ESSENCE OF PARLI AIVl ENT.
THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.
Tuesday, 4 a.m., May 23.—No one would think, to look at Stafford
Northcote as he sits spectaeled and benevolent on Front Bench,
what depths of duplieity there are in him. Came down last night
burning with anxiety to discuss Arrears Bill. Conservative party
smouldering with same desire. Ail very well for Gladstone to
suppose one night would. do for the debate. A week would scarcely
suffi.ee. One night ridiculous.
This came out at early hour this morning ; but the
way Staeford Northcote and the rest dissembled
all the evening, really appalling. Conservative
Benches empty. Debate nearly collapsed. Difficulty
in keeping the House sitting. Score of Members
yawning through exhilarating discourse of Mr. Gre-
(xORT, and some profound philosophical reflections
from Sir Joseph McKenna. Ministers and House
generally lulled into security. Expected Division
at every moment. Then Sir Stafeord comes in,
throws off the mask, and discloses the true condition
of his mind, burning for further discussion on the
Bill. Ministerialists rage ; GtLadstone storms : but no use. The
•vily Conservative Leader, with hands meekly folded, and spectacles
dimmed with kindly emotion, bends his head to the storm.
Sails taken in on both sides, lee-scuppers stowed away, and all
made taut for dirty weather. Mr. James Lowther does violence to
his natural feelings, and iiings himself into the fray. Gladstone
catches him by the hair, and worries him. Claud Hamilton rushes
in, and declares his readiness to sit for twenty-four hours. Mr.
Macfarlane, with proud recollections of his feat on the opening
uight of the Session, when he camped out in Palace Yard. with a
noggin of whiskey aud an oatmeal-cake and was first in his place,
says he will sit for twenty-five. Mr. Lewis declares he is good for
twenty-six. Sort of Parliamentary auction. “ Going at twenty-
six ! Who says twenty-seven ? ”
The Auctioneer hesitates. Mr. Heneage knocks Mr. Chaplin
down. Chaplin said that he
said that Lord Kichard Gros-
venor had said- mark me,
Moor ! — that no division was
expected last night.
“ No Hon. Member,” Mr.
Heneage declares, honest in-
dignation mantling his brow.
“ has a right to say what no
Hon. Member has not said.”
Thunderous cheers, though, on refiection, axiom seems a little
dubious. However, can’t stay to fathom it. Irish Members rush in.
“ Are we going to sit here all night ? ” Mr. Dillwyn says, with his
head on one side, and a general air of putting a conundrum which had
occurred to him after severe thought. Opposition guessed it imme-
diately. “A res!” they roared. Mr. Dillwyn subsides, to think
of another, and much more difficult. Whilst he is cogitating, com-
promise arrived at. Government decide to take the Bill again at
Morning Sitting, and Members go home. All this comes of Stafford
Business done.—Motion for Second Reading of Arrears Bill.
Tuesday Night.—kiteT all the fighting last night, turns out no
one had anything particular to say in continuance of debate. Yes,
Mr. Storer has ; and when Mr. Sclatkr-Booth’s Amendment is
negatived, Mr. Storek rises. Just ten minutes to seven: barely
time to divide on main question, as Sitting is suspended at seven.
Tremendous howl greets his placid appearance. Noise as if it were
feeding-time at the Zoological Gardens, and Storer the toothsome
morsel just out of reaeh.
Exceedingly meek-looking man, Mr. Storer. Last man likely to
do a thing like this. Stands timidly surveying the raging House.
Ministerialists bawliug at him. Staffokd North-
cote not dissembling his wrath. Sir Richard
Cross evidently about to sentence him to three
munths’ imprisonment with hard labour, accom-
panied by a few remarks on his moral turpitude.
Mr. Alderman Fowler deafens him with a roar of
“ Divide ! ” Baron de WoaMSnudges him in the
stomach. Colonel Makins tugs at his left coat-tail.
Mr. Whitley fetches him “ a one-er ” on the right
shoulder. Claud Hamilton, taking base advantage
of being on a higher level, grapples him round the
throat, and presses him down. Storer begins to
wish he were on another storey. Would sit down if he could,
but is momentarily paralysed. Ghastly pallor steals over him: eyes
glare with a strange light; tongue cleaves to roof of his mouth;
The Carriage Tax.
left arm spasmodically extended; right feebly making play with
Mr. Whitley’s watch-chain. A gurgling sound is heard; some-
thing about “ agricultural interests,” escapes his parched lips
then Mr. Storer subsides, and Divison taken. This process of Par
liamentary Debate watched with great interest from Gallery.
