Lord Salisbury's reply was easy and good-tempered, as it well
might be, for he had no awkward things to defend, and if he had been a man of a different temper of mind he might have indulged in a paean of triumph over the successes of the Ministry. Lord Kimberley wanted to know what was to be our future policy in China. " If the noble Lord wants to know what is the destiny which is impending over China I will ask him to reseal to me what is going on in a certain palace in Pekin, and perhaps in a certain island within that palace. The future of China does not lie in our hands. It still is in the bands of the governing powers of China." Meantime the Government would do the best it could for British interests under the varying circumstances. There had, at any rate, been no want of success on the part of the Government. "I believe if you carefully examine it you will find that during the past year the advantages which this country has gained in China are not only greater than have been gained in a similar time before, but are also greater comparatively than have fallen to the lot of any other country ; and with that we must be satis.
led." Lord Salisbury would say nothing in detail as to the agreement with Germany, but he clearly indicated that an important agreement had been arrived at, and that it tended to promote the friendship of the two nations.