15 MAY 1880, Page 3

Sir W. Harcourt has received his first deputation as Home

Secretary. It was one from the City Commissioners of Sewers, and its real object was to extract some idea of the Government plan for dealing with the Water Companies. It failed. Sir W. Harcourt met them very frankly, said the Government was col- lecting information, and rather posed the deputation by asking their opinion about Mr. Cross's Bill. It appeared they had not formed one, and Sir William intimated they had better do so, as that would be of assistance to the Government. There were several bodies to whom the water could be entrusted, as, for example, the Metropolitan Board of Works, and several ways of fixing price, as, for example, arbitration, but he had fixed upon nothing as yet. We do not in the least understand the Times' leader upon this interview, which is pervaded by a notion that Sir W. Harcourt thinks better of Mr. Cross's Bill in office than out of office. There is not a trace in his remarks of such a change. He does not scold at Mr. Cross's Bill, as he did at Oxford, but he gives no hint that he approves it. He is strictly non-committal.