8 AUGUST 1885, Page 1

Lord Randolph Churchill is evidently bent on being a sensa-

tional Minister. Some two centuries ago a learned English Jesuit wrote a book to prove that the classics were written by monks in the Middle Ages. And when the critics exposed the extravagance of his thesis, he asked, "what was the use of getting up to study at five o'clock in the morning if, at the age of fifty, he was to think like other men ?" There have been men in political life who, having sown a considerable quantity of wild oats in Opposition, have developed into sober Ministers on reaching office. But Lord Randolph Churchill clearly can- not see the use of having been the enfant terrible of his party in Opposition if he is to act like other men on becoming a Cabinet Minister. He shows the same lack of any sense of responsibility in office which distinguished him as leader of the Fourth Party, which may also be called the Party of Four. The facts and figures of his Thursday's speech on the Indian Budget were supplied to him by competent authorities, and the upshot of it is that there is a deficit of 24,950,000, caused partly by de- pression of trade, but chiefly by the war preparations rendered necessary by the threatening conduct of Russia on the Afghan frontier. This deficit the Government propose to meet partly by a loan of 23,500,000 stock, yielding 02,992,000 net, partly by drawing on the balances and the Famine Fund, and partly by leaving 21,500,000 over till next year. In addition to this, Lord Randolph stated that the Government proposed to make an annual addition of nearly £2,000,000 to the expenditure of the Indian Government in the military department. So far the Indian Secretary was dealing with a policy laid down for him by others. But Lord Randolph Churchill is nothing if he is not original, and he rushed off from the tame field of finance to an unexpected and bitter attack on Lord Ripon's administration, which he contrasted unfavourably and offensively with Lord Lytton's. This performance was effected in the old style of flippancy and ignorance by which Lord Randolph made his repu- tation, and drew down a severe rebuke and castigation from Lord Hartington, who exposed the gross ignorance as well as unprecedented conduct of the new Indian Secretary.