2 DECEMBER 1899, Page 19

At Leicester on Wednesday Mr. Chamberlain delivered a speech on

the war which must be regarded as one of the best which even he has ever delivered. It was exactly the speech for a moment of stress, for it showed on every line an energy and a courage about which there was nothing either feverish or boastful. The speech was too packed with striking things to be adequately summarised here, but we may pick out one or two points. Excellent was his tribute to the gallantry and loyalty of Natal. "We shall never forget," said Mr. Chamberlain, "the loyalty and the courage which have been shown by that Colony." As to the future Mr. Chamberlain showed the same wise reserve as Mr. Balfour, He used, however, a phrase which supports entirely the inter- pretation of Mr. Balfours words which we have insisted upon at length elsewhere. "The Boers," said Mr. Chamber- lain, "by their own acts, and not by ours, have created an entirely new situation. They, and not we, have brought us out of the region of conferences and compromises. They have made for us a clean sheet upon which we can write what we please. They have torn up the Conventions to which they owed their independence." This passage must set at rest the doubts raised in certain quarters as to whether the Government had not at some time or other rashly pledged themselves to foreign Powers not to alter the status quo in the Transvaal. Mr. Chamberlain's speech shows, as we have said elsewhere of Mr. Balfour's, that the settlement will be a liberal one, but one within the Empire.