13 JANUARY 1906, Page 3

We cannot attempt to deal fully with the mass of

election addresses and speeches issued and delivered during the week, and must confine ourselves to those which call for special attention. Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman's address, issued last Saturday, is in the main a review of the achieve- ments of the late Government, which he describes as a " well- nigh unbroken expanse of mismanagement ; of legislation conducted for, the benefit of privileged classes and powerful interests ; of wars and adventures abroad hastily embarked upon and recklessly pursued." Discussing the Fiscal issue, the Prime Minister denounces Protection as not only bad economy, but as an agency at once immoral and oppressive, involving the exploitation of the community in the interests of favoured trades and financial groups, and impairing purity of administration. "An Empire united' on a basis of food- taxes would be an Empire with a disruptive force at its centre." In the final paragraph the Prime Minister gives assurance of the maintenance of a substantial continuity in foreign policy. The absence of all reference to Home-rule in the address has been freely commented upon ; but little capital can be made out of this omission, in view of the explicit assurances given by those Cabinet Ministers whose connection with the Government lends it its chief weight and stability. For ourselves, indeed, we deem that omission to be proof absolute of what we have always said,—namely, that Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman intends no more than his colleagues to introduce Home-rule legislation. Had such been his inten- tion, he must, in common honesty, have alluded to the matter in his address.