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LONDON LETTER. .

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LONDON LETTER. In.1[ evp. LONDeN CORRESPONDENT.] [SPECIALLY WIRED.] LONJDOK, Tuesday Night. RELUCTANT CONVICTION. If the Conservative journals were blessed with any sense of humour, or were not imper- rious to self-invited ridicule, they would Surely be only too ready to consign to ob- livion the badly-invented canards or hoped- for Ministerial dissensions and fancied Parliamentary dissolutions to which they periodically treat us. Instead of that they hammer painfully at refuted fictions, and laboriously endeavour to prove that the smoke they have themselves raised must needs issue from Cabinet fires. Thus has Sir William Harcourt's curt denial of the resig- nation story been placed with all its unauthorised errors of punctuation under a powerful partisan microscope in order to discover in it an equivocatious and double meaning. By this process a couple of redundant commas blossom into a signi- ficance wholly disproportioned to their size. The most categorical negative fails to con- vince men who are predetermined not to be convinced. The fact isâas Conservative journals might satisfy themselves if it were not their glune to be dissatisfied-that in- stead of dissolution being in the air" in the neighbourhood of Downing-street, all the arrangements. in that quarter are based on the assumption that the Sessional work, whose broad lines have been already decided OU, will be pushed forward resol utely with every prospect of success and determination to achieve it. Strange as the Tories hunger- tog for office may think it, there are even some very much behind the scenes who make no secret of their belief that there will be no general election during the present year. MR AND MRS GLADSTONE'S DEPARTURE. I saw Mr Gladstone leave Charing Cross, this morning for Cannes. There was a sur- prisingly large number of politicians present on the platform, including Sir Algernon West, Lord Welby, Mr G. W. E. Russell, and Sir J. Carmichael. Mr Herbert Gladstone was, of course, there; and Mr Armitstead. Mr J. C. Robertson came from Glasgow all the to express the wishes of Scottish Liberals. The ex-Premier looked in fine health. He was well wrapped up in fur and was decorated with a button-hole of white hyacinths. A lady made Mrs Gladstone a present of a lovely bouquet of tulips. The party travelled in a saloon which Sir Myles Fenton saw to himself. I hear that while 1e is abroad the ex-Premier does not mean to lose sight of the Armenian question. There are whispers in circles which are as interested in the question as he is, that the probabilities are he will produce before long a pamphlet on the subject, which should be as important as that which heralded the Bulgarian atrocities campaign. One who has had good opportunities of noting Mr Gladstone tells me that he has been greatly struck with the fact that, with returning eyesight, his hearing has also become much improved. He seldom now has that painful look of inquiry on his face which used to accompany the holding of his hand to his ear. It should be remembered that Mr Gladstone s deafness was, as well as his blindness, a reason for his relinquishment of his high position. Mr Gladstone stays three weeks with Lord Rendel and then goes to San Remo as Mr Armitstead's guest. TORTUOUS TACTICS. An attempt is made to impute to the presentation of the address of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick to Mr Gladstone the character of a counter-move to Mr Healy's latest revolt. This is quite in keeping with the tactics of those who have magni- fied into a declaration against the Govern- ment Mr Healy's expressed determination to endeavour to turn his present minority in the inner councils of the anti-Parnellite party into a majority in sympathy with lus views, and ready to accept his leadership. Mr Healy's condemnation of the present management of the Irish Parliamentary party is a wholly different thing from an exhortation to rebellion against a Govern- ment which both minority and majority are pledged to support. The conflict of views is on internal policy alone. As to any con- nection between Mr O'Connor's interview with Mr Gladstone and the latest Healy outbreak, the former was arranged before Mr Healy had departed from the peaceful attitude he assumed in November. That Mr Gladstone's strong remark on the absolute necessity for concord may have received additional aptness from Mr Healy's speeches is undeniable, but there was no pre-coneeived arrangement to play off the ex- Premier against the stormy petrel of the Anti-Parnellites. HER MAJESTY'S PRIVATE SECRETARY. I am afraid that, as far as active employ- ment goes. Sir Henry Ponsouby has ceased to be one of the workers. What this means to the Queen only those acquainted with the inner affairs of Court life can know. Sir Henry was everything to her Majesty â adviser, condoler, comforter, personal friend, and withal the most faithful and respectful servant. His loss to her Majesty must be a grievous one, especially as there is not a man in the Court able adequately to fill bis place. Sir Theodore Martin, who has his own troubles, as Lady Martin is ill, remarked to-day, with visible emotion, that he alone now remained of the faithful old servants that joined the Queen's service with Sir Henry Pon- sonby. 