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knew better. It pointed out that such a policy might break up the Unionist alliance, and it asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to remember Mr. Chamberlain ! On the second day of the Session, Lord Randolph was asked

Whether it is the intention of the Government to introduce any changes in the fiscal laws of the country by placing duties on imported manufactures, by taxing foreign corn, by countervailing bounties, or in any other respect ?

And he discreetly replied :

The ways and means for the year 1887-8 which the Government will propose to Parliament will be communicated to the House on or about March 31 next by that person—whoever he may be—who at the time happens to be Chancellor of the Exchequer.

For during the five months that had elapsed since the Pomona Gardens speech, a large number of the Liberal Unionists had indicated their view that, if they supported the Conservatives in defending the Union with Ireland, the Conservatives ought to reciprocate by maintaining the Cobdenite view of Free Trade. In my own borough of North Kensington, my Liberal-Unionist Committee very frankly and honourably made it a condition of their support that I should pledge myself, for the one Parliament of 1886, not to vote for or introduce any measure of Fair Trade—though I was not to be bound to vote against such a measure. I do not know whether any such conditions were imposed on Lord Randolph Churchill himselfI think very probably not; but I do know that they, or some like them, were asked for from many, perhaps most, of the Conservative candidates in the election of 1886, and that they were sanctioned by the leaders of the party. Moreover, the Report of Lord Iddesleigh's Royal Commission on the Depression of Trade and Industry, which was presented in that year, was couched in the language of extreme moderation suited to the circumstances, although nearly the whole of the Liberal Party, with the honourable exceptions of Mr. Samuel Storey and Mr. C. M. Palmer, had refused to serve upon it. So that, for that Parliamentwhich, alas, practically covered all the effective remainder of this noble life-however much Lord Randolph might have been disposed to raise the banner of Tariff Reform in the form (not that of Fair Trade alone) to which he was inclined, he had no chance of doing so, without endangering the Unionist alliance.

It was in these circumstances—though long after he had broken with Lord Salisbury's Government—that Lord Randolph made the two speeches, at Sunderland and at Stockton respectively, in October 1887, the reports of which have induced Mr. Churchill to think that his father had totally changed his views on the fiscal question.

But at Sunderland on the 20th of October he only spoke-not very decisively-in deprecation of ' Protection. Even on that point

he declared that Mr. Gladstone had misled the country by refusing to notice the contention of the Protectionists

that a great stimulus to industry and a great rise in wages would, as they allege, follow a return to protective duties, and would entirely compensate, and more than compensate, the labourer and the artisan for the rise in the price of the necessaries of life.

But was

Four days later, at Stockton, on the 24th of October, Ilazhe tackled the question of Protection more closely, in a speech of remarkable power and ability. I cheerfully concede this much to Mr. Churchill that, if there had been at that time among the Fair Traders any considerable section who desired a return to the ancient days of Protection, this speech put an end to those hopes for ever. there any such section at that time of day? Mr. Chaplin wrote to the Press at once to deny the soft impeachment on the part of himself and his immediate friends. The only other 'suspect'—if I may

be pardoned for applying the term to two of the most honourable and high-minded gentlemen who ever adorned the ranks of the Tory Party—was my old friend and political godfather, Mr. James Lowther. And of him, Lord Randolph himself said, in his Stockton speech :

Mr. Lowther? I think I am right in saying this—that Mr. Lowther has never advocated in the House of Commons the imposition of a duty on corn high enough to make the cultivation of corn profitable to the British farmer. Never! I am certain of it ; and I am certain that if he did, there is hardly one man in the House of Commons who would get up and agree with him.

In these words weget, with that marvellous intuitive power that distinguished Lord Randolph, the very kernel of the difference-which is elaborated with remarkable clearness in the rest of the Stockton speech-between the great idea of Imperial Preference and the narrow provincialism of English Protection. With him, Imperialism was an instinct, a part of his very nature. He was indignant at a Protection that might imperil the future of the Empire for the sake of any one class, however important and however deserving, in the home of that Empire. In this very Stockton speech he expressed approval of a small duty on imported corn-not to raise the price of food, but to equalise the burdens upon it. He said :

I should see no harm in a shilling duty on wheat—we had a shilling duty on wheat till within the last ten years, and it produced a very respectable sum of money, and I believe a shilling duty on wheat at the present moment would produce over a million a year, and it certainly could not by any possibility affect the price of bread.

And of course he was well aware that a two-shilling duty on imported foreign corn would be an even lighter impost than the shilling duty on all imported corn, of which he approved. What he opposed in this Stockton speech—and what is equally opposed by Mr. Chamberlain and all Tariff Reformers—was, in his own words, such a duty

as will raise the price of wheat from twenty-eight shillings, where it now stands, to some figure between forty shillings and fifty shillings.' If there were any practical politicians in the year of grace 1887 who advocated such a duty as that, or anything like it, either in degree or in kind, this powerful Stockton speech must have given their theories the coup de grâce. There are certainly none such now, so that the speech was not delivered in vain.

