13 JANUARY 1906, Page 1

The constituencies that will poll to-day—notably those in Manchester—are some

of the most important in the country. If the great Lancashire city gives the lead to the nation which we hope and believe she will give, the cause of Free-trade should be secure. Free-trade was nurtured and brought to its full strength in Manchester, and Manchester must strike the first blow in defence of her child. It is specially im- portant that Manchester should reject Mr. Balfour, and show the country that a great working-class constituency has no use for a statesman who, if he is, as we believe, a Chamber- lainite at heart, is not fit to represent it; and who, if he is not a Chamberlainite at heart, has so little of the instinct of leadership and so little independence that he has bent to the storm and not dared to withstand what he believed was a popular cry. We have no feeling of personal animosity towards Mr. Balfour, but both as Unionists and Free-traders we feel that he has forfeited the confidence of the nation. As Unionists, we cannot but condemn the man who betrayed his duty towards the Union by not reducing the over-representation of Ireland when he had the power to do so ; and as Free-traders we must refuse all sympathy and support to the apostle of Retaliation, to the antagonist of true Free-trade, and to the man who wished " God-speed " to Mr. Chamberlain in his propaganda,—for "he that biddeth him God-speed is nartaker of his evil deeds." We trust. then. that Mr. Horridge will receive the support of all Unionist Free-traders, and will be returned for East Manchester. We trust also that Mr. Winston Churchill will be successful in the gallant fight he is making, and that Manchester and Salford will send an unbroken phalanx of Free-traders to Westminster.