5 SEPTEMBER 1885, Page 1


TORD HARTINGTON'S speech at Waterfoot this day I week,—the first speech in the new Parliamentary campaign 'carrying any authority with it,—was very calm, clear, and sagacious. Lord Hartington defended the resignation of the last Government, partly on the technical Constitutional ground that this was the recognised mode of dealing with a rejec- tion of the financial proposals of the Government, but partly also on the solid ground that they were embarrassed by an unscrupulous Opposition, aided by the Parnellites, which left them very little chance of carrying, at the end of a 'difficult Session, the renewal of so much of the Irish Crimes Act as they believed to be essential to the good of the country. On the subject of the abuse of the power of a minority, Lord Hartington remarked :—" It may seem something of a paradox, notwithstanding it is true, that the weaker the Opposition is, the more mischief it has in its power to do. Responsibility checks faction. An Opposition which expects and anticipates to be speedily called to the administration of affairs is under a sense of responsibility, and is not inclined to adopt factious and vexatious proceedings, which may be the only resource of an Opposition which feels it is hopelessly excluded from power." " A certain amount of inquisitiveness, not much tempered by discretion ; a great deal of ignorance, accompanied by unlimited assurance ; a good deal of fluency, some obstinacy, a total disregard to the wishes and will of the majority, coupled with an equal disregard to the true interests of the nation,— these, gentlemen, form a sufficient stock-in-trade for an Opposi- tion which is determined at all hazards, even at the cost of the interests of the nation, to thwart and embarrass the Govern- ment." And he pointed out that it was only because the Liberal Opposition had deliberately refused to copy these tactics that the present Government had been able to pass the measures of which they are boasting.