Obrazy na stronie




claim in the successes of the general Randolph, and in the full belief election. Lord Randolph has done that he has acted from the highest more than any one else to popular- and most conscientious motives ; ise the “ Tory party," and to dis- but there are moments when sacabuse men's minds of the idea that rifices of individual feeling must it is the “party of reaction," from be made in the interests of the whom no progress is to be expect- public, and real sacrifices someed. He has obtained an influence times betoken a more real and unwith “ the masses” which is pos- selfish patriotism than even that sessed by hardly any other public forfeiture of position and power to man of the day, and is regarded which Lord Randolph has submitby many men as the link between ted, sooner than abandon or postthe “ Constitutional” and the pone for the moment his personal "Liberal” party—the pioneer to convictions. lead the former forward to a point The loss of Lord Randolph at which the moderate and rational Churchill has not been entirely withportion of the latter may be able to out its compensations, especially join and unite with them against the as we are convinced that his inderevolutionary programme of some pendent support will still be renof those who aspire to lead them. dered to the constitutional GovThe departure from the Government ernment. Mr Goschen, who has of such a man cannot but be count- long been Conservative in his ed as a loss, and we niust not for a opinions, and as such has encounmoment forget that his was the tered the full force of Radical desharpest sword that waved nunciation and abuse, has joined aloft in the recent electoral con- the Conservative Cabinet tests—his the keenest lance that “ Liberal Unionist,” and thus conwas couched against our Separatist ferred upon the Government the foes. We must, however, confess double advantage of his own perto a feeling of regret that Lord sonal weight and ability, and the Randolph has not felt it his duty, assurance which his action affords at the present crisis, to postpone the country that the tie between every other political desire or the Liberal and Conservative ambition to the one great neces- Unionists is firm and sity of preserving unimpaired the broken as ever.

Whilst congratstrength and unity of the Govern- ulating the Government upon Mr ment which was formed for the Goschen's accession to its ranks, main object of resisting the dis- we cannot but offer our congratuunion of the empire. However lations to that gentleman himself honest, abie, and eminent, Lord upon his extrication from a painRandolph was still one of the fully false position. The number youngest of the Cabinet; and it of so-called Liberals has of late appears to us that there is no sub- years not been few who have con-. ject, of however great importance, stantly condemned in private the the consideration of which might measures for which party exigennot have been postponed, and cies compelled them to give their every possible difference of opin- votes, and to support by their pubionlaid aside for the moment, lic actions; the truth being palpable until the power of the Separatist to unprejudiced observers, that party had been completely shat- for some time past there has been tered, and their policy abandoned. an assimilation and approximation We say this in all respect to Lord between moderate men of both po




litical parties which has rendered So far as foreign affairs are conthe old party watchwords and cerned, prudent and patriotic men combinations practically absurd and of every party will rejoice to see obsolete. If Mr Goschen has not the seals of the Foreign Office in voted for measures which he con- the firm grasp and strong hands of demned, he has done that which in Lord Salisbury. No statesman the eyes of thick-and-thin partisans who has of late years occupied the is actually worse ; for, sitting on one position of Foreign Secretary has side of the House, he has spoken inspired more general confidence; strongly against the measures and and the influence of Great Britain policy of those who were the ac- in continental Europe is tenfold cepted leaders of that side. In that which was formerly the case truth, the logical mind, the strong during the days of the old 1880 common-sense, the reasonable Lib. Gladstone Government, now haperalism of Mr Goschen, have all pily passed away. It is impossible tended to show him the illogical to view the affairs of the Contiand unreasonable position of those nent without uneasiness ; and cirlatter-day Liberals who have grad- cumstances beyond control ually discarded the former and may cause the occurrence of events vital principles of the old Liberal likely to result in grave complicaparty. Mr Goschen may rely upor tions, and to require the greatest it that, for a man of his keen in- amount of nerve and prudence at tellectual powers and unquestioned the British Foreign Office. Should ability, there is far more scope in such be the case, the country will the “ Tory” than in the “Radi- feel greater reliance upon Lord cal” party: the one he may hope Salisbury than upon any other of to “Liberalise," because circum- our statesmen; and we cannot but stances and the lessons taught by congratulate ourselves upon his retime have caused them to become sumption of the office for which he a progressive party; the latter he is so well fitted, and which he has can never moderate, because it is already filled with so much credit immoderate, and because of the to himself and advantage to his revolutionary spirits who influ- country. ence and guide that "advanced ” But whatever may be the intersection of their supporters, upon est attaching to foreign affairs in whom they depend for success at the coming session, it is abundantthe polls, and who year by year ly evident that the same question more absolutely control their poli- which engrossed the attention of cy as

