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with which a central Government can punish the unauthorised excesses of its subordinates in distant provinces.

The Reconstituted Cabinet.

"The Hotel Cecil."


At home the month has been chiefly devoted to a chorus of lamentation on the part of Conservative Unionists the reconstituted Cabinet. Liberals as a rule have said little, but we have only to turn to the chronique in the National Review to see how bitterly disappointed have been the hopes of those who imagined that Lord Salisbury would profit by his victory in order to put his Cabinet upon a businesslike footing. It is complained that, instead of diminishing its numbers, he has added a new Minister to the Cabinet, and so brought its total to twenty. As Mr. Bryce says, it is now almost as large as a public meeting. Such a body is obviously a very different governing committee from all previous Cabinets of the Queen's We are reign. now witnessing a new evolution of Government by Cabinet. The large outside Cabinet is merely a deliberative body, to which are submitted confidentially the decisions of the inner Cabinet or executive before they are published to the world. The inner Cabinet sits in the larger Cabinet, but as an executive it is distinct. The real Cabinet consists of Lord Salisbury, Mr. Balfour, Mr. Chamberlain, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Lord Lansdowne, with the possible addition of the Duke of Devonshire. Another topic which has been much discussed has been the preponderating representation accorded to members of the house of Cecil in the new Administration. Lord Salisbury is Prime Minister; one nephew is Leader of the House of Commons, and First Lord of the Treasury; another nephew is President of the of the Board of Trade; a son-in-law is the First Lord of the Admiralty; and his son, Lord Cranborne, has been appointed Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, the

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The Presidential Election in America.

most important post outside the Cabinet. No one denies the influence of heredity, and everyone is willing to admit that Lord Salisbury's family is the most distinguished in Great Britain; but men are asking anxiously whether one family can be so pre-eminently distinguished that one-fifth of the Cabinet must be chosen from its ranks, while all the other families in the Kingdom must share sixteen seats between them. On the other hand, it is contended that Lord Salisbury is not justified in penalising his relatives merely because of their relationship to him. The country has a right to the services of distinguished men, even although they should be handicapped by being related by blood or marriage to the Prime Minister of the day. This, no doubt, is true, and there is therefore not very much substance in the growl at the promotion

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of Mr. Gerald Balfour, who has deserved much better of his country for his services as Irish Secretary than is generally recognised, at any rate by his own party. The other scandal, which is much more serious, is that connected with the name of Mr. Chamberlain. The Morning Leader, in a series of articles published during the election, astonished everyone by demonstrating that if the law had been as strict concerning the holding of office in the Imperial Administration as it is under the Municipal Corporations Act, Mr. Chamberlain would be disqualified for life from taking part in public affairs. He, being a Minister of the Crown, is directly and indirectly interested as shareholder in various trading corporations which make their profits chiefly by Government contracts; and it is not merely Mr. Chamberlain himself who is thus implicated, but nearly every member of his family is also on the share list. There is no necessity for going into the details of these transactions. Mr. Punch summed them up when he said: "The more the Empire expands, the more Mr. Chamberlain contracts." No one imputes to Mr. Chamberlain any corruption; but there is no doubt that he failed to live up to the standard of Cæsar's wife which he himself, in the debate that took place upon Lord Rosmead's appointment to the High Commissionership of South Africa, laid down as obligatory upon all officials. Lord Rosmead resigned his connection with financial corporations before he accepted his appointment; but even this did not satisfy Mr. Chamberlain. He thought that the taint might still cling to him. How much worse is it, then, when we find Mr. Chamberlain himself, or other members of his family, being large shareholders in corporations executing Government work? Mr. Chamberlain for a time kept silence under those attacks, but last month he wrote a letter in which he made matters rather worse for himself than before. The effect abroad is very bad, for the general impression was cleverly hit off by Caran d'Ache in a cartoon in which he represented Tommy Atkins in full uniform, every article of which, as well as every weapon in his possession, bore a tag professing to show that it was supplied by some one or other of the Chamberlain family!

The Contracts of Mr. Chamberlain.

