3 JANUARY 1880, Page 11

Mr. Joseph Cowen, M.P. for Newcastle-on-Tyne, delivered yesterday week, at

a dinner of the Travellers' Association, a somewhat curious speech in favour of the present House of sOonamons. His iloge came to this, that the present House of -Commons works very hard; is never influenced by corrupt motives, in the -way in which Walpole's House of Commons often was ; gives honour to whom honour is due, whether they be, in the conventional sense, "adventurers," or not; and goes through labours which make a great draft upon even the strongest physique. That is, doubtless, true, and might be cheerfully admitted by the severest critic of the present Parliament. What we find fault with it for is not idleness or corruption,-nor even indifference to the feelings of the country, but abject dependence on the Government, in- difference to its own privileges and rights, and a striking want of initiative, as compared with previous Parliaments,—i.e., a decided deficiency of faculty for guiding the country by the -tone of its deliberations and discussions. No doubt Mr. Cowen feels kindly to a Parliament which has been the more inclined to listen to him, the more he has himself played into the hands -of the Government.