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-----__.--THE LIBERAL LEADER'S…

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THE LIBERAL LEADER'S VIEWS. From the unanimity of the reports on the subject, we make no doubt that Lord HAHTING- TOXwas really at Newcastle-on-Tyne, where the "representatives of the press" appear to have found him. But for this concurrence of testimony. his lordship might be imagined to be occupied in a precarious journey on that unstable bog which is said to be moving about somewhere in County Kiidare. Lord HAKTINGTON is clearly lostâwhether in an Irish bog or an English fog. His lordship's chief occupation at the present time appears to be that of denying statements which Lord BEACOXSFIELD imputes to him. But in correcting Lord BEACONariELD and informing the public what he really did say and what he really did mean, he leaves the world unable to distinguish very clearly the difference between that which he denies and that which lie admits. And if the Liberal leader may, for argument's sake, be admitted to have established a difference between the two things, he does so only by paying the farmers a compliment which they will be exceedingly eager to return to him with interest. Lord EARTIXGTON is thus in the -unenviable position of the man who cannot see .his way or guide his footsteps, and stumbles ,alike over friends and foes with honest but not creditable impartiality. His lordship declares that he has not described, the land laws as broken down. But he has a recollec- tion that the friends and representatives of the farmers told a very pitiful tale to Parliament about the condition of the agricultural interest, and. he admits having said that if the representa- tions deliberately and repeatedly made in the House of Commons on behalf of the farming in- terest are true, and if the remedies hinted at" must be adopted, then the landed system had broken down and the remedy required was a met revolutionary remedy Now the mean- ing of all this is. that if Lord HALTING TON dees not believe that the land laws have broken down, and does not believe in a revolutionary remedy, 'it is only because he disbelieves what the farmers, and their friends say! Truly, it seems difficult to judge whieh is the worst position for Lord HARTINGTOX, that which he was understood to assume when he spoke in the House of Commons, or that which he assumes when correcting the grave error into which he declares Lord BEAC;ONSFIELD ha.s fallen. After all this, what is to fee thought of the new rtIZe which Lord HART- IXGTON and his following are assuming, as the farmers real, and tried, and to-be-tried friends ? Say we not justly, then, that the Liberal leader is in & Tog, in ,8 dilemma. His logic is as clear and convincing as that of the Irishman who con- tended that one man was as good as another, and a great deal botter." It is not surprising, after such a philosophical uiteaance as Lord ILIS.TIS'GTGN delivers himself of regarding the position of the agriculturist, that he should drop some pearls of wisdom before the untutored herd of beings whom he recognises as forming a portion of his party. Moving so much araongst Liberals as he docs, he is painfully conscious that he has many followers whose political education consists of a Utile history, a, little knowledge of the laws of this and other countries, a little knowledge of political economy* âvery 'little indeed, we need hardly sayâand in a t degree of class interests, party spirit, and prejudice. This is candid, at any rate, but it is perfectly true. Nor, it may be added, is it entirely the fault of the rank and file of the Liberal party that they exhibit so much pre- judice and so little knowledge. They may well entertain all sorts of notions about land reforms when they find Lord IIARXINGTON'S safe views about "natural causes'" and "natural laws" more than counterbalanced by the rant and ravings of the BRIGHTS, the HERBERTS, the BKAUI>LALT.G3TS, and other apostles of the party., who denounce the existing laws, and demand something which is neither natural nor reason- able. Now what are, according to the heir of the house of CAVENDISH, the needs of the country, from a Liberal point of view ? Simply these: Reduction of the county franchise; a redistribution which shall not" utterly and entirely extinguish those centres of political opinion and of social life which are scattered over the country," and which "have done so much and so well for the political advantage of the country" and also a reform of local Govern- ment There is a "ticket" for the Liberals! Will Mr. CHAMBERLAIN or Mr. BRIGHT, or Mr. GLADSTONE be satisfied with it ? We have understood of late that the questions of the county franchise and the redistribution of seats were no longer to be regarded as party questions. Conservatives certainly contend that there is no call for such measures, but in principle they do not fear such reforms. Even Mr. GLADSTONE has admitted it to be uncertain whether the equalisation of the county and borough fran- chises would prove more beneficial to Liberals or to Conservatives. What then remains for Liberals and Conservatives to fight about, from Lord HARTINGTON'S point of view ? Nothing but questions of local government! Really has it all come to this ? Is there nothing more ex- citing for Radicals and Tories to quarrel about than vestry questions ? Yes, there is one class of subjects left; and how thankful ought Lord i .I. HAHTINGTON to be that party politics need not, after all, become utterly stagnant. There is the ever fruitful subjectvof foreign politics and in- directly connected with it is the que t! on of Colonial Governmen' Is it not possible that keen party divisions may some day take L).tce on such questions as whether universal suffrage and the protection of the ballot shall LOJ be granted to the Zulus and Kaffirs of South Africa ? Lord IIARTINGTON may think it adds to the effective- ness of his oratory to taunt the Government with bringing about foreign complications in order to divert public attention from domestic neces -ities, but it appears to us that if the programme of the next Liberal Government be as limited aid as paltry as that which has been sketched for the edification of the Newcastle Liberals, some very complicated and startling conditions of foreign affairs will be needed in order to save Liberal- ism from stagnation and death. We suspect, however, that the blank which the Liberal leader leaves in the party ticket will be readily filled up by those active and indispensible supporters who believo in something more swift and a drastic than "natural laws."

THE FREE LIBRARY.

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