13 APRIL 1867, Page 1

The instruction to the Committee on Reform empowering a 51.

rating limit, and removing all inequalities in the conditions of the franchise above that limit, of which Mr. Gladstone spoke to his party at the Liberal meeting of yesterday week, and which was to be urged courteously, with "gentle pressure," but pressure adequate to its purpose, on the Government by Mr. Coleridge, was destined to fall through. The collapse produced a curious scene in the House on Monday night, and a temporary triumph for Mr. Disraeli. Mr. Locke, Q.C., Mr. MiCullagh Torrens, and others who thought they could eradicate the unfortunate tendency of Mr. Disraeli's Bill to look both ways at the same time, by performing a political equivalent to the operation for strabismus, went to Mr. Gladstone and implored him not to press his instfuction, which they would otherwise be compelled to resist, and gave many loyal promises of their faithfulness in Committee. Mr. Gladstone, whose greatest defect seems to be an indisposition to "put his foot down," as Mr. Lincoln called it,—there is some deficiency, apparently, in the tendon Achilles of his mind,—gave way ; and Mr. Disraeli, interrogated by Mr. Locke, after pleasantly extorting a pledge that the second part of the instruction was to be with- drawn, declared himself quite willing to empower the Committee to alter the laws of rating, without the necessity for the applica- tion of "any pressure, however gentle." The temporary collapse and demoralization of the Liberal party was for the night calamitous and complete.