3 DECEMBER 1904, Page 19

On Thursday the inaugural meeting of the Unionist Free. Trade

Club was held at Devonshire House. As, however, the meeting was called for the transaction of business only, the speeches were of a formal character. We have dealt with the meeting and its political significance elsewhere, and will only say here that the membership of the Club is a complete answer to those who have represented the Duke of Devon- shire as a political Robinson Crusoe, marooned on a desert island with a single faithful follower in the shape of the Spectator. Not only are the Club's vice-presidents—Lord Goschen, Lord Balfour of Burleigh, Lord James of Hereford, and Lord George Hamilton—men whom the country as a whole trusts and respects, but the General Council, which numbers over a hundred, is composed of persons to whom even the most violent partisan could not refuse the title of men of "light and leading." Among them there are some twenty-four Members of Parliament and twenty-three Peers. The latter are by no means mere agrestes proceres, but men