12 AUGUST 1882, Page 6


T4ORD SALISBURY was meant for a demagogue; after all. There is a peculiar abandon in his speeches to the Bank holiday-makers at Hatfield which we do not find in any of his other addresses. In 1870 be communicated to the fortunate Conservative pilgrims to Hatfield the great principle which underlay the seizure of Cyprus. It was the carrying-out of a de- liberate policy—a policy as old as Elizabeth—of seizing vantage points for the solution of particular questions. It was not right, he told the celebrators of the Bank holiday, to take any individual step of our foreign policy, and criticise it apart. No, he said, "You must rather look upon this as part of a great historic policy, and ask whether England owes much or owes little to that policy having been pursued. We have made efforts to secure a strategic position to a valuable ally " [i.e., the command of the Balkans to Turkey]," we have taken up an important and most valuable Naval station ; we have strengthened so that it is impregnable the only assailable frontier of India" [this was, of course, before the massacre of our representative at Cabul], 14 we have made sure of our colonial possessions in the far South. But these things must not be judged individually ; their strength and merit are that they are parts of a whole, links in a long chain. They are chapters in that great historical policy which ever since the Revolution, I might say ever since the reign of Elizabeth, has been pursued. And if you would judge of their value, you must extend. your view, and gaze upon the prospect as a whole." It was in that speech that he described the impotent and disastrous attack on Afghanistan as " the most momentous Asiatic war which England ever waged," and represented Sir Bartle Frere's invasion of Zululand as " an attack by savages on our colonies which came upon us as out of a thunder-cloud." Last Monday, Lord Salisbury again received a Conservative Working Men's Association at Hatfield, and again entertained it with a romance. He began by describing the present Ministry as "a Ministry coming in on peace principles,"—which it certainly did not.. It came in, no doubt, on principles opposed to some of Lord Salis- bury's wars, but with explicit declarations of its approbation of intervention in other cases where intervention has been severely disapproved by Lord Salisbury, and disapproved for no better reason, that we can understand, than because that intervention, though strictly just, and one sanctioned by treaty, was an intervention unfavourable to what Lord Salis- bury calls England's traditional " friends,"—of whom the chief is Turkey. After describing the Government as one established on Peace principles,—which it never was,—Lord Salisbury goes on to descant on the inconsistency of such a Government "attacking a national party, or at least a so- called national party, using for that purpose Indian troops paid out of the Indian revenue, calling out the Re- serves, moving for a Vote of Credit, employing Cyprus as a place of arms." Lord Salisbury was, of course, aware that he spoilt his rhetoric by his own flash of honesty. He would have described the Egyptian mutineers as a national party, if he could, solely because they are opposed to the present Government ; but the phrase was too conspicuously opposed to all his own convictions to pass his lips without choking him, so he made the reservation which spoiled his invective. Indeed, not only is the Egyptian policy of the present Government not directed against a National party, but it is directed against those who are breaking compact with Europe to the disadvan- tage of the Egyptian people, very much as the Turks were breaking compact with Europe to the disadvantage of Montenegro, when this same Government threatened them with a naval demonstration in the Adriatic and the seizure of the port of Smyrna. Not only, then, is there no occasion for Lord Salisbury's pretended sur- prise, but the Government are now acting in Egypt pre- cisely on the principles on which they have previously acted in Montenegro and in Greece, though they are making greater sacrifices for similar ends, but Lord Salisbury knows that there is no such occasion, for he betrays the secret of his irritation with the foreign policy of the Government. After an attack on their Irish policy, to which we will return presently, Lord Salisbury explains the cause of his re- sentment :—." Hitherto, it has been our practice to do all we could to cultivate the alliance of this country with Turkey, because Turkey has always been a good ally of England, and her interests were in many respects bound up. with our own. We have changed all that, and the outcome of our new policy is this,—that for the sake of obtaining the co-operation of France, and getting a mandate from the Euro- pean Concert,—which is a body in which many Powers take part, and amongst them Russia—for the purpose, I say, of obtaining these two advantages, we have separated ourselves. entirely from our old ally, and have got in exchange, not the French alliance, not the mandate of the European Concert, but the enmity of Turkey." Considering that we got the enmity of Turkey by our promptness in resisting the mili- tary revolt in Egypt, which Turkey had favoured, there is no great wonder in that, if it be true ; but in point of fact, it seems very likely that our so-called enemy will be more easily converted by the promptitude with which we have attacked her creatures and exposed her own duplicity, than she ever would have been by the policy of petting and con- ciliation, which Lord Salisbury prefers. " I have pointed out; the difference," says Lord Salisbury, "between the old and new policies, because it is a serious illustration of the effect of despising your friends, and expecting them to remain true to. you all the same." What Lord Salisbury has always advo- cated, indeed, was to let Turkey break the conditions of the Treaty of Berlin as much as she chose, in order to bribe her, by our connivance in this respect, to become our tool in Egypt, and our ally against Russia. We doubt whether she would have been either the one or the other, even if Lord Salisbury had been allowed to continue that masterly chain of policy which, according. to him, stretches from the days of Elizabeth to the days of Lord Beaconsfield. But whether she would or not, a baser policy can hardly be conceived than that of bribing Turkey, by excusing her bad-faith to other Powers,.

