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trade. Times of prosperity and depression must come. He admitted the
mischief done by foreign tariffs. He was an Imperialist, and he advocated
the union of the Empire when Mr. Chamberlain's politics didn't go beyond
'6th. Lord Goschen spoke at Liverpool on tariffs. With reference to retaliation, if
any extraordinary circumstances arose which required heroic legislation, he
should not be adverse to such legislation. The colonies would not slip away
from us if Mr. Chamberlain's proposals were not accepted. It would be
unwise to break our connection with other com growing countries, and to
rely simply on our own colonies. Increase of taxation meant increase of
cost to the consumer. There had been a general diffusion of prosperity
in this country during the last few years. The shipping industry had
expanded. Its grievances had nothing to do with tariff reform.
Sir H. Campbell-Bannerman, M.P., speaking at Meigle, Perthshire, said that
the fiscal question did not admit of being postponed. The Government were
playing a scandalous game.

'■ 7th. War Office: re-organizing committee appointed.

Lord Bosebery, in a speech at Leicester, said that Mr. Balfour sat balanced
between two alternative policies. The Government were waiting whilst
they could decide what time was expedient for an appeal to the country.
One after another, Mr. Chamberlain's promises had vanished. Poor

I England, asked to change its fiscal system, had 37 per cent, of the foreign

I trade of the world. What the Government wanted was a- mandate not

I only to Mr. Balfour, but also to Mr. Chamberlain. We wanted not fiscal

reform, but commercial repose. Liberals would be fools and worse than

[ fools if they did not unite shoulder to shoulder. He would let bygones

i be bygones, and would fling back the message of peace.

j Letter from Dr. Horton to the Archbishop of Canterbury on the education

I question.

, 9th. Mr. Balfour, speaking at the Guildhall banquet, referred to the national loss

sustained by Lord Salisbury's death. In the Far East, the Tsar was a
passionate advocate of general peace; our allies in Japan would show
moderation. Complicated issues were raised by the Macedonian question.

I Austria and Russia had set themselves to deal with the question. The

scheme of reform was a minimum. The Alaskan Boundary award had
removed for all time the danger of a dispute with the United States. He
regretted that the decision was in many respects unfavourable to the claims

I of this country.

' Lord Balfour of Burleigh, in a speech at Glasgow, said that he was loyal to

the principles of free trade. Free trade within the Empire was a noble

I ideal.

Mr. Asquith, M.P., spoke at WorcesteV. Mr. Chamberlain had been constrained
not only to renounce his old connections, but to re-write the history of the
past. The thing which killed Chartism was free trade. Mr. Chamberlain's
scheme was a piece of political plunging.
List of Birthday Honours.
10th. Mr. Akers-Douglas, M.P., spoke at Dover on the decline of English agri-
Letter from Mr. John Morley, M.P., on Cobden and American manufactures.
Letter from Lord James of Hereford on the position of Liberal Unionists.
11th. Mr. Long, M.P., spoke at Bristol. The Liberals had no policy to submit to the
country. On the other hand, the Government had a definite policy.
Mr. Amold-Forster, M.P., spoke at Belfast on War Office administration.
A^ a meeting at Birmingham, Mr. Winston Churchill, M.P., and Lord Hugh

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350 POLITICAL DIARY, 1902-03.

l!(OVEMBEIi— continued.

Cecil, M.P., spoke on the fiscal policy. Mr. Churchill denied that the trade
of England was bad. He wanted to know if the motives of Mr. Chamber-
lain's supporters were all for the unity of the Empire, the good of the
working man.
Lord Hugh Cecil denied that Mr. Chamberlain's proposals would lead to an
increase in home employment. Preferential tariffs would not bind- the
colonies to the Mother Country. Mr. Balfour's pamphlet aimed at pre-
serving our import trade; Mr. Chamberlain's policy at destroying it.
12th. Sir Edward Grey, M.P., speaking at West Bromwich, said that if a wrong
decision were given on the fiscal question, our steps could never be retraced.
Protectionists took more upon themselves than they, or any man, ought to
take in the way of pledges.

Mr. Haldane, M.P., in a speech at Westminster, said that he differed from
Mr. Chamberlain as to what was Wrong with the country. The cause of
our difficulties was want of method. Big industries could not stand still.
Our manufacturers had not realised this fact.
13th. Speaking at Bristol, the Prime Minister said that true free trade implied
freedom for export from this country of our own goods. By the most-
favoured-nation clause we took the by-product of somebody-else's bargain.
It would be better to bargain for ourselves. The opponents of fiscal reform
said that if you looked after your imports the exports would take care of
themselves. Did they mean to say that we were to see market after
market taken away from our exporters while we were not to lift a finger,
nor to make a protest, but only absorb our energies in pious aspirations
after free trade? He thought that if an3rthing could have disturbed the
self-complacency of the so-called free traders it would have been the
thought that one of our great colonies had endeavoured, for the sake of
Empire, to give the Mother Country special treatment, and that we were
to sit passive, sullen, imresisting, watching the huge injustice of this
country being penalised for its offence. It was little short of national
lunacy, with dangers staring us in the face, not to take steps to bring
about the growth of that condition which augured so wholly good for the
future industries of this country.

Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, M.P., who followed, said : — Free trader as he was,
free trader as he had been, he was prepared to support the policy the
Prime Minister laid down at Sheffield, and also in his speech that night.
He was opposed to what he called, and what Mr. Gladstone called, illegi-
timate cheapness. The destinies of the country would not be safe in the
hands of those who dominated the coimcils of the Radical party. He had
complete confidence in his leader.

Sir Henry Fowler, M.P., in a speech at Bristol, said they wanted to know
where the Government was. The present Cabinet was protectionist all

Letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury to Dr. Hortou.

Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, M.P., speaking at Frome, said that the
reason the Government had been patched up was to break down the dis-
cretion of the magistrates in regard to the renewal of p ublic-house license.
To say that the Empire would dissolve, if Mr. Chamberlain's policy were
not adopted, was a profligate statement. It was a cordial satisfaction to
all Liberals to hear from Lord Bosebery that he was ready to share the
labour and responsibility of public life in active co-operation with the
united Liberal party.

Mr. Balfour on imports * letter from Sir William Harcourt, M.P.
18th. Mr. Chamberlain, in taking leave of the Agents-General, detailed the steps
he had taken during his tenure of office to promote Imperial Federation.
He had resigned because he wished to bring his fellow-countrymen to see
the advantage arising from a system of Colonial preference. It was the
only policy that would lead to the great ideal upon which the prosperity
of the Empire depended.

Mr. Ritchie, M.P., speaking at Thornton Heath, said that the Unionist party
had been rent in twain by the recent policy. He proceeded to answer
certain criticisms on his conduct which had appeared in the Timeg. He
did not spring on his colleagues his refusal to give the corn tax to the

Lord George Hamilton, M.P., spoke at Acton on the position of the Unionist
19th. Mr. John Morley, M.P., in a speech at Dumfries, said that there had been
no serious attempt to show that the remedy of protection would check the
possible sources of mischief which disturbed the prosperity of the countrr.
Retaliation and preference would not run in double harness. Free trade

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POLITICAL DIARY, 1902-03. 351

NOVEMBER— ca;j<mMct?.

was not a solution to all our industrial riddles, but they would be
aggravated a thousand-fold by protection.
Mr. Asquith, M.F., speaking at St. Neots, said that the Unionist party was
split from top to bottom. The Liberal party was never more absolutely
united. The education question was one of the issues upon which th&
next election must be fought. Our free trade position was an actual
advantage to us in competing in neutral markets. Retaliation was put
forward by Mr. Balfour as the sticking plaster to re-unite the fragments
of a shattered party. Liberals considered Mr. Chamberlain's propoaakr
to be dangerous and likely to imperil Imperial unity.
20th. Mr. Chamberlain, speaking at Cardiff, said that he hoped to visit the agri-
cultural districts. His experience at the Colonial Office had made him a
protagonist in this great struggle. The policy of unrestricted free imports
was doomed. After Mr. Balfour's speech at Bristol, no honest man could
pretend he did not know what the Government policy was. Sir Michael
Hicks-Beach's speech on the same occasion was a remarkable declaration.
The Duke of Devonshire acted as a drag on the wheels. Lord Goschen
seemed to desire a similar fame. If we had not been bound hand and foot
we might have now all the American tinplate industry. He simply pro-
posed to imitate our foreign competitors, and say, "If you propose to
shut out our goods, we propose to shut out yours." It was not Lord
Rosebery's commercial repose we wanted, but commercial activity.
21st. Mr. Chamberlain, speaking at Newport, stated that he had two objects in
view — ^more employment for the people and closer union with the colonies.
He should never rest satisfied until there was in the country full employ-
ment at fair wages for every decent, honest and industrious man. Every
year more and more employment was being filched from us. We must
meet the foreigners on their own ground. It was said that would mean a
tariff war, and we should be beaten. If we came to business we should
find ourselves perfectly able to make a satisfactory bargain. Great Britain
was at present the dustheap of Europe and America. While a manufac-
turer by buying dumped steel billets might save £125,000 in price, British
workmen lost £500,000 in wages. So far from being a gain to British
shi^fping, most of the dumped goods arrived in foreign vessels. It was a
slander on the colonies to say they would not respond to our appeal.

Letter from Lord Goschen on exports and imports.
23rd. Sir Edward Grey, M.P., speaking at Salisbury, said that he believed Mr.
Balfour had retaliation on his lips, protection in his thoughts, and taxes
on food up his sleeve. When the Liberal party came into power one of
their first efforts would be the reform of the Education Act.
24th. At a meeting of the Free Food League, held at the Queen's Hall, the Duke of
Devonshire said it was not the policy of the Government that was now
mainly before the country. The announcement of the intention to use
retaliation might have the effect of extending the area of free trade.
Retaliation at the best was a choice of evils. He was opposed to those who
held that if we could not have free trade all round, protection all round
was preferable to one-sided free trade. As things now stood, no one could
impute a breach of faith to the Prime Minister if, after the successful
termination of Mr. Chamberlain's crusade, he should arrive at the decision
that the time was ripe for the taxation of food.

