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appeared to be to keep back all measures of reform that were before the country, in order to maintain a system of government analogous to that which it was said had prevailed in Venice under Austria and in Poland under Russia. Unhappy Daily Post! Why, that was a quotation from Mr. Chamberlain. They were not words of mine, for this simple reason, that, having been some time in the Foreign Office, I should never have thought of using them. It is not my part, as having been Foreign Minister, to use language with regard to foreign Powers which I think is offensive in its character, so I quoted to show the extraordinary nature of the Unionist position on this question the very words of the high prophet himself. Now, gentlemen, there is one word more I would say before I leave you with regard to this Irish question. I am bound to say that, in spite of our limited majority, there are points which I consider full of hope for its settlement. One is the closer union between the Irish party and the Liberal party. I have never had an opportunity of saying yet what I feel from the bottom of my heart of the way in which the Irish party came to the assistance of the Government the other day on a critical division. In spite of its being in the face of an interest exceedingly powerful in Ireland, and in spite of their honest and honourable

poverty, they made exertions which were not made, I think, in every section of the party, which have not always been made at anyrate in every section of the party, but they came forward like men, and in a way which I venture to think will not readily be forgotten by the Liberal party in the country. Another point to which I would call your attention is the great tranquillity of Ireland. I know that Mr. Balfour has said if Ireland was perfectly peaceful and tranquil he would still oppose her wishes as regards Home Rule. Well, that may be the utterance of a statesman or it may not. I think it extremely probable that if Ireland were entirely tranquil, Mr. Balfour would be disposed to leave it severely alone; but my belief is that, in persuading the masses of the English people of the wisdom, the justice, and the expediency of Home Rule, there is no more important factor in the argument than the peaceable nature of Irish relations at this moment, and the absolute want of sympathy with crime. Our rival Association, on which we discoursed so much last night, is certainly not Liberal. Is it Unionist? It claims, I suppose, by that title full attachment to the principles which bind Ireland to Great Britain; but I would ask them, and all those who have studied the history of the Treaty of Union, who have studied the life and

character of that immortal man, Pitt, to whose coat - tails they now vainly cling, whether the. Treaty of Union was a counsel of perfection, or rather a counsel of despair. It was not a counsel of perfection at the time of its origin: it was not a counsel of perfection in the method by which it was brought to pass. It was a counsel of despair then, and day by day and hour by hour that has passed over Ireland since that treaty was passed it has become more and more a counsel of despair. Well, I cannot give that Association the title of Liberal-I cannot give it the title of Unionist; but I do believe, whatever its efforts or its strategy may be in the Midlands, that, owing partly to your new Federation and partly to the growth of an irresistible public opinion on that great question which Mr. Gladstone made his own, and which he has left as his legacy to us, that you will see a marked change in-I am not ashamed to repeat it the opinions of the predominant partner; and I shall be truly glad and truly proud if in the very smallest measure my visit to Birmingham has contributed to that end.

FOREIGN POLICY AND THE LITTLE

ENGLANDERS

Speech at the Cutlers' Feast, Sheffield,
25th October 1894

MR. MASTER CUTLER, Ladies and Gentlemen,— I have the greatest pleasure in visiting in my official capacity this ancient and illustrious feast. It gives me additional gratification to find that you received the toast of her Majesty's Ministers with so much kindness and even with so much enthusiasm. Do not think that I am altogether misled by those cheers. I observed a decorous enthusiasm when my colleague Sir Ughtred KayShuttleworth spoke of the utility of Sheffield to the Government in the matter of armour plates; but I am not so vain as to suppose especially when I look at some of the familiar countenances around me-that the toast of her Majesty's Ministers is drunk in this great city without considerable reservation. I hear a faint protest. I belive that in Sheffield you will always drink with real sympathy the health of the men

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who are endeavouring to carry on under unusual difficulties what must always be an enormously critical task. I think I may put it delicately, and conciliate your sense of truth as well, when I say you sympathise with her Majesty's Government more in foreign than in domestic politics. Under these circumstances it is not easy for me to open my heart to you. But I shall have so considerable an opportunity of doing that within forty-eight hours, that I do not altogether regret that circumstance. But, of course, a certain deprivation, a certain limitation in the area of speech is not very convenient for a person replying for her Majesty's Ministers. I have thought of two or three topics. I have thought of congratulating you, sir, on the progress of Sheffield from the time when, according to Lord Macaulay's description, 2000 wretched beings, who lived in a state of misery on a marsh in the reign of James I., represented what is now a city of 350,000 inhabitants. It was suggested to me also by a paragraph that was sent me in the papers on my arrival-at least, I imagine it was suggested to me by the marks upon it-that I should refer to the circumstance that at the Cutlers' Feast exactly one hundred years ago, in 1794, Lord Fitzwilliam was the guest who went immediately afterwards with a message of conciliation to Ireland. But Ireland is a thorny topic,

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