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(Ante 394,“ Conservative Journalism”) that no party can be held together for ever in a system of exclusion from office, and the Times has fairly taken up and argued the point. There must be two parties in the state, and these must be represented by opposite newspaper organs. Strong Conservatives as we are, it would be indeed a matter of deep anxiety to us if our constitution had not the safety-valves of free discussion in and out of Parliament, based on an active watchfulness on both sides. It is not for the permanent interests of this great country that one party alone should always be in power; and, fortunately for England, it never will be so, let the Whigs work as they will, and let their journalists even write their fingers off. The Liberals had about eighteen years of office, and it was high time there was a change. No people thought go more than the Radicals themselves; for they admitted that, in insolence, intolerance, corruption, and administrative incapacity, the worst days of Toryism had been outdone by the Whigs and Peelites, who had not only plunged the country into costly wars, which have produced disgrace and disaster, but had ignominiously truckled to a foreign potentate. This is not our thunder; it is that of the " Independent Liberals,” at whose nod the Whigs are helped in and out of the government of the country. The pretensions, therefore, of Liberalism to have the monopoly of power as well as of journalism, are simply ridiculous. The Conservative reaction since 1846 has been demonstrated by the existence of two Derby cabinets in 1852 and 1857. From about 260 Conservatives in the last Parliament, the number has risen to 300 in the present House of Commons, and this phalanx has been further strengthened by subsequent elections. Parties are now more evenly balanced ; but it must always be recollected that the Conservative one is per se the strongest, inasmuch as the independent Liberals can at any time turn the majority against the government should they go into the lobby with the Conservatives on any question. The working majority, it is true, is not yet obtained for Lord Derby, and it is very improbable that eminent statesman will ever again take office without one. How Conservative strength is to be gained, has been our main object in calling attention to Conservative journalism. With all due deference to the cry, “Register, register, register,” we think the question of the press is by far the first consideration. It is quite useless to “register” unless the voters can be induced to go to the polling-booths. In the metropolitan boroughs alone, there are at least two, if not three of them, which would return Conservatives, if all the registered electors would but exercise their privilege. It is but to repeat here what we urged in October last, that if, in our counties, towns, and boroughs, legitimate means be resorted to in order to increase the circulation of constitutional journals, vast sums of money squandered at a general election would be saved, and more Conservatives would be returned, and thus secure for the country the inestimable advantages of a united and strong government, now more than ever necessary that it has been deemed expedient to resort to the volunteer movement to be ready to defend the dearest interests of the country. Constitutional journalism is also required to defend the army and the navy from those daily attacks which bid fair to sap the foundation of all discipline, and thus to weaken the efficiency of two services of which this country has hitherto been so proud. The moment is opportune for Conservative journalism to be up and doing The policy must not be merely a defensive one; let them take heart and carry war into the enemy's camp. Prove themselves worthy of the support of the great Conservative party by action. Be first; take the lead, and keep it; be earliest in your news, foreign and domestic; engage first-class correspondents at every point of interest to English readers, be it in Pekin or in Paris. The dissensions of the Liberals present glorious opportunities for energetic writing. What can be more edifying than such disclosures as those which come out at elections, when two or more Liberals are battling for a seat, as at Reading and Southwark? Can the present ministry hold together with effervescing elements ?
We have trespassed too long on the patience of our readers. The articles of our newspaper contemporaries, friends and foes, would have presented ample opportunities for personalities, which are more attractive reading, perhaps, than lry statistics and serious argument; but we have endeavoured to steer clear of any personal considerations, for the Conservative cause is uppermost in our mind and strongest in our heart. The suggestions we throw out are the result of long experience. We have lived under many forms of government in various countries; we have had the honour of coming in contact with men of all shades of opinion-men who have been perhaps either monarchs or pretenders, statesmen and diplomatists ; for the career of a continental correspondent for a London morning paper throws him into very curious company. We have always felt a pride in being an English journalist, who may be no prophet in his own country; but abroad, the ready recognition of his position justifies him in the belief that the press in this country is respected, however we may fight among ourselves. We believe that the more journalists learn to honour the open expression of opinion from men of all parties, the greater will be the utility of the press. Discussion is not promoted by violence of tone or the attribution of motives. A vast amelioration has taken place in this respect of late years, and the cheap press will do well in this to follow the example of their high-priced contemporaries. It is the easiest thing in the world to be slashing and trenchant-to be personal rather than argumentative-to be vituperative instead of vigorous. Lampoons and parodies are out of date; but is there not at present too much chaff and slang?
