Lord R. Churchill, for example, who resumed the debate on
Tuesday, after Lord E. Fitzmaurice had answered Mr. Gibson and some of the smaller fry, and after Mr. Chaplin had taunted Mr. Gladstone with the depth of his insincerity, declared that the Premier's speech was "an announcement in the most solemn and definitive manner of their final and definitive abandon- ment of General Gordon." The speech reminded him of that of a Roman governor who 1,800 years ago washed his hands in the face of the multitude. He maintained that the General had not been supported, and that if British troops on his first arrival had been "advanced up the Nile," his first success at Khartoum would have been permanent. The Tories supported the expedition to Tokar as an expedition to Berber ; and surely it was as right to pour out life to defend "a great personality," as to defend a dirty port on the Red Sea. [Incidentally he observed that the Premier's speech of Monday in defence of the "Christian hero" was the worst he ever delivered, while that in defence of the "seditious blasphemer Bradlaugh "was the best.] Except to go to Berber, there was no use in the slaughter of those
brave Arabs. The Premier promised action in October; but would the Mahdi wait for him P or was he perhaps not making prepara- tions to oppose the Mahdi's advance P Then he proposed to enter a Conference, but that Conference would prove a Frankenstein. As to the charge of desiring a transfer of power, said Lord Randolph, he did desire it. He wished to transfer it to a party which would restore order in Egypt, repulse the 31ahdi, and so stop a general htahommedan rising, and would take Egypt under British protection, "extending the might of Britain over that disturbed land for a time." As to the Reform Bill, reform was no longer a party ques- tion; and if power were transferred, the Opposition would treat it on a more complete and larger basis. Lord Randolph concluded a.0 exceedingly impudent, but spirited and powerful speech, in which for the first time he spoke as a regular leader of the party, by declaring that as to Egypt the odds against the Premier were so great "that he must either submit or resign."