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degree unmindful of the case of the solvent tenants who might be paying too high a rent under the Land Act of 1881. We hoped, we believed, that the principle of the equity clauses, and still more of the bankruptcy clauses, of the Land Act would give ample and satisfactory relief in the case of the insolvent tenants, and indirectly we believed that the position of the insolvent tenants, and their incapacity to deal with their landlords and make equitable arrangements with their landlords, would be greatly strengthened by the measure as originally proposed. But, as you know, the bankruptcy clauses of the Land Act met with no support from any considerable section of the Irish people or of the House of Commons, and we must admit that, good and sound as I believe they were in principle, difficulties of no inconsiderable character existed in their working, and as a matter of fact they have had to be abandoned. Well, the Government was bound to introduce some alternative, and although in any change of front or change of policy it is very easy to point to inconsistencies of argument and language, I do not believe it is possible to point to any such inconsistencies as touch either the honour or the good faith of the Government which introduced these principles."
Lord Hartington also made the following important observations on the future action of the two sections of the Unionist party :-“ Proposals and suggestions have recently been made for a closer union between the sections of the Unionist party. No doubt such a union would be the most perfect form of its organisation; but I believe now, as I did a year ago, that the time is not yet ripe for such a closer union; and it will not be ripe until we have obtained on both sides some further experience than as yet it has been possible to obtain of the willingness of both sections to co-operate in legislation of this character " (reform of the land laws, the improvement of the condition of the labourers, the extension of local government on a popular basis, the increase of facilities for primary and technical education, the revision of taxation, and the economic administration of the revenue of the country) —" that it is the desire of one section to advance and of the other to accept reasonable terms. Such experience could not be obtained in such a session as the present, which, either from our own fault or from the fault of others, has been practically devoted to one question. But I think progress is being made, and that the time is approaching when subjects such as those to which I have just referred may be jointly taken up and considered by all sections of the Unionist party. In the interval which will elapse between the end of the present session and the assembling of Parliament for another session that progress will be further continued, and we, the leaders of the Unionist party, will be able to place before the country a policy of reform and of progress which shall at the same time tend to consolidate the union of the Unionist party,
nisation ; but I bel such a closer unes some further i
to secure and establish the maintenance of the Union, and confer upon our country benefits for which it has long been waiting, and for which, but for some policy of this kind, it may have long to wait.”
OTHER LEGISLATION AND INCIDENTS OF THE SESSION. Lord R. Churchill explains his resignation of office as Chancellor of the Exche
quer--The Colonial Conference-Motion for restraining publication of details of Divorce and other cases- Closing of the Accounts of the Colonial and Indian Exhibition-Colonial Delegates received at Windsor-Ministerial Statement as to Defective Cutlasses supplied to the Navy- The Duke of Connaught's Leave of Absence Bill--The People's Palace opened by the Queen- The House of Commons at St. Margaret's, Westminster-Ministerial Statement as to Defective Bayonets--Anti-Tithe Agitation in Wales—The Imperial Institute-- The Turkish Convention-Ball at the Reform Club The Queen's Jubilee-Thanksgiving Service at Westminster Abbey-Children's Fête in Hyde Park--Jubilee Honours --The Women's Jubilee Offering --Letter from the Queen-Coal Mines Regulation Bill—Dinner to Professor Tyndall— Volunteer Review at Buckingham Palace--Foundation-stone of Imperial Institute laid by the Queen--- Review of Troops at Alderhot - Grand Naval Review at Spithead-The Arrest of Miss Cass-Dinner to Mr. Gladstone by Scotch Members --The Convict Lipski --The Fisheries Commission.