Business done.—Arrears Bill read a Second Time by 269 vote^
Wednesday Afternoon.—Rumour about to-day that Dick Powel
has been offered the place of Junior Whip. Not likely to be true
In some respects too good to be true. In others not desirable. Irisb
Members must have a Whip, and it would be difficult for any man to
sueceed Dick Power, and make himself acceptable to the House.
As Mr. IvIchard Peddie says, “ If, in the House of Commons, a
man ’s called ‘ Jack ’ or 4 Dick,’ be sure he ’s a good fellow.” Cer-
tainly holds good with respect to Dick Power. And, look you, it ’s
not an easy thing for a man to be Whip to the Land-League Party,
and be personally popular on both sides of the House.
Met O’Shea in the corridor leading down to back of Speaker’s
Chair. Thought I ’d ask him, as he knows everything. But O’Shea
in a terrible fiurry. Got another negotiation on hand.
“ Dear boy,” he said, “ they all come to me when
negotiations wanted. Here ’s Joseph Gillis goes and
makes a fool, of himself under the moonlit arhres oi
the Champs Elvsees. Case of chops and tomato sauct
over again, with a pair of high-heeled boots, fourteen
buttons thrown in. Case going to Court. Then they
come to me. Wherever there’s a difficulty, as Tal-
leyrand sa.id, ‘ chercherl' O' Shea ! ’ ” (Which mot, I
informed him, Mr. Punch applied last week. But O’S.
hasn’t time to read anything but letters.) “ Fancy shall
bring it oif, and make a new compact.”
Afraid great Diplomatist is overworking himself.
Evidently in a highly-strained nervous condition.
When I pulled out poeket-handkerchief just now, he
was quite startled. Thought I was going to produce a document,
a la Forster. Business done.—Debate on Arrears Bill.
Thursday.—Had a very pleasant tea this afternoon. Dillwyn
gave it. We had Jacob Bright, Peter, Wilfrid Lawson, and
several other great Statesmen. Everything done in best style.
regardless of expense. Muffins perhaps a little over-buttered, but
tea excellent, and cream of best London make. After tea, looked
into this Prevention of Crime Bill. Can’t let Gladstone go on ffi
“ Must put him down,” Dillwyn says, with his mouth full ot
muffiu and true Liberalism.
“ If he ’d been little more careful in his selection—thank you, yes.
I will have a seventh cup,” said Peter—“ in his selection of Under-
secretaries, it would have been much better for him and the Country
What is wanted either at the Colonial Office or Board of Trade, is •„
good honest ltadical, with a turn for
figures, and some influence in the
Country and below the Gangway.”
We decide to draw up Memorial,
and send it in to Gladstone. Go
round after and get it signed. Begin
to f eel I ’m doing something in Polities.
Barkshire will some day be proud of
David Davies a little rude in
speech. “ What do you mean,” says
he, in the English of Machynlleth-
atte-Llansaintffraid, “ by eaterwaul-
ing in a tea-room like a lot of old
women at a Sewing Meetiug? If
you’ve anything to say, why don’t
you up in your place and out with it,
instead of getting excited over your
tea, and making believe to be Con-
spirators, when you are only a lot oi
well-meaning political old ladies ? ”
David then irroceeded to give interesting particulars as to the
number of men he employs, the aggregate weekly wages paid, and
other details. Can’t stay. Must get signatures and save the State.
Business done— Got into Committee on Arrears Bill.
Friday Afternoon.- Going off for the holidays to-day. Not very
long; but Wolff, Wilfrid Lawson, Ashmead Bartlett, and
others, cannot start without stock of information. Packing tbeir
portmanteaus and Gladstone bags previous to starting. Only
Dkummond says he never had a Giadstone bag in his house.
Dilke on the stand peppered with questions. Nothing got out of
him Then W. E. G. comes forward with long speech, sigDifying
nothing. O’Donnell aptlv says the only diiference between Dilkk
and Gladstone is the difference between the monosyllabic and
the polysyllabic model of saying nothing.
Business done.—Adjourned for the Whitsun Recess.
The latest Moonlighters in Ire-
land. (As seen by Mr. T. P.