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betwixt the Elections and his fall, by their votes gave leave to the Gorhowever, it began to appear as if his ernment to introduce the Bill. It Lordship's policy in home affairs con- was also notorious that, throughout sisted simply in doing nothing; the whole course of Lord Palmerwhile, at the same time, the circum- ston's Administration, Lord John stances immediately preceding his Russell has been ever ready to play fall went far to disenchant his sup- the part of mischief-maker. The reporters as to his Lordship's supreme sult has been to widen the breach regard for the dignity of his country. previously existing between these two For ourselves, we do not consider his chiefs of the Liberal party, and to conduct in regard to the Conspiracy exasperate in no ordinary degree the Bill as an intentional desertion of the Palmerstonians against Lord John national honour, but rather as a Russell.
Lord John will never fatal error induced by previous rest so long as Lord Palmerston omissions of duty, and which he is above him, while the Irish Visventured to adopt in consequence of count will certainly not submit a too great confidence in his dicta- tamely to be displaced from his torial power in the House.
post of honour. It is at present The fall of their distinguished almost a drawn race between them, leader from office has loosened the and, considering the advanced years tie which held together the great but of both, the next heat must deheterogeneous Palmerston party. It cide. At present Lord Palmerston is one thing to rally round such a holds the vantage. It is six years man when at the helm of affairs ; it since that noble Lord asserted his is another to adhere to him out of independence, and “took up the office, and when there are no longer running” against Lord John, and pending any questions for the con- during the last three years he has duct of which he is specially suited. completely distanced his rival. Lord For half a century of his political John, in fact, has of late years been life, Lord Palmerston had no follow- nowhere.” It was only after an ing ; all at once, when needed, a great unparalleledly long career in office that party gathered round him; and now Henry Temple rose into notice, and again it has begun to dissolve. Lord ultimately won the Premiership,Palmerston has played too distin- from which, after a reign almost guished a part, when Premier, ever to dictatorial, he has just fallen. The relapse into his old condition of a “scion of the house of Bedford,” on statesman without a following. But the other hand, emerged suddenly into the Palmerston party, as created by an amazing popularity, and reached the elections of 1857, is already a the highest honours earlier than his thing of the past. Its Conservative present rival; but for a good many members have naturally rallied round years his reputation has been steadily Lord Derby, and a considerable num- sinking. Whatever scintillation of ber of its Liberal niembers will re- success may yet possibly be in store turn to their old allegiance under for Lord John Russell
, it is evident Lord John Russell. Ănd thus the that his star has long passed the great Coalition Party of 1855-57 has zenith. Sir Robert Peel latterly come to an end, even as the great eclipsed him even in the estimation Coalition Cabinet of 1853-4 did. Had of the multitude, and, though not the fall of the Palmerston Ministry in the Ministry, was more regarded been accomplished by the Conserva- than the Minister himself. Sir Rotives, the result would have gone far bert's premature death alone saved to consolidate the various sections of Lord John from a coup de grace at the Liberal party. But the chief his hand ; but no sooner had the great agent in his fall was Lord John Conservative chief passed from the Russell, who signalised his opposition scene, than Lord Palmerston began by voting against the very first read- to make his influence felt, and, first ing of the Conspiracy Bill,--whereas rebelling against Lord John's views the Conservatives, anxious to avoid of foreign affairs, finally upset his even the semblance of faction on so Cabinet on the Militia question. On delicate and important a question, the installation of the Coalition Ca
binet, Lord John was forced to be- him master of the position. Never
the subordinate of a subor- theless it is a truth—not much redinate ;” and though he temporarily marked, perhaps, but sufficiently parose to be simply a subordinate, it was tent in its operation—that the same only to fall out of office altogether. In thing, done in the same way, but at truth, for several years past, the old a different time, almost never prochief of Reform has found himself duces the same effect; and that he very much in the shade. Supplanted who tries to revive his popularity in office by the Conservatives in 1852 by simply copying the conduct which -afterwards appropriated by, and first gave it to him many years befiguring insignificantly in, the ill-fore, places his confidence in a broken starred Cabinet of Lord Aberdeen- reed. The traditions of 1832 are next failing at Vienna, and compelled quite out of place in 1858; and when to relinquish in unusual humiliation the real tug of war does come on the his shadowy position in Lord