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they have attempted the same thing their colonies are not equally prosperous and growing. I think a little reflection would show them that we who have gained our experience by centuries of work, who have bought our colonies by a vast expenditure of blood and money, have almost a claim to have colonies in a better and more efficient condition than those which were begun only yesterday and the day before.

There is another subject connected with this upon which I must say one word before I sit down. I said that the last Cabinet Council was put down to Madagascar. The sacred word "Madagascar' reminded me rather of that famous election address of Lord Beaconsfield's, in which he said that the faults of Mr. Gladstone's then Government were all to be summed up in their policy in the Straits of Malacca. The question of Madagascar was so far removed from the purview of the last Cabinet Council that I greatly doubt if the word "Madagascar" has been mentioned between the Governments of Great Britain and France for the last two years, and I cannot speak much beyond that. I think that authoritative statement will do much to dispel the idea of friction between France and Great Britain on the subject of Madagascar. The subject of Madagascar lies in a nutshell. By a treaty, concluded under a

previous Government, Madagascar is recognised to be under the protectorate of France. As long as France does not exceed her rights under that treaty, and I have no reason to suppose that she will, England, with all her interest in Madagascar, with all her missionary and traditionary interests in Madagascar, can only abide by the treaty she has signed. The Colonial Empire to which I have alluded, all the various points at which France and England touch each other, no doubt give cause for some friction and some embarrassment. I should not be sincere if I said that there had not been periods within the last two years when I had felt some anxiety about our relations with France. But I am bound to say also that those relations, by conciliation on both sides, may be eventually improved, and that we in this country, on our side, are at this moment negotiating in Paris for a settlement of the various questions pending. I hope that these questions may be settled, but in so vast a variety of them, in cases where we touch each other at every point, you must be patient and not expect a settlement too soon; because a settlement that is not comprehensive is worse than no settlement at all, and a settlement in which the Government do not maintain the vital interests of Great Britain would equally be worse than no settlement at all. I confess that when I review the

history of the last few years, during which I have had more immediate connection with our foreign policy, I cannot consider that in any friction, or delicacy, or matter of delicacy, or situation of delicacy, there has been with France, we can blame ourselves for any act of aggression. I do not think that we have been guilty of offence in any degree, and that Government would live but a short time in England that did not adequately respect the rights of Great Britain. Well, in discussing these vast topics and I am sorry that I have detained you at so great length-in discussing these vast topics we must remember that it is not the Government alone that sustains the honour of the nation, but the spirit of the nation itself. A weak Government means a weak nation behind it. A Government cannot be strong unless the nation, in questions of foreign policy, is united. I believe that this country is united and determined on questions of foreign policy to a degree which has never been known before.

I believe that party of a small England, of a shrunk England, of a degraded England, of a neutral England, of a submissive England, has died. Do not believe that the party that supports the Empire is limited to those who wear black coats, or to those who will pay the higher duties under Sir William Harcourt's scheme. The

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democracy are just as vitally interested as any other portion of the State, if only for the purposes of commerce, in the maintenance of the name and of the honour of Great Britain. As you have admitted larger and larger numbers of your fellowcountrymen to the suffrage, they each of them feel that their personal name and honour are now implicated in the name and honour of the Empire. We have an animating memory in connection with that fact. To-night is St. Crispin's night, the night of the most memorable achievement in the annals of England, told by the greatest of Englishmen. The records of Agincourt have not yet died away. In the memorable speech which Shakespeare puts into the mouth of Henry V., that great King says that as long as that day will be celebrated their fame will be remembered. It is nearly five centuries since that great day, but even after that lapse of time it is not an ill thing for us to remember the stuff from which we are descended, to remember the deeds of which our forefathers were capable, and to determine once for all that we in our generation will not fall short of that memory and that ideal, and that we in our time will maintain untarnished the Empire that they have made and handed down.

REFORM OF THE LORDS

At Bradford, 27th October 1894

GENTLEMEN,-I have, as my friend Mr. Lefevre says, long been absent from a political platform. I have kept silence, yea, even from good words, and I have done so for reasons with which I need not trouble you. It is sometimes well for people who hold the office which I unworthily occupy not to be too much in the foreground, but whatever has been the cause of that silence, I am glad that it should be broken in Bradford. If I might confess to a further feeling, it is one of shame that I have not been in Bradford before. But now, after the missionaries of another creed have so abundantly sown their opinions in the unprepossessing soil of Bradford, as my friend Mr. Lefevre described it, it is time, perhaps, that one of the true faith should come to refresh the fainting spirits of his disciples. And now I have been somewhat perplexed as to what I was to speak to you about to-night. I have so long a silence behind me, and there are so many questions before me, that I do

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