7 DECEMBER 1895, Page 19

Sir Wilfrid Lawson, who spoke at Portsmouth on Thursday evening,

appeared to be in. the highest spirits as to the prospects of his anti-liquor crusade. We do not wonder at it so much as we otherwise should, for Sir Wilfrid Lawson is a sanguine man who seeing to regard defeat itself as the best possible prognostic of victory, which is about as reasonable as it would be to regard victory as a sure prognostic of defeat; but there is no occasion for even so sanguine a man as Sir Wilfrid Lawson to misread facts so entirely as he did, when he declared that "all that Sir William Harcourt said in his Bill, was that he believed in local self-government." He said a very great deal more than that. He said that, according. to his ideas of local self-government, there is no objection to allow a specific majority of the people of a district, to ruin, without any compensation at all, either all or a great number of the sellers of alcohol, even those conducting their lawful business in the moat careful and prudent way, without giving them any more than three years' notice. That, we submit, means a great deal more than the vague belief in local self- government which Sir Wilfrid claimed for the author of the Local Option Bill,