RECONSTRUCTION: A VOICE FROM THE PAST.
[TO THE EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR."] SIR,—In your last issue you invite suggestions for the recon- struction of the Unionist Party. Here at least is a wise word of warning as to what not to do. Lord Russell writes in
March, 1875, as follows :—
"‘ And now let us talk of the state of the nation, or something that all the world understands.' So says Squire Western with his usual wisdom. I am about to follow his example. The Whig party has hardly ever been so discomfited. Still there is a course which, perhaps not in my life-time, but before very long, may lead them to permanent success. I should say this way consists in holding fast by sound principles, and never giving up, as Disraeli used to do, the support of good measures and resist- ance to bad ones, in the vain hope of getting the assistance of the extreme Radicals, or the ultramontane Catholics, or the Homo Rulers, or the men of a crotchet, in hopes to carry a snap motion. I say this because I see there has been a very large minority in support of one of the worst private interests I know of and which I always resisted If you and Hartington and Forster and Selborne, and some two or three others, Goschen and Wodehouse, &c., will get together and nut a curb on these mischievous and
unprincipled motions, the character of the Opposition will be raised. If not, I shall never again enter the House of Lords."— " Life of Earl Granville," Vol. II., p. 152, by Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice.
Sandybrook Hall, Ashbourne.
2.5.—But for your having stopped the Fiscal policy con- troversy, one would be tempted to quote the delightful passage on p. 238, Vol. IL, giving Chamberlain's wind-up of the debate on " Fair-trade " in 1881, in a speech in which he so effectively trampled underfoot the ancient fallacies of the Protectionist.