3 DECEMBER 1904, Page 19

It is impossible for us to keep pace with the

flood of oratory on Fiscal and other topics which deluged Thursday's papers. We can only allude in passing to Lord Rosebery's amusing speech, delivered at the St. Andrew's Day Festival of the Royal Scottish Corporation, on Scottish history and the secret of Scottish success ; and to Mr. Asquith's masterly dis- section of Protectionist assumptions and fallacies at Southend. Room, however, must be found for some account of Mr. Chamberlain's delightful and genial speech at Birmingham on Wednesday night. The occasion was the annual dinner of the past and present students of the Queen's Faculty of Medicine, and Mr. Chamberlain, who attended as Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, enlivened his tribute to the great services of the medical profession with some diverting autobio- graphical experiences. Sir Frederick Treves had enlarged on the dangers of indulgence in ices, smoking, and drinking. In reply to this warning, Mr. Chamberlain offered his hearers a little of the practical experience of a layman. "For at least fifty years of a life which had extended considerably beyond that period he had eaten ices whenever he could get them—penny ices being barred ; he had smoked whenever he had nothing else to do, and generally when he had something to do; and he had consumed in moderation such alcoholic fluids as he now saw before him, and had found them to be beverages which, in his case, cheered, but did not inebriate. As a result of that prolonged experience, he was happy to be able to assure them that his digestion was as good as ever it was, and quite sufficient for his purposes." Mr. Chamberlain, whom we must congratulate on his return home in such good health and spirits, maintained throughout a laudable abstinence from Fiscal questions, and quoted with great effect Dr. Pasteur's remark that, although higher education must always be reserved for a small number, it was upon that small number, and upon its elect, that the prosperity, glory, and ultimate supremacy of a people depended.