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as the candidate for the junior position with all its incidents. The Liberals however, appreciating the well-earned popularity of our senior member (Mr. Whitley), deftly worked upon this feeling, suggesting that his seat would be in danger if I were elected, especially if the majority were considerable. All that the loyal support of Mr. Whitley and his colleague, Lord Claud J. Hamilton, could do, did not remove this misconception, so completely, yet so craftily, was it fostered by the Liberal managers. In the large ward of Everton, comprising upwards of 18,000 electors, which Mr. Whitley has represented in the City Council for sixteen years, and where he obtained a majority of 2,800 votes in the last municipal contest, over 5,000 fewer persons polled in the last contest than in the Whitley-Ramsay contest of 1880. The Liberals thus won by Tory abstentions, and not by the force of their own numbers. Such is the local aspect of the late contest, and, ignorant of its phases, the Standard has written the article I have quoted. Under a similar misapprehension it has challenged my Conservatism, accusing me of advocating an "unprincipled programme." I will now endeavour to set out what the programme was that is thus denounced by this curious representative of Conservative journalism.
At the outset, let me remark that Liverpool, by her maritime position and the close relations her citizens enjoy with all parts of the globe, is naturally more active-minded than a community of farmers immured in the wolds or fens of the agricultural counties. The Liverpool electorate is also a body remarkably well informed politically, and our municipal contests are fought on party lines; in recent years we have had numerous Parliamentary contests; political demonstrations are an everyday occurrence; and party associations permeate the city in every direction. My official duties have brought me into constant and close connection with Conservatives of every class and position in life, and I have no hesitation in stating that if, as a party, Conservatism is simply to be the brake on the wheel of legislation, having no enlightened or progressive policy of its own, it will soon cease, and deservedly so, to exercise any political power in the city of Liverpool. Birmingham has taken the lead in the country of the party aiming at revolutionary changes; in like manner the Conservatives of Liverpool aspire to head that phalanx of men who, whilst sound upon Constitutional principles, are yet alive to the necessity for such national progress as the growing intelligence of the age demands. I will venture to give a summary of the political opinions I expressed daring the election, and of those reasonable reforms which might be undertaken by an active and enlightened Conservatism.
1 defined Conservatism to mean a firm determination to uphold the principles of a Constitutional Monarchy, with the Houses of Lords and Commons as independent branches of the legislature; the maintenance of the connection between Church and State; and I urged that every effort should be exerted to foster and strengthen the bonds of union between the mother country and her colonies and dependencies. We see arrayed against us, sitting on the Liberal side of the House of Commons, and even occupying prominent places on the Ministerial benches, some men who have sneered at the Monarchy, others who are pledged to the disestablishment of the Church, and some who, whenever the House of Lords acts independently, call aloud for its abolition. Others, again, forgetful of the ties that bind England to her colonies, look upon this connection as one not worth a sacrifice to maintain. The leopard cannot change his spots, and I cannot believe that Radical politicians who, having attained to positions of influence by the notoriety derived by their advocacy of extreme views, are so lost to a sense of political morality and consistency as to push aside the ladder by which they made their ascent. It is true they are numbered to-day amongst the Liberals, and hold positions of authority j but this is only a step on the road to their goal. Their influence is being increased; they are opportunists, awaiting only the favourable moment to give effect, aided by this extension of influence, to the political aims with which they set out in public life. Whilst Conservatism means a firm resistance to all movements subversive of our cherished institutions, it is far from asserting that changes and modifications may not be required from time to time. The existence of an abuse in any system is a weapon in the hands of its opponents, of which they should be disarmed at the earliest moment. The men to apply the remedies arc not those who oppose on principle the Constitution, but those by whom it is held in the highest honour. The Liberals taunt the Conservatives as having opposed legislation that has benefited the country. Such taunts are easily made on either side. But our reply should be that we legislate for the present and the future; and that the action of what was called the Conservative party in years long past, whether good or bad as judged by later lights, is not the question before the country to-day. The real point at issue is. To which party can the welfare of the State to-day be most safely intrusted? To that question, me judice, there is but one answer. To the Conservative party belongs the firmly constructive and safely progressive policy of the future.
A local Radical newspaper described me as "a democratic Tory." In reply to that statement, I said: "If this term means that I have a firm reliance upon and belief in the Conservative instincts of the people, then I am a democratic Tory." This is the statement that has so exercised the mind of the writer in the Standard, and is the sole foundation of his assertion that I declared myself a democratic Tory. I must leave the public to judge between us; I have not a word to retract. My conviction is that the working classes must, from the necessity of their position, have a leaning to Conservatism. In the event of social disorder or disturbance they are the first to feel any ill effects; capital quickly shuts its portals, and employment soon diminishes. As political intelligence spreads amongst the people, so must Conservatism extend. The worst policy the Conservative party can adopt is to exhibit a want of confidence in the people. Trust them, and they will reciprocate the sentiment.* My experience of the feelings of the working classes is that they are far from sympathizing with the Radical shibboleth for abolishing class distinctions, nor are they advocates of the doctrine of equality and fraternity in a Republican sense. The same spirit of jealousy which permeates more or less all ranks of society, when one man rises to a position of prominence amongst his compeers, no doubt influences the artisan class. They are, however, alive to the necessity of Government being conducted by the better-educated people and those who have leisure to devote to the work. The complaint constantly made to me is that "our leaders do not come amongst us sufficiently often," thus indicating their good feeling towards those placed in a better position in society. My conviction is that the latter will only have themselves to blame, if Revolutionary or Socialistic ideas extend. A little self-sacrifice on the part of the leading citizens of our large towns especially, will soon find its reward. Here is the marked distinction between the characteristics of English and American political life. In the former, happily, the man of leisure imbued with a laudable ambition seeks to lead, whilst in America the motive comes from those seeking to retain office, and those who desire to attain positions of profit as the reward of political activity. This distinction will not long exist, if those who ought to come to the front in politics, abnegate their rightful position. To the credit of the leading men in Liverpool be it said, that they have to a fair extent met this desire of the working men for common political association, and it has much aided that Conservative influence which pervades the city. Whilst we in the abstract evince a sympathy with the labouring classes, we must not let our sentiments stop at this point, hut let them take a concrete form. No selfish class legislation must mark our policy; wc must pay as much regard to measures " conceived in the interests of the working classes" as we do to the wants of any other body of the community. In past years the Conservatives have shown their sympathy with the people by supporting sucb measures as the Factory Acts and the Reform Act of 1867. Let a similar policy actuate us to-day. I view therefore
* An M.P. has furnished me with the following statement, as showing Lord Beaconsfield's opinions upon this point:—"At the meeting of the Conservative Members of the present and past Parliament, held in Bridgewater House immediately after the last general election, Lord Beaconsfield, replying to some observations made upon the Household Suffrage Bill of 1867, said he had faith in the 'Demos,' that ho trusted the people of England, aDd had confidence in their common sense, and that he favoured the household suffrage franchise rather than Mr. Bright's limited rating qualification, which was designed for the enfranchisement of aggressive political Nonconformity."
