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PARLIAMENTARY GOSSIP.J

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PARLIAMENTARY GOSSIP. [BY A WELSH- INDEPENDENT 5IEMBT3R-] There are two events whica will m^k-d thv past week memorable in our Parliamentary history. The first is the final and perfectly satisfactory settlement oi the long-pendreg controversy in regard te the Indirect Claims before tke Arbitration Tribunal at Geneva. The- result has amply indicated the patient and persevering policy of the Government against the ominous fore- bodings of the croakers who charged them with sacri- ficing the national honour, and the restless intolerance of those impetuous spirits who thought peace between two of the foremost christian nations of the world too dearly purchased at the expense of a five months' delay for further discussion. When the House of Commons met on Thursday, that sort of vague rumour which no one knows on whom to father, but which circulates so rapidly through a popu- lar assembly, had led the members to expect some statements on the subject of the American Treaty. When, therefore, Mr. Gladstone stood up, there was instantly a general hush, and all faces tdrned with eager attention towards the Treasury Bench. But when the Prime Minister said he was about to explain the course of business for to-morrew," there was a loud laugh at so prosaic a balk of the highly-wrought explanations of the House. However, the disappoint- ment was only momentary, for, after stating what the intentions of the Government were with' reference to the Lords' amendments on the Ballot Bill, Mr. Glad- stone slid quietly, as though anxious to avoid the least ap:c,arauce of sensationalism, to the subject of the nego- tiations at Geneva, and, in language studiously simple and colourless laid before the House the bare facts of the case, only Warming up for a moment at the close, when he expressed a hope that now the Arbitrators would not only happily fulfil the important functions they had undertaken for the benefit of the two nations, but that in discharging those functions they will be conferring a vast service on the mass of' civilised man- kind. When Mr. Gladstone sat down a cheer, not loud but deep, rippled through the Liberal benches, wheh must have been very pleasant to the ear of the Pr me .Minister. There is a character about the cheer- in of the House of Commons which is very distinct on different occasions. There is the mechanical official cheer, with which a certain class of members think it their duty to greet everything that falls from a Minis- ter 'or a leader of the Opposition. There is also the loud, passionate, exulting party cheer when a succesful hit has been made on either side, or an unexpected majority has been gained on a division. There is the ironical cheer, which is also divided into two sorts, the good-humoured, bantering irony, and the savage irony, expressive of angry disappointment on contempt. But the cheer on Thursday evening was dilferent from all these, and was singularly expressive of relief from protracted anxiety and of profound and grateful satisfaction. It was one of the most painful indications we have ever witnessed of the strength of party feeling, that though it was an Qcca- sion on which the greatest national interests were con- cerned, not a voice was heard from the Conservative benches to join in the cheer. The arrangement, how- ever, made at Geneva, which was explained by the Prime Minister, was so complete and conclusive that there. was no room for cavil, even upon the part of the most captious. But there are men of a temper so sceptical or so misanthro- pic, that it seems a positive pain to them to admit anything that seems to promise a better time for humanity and civilisation. These men will, no doubt, sneer at the glowing and eloquent langnage in which Count Sclopis, the President of the Geneva Tribunal, addressed his colleagues at the conclusion of their preliminary difficulty, and the hope be has expressed that the work in which they were about to engage may be the means of preventing for the future the necessity for sanguinary conflicts, and of streugtheniag the empire of reason." The other conspicuous event in the Parliamentary history of the week was the treatment by the Govern- ment of the House of Lords' amendments on the Ballot Bill. Ne one could liuten to Mr. Disraeli's speech in defence of those amendments without feeling that he was performing a mechanical task which the obligations of party compelled him to perform, but iu the success of which he himself had evidently no faith. Not that he failed in adroitness and vivacity. His speech was clear and telling, but it was the speech of a man who felt he was fighting a losing battle. Mr. G!adstone's reply W'1S singularly felicitous. It was in that tone of easy good-hnmoured banter, which it j1 would be well if he could oftener assume, instead of the fierce, passionate earnestness in which he is too apt to indulge on oceAsims which do not call for i', and when his velum*lit oratcjy—. Resembles ocean into fury lashed To toss a feather, or'to drown a fly." The Liberals supported the Government in all their proposals to disagree with the Lords," with a unanimity which affords a significant comment on the declarations so often and so confidently made by the Tories, that the Liberal party do not care for the Ballots It was only when Mr. Foster proposed to accept any amendment of the Lords that he was de- serted and sometimes defeated. And the funny thing was to see thq Conservatives in large numbers going acainst those amendmeiids of the upper House, which the Government was going to admit. The manner in which the business has been conducted will not add to 4he dignity or influence of the hereditary character. The Mines' Regulation Bill is proceeding through the -ouse on the whole pretty prosperously. It brings to e fore some of the members for South Wales, espe- Ally Mr. Vivian and Mr. Fothergill, who3e practical tnowledge of the whole subject has enabled them to appear to great advantage In the discussions. The discussions on the Anny Estimates were princi- pally renparkablc for the ominous confessions on all bands of the untrustworthy character of both the Militia and Volunteers. Colonel Loyd-Lindsav said he felt- the greatest pain at what he saw of this force at the autumn manoeuvres. In the division to which he was attached there was an, enrolled strength of 2,496, and a parade siatq of 1,361, so that 1,135,, or nearly cue-half oj the force, was not available for service. And he said, moreover, that their character was such that the goods and chattels of contiguous regiments had toboologely watched. Andas for the Volunteers, Mr. Cardwtl1 said it was intolerable that in 1869 there were absent from the inspection, which is the cardinal day at the Volunteer serviee," 59,557; and added that what what we wanted was not a nominal, but a real force. This ia lather cold comfort for those who believe that the only safe relation in which civilised and Christian natipns can exist to each other is th; t of anued and mutual menace.

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