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THE QUEEN'S SPEECH. The QUEEN'S Speech, which we publish to-day, is, we suppose, the most comprehensive programme ever issued by any Ministry; and if it is carried out, or anything like carried out, the country will have good reason to be more than satisfied with Mr GLADSTONE'S Government. The Speech opens with the pleasant announcement of univer- sal peace, as far as this country is concerned; and then ap- propriately follows an allusion to the flourishing state of the national revenues and a promise of reduced taxation. The Irish Land Bill, of course, has the longest paragraph allotted to it, but it is an indefiniteparagraph, from which little can be learnt of the nature of the measure. The Bill, however, is to amend the laws relating to the occu- pation and acquisition of land, and will, no doubt, be a comprehensive one, for the Government show, by the tone of the address, that they are bending to their work in no timid or hesitating spirit. In another part of the speech Ireland is again referred to, and the welcome statement is made, that the administration are determined, with or without special legislation, to maintain "the paramount interests of peace and order." The means of national education are to be enlarged on a comprehen- sive scale;" and it will be noted that the phrase employed is quite in harmony with the idea that the present system will be added to and altered, but not absolutely abolished, though that idea, of course, may not be correct. It will be observed with great satisfaction that the question of university tests is to be dealt with, and there can be but little doubt that before the end of the session the highest schools of learning will be freed from their obnoxious c, conscience clauses." A licensing Bill, also, is promised, as well as measures to facilitate the transfer of land, to amend the naturalization laws, to promote legal re- forms, to place trades unions on a more satisfactory footing, and to improve the statutes relating to merchant shipping. Nor is this alL The report that Government were about to deal with the succession to real property in cases of intestacy proves to be true; and our readers will be specially glad to find that Bills have been prepared for extending the incidence of rating and for placing the collection of the large sums locally raised for various pur- poses on a simple and uniform footing." No wonder if, having undertaken all this work, Government were unable to promise us anything definite with regard to further elec- toral reform, but it is rumoured that a ballot bill is actually prepared. It is the spirit of the address, as much as the ex- tent of its promises, that will give so much satisfaction. There is an earnestness, a courage, and a determination about it which at once dispose of any fears lest the Govern- ment should prove unequal to a great occasion, and we jnay look forward with confidence to the work which Parliament will accomplish during the present session for the amelioration of the people, the union and pacification of the empire, and the development of the national re- sources.

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