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scheme for the buying out of the Irish landlords. This is but one sign among others of the coming trouble in Ireland. Mr. George Wyndham, who was appointed Chief Secretary without a seat in the Cabinet, will probably be more in evidence next session than any other member of the Ministry. Unfortunately, however, for the Irish cause, the Nationalist majority appears to have decided to begin its operations by a culpable blunder. Before it was announced that Parliament would meet on the 3rd December they had summoned a National Convention in Dublin for the purpose of expelling Mr. Healy from the ranks of the Parliamentary Party. When the announcement was made that Parliament would be summoned, the leaders of the Parliamentary Party decided to go on with the Convention, and refused to come to Westminster. This, they imagined, would enable them to display their indifference to their duties in the Imperial Parliament, their contempt for the predominant partner, their protest against the Boer War, and their determination to make short work of Mr. Healy. In reality, no policy could be more directly calculated to defeat its end. If it is carried out, Mr. Healy will be the only Irish Nationalist in the House of Commons. His will be the only voice raised on behalf of Ireland, protesting against the increase of taxation necessitated by the South African War; he will be, for the time being, the Member for Ireland, the man who alone expresses the Nationalist feeling on a subject which is much nearer to the Irish heart at this moment than the reform of the Land Laws. Mr. Healy, therefore, will regain at a bound everything that he lost at the General Election. They may root him out of the Parliamentary Party in Dublin, but he will have established himself much more firmly as an indispensable member for Ireland than he has ever been before.

That, however, is a matter of Irish politics, which they can manage or mismanage, according to their own. wisdom or unwisdom. But outsiders have a right to speak when, for the sake of a personal partisan advantage, they deliberately abandon a position of trust at a time of crisis. England is doing in South Africa exactly what she did in Ireland in 1798, and there are many who clamour that she should proceed further, and do in the Transvaal what she did in Ireland in the days of Elizabeth. A policy of devastation aiming at the extermination of a people by means of famine is being demanded by the enemies of the Boers. The Irish, with that fellow

The Desertion of the Boers.

feeling which makes men wondrous kind, are the only four score people in the House of Commons who can be depended upon to enter a solemn protest in the name of humanity against this horrible crime. It would be indeed a bad omen if, at such a moment as this, Mr. Dillon, Mr. Redmond, and Mr. O'Brien were to sell the pass, even to get Mr. Healy's scalp, which, as the result of such treason, will be further out of their reach than ever.

at the Guildhall.

The only important political utterance Lord Salisbury of November was the speech made by Lord Salisbury at the Guildhall. It was a bad speech, betraying a total lack of appreciation of the greater issues which lie before his Cabinet. It must have been with a sardonic smile that he ventured to speak concerning the "glories" of the South African campaign. But he knew his public, and had no fear that they would discern the irony with which he spoke. With the "glories" of the campaign he coupled the great demonstrations of enthusiasm with which the populace in London had welcomed back the C.I.V.'s. The two go very well together, but Lord Salisbury displayed some hardihood in referring thus complacently to an orgy which had scandalised even the elect who sit in the Conservative editorial chairs. He gave us no light as to the future either in South Africa or in China, probably because the light was not in him, and when the light that is in him is darkness, how great is that darkness !

of his own Intelligence Department, and confidently anticipated that Buller's seventy thousand men would be sufficient to finish the campaign.

But Lord Salisbury did more than hold up a warning finger at Lord Wolseley. He indicated an unmistakable disinclination to permit any investigation into the maladministration and mismanagement which have characterised our South African campaign. He is all for letting bygones be bygones, and for passing a sponge over the slate. We went into the war in order to wipe something off the slate, and now it would seem, when we come out of the war, another slate is to be wiped clean, lest British prestige and the reputations of various British Ministers should suffer. All this is not a very hopeful look-out for those who clamour for the return of a strong majority in order that the Government might deal vigorously with Army Reform. Having got his strong majority, Lord Salisbury evidently intends to use it in order to hush things up and to muddle on just in the same way as we have been doing in the past.

As to coming legislation, Lord Salisbury said nothing; but he Lord Wolseley. showed unmistakably a tendency

The Premier and

to deprecate any radical dealing with the Army. He winced a little under Lord Wolseley's recent hint as to the extent to which the Army had not been adequately supplied with guns and munitions of war by the refusal of the Cabinet to listen to his representations. This is a vein which may be worked with advantage, and Lord Salisbury hinted that if Lord Wolseley did not mind what he was about, revelation was a game at which politicians could play as well as soldiers. It is rumoured that Lord Wolseley intends to make a speech in the House of Lords, in which he will draw aside the veil which conceals the unedifying wrangles which have gone on at the War Office, and that in reply Lord Salisbury will remind Lord Wolseley that, however wise he may have been as to the need for more guns, no one could have been more utterly mistaken in his estimate of the forces requisite to overcome the resistance of the Boers than the Commander-in-Chief. The story goes that Lord Wolseley would not even believe the reports

Hush up all round!

