7 DECEMBER 1895, Page 19

The Liberal journals are all discounting the' Budget; which will

not be even seriously considered for four months yet. They gather from some obiter dicta of Sir M. Hicks-Beach and Mr. W. Long, that there will be a surplus of about four millions, that two will be spent on the Navy, one on an in- crease of the grant to voluntary schools, and one in lighten- ing the pressure of rates upon the agricultural interest. Is not that calculation a little premature ? The experts of Somerset House can make a very good guess at the probable revenue of 1896-97, though that will be much dependent on millionaire mortality—Peter Robinson's heirs, for example, will this year pay about half the cost of the Ashantee Ex- pedition, which must be a consoling thought to them—but no mortal man can .tell what we may be spending in April. Suppose the heart of the Ottoman Pharaoh hardens, or that Lord Rosebery's apprehension about the Far East, which he has again reiterated, turns out true.