At Prime Minister's Apologies Time in the House of Common, Mr. Gladstone expressed his regrets for giving Mr. Jack Ripper the post of Special Adviser for Fallen Women and Morality Policy among the labouring classes. These were subjects close to Mr. Gladstone's heart and he had learned much from his nocturnal visits to Whitechapel but now realises that this was an error of judgement.
This is not the first major apology made by the Prime Minister. It may be recalled that he was forced to admit that sending General "Chinese" Gordon to Khartoum with an inadequate and ill prepared military force was a mistake leading to the death of the General in unhappy circumstances. The Prime Minister admitted in failing to appreciate the differences between China and the Sudan.
The Prime Minister assured the House that the occupation of Egypt was purely temporary until Sir Evelyn Baring had restored the Khedive and nation's finances to stability and Egypt was able to pay off its debts to The City of London at a market rate of interest. The recent crisis over the Suez Canal would be the last of its kind. Also, Britain would have the major role in building the High Speed Cape to Cairo railway through Africa.
Similarly, in Africa after recent difficulties with the Zulu tribes the Government was on course to create a new union of the territories of southern Africa based on the principles of English law and with full adult male suffrage for all in a fully representative government of all races.
Mr. Gladstone told the House that the Married Women's Property Act giving women in marriage control over their own monies would not damage family lives or lead to marriage becoming more optional. Press reports relating to the Prince of Wales were utterly false and not related to this matter.
Similarly, the Prime Minister was aware that the Empress of Austria would be out with The Oakley Hunt during the season and Mr. Bay Middleton solely acted as her pilot in the field. The Empress was purely an occasional visitor arising from her interest in rural life. That Mr. Arthur Macan, the Joint Master and the Hunt were funded by the Whitbread Family had nothing to do with the adjustments to the beer and malt taxes.
Due to the recent financial difficulties in The City and its effects the Rupee currency of India has fallen heavily against the pound sterling. While this is adverse for those in India paid and with pensions in rupees it has allowed more prosperity for those paid in pounds, admittedly employed by the British Government and its agencies. The net result will be a number of adjustments allowing for much needed austerity in the Indian population at large.
Mr Auckland Colvin, who lately was most helpful to Mr. Evelyn Baring in Egypt and has now resumed duty as Treasurer of India has introduced extra taxes, including a new Income Tax to balance the books. This has attracted criticism, especially from excitable journalists as Mr. Rudyard Kipling, but the Prime Minister was confident that all would be well soon. Mr. Colvin is reported to be a cousin of Mr. Arthur Macan, above, but this is purely a coincidence. As the capital and share structures of Indian Railway companies are based on sterling, the Indian Treasury will continue to draw on tax revenues to meet interest charges and guaranteed dividends in The City of London.
The attention of the Prime Minister has been drawn to reports that in his home city of Liverpool, the Everton Football Club have employed a footballer on a paid, that is professional basis. Mr. Alex Dick was formerly with the Morton club of Scotland. The Prime Minister asserted that both the Morton and Everton clubs were founded by persons of deep Christian faith and on Temperance principles in keeping with the true British traditions of sport. While from time to time certain minimal expenses might be met for poorer persons this did not set a precedent.
The Prime Minister insisted that while jockeys and boxers might earn money, so far as Association Football, Rugby Football, Tennis, Athletics and other major sports key to character, honesty, fair play and integrity were concerned they would remain wholly amateur. To assume that they would have regular pay and expenses was as ridiculous as suggesting that Members of the House of Commons would be paid or allowed large expenses.
On the subject of Ireland, the Prime Minister guaranteed the House that his personal interest would ensure that the problems would be soon resolved.