19 AUGUST 1905, Page 2

The speeches after the banquet were all, of course, in

one tone, the appreciation of France being the more marked from the total absence of provocation to any other Power. Mr. Balfour's was the most important and the best. His allusion to the arrival of the Conqueror as that of a Frenchman was perhaps a little strained, for the great Norman was still a Norseman; but his description of the influence the two countries have exercised on one another, even through their centuries of conflict, was a fine burst of eloquent kindliness, while his defence of armaments as guarantees of peace rose altogether out of the conventional. The peroration, with its hope of a general peace secured by "the warm and perpetual friendship of two great neighbours," raised the occasion to the rank of a great historic event. It was a wise choice, too, which selected Mr. John Morley, with his well-known appre- ciation of France, as spokesman for "the other party," and so made the welcome of the nation as hearty as that of the Government. He also was eloquent, but we hardly know why, when extolling the friendship of the two nations, he put aside the notion of alliance.