What we hope to live and see is, that inasmuch as, in the higher branches of periodical literature, Couservatism has still maintained its supremacy—for have we not still our Quarterly, and our Blackwood, and our first-class papers ?-a new order of journalism may be called into existence, which, like the Standard, can reach the masses, and contend against the foul influence of the democratic, irreligious, licentious, and seditious cheap prints of the day. We are too glad to recognise the existence of a powerful and eloquent Liberal press, conscientiously and moderately enforcing their opinions ; but we think, with very little exertion, Conservative journalism might be increased so as to have a fair balance, whilst, at the same time, a press for the working classes, as an antidote to the poisonous malaria of the řevolutionary newspapers, may be called into existence. At the
same time, we should like to see our public men, whether Whig or Conservative, display a little less morbid apprehension of newspaper attacks. The public man who has not the courage of his position is unworthy of it. The fear of publicity is becoming a peril. The press is not the inquisition ; its leaded articles cannot mangle or distort, and why should a minister yield to clamour which his reason rejects ? Questions in these days are worn to death by “damnable iteration.” No sooner is the game started, then comes the pack in full cry. An immensity of mischief is often done, good as the intentions may be. Journalism is not always omnipotent, and when its power becomes ineffective it is from excessive exaggeration.
TURKEY AND EUROPE.
THE Courts of Europe have by this time sufficient evidence
before them to be enabled to estimate the propriety of Prince Gortschakoff's circular of last May. In July last, we informed our readers that a Commission of Inquiry, which that circular had called forth, was about to commence an investigation of the charges which it contained against the Mohammedan subjects of the Sultan. The Commissioners have subsequently presented their report, and we are happy to find that it affords a complete confirmation of the views which we then put forward. Without pausing to generalize on the results obtained, we shall at once proceed to lay them before that portion of the British public who are interested in Turkish politics.
We must, however, be permitted in limine to make one general remark, and that is, that the relations of Turkey to the rest of Europe are being so complicated by the progress of foreign intrigues, that it is impossible too much attention can be devoted to them. With that singleness of purpose which has for so many years characterized her policy, Russia, at least, loses no opportunity of promoting her peculiar, national, and hereditary designs. The effect is felt far and wide through the Turkish dominions, and it is the progress of this influence which makes it so imperative a duty upon all English statesmen to be up and doing, that the evil may once more be checked before it reach unmanageable proportions.
The commission of inquiry which Prince Gortschakoff demanded, and which for his sins was conceded to him, was composed of a certain number of Turks, of the Greek metropolitan; and of certain Christian members of the provincial councils. The inquiry was recently held at Nyssa, and the result was, that not one single abuse of all those complained of by Prince Gortschakoff was found capable of being substantiated. But, oddly enough, something came to light which that singularly sagacious statesman had failed to foresee ; for it was found out that, instead of oppression and insult exercised by the Turks towards the Christians, it was the Christians who had been guilty of the grossest offences towards the members of their own community.
About twenty-five cases, if we remember right, of compulsory conversion to Islamism, were a prominent item in Prince Gortschakoff's bill of indictment. Will it be believed that the commissioners failed to find one ? And here we may at once state, that any slur which might be thrown on the credibility of their report, is at once cleared away by the fact, that it has been now for some time in the hands of the Russian ministry, who have been unable to say a word against it; and that the Greeks, who sat among the commissioners, had every inducement, and plenty of opportunities, for making public any collusion between their Turkish colleagues and the witnesses examined. We repeat, then, that out of all the cases alleged to exist by the Russian minister, not one was found to hold water upon a careful judicial scrutiny. The very persons who were said to have been converted at the point of the bayonet, came forward and stated that they had embraced Islamism many years previously, for domestic reasons. They were either women who had married Mussulmen, or young men who had embraced it for the sake of property, or other reasons, which, however discreditable to the Christian convert, cast no blame whatever upon the Mohammedan who accepted their conversion,
In the alleged cases of oppression and robbery, the charges