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secured. In the battle of Free Trade there was a division amongst the former allies, while the new flag attracted to itself a considerable number of whom no small proportion were Liberals on commercial questions but on no other. It is thus that the victories of progress have been won. But new tactics have come into vogue of late. The primary idea has been the formation of a permanent army intent on an immediate victory for righteousness everywhere. All who see any wrong to be redressed, or who have any new theory for the elevation of mankind to be accomplished, are to be rallied to the flag. A general defiance is to be flung out to the defenders of all the strongholds of privilege, and an attack, which for all practical purposes will be simultaneous, is to be directed against them all. It is not difficult to see what judgment would be passed upon military strategy of this kind. It could be excused on the ground that the assailants had overwhelming strength on their side. Under any other conditions it would be regarded only as a sign of the folly which goes before destruction and prepares for it. Why a different judgment should be pronounced where political tactics are in question it is not easy

The natural result of such a mode of warfare is to unite all the interests assailed in a compact league for resistance. Such an alliance lays itself open to ridicule, but it is too cheap to be of any use, for it is the attack which has welded together forces between which there is no natural affinity. What such an alliance can do was proved in 1895, and there is no reason to expect that its natural force has abated or is likely to abate.

Have Liberals learned the obvious lesson ? It is the question of the hour; and on the reply will largely depend their immediate future. The proceedings at Derby are not a very encouraging augury. But they ought not to be too severely construed. It is hardly to be supposed that those who shrieked so loudly for women's suffrage seriously intended that the party, not having enough to employ them in the articles of the Newcastle Programme, were determined to add yet another to the list, and that one of the most divisive character which it would be easy to select. It is superfluous to say that the first effect would be the immediate secession of some of the most stalwart Liberals in the country. Numbers even of those who might support such a measure themselves would protest against the intolerable tyranny, to say nothing of the incredible madness, of placing it among the shibboleths of the party. It is, however, unfair to suppose that such an intention was present to the minds of those who gave a vote which, to say the least, is greatly to be deplored as a blunder in policy. They were simply placing before the leaders the wishes of the rank and file. Looked at in this light it becomes comparatively innocuous. Were it otherwise, it would be safe to predict a still more serious calamity for a party which so clearly shows that it has no understanding of the signs of the times.


In short, the less the party talks about programmes, and the more earnestly it addresses itself to the work of the hour, the greater its chances of speedy revival. There is manifest need of education in the principles of Liberalism, and it is only as those principles take hold of men that any progressive legislation is possible. This is not the place to define at any length what these principles are. is necessary, however, to guard against their being confounded with any revolutionary schemes which really mean the reconstruction of society—a confusion which has already wrought untold mischief to the cause of rational progress. The care for the weaker members of the body politic is one of the best and most conspicuous features of modern politics. It is not the monopoly of either party, but Liberals and Conservatives necessarily approach it in a different spirit, the former dealing with it as a matter of right rather than of favour. How far this idea of right is to be carried, and by what methods it is to be asserted, is one of the most urgent questions we have to solve. The collectivist idea, interpreted in its best form, seems destined to have a more prominent place in our legislation, and on the Liberal party should devolve the duty of translating it into legislation which shall fully recognise the just claims of the workers and yet be free from any dangerous extreme. That party has done much for the emancipation and education of the individual, and it would be false alike to its principles and traditions if it were now, even under the influence of humanitarian considerations, to join in a senseless outcry against individualism. Its special function is to safeguard the rights of the individual while at the same time it harmonises with them such action of a true collectivism as shall do something to mitigate evils which are the scandal of our boasted modern civilisation. Inequalities there will always be, but surely the violent contrasts between ostentatious wealth and squalid poverty which we see at present are not a necessity. The man who will show how the State can bridge the interval which separates them without doing any injustice will prove himself a. statesman indeed.

Whether the Liberal party contains a man of this type I dare not undertake to say. But the question leads up to the suggestion that at all events the great need of the hour is a leader in whose strength and resolution full confidence is reposed. Even those who are least disposed to indulge in severe criticism mournfully admit that during last session the party was not led. During the recess we have had some pieces of vigorous criticism on Ministerial policy, but they have (except in the case of India) been delivered at the wrong time and in the wrong place. The case of the South African Committee has stirred the most profound indignation in the minds of earnest Liberals everywhere. There has been a sufficiently keen disappointment with the futile results of the brave speeches at Norwich. But it might have been mitigated or removed if there had.

been a decided stand in relation to the Jameson raid and its attendant circumstances. Alas! the annals of Parliament hardly record a more miserable fiasco. It is needless to follow it in its details. Suffice it to say the Opposition leader was out-generalled, out-man@uvred, outwitted, and Mr. Chamberlain was allowed without serious challenge from the Front Bench to assert that the honour of Mr. Rhodes was without a stain. It is not thus that a party can be rallied, and the party itself feels it, and feels it keenly. I have neither the right nor the desire to take part in any personal controversy as to the leadership, but I cannot fail to see that if the party is to be saved it must have a strong lead, and this it certainly has not had during the last twelve months. It may be said that this has been true of the whole period since Mr. Gladstone's retirement. But this it would be difficult to maintain, and even were it true it should be remembered that Lord Rosebery had to contend against internal divisions. He has yet to show what his power would be at the head of a Cabinet and a party thoroughly united in itself. Those who object to him on any a priori grounds are at all events bound to suggest an alternative name.

