23 DECEMBER 1905, Page 2

nations. But there was no general tariff, and if it

were to be constructed upon Protective lines, that seemed to him to go outside the scope of his scheme. Mr. Balfour concluded his Defence of Economic Doubt with some general remarks on the danger of Protection. Protection was insular, or it was nothing. " It is alien, therefore, in its very essence and spirit to the Imperial idea, and the Imperial idea is the one which most appeals to me." At the close of his speech Mr. Balfour dealt with the prospects of the Election and the menace of Home-rule, and professed himself totally unable to share Lord Rosebery's confidence in the guarantee presented by the inclusion of Mr. Asquith, Sir Edward Grey, and Mr. Haldane in the Cabinet. They were broken reeds, and he was con- vinced that Home-role would be proposed. We may note that while Mr. Balfour reiterated his declaration that he was a Free-trader, be never spoke of his Free-trade friends, but his "Protectionist friends." For the rest, the drift of his entire speech might be summed up in a single sentence. ' My policy is a half-way house to Protection; therefore all true Free- traders should vote for it.'