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"machinery "if it be not used It is plain that Imperial conferences-a kind of machinery are of no avail if all that those conferences desire and decide is broken in pieces at a change of government. Universal suffrage is the determined foe of continuity, and without continuity a great empire cannot hope to survive. So Mr MacDonald, having proved a complete contempt for the wishes and deliberations of the Imperial conference, makes a new demand for machinery." What Minister, of what Dominion, will be at the pains to visit London to see the new "machinery " at work when he recalls the effrontery with which Mr MacDonald has treated the last conference that met ?

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Sir James Allen, the High Commissioner for New Zealand, recently deplored, in a speech delivered at Wembley, the failure of the Conference. Last year," said he, "two Imperial Conferences were held. This year, with a change of Government in this country, several of the recommendations of both Conferences are not to be recommended to Parliament by the Government of the day, and are therefore doubtful of acceptance. The question naturally arises: of what value are Imperial Conferences as at present constituted? It is not my intention to deal with the resolutions except to say with respect to Preference that there is general disappointment in the Dominions and Colonies; and

as to Singapore, both in Australia and New Zealand, grave unrest exists at the abandonment of the defence of a base which we look upon as a means of protecting our countries and trade-routes in case of attack.”

That is a perfectly fair statement of the case, and it is clear that the value of Imperial Conferences has been reduced to nothing by Mr MacDonald's scorn scorn of continuity. What, then, can be done to avert the lamentable misunderstandings which a sudden change of policy must inevitably ensure? Sir James Allen believes that the growth of the Dominions will necessitate important changes in the future. Meanwhile, he favours Dominion representation in London, for which, says he, "two suggestions have been made-one that a Dominion Minister should be resident in London, the other that the High Commissioner should act." Sir James thinks it would be better that the High Commissioner should act, as it is unnecessary to duplicate representation. That some wise step should be taken is obvious, since the situation is at present of a dangerous delicacy. On the one hand Mr

MacDonald flouts the Dominions; on the other the Dominions resent, naturally, the the contempt poured forth upon their wishes. And it is certain that the relations between the mother country and the Dominions cannot be left to the arbitrament of the ignorant electors of Great

Britain and their servile repre- to turn to the Left, nobody will sentatives. A year of folly believe. But true it is that may undo the great achieve- France has followed England ments of three centuries. And down the steep incline, and at if any one doubts whether the a faster rate. There is (or Empire is worth thought and used to be) something in the a sacrifice, let him go to Wem- English temperament temperament which bley and take what pride he persuaded us to go slow in may in the Empire's vast ex- the business of politics. Such tent and variety. Can even revolutions as we have had the greediest demagogue come have come generally from the to any other conclusion than sober classes, and have been that the friendship of the conducted with some kind of Dominions is worth more to discretion. Certainly we have us even than the sacred gifts never suffered from so cruelly of a free breakfast-table and sadic an orgy as the French another bob a day? Revolution-an orgy devised by the wickedness of aliens, Jews and others, and still misunderstood by the ignorant as a struggle for liberty. Even to-day our sufferings are easier to bear than are the sufferings of our neighbours. Though we can put no trust in Mr Ramsay MacDonald, though we are convinced that-in spite of the platitudes with which his mouth is now full-he knows not the meaning of patriotism, and has not forgotten the affection which he cherished during the war for his "German friends," we cannot disguise from ourselves the truth that he is, politically, a member of the lower middleclass. So also are his most intimate colleagues, smug and solemn men, who if an uprising came, would be the first to be strung up on the lamp-posts of Westminster. Of the Frenchmen who will probably be invited to take office, so much cannot be said. M. Herriot, it is true, is made of pretty much

It has often been observed for a strange fact that political diseases are catching. In 1848 the lust of revolution travelled across Europe like a fever germ. And now, wherever you cast your eye, you will find epidemics of Radicalism, Socialism, and Communism. The symptoms of the three diseases are frequently so much alike that they cannot be distinguished, and even the mildest form has a tendency to assume the rash and the temperature of the most virulent. By what road the disease travels, by what method the infection is carried, we do not know. Its passage from one country to another is as secret and as stealthy as the mysterious conveyance of news across the desert, where there is neither telegraph nor wireless. That England and France have taken counsel with one another, and agreed that this is the moment

the same clay as Mr MacDonald, but, as Prime Minister, he will be obliged to put his moderation in his pocket and to follow the Socialists and the Communists, whom he will profess to lead.


And he has begun with conniving at a revolution. party of the Left has no tender feeling for M. Millerand, who, until the meeting of the new Chamber, was President of the French Republic, which all Frenchmen, save the supporters of the Action Française, profess to worship. Accordingly the party of the Left declined to take office until M. Millerand, who was elected less than four years ago and is by law irremovable, was expelled from the Elysée. The action of the Socialists is nothing less than a coup-d'état, and it was supported by majorities both in the Senate and in the Chamber. Without the aid of the Senate, where he was defeated by ten votes, M. Millerand could not dissolve Parliament. Wherefore, if the government of the Republic was to be carried on, he could pursue no other course than to resign. He resigned with all the dignity and formality that were possible, and the Socialists of France have set a wicked and a dangerous example in dismissing a President who was not to their mind. By a welcome irony his place is filled by M. Doumergue, who is no nearer to the wishes of the Socialists than M. Millerand himself.