Pal- Reform question, we think that the merston's Government -- the once palm of victory will rest with younger famous "scion of the house of Bed- men, unblinded by Whig traditions, ford" has for the last three years found and who, looking frankly at the facts himself entirely out of office, even of the question, resolve to deal with though his own party be in power, it in a comprehensive manner, and almost without a following of his in a perfect spirit of fair play to all own - and beholding the Liberal classes and interests of the comparty and press rallying in support munity. of a statesman, now his successful So stand the divided forces of the rival, but formerly a subordinate, Liberals. The Russellites look upon whom he ejected from office. Such Palmerston as something very like a are the ups and downs of political charlatan and traitor; and the Pallife. But the last quality that will merstonians regard Lord John as a be quenched in Lord John Russell mischievous meddler and demagogic is his ambition. To end as he is— intriguer. Lord Palmerston's party out of office, without popularity, is that which is least removed from and without a party–having, so far the Conservatives, so far as political at least as externals go, lost all that principle is concerned ; while Lord political good fortune once so richly John Russell is every session drawing showered upon him, would be a deep nearer to the Radicals, and perhaps humiliation. It is the last chapter hopes to appear once more as Premier, of a man's life that stamps the repu- supported by Sir James Graham and tation of the whole. Posterity gene- Mr Cobden. The great motive on rally judges by the last scene. If it his Lordship's part for this divergence be a failure, then the inference is not towards revolutionary democracy is unnatural that former success was the fact that he has nothing to gain but superficial—due more to fortu- in the other direction, owing to the nate circumstances than to the native ground being already occupied by ability of the man. Lord John Rus- Lord Palmerston. The greater part sel does not wish to be so thought of. of the “old Whigs”—who form the It will not be for want of bold effort most respectable and cautious, but, at on his part if he end his career in his the same time, most cliquish section present fallen state. Dum vita est of the Liberal party-adhere to Lord spes. Parliamentary Reform - the Palmerston ; and hence Lord John question which first raised his Lord- Russell can best look for recruits on ship to popularity and power -- is the other side, by bidding for the again about to be the question of the support of the Manchester party, so day; and very probably he looks far as he can do so without entirely forward to it as a means of retriev- alienating the support of the Whigs. ing his fallen reputation, and of enab- The Manchester party, however, are ling him to close his career in a posi- decidedly in a coy mood. The schism ution worthy of his early fortunes. between the Russellites and PalmerIt is natural that he should endeavour stonians has raised this section of the to revive his faded honours by means House into importance, and they will of the question which formerly made not give their alliance without exact
ing its full value. They are in a they have cut the ground from under position to trade upon the exigencies Lord Palmerston in the very quarter of the two other sections of the Li- where his reputation stood strongest. beral party, especially of the Russell- Alike in the Refugee question, the ites, who are more likely to acquiesce case of the “ Cagliari," and the Pass in their terms. They see in the pre- port system, the new Ministry have sent dilemma an opportunity of bend- won very marked triumphs over their ing one or both of the other Liberal predecessors—and that almost insections to their views; and, till this stantaneously. Indeed, judging, betake place, will help to place neither fore the event, we should have held
The Manchester party that so much success, within so short hate Lord Palmerston above any man a time, was impossible ; and that so in the House, and will be especially great a change for the better has loth to support any move made by been already accomplished in each the ex-Premier to replace himself in and all of those questions since the power. With an opposition so di- fall of Lord Palmerston, is a notable vided, and public feeling compara- proof of the rare diligence as well as tively neutral, there is every prospect judgment with which the new Minisof the Conservative Government ob- try have commenced their career. taining a fair trial. The country at the country will soon be convinced present cares little whether the that the Conservative statesmen are Ministry be Whig or Tory. What it bent on doing their work energetiespecially desiderates is, that the cally, thoroughly, and well; and that, Ministry be able and energetic in besides more weighty and ambitious their work ; and as the new Cabinet measures, numerous improvements contains immeasurably more ability will at the same time be effected in of every kind than its predecessor, less prominent departments of the we have no fear that the public will public service, which the Liberal be disappointed by the fruit of their Ministers were contented to leave unlabours.
