Surrey Unionist Free Trade Association.

A selection reprinted from speeches delivered in Surrey online

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THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY

OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES



SURREY
?slIONIST FREE TRADE
ASSOCIATION



SEl^EGTION REPRINTED FROM SPEECHES
DELIVERED IN SURREY



A. c. CURTIS, BOOKSELLER,
I44a, HIGH ST., GUILDFORD

PRICE SIXPENCE



SURREY ' -7

^UNIONIST FREE TRADE
ASSOCIATION. -

A SELECTION REPRINTED

FROM SPEECHES

DELIVERED IN SURREY.




[mummm



A. C. CURTIS, BOOKSELLER,
144a, HIGH ST., GUILDFORD.



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WE8T»flNSTE« > *



Surrey Unionist Free'^Traa
Association.



COMMITTEE:

ChAirniAn: J. ST. LOE STRACHEY, Esq.,

Newland's Corner, Merrow.



Hon. Treasurer:
W. R. MALCOLM, Esq.,
Walton Manor, Epsom.



Hon. Secretary:
WILBRAHAM V. COOPER, Esq.,
Chinthurst Hill, Guildford.



SIR WILLIAM CHANCE, Bart., HOWARD HOULDER, Esq.,
Orchards, Godalming. Waddon.



COL. CHRYSTIE,
Short Heath, Farnham.

REV. G. F. DALTON,
West Clandon Rectory.



LT.-COL. HARVEY, R.B.,
Short Heath, Farnham.

H. E. MALDEN, Esq.,
St. Catherine's, Guildford.



THE LADY LOUISA EGERTON, WILSON NOBLE, Esq.,
St. George's Hill, Byfleet. Tangley Park, near Guildford.



BDMOND FOSTER, Esq.,
Avondale, Guildford.



ERIC PARKER, Esq.,
Holmthorpe, Weybridgc.



MURRAY GUTHRIE, Esq., M.P., ARTHUR PAIN, Esq., C.C,
Upper House, near Guildford. Frimley



B. BRODIE HOARE, Esq.,
Limpsfield.



SIR FREDERICK POLLOCK, Bt.,
Hind Head Copse, Haslemere.



MEREDITH TOWNSBND, Esq.,
The Manor, Little Bookham.



CONTENTS



The Duke of Devonshire and the Duty of Unionist
Free Traders at Elections .

Manifesto issued at Chertsey Bye- Election

Sir William Chance, Bart., at Guildford .
(The Surrey Unionist Free Trade Association)

Mr. St. Loe Strachey at Sutton .

(The Surrey Unionist Free Trade Association)

The Hon. Arthur Elliot, M.P., at Sutton .
Mr. Howard Houlder at Sutton .

(Free Trade and Shipping)

Mr. W. R. Malcolm at Reigate .

(Protection)

Mr. St. Loe Strachey .

(The True Foundation of Empire)

Sir F. Pollock, Bart., at Guildford

Mr. W. R. Malcolm at Effingham

Sir J. Dickson-Poynder, Bart., M.P., at Croydon

Sir F. Pollock, Bart., at Reigate .

Sir W. Chance, Bart., at Reigate

(Free Trade and Peace)

Mr. Howard Houlder at Croydon
Mr. Brodie Hoarc's Letter at Reigate

(Retaliation)



Page

Z

4
7



II
19

22

28

33
36
47
52
52

53
58



THE DUKE OF DEVONSHIRE AND THE DUTY

OF UNIONIST FREE TRADERS

AT ELECTIONS.

DEAR DUKE OF DEVONSHIRE,

May I venture to trouble you with a question in
regard to the last passage in your Rawtenstall speech —
a passage which is causing a certain amount of doubt
and anxiety among Unionist Free Traders ? The passage
to which I allude is that in which you declare * that
nothing should induce you, if you were a voter at the
next General Election, to give your vote and support to
any candidate who refused to pledge himself to a re-
pudiation of the policy which has been explained by Mr.
Chamberlain, and which has been adopted as the pro-
gramme of the Tariff Reform League.' This has been
taken, erroneously as I cannot help believing, as an in-
junction that the most your followers may do at an
election where the Unionist candidate is a supporter of
the Chamberlain policy is to abstain from voting, and
that Unionist Free Traders have no right, if they are
loyal to you as their leader, to make their Free Trade
views effective by supporting a Free Trade candidate by
their votes when he is a Liberal and opposed to them on
political questions other than Free Trade. May I take a
practical and personal example of what I mean ? At the
recent by-election in the Chertsey division of Surrey the
Unionist candidate was Lord Bingham. As soon as the
writ was issued a group of Surrey Unionist Free Traders,
with whom I had the honour to act, addressed a com-
munication to Lord Bingham asking him whether he
would give us an assurance that he was opposed to the
policy of Mr. Chamberlain. Lord Bingham was unable
to give us such an assurance, and was supported by
many persons who openly declared themselves in favour
of the policy of Mr. Chamberlain and the TarifiF Reform
League. Accordingly, the group of Surrey Unionists of