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In strong contrast to the political Lord Rosebery's speech of Lord Salisbury at the Guildhall is the inaugural address of Lord Rosebery to the students of Glasgow University on the occasion of his installation ás Lord Rector. Lord Rosebery has seldom spoken better, and the concluding passage reached a height of fervid and majestic eloquence upon which he has never before ventured, and of which no other living Briton is capable. Speaking of the Empire, he said :

How marvellous it all is! Built not by saints and angels, but the work of men's hands; cen.ented with men's honest blood and with a world of tears, welded by the best brains of centuries past; not without the taint and reproach incidental to all human work, but constructed on the whole with pure and splendid purpose. Human, and yet not wholly human-for the most heedless and the most cynical must see the finger of the Divine. Growing as trees grow, while others slept ; fed by the faults of others as well as by the character of our fathers; reaching with the ripple of a resistless tide over tracts and islands and continents, until our little Britain woke up to find herself the foster-mother of nations and the source of united empires. Do we not hail in this less the energy and fortune of a race than the supreme direction of the Almighty? Shall we not, while we adore the blessing, acknowledge the responsibility? And while we see, far away in the rich horizons, growing generations fulfilling the promise, we not own with resolution mingled with awe the honourable duty incumbent on ourselves? Shall we then falter or fail? The answer is not doubtful. We will rather pray that strength may be given us, adequate and abundant, to shrink from no sacrifice in the fulfilment of our mission; that we may be

true to the high tradition of our forefathers; and that we may transmit their bequest to our children, aye, and, please God, to their remote descendants, enriched and undefiled, this blessed and splendid dominion.

The address, as a whole, was a very useful dissertation concerning the obligations of Empire and the impossibility of maintaining it unless we put our best foot foremost, and realise the fact that we can no longer afford to play around and amuse ourselves. The new century summons us to a struggle for existence which will be much more serious than anything that we have hitherto gone through. Lord Rosebery said many wise and weighty things concerning our duty both in relation to education, commerce, and statesmanship, specially mentioning. with approval the German plan of appointing a commission to hold an inquest upon any trade that

in a sickly condition-a method of procedure which I suggested Mr. Chamberlain might act upon when he became Colonial Secretary. Unfortunately in that respect he has not justified my charitable expectations. Lord Rosebery suggested that it would be well if our schools and universities paid less attention to Greek and more to modern languages; but the real difficulty, as Mr. Birchenough points out in the Nineteenth Century, is not so much our defective apparatus for teaching, as the lack of any appetite for learning or any enthusiasm for acquiring the weapons necessary for success in the battle of life.

His Practical Suggestions.


Lord Rosebery's address has naturHis ally stimulated the desire of many Political Position. Liberals to see him once more in the place which he abandoned. This seems a misreading of the significance of his utterLord Rosebery is in advance of his party, in many very important things so much in advance that his position is much more that of a Cobden than hat of a Gladstone. Unfortunately he has not Cobden's energy, perseverance, and self-sacrifice. He has got hold of two or three doctrines not less important than Free Trade. He grasps them firmly, but beyond emitting at long intervals an eloquent discourse, he takes no steps to rouse the public to the necessity of immediate action. This creates the impression that he is not in earnest about it. If he were, he would start some kind of modern counterpart to the Free Trade League, and stump the country. In dealing with Bulgaria Mr. Gladstone descended from the altitude of a Prime Minister, and became a Cobden for the nonce; and

the way in which he worked up the Eastern Question from 1876 to 1880 was an example which Lord Rosebery would do well to follow. Unfortunately Lord Rosebery was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and he is in harness (as he was in the County Council, or at the Foreign Office) there is little dogged, persistent continuity about his appear. ances in public.

One of the most significant passages in his speech was that in which he bemoaned the lack of supremely capable administrators. Both in diplomacy and in almost every other department of national life, he declared that if the number of capable men were multiplied by forty, the supply would still be unequal to the demand. Mr. Gladstone felt the same, but with Mr. Gladstone this perception of the lack of supreme governing capacity among our people led him to shrink from unnecessary, and even sometimes from apparently necessary, expansion of the Empire. But although Lord Rosebery sees that we are wanting in the most essential element needed for governing an empire, he contents himself with calling attention to the fact, and then allows his name to be used in support of the Imperialism gone mad which has led to the annexation of the South African Republics. Is this what can be called running the Empire on a business basis? Lord Rosebery also exposes himself to a retort not undeserved. There is no doubt a lack of supreme governing capacity in many departments of State, but where is there any such exhibition of failure at the top as in the leadership of the Opposition? Under our system the Opposition is as essential to good administration as the Diplomatic Service, the Army or the Navy. Yet owing to the hopeless disintegration which followed the defeat of the last Liberal Administration, the Opposition is left practically leaderless. It may not be Lord Rosebery's fault, but it is certainly his misfortune that the Premiership should have been immediately followed by the general débâcle. The first and most urgent want of the country at this moment is neither capable Ambassadors, able Generals, nor Viceroys of genius. It is the lack of an effective Opposition. Hence when the Lord Rector reads his admirable lecture to the British merchants, he provokes the response, "Physician heal thyself." Certainly no British commercial firm could be run in the way in which the present Opposition is managed, without being bankrupt in twelve months.

