12 JUNE 1841, Page 15


Loan Jona RUSSELL, at the outset of his speech on Sir ROBERT PEEL'S resolution, claimed credit to Ministers for the triumphs which have crowned the British arms in different parts of the world. He did not speak in behalf of the foreign policy of the Government, but alluded to victories as a sufficient vindication of it. This appeal to the vulgar prejudice in favour of what is called "national glory"—the vanity of fighting well, whether in a good or a bad cause, whether for the real interests of the nation or against them—is unworthy of a statesman professing to hold office for the purpose of advancing the principles of rational government. It is irreconcileably at variance with the wiser spirit which dictated an attempt to enlarge our peaceable connexions with other nations by liberating commerce from some of its mischievously-imposed shackles. The principle of fair and peaceful dealing with all nations is incompatible with the buccaneering principle acted upon in China, and the meddling marplot principle acted upon in Afghan- istan and in Syria. Nor can unjust and unwise policy be changed for the better by temporary successes attendant upon costly arma- ments, which have been the main causes of the derangement of our finances. A government acting upon a system of blended truth and falsehood, must look to share the fate of the image composed of brass and clay, in Daniel's vision.