He has certainly many qualifications which specially mark him out for the present crisis. There is no man in the party who has such a thorough knowledge of foreign affairs or who inspires such general confidence in his judgment upon them. Even those who were inclined last year to think him somewhat timorous have since had reason to see that his caution had abundant justification. But, again I repeat, it is for those invested with responsibility to select the leader. I am at present anxious only to insist that if we are to have order evolved out of the present state of chaos, the first condition is that we should have a leader able to speak with authority.

It is impossible to look at the condition of the world at the present time without feeling how much depends upon the pursuit of a wise, prudent, magnanimous, and yet vigorous foreign policy. The problems which have to be solved by the Cabinet, and by the Foreign Minister in particular, are of the gravest character. They cannot possibly be evaded, and he must be blind indeed who does not see how the events of the last two years have shown the weakness of a weak and temporising action, however excellent the intentions by which it has been inspired. It is the habit of their opponents to say that Liberals are Little Englanders. There could not well be a more unworthy calumny. Even the little clique whose occasional unwise utterances have given some plausible colour to this reproach are not really indifferent to the greatness of their country. They do not believe that that greatness is dependent on the acquisition of territory or on the ostentatious parade of military force, and their protests may sometimes have been unwisely expressed. That the great body of the Liberal party would be as slow to surrender any British right or to weaken British power as the veriest Jingo in the opposite camp. They certainly cannot regard with approval a policy which stirs up disquiet on a distant and dangerous frontier, and sends forth, at enormous cost both of money and of men, an expedition to attempt a task as impracticable as it is unnecessary. But they care for the unity and honour of the Empire as much as any of their opponents. As to Lord Rosebery, the evidences of the strength and firmness of his foreign administration accumulate daily. The recent agitation about the action of Germany and Russia in China has furnished the latest illustration of this.

It is now confessed that a good understanding with Japan is our best security against possible dangers in the far East. Lord Rosebery's policy at the time was bitterly assailed, but the event justifies its wisdom. fine, if Liberals are to resume the position that they have so long held in the country, they must cultivate a more catholic spirit both in home and foreign politics, they must learn to tolerate diversity of opinion, they must be content to advance by degrees instead of defeating their own aims by attempting progress by leaps and bounds which are impossible in the present state of opinion, and they must act under the conviction that success is to be achieved more by the steady growth of principle than by sensational endeavours to secure some sectional triumph by tactics which, however successful for a time, are sure to be disappointing in the long run.



The exposure of the weakness of China during her war with Japan turned the attention of Europe to the probable early partition of China between European Powers. In September 1894 the Russian journal the Novosti, in a remarkable article on the war, advised Russia, Great Britain, and France to come to an understanding with a view to the partition of China by joint occupation, and urged that such an undertaking would be comparable to the conquest of America or the division of Africa, and would render an immense service to civilisation at large. It further contended that it was unworthy of Europe to tolerate further the pillage of the dwellings of Europeans, the massacre of missionaries, and the violation of commercial interests. The German press at once took up the cudgels, and in the following month Prince Bismarck's organ in the capital, the Berliner Neueste Nachrichten, contended that, in the final settlement, Germany must be reckoned with, because her interests in China were of all European Powers second only to those of England. France, Russia, and England were competing for preponderance, and it was Germany's duty not to lag behind. The journal went on to declare that

the German empire must be either a world empire or a second-class Power. But to assert itself as a world empire it must resolutely act upon this fundamental principle, that no further distribution of territory among European Powers can be allowed to take place anywhere without such compensation for Germany as shall maintain the existing balance of power.

The following year an opportunity arose similar to that of which Germany is now taking advantage. After the close of the ChinoJapanese war numerous attacks were made in various parts of China upon foreign missions, their stations were burnt, and the missionaries were massacred and ill-treated. England, France, Germany, and the United States all took separate action, demanding redress and the punishment of the rioters and of the provincial and district officials. A British fleet was sent into the Yangtsi, and German ships were despatched to Swatau to enforce the demands made by their Government. China, as usual, at once gave in to fear of reprisals. In the meantime the German press and commercial community were in a

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