16 NOVEMBER 1907, Page 18

On Thursday evening Mr. Balfour made his much-canvassed speech to

the gathering of Unionist delegates at Birmingham. After declaring that it was impossible to lay down rules as to party loyalty, and making an appeal to "every man not to exercise a tyrannous jurisdiction over those who may feel

difficulties t this or that item of the programme," he declared that Fiscal Reform was gaining strength. [Note the significant fact that Mr. Balfour resolutely refuses to adopt the formula "Tariff Reform."] Next, he insisted that if the Unionists were to come into power to-morrow, their first duty would be to summon another Colonial Conference,—a de- cision which, as we explain elsewhere, carries with it certain conseqnonc,es upon which Tariff Reformers may well look askance. Mr. Balfour went on to lay down four principles which must govern any attempt to broaden the basis of taxation :—" (1) Your duties should be widespread. (2) They should be small. (3) They should not touch raw material. (4) They should not alter the proportion in which the working classes are asked to contribute to the cost of government."