From the time of the introduction of the Crimes Bill the session was almost wholly given up to Irish business, and political speeches outside Parliament were chiefly devoted to the pressing question of Irish legislation. An address by Lord Randolph Churchill to his constituents at Paddington (April 2) was an important exception. This was the first occasion on which Lord Randolph had addressed his constituents since his resignation of the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer, and he entered into a full explanation of his reasons for resigning. In the course of his speech he said: “If it had fallen to me to occupy any other office in the Government besides that which I did occupy, I should have been in the Government now. But I was Chancellor of the Exchequer, and I had the honour of being leader of the House of Commons, and as Chancellor of the Exchequer I was almost entirely responsible for the public expenditure of this great empire; as leader of the House of Commons I was largely responsible for the general policy of the Government, which had to be exposed and defended night after night in the House of Commons. As Chancellor of the Exchequer I had to feel an absolute and honourable certainty in my mind that I was not taking one shilling, as it were, from your pockets, or from the pockets of the people of this country, which was not absolutely required by the exigencies of the public service. Now I ask you— Do you think, knowing what you know now, that I could have felt any certainty upon that point? Look at what has taken place since the beginning of the year. Look with regard to the expenditure of public money. Look at the sad discoveries and disclosuresI must really call them shameful -- which have been brought before the public by the committee which has been appointed to inquire into the system of negotiating Admiralty contracts. I go further. I ask you to look at the report of the committee only just lately appointed to inquire into the cutlasses and the bayonets which were supplied to your sailors, and on the excellence of which your sailors in time of war would have to rely. (A voice, · They are German.') Yes; but is it not extraordinary that you have in the War Office a great department spending 184 millions of public money, and that that department since 1871 bas allowed your sailors to be armed with weapons which the Commission described as absolutely inefficient, absolutely untrustworthy, and absolutely unfit for service ? That department has allowed that state of things to continue since 1871, and would not acknowledge that it was so, denied the statements of the Admiralty, and would not acknowledge it till an independent committee told them that this was the case. That is a department which spends 184 millions per annum. I want to ask you this. Look at the speeches which have been made recently in Parliament by the First Lord of the Admiralty and the Secretary to the Admiralty—against whom as individuals I have not a word to say—but in their speeches in Parliament they have pleaded guilty in the past, without qualification, to an expenditure of public money which really would not have discredited the Government of Russia. If you want to go further than this, I invite you all to study a Parliamentary paper which you can easily procure- viz., the report of Sir William Dunbar, the controller and auditor-general of public finance, on the expenditure of that vote of credit of 11 millions which was taken by Mr. Gladstone in 1885. If you study that, you will come to the conclusion that, after all, on that particular matter which I put before you, I could not, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, have the smallest certainty that I was not taking money out of your pockets which would be wasted as much as if it were thrown into the gutter. I daresay some of you will say, ' That is all very well; there have been great scandals, but these would all have been known and dealt with without your taking so strong a step as resigning your office.' I quite admit the apparent plausibility of that position, but I traverse it directly. All these things could not have been known, or if they had been known they would have attracted no attention whatever. Things would have gone on just the same as before. You would have had a plaintive remonstrance here and an indignant letter there ; but the great wave-torrent of other public matters would have swept them out of sight. No remedy would have been applied to them.” Lord Randolph Churchill further said: “I should like to put before you the exact sum in pounds, shillings, and pence which my action on the question of public expenditure and in resigning my office absolutely saved your pockets and saved the country. I think this will interest you. The immediate cause of my resignation, the crisis which precipitated it, was the Estimates of the War Office. The Secretary for War placed before me Estimates for the current year which amounted to 18,564,0001., and I said to him that I thought that sum, being 300,0001. in excess of the previous year, was an amount I could not consent to. I pressed him hardly during a long conversation to make reductions on that amount. Now, the Secretary of State for War, a gentleman for whom I have the highest possible respect and against whom I will never say one word, told me that there was not a single item which he could conscientiously accept any reduction upon. He wrote that to the Prime Minister at the time when there was this ministerial crisis. Then the resignation came, and all the bother. But is not this a most remarkable thing, that after the resignation the War Estimates underwent a revision, and the War Estimates have been reduced by the very considerable amount of 170,0001, odd ? More than that, before I left office, so strong was the pressure I put upon the Admiralty-and I am bound to say the Admiralty responded admirably to that pressure—that the Admiralty Estimates showed a total reduction on the expenditure of last year of no less than 700,0001. I have got the very decent total of 870,0001.