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WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17TH. HOUSE OF LORDS. The Royal assent was given by Commission to the Local Government Elections Bill. HOUSE OF COMMONS. Mr. T. P. O'CONNOR having obtained per- mission to move the adjournment of the House, in order to call attention 'to the present critical condition of affairs in the island of Crete, and the conduct of Her Majesty's Government in reference thereto,' commented upon the extra- ordinary fact that, while the representatives of the Government in the House were refusing any information with regard to its Cretan policy, on the ground that it would not be to the public advantage, the Marquis of Salisbury was, in the other House, making a statement which was certainly a considerable enunciation of the policy of the Government. Mr. O'Connor said he believed that had it not been for the inter- vention of Greece, the condition of Crete would have gone from bad to worse. Mr. DILLON seconded the motion. Mr. BALFOUR deprecated, not in the in- terests of the Government, but in the interests of the JDretans, in the interests of the Asiatic subjects of the Porte, and in the interests of Europe, the continuation of the debate. The Government were ready to meet charges of maladministration, whether at home or abroad; but a heavy weight of responsibility rested upon any Assembly which, like the British House of Commons, was uncontrolled by any outside power, which must shape its action entirely in accordance with its own views of what was right or wrong, which had the power of pressing the Government for information at a time, per- haps, when information should not be given, and which had the power to discuss policy at a time when policy ought not to be discussed. He asked the House to exercise that self-control which it had so constantly exercised in past times, and to defer to a future occasion the condemnation of the Government, if the Government was to be condemned—to defer, at all events, the discus sion of the policy which the Government were pursuing in this grave and difficult crisis in our foreign affairs. But one of two policies was open to the Government-the policy of letting matters go on in the Turkish Empire as best they may, and the policy of attempting to re- form, as far as reform was possible, the un- happy condition of the various populations in that Empire by the united action of the Powers. Sir WILLIAM HARCOURT said there was one thing upon which he thought the Opposition must come to an understanding with the Govern- ment. Was it to be the case in a critical con- dition, which, as they had been told, might lead to a European war, that statements which affec- ted the whole foreign situation were to be made in a manner that they could not criticise? The situation was intolerable. Everybody was to know except the House of Commons. He under- stood the substance of Lord Salisbury's state- ment to be a condemnation of the Government of Greece. If that was the policy of the Govern- ment, his opinion was, that it did not represent the opinion of the English people. He hoped Government would remove the impression un- fortunately made by the statement of the Prime Minister, that the spirit which actuated the conduct of the Government was one simply of censure of the Government of Greece. After some remarks by Mr. Labouchere and Sir E. A. Bartlett, Mr. O'Connor asked for and obtained leave to withdraw his motion. By 250 votes to 128, a motion by Mr. BAL- FOUR for the suspension of the twelve o'clock rule, in order to finish the second stage of the Voluntary Schools Bill was carried, and the debate on that measure was resumed by Mr. Cripps. II Among the subsequent speakers were Mr. Mundella, Sir F. Milner, Mr. T. P. O'Connor, Sir A. Forwood, Mr. Yoxall, and Professor Jebb. Sir H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN closed the debate for the Opposition; and Mr. A. J. BALFOUR having replied, the motion for the second reading was carried by 355 votes to 150.


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