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CURRENT POLITICS. IMPORTANT SPEECH BY MR. CIUMBERLAIlf. Mr. Chamberlain, speaking at the Chamber of Commerce dinner at Wolverhampton on Wednesday night, in responding to the toast of Her Majesty's Ministers," said the toast had no political signifi- cance, but he accepted it on the part of the represen- tatives of a great commercial interest in recognition of their duty in support of the Government in upholding British interests and in securing prosperity for British trade. It was upon this trade that our Empire depended for its very existence, and therefore the first duty of the Government was to maintain this mighty trade against foreign competition. All they asked was a fair field and no favour, con- tending that there was a great prospect of increased trade in dealing with countries where a free policy was adopted than with countries under a foreign flag. And they should endeavour to induce other countries to maintain the open door in those foreign lands over \vh:eh they exercised control. We had been on the brink of war with France, from which we were only saved by the firmness of the Govern- ment with the almost unanimous support of the British people. We had earned our right to be let alone and intended to maintain it. Another diffi- culty with France and a source of danger was being averted by an agreement arrived at with respect to our boundaries on the West Coast of Africa. Dealing with the recent French claims in Shang- hai, he said the justice of our opposition was shown by the fact of those claims being resisted by other nations. They were opposed by Ger- many and hy Japan, and strenuouslyres:sted by the United States. That last significant note- worthy fact he hoped would prove historical in helping forward the unity interests of the Anglo-Saxon race. He was pleased to know that several men of influence in France, and some of the more respectable journals, had suggested that the opportunity should be taken to come to an amicable agreement between the two countries on subjects which might cause irritation in the future. That desire, if expressed, would be, he was sure, met halfway by the British Government. Those who endeavoured to bring home to the French people the true mind and wishes of the English nation towards that country did more in the cause of peace than men like Mr. Morley, who represented that England would always give way to pressure, if pressure only continued long enough. Turning to Madagascar, lie expressed a belief that the dispute there would be amicably settled. In explaining the hollowness of French claims in New- foundland, he said it was one of those cases in which all that was required was a large dose of common sense and a small dose of compensation to bring about an amicable settlement. Summing up the work of the Government, he said the independence of Crete was substantially estab- lished, the cruel rule of the Khalifa in Egypt wa» destroyed, and in China we maintained a fair share of the possession in that country, and secured the principle of the open door, and, whilst witnessing without jealousy German expansion, we should will- ingly welcome their co-operation to secure the general adoption of that principle. SIR >1. IJICKS-BEACH ON" HOME AND FOREIGN POLTTICX. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, speaking at Bristol on Wednesday night, said he did not think any country was better served in naval and military services, and it would be his duty to secure that that state of preparedness should continue. He claimed with confidence that the Government stood high in the l'stinmtion of their countrymen. He did not wish to triumph over the position of her Majesty's Opposi- tion, which was composed of a number of chance atoms without a leader and without a policy. It was, he said, impossible to exaggerate the im- portance of the Irish Local Government Bill, and he was sanguine as to its results, and asked them not to be too anxious as to the results of its immediate opera- tion. Continuing, Sir Michael said Lord Eosebery's resignation of the Liberal leadership was due to dif- ferences with his colleagues on foreign questions. Sir William Harcourt and Mr. Morley had also re- nounced the leadership, and the party without leaders and without a policy could not command the confidence of the country. Referring to the foreign policy, he said they must remember other nations' ambitions, and while main- taining our own interests we should be careful not to take upon ourselves greatetburdeni than we could bear. -Jsp,, IMPORTANT LETTER FROM SIS W. IIARCOURT. Thursday's issue of Young Wales, a Welsh monthly, contains a letter from Sir William Har- court on the subject of Welsh Disestablishment. In his communication, addressed to the editor, Sir Wil- liam says My interest in Young Wales was greatly quickened by my visit to Aberystwith in the autumn. I was much delighted by the breezy spirit of energy and youth which welcomed me on that occasion. As age advances men's thoughts turn more and more to I those who are to come after us. As to Welsh Disestablishment, my opinions are sufficiently well known, and I do not think I could add anything to them. I had the honour of coming fresh from Hawarden with the authority of Mr. Gladstone in the first speech I ever made in Wales, in support of the candidature of Mr. Lloyd-George at Car- narvon, to declare for the first time the official adhesion of the Liberal party to the principle that the Church in Wales must cease to exilt as an Establishment.' The late Government, of which I was a member, did their best to redeem that pledge during their brief tenure of office. I note the misgivings and alarm at the turning aside of a section of the party to dance to the strains of Jingoism, and the fear lest the prevalence of this unhappy spirit should again, as it has so often before, obstruct progress and paralyse reform. It gives me. however, lively satisfaction to know that Young Wales is not impregnated and leavened with the mesmeric influences of Jingoism, but stands firm by the creed of the great men of old time and our fathers who begat us.' In that faith, you may be well assured, you will always find my instant sympathy and support." MR. MORLEY AT ARBROATII. Mr. John Morley, M.P., speaking at a meeting held on Wednesday at Arbroath in connection with the proposed national memorial to Mr. Gladstone, said it was surely desirable that they should show, in the face of generations to come and in the face of Europe, that there was a common movement of the national mind for the commemoration of so lofty an.-i elevated a career. Such an occasion as that on which they were met showed that after all, whatever differences might divide us, we were a united nation and it was a good thing for each one of them to know that lie was capable of feeling reverence and admiration, for a high character when such a character presented itself.


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