, be difficult), bat. to Ireland, to Great Britain, to the entire nation. And the humbug becomes all the greater when we remember that, even supposing the House of Lords to make the claim in the sense and spirit with which we are credited, it would be wholly ineffective, since, under the terms of the Parliament Act, the Bill could become law, if the Government so desired, with or without our amendments."