a party. The right place Parliament and the country in for Mr Goschen—and not only 1886 will again force itself forward for Mr Goschen, but for Lord in 1887, and will require the best Hartington and his followers—is efforts of our statesmen for its in the ranks of the party now solution. The state of Ireland led by Lord Salisbury, by their has, indeed, occupied the time union with which they would form and tried the patience of the and consolidate one strong and irre- British Parliament for the last six sistible party upon a national and years in a remarkable constitutional basis. The neces- Be it remembered that this monosity for such a party must appear poly of parliamentary attention by more obvious than ever to those Ireland has been coincident with who consider the position of the the reopening of the land question country at the present moment. by Mr Gladstone in 1880-81, and




his continued legislative attempts genuity which would be ludicrous thereupon. As soon as it became if the matter were less grave, enknown that the agitation of the deavoured to prove that Irish Land League had induced when he was imprisoning Homethat impressionable statesman to Rulers he had never said a word revise his own Act of 1870 (by or held an opinion against Home which he had hoped “ to close and Rule. Then followed the wonseal up the subject for ever”), new drous strife which we have withopes were kindled in the breast nessed within the bosom of the of every Irish tenant who was Liberal party. Besides the condissatisfied with his position, and sistent Home Rulers, those whose of every National Leaguer who politics were personal, and whose had been taught that the soil of political belief GladstoneIreland really belonged to those worship, as well as those to whom fictitious beings who are called the office was their creed, and whose “ children of Ireland," as distin- only hope of office was in Gladguished from those “ rack-renting" stone, followed their chief with landlords who have inherited or ready alacrity, and discovered bought it according to the legiti- that the Parnellite "juice" in mate practice of ordinary law. A which they were about to “ stew,” new impetus was given to agita- was rourishing and invigorating tion, and the idea became firmly to their political frame. Nobler engrafted upon the Irish mind, spirits, however, and men who that the “v rattle of slugs along the cherished the old and fundaroads," or, in other words, well- mental Liberal principle as to the sustained and unscrupulous oppo- right of private judgment, dared sition to the law, would frighten to think for themselves, and to a Gladstonian Government into separate from the leader who had concession to any demands upon thus stepped aside from the old which the - Nationalist” leaders paths of constitutional Liberalism. might insist. We are but too well Against these men poured acquainted with the history of forth the full vial of that leader's these six years, nor is it our duty wrath, and his utmost exertions to recapitulate the events which were used to ensure their political led to the wondrous change of extinction. If they now survive-front in Mr Gladstone at the close and their parliamentary strength of the year 1885. The statesman has been scarcely diminished—it is who had always avowed his ad- because they have found upon the herence to the example and policy Tory side, and among the Tory of Sir Robert Peel, repudiated the party, a frank recognition of their teaching of that great leader; the honourable consistency, and an Prime Minister who had passed earnest and honest desire to co-operstronger measures of coercion than ate with them in the maintenance any of his predecessors, suddenly of that great principle which at condenined as iniquitous the coer- present binds together Tory and cion which he himself had practised; Liberal Unionist in a bond so the head of a Cabinet by whose strong as to overshadow and exaction many hundreds of Irishmen clude all minor points of difference. had been imprisoned for their If, however, such a bond is to be Home Rule opinions, avowed him- made as strong and enduring as self a Home-Ruler, and not only all true patriots must desire, it is so, but with a perversity of in- very necessary that we should at






the present moment clearly under- Two objects are evidently in the stand what it is we intend, upon Gladstonian mind--first, to win what ground we take our stand, back some of the revolted suband what is the great and essential jects; secondly, even if this prodifference between ourselves and ject should fail, to sow seeds of our opponents. It is all the more discord between the Whig and necessary on account of the new Radical Unionists.

We speak phase of the question upon which with respect of the Knights of the we have recently entered.