whom I have just spoken formed themselves into a
Surrey Unionist Free Trade Committee, and issued an
appeal to the electors of the Chertsey division of Surrey.
In this appeal we drew attention to Lord Bingham's un-
willingness to declare himself opposed to the Chamber-
lain policy, and to the treatment of the Fiscal question in
his address— treatment which showed that he had no
intention of opposing the Chamberlain policy, or of safe-
guarding Free Trade from the attacks of the Tariff
Reformers. We (the group of Unionists in question)
went on to declare that Unionist Free Traders had a
double duty : (i) to maintain Free Trade ; and (2) to do
their best to prevent the Unionist party becoming
irrevocably committed to the policy advocated by Mr.
Chamberlain. Next we pointed out that at the election
then in progress there was only one way in v/hich
Unionist Free Traders could make their views effective,
and that was by voting for the Free Trade candidate
even though he was a Liberal. Abstention could not
make our opposition to the Chamberlain policy effective
in anything like the same degree. When Free Trade
was the essential issue before the electors, as it was at
Chertsey, the effective way to oppose Protection was to
vote for Free Trade. But though we urged that it was
the duty of the Unionist Free Traders on that occasion,
and when the Liberal candidate was a man of moderate
views and had declared that Home Rule was not before
the electors, to vote for Free Trade, we urged as strongly
that no Unionist Free Trader ought to join the Liberal
party. ' They must insist on remaining, as they have
every right to remain, both Free Traders and Unionists.'
We ended our appeal in the following words : — ' There-
fore we, the undersigned, desire to offer to our fellow
Unionist Free Traders the advice given by the great
Unionist leader, the Duke of Devonshire, last autumn.
We ask them to vote for the Free Trade candidate, and
against the candidate who will not oppose Mr. Chamber-
lain's policy of Preference and Protection.' At the
time we issued this appeal we fully believed that we
were not misrepresenting our leader's view. And such



I still believe to be the case. Since, however, doubts
have arisen, and it has been urged that the very most
that can be done by any loyal follower of the Duke of
Devonshire is to abstain from voting for a candidate who
will not oppose the Chamberlain policy, I venture to ask
you to let me know whether the action which the Surrey
Unionist Free Trade Committee took at Chertsey is dis-
approved by you. After what seemed to me the clear
and unmistakable tone of your Rawtenstall speech — a
speech for which all Unionist Free Traders owe you a
very deep debt of gratitude — I hesitate to trouble you
with a demand for another detailed declaration of policy.
If, however, you should find it possible to state that you
do not consider such action as we Unionist Free Traders
took at Chertsey disloyal to your leadership, I feel sure
that the minds of many of your political adherents would
be greatly relieved. If they knew that though they
remained Unionists they had, in your opinion, the right
to make their Free Trade views effective, they would be
prevented from leaving their present party, and could
steadily set before them as a political ideal the re-
establishment of the Unionist party on a Free Trade
basis. — Trusting you will pardon me for having troubled
you with so long a letter, I am, yours sincerely,

J. ST. LOE STRACHEY.
Newland's Corner,

Merrow, Guildford.
November 14th, 1904.



DEAR MR. STRACHEY,

I have no difficulty in replying to your letter of the
14th inst. The words in my speech which you quote
were certainly not intended to limit the action which
Unionist Free Traders may think it right to take in any
election, and still less to imply any disapproval of the
appeal to the Unionist voters in the case of the Chertsey
election, to which you refer. That appeal was made
with my knowledge and assent, and I see no reason to



change my opinion respecting it. If I did not reiterate it
at Rawtenstall, it was because I am unwilling to attempt
to prescribe a general line of action which may not be
equally applicable in all cases, and, while I hold that
under existing circumstances the opinion of a candidate
on the Free Trade question should generally be the de-
cisive consideration, lean easily conceive cases in which
the antecedents or principles of a candidate professing
Free Trade may make it impossible for a Unionist voter
to give him active support. — I remain, yours sincerely,

DEVONSHIRE
Chatsworth, Chesterfield.



The following is the appeal referred to above : —

TO THE FREE TRADE UNIONISTS OF THE
CHERTSEY DIVISION.

