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LONDON LETTER, j

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LONDON LETTER, j [SPECIALLY WXHED.j I [ay OUR GA.T.LERY CORRKSPONOKNT. 1 I LONDON, Thursday Night. A statement is telegraphed from Berlin to-day positively asserting that Germany has declined the English proposals for the settle- ment of financial affairs in Egypt, and has y accepted the French counter proposals. This, if true, is a serious matter, and will bring to a crisis the long pending controversy. The principal difference between the two schemes is the increased amount of the pro- posed loan the extension of the guarantee to all the powers a more tender dealing with the bondholders and the re-establish- ment of that multiple control which was one of the disastrous accomplishments of the late Government, and from which has grown the whole of the trouble in Egypt. It is difficult, one might say impossible, for the British Government to accept these pro- posals. In fact, when they were in sub- stance brought forward at the con- ference they were peremptorily rejected but it would be well to await confirmation of the statement. It will not be forgotten that Pall Mall Gazette last summer published a telegram from Berlin," in which it pro- fessed to give in detail the result of the negotiations then pending in respect of what was known as the Anglo-French agree- ment. Lord Wolseley's private friends are elate with the news which has just reached them respecting his intended movements. It is said that a very intimate and confidental friend of the general's has received from- him a broad hint that he will, in a very few days, hear of him from Khartoum. The confidential friend has gone about whisper- ing this communication till now it has become a pretty wide possession. A date is even fixed for the arrival. On Sunday Lord Wolesley is, accord- ing to this report, to be in Khar- toum. It is, perhaps, significant that for the last two days we have heard nothing of Wolseley's personal movements. But either on Monday or Tuesday he telegraphed, and was then at Korti. If he started from Korti early on Monday morning, travelled post- haste the hundred miles of desert road that intervene between that place and Metamneh, found a steamer. ready, and had good luck down the river, it is just within the bounds of possibility that he may fulfil the task lie is said to have allotted to himself, and greet Gordon at Khartoum on Sunday. Such a plan is quite within his ordinary beat. There is no campaign connected with his name in which he has not made some such swift movement. I mention the story only with the assurance that the circle in which it is current is one par- ticularly to be earliest informed of Wolseley's movements. That he should reach Khartoum by Sunday is at least as probable as that lie would hurry on General Stewart up to Metamneh, and then leave him kicking his heels till General Earle comes round by the bend of the Nile. Mr Chamberlain's speech at Ipswich last night has greatly fluttered the Conservative dovecots and even some who do not wear Conservative colours. It is clear now, if, indeed, it were ever doubted, that the President of the Board of Trade has made up his mind to go as far as he finds from the new electors any encouragement to pro- ceed. It is notified, to whom it may concern, that if the new Democracy hit upon a settled plan to obtain certain things that have hitherto been the dream of Radical visionaries, there is a bold and able leader at their disposal. All the things that have been talked of these 50 years Mr Chamberlain now dis- cusses as if they were practical political questions of the hour. Free schools the allottment of land for working men in town and country a dealing with local taxation in other ways than Mr Pell preaches free trade in land revision of the income tax in the interests of those who earn precarious incomes and the reform of what Mr Glad- stone in his last budget speech called "death duties." There is, after all, nothing very shocking in this, whether taken in detail or in the aggregate. These things have long been clamoured for, and no one has shaken in his shoes. What is not liked by those who would keep things as they are is the quiet assurance displayed throughout this speech that the time has now come when these demands must have a serious hearing, enforced as they will be by the pressure of two million electors and the presence of a facile and indomitable leader. The damages against Mr Irving Bishop, assessed to-day at the Sheriffs court, is not likely to stand. It is true that Mr Bishop called Mr Maskelyne an infamous scoundrel," but £ 10,000 is a large sum, and the authority of the court where the case was heard is not very high. Mr Bishop is interested in another libel case, which should come off in the course of this month. He sues Mr Labouchere for 910,000 damages also for libel. Possibly his ex- perience of libel cases may lead him to drop this. Prince Edward is not long home from his prolonged voyage, and already arrangements are being made for another holiday. It was one of the Prince Consort's leading ideas with respect to education that a youth should travel. This idea was partly carried out under his own direction in the case of the Prince of Wales, and upon his death the system was further extended, finding an eager supporter in the prince himself. The Prince of Wales is determined to provide in the fullest measure advantages for his son similar to those enjoyed by himself. The next tour of Prince Edward will be, first on t; continent. He will, a short time hence, leave for Germany, passing on through Austria and Italy, which, of course, means a few days spent in Paris. After that the journey is to be extended to Canada and the United States. There is still some talk of his being made a peer, but there is no truth in it. The Prince of Wales is displaying all his accustomed shrewdness and clear common sense in the matter of the bringing up of his son. He does not for the present desire to thrust him to the front in any matters connected with public affairs in tM country. It is in pursuance of this plan that he does not intend to ask for a parlia- mentary allowance for the young prince a3 a preliminary to providing him with a special establishment. For some time to come Prince Edward's town address will be Marlborough House.

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