Round Table who have lately met During the last general election, in fraternal discussion, but we do no term was too harsh to be ap- not believe that their conference plied by the Gladstonians to those can do anything else than accentuUnionists whom they designated ate the differences which divide by the title of “ Dissentient Lib- them. It cannot be so, indeed, erals.” From the ex-Premier him without a loss of political characself down to the humblest of his ter on one side or the other ; befollowers, the Liberal Unionists cause those differences, as were made the target for scorn derstand them, are essentially difand the object of their bitterest op- ferences of principle, and not of position. But things have changed. detail The real fundamental Just as the fact that the Tories question which divides men upon and Nationalists, if voting in the this Irish matter is the question same lobby, constituted a majority whether or no the Irish--or, to put in the Parliament elected in 1885, it more fairly, the Queen's subjects created in Mr Gladstone's mind a resident in Ireland -are to be conreason for declaring that adhesion sidered as a separate nation, or to Home Rule which, up to that part and parcel of the thirty-six moment, he had so carefully con- or thirty-seven millions who form cealed from his nearest and dear- the population of Great Britain est political friend ; so, in the and Ireland. It must not be forminds of reflective Gladstonians, gotten that up to the very moment arose the necessity of an alteration of Mr Gladstone's declaration in in their demeanour towards “ Lib. favour of Home Rule, the leaders eral Unionists," so soon as it ap- of the "Nationalists" had been peared, after the election of 1886, loudly advocating separation from that the presence of the latter in Great Britain, the banishment of the Tory lobby would afford a the “Saxon” from Ireland, the majority over the combination of raising of the “green flag" instead Radicals and Parnellites who would of the Union-jack, and the right follow Mr Gladstone. Therefore it of Ireland to “take her place is that a milder tone has been adopt- among the nations of the earth." ed towards at least a portion of the We repeat that this must not be Liberal Unionists: “ Liberal re- forgotten ; because, although these union" has been whispered in their sentiments are disavowed, ears as something not altogether and we are as loudly told by the incompatible with that “unity of same men that Ireland does not the empire" to which they are desire separation from England, pledged, and a readiness has been we must use our own judgment as avowed to modify any and every to whether we will believe these detail-if not any and every princi- gentlemen's speeches before or ple-which could stand in the way after December 1885, and must of so blessed a consummation. remember that if, after all, the




first and earlier speeches contained long as the sanction of the Imperial the true expression of their feel- Parliament (the Irish being always ings, they would stand on vantage- fully represented therein) is reground from which hereafter to quired, no harm can be done to carry out their intentions, if they imperial unity, and the balance had a subservient Parliament and will be fairly held between the an executive (as proposed by Mr different Irish interests and creeds. Gladstone) under their control. But once given an Irish ParliaBut granted that they do not wish ment, and the groundwork is laid for separation. In that case, if for innumerable further demands Ireland is still to be joined with and interminable difficulties which us, and if the people of the four it will be found impossible to precountries--England, Scotland, Ire- vent. If the control of the execuland, and Wales-are still to be tive not also given, an immeconsidered as one, surely the ques- diate and powerful agitation will tion of their government by one accompany the calling into existor more Parliaments becomes ence of the Parliament. Then it question of convenience, to be de- will be asked why the financial cided according to the feelings and power permitted to “Grattan's wishes of the whole, and not only Parliament" is to be removed from of one part of the population. If the newly constituted Irish Legiswe are to be, as we have been, a tature? As time goes on, there united people, and if the conveni- will be continual efforts (and natuence of the whole people is to be ral efforts beyond doubt) to remove considered, surely it would be, as this and that restriction--continMr Bright says, “an intolerable ual attempts to enlarge the powers mischief” to have two Parliaments and increase the area of action prein one country; and we are further scribed for the Irish Parliament ; inclined to agree with him that and such attempts will in all pro“no sensible man can wish for the bability be followed by agitation two within the limits of the pres- such as that to which Mr Gladstone ent United Kingdom. who does has taught British Governments to not wish the United Kingdom to yield. It will be remembered, too, become two or more nations en- that as all these demands will be tirely separate from each other." made in the name of Liberty and

We take, then, the one great Justice to Ireland, backed by the and essential difference between cry of equality for the four counUnionists and Separatists to be tries, and supported by the native the question whether there shall eloquence in which Irishmen are or shall not be a separate Par- so proficient, they will undoubtedly liament for Ireland. Everything be popular with Irish constituenhangs upon the word Parliament. cies, and will in all probability The question of a separate ex- command a majority in the Irish ecutive is immensely important, Parliament. If there is a separbut that of a Parliament is still ate Irish Government, how is it more so; and for this reason. If to exist save by concession to Irish this demand be steadily refused, demands? And hence arises anlocal relief may be given, the de- other question. velopment and extension of self- At present the “ Irish nation government essayed, and institu- is fully represented in the Parliations freely altered to meet Irish ment of Great Britain. If, upon wishes and Irish requirements. So any Irish question, they are out

« PoprzedniaDalej »