3 APRIL 1880, Page 2

Mr. Gladstone, on Wednesday, in a most respectful and temperate

reply to Lord Grey's letter, criticised very genially Lord Grey's amazing statement that even if Lord Granville and Lord Hartington remained the leaders of the party, they would be nothing but puppets in Mr. Gladstone's hands. Appealing to the character which each of these statesmen had established for firmness and strength, Mr. Gladstone asked what pretence there was for the insinuation that they, as responsible Ministers, would allow themselves to be overruled by the irresponsible influence of an ex-Minister acting from behind them. Nothing, he said, could be more unconstitutional than such a state of things as Lord Grey imagined to be probable, but nothing also would be less possible. He himself, he said, "had no other personal de-

sire " than to follow Lord Grauville's and Lord Hartington's lead ; and though his address to Midlothian was written without concert with Lord Hartington, he was glad to find it written precisely on the same lines. Mr. Forster referred to the same subject in Yorkshire last week, declaring that if Mr. Gladstone would come back to the head of the party, every one would admit his full right to the leader- ship ;—from all which we gather that as yet nothing is abso- lutely settled, but that the real wishes of the great majority of the Liberal party in the country may yet be gratified.