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1880.]

MR GLADSTONE AT. THE ROYAL ACADEMY.

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"Irish party” intend to make themselves heard and attended to. Lord F. Cavendish and I then congratulated the Speaker, and the House adjourned. Symptoms of dissatisfaction are already beginning to show themselves in the Ministerial ranks.

May 1.–At the Royal Academy dinner to-night, Gladstone said that if he had any strength left for his great task, it was due to the kindness with which his distinguished friends (Granville and Hartington) had enabled him to enjoy comparative repose during the last five years; and now, having borne the burden and heat of the day, they had ceded to him the honour which they might justly have claimed for themselves! I wonder how they liked his partition of the oyster. Hartington, later in the evening, said to me, “I congratulate you on having less work before you; and I rather congratulate myself on getting out of the hardest part of my own.” I presume he does not mean to take much part in the work of the House now.

It is doubtful whether there is really much love lost between the "three great statesmen," notwithstanding the prayer of the Nonconformist minister that they might “all hang together.” Amen," said a voice in the congregation. “I mean," said the minister, " that they may hang together in accord and concord.” " It doesn't matter what sort of a cord it is,” replied the voice. The news of the day is, that a change has taken place in the proprietorship of the · Pall Mall Gazette.'

I gave Smith a paper on the subject of the party organisation, and Barrington lent me some good remarks

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on the defects of our party organisation in Scotland. There is a great deal to be done. It is my notion that we ought to have a small committee of parliamentary leaders, who should keep themselves in constant communication with the managers of the Central Association. Much might be done, and many mistakes avoided, if we were better informed as to the feelings of the party throughout the country. The writer of the paper points out very well the mischief resulting from the want of communication between the Conservative landowners in Scotland and their general unacquaintance with the feelings of their tenantry. He also gives an interesting account of the ecclesiastical parties, and complains of the mistakes made by us in passing the Church Patronage Act. He attributes much of the recent Liberal success to the efforts of Dr Rainy, Principal of the college through which the Free Church clergy have passed for now more than twenty-five years. The Episcopalian landowners stand apart from, and know little of the opinions. of, the ecclesiastical bodies. The Free Church will not unite with Established, because they would lose the buildings they have erected throughout the country, which would become the property of the proprietors.

“ on whose lands they stand.” (Is this so?) The U.P., who seceded in the last century, have always been strongly political, and opposed to the connection of Church and State. The leaders of the Free Church, in 1843, though seceding on the Veto and Patronage questions, were not opposed to that connection; but their 1880.]

ORGANISATION IN SCOTLAND,

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successors (and notably Dr Rainy) have taken a more political line, and the majority became keen for union with the U.P. This has been resisted by the religious minority of the Free Church; and the minority have carried the day, because in case of a split they would have remained the representatives of the true Free Church, and would have retained all its buildings and property. The majority have, however, carried a plan constituting ministers of the two Churches (Free Kirk and U.P.) reciprocally eligible for charges in the two denominations; and the by far larger section of the Free Kirk are now in compact union with the Presbyterian Nonconformists of Scotland and England, from whom they had previously been separated by their refusal of Voluntaryism. On the other hand, the minority of the Free Kirk have not coalesced to the same degree with the Establishment, partly because of the question of retention of their special property, and partly from other reasons (such as the liability of feuars to contribute to the buildings of Established Churches); while the abolition of Patronage has rather alienated the Free Kirk, who used to gain by secessions of discontented minorities in individual cases, and has not done much to conciliate the Established Church, which was contented with the previous state. The Free Kirk now see in the Establishment a body of men who have the same privileges as themselves, so far as patronage goes, and have in addition the endowments from which they themselves are excluded. The serious thing politically is, that the Radicals have a close union, and a most able leader (Dr Rainy), while the Establishment Conservatives have “no leader,

, no cohesion, no defensive organisation."

May 3.—Took my seat. Question as to Bradlaugh's right to make an affirmation instead of an oath to be referred to a committee. It seems strange to require an oath from a Christian, and to dispense with it from an atheist. Would it not be better to do away with the members' oath altogether, and make the affirmation general ?

May 8.—Left Wimbledon, and came down to Pynes. The papers are full of Fawcett's speech at Hackney, in which he charges us with having suppressed the bad reports as to the cost of the Afghan war until after the elections. This is of course untrue; but there has been gross laxity somewhere, and the whole system of Indian accounts must be overhauled.

May 10.-Received news of Harcourt's defeat at Oxford. It is important as a proof of the temporary and local character of the causes which led to our great defeat. Harcourt's success at the general election was mainly due to the over-confidence and consequent supineness of Hall's friends, who thought their man so safe that some did not trouble themselves to go to the poll, while others split their votes to bring in Harcourt rather than Chitty.

May 11. — We have had two Ministerial apologies. Fawcett has been compelled to withdraw his charge of the concealment of the Indian deficit, but has done so very ungraciously. Gladstone, on the other hand, has made a most abject and undignified apology to Count 1880.]

THE BRADLAUGH QUESTION.

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Karolyi for his abuse of Austria in his Mid-Lothian speeches.

Our friends in the House of Commons continue hammering at the Bradlaugh Committee, contending that no such business as the appointment of a committee ought to be done till after the Queen's Speech. They are wrong. The House must be constituted, and for that purpose members must be sworn.

If in the process of swearing them a difficulty should arise which the Speaker declines to solve, and which he remits to the House, as he has done in this case, it is clearly competent to the House either to resolve it at once by a direct vote, or to refer it to a committee. We shall not be bound by the committee's report, and shall exercise our own judgment upon it when it is made.

May 19.—Auspicious news this morning! We have won two more seats. Mark Stewart has beaten the Lord Advocate in the Wigtown Burghs, and Mr Crompton Roberts has carried Sandwich (on Hugessen’s becoming a peer) by a majority of about 440 against Sir Julian Goldsmid. The Home Secretary and Lord Advocate are now both without seats. The wildest rumours are afloat as to the efforts being made to find an opening for the former. We shall see. The party meeting held at Bridgewater House. About 450 were present, including not only members of both Houses of the present Parliament, but also members of the late House who have lost their seats. There was an excellent and cheerful tone: Lord B. spoke for an hour and three-quarters re

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