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'second chambers.' At Edinburgh last month he proclaimed himself a second chamber man;' and if only the Radicals could be induced to plunge into a constitutional argument, they might be kept quiet for many months over such problems. as life peers, elective peers, minority voting, indirect election, and a hundred kindred topics. Lord Rosebery, while on the London County Council, showed how a body of doctrinaire Radicals could occasionally be made to give up the substance for the shadow. Perhaps he will now find the same artifice of use on a wider scene.

Before we leave the subject of the new Ministry and its chief, one word must be said on Lord Rosebery and the Socialist party. The Socialists have been taught to believe that Lord Rosebery is more inclined than any other statesman of the day to further their schemes and aspirations. He may not be a Socialist at heart, but he is aware of their power and willing to do their bidding. This is the notion entertained by a large section of socialistic opinion. That Lord Rosebery may have been willing to give this impression is likely enough. That there is any substantial truth in it we do not believe for a moment. Lord Rosebery may for his own purposes think it wise to let the Socialists imagine that he is their tool. In the end we venture to predict that it will be found that they have been his.

Let us, in conclusion, estimate the difficulties with which the new Prime Minister and the new Ministry are face to face. To begin with, their party is not homogeneous. The Parnellites are actively hostile; the anti-Parnellites are suspicious; and even in the English and Scotch section of the Home Rule party there is a nest of malcontents who, though silent for the time, may at any moment join Mr. Labouchere in a raid on some Government measure of vital importance. Next comes the question of precedence for the various items of the Government programme. Is the Evicted Tenants Bill, Welsh Disestablishment, Scotch Disestablishment, or the Local Veto Bill to take the first place after registration? The answer, whatever it is, cannot fail to call forth ill feeling. Then, too, some means must be found for preventing an absurd and abortive agitation against the Lords, and means which will not cause too much irritation and disappointment. Lastly, the question of Home Rule, which grows more and more unpopular in England, will have to be kept out of sight of the English electors, and yet be placed with sufficient prominence in the official programme to prevent a practical protest from the Irish. Add to this a difficult and oppressive



Budget and the lack of 'implicit confidence' between the Prime Minister and the Leader of the House of Commons, and the cup of the new Ministry seems almost full. Under such circumstances, who would be surprised if the new Ministry did not even prove a successful imposture' ?

No. CCCLXIX. will be published in July.

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