20 MARCH 1880, Page 2

Mr. Gladstone's speech on Thursday in the Free Church at

Corstorphine, three miles from Edinburgh, was chiefly devoted to refuting Lord Beaconsfield's allegation that the Liberal Government had bequeathed to him special difficulties in his Asiatic foreign policy. He pointed out that Lord Northbrook, who was treated in the Afghan Blae-book as originating these difficulties, had been created an Earl by Lord Beaconsfield. on his return to England, before he knew how neces- sary it would be to insist on the fatal character of Lord Northbrook's Afghan policy. Further, as late as the summer of 1877, Lord Salisbury led the House of Lords to believe that no material change in the Afghan policy of the previous Viceroyalty had been made, and that the policy which is now so much condemned was still being carried out. Certainly this was not true ; but it showed how little disposed the Government then was to trace back its Asiatic difficulties,.. as it afterwards did, to the errors of its predecessors. In point of fact, Mr. Gladstone showed that what the Liberals did bequeath to their successors was a safe and cautious Asiatic policy, involving no danger; and that the dangers into which the Government have precipitated themselves, have been exclu- sively dangers of their own deliberate choosing, of their own. making as well as their own encountering.