23 DECEMBER 1905, Page 3

We have already insisted on the dangers of regarding the

victory for Free-trade as won before the battle is joined. To this we may be allowed to add a further caution, prompted by a speech of Sir Wilfrid Lawson's reported in Monday's papers. The victory will be won by honest work, not by indiscriminate abuse. Sir Wilfrid Lawson, after declaring that the organised hypocrisy of Toryism had fallen never to rise again, spoke of the mass of " miscellaneous misguided mortality " lying in confusion on the field of battle, including "your philosophic doubters, your Imperial shouters—men with no convictions who ought to have been convicted long ago—your Balfours, your shuffiers, your scuttlers, your pure Balfourians, and your Chinese coolies," &c. Sir Wilfrid Lawson has not the excuse of youth to palliate such ill-conditioned and premature paeans of triumph. In any case, great causes do not need such defences or such defenders.