Owing to the campaign carried out by Mr.
Chamberlain in order to bring about a revolution in the
Fiscal Policy of the country, the political issue before the
nation at the present moment, whatever it may be in
Parliament, is that of Free Trade or Protection. Free
Trade Unionist Electors are therefore deeply concerned
to know the attitude of Unionist Candidates in regard to
Mr. Chamberlain's proposals. In order to ascertain Lord
Bingham's attitude on this vital matter a letter was
addressed to him by a Chertsey Elector, asking him
whether he would declare himself as opposed to the
Chamberlain policy. In his reply Lord Bingham shows
himself unwilling to make any such declaration. In view
of his unsatisfactory answer to the question thus ad-
dressed to him, and also in view of his treatment of the
Fiscal problem in his Address, it is abundantly clear that
Lord Bingham does not mean to oppose the Chamberlain
policy or to safeguard Free Trade from the attacks made
upon it by the Tariff Reformers.

We, the undersigned Surrey Free Trade Unionists,
therefore venture to put forward for your consideration



the following suggestions in regard to the present crisis
in the affairs of the Unionist party and of the nation.
Free Trade Unionists realise that a return to Protection,
whether in name or under any of its numerous aliases,
must be fatal to the welfare of the Empire and the nation.
They, therefore, cannot fail to oppose all who will not
declare themselves as hostile to Mr. Chamberlain's policy
and as willing to use all legitimate means to prevent that
policy being carried into operation.

Such is their duty as Free Traders.

Their duty as Unionists must be next considered.

That duty is to use every endeavour to prevent the
Unionist party becoming irrevocably committed to the
advocacy of Protection. How can they carry into effect
this determination to maintain Free Trade and to prevent
the Unionist party making Protection its main political
object ? They can do so only in one way — by voting at
the present Election for the Candidate who declares him-
self opposed to Mr. Chamberlain's policy. That is, in
the present instance, by voting for the Free Trade
Liberal Candidate. It is naturally and necessarily a most
disagreeable duty for Unionists to vote against their own
party, but it must be remembered that only by doing so
can they defeat the Chamberlain policy and hope to
restore the unity of the Unionist party. If Free Trade
Unionists, who are a large and influential body in every
constituency, will, until Mr. Chamberlain's policy is with-
drawn, have the courage to vote only for Candidates who
are pledged to oppose that policy, they may ensure the
ultimate return of the party to the belief which it held
during Lord Salisbury's Premiership, and Free Trade
may once again be regarded as a matter which, like the
Monarchy, is not disputed by either party in the State.

When the Unionist party as a v^^hole realises that it
cannot regain the allegiance of the Free Trade Unionists
unless it abandons and denounces the policy of Mr.
Chamberlain, and realises also that unless it regains their
allegiance it will be excluded from power, it will in the
end abandon and denounce that policy. The more loyal,
then, to the bests interests of their party the Free Trade



Unionists are, the more strongly they should now oppose
Protection— and the only effective way to oppose
Protection is to vote for Free Trade.

But though voting for Free Trade they must not and
need not abandon one jot of their Unionism. The
Protectionists would doubtless like them to become
Liberals, but this course they must steadily refuse to
adopt. They must insist on remaining, as they have
every right to remain, both Free Traders and Unionists.
When Mr. Chamberlain, as he assuredly will do, has led
our party to ruin, the Free Trade Unionists will be ready
to help reconstitute it on a Free Trade basis. By voting
for the Liberal Candidate at a Crisis like the present,
Free Trade Unionists are not becoming Liberals, but
merely teaching their own party that it cannot be united
and cannot be victorious while it is following Mr.
Chamberlain in a policy which, if persisted in, must
prove the blow at the heart to the British Empire.

Further, we ask you not to be misled by any asser-
tion that the Unionist Candidate will support Mr.
Balfour's policy, and that the Chamberlain policy is not
in question. If the Unionist Candidate will not pledge
himself to oppose Mr. Chamberlain's policy he is certain
in the end to further that policy. Therefore nothing
should satisfy Free Trade Unionists but a clear and
unmistakable denunciation of the Chamberlain policy.

Therefore we, the undersigned, desire to offer to
our fellow Unionist Free Traders the advice given by
the great Unionist leader, the Duke of Devonshire, last
autumn. We ask them to vote for the Free Trade
Candidate and against the Candidate who will not oppose
Mr. Chamberlain's policy of Preference and Protection,

W. CHANCE, ERIC PARKER,

W. V. COOPER, ARTHUR C. PAIN,

LOUISA EGERTON, FREDERICK POLLOCK,
W. R. MALCOLM, J. ST. LOE STRACHEY,
WILSON NOBLE, MEREDITH TOWNSEND.



