3 DECEMBER 1904, Page 18

Mr. Balfour was the principal speaker at a Primrose League

banquet held at the Hotel Cecil on Monday. Referring to his leadership of the House of Commons, Mr. Balfour said that the task—to which he had often found himself unequal, but never for a moment thought of shirking—would have been impossible but for the loyal and affectionate support which had never been denied him. Modest in regard to himself, Mr. Balfour became positively lyrical, not to say thrasonical, as to the achievements of the Unionist party. "Depend upon it, it is to the Unionist party that the future belongs, because it is we, and we alone, who realise the problems before the country and before the Empire." He entertained no more doubt of their success in the future than he did of the immutable laws of Nature.