18 SEPTEMBER 1880, Page 2

Mr. Courtney has made the first long speech of the

Recess. Speaking at a dinner given by the Liverpool Junior Reform Club, he described the unparalleled difficulties amidst which the Ministry had acceded to power, and the way they had been met. They had had the "magnificent courage" to give up Northern Afghanistan, and would, he believed, retire also from Candahar. In South Africa they had, after a certain hesitation, and possibly some disunion, recalled Sir Bartle Frere ; and in the East they are struggling for freedom and self-government in Montenegro, in Greece, in Bulgaria, in Armenia,—a struggle in which "we all look with hope and faith to what Mr. Gladstone's Govern- ment will do." At home they had passed the Burials Bill, and if it was imperfect, the blame rests with those Liberal or even Nonconformist Members who offered apologies for half- heartedness. They had swept away the malt tax, after a discussion in which "Mr. Gladstone showed 'himself as much master of details as if he had been a brewer all his life ;" and they would, but for the necessity of aiding India to pay for the Afghan war, have next year a splendid surplus to dis- play. He trusted that they would bring in no niggardly measure of county reform, though "in every country you will find the possessors of plenty and the inheritors of rank on the wrong side ;" and that they would attack the Irish question like workmen with their coats off. As regards that question, he pronounced himself at great length and with much decision in favour of fixity of tenure. He was afraid that the Irish farmers generally had not the means to make a system of peasant- proprietary successful.