THE FIRST PUBLIC MEETING ORGANISED
BY THE ASSOCIATION WAS HELD AT GUILD-
FORD ON NOVEMBER 21st, 1904.

SIR WILLIAM CHANCE, who presided, opened
the meeting with the following speech : —

THE OBJECT OF THE ASSOCIATION.

The object of this and similar associations is to
prevent the Unionist party from becoming irrevocably
committed to the policy of Protection. How are we to
prevent it ? Our leader, the Duke of Devonshire, has
given the answer. He has said that the duty of every
Unionist Free Trader is not only to refuse his support to
any Parliamentary candidate who will not pledge himself
to repudiate Mr. Chamberlain's policy, but he has even
gone so far as to say that it is his duty to vote against
him. Our Protectionist friends seem quite unable to
understand our position. A gentleman in this town said
to me somewhat angrily, ' I can quite understand your
not voting for a Protectionist candidate, but I cannot
understand your voting against him.' Now those who
use that language entirely fail to appreciate the magni-
tude and importance of the issue which is before the
country at the present time.

THE ANALOGY WITH 1885.

Yet the issue is one which is at least fully equal to
the great issue which was decided in 1886, and decided,
I hope, finally. Where would the one and undivided
Parliament of the three countries be to-day, if the
Dissentient Liberals had stood aside and not voted
against their old colleagues, and in favour of the Con-
servative party which was resisting the introduction of
Home Rule under the distinguished and powerful lead
of Mr. Gladstone ? The Liberal Unionists felt at that
time that the integrity of the three kingdoms was
threatened : they felt that Ireland was an integral



portion of the United Kingdom, and that it could not ht
treated as a Colony.

THE RELATION BETWEEN THE MOTHER
COUNTRY AND THE COLONIES.
We Free Trade Unionists are convinced that the
Colonies can only flourish by having complete freedom
to arrange their ov^^n affairs in their own way. If any
Colony chooses to be Protectionist, we cannot say them
nay, we can only hope that in time they will learn to
see the error of their ways. If it chooses to adopt Free
Trade, we should congratulate them upon their wisdom.
If they choose to give a preference for our manufactured
goods over those of foreign countries, we should welcom.e
that gift gladly, but say, ' after all, you are only doing
something in return for the protection which we give you
against foreign nations by the Imperial flag,'

A UNION OF FREE NATIONS.
The British Empire must be a union of Free Nations,
and, if its integrity is to be preserved, it must remain so.
The true Imperial spirit can only thrive in such an
atmosphere. It is the freedom from interference in each
other's affairs which produces this spirit, and which led
our Colonies to gather together in igoo when the existence
of the Empire was at stake and to come forward to its
support. We Free Trade Unionists are Imperialists in
the sense that we wish the Colonies to be free, and we
believe that they will always spring to our assistance in
any time of need or adversity, and in saying this we
must by no means be suspected of undervaluing con-
ferences being held between ourselves and the Colonies
from time to time for the discussion of questions affecting
the interests of the whole Empire.

WE ARE UNIONISTS.
While we claim to be Imperialists, we also intend to
remain Unionists, and we refuse to be drummed out of
the Unionist ranks because we cannot agree to call that
black which the whole Unionist party only one-and-a-
half years ago pronounced to be white.



A meeting was held at Sutton en Friday, February
24th, 1905. MR. ST. LOE STRACKEY, Chairman of the
Association, presided and said : —

I want to say a word or tv/o to you as to the reasons
of the existence of the Surrey Unionist Free Trade
Association and as to its aims and objects. The first of
these aims, the very reason of its existence, is to be
found in the assertion which we make that a man has
a right to be both a Unionist and a Free Trader (hear,
hear). That seems to be a very natural and very reason-
able proposition, one which I might almost say it would
be impossible to find anyone to contradict. Yet, strange
to say, after a certain day in May, 1903, Mr. Chamber-
lain's whole public action has been contrc.dictory of that
proposition (cheers). He and his special organisation,
the Tariff Reform League, are constantly challenging the
Unionists' right to be Free Traders also. This has been
shown in a remarkable degree in the case of my friend,
Mr. Elliot, the member for the City of Durham. It is
because, and only because, Mr. Elliot is a Free Trader
that the Chamberlainites are making efforts to prevent
him holding his seat in Parliament. Unfortunately the
Prime Minister does not seem to admit that a man has
the right to be a Free Trader and a Unionist, because
the other night when he was challenged on the point by
Lord Hugh Cecil, he refused in the most open and marked
way to accord to Mr. Elliot, I won't say that protection
— for Mr. Elliot needs no protection (cheers) — but that
encouragement v./hich, as a distinguished member of the
Unionist party, he would have a right to expect and to
claim from the leaders of the Unionist party. That is one
of the reasons for the existence of the Surrey Unionist Free
Trade Association. We claim the right and assert the
right of Unionists to be Free Traders also. But we are
Free Traders who go beyond that mere assertion. We
say that, not only are we Unionists and Free Traders,



