11 FEBRUARY 1882, Page 2

On Mr. Smyth's amendment to the Address, which assure/ her

Majesty that a repeal of the Legislative Union is the only remedy for the deplorable state of Ireland, the Prime Minister made a very clear and satisfactory speech, which has been most absurdly, and hardly even honestly, misrepresented as ex- pressing a willingness to entertain a plea for the restoration of an Irish Parliament. What Mr. Gladstone did say was, that if once the Irish party could present an intelligible scheme for clearly and definitely " separating local Irish affairs from Im- perial affairs, and handing the former only over to an Irish Assembly, he could not undertake to say at what conclusion the House might arrive; but the whole drift of this hypothetical re- mark was lent it by Mr. Gladstone's distinct expression of belief that no such distinct and definite line of distinction could be drawn, and that " neither this House of Commons, nor any other that may succeed it, will at any time assent to any measure by which the one paramount central authority, necessary for holding together in perfect union and compactness this great Empire, would be swept away." By some of our contempo- raries, the admission, if made by Mr. Gladstone, that if the sky fell, we might, catch larks, would be construed as an assurance that we were soon to have a plentiful take of larks.