Putting the Opposition

on a

Business Basis.

Deliver him

Of course it would be unjust to hold Lord Rosebery responsible for the the Roseberyites! extraordinary antics of the people who call themselves by his name; but considering the loyalty of Sir Henry CampbellBannerman to Lord Rosebery, it would tend to remove much heart-burning on the part of the Liberal rank and file if Lord Rosebery were to give the Perkses, the Greys and Fowlers, and the Imperial Liberal Council a straight tip that he was in no mood to tolerate any monkey tricks calculated to embarrass Lord Kimberley and Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman in the discharge of their difficult duties. I am quite sure that Lord Rosebery has no sympathy with the Imperial Liberal Council in their desire to weed out of the Liberal Party all those who do not pronounce its shibboleth; but it is impossible to deny that the way in which they have been going on of late, both in public and in private, has produced a very bad impression, which in his own interest and in the interest of the party it is most desirable that he should


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One of the sensational incidents of last month has brought forcibly home to the minds of the masses the extent to which their health and their lives have passed into the keeping of the chemist. The failure of an analytical chemist to discover the presence of arsenic in the sulphuric acid used for manufacturing the glucose and invert sugar extensively used in brewing has for a moment created a panic among the beer-drinkers of Manchester and the neighbourhood. Over 70 deaths have occurred, while nearly 2,000 persons have shown traces of arsenical poisoning. Sir Wilfrid Lawson and the teetotalers look on with grim and saturnine complacency; for, as Sir Wilfrid says, alcohol is only a slower poison than arsenic, and anything which discourages the consumption of alcohol tends in the long run to the health of the community. Unfortunately the present panic has only led to the substitution of diluted whiskey for beer as a popular beverage.

Poison in the Pewter.


The elections for the London School Board followed hard on the heels of London Elections. the election for the Borough Councils. It is impossible to keep up public interest in elections when polls follow each other with such rapidity. In London we have had three contests, one after the other, in rapid succession-the General Election, the Municipal Elections, and now the School Board Election. The consequence is

that there was a very small interest manifested in the result. As usually happens when the public is apathetic, the Moderate Party gained some slight advantage. The Progressives are still in possession of a very small majority on the Board, but the Moderates made a net gain of three seats. Sir John Gorst still remains at the Education Department, and curiously enough, by recent legislation, it appears that he is in office for life. This is quite unforeseen; but it is very satisfactory, not only to Sir John Gorst, but also to those who recognise him as almost the only Conservative who has any interest in education other than that of securing the maximum of public money for the denominational schools. If Lord Rosebery would take his coat off and run a mission or a revival in favour of education, something might be done; but at present popular interest in the subject is at a low ebb.


This brings me to the last note which I shall write under the heading of "The Progress of the World" in the Nineteenth Century. Early in the New Year there ought to be published a handbook for reformers of all kinds, entitled Things to be done in the New Century." The nineteenth left a vast mass of arrears. In nearly every department of national and local life there is any amount of work sketched out. The principles are settled, the plans have been drawn up, but there is a lack of energy to carry them out. It would tend to facilitate the task of reformers of all kinds if within the compass of a small volume we could have the unfulfilled programme collected together, in order that we may see what it is that lies before us, and to what we can most profitably direct our attention. One of the last things to be done this year by our Government is to nominate the representatives of Great Britain on the Roster of the Hague Tribunal of Arbitration. France has nominated M. Bourgeois, M. D'Estournelles, and M. Louis Renault. Spain, be it noted, has named her most highly respected public man, in the person of the Duke of Tetuan. Holland has chosen Dr. Asser, president of the Institute of International Law. From Russia come the names of M. Fritsch, president of the Senate; Count Mouravieff, Minister of Justice; M. Pobyedonost zeff, and Professor Martens, the great authority on international law. From the United States are appointed ex-President Benjamin Harrison and Judge Corge Gray, formerly United States Senator from Delaware. Ex-President Cleveland was appointed, but declined. The British arbitrators ought to be named before the Twentieth Century.

Things to be Done Next Century.

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