12 OCTOBER 1850, Page 1


Acncrwunal. meetings are assuming a new, an important, and a cheering character, as sources of stirring and hopeful counsel to the farming world. While Castle Hedingham, whence Mr. Disraeli proclaimed his aggressive policy as a substitute for the old dogged Protectionism, does not resound to the voice of any so illustrious spokesman, but only murmurs a plaint from humbler lips, Worcester, Bury, and other places, show new life among the landlord class. Nor do we attach too great importance to particu- lar instances, for the instances are of a nature to be a sign of more behind. When Lord Ward proclaims that the time is past for making a parade of despondency, that agriculturists laust exert ..themielves, and that landlords must supply the needful aid; we may be sure that an example is set in Worcestershire which will be not rarely followed. Sir John .Pakington talks in a similar strain. So in Lancashire, Lord Stanley echoes the old assertion of the Free-traders, that farmers have by no means attained the limit of improved culture, that those 'who have• not sufficient capital must cease to be farmers, and that such demand for capital as is needed for permanent or long- , enduring improvements must be supplied by landlords. The voice - of Disraeli is silent. Have the leading Protectionists come to the sound conclusion that the aggressive policy which they invented last session, but could not shape into a consolidated form of action, is impracticable ? It might be conjectured that they have so re- solved ; and that, as men of honesty and good sense, they recog- nize the necessity of not diverting the farmer from his proper work to agitate for unattainable objects and vain policies. But what is the Protectionist party without Stanley and Disraeli P It is scarcely too ffiuch therefore to say that the Protectionist -leaders have transferred their influence from their own body to that of practical improvers ; a fact which in itself implies a total change of policy. The future course which the leaders may suggest to their party is not indicated. It is still open to them, for instance, to follow out, nay to extend Mr. Disraeli's scheme of financial revolution; or they may astound the Government and country with some great and comprehensive measure of practical :utility. Since Lord John Russell has expressly foresworn com- prehensive measures," as such, the whole legislative policy of ,Ormi Britain and Ireland is open to any party that pleases to take up measures of a higher grade than parish business ; and we can imagine many such that do not involve any questions of abstract -political principles,—such as really beneficial plans of financial re- form, greatly improved plans of colonization, immense improve- ments of laws regulating land and labour, or a practical improve- ment of the Poor-law.