Sir William Harcourt had little to say in reply, only
in- sisting that but for the obstruction of the Opposition in the Commons, and the hostility of the Lords, many of these Bills would pass, and would prove very beneficial. To a remark made by Mr. Balfour that a Government which had accepted a programme including triennial Parliaments should have been already eager to appeal to the country without any reference to the claim of the Lords to precipitate a Dissolu- tion, Sir William Harcourt replied that triennial Parliaments imply three Sessions, and that this is only the beginning of the third Session,—which looks as if the Chancellor of the Exchequer does admit that the country should be consulted before the beginning of another Session. In answer to another question of Mr. Balfour's, whether the Land Bill would include or would be kept separate from the Evicted Tenants Bill, Sir William Harcourt replied that the Govern- ment reserved its right either to amalgamate or separate the two measures at its own discretion. That is a very bad omen. If Mr. Morley unites the two, he bids defiance to the Opposi- tion, and plays into the hands of the irreconcilable Irish landlords who desire to wreck the Land Bill. The Evicted Tenants Bill, if it is to resemble that of last Session, neither can be nor ought to be carried by the help of the Liberal Unionists. The remainder of the debate and that of Wed- nesday were of quite insignificant value.