6 MARCH 1880, Page 2

The election for Drogheda resulted in the election of the

Liberal, Mr. Whitworth, and the defeat of Mr. McCoan, the special candidate of the Home-rule League. Mr. Whitworth had at first pledged himself only to support "the largest measure of Home-rule that is consistent with maintaining the integrity of the Empire." But it seems, if Mr. McCoan's account of Mr. Whitworth's later pledge, in the letter published in Friday's Times, can be trusted, that Mr. Whitworth has now gone much further, and promised "cordial support of any measure of Home-rule,—no matter by whom introcluced,—giving to Ireland the right of legislating for domestic affairs in Dublin." This, of course, means an Irish Parliament, though one limited to domestic matters, and opens up the whole contest as to what is domestic and what is not, a contest which virtually involves the break-up of the Empire. Mr. Whitworth, then, who carried the borough by 382 votes against 181, must be taken, if this report be accurate, as a Home-ruler pure and simple. The constituency of Drogheda numbers 743, so that there were not a few abstentions. It is said that 150 Conservatives in all stayed away from the poll, and we should not be surprised to hear that a good many Liberals had abstained. A Liberal vote on other questions Mr. Whitworth will certainly give. On Irish questions, we fear his vote will be a vote for de- structive legislation.