12 AUGUST 1882, Page 3

On Wednesday, Mr. Cowen brought on a discussion as to

Mr. Playfair's action in suspending sixteen Members, of some of whose culpability he himself did not seem at all sure, on the principle of constructive obstruction. The dis- cussion showed, we think, that the House is not at all well pleased with its own performance on the occasion ; but, as Mr. Gladstone pointed out, it was the House which had assumed for itself the responsibility of what Mr. Playfair did, and it was hardly possible now to go back and blame Mr. Playfair. Mr. Dillwyn showed that the result of this dangerous action was that Irish Members were included in the suspension who were entirely innocent of obstruction,—in relation to one of the names, Mr. Playfair himself seemed quite at sea whether it was included in his list or not,—while several .English Members who were quite as guilty of obstruction as almost any of the Irish Members,. were left unpunished. Neither Mr. Raikes nor Sir Stafford Northcote gave any hearty support to the Chairman's action, and the former evidently disapproved it. The discussion was talked out on Wednesday, and when called on again on Thursday, Mr. Cowen's motion was negatived without a division ; but it is clear enough that Mr. Playfair's, coup d'etat was not cordially approved on either side of the House. Mr. Gladstone himself was careful not to say that he personally approved it.