Page images
PDF
EPUB

more

was

- in re

over

Civil Marriage Bill should pass. To the last say. This is a very pretty little plan, reminding one moment the clericals showed fight, but ultimately of the admirable scheme adopted by the conference some members of the majority abstained from which the mice held-possibly at Leeds—when it was voting, and the Bill passed by a small majority. decided to bell the cat. For it is obvious that the There was wild enthusiasm among the Liberals, deep abolition of the veto is to all intents and purposes and bitter chagrin

the abolition of the among the clergy.

House of Lords ; for The net result, as

its effect would be usual in these demo

to give sole power cratic days, is that

to legislate to the the monarchy once

House of Commons, strengthened

whenever it chose to its hold upon the

read a Bill a fourth people by proving

time after it itself an indispens

rejected by the House able ally-not to say

of Lords. The Home instrument

Rule Bill, for inducing to obedience

stance, after being a recalcitrant aristo

rejected by the cracy. Even Mr.

Lords by a majority Labouchere admits

of ten to one, would that without the

have been passed by Crown he could do

the Commons nothing against the

their

veto by Peers.

majority of thirty. In Eng

That may be excelThe Veto of land the

lent. But how are the Peers, campaign

you to get that Bill against the Peers

accepted by the cannot be said to

Peers? “Ducky, have made much

ducky,

here progress. A confer

and be killed," is not ence, summoned by

invitation that the Liberal caucus,

is generally accepted was held at Leeds

either by ducks or last month to con

by Peers. sider what should be

Sir William

Ministers done to bring the

Harcourt's meanwhile Peers to their knees.

Star,

have not After hearing many

been faring altospeeches the confer

gether badly in the unanimously

month of June. Sir From the Weekly Freeman.] decided that

(Juuc 30, 1891. the

W. Harcourt, whose THE SWORD OF DAMOCLES. right thing to do A somewhat inaccurate view of the position.

star seems to be in that Ministers

the ascendant, has should introduce a Bill abolishing the veto of succeeded in getting his Budget accepted with a few the House of Lords. When any Bill passed by modifications here and there which Mr. Balfour the Commons is rejected by the Lords, the Commons, enforced, but the crucial difficulties about the beer and according to this scheme, would have the right spirit duties were overcome with ease. Sir W. Harcourt, to send the Bill back by passing a resolution to by concentrating all his attention on the Bill and that effect. Then the Bill would receive the royal assent being besides very ably coached by Mr. Alfred Milner, without reference to anything the Peers might do or was able to achieve a series of parliamentary successes,

[graphic]

come

an

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ence

was

over which the party is just now rejoicing with grateful

Sir W. Harcourt calculates upon their hearts. This has had a somewhat unexpected result.

The Fate of weakness, and his Budget is framed upon

Chatsworth. Sir William, instead of being desirous of retiring to

the popular delusion that the owners of cultivate his roses at Malwood, is now somewhat agricultural land are wealthy. The fact that even reconciled to political life. He has had his way, he so wealthy a peer as the Duke of Devonshire is of has scored a great success.

When the party is once opinion that the new succession duty will render it more in opposition, the brunt of the fighting will impossible for his successor to maintain Chatsworth have to be done in the Commons, and as a matter of

and Devonshire House will give many people pause course the leader of the Opposition in the Commons

who have hitherto failed to realise what are the terms will tend to overshadow the nominal chief of the of the bargain between the peers and the people. party who is interned in the gilded sarcophagus. Mr. Morley, speaking at Rotherham, endeavoured to

If Sir W. Harcourt had retired, the turn the Duke's argument by saying that if ChatsHis

choice of the leadership in the Commons worth was kept open by exempting its owner from Successor.

would have been between Mr. Campbell. his fair share of taxation, then Chatsworth was Bannerwan and Mr. Morley. There would have really maintained by the State. But granting this been then, as now, no choice as to the leadership is true, it does not mend the matter. The fact is in the Constituencies. Mr. Morley's position on the that our nobles in return for various exemptions and platform is now unquestioned, Upon him have privileges have regarded themselves as bound to fallen the mantles of both Mr. Gladstone and Mr. maintain, often at a heavy financial loss, certain bisBright. He represents both the moral enthusiasm toric houses, full of artistic treasures and famous and the power of eloquence of his party. But for heirlooms, as popular show-places and as part and that very reason it would be a reckless and wicked parcel of the state and majesty of English life. waste to use bim up in the treadmill of leadership in Deprive them of these exemptions and privileges and the House. The true course, and by far the best they can no longer maintain the burden of their own course for Mr. Morley himself, would be for Mr. magnificence. The British elector has not realised Campbell-Bannerman to serve tables like the deacons that. He is going to eat his cake, and he imagines in the Early Christian Church, while Mr. Morley, he is going to have it all the time. But that is like the apostles, devoted his great gifts to the impossible. edifying of the brethren in their most holy faith.

