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to despise. Cambridge and Chester, Gloucester and Salisbury, Cheltenham and Rochester, were well worth the winning, for they reflect the opinion of those who are deaf to popular clamour. In brief, there is no class in the community which has not proved its displeasure at the revolutionary, anti-English spirit of the Radical party, and declared aloud that our reign of terror is at an end.

that they should take to poaching. The labourers have enjoyed sixty years of freely imported corn. They have seen the land go out of cultivation; they have watched the gradual relapse of corn land into pasture; and at last they have realised that their occupation is gone. They have understood that Tariff Reform alone can restore the prosperity that once was theirs, and they have given their verdict unmistakably and without hesitation. Wherever you go the same tale is told. Westmoreland and Somerset, Essex and Suffolk, Kent and Hertford, Wiltshire and Dorset, have returned the same verdict of distrust in the Radical party; and their triumph in rural England is the more grateful to the Unionists because it proves that the dull calumnies of Mr Lloyd-George have fallen on deaf ears. It has been the particular

But it is The Counties of England which have most conspicuously distinguished themselves, and in so doing they have not surprised those who knew them best. There is every reason why they should renounce their allegiance to a party which has done them nothing but ill. In the first place, the Radicals at the last election deceived them with wild fairy stories of large loaves. Those fabulous loaves have never been seen since they were carried exultantly ambition of this gentleman round the countryside. But to set class against class. on far higher grounds than But, as we have said, the the mere discovery of a Radi- agricultural districts know cal falsehood, the rural dis- more of the Peers than he triots of England have de- does; they remember the unolared themselves in favour of numbered kindnesses of landTariff Reform. The policy of lords, whose object in life has Manchester was especially de- been the happiness of their signed to ruin the agriculture tenants, not the extraction of of England. It was the pur- an economic rent; they look pose of the Cobdenites to askance on the small holdings sacrifice the country to the with which the Radicals tempt town; and when after some them to the slavery of Socialyears of repeal distress over- ism; and by their votes they whelmed the agricultural coundeclare their belief in the ties, Mr Cobden had no better system of small ownership advice to give to the labourers advocated by Mr Balfour. than the advice, since ap- But it is not merely their proved by Mr Lloyd-George, own interest which they ac


claim. They acclaim also the imperial supremacy of England, and once more their innate conservatism has saved their country from revolution. England, then, has done well. We would that could record a similar improvement elsewhere. Of Wales and Ireland Unionism has nothing to expect. Wales is obsessed by the noisy eloquence of demagogues. Ireland, though Tariff Reform alone could restore her to fortune and prosperity, would rather lose all than sacrifice her opportunity of agitation. But of Scotland we had some hope, and up to the hour when these words are written we are grievously disappointed. do not pretend to diagnose the disease. The most favourable supposition is that the Scots temper changes slowly. And we can only trust that time will bring the country north of the Tweed to a wiser opinion and a more stalwart loyalty.


The Radicals, if they succeed in forming a Government, will depend upon the votes of the Irish and the Labour members. It is the best indication how far Mr Asquith has travelled on the path of revolution that he openly accepts the alliance of Socialists and Home Rulers. He will give them his support. Of that there is no doubt. It remains to be seen how far they will support him, or by what ingenuity he can attach to himself the adherence of two parties fiercely opposed one to the other. On every side we hear, not of the Radical Party, but of the Coalition-a coalition

more infamous than that made more than a century ago by Fox and North, which very justly put an end for ever to Fox's political career. The Home Rulers are the avowed enemies of England; they are still marching through rapine to the dismemberment of the Empire. The Labour Party, if we may believe its journals, hates nothing and nobody so much as its Liberal allies. And these are the sects which Mr Asquith, who cannot govern Mr Lloyd - George or Mr Churchill, believes he will bring into a quiet and orderly coalition. We can imagine no system of bribes which will satisfy them both.

The most striking fact in the political history of the last two years has been the decline of Mr Asquith's authority. He is a leader who is content to follow, a Prime Minister ready to obey the most turbulent of his colleagues. That his lack of statesmanship has contributed something to the reverses which his party has sustained few would deny. He never showed himself less of a statesman than he has done since the election began. The speeches which he has made in the hour of crisis prove how loose is his grasp upon public affairs, how dimly he understands the spirit of the nation. He has announced publicly that he will attempt nothing until he has settled the question of the House of Lords. How he will settle it he refuses to explain. One thing only is certain: that he will put his revenge before the advantage

