11 FEBRUARY 1882, Page 1

extraordinary right to a popular Assembly, subject to all sorts

of political passions, to interpret the meaning of a statute by no means one of the simplest in the Statute Book, and for the proper exposition of which public opinion is profoundly incompetent ; and a host of Liberals stayed away. Of course, too, there were plenty of Home-rulers found to vote against the Government,—in all, we believe, thirty-eight, but of that no one would think of complain- ing. Nor is it, perhaps, surprising that not a single Conser- vative voted for the previous question. Nevertheless, we feel the profoundest conviction that no course could be imagined more likely to play into the hands of demagogues, and to strike a serious blow alike at all truly Constitutional principles, and at all truly Liberal culture, than this claim of a popular body like the House of Commons to interpret for itself the scope of Statutes affecting its own privileges.