What will the result be on English life Mr. Campbell-Bannerman is our W. H. Smith, but

Coming if, as will probably happen, English much cleverer, although more sluggish than his Tyrant.

nobles follow the Duke of Westminster's prototype. Like all other statesmen of first rank

example and sell their palaces to that human pest, Hartington, Balfour, and Morley-he has undergone the American millionaire ? Look at Winan's wilderthe trial by ordeal, having for a short time filled ness in the Highlands. Examine Cliveden, where very creditably the Irish Secretaryship.

Mr. Astor has startled England by a glimpse of the The Budget

The Liberals imagine that their Budget cynical selfishness of the monopolist, and then ask

is as popular in the country as it is in whether the anticipated increase in succession duty Elections.

the House of Commons. The landed will counterbalance the loss that the nation will have interest is paying the penalty of monopoly. to bear where alien plutocrats are substituted for If thirty years ago the landlords had listened to

our nobles, who are at least gentlemen. Bright and Cobden and reinforced their ranks by plutocracy from over-sea do not even need to pay multiplying the owners of allotments and small farms, income-tax. They can draw their dividends in Paris, there is nothing more certain than that Sir W. even while they are banishing the English from the Harcourt would never have introduced this year's fair country-side which peer and peasant have enjoyed Budget. But the cadres of landowners have been in common. depleted, and the landowners have no cohort of

Ministers, however, refuse to listen to

Mr. Rhodes yeomen ready to do battle in their cause. Now is

and the
warnings of this kind.

A striking inthe hour of their adversity, and in their desolation Colonial stance of this in another field

Office. and distress they may well sigh, although they sigh

afforded us last month in the reply which in vain, for the stout retainers whom they might so the Colonial Office gave to Mr. Rhodes' suggestion easily have reared to do battle like French peasants that beginning should be made towards an Imperial for the relief of the land.

Zollverein by inserting a clause in the charter of the

The

and the

The new

was

[ocr errors]

in the

South African Company, the effect of which would concluded an agreement in complete forgetfulness of have been to prevent the rulers of Matabeleland from the fact that four years ago we had entered into an levying more than a stipulated maximum upon British understanding with Germany which was inconsistent goods. This is one of Mr. Rhodes' favourite ideas. with the third article of the new convention, by Before long, also, South Africa will be under one which the Congo State leased to us a strip of land government, and if in the dominion of the Chartered coterminous with the German sphere of influence. Company no duties can be levied on British goods Sir Philip Currie, who left tbe Foreign Office beyond a certain amount, we should have safeguarded for Constantinople, would no doubt have saved ourselves against the raising of a ring or a McKinley Lord Kimberley from this blunder had be been at tariff in South Africa. But the vigilant eye of Lord home, but with a new Foreign Minister and a new Ripon sees the cloven foot of a differential duty lurking beneath this proposition from South Africa, and Mr. Rhodes's offer was rejected. The despatch conveying the decision of the Colonial Office was emphatic enough in all conscience. But we may ere long bitterly regret the rejection of a constitutional provision proposed from South Africa and formally embodied in the instrument of government by her Majesty which would have kept open to our merchants the markets of the Cape. Naturally Mr. Rhodes is wroth, and marvels much at the indifference of the Home Government to accept the offer of a guaranteed Colonial market.

Affairs in South Africa have been someSir H. Loch

what strained during the last month, Transvaal. owing to the natural dislike of British subjects in the Transvaal to being impressed as soldiers by a state which denies, them the franchise. French and German subjects are by treaty exempted from military service, but British subjects, although far outnumbering their French and German neighbours, had no such treaty right, and they were impressed accordingly. The situation was looking

M. HANOTAUX, rather serious when Sir Henry Loch appeared upon

French Minister of Foreign Affairs. the scene and succeeded in arranging a modus vivendi with Paul Kruger, which seems to have satisfied both

Permanent Under-Secretary there was a breach in parties. The old Swaziland convention has been

the continuity of the memory of the Foreign Office. extended for six months. British subjects are to

Germany also seems to have suffered in the same be exempted from being commandeored to fight the

way, for when the convention was submitted to Boers' wars, and so peace reigns once more between

Berlin no objection was taken to it. It was only the Boers and their English neighbours. According

when the German colonial party waxed wroth and to the telegrams, which are very short, Mr. Rhodes

made a row that Germany opposed the convention. and the Cape Ministers did not look with a friendly They had an unanswerable argument, and as soon as eye upon Sir Henry Loch's visit to the Transvaal. this was pointed out the third article was dropped But all is well that ends well, and Sir Henry Loch and England and Germany were once more in accord. as Imperial High Commissioner was not bound to France and This, however, did not facilitate Lord

the Anglosubordinate his own convictions as to the best means

Congolese

Dufferin's negotiations with M. Hanotaux. of protecting the interests of the Empire to the Treaty. The French maintain that we must give representations of the Cape Ministers.

way to them as we have given way to Germany. An Awkward

The Anglo-Congolese agreement, although We replied that we gave way to Germany because Lapse of insignificant in itself, has exposed the inadvertently the convention was in opposition to

Memory. Government to a disagreeable reverse. the Anglo-German Convention which France had Lord Kimberley, who is new to the Foreign Office, refused to recognise, because it expressly conceded

[graphic]
[graphic]

LORD RUSSELL, OF KILLOWEN, THE NEW LORD CHIEF JUSTICE.

