11 FEBRUARY 1905, Page 3

Friday's papers contain a manifesto of Liberal policy put forward

by Lord Spencer in the shape of a letter to Mr. Corrie Grant, which, according to the Daily Mail, was issued after a Conference of Liberal leaders at Spencer House. For ourselves, we should have thought that the defeat of Pro- tection, and the turning out of a Government which has allowed the Army to drift into its present condition, were a sufficient plan of campaign for any Opposition. There is, however, nothing rash, indiscreet, or exaggerated in Lord Spencer's declaration of policy, and no attempt is 3ns.de to imitate that egregious document, the Newcastle

Programme. There are things in Lord Spencer's letter with which, no doubt, Unionist Free-traders will not agree, but nothing to cause alarm or to prevent their co-operation in the defence of Free-trade,—the main issue before the country. Strenuous opposition both to the Chamberlain policy and to Mr. Balfour's Retaliation proposals is the main note of Lord Spencer's letter. In regard to education, a policy of public control and the removal of tests is fore- shadowed. Measures of reform in regard to local taxation and licensing are also promised, and among the duties enumerated for the new Government are the putting a stop to Chinese labour after the expiration of existing contracts, the grant of representative and responsible government to the Trans- vaal and Orange River Colonies, the extension of the prin- ciple of self-government in Ireland, and the restoration to the Trade-Unions of the powers they had before the Taff Vale decision.