13 FEBRUARY 1904, Page 3

In the course of Wednesday's debate Sir Edward Grey made

a speech of characteristic moderation and good sense, which closed with a very useful reminder of the danger of interfering in any way with the fiscal systems of our Colonies. He was followed by Mr. Walter Long, who made what we cannot but describe as an extremely lame and incoherent attempt to defend his action in regard to the attack on Sir John Dickson-Poynder's seat. From this Mr. Long passed on to the fiscal policy of the Government. He defended himself for his approval of Mr. Chamberlain's policy ; but Mr. Long's exposition of the Government policy did not go beyond a few conventional remarks about "dumping." "When in doubt play ' dumping " has become a regular Government motto. Mr. Winston Churchill, who rose after Mr. Long, noticed, ez, propos of Mr. Long's excuse that he only opposed Sir John Dickson-Poynder in his private capacity, that "no one ever could tell whether a Minister was speaking in his private or his official capacity." The President of the Board of Trade said that the Government were prepared to fight for Free-trade, but where would Free-trade have been now if it had been left to the champions of the Treasury Bench ? Mr. Lloyd-George's contribution to the debate was very amusing. "In two recent by-elections two poor Govern- ment cruisers that took refuge in Port Arthur had been allowed by the Government, without a declaration of war, to be torpedoed by the Tariff Reform League."