13 JANUARY 1906, Page 1

But if a " Home-rule-cum-Protection " Ministry were formed with

a Parliamentary majority, the case would indeed be desperate, for to the legislation proposed by such a Government the House of Lords would offer but a feeble resistance. Apart from this, and thinking of the Fiscal issue alone, it is essential to register such a plebiscitary decree against Protection that it shall not be able to rear its head again in this generation. If that is accomplished, it will be possible for Unionist Free-traders to begin the work of reorganising the Unionist party on a Free-trade basis. But to secure this, the defeat of Balfourism and Chamberlainism, of Retaliation and Protection, must be overwhelming. Therefore Unionist Free-traders must not be content with working for a moderate victory, and must not be afraid of the Liberals being too strong in the next Parliament. On the contrary, they must realise that it is to their essential interest that the Liberal majority shall be as large as possible and independent of Irish votes. That is the result which will secure absolutely the great causes they have at heart, and make their twin principles dominate the political situation.