The precedent created by the dismissal of the President is wicked, for it is revolutionary. If the President may be dismissed at will, then there is no check upon an unbridled Minister and no guarantee of continuity in government. The precedent is dangerous for the Socialists, because henceforth it may be used against them by the other side. And the worst of it is that it suggests that the President is nothing more than the puppet of party government. If he is no more than this, is it worth while to ask him to dwell in the solemn splendour of the Elysée, and how, when he is abolished, shall the famous constitution be defended? Thus the Radicals and Socialists come into office with a coup-d'état, and the passions which they have aroused will not make the task of government any easier for them.

M. Herriot, in a fervid letter to M. Blum, who replied rather frigidly as one who held the better hand, explained some of the objects which he had at heart. He is willing, it seems, to shorten the term of military service, and to cut down the cost of the armya hazardous policy, truly, at a moment when Germany, exasperated by defeat, is openly rearming. For us who love France, the mere thought of a disaster is terrifying. Whose sleep would not be disturbed by the nightmare of a Teutonised Europe? And the folly

M. Léon

of this policy is made plain and hotly contested.
by the joy wherewith the Ger-
mans have heard the rumour
of M. Herriot's advent to power.
Thus M. Herriot is ready to
stand side by side with our
own Mr MacDonald, whose sur-
render of the Singapore base
is an equivalent for the lessened
efficiency of the French Army.
Two other "planks "-that, we
believe, is the correct term-
in M. Herriot's "platform" are
wholly characteristic of Social-
istic policy. In the first place,
he promises to abolish Greek
and Latin from the schools of
France, thus proving a con-
tempt for continuity which
only Mr MacDonald could rival.
It will be remembered that
some months since the Govern-
ment of M. Poincaré restored
the classical tongues, a con-
stant outrage in the eyes of
the good Socialist, to the public
schools, whence they had long
been banished. This admir-
able reform, or reaction, as the
Radicals would call it, was
brought about not merely by
the foolish pedants, who value
learning for its own sake, but
by the great captains of French
industry, who complained that
since the abolition of the an-
cient languages they could not
find young men in France cap-
able of aiding them in their
business, and by the men of
letters, who agreed that, after
the teaching of Greek and
Latin was put an end to, the
writing of French had miser-
erably declined. The debate
was kept upon a high plane,

Daudet gave lustre to it by
his brilliant advocacy, and
the triumph of the classics
seemed complete. But the envy
of the Socialists is not to be
gainsaid. They desire to be
efficient managers of industry
as little as they wish to write
And once more, if

M. Herriot has his way,
Greek and Latin are to be
sent upon the tramp. The
changed schools must be
changed once more, and if
England needs a warning
against the interference of Gov-
ernment in education, here is
the warning written plainly.
If education is to be the shuttle-
cock of Parliament, there is an
end of it, and if we are wise we
shall let the Minister of Educa-
tion confine his evil practices
to the elementary schools, and
keep his hands off public schools
and universities.


In the second place, M. Herriot promises to make an assault upon the Institut, and to lay a greedy hand upon the funds of the Académie Française. This, too, would seem to be a popular measure. combines the two things which the Socialist loves best-an attack upon ancient institutions and the seizure of money which belongs to somebody else. The Académie has not always been above and beyond criticism. It has closed its doors against many a man of genius, and it has given a foolish welcome to mediocrities. That is because no body of

guilty of falsely pretending to be the author of another's works. When Mr M. H. Spielmann speaks in his essay on

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forty men is immune from though he stood in the dock error, or can with certainty anticipate the verdict of posterity. Whatever reform it stands in need of must come from within. But it is not in reform that the Socialists take an interest. It is the policy of theft that delights them. They hear of money in which they have no share, and their fingers itch to seize it. There is not the smallest chance that they would spend it well if they got it. It is enough for them that they would hinder somebody else's enjoyment of it.


the Socialists aim at the same sad policy all the world over. But they who encourage the hatred of others, and mistake a class for the nation, can never hope to succeed, and the best result they will ever achieve is narrowly to avoid disaster.

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Matthew Arnold, in his famous sonnet about Shakespeare, said that the poet did tread on earth unguess'd at." For him, indeed, it was "better 80." But dearly has he paid for his good fortune. For several centuries the guessers have been at work, and they have pictured him in every possible guise that ignorant fancy could suggest. More than this, they have attempted to prove that he could never have existed at all, or that, if he did exist, he was not himself but somebody else of the same name. So they have attacked him with great bitterness, as

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The Title Page of the First Folio' of the haters of Shakespeare, he speaks not without warrant. There is a strange band of Shakespeare haters abroad, stern implacable men, for whom Ben Jonson's " sweet swan of Avon is but a flatfooted duck, who regard Stratford, even though it has been smiled on by the great author, Marie Corelli, as a bad deceitful village, and who can devise no worse term of abuse than Stratfordian.

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And they reserve their bitterest scorn for the portraits of Shakespeare. Whatever failure the artists may have been guilty of in representing the features of the poet recoils, before they have done with him, on the poet's own head. They regard the bust in the church at Stratford as a fraud, and they hold their sides with laughter when they contemplate Droeshout's engraving. Why this work should amuse them we do not know. Perhaps it is but a symptom of their hatred. But superstition can best be dispelled by knowledge, and Mr Spielmann has earned the gratitude of all save the "haters" by setting down in logical order the known facts of the case. The bust in Stratford Church comes first in his consideration, and he proves conclusively that they who deny

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