7 DECEMBER 1895, Page 19

A meeting of the General Committee of the National Liberal

Federation was held at Leeds on Wednesday, and Dr. Spence Watson, who took the chair, declared that it was the most numerous meeting of that General Committee which he had ever attended; and this appeared to be regarded as a good omen after the discouragement of the General Election. It is very natural that after a great defeat there should be a very widespread wish for consultation and deliberation; but we should doubt whether that is more of a proof of hope- fulness than it is of dismay. Dr. Spence Watson was very anxious for more money to improve the organisation, and assured the meeting, with regard to the Newcastle programme, which has evidently been treated as more or less responsible for the great rout, that every article of it was approved by Mr. Gladstone, and that it contained no heading which had not been brought before Conferences, and approved before it was adopted in the programme. But that is no excuse for crowding so many revolutionary proposals into one great practical programme, which was far beyond the grasp of any single Parliament, and which no doubt led to the absurd pres- sure on the time and energy of the last Glad stonian Adminis- tration. The attempt to please everybody by attempting ten times too much revolution at the same moment, was a disastrous one, and only ended in 'exhibiting the profound impatience and discord which besets those who are bent on the work of innovation. At the meeting on Wednesday, the addition of Mr. Henry Gladstone's name was proposed as a new member of the Committee, and was carried by the ballot, but apparently as the very last name on the list for the nineteen vacancies.