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TO THE ELECTORS OF THE CARNARVONSHIRE…

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TO THE ELECTORS OF THE CARNARVONSHIRE BOROUGHS, GENTLEMEN, The Debate upon the Foreign IMllcy ot Government has now reached a point at which it is im- probable that any fresh arguments can be adduced on either side of the question, and having decided to abstain from voting in the coming division, I think it due both to you and to myself to take this opportunity of offering, to you a short explanation of the course which I have felt bound to pursue on this occasion, and to my own position with regard to political questions generally. When at the Election in 1859 I offered myself as a Candidate for yonr suffrages, the political opinions which I professed were those of a Liberal Conservative-a class of politicians which, as is generally understood, and as the name itself implies, cannot be identified with either of the two broad divisions of party, but which differs from the extremes of both, acting to some extent independently of either. The question upon which at that Election the sense of the country was taken was the question of 'Reform' and a full consideration of the general aspect of politics at the time led me to believe that, although wholly agieeing with neither party, my own convictions would be found, upon the whole, more in accordance with the policy which the party of Lord Derby, so far as I could foresee the course of affairs, were likely to pursue, than with that of their political opponents. Experience has shewn me that I was mistaken in this belief. The questions with which the present Parliament has had to deal since it first assembled may be reduced to four classes. 1. The question, of Reform, which was the party question or touch-stone of the last Election. 2. Questions of Financial Policy, involving directly or indirectly thc principlcof Free Trade.. 3. Church and Education questions, involving the principle of religious liberty. 4. Questions of Foreign Policy, involving the right of nations to choose their own form of Go- vernment, and manage their own affairs with- out external interference. The 1st Question, that of Reform, was disposed of at an early period 'of the,present Parliament. The Go- vernment measure proved so defective as to meet with but little support even from their own adherents, and no other has since been brought forward. Upon the three remaining classes of public questions which have since engaged the attention of Parliament, I found, as affairs progressed, that the policy adopted by the present Opposition was less and less in accordance with my own convictions, whilst that of the present Go- vernment was, in the main, such as I could approve and support. Upon all Church and Education questions more especially this was the case, a prominence being given to them by their adoption as party questions, which they had not previously obtained. Upon all questions relating to Foreign Affairs it be- came more and more evideut to me in the course of events, that the policy of the Opposition was irreconci!e- ably at variance with my own sympathies and convic- tions, but as no attempt was made by them as a party to take the sense of the House upon it by a substantive motion, no practical difficulty has until now arisen out of this difference of opinion. With reference to the present question, my reasons for withholding my support from Mr, Disraeli's motion are briefly these. Both parties in the House of Com- mons, and I believe in the Country also, are agreed that neither the honour nor the interest of England require that she should go to war single-handed for the defence of Denmark against an iniquitous aggression. If our endeavours to maintain peace have not been successful, the respouBibility of failure rests, in my opinion, with the other nations upon whose joint action, aa parties to the Treaty of 1852, we were entitled to rely, and whose co-operation would have made war impossible. If, in reliance upon this co-operation, language has been held stronger than would otherwise have been prudent or justifiable, the blame, I think, must attach to those whose desertion of the cause of peace could not be fore- seen, and whose selfish policy has placed us in our present isolated position. Nor do I believe that the influence and consideration of this country have been lowered by the Government, who, speaking in her name, have denounced and stigmatised a great public wrong which they were yet not willing, unsupported, to prevent by armed intervention. A definitive issue, however, having been thus raised by a resolution eensuring the Foreign Policy of the Govern- ment, in which I found myself unable to concur, I felt that the divergence of opinion, to the growth of which I have referred, had at length reached a point at which a distinct explanation of my own course of action, past and future, was due to the Constituency whom I repre- sent; and in addressing to them this explanation, I should also have felt it my duty by replacing in their hands the trust reposed in me, to afford them an oppor- tunity of selecting, if they thought fit to do so, a candidate whose views were more in conformity with their own. This Parliament, however, is now nearly approaching the term of its legal existence, and an election at the present moment would be productive of great and need- less inconvenience to the Constituency. I do not think, therefore, that I should be justified in taking this step. It may be a few weeks only, it cannot be many months, before a dissolution must occur. And I shall IIwait that event in the hope that the decision at which I have arrived will meet with your ap- proval, and in the conscientious belief that I have adop- ted, under circumstances of much difficulty, the only course which I could honourably pursue. I remain, GENTLEMEN, Your obedient Servant, CHARLES WYNNE FINCH. 18, Lowndes Square, July 7th.

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