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Commons at once would have led useful and attractive political lives, are retiring from political life altogether. Now, these are the two conditions of the House of Lords, the only two to which I shall refer. They are two which, in my opinion, do not trench even remotely on party politics, but which I thought it due to this assembly to take the opportunity of putting before you. I for one shall never flag in my hopes of reforming the House of Lords, in making it a part of the Constitution, more active and more useful, and in that effort I hope I shall receive the prospective assistance of those who may hereafter be elevated to that House.


On receiving the Freedom of Glasgow,
10th October 1890

MY LORD PROVOST, Magistrates, and FellowCitizens of Glasgow, I have to tender to you my most heartfelt thanks for the signal honour which you have done me in admitting me to your suffrage; for the terms in which the resolution has been couched; for the words in which you have been pleased to recommend it; and last, and not least, for the magnificent casket, which will last as a permanent memorial for me and mine. My Lord, you have dwelt on great and searching questions in your speech. They are of a nature, of a comprehensiveness, that might occupy some twenty or thirty speeches, even if I were inclined to follow you in that region. But I could not hope to treat them in the same space or with the power with which your Lordship has dealt with them. I will rest my claim on no such weighty grounds to-day. I will only say this one word about myself, and it is this that I claim to

love my country, Scotland, in particular, but the Empire at large. That is so small a merit that I believe it can be claimed for every person present, and if I were to rest on that as my hope of obtaining a burgess-ship of Glasgow, it would be necessary for the corporation to be ready to distribute such tickets to every person in this hall. I accept this ticket on behalf of you all, for I do not acknowledge any greater claim than anybody present.

But I would further say on behalf of us all that our devotion to Scotland is not in any degree a merit, but it rather enhances our devotion to that great united Empire of which we are part. I know it used to be said in the days of James I. and George III. that Scotchmen wanted a little more than their share of the Empire. I do not think that that is fairly applicable now, but we want our share to be a good one. For my part, to borrow a metaphor from a popular comparison which is familiar to most of you, I would refer to those garden shows which are constantly held in rural localities, where prizes are given for the best and brightest garden. Well, we want Scotland to be the best and brightest garden in the Empire. But, my Lord, if we wish that, we must put our shoulders to the wheel, and it does not seem an unnatural contention to urge on such an occasion

as this that one of the best ways of furthering that object is to take an active part in local and in municipal affairs. Now, you have alluded, my Lord, in terms far too kind, to my connection with a great municipal council in the south. But I hold and believe, gentlemen, that in the not remote future, people who are ambitious of being of service to the public at large will not very readily find municipal life behind parliamentary life, and in some respects they may be inclined to prefer it. I know there used to be a cheap sneer at municipal matters by calling them "parochial." I suppose I have what one of your more eminent burgesses, Lord Beaconsfield, used to call a "parochial mind." But my belief is that every day that passes over us the great municipalities of this country, ay, and even those more recent local organisations which are called county councils, are growing in power, in influence, and in majesty. Their offices are daily more coveted, their honours daily more cherished, and their work expands every hour in usefulness and benefit to the country at large. I think I am not saying too much when I say that the time is not remote when men who wish to do the public service will prefer even to do it in municipal rather than parliamentary life. And I think so for this reason that in the practical work which you do in municipal life

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you get a more immediate return for it than you do in Parliament. A politician's life is apt to be spent in futile action and barren criticism. But you, on your side, if you embark in the council of the town to which you belong, have the opportunity of seeing your work ready to your hand, fruitful around you. What you are able to effect you see achieved at once, and you see the results in the increased beauty of your city and in the increased welfare and happiness of your neighbours and surroundings. As we know, politicians, on the other hand, with the highest aims and objects before them, often have to wait for their lifetime, and not even to see in their lifetime the object realised after which they seek.

I would venture to put a further argument before you, and it is this-that you have in local affairs the advantage of being able to concentrate your mind on one or two subjects, whereas what is called popularly a statesman lives in the maelstrom or whirlpool of various questions, all sucking at him in different courses, and he is ignorant to which to give the precedence. I think your own city furnishes a very striking example of what I am saying. Suppose a Glasgow man had been interested in that great question which is coming so home to us-the dwellings of the poorer classes of Great Britain. Let us suppose he had the

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