Lord Goschen, who also spoke, said that Mr. Balfour had given little informa-
tion as to the nature of the retaliatory action that was to be taken.
What was really wanted in this country was not protection, but more
energy and enterprise, and the adoption of more modem methods of

Mr. Asquith, M.P., spoke at Barnstaple. Retaliation, he said, was an
impracticable remedy. It was likely to do us a great deal more harm than
those against whom it was directed.

Exports and imports: letter from Lord Goschen.
25th. Lord Halsbury spoke at the Holbom Restaurant, and Mr. Long, M.P., at
Barry, on the fiscal policy of the Government.

Lord Rosebery, in a speech at the Surrey Theatre, said that the new fiscal
policy aimed a serious, if not fatal, blow to our commerce and our Empire.
A wise nation would not, on isolated facts or isolated fictions, change the
fiscal policy which had endured the strain of half a century. In every
protected country in Europe wages were lower and working hours longer
than in Great Britain. He doubted whether Americans, the most pug-
nacious race in the world, would take retaliation "lying down." We
should be plunged into a bitter warfare with our cousins, in which we stood
to lose everything and to gain nothing. Our free Empire must continue

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352 POLITICAL DIARY, 1902^03.

NOVEMBEB— CO «<i»««d.

to be. identified with the free loaf. The sublime idea of Empire must not
be mixed up with taxation of their children's bread.

Mr. Asquith, M.P., in a speech at Bodmin, said the Liberal prospects had not
been so promising since 1885. He referred at length to the condition of
the Unionist party. The Liberal attitude was plain. They believed in free
trade because they saw more and more that it was the only system that
could secure for Great Britain what they believed to be her rightful place
in the industrial markets.
26th. Mr. Bitchie, M.P. speaking at Croydon, said that he held that the corn tax
was justifiable in an emergency.

Mr. Asquith, M.P., in the course of a speech at Penzance, said that dumping
as a policy was suicidal to the people or nation engaged in it. Neither
tin mining nor fish curing would benefit by Mr. Chamberlain's policy. The
alternative Liberal policy comprised the questions of education, housing,
land tenure and taxation.

Lord Hugh Cecil, M.P., spoke at Greenwich, and Mr. Lloyd-George, M.P.,
at Oxford.

Mr. Gladstone and imported Chinese labour: letter from Mr. Stuart- Wortley,
27th. Mr. Balfour, speaking at the Hotel Cecil on the occasion of the annual dinner
of the United Club, confined his attention to the subject of Army reform.
Sketching the condition of the Army when the last Liberal Government
went out of office, he detailed the various reforms effected by the present
Government up to 1899. Without the good work done at that time, he
said, we should never have got through the war. The military task before
us was greatly underrated. Out of this miscalculation arose the failures
of the War Office — it was the one fundamental, cardinal and root error of
the whole thing. Since the war, Army reform had not stayed or stopped.
In conclusion, he detailed some of the problems of Army reform that the
Government had set themselves to solve in the future.

Mr. Wyndham, M.P., in a speech at Edinburgh on the fiscal policy, said that
the Grovernment recommendations would be, perhaps, a cure, certainly a
palliative, for the evils under which they suffered. They would effect two
great results. The wage-earner would have a greater security -of continuous
employment; the employer security for his invested capital.

Lord Stanley, M.P., speaking at Manchester, said he was a free trader; if
he failed by persuasion, he was prepared to try and get free trade by

Mr. Asquith, M.P., speaking at Truro, urged upon all Liberals to unite and
concentrate their energies in securing a Liberal majority. They had
nothing to gain, and much to lose, by adopting Mr. Chamberlain's policy.
30th. Sir H. Campbell-Bannerman, M.P., at Newport, protested against Mr.
Chamberlain's statement that the Radicals had brought the fiscal question
into the arena of party politics. He was amazed at Mr. Balfour's speech
on Army reform. He denied that he starved the Army. He did not want
a military England. We were a nation of peace. If the Liberals had been
in power there would have been no Jameson Raid — no occasion for war.
The indictment of the War Commission lay at the door of the Cabinet
itself. Returning to the fiscal question. Sir Henry tried to show how our
trade proved to be prosperous and flourishing. The poverty in the country
would be prevented by a proper application of the principles of Liberalism.

Dumping: letter from Mr. Chamberlain, enclosing communication from the
chairman of the Ebbw Vale Steel, Iron and Coal Company. Letter from
Mr. Winston Churchill on postal wages under protection.

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Constitational History
Constitutional History. 8 vols.

Constitational History

Constitution of Enfflaud

Law and Cnstom of the Constitution

Law of the Constitution

English Constitution

Rise of the Constitution

History of England

History of Europe. 13 vols.
Outline of Political History

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History of Toryism

History of Radicalism

The House of Lords

The Baronage and the Senate
Crusade against the House of Lords

The House of Commons

Rules of Foreign Parliaments
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Central Government

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The State and Education

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Our Colonies and India

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INDIiL, fto.



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Online LibraryNational Unionist Association of Conservative andThe Constitutional year book → online text (page 63 of 77)