18 DECEMBER 1880, Page 1


POLITICAL London has been quite excited this week. A Cabinet Council, originally fixed for Wednesday, was called for Monday, and the quidnuttes decided that it had been hurried .on Mr. Forster's demand, and that he would either obtain immediate power to coerce Ireland, or would resign. As that .would injare the Ministry, Tories were hopeful and Society delighted. The result, however, was a disappointment to every- body except the country. The Council, which had been hurried for reasons unconnected with any new danger in Ireland, met on Monday and Tuesday, considered the whole state of affairs, and decided that when Parliament assembled remedial pro- posals and repressive proposals should be considered together, and should advance, so far as possible, part paean. The remedial measures will, it seems to be accepted, be based on the " three F's," and will include a project for the re- clamation of waste lands, and a large scheme of emigra- tion; while the repressive measures are certain to include an Arms Act, and an Act for the special trial of agrarian offences, and may include a suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act. The Cabinet is unanimous as to its general Irish policy, which is to remedy the tenure grievance and restore the supremacy of law, and perfectly aware that it may be compelled, before it ii thoroughly carried out, to appeal to the people, a response from whom is already coming up in all directions. The rumours of action before Parliament meets, and of a proclamation of martial law, are mere exaggerations of possible or conceivable steps, in eventualities which are not apprehended.