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Family Notices


*---------------., MR. BAXTER…


MR. BAXTER AT ARBROATH. The oratorical fervour—we had almost called it ferocity—which springs from chagrin and aims at office was well exemplified in Mr. BAXTER'S late harangue to his open-mouthed constituents at Arbroath. Like the testy prophet of Ninevah, 1:L,. BAXTER did well," in his own opinion, to be angry," and based his political disnlea- sure upon grounds as unworthy and as petty as those which roused the prophet's eensxirnble ire. It was all as clear and intelligible as the per- formances of Messrs. IIASXELYOT: and COOKE— and, to be just, about as free from detailed sham and organised deception. I quote," quoth the right hon. magician, from The Statistical Abstract of the United Kingdom, published by the Board of Trade, the following figures, show- ing the actual amount of national expenditure during the last five years, and the corresponding figures for the previous five years, when the Liberals were in power under Mr. GLADSTONE. The figures for the five years of Tory rule are as under:—1S75, 1876, £76,G21,773; 1877, 1878, £82,403,HJ5; 1879, £85,107,789; total of five years' expenditure under Tory rule, .£39C,8SG,32:1:; average of the five years, The figures for the five years under a Liberal Government are as fol- lows:—1870, £GS,FG,1,752; 1S71, £ 69,548,539;! 1872, £71,490,020; 1873, £70,7H,.H8; 1874,1 £76,-166,.510; total for five years under Liberal rule, £ 357,<>S4,2G9; average of five years, £71,416,853. You will observe that in round numbers this shows an increase of eight millions." Hey, presto !—the thing was done. There could be no doubt of it, and the right hon. gentleman bowed gracefully amid a running fire of Arbroathian cheers. The figures lack the charm of novelty they arc rather musty, and a trifle old; but they possess an accuracy which compares favourably with that. of Mr. BAXTER'S normal asseverations. It is the tricky use to which they were put which arouses our critical defiance. The right hon. member observed with truth that the Conservative five years showed an increase of eight millions over the Liberal five years, but—to turn one of his ow n phrases in upon himself—" rash and wrong-headed man as he is, he did not venture to assert that, had the Liberals remained in office during the last five years, the national expenditure would have remained at the same average of £71,416,853 which it stood at during the years 1870-74. Further, he did not trouble himself—ingenious man!—to explain "how OJ-to use one of Dr. terms—" it was done." He did not take the gaping Abroathians by the hand and lead them through the thorny and expensive paths of Liberal policy and legislation. He did not show them how the increase he deprecated had been the constantly growing increment of the long list of Liberal misdemeanour which led, in 1874, to the disgrace and the disruption of the Glad- stone Government. He did not recapitulate the sums which the Conservatives had been in duty bound to spend upon the renovation of a "phantom fleet," and the resuscitation of a skeleton army." He did not so much as allude to the extravagant expenditure entailed by the Liberal Education Act. He never mentioned that the general :'ise in wages had necessitated increased soldiers, and the sailors' pay to the tune of nearly £5,000,000, as between the years 1873-4 and 1878-9 alone. He told the truth, but not the whole truth. He was guilty of a political suppressio veri. He pointed with dis- ingenious severity at the eight millions but he did not observe that, had the Liberals been in office, we should have been involved in a European war, and the increased expenditure would have been not eight millions, nor eighteen millions, but eighty millions. But it is time to examine some of Mr. BAXTER'S other charges. Is it not the case," asked Mr. BAXTEP., that the present Government have added more than twenty millions sterling to the unfunded debt p" Quite true, and the present Government take credit to themselves for the transaction. If Mr. BAXTER will be at the pains of perusing the an- nexed figures—reproduced a pamphlet, issued with the sanction of the Conservative's Central Oií-ice-he will be in a position to realise why the Government deem increase of the un- funded debt a thing to be proud of. In the five years, lS¡VO-J, the Liberals Paid off permanent debt £ 15,780.000 Paid off iioating debt. l.'liziooo Increased loans, about 2,000,000 Total £ 22,197,000 In the Ji ve years, 18715-[1, the Conservatives Paid of? permanent debt £ 27. C25 C0A Paid off floating debt Increased loans, about 17.000,000 Total £ 3?,G25,000 Deduct increase of floating debt 21,677.000 It follows :— *00° (1). That the Conservatives paid off of debt more than the Liberals did in the same length of time. 1 (2). That the Conservatives increased the float- ing debt by X- Mr. BAXTER will be good enough to notice and in this lies the mainspring of Conservative content—that the said increase of £ 21.677,000 is accounted for thus :— (A.) By loans to local authorities (inclusive of a large sum ad- vanced to School Boards for building purposes), on pood security, and regularly repaid with good interest 012 it"} 0^0 (B). By Suez Canal Shares pur- chase money, also in course of repayment, with interest ?, £ 07 COO' (C). By yofcas of Credit bonds, to be repaid ia the threo ye.rs end- itg T),:):)j. C:}-) £ 21,oco If he has carefully followed the je figures, BAXTER cannot very well help recognising that the Conservatives have cause for congratulation in the facts (1). That they paid off more of debt than the Liberals did, and (2) that by the 3 u Jieious outlay of a large sum, at good interest, and regularly repayable, they relieved the local taxo- and fostered the inception and the completion of useful public works.

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------_.._-__-CHURCH EXTENSION.

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