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TOPICS OF THE WEEK. ♦ OUR CANADIAN ALLY.—Canada has agreed to buy the North Pole, if somebody else will find the pur- chase-money. That really seems to be the only result of the Canadian deputation to Great Britain, and is certainly the only one as yet made public to the world. A more unsatisfactory paper than Mr. Cardwell's despatch summing up the negotiations between the mother country and Canada was never laid before Parliament. It may be the fault of the circumstances and not of the diplomatists on either side, but it will be received both by the colonists and the British public with a strong sense of disappointment. No- thing is settled except that Canada is to have the re- fusal of the vast territory claimed by the Hudson's Bay Company, and that Great Britain is to guarantee to a knot of London merchants that a colony over which she has no control shall pay them for an undefined period and indemnity, the amount of which is not specified, but which the taxpayer being the ultimata paymaster, is pretty sure to be sufficiently large. The objects of the deputation as understood in this country were, first, to settle with her Majesty's Government a plan for carrying out the great project of federating British North America; and, secondly, to lay down the bases of a durable alliance between the mother country and her greatest English-speaking dependency—bases to be hereafter quoted as prece- dents for the transformation of all the Anglo-Saxon colonies into a vast ring of British allies. There is nothing whatever in these papers to show that either object has been attained. The Envoys in the first place were not clothed with any substantial power Of treaty-making. Everything has to be referred back again to the Colonial Legislatures, which are certainly unaccustomed and probably unfit to deal with inter- national relations, and which will in all human proba- bility relegate questions which tax to the utmost the ingenuity and tact of statesmen to the final decision of Canadian farmers. Her Majesty's Government promise indeed to further the confederation, by the use of every proper means of influence," but no deputation was required to elicit that pledge. It was given before in Parliament, in the Queen's Speech, in Mr. Cardwell's despatch praising the delegates, it has been endorsed by the whole nation, and it is demanded by the acknowledged and pressing interests of both countries. The point is how to convince the maritime colonies which refuse to see the facts, that they must see them or take the consequences, and "proper influence" will prove, we fear, but a feeble kind of collyrium. What "proper influence has the British Government left in New Brunswick other than that force of argument to which the arrival of the deputa- tion can add nothing ? This country cannot bribe the New Bru-nswickers except by guaranteeing a railway, of which there is no sign, or coerce them except by a distinct assurance that her aid in time of war is con- ditional on confederation, and that policy demands a more decided administration. All the Ministry can do apparently is to wait and stir up local officials, and they could have done both without a negotiation which has attracted the attention of the whole world, and which will now be pronounced by the whole world a failure. The great project, incomparably the greatest English political project devised in this generation, is just where it was six months ago, dependent upon the votes of the few dozen persons who hold the balance between obscure parties in the smaller colonies.— Spectator. THE CLOSE OF THE SEASON.-The present short London season has approached its climax in the drawing-room and state concert held by H.R.H. the Princess Helena on behalf of her Majesty the Queen. The week has been also remarkable for the numerous charitable institutions which have held their anniver- saries during its progress, eliciting the sympathy and securing the countenance of the most exalted person- ages in the realm. Amongst these stand pre-eminent the yearly festival in behalf of the Royal Cambridge Asylum, for the providing a home for the widows and orphans of those who had lost their life in defence of their country, presided over by H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, who announced a donation of a thousand pounds from his illustrious relative the Duchess of Cambridge; and the Royal Humane Society, the claims of which were advocated at a banquet at Freemasons' Hall by Lord Clarence Paget. Three other important institutions—the National Conservative Registration Association, the Middle-class Schools in connection with St. Nicholas College in Sussex, and the Church Union-have also been brought into public notice by their meetings held in Willis's Rooms during the week 's which has just closed. The first of these useful in- corporations was held under the presidency of the Earl of Shrewsbury, supported by several eminent Conservative peers and members of Parliament. The exertions of the Association have been successful in many counties, but more especially in the county of Middlesex, where, by its instrumentality, the number of the Conservative electors has been materially increased; so that if only fit candidates could be induced to enter the field, victory would be attendant on their exertions. It is to be hoped that these exer- tions may not be in vain, but that the auguries of success opened out by the persevering instrumentality of the able agents of this association may be carried to a triumphant consummation in the return of some Conservative candidates for Middlesex. The second of these institutions has already accomplished a great work in the establishment of flourishing schools at Lancing, Hurstpierpoint, and Shoreham. So numerous are the applications for admission that the promoters of this movement propose to build school-rooms, dormitories, and masters' houses at Ardingley, near Balcombe, on the London and Brighton Railway, which shall provide for the education and residence of 1,000 scholars. The cost of this undertaking is esti. mated at £ 35,000. The school is designed to be entirely self-supporting, though it is necessary to pro- vide by public funds for tHe first cost in the erection of these buildings. The report presented to the meet- ing held for the inaugurating this fund contains this statement:—"Scarcely any class in the country educates its own children without some aid. Witness the enormous endowments at our Universities and Public Schools, where the sons of our well-to-do people resort. Witness our National Schools, sup- ported by State grants, and by parochial and national subscriptions. Witness our Ragged and Union-schools, all" depending on charity; .on the other hand, the lower middle-class, politically a very important one, is dependent to a great extent for its education on private desultory enterprise. It is to meet this want ) in the simplest and least eostly way that St. Nicholas College asks aid of all-not charity; not anything to j degrade these classes, but aid to raise a building in which persons of the middle-class may, at their own cost, educate their sons." The meeting was presided j over by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and has every, promise of a successful accomplishment of the plans proposed. The Church Union," from a small begin- ning, now numbers between two or three thousand members. It has established affiliated branches in several of the larger provincial towns. It is formed in no party nor narrow spirit, but desires to unite all Churchmen, without reference to State politics or to minor differences, in defence of the Prayer-book, and in the maintenance of the Church of England as it, now is. Its anniversary festival was held under the presidency of the Hon. Colin Lyndsey, and was attended by a large number of its associates and members.-The Press.


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