The whole speech was, in reality, an Imperial protest against any fiscal policy that would favour one class, and one portion of the Empire, at the expense of the rest. Lord Randolph made it absolutely clear, in every word of this famous Stockton speech--and on this point I respectfully challenge contradiction—that the Protection against which he inveighed with righteous indignation was a Little England Protection, a fiscal system to protect the agricultural classes of England and Scotland by a huge tax on all Colonial as well as foreign corn-not even including the distressful country of Ireland !to shut out the Colonies and India from all the benefits of a federated Empire, and to place a wall of tariffs between England, Scotland, and Wales on the one side, and Ireland, India, and the Colonies (as well as foreign countries) on the other. Lord Randolph's objections to this petty and short-sighted ‘Little England' policy were conceived in the best spirit of patriotic Imperialism. It is from this point of view that he discusses the results of 'the adoption by Great Britain of Protective duties '—the results of mutually hostile protective duties between England and India—the results of similarly mutually hostile duties between Great Britain and Ireland—and so forth; and he pertinently asks, If you do all this, where is our commercial unity? The fiscal system over which he poured the vials of his righteous anger at Stockton was, in fact, almost the exact antithesis of that Imperial system of Tariff Reform for which, I believe, he always longed, which I think he had persistently advocated, and which is now offered to the country by Mr. Balfour and Mr. Chamberlain.




[NOTE.-There has been so much comment on my attitude respecting the Settlement which it is proposed, against my expressed wish, to found in the parish of which I happen to be vicar, and I have been asked so repeatedly to state the grounds of my objection, that I feel obliged, in self-defence no less than for the satisfaction of inquiring friends, to give, albeit with due meekness and fear, a reason for the faith that is in me.

The reader will please to understand, however, that what I have to say is not directed against individuals, but against principles ; for one may approve of the exponent of a principle while objecting to the principle, even as a man may hate the sin while he loves the sinner.

And, further, let it be understood that only Settlements in conDection with the Anglican Church are referred to.]

"Am I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth ? '

Bishop Creighton once spoke of the Church of England as rejoicing to engender sons who, because they love their spiritual Mother, fear not to speak out their minds ; for the Church, he added, is so sure of the loyalty of her children that she is never ashamed or afraid to hear what they have to say.

Wise words, these, and of immense importance at a time, like our own, when outspokenness of any kind is considered bad form, and weaknesses or downright evils are permitted to continue in the body politic or the body spiritual, in secular matters or in matters religious, waxing strong and reproducing themselves unchecked, because the denunciation of them might haply be interpreted as narrow-mindedness or self-advertisement or sbeer brutality.

Nowhere, perhaps, is this tendency of laissez faire more pronounced than in the Church of England. There, well-recognised ills are allowed to abound and flourish simply because no one has the courage to condemn them : childish love of applause, effeminate shrinking from definiteness block the way. We are so fearful of being thought illiberal that we willingly run the risk of being charged with dishonesty. We are so afraid of hearing our own voices lifted in denunciation that we satisfy our consciences with unworthy compromise. We are so sensitive to the suggestion of cruelty that we recklessly court the character of sentimentality.

It is a foolish and dangerous policy, a policy which, if allowed to continue, will produce its own inevitable results in its own inevitable way.

For honest criticism is the way of life; and it is infinitely better for us who are proud to declare ourselves faithful members of the Church of England openly to oppose what we believe to be wrong in her than ostrich-fashion to hide our eyes from her faults, assuminga huge assumption, truly !--that we thus render ourselves safe from criticism. So far indeed are we from being safe in such an un. dignified attitude that we are actually thereby exposed to novel dangers solely due to concealment from ourselves of simple facts.

I confess, however, to sharing in the general reluctance to speak out, finding it so much easier to hold my tongue, to lie low, to let those who will do the unpleasant work of protesting. One gets so much more comfort that way-and glory.

Nevertheless, in thus coming into the open, I claim no exceptional courage; indeed, I claim no courage whatever. I am simply borne thither by circumstances over which I have no control. These uncontrollable circumstances have forced me, all unwilling, into the very centre of the field, into the heart of the fray, where, if I refuse to fight, I fall. Frankly, I would if I could, as did friend Falstaff, drop into a convenient ditch, pleasantly murmuring, 'The better part of valour is discretion,' and letting other folk bear the brunt of the battle. But there is no ditch handy, and there appear to be no other folk available ; so that, with such weapons as I happen to have by me, I am reduced to doing my little best in my own little way.

At the very outset I am seriously handicapped for the task which has thus been, as it were, thrust upon me; for all my experience has been obtained from Women's, or, as they are generally called, Ladies' Settlements—why I do not know, unless it be to emphagise the view that some women are not ladies or that some ladies are mot Women Therefore it comes to pass, ungallant though it appear, that my criticismigwOlly levelled at those members of human society traditionally known as the weaker vessels '; although I am really at a loss to account forma curious a tradition.

That, however, is the Apostolic view, as it is also the modern popular View; and in the case of a clergyman who is so fortunate, or 80 unfortunate, as to have a Ladies' Settlement in his parish, it is instructive to note how curiously that accepted view of the relationship of the sexes works out. For the feelings of chivalry towards women,

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