to serve our purposes. We rather judge that whatever absten- tion from injury,—for active help is not to be expected front such a Power,—is to be got out of Turkey, we shall get better by our present open and manly course, than by the disreput- able subterfuges of Lord Salisbury.

With regard to Ireland, Lord Salisbury attacks the Govern- ment on the very worst ground. He denies that the policy of

doing justice to our enemies in Ireland,—i.e., the mass of the Irish people—is right or wise at all ; at least, if removing gross and most unfair inequalities, such as the Irish Protestant Establishment, be in his opinion, as it hardly can help.

being, a matter of justice. " In old times," he says, " we kept to the common principles by which all orders of

society were ruled, and if we gave any encouragement, it was to people who were loyal to England, and riot to those who were disloyal and hated her. You have changed all that. You have done all you can to wound the feelings and alienate the-affections of those on whose support your empire in Ire- land is built, and you have done so to bribe your opponents into obedience to a law which they have not obeyed." Not at all, We have done so, because we knew and admitted that the law which our opponents refused to obey was an unjust law, which we ourselves, under similar circumstances, should have refused to obey ; and we thought that a law of religious in- equality and class-favouritism, which is the law Lord Salisbury thinks one of right policy, was a law disgraceful to the United Kingdom, and quite enough to account for the disloyalty of the Irish people. But of that Lord Salisbury takes no account. Gratify your friends, and mortify your enemies,' appears to be the main principle on which this great statesman would conduct both the internal policy of the Three Kingdoms and the external policy of the whole Empire. On Monday, Lord Salisbury was evidently already hesitating as to his power to carry out the declaration of war which he had threatened to make to the House of Commons. At least he prepared himself in his speech for either the high- handed or the low-handed policy. He was, as the sailors say, when a ship is passing from one tack to another, and has not yet got round, " in stays." Of the Arrears Bill, he said, " It is a dull subject, and I do not think it a measure of very great importance in its practical operation, and I do not know in the least what either House of Parliament will do, but as it is possible that the House of Lords may say, The measure contains, in its present form, principles which are so direct a departure from sound policy, that we cannot sanction them without the authorisation of the people,' I may say a few words on the subject ;" and the few words dilated on the extreme danger of encouraging dishonesty, and bribing men to desist from hiding behind hedges to shoot at you, by giving them leave to cheat their landlords. But Lord Salisbury did not explain how that policy,—wicked as it undoubtedly would be,—differs in principle from his own,— that you ought to favour or protect your friends as much as you can, even when, like Turkey, they are breaking their solemn compacts with others; and to bear hardly on your enemies, so long as bearing hardly on them pleases your friends. We con- fess that this policy, which he approves, seems to us just as wicked as the policy which he so justly condemns but which he fails to connect with any party in the State. However, whether it is common honesty or not for which he had intended to get the Lords to fight, until the opposite policy—the policy of dis- honesty, we suppose,—had gained " the authorisation of the people, '—af ter which he seems to have been well inclined to accept it, Lord Salisbury has, as we now know, discovered his inability to bring his troops to the onset. Whatever evil principles the Arrears Bill may involve, they are not thought by the majority of the Conservative Peers practically important enough to combat even till they get the " authorisation of the people." As a whole, the speech is one of the most thorough dema- gogic speeches we ever read. It admits that " the authorisa- tion of the people" may whitewash what Lord Salisbury himself describes as dishonesty. It urges the doctrine that you ought to favour your friends, even though you think your friends to be acting unjustly ; and it compares the bombardment of the mutineers in Alexandria, who were disobeying the orders both of their own Government and of the Sultan—so far as he dared give his orders publicly,—to the invasion of Zulu- . land by England, which, at the time, Lord Salisbury described as the invasion of Natal by Zululand. It is hardly possible to find a speech fuller of the demagogue's unscrupulous morality than Lord Salisbury's speech at Hatfield ; it surpasses in unscrupulousness even the speech of 1879, when he had not yet convinced himself that "the authorisation of the people" is sufficient sanction for what the Duke of Bueoleugh suavely terms "rascally " legislation.