44 All are gone now," he says, "and I am ten years older than Sir Henry." The old man was walking in the snow from Buckingham"Palace to the Lord Chamber- lain's Department to make inquiries after his old friend. AJ^B°UR LEADER'S LIBEL ACTION. Mr Ben Tillett will figure largely in the courtsnext week, when his action against the Morning newspaper will come up for hearing. The newspaper proprietors have re- tained Sir Edward Clarke and Mr Carson for their side. I have not learned that Mr Tillett will be represented by counsel, though he probably will, as he claims B500 damages. There is every promise that a good deal will be said about the manage- ment of the Dockers' Union, and it is SPfopos of that that the libel has arisen, has bL^e con<^tion of the dock labourer fhia 7fCome a subject of renewed discussion PB,SUre t0 be intere8ting- LUA°S^^ HECKLTNG OF MR ACLAND. the rank ante f in«fcance ot °.f Georsre Hamiii the ^ory party, Lord Bointmentof MJ SS â¢eet« for the ap- fnquiries and repS* ?fdlr^tor °.f sPe°ial partment. I dSS? â¢h2jJ^uca,tl0» ntace of hi*^ the task. One KXricC! Board is that he will be careful W hi attacks the Mrowter for Education. But it is quite possible that some prominent mem be? of the Opposition wiTl endeav0ur To make party capital out ot the^appointment. It need only be added that Mr Acland is ulte prepared to justify It whenever it is formally challenged. CANONRY OF CANTERBURY. The canonry of Canterbury, which has become vacant by the death of Canou Duncan, is in the gift of the Archbishop. There is no harm, now that Mr Duncan is dead, in saying that he did nob possess the 'most essential qualification for the position he filled since 1891. It is true he had been the industrious secretary of the National Society for twenty years, bub a canon should, before all things, be a good preacher, and Canon Duncan had no preten- sions in that direction. Dr. Benson, it is hoped by the Canterbury people, will be careful on this occasion to strengthen the chapter by a popular choice. Of the remain- ing canons there are at least two who are indifferent preachers. THE NEW CHIEF JUSTICE. Lord Russell of Killowen is justifying the highest expectations of his friends, and is falsifying certain doubts as to his qualifi- cations being those of a great judge. It is not always, perhaps one might say not ⢠j611' a &reat lawyer makes a great judge, but Lord Russell promises fair to oecome one of the most distinguished of chief justices. Not only does he quickly seize the points of a case, but he insists on foolish actions being squelched whenever possible. He has a way, too, of improving a absence from court at lunch-time in rewing opposing barristersâgreatly to of of their clients and the shortening interest in his work is in- <s" Lord Rosebery and Lord Russell are great friends, and are often out together in society. Their common love of sport is one bond of comradeship. "MODERATES" AND THE (OUNTY COUNCIL. The 11 Moderates," it may be safely assumed, would be extremely glad to banish Sir John Hutton from the London County Council. They would like to be in a posi- tion to have their own chairman, and they would prefer that he should not be con- fronted by such an imposing personality as Lord Rosebery's present successor. But there is reason to believe that the seat of Sir John Hutton for St. Pancras is abso- lutely safe. Certainly he has not the least intention of seeking election in any other part of the Metropolis, whoever may see fit to oppose him. His friends deny that there are any signs of his alleged waning popularity, and they are confident that when March comes he will fully hold his own. Nor is the deputy- chairman, Mr Dickenson, at all alarmed at the appearance of Lord Dunraven in the field at Wandsworth. Lord Dunraven, it is true, is not unknown to a few Conservatives there, but Mr Dickenson can count his acquaintances by thousands, and the work he has done in promoting the recreations of the people is not likely to be forgotten.

RIVAL IRISH PARTIES.

ACTIVITY IN DOWNING-STREET.

MR AND MRS GLADSTONE.

ILLNESS OF SIR HENRY PONSONBY.

TO-DAY'S WEATHER 4.30 A.M.

GENERAL FORECASTS.

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THE ARMENIAN ATROCITIES.

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EXPLOSION OF DYNAMITE.

MURDERS BY AFRICAN NATIVES.

THE AMERICA CUP.

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SPEECH BY A JAPANESE MINISTER.…

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SAD END OF A CATHOLIC PRIEST.…

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FOUND WITH THEIR THROATS CUT.

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NATIONAL LIBERALI FEDERATION.…

THE PROTECTION OF SEAMEN.…

LORD RANDOLPH CHURCHILL,

RAILWAY FATALITY NEAR ABERGAVENNY.

SHOCKING RAILWAY ACCIDENT…

DESTRUCTION OF THE HULL FISHING…

BIRR MILITIA SCANDAL.

EVESHAM ELECTION.

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NEWS IN BRIEF.