13 JANUARY 1906, Page 1

We desire to draw the attention of Unionist Free-trade voters

to a consideration of special importance. It is essential in the interests both of the Union and of Free-trade that the Liberals shall secure an overwhelming majority at the polls. If they do—if, that is, they secure a majority of thirty or forty over the Protectionists and Irish combined—the causes of the Union and of Free-trade will be secured, and there will be no risk of those two questions being exposed either to the chances of another General Election, or to any trafficking between the Protectionists and the Nationalists. If the Liberals have not a majority which will enable them to retain office free from the dictation of the Irish party, they must resign ; but what security have we that Mr. Chamberlain will not come into power with the intention of passing Home-rule under one alias and Protection under another ? No thinking man will deny that the political reckless- ness and want of scruple which he has shown in recent years make such a programme a possibility ; while Mr. Balfour's attitude on the Fiscal question points, we regret to say, to the probability that he would acquiesce in any policy which could obtain sufficient support in the House of Commons. He will, we fear, be always on the side of the big Parliamentary battalions.