24 AUGUST 1878, Page 2

The absurd and dangerous measure for the repression of German

Socialism which we mentioned briefly last week, seems to be received with less disfavour than we should have hoped by the National Liberals,—who are a little alarmed at the success of eight Socialists, a result of the second ballots, and a good deal more alarmed lest Prince Bismarck should succeed in winning over the Ultramontanes to his side by offering concessions to the Roman Church. If he could do that, be might, they think, get his tobacco monopoly, and his power of administering the army without coming to Parliament for supplies ; and they are much more afraid of that, than of a little persecution of the Socialists. The truth is, however, that the Liberal party cannot desert the very principle which gives them a right to exist, without running a risk far greater than that of facilitating a combination against them by parties of radically different tendencies. If the anti-Socialist legislation is accepted by the Liberals in any form, it will not only be turned against the Liberals themselves, but what is worse, it will take all the heart out of the Liberal following, and make the country feel that the Liberals have betrayed their cause. It would be simply impossible for the National Liberals to make any worse mistake than that of attempting to soften down the Anti-Socialist Bill, instead of downright resisting it, —except, indeed, that of at once committing suicide.