24 AUGUST 1878, Page 1

Mr. Cross also spoke, complaining of the anxieties the Ministry

had suffered from the time when "we failed to induce Turkey to yield to the remonstrances of Europe without having recourse to arms," and when, nevertheless, "we thought it right to uphold the right of Treaties, and to show Europe that we at least were determined not to break them." Mr. Cross, after this exordium, which seemed to admit that Turkey was the virtual enemy of England, though she had the letter of the treaty on her side, came round in the most naïf manner to the opposite point of view, treating Russia as the real enemy whom we had to prepare to meet ; and then went on to assume, with all the sanguineness of Ministerial self-complacency, that "peace has been established on a durable basis," and that in "strengthening the bonds" of Eng- land with Turkey, we have done just what was most worthy of us, and most useful for us. After which he soared up into a still higher heaven of his fanciful, we will not say, fools' paradise, and impressed on his audience that the first duty of the Government is to reduce taxation, not only to the level at which they found it, but lower. Are these men moon-struck, or only under a spell, that in the same breath in which they talk of the immense responsibilities of the guarantee of Asiatic Turkey, and the vast benefits which it is to confer, they talk of reducing taxation "not only to the level at which they found it, but lower ?" After all their experience, do they really dream that by mere words spoken, as Mr. Cross calls it, in" the council- chamber of the Sultan,"—words with no swords or guns behind them,—they can undo the habits of centuries, and exorcise the passions of the most dangerous and selfish caste of rulers who ever combined a fanatical faith with predatory habits ?