of England. He who lays a finger upon the Constitution must have the loftiest faith in his wisdom and good intent. Has Mr Asquith this faith? Can he exclude all thought of party from his mind? To observers from outside the House of Lords perfectly fulfils its functions. Even though it be not framed upon such principles as appear logical to the gentlemen of the Labour Party, it has again and again saved the country from the worst peril of all the peril of hasty legislation, and, during the last few months, it has shown itself once more a clearer interpreter of England's opinion than the House of Commons. It is the usefulness of this institution, then, that Mr Asquith and his coalition would destroy, and though they coalesce on the end, they do not coalesce on the means. The Irish and the extreme Socialists are in favour of total abolition. Mr Asquith himself prefers a phantom. Sir Edward Grey desires election. Mr Haldane is a staunch supporter of a reformed Second Chamber. Well, they may be left to fight it out, and when the battle is over the House of Lords will be found stronger than ever.

One other principle Mr Asquith has enunciated which deserves the attention of all Unionists. "I wish to put it on record at the earliest possible moment," said he, "that whatever may happen in the remainder of the elections before us, in the new Parliament Tariff Reform is a practical impossibility." It is practically

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impossible, according to Mr Asquith, because Manchester supports Free Trade. London is nothing, Birmingham is nothing, Liverpool is nothing, the English counties are nothing! Manchester has obeyed the command of Mr Asquith: her Catholics have listened to the sly promise of Home Rule, and therefore she is the only governess of the British Empire! Thus Mr Asquith, to suit his own pleasure, has put an entirely new construction upon the theory of representative government. He has given "the sacred will of the people a wholly fresh interpretation. A few weeks ago those solemn words meant the whim of Mr Lloyd-George, accepted by the majority of the House of Commons. No words were too violent for the Peers, who had dared to thwart that majority. The will of the people was the will of the Cabinet, and it should prevail. Now it is the will of the Cabinet no longer. It is the will of Manchester, and no doubt Mr Asquith believes it still sacred, and Mr Churchill is still confident that it shall prevail. Was there ever a more ludicrous comment upon democracy? Apparently the sanctity resides in Mr Asquith, and even if he be in a minority, yet he thinks he should prevail! If he understood the rudiments of logic, and had a sense of humour, he would contemplate with respect a Unionist majority of one, and acknowledge with all solemnity that he must never oppose by word or deed the expressed will of the people. He has put

himself in a worse position even than these deliberate contradictions would imply. Having declared that the vote of Manchester blocks the way of Tariff Reform, he declares also that the vote of Ireland is sufficient to wreck the British Constitution. A majority of Englishmen supports the House of Lords, but a majority cast against Mr Asquith is nothing.

Manchester is with him, and therefore she must not be thwarted. He has purchased Ireland for the moment with a half-believed promise of Home Rule. Therefore Ireland is competent to destroy the Constitution of England. It is difficult to characterise Mr Asquith's "statesmanship" in temperate language. But

many years ago & satirist prayed that we should never see inflicted upon us such a ruler as Mr Asquith has proved. "Never may a craven pilot," wrote the satirist,

"at our vessel's helm preside, Swayed by mob-tongued agitation, tak

ing demagogues for guide, Truckling to the voice of faction, listening for the loudest cry,

Gauging pressures, measuring noises,

what to grant and what deny."

The satirist's prayer has not been answered. The craven pilot has presided too long at our helm; but he shall preside there no longer, even if it take a stormy session of drifting hither and thither on the ocean, and another general election, to save the ship of state from his impotent command.

Printed by William Blackwood and Sons.

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THE India Council, new style, was assembled in anxious conclave. Calcutta was hot-damply hot, and honourable members perspired heavily as they sat at the baize-covered table; above their heads the electric fans hung motionless, for the machinery, owing to some cause or another, was out of order. Severe remarks on the inefficiency or contumacy of his subordinates had already been addressed to the Hon. Minister for Public Works, who had defended himself with eloquence, while wiping his damp hands nervously upon the pink blottingpaper which lay before him.

The President of the Confederated States of Hindustan was addressing the Council. He stood on the steps of his richly decorated gilt chair almost a throne. which had been imported from Paris; above his head hung an allegorical picture representing

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"India the Motherland." Upon the heavy gilt frame of this was a plate informing the world that it had been presented to the Confederated States of Hindustan by the Independent Labour Party of Great Britain, "in token of admiration of the success which has crowned the efforts of Indian patriots to throw off the yoke of the foreign oppressor "the last two words were inscribed in scarlet letters, and the whole inscription was so long that the engraver had been compelled to exercise all his art to settle it comfortably into the limited compass of the brass plate provided.

The President, who spoke at great length and with evident emotion, naturally used English as the medium of his remarks, and his concluding sentences had evoked a perfect hurricane of applause from his audience.

"Come the four corners of X

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