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BUNBURY.

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DIARY OF COMING ENGAGEMENTS,

AN UNPATRIOTIC OPPOSITION.

. UNIONIST UNITY.j

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UNIONIST UNITY. The demonstration of Chester Unionists held in the Music Hall, on Monday evening, is a grati- fying evidence, if evidence be needed, of a united party. It may as well be frankly confessed at the outset that upon one subject, the Fiscal ques- tion, there is some small disagreement within, the party. A few members can at present consent to go no further than the authorised Balfour pro- gramme, while the great majority are enthusias- tically in favour of "gcing the whole hog," with Mr. Chamberlain. The demeanour of Monday's meeting was a convincing corroboration of this view. Hostile criticisms of Mr. Chamberlain's scheme, it is true, were vigorously cheered, but by whom? By a small but noisy knot of Radi- cals at the rear of the hall and in the back seats of the galleries. These persons gave expression to their antipathy to Mr. Chamberlain, but, it Is significant to note, when Mr. Balfour's views were expounded, these Radical visitors observed a dis- erect silence. In all other respects, however, the meeting manifested its unwavering support of Mr. Yerburgh as the representative of Chester. The member's manly candour and straightforward method of expressing his convictions touched: a sympathetic chord in the audience, who mutually agreed to differ on one point, because tfiey were in so complete accord with their member in all other respects. They realised that they agreed with him on ninety-nine points out of a. hundred, whereas, if they allowed his Radical opponent to be returned, they would be in total disagreement with him upon every oonceivablc, subject, includ- ing the Fiscal policy. It is well, in the present st-sto of parties, Unionists should attach more im- portance to the multitudinous subjects upon which they are agreed than to the isolated instance in which they happen to differ. The present is above all others the time, not to "¡¡lit into fragments, but to consolidate the great Unionist party. That party was called into being at a grave crisis in the nation's history, when a fatal policy of separation and disintegra- tion was brought forward with masterly subtlety by the Old Parliamentary Hand." The Unionist party should be proud to reflect that they. and they alone, were the men who staved off that national calamity. The peril has, how- ever, only been staved off, not entirely removed. The same dangerous ambitions for an Irish Parliament and a separate, independent Irish nation exist to-day across St. George's Channel. And not there alone, for there arc thousands of English, Welsh and Scottish Radicals who are reckless enough to make this concession to Ireland. There can be no doubt of the intentions and aspirations of the Nationalists. Their speeches to-day breathe the same intractability tho same yearnrigs for a Home Rule Parliament, which would be the beginning of the end of our cherished Empire. Another equally potent argu- ment for the retention of the Unionist party and the Unionist Government in power is the delicate situation of affairs in the Far East, where Russia and Japan arc probably on the eve of an earth-shaking struggle. As the ally of the latter, we are bound by treaty obligations to be involved in the deplorable fray if any other Power inter- venes. The position will, in any event, be ex- ceedingly delicate, and demands sound statesman- ship. wholly apart from mere questions of partizan policy. Supposing the reins of Government were handed over to the Radicals, can we expect sound statesmanship from Sir Henry Campbell- Bannerman, the man who would snatch a party advantage at the cost of the Empire's interests, as demonstrated by his action immediately before the South African war? In any international imbroglio that might ensue, the first question Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman would ask him- self would be, not what was best for the service of the British Empire, but what would be best for the electioneering purposes of the Radical party. That is not statesmanship, and the pro- fessor of such a doctrine is unworthy and unsafe to be entrusted with the destinies of an Empire. In view of these two considerations, therefore, and leaving out of the question subjects of important domestic interest, it is clearly the duty of the Unionist party to close up their ranks and present a united front to the insidious attacks and blandishments of the Opposition. Unity was the keynote of Monday's meeting at Chester, and every Unionist who has the welfare of the party at heart ought to strive for the continuance of that unity, which will again return Mr. Yerburgh as the member for Chester.

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