22 APRIL 1882, Page 2

Sir Drummond Wolff on Tuesday brought up the old story

of the negotiations between the Government and the Vatican in a new form. He moved a resolution which assumed the existence of communications between her Majesty's Minis- ters and the Papal See, and demanded that they should be placed upon official record. He produced no new evidence,. beyond a story that the Colonial Office had supported the Vicar Apostolic against the laity, in a quarrel as to the control of the church of Gibraltar. The inference, of course, was that the Government acted in collusion with the Pope. Mr. Glad- stone, after denying that Lord Kimberley's action bore the interpretation placed upon it, gave the old explanation of Mr. Errington's "Mission,"—that he had visited Rome on his own affairs, that Lord Granville had accepted his offer to convey certain information to the Pope, but that he was in no sense an agent of the Government. He paid his own expenses. " No diplomatic relations with the Court of Rome of any kind exist." Sir Drummond Wolff, in spite of the Premier's distinct denials, persisted in his allegations, and the House consequently refused him leave to withdraw his motion, but negatived it without a division. The whole debate was very unreal. Sir Drummond Wolff only de- sired to take advantage of the anti-Catholic feeling in order to discredit the Government, and Mr. Gladstone did not speak half as boldly as he might have done on the evidence which these rubbishy stories afford of the necessity of open com- munimtion with the Pope. The Irish Members took no part in the debate. They could not venture to say they wished the

'Pope to be slighted, and they would not say they wished for -diplomatic communication. The Pope might learn too much about Ireland.