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Family Notices


.---------- -------THE NEW…


THE NEW MINISTRY. THE fourth Cabinet of Mr. Gladstone is. essentially and above all things a Home Rule Cabinet. It is not only pledged to Home Rule for Ireland, but the personnel of the Cabinet points to the fact that Liberals have for ever discarded the separatist tendency of 1886, and that they are Imperialists as well as Home Rulers. In other words, the new Cabinet is one of men who believe in Home Rule all round." Mr. Gladstone has constantly asserted that Home Rule is the one link which binds him to public life, but hitherto his party have been in ignorance of the exact measure of Home Rule which he favours. All that is known is that he will alter his 188(5 Bill in one important particular, by admitting Irish repre- sentatives into the Imperial Parliament. It has always seemed to us to be a grave difficulty how to decide what questions in the House of Parliament are local and what are Im- perial and how the attendance of Irish members is to be ensured in debates on Impe- rial matters, while their absence must be secured in debates on local matters. It will, we believe, be found impossible to get Irish representatives to attend the House every day on the off chance that a question of Imperial interest might turn up. Equally hard will it be, in our opinion, to fix separate days for the discussion of local and Imperial affairs. The only remedy seems to us to be to Americanise our constitution to the extent of conceding a measure of Home Rule tp. England, Scotlani, and Wales as well as to Ire- land. We do not believe in Mr. Stead's idea of restoring the heptarchy." Such a proposal only shows the ignorance of history, and the shortsightedness, which is pardonable, because it is usual, in Mr. Stead, but which would betray great incapacity on the part of a respon- sible statesman. It has been possible in a new country like the United States to grant Home Rule to territories, which are only geo,- graphically different from their neighbours. But in an old country, which has attained its unity after a long struggle there must be some- thing more than a scientific boundary to divide one unit from the other. We do not believe in the setting up of artificial boundaries where history or nature has placed none. Between Scotland and England and between Wales and England there is sufficient difference in nationality to merit different treatment for each. Between Lancashire and Yorkshire we can recognise no such difference. The New Cabinet has been formed of men who believe in Home Rule All Round "-to Wales, Scotland, England, and Ireland, under the supreme control of the Imperial Parliament. Mr. John Morley is the secretary for Ireland, the one prominent politician who has nevered wavered in his hostility to Coercion and in his advocacy of Home Rule. Sir George Trevelyan, who seceded from the Liberal party in '8(5 solely on the ground that the Mr. Gladstone's Home Rule Bill excluded the Irish representatives from the Imperial Parliament, is now the Secre tary for Scotland and a member of the Cabinet. Professor Bryce, who will be the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, is well-known as one of the ablest advocates of Imperial Federation, and looks upon Home Rule as a step towards its realisation. My. Asquith has repeatedly expressed his belief in "Home Rule All Round," and the appointment of Mr. Fowler to the post of President of the Local Government Board would seem to point to the probability of a great exten- sion in County, District, and Parish Home Rule. There is no doubt that, from the point of view of the Home Ruler, the New Cabinet is all that could be desired. At the same time, there are many notable omissions. Mr. Lockwood and Mr. R. T. Reid have been passed over in favour of Mr. Rigby, a man who is absolutely untried and unknown in the political world. We are surprised, though not altogether sorry, that Mr. Labouchere has been overlooked, for we believe the member of Northampton can do more for reform from his seat below the gangway than in the Cabinet. We trust, however, that the exclusion of Mr. Labouchere may not be taken to mean that the Government will shirk all reforms but Home Rule. We should have been glad to see a seat in the Cabinet offered to Mr. Burt, but his position as Under-Secretary for Home Affairs will ensure the proper consideration and some attempts at dealing with labour problems. Mr. Osborne Morgan has not yet been offered a. post in the Government, but as far as Wales is concerned the omission has been more than compensated by the acceptance of the post of Junior Lord of the Treasury by one of the ablest young Welsh members, Mr. T. E. Ellis. We trust that this is an indication that the Liberal party intend to perform their oft- repeated promise of disestablishing the Church in Wales before another appeal to the country. The resolution which was passed the other day by the Welsh party was studiously weak and colourless. It may be that it is impolitic at