19 JULY 1879, Page 3

Last Saturday, Lord Beaconsfield distributed the prizes gained in the

Westminster Industrial Exhibition of Technical Inven- tions. In praising the exhibition, he ventured the very ques- tionable dictum that in a great many people "vice is sheer in- taclvertenco," and that these persons may be cured of vice by having their attention called to technical inventions. There is no doubt that any kind of healthy mental occupation will prevent a good deal of vice, but it dm not follow from that, that vice is "slicer inadvertence." If you withdraw the gunpowder from a gun, no doubt you prevent the gun going off ; but it does not

low from that, that if you had not withdrawn it, the gun would have gone off by "sheer inadvertence." Idleness con - ducee to vice, of course. But it takes something else besides idleness to make vice. Loyd Beaconsfield might just as well have said that the Jingo foreign policy is sheer inadvertence. Doubtless, a more vigorous domestic policy might, by pre- occupying idle and dangerously disposed brains, have prevented. a good deal of "Jingoism." But it takes something else besides "sheer inadvertence" in relation to domestic matters, to make a foreign policy like Lord Beaconsfield's,—uamely, a good leaven of political malice.