- we may practically say 900,0001. But there is another matter well worthy your attention, to show the difficulty a Chancellor of the Exchequer is in in taking care of your pockets. I had to deal with an estimate which was presented by the War Office amounting to over half a million of money for expenditure incurred in connection with the defence of the Egyptian frontier. That expenditure had been incurred without the knowledge of the War Office, without the knowledge of the Treasury, without the sanction of Parliament, and I utterly declined to have anything whatever to do with it or to admit it in any way. It was, I thought, a most indefensible expenditure. I fought against that estimate from August to December, until within a few days of my resignation. I knew it would be an estimate that the House of Commons would hardly be persuaded to vote, but so great was the pressure put upon me by the Foreign Office as to the bankruptcy which would ensue in Egypt if we did not repay that sum to the Egyptian Government, and as to the possible issue of an international Commission, and other matters, that at the last moment I gave way. Well, in comes my successor, who the moment this estimate was presented to him took just the same view as I did, exactly. He considered it absolutely unjustifiable expenditure, for which he would not be responsible to Parliament and the Government. And I think he very wisely, owing to the great stir about economy, insisted upon economy somewhere. Consequently the Government have never presented that estimate to the House of Commons. Then I say I practically saved 170,0001., the estimate for the War Office. I practically saved 700,0001. in the Navy Estimates, and I practically saved 500,0001.
for the Supplemental Estimates ; and so I practically saved 1,400,0001. to the taxpayers of this country.”
An Imperial conference, composed of delegates from all the self-governing Colonies, was held at the Foreign Office under the presidency of Sir Henry Holland, and was addressed at its first sitting (April 4) by Lord Salisbury. The Prime Minister offered to the delegates the hearty welcome of the Government and of the country. He deprecated “all ambitious schemes of constitution-making,” though he held the aspiration for federation to be “the nebulous matter which, in the course of ages, would cool down into material and practical results.” For the present, however, the task was to form neither a general Union nor a Zollverein, but a Kriegsverein-a combination for purposes of self-defence. So great was the advance in the power of making distant combinations, owing to the progress of modern science, that even if the Colonies were independent States, they would not be safe. They occupied some of the fairest and most desirable portions of the earth's surface; the desire for colonies had greatly increased, and, unless defended, they might be menaced with sudden attack. Their permanent interest, therefore, was to organise means of defence, to prepare men as well as money, and to the utmost of their means to strengthen the capacity of the Empire for defending them. “ The desire for colonial and foreign possessions,” Lord Salisbury remarked, “ is increasing among the nations of Europe. The power of concentrating military and naval forces is increasing under the influence of scientific progress. Put all those things together and you will see that the colonies have a very real and genuine interest in the shield which their Imperial connection throws over them, and that they have a ground for joining with us in making the defences of the Empire secure-a ground which is not purely sentimental, and which does not rest merely on their attachment to this country, but which is based on the most solid and reasonable foundations of self-interest and security.” Sir Henry Holland, after observing that the assembling together in this country of leading colonial statesmen and representatives of Greater Britain to discuss matters of Imperial interest was the fittest of all the memorials of her Majesty's jubilee, went on to speak of the matters to be brought before the conference. Besides questions of colonial defence, the subjects proposed to be dealt with included postal rates, the marriage laws, the provisions of the Colonial Loans Act, the enlargement of the powers of trustees to invest in colonial stocks, the expediency of taking the census of 1891 on the same day and in the same manner in all parts of the Empire, and the exemption from probate or succession duty in one part of the Empire of property owned by a British subject in another part.
In the House of Commons (April 4), after a discussion on harbour loans, on a motion, afterwards withdrawn, authorising
& the natissions,” Lord them.