l with favour the Employers Liability Act, as a good measure, so far as it goes, though it fails to reach a number of cases which deserve and demand consideration. Thus whilst the largest railway company of the kingdom has made a most liberal arrangement with its workpeople since the Act came into force, I could name other influential railway companies that have placed their employes at arm's length, leaving them to rely only upon the limited scope of the Act for assistance in case of accident. In effect workmen under such conditions are worse off than before. Railway employmeut is certainly one of a special exposure to risk, and whilst I would not advocate legislation that should unduly add to the employer's risk, yet I consider there arc means of assisting the employe without injury to the employer.
Another topic of a somewhat kindred character, but no doubt of more importance, is the extension of the county franchise. It is
. so large a question, and must involve such prolonged discussion, that I think the time of Parliament might for the present be occupied by legislation of a more pressing character; yet at the same time, as it is before the country, we cannot remain silent. In the abstract it is impossible to argue that a man occupying a £\0 house upon one side of a street is entitled to a vote whilst his opposite neighbour is debarred. A considerable number of our most intelligent citizens in this class of life seek the suburbs for their residence. They thus disfranchise themselves, leaving the voting power largely in the hands of a lower stratum both in sobriety and intelligence, who arc contented to live in some miserable room in a squalid court. For example, the Chairman of the Liverpool Workingmen's Conservative Association, himself in receipt of weekly wages, is
, without a vote because he seeks for himself and familv a healthier home
i _ *
in the suburbs. Conservative Members of Parliament admit that household suffrage must ultimately become the law in the counties. Why, then, appear as its opponents on principle? We certainly ought to oppose its introduction by all means in our power, unless accompanied by a rearrangement of the Parliamentary boundaries of large towns, and the grouping into boroughs of populous and manufacturing centres. Wc should thus insure a representation of county interests . uninfluenced by urban votes, and secure that diversity of constituencies which is so essential to just administration. I do not ask for an arithmetical division of the electorates, but large constituencies are essential to purity of election. A redistribution of seats is also indispensable, as well as a readjustment in the number of members allotted to each of the three parts of the United Kingdom. In any Reform Bill, wc should seek to abrogate the facilities for illiterate voters; insist upon the principle of strict payment of rates as a qualification, with a sufficient length of residence; and see that property and intelligence obtain a due share of influence. I am not averse to an extension of the polling hours, where local authorities deem it desirable. Our present limited hours practically disfranchise many of the best artisans, who live so far from the scene of their daily labour, that they cannot, without sacrifice of wages, find time to vote. Polling late would no doubt increase that facility for personation which is too great already; therefore, as some additional check, the declaration of identity should be made in writing, and not, as now, vivd voce.
Ecclesiastical questions occupy, and deservedly so, a very important place in the public mind. A Conservative policy must maintain wjth unwavering resolution the union of Church and State, not indeed for the exaltation of the Church, but for the well-being of the State. This union is, moreover, of great importance in the true interests of the Church, preserving it from the undue growth of clericalism, and maintaining the proper subordination of the spiritual to the temporal power. Remove such control, and you leave the richest and most powerful corporation in the land to its own devices, to become possibly an imperium in imperio. An Established Church is the national recognition of the claims and obligations of religion. By its parochial system it places a Christian ministry in every district of the country, and brings the ministrations of the Church within the reach of all classes of the people. An Established Church promotes public respect for religion, it maintains a fixed standard of doctrine, it encourages the'spirit of Christian toleration, it stimulates Christian learning, and it secures the Protestantism of the Crown. As a national establishment, the Church of England should be broad and comprehensive, allowing within well-defined limits free scope for different schools of theological thought, and for reasonable diversities in its services. The clergy, however, should be an example of obedience to the law and rubrics of the Church, and to constituted authority. The scandal of imprisoning clergymen for contumacy should be removed, and a short and inexpensive mode provided for determining ecclesiastical questions, as well as for promoting order and obedience in the Church.
The National Church is the common spiritual home of clergy and laity, and the rights of both should be properly guarded. Whilst not permitting the laity to dominate over the clergy, I would strenuously oppose those who desire to place the Church under "the sole control of Convocation." This would be the creation of a corporate popedom, that might define doctrine and determine practices by a vote, possibly depending upon the presence or absence of some influential member of Convocation. I prefer decisions arrived at after judicial inquiry to those promoted by heated polemical discussion and party debate. The Church has a great career before her, if she only uses her
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