JO

but wc claim the right to make our Free Trade views
effective (cheers). There are a certain number of
Unionist Free Traders, I am sorry to say, who seem to
think that when they call themselves Free Traders they
have done all that is necessary for them to do in defence
of Free Trade. They shrink from what we mean to do,
that is to make our Free Trade views effective— and we
mean to make them effective within the Unionist party
and not outside it. The Chamberlainiies say : ' If you
are Free Traders go to the Liberals and do not stab us
in the back.' Many of us were in the Unionist party
before Mr. Chamberlain was, and are not going to do his
bidding. We mean, when necessary, to make our Free
Trade views effective, as we did in Chertsey, by voting
for the Free Trade candidate (applause). There is an-
other aim and object of the Surrey Unionist Free Trade
Association, and that is at a future time — it may be after
many years of toil and travail — to help to reconvert the
Unionist party to Free Trade and to establish it on a
Free Trade basis. I know that many people think we
take too sanguine a view in our hopes of reconverting the
Unionist party to Free Trade, but I am an optimist in
this respect. I believe that things which quickly come
quickly go, and that the wave of Protectionist fanaticism
is now subsiding and will disappear in time, and I
by no means consider the prospect of reconverting
the Unionist party to Free Trade a hopeless one
(loud cheers). At any rate, we are Free Traders,
who mean to do our best, and we have the strong and
rooted hope that our efforts shall be crowned with success.
But remember, gentlemen, we shall not do it merely by
talking about it, but only by making our Free Trade
views effective. Don't let us think that because we may
be driven to support a Liberal Free Trade candidate we
are necessarily cutting ourselves off from the Unionist
party. I think we shall become still more potent instru-
ments thereby for reconverting the Unionist party to
Free Trade. It is my pleasure now — and it will be yours
while listening to his speech— to call upon Mr. Elliot to
address you. He is one who has made a real and



great sacrifice (loud cheers). I am glad, ladies and
gentlemen, to hear that applause, for I can assure you
he deserves it (renewed cheering). When Mr. Chamber-
liin had started his Protectionist propaganda, Mr. Elliot
had only just joined the Ministry, but he had joined it in one
of the most responsible positions outside the Cabinet, as
Secretary to the Treasury, which ranks next to a Cabinet
post in the Administration. That position he held with
distinction until the time came when he felt he must act
with his leaders, the Duke of Devonshire, Mr. Ritchie,
Lord George Hamilton, and Lord Balfour of Burleigh,
who left an Administration which — whether it called
itself Free Trade or neutral — was at any rate an Admini-
stration which would not pledge itself to oppose Mr.
Chamberlain and his policy.



THE HON. ARTHUR ELLIOT, M.P., said :—

Mr. Strachey, ladies and gentlemen : You have spoken
very kindly of the small service I was able to render to
Free Trade by leaving the Government (cheers). I
had no hesitation ; no doubt. It was the only way in
which I could act with any sort of self-respect on that
occasion, but I venture to say that in taking that step I
did not act merely out of a desire to make a protest to
relieve my conscience. I left the Government not in
order to make a barren protest but in order to fight for
all that was in me for the great cause of Free Trade
(cheers). I need not apologise for the fact — I believe it
is a fact — that there are men of all parties here this
evening. I hope it will always happen in great crises in
this country that men who fought keenly against each
other in the past should always fight together for the
good of the country, should stand shoulder to shoulder to
oppose a policy if opposed to the interests of the country,
and should look broadly at some great question which
the country has to face (cheers.) Your Chairman and I
are old Liberal Unionists. We had to take the step of
severing ourselves from our party in the past, and we



were not beaten in the lines on which we embarked.
We united with those, and they with us, between whom
and ourselves there had been the greatest difference,
and I am proud that it has been possible in England on
great occasions for statesmen to sink minor differences
for the sake of the common good of their common
country (cheers). Your Chairman has referred to Mr.
Chamberlain's remarkable change in 1903. Only the year
before, in 1902, he had told his countrymen, at Birming-
ham, that during the preceding five years the country
had been building up wealth with extraordinary rapidity ;
it was in 1903 he compared the condition of this country


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