(From a photograph by Ridsdale Cleare, Clapton Pavement).

we

that all the equatorial provinces of Egypt lay within of the empire by Scotchmen or Irishmen suggests our sphere of influence. France, in protesting against that the English will be of as little count in their the recognition of these provinces as being within our own country as Americans are in their city governsphere of influence, could not point to our abandon ment. The story goes at Chicago that at a recent ment of the third article of the Convention as party convention they named Irish, Germans and a reason for abandoning our claim to do as Poles for all the high places, and it was not until liked in the Bahr el Ghazel, seeing that we with they came to nominate the constable that a native drew the third article because of an agreement humbly suggested that perhaps, seeing all other nomiwhich recognised our influence in the very district nees were foreigners, an American might be nominated in dispute. It is to be hoped that Lord Rosebery for constable. will keep a sharper look-out over the policy of his

By the death of the Lord Chief Justice a successor at the Foreign Office. No doubt he is

Labour and

Liberalism in vacancy occurred in the Attercliffe Divisomewhat hampered by the fact that while at the Attercliffe. sion. Mr. Bernard Coleridge at first obForeign Office himself he always protested against jected to take his seat in the House of Lords, and any interference in the conduct of his own depart a committee has been appointed to see whether a peer ment. But a good deal has happened since then, can sit in the House of Commons if no writ was and the country would regard with a great deal of issued to call him to the House of Lords. Meanuneasiness anything that indicated that Lord

while, so as not to prejudice the question, Lord Kimberley was anything but Lord Rosebery's Coleridge accepted the Stewardship of the Chiltern suffragan. It is a far cry to the Bahr el Ghazel, Hundreds, and a very interesting election has been and it is inconceivable that the two foremost Western the result at Attercliffe. It is one of the constinations will come to loggerheads over what is an tuencies where the Liberals have a clear majority if all but inaccessible marsh in Central Africa.

they are united. When the Liberal caucus met the A Threatened

Meanwhile in the far East a war cloud Labour men brought forward a candidate of their Jap-Chinese is gathering on the horizon. For some own, and as they were either unable or unwilling to War.

obscure reason Japan seems to consider subscribe the election expenses and the necessary that the present moment is opportune for establishing funds for keeping their representative alive while he her sovereignty over Korea to the exclusion of her was attending to his parliamentary duties, the caucus, Chinese co-partner, alleging that the Japanese settlers which consisted largely of working men, decided to have been ill-treated. . Japanese troops have landed nominate Mr. Langley. Every effort was made to in Korea and the Chinese are hurrying on---so far as secure the adoption of a Labour candidate, but the that extremely lethargic empire can be said to hurry fatal lack of pence seems to have opposed everything. --the despatch of a body of troops to oppose the Mr. Langley was duly nominated on behalf of the Japanese if they try to convert occupation into con Liberals, whereas Mr. Hardie, as representing the quest. Russia and England have in vain endeavoured Independent Labour Party, sent down Mr. Frank to persuade the Japanese to desist from persisting in Smith, late of the Salvation Army, to stand in the what may be a very serious war.

interests of Labour. An attempt to arrive at a The Old and The death of Lord Chief Justice Coleridge compromise broke down. The Sheffield Liberals the New Lord has removed from the Bench one of the revolted against the dictation of Mr. Keir Hardie, Chief Justice.

few judges who took a keen public interest the opinion of the majority evidently being that it in public affairs. As his sympathies were usually on was much better to make a present of the seat to the Liberal side this rendered him all the more con

the Conservatives rather than permit the Liberal spicuous, for Liberalism can hardly be said to be the party to be dragged at the tail of the extreme Labour prevailing note among the wearers of the judicial The incident is of evil omen for the General eimine. He is suceeded as Lord Chief Justice by

Election. A compromise is talked about by which Lord Russell, better known as Sir Charles Russell, who the Liberal candidate is to be chosen in the future never took his seat as Lord Justice of Appeal. We by the committees of the Liberal caucus and the have, therefore, an Irishman as Lord Chief Justice, Federated Trades Council, but until the bona fide a Jew as Lord Chancellor, a Scotehman as Prime working men can be induced to subscribe for the Minister, and are likely to have another as Leader maintenance of their candidate and to pay his of the House of Commons should Sir William election expenses, it is difficult to see how any joint Harcourt retire. The monopoly of all the high posts committee will get over the difficulty.

men.

« PreviousContinue »