reformed. Although the pressing quesIt will be allowed that the new Cabi- tions of the refugees, the “ Cagliari,” net have made a good commencement and the passport system, might have They succeeded to office at a time sufficed to absorb the attention of when the temper of the House was ex- a Ministry newly installed, Lord ceedingly irritable, and disposed to be Derby's Government have already unusually exacting. The new Minis- proceeded to investigate the conditers have met this mood with most per- tion of the Consular service-a most fect frankness. Diplomatic documents important branch of our foreign adhave been ordered to be printed for ministration, from which hitherto the information of the House, and the country has not derived proper explanations have been made and value. answers given on all subjects, in a We have said that the new Ad. manner which contrasts favourably ministration will not make the fact with the dictatorial spirit of the late of one of its departments being very Premier, who nevergave any explana- busy an excuse for all the others tions which he could withbold, and standing still. And although foreign who rejoiced to snub and "put down" politics are still complicated by seveall troublesome interrogators of ral questions requiring delicate handministerial policy. And conjoined !ing, and more nearly affecting vital with this frankness and courtesy interests than may be commonly to the House, the measures of supposed, -- though the India Bill the new Cabinet in those delicate makes another large demand upon foreign questions which at present the attention of the Government,engage so much attention, have and though the Budget, which the been so active and so judicious, new Ministers will not take secondthat each new reply by Ministers has hand, has all to be revised and retended to increase the satisfaction of cast--nevertheless, we believe that the House, from the proofs thereby the wide field of Law Reform will afforded of the singular success which immediately be entered upon, and is attending their efforts. In fact, with most satisfactory results to the
community. The Transfer of Land when the Conservatives were in op--the Bankruptcy Laws—and some position. “The maxim of Conserva
“ other portions of our legal system, tism,” as we then said, “is not that will be comprehensively dealt with, changes shall not be made at all, but with the view of improving the law, that they shall not be made premaand lessening the extortionate ex- turely. .. A Conservative's principles pense with which such legal pro- do not debar him from putting forth cesses are at present attended. Lord his hand to modify at times the Chelmsford in the Lords, and Sir governmental fabric. On the conFitzroy Kelly in the Commons, are trary, Pitt was the first to conceive guarantees that this important work the project of Parliamentary Reform, will be ably done; and we are con- at a time when the Whig oligarchs vinced that the Lord Advocate for had no relish for the change; and it Scotland, whose pre-eminent legal was only when they found themabilities are acknowledged by all selves wholly excluded from office parties in his own country, will prove that the descendants of the latter, a worthy compeer for these Eng- as a means of regaining public falish lawyers in the comprehensive vour, took up the project which the reforms which they have so much at outburst of the revolutionary war heart. That veteran and distinguish- had caused the great Conservative ed law-reformer, Lord St Leonards, statesman to postpone. We think though not in the Cabinet, will con- the Conservatives erred in 1830, in tinue his important task of remodel- resisting all Reform ; for by so doing ling the defective parts of the Statute- they left the country no choice bebook, and his measures will receive tween adopting the crude measures every support from the Government. of the Liberals, or declaring that it
Lastly comes the great question of wished no reform at all. Assuredly Parliamentary Reform. It could not Pitt would not have so acted."* be expected that the new Cabinet And assuredly the Conservatives, if should legislate on the subject this they remain in office, will not so act session, Indeed it was reckoned
On other points also we have extremely doubtful by many even of simply to repeat the programme of the Liberals, if the late Premier Conservative policy which we forwould not have evaded the question merly gave :
A Conservative may for another year.
But as sure as advocate education as well as a next year comes round, if the Con- Liberal ; indeed, Sir John Pakington servatives are then in office, a Re- is now facile princeps in this diffiform Bill will be introduced, and cult but important department of proceeded with in earnest. It will statesmanship. A Conservative may not be, like Lord John's bills, a mere advocate legal reform as well as toy or decoy to keep dangling before a Liberal, and has done it better. the eyes of the public; it will not He may support the Protestant be, like his, a measure introduced character of our institutions as only to be withdrawn and re-with- well as a Liberal, and for a long drawn. It will be got up in a busi- time past has done it better. He ness-like way, and will be proceeded may advocate commercial reform, with in an earnest and business- and did so earlier and better than like manner.
Since Parliament the Liberals. Indeed, what names has again and again declared that are to be found among the Liberal a new Reform Bill ought to be Ministers that will match as comintroduced, the country will find 'mercial reformers with those of Pitt, that the Conservatives are not the Huskisson, and Peel? In these worst hands to which the task can various departments of legislation, be intrusted. On this subject we
the Conservative walks as boldly on, need to make no recantation of and has distinguished himself fully opinion. What we say in 1858, with more than his Liberal rivals.”+ our party in office, we said in 1856 We have no doubt that the great
* “The Political Lull,” Dec. 1856, p. 744-5. VOL. LXXXIII.-NO, DX.
+ Ibid. p. 744.
desire of the Opposition leaders is to simply by the failure of their rivals, , get the new Ministry turned out as and after a career in Opposition more fast as possible. The ex-Ministerial free from factious courses than any chiefs, whether of the Palmerston five sessions of Parliament that the or Russell sect, will be bent upon present generation has witnessed. nipping in the bud the develop- Lord Derby has formed his Ministry ment of their rivals' policy, from entirely
entirely on the principle of securing a well-founded dread lest the num- the most efficient men ; and in point ber, comprehensiveness, and ability of talent and administrative skill it of the measures of the new Cabi- may challenge comparison with the net should quite eclipse the feeble very best of its predecessors. Its and all but barren sessions of the re- members are in earnest, fully compecent Liberal régime. This was the tent for their work, and bent upon tactics of the Opposition in 1852, and accomplishing it. They will accomthere is much greater motive for them plish it, if the House give them the to repeat these tactics now. But can opportunity. Difficulties of no ordi. they? We do not believe it. We nary kind they certainly have to endo not apprehend that the ex-Minis- counter ; but we confidently believe terial chiefs will obtain sufficient sup- they will triumph over them, and port from the House to enable them that the House will support them to carry out such factious designs. with that constitutional" majority The Conservatives succeeded to office to which they are so amply entitled.
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