網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

By Justin McCarthy

Author of "A History of Our Own Times," “ The Story of Gladstone's Life," etc.

S

IR

HENRY CAMPBELL-BAN. inclined to regard Campbell-Bannerman NERMAN has but lately come to as a typical specimen of his Scottish

hold that position in the House of compatriots, who are facetiously said to Commons and in the political world which joke with difficulty. As a matter of fact, those who knew him well always believed Campbell-Bannerman has a keen and him destined to attain. He is now not delightful sense of humor, and can illusmerely the nominal leader of the Liberal trate the weakness of an opponent's case Opposition in the House of Commons, but better than some recognized wits could do, he is universally regarded as one of the by a few happy touches of sarcasm. He is very small number of men who could in every sense of the word a strong man, possibly be chosen for such a place. Sir and, like some other strong men, only William Harcourt and Mr. John Morley seemed to know his own strength and to be are the only Liberal members of the capable of putting it into action when hard House who could compare with Sir Henry fortune had brought him into political diffiCampbell-Bannerman for influence with culties through which it appeared well-nigh the Liberal party, the House of Commons, impossible that he could make his way. and the general public. Yet the time is Schiller's hero declares that it must be not far distant when he was commonly night before his star can shine, and regarded in the House as a somewhat although Campbell-Bannerman is not quite heavy, not to say stolid, man, one of whom so poetic and picturesque a figure as nothing better could be said than that he Wallenstein, yet I think he might fairly would probably be capable of quiet, steady comfort himself by some such encouragwork in some subordinate department. 1 ing reflection. He had gone through a remember well that when Campbell-Ban- long and hard-working career in the House nerman was appointed Chief Secretary to of Commons before the world came to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland in 1884, a know anything of his strength, his judgwitty Irish member explained the appoint- ment, and his courage. He got his edument by the suggestion that Gladstone cation at the University of Glasgow and had made use of Campbell-Bannerman on afterwards at Trinity College, Cambridge, the principle illustrated by the employ- and he obtained a seat in the House of ment of a sand-bag as part of the defenses Commons for a Scottish constituency as a of a military fort. Campbell-Bannerman

Campbell-Bannerman Liberal when he was still but a young man. had, in fact, none of the temperament He has held various offices in Liberal which makes a man anxious to display administrations. He was Secretary to himself in debate, and whenever, during the Admiralty in 1882, and was Chief his earlier years of Parliamentary life, he Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Iredelivered a speech in the House of Com- land for a short time a little later. There mons, his desire seemed to be to get is not much to be said about his Irish through the task as quickly as possible administration. He governed the counand be done with it. He appears to be a try about as well as any English Minister man of a naturally reserved habitude, with could have done under such conditions, indeed something of shyness about him, for this was before Gladstone and the and a decided capacity for silence wher- Liberal party had been converted to the ever there is no pressing occasion for principle of Home Rule for Ireland; and, speech, whether in public or in private. at all events, he made himself agreeable

Many whom I knew were at one time to those Irishmen with whom he came ? This forms the eighth of a series of articles on living

into contact by his unaffected manners British statesmen. Subjects already treated are: Mr. and his quiet good humor. When GladBalfour, Lord Salisbury, Mr. John Morley, Mr. Henry Labouchere, Lord Aberdeen, Sir William Harcourt. stone took office in 1886, Campbell-BanOther articles will have as their subjects Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, John Redmond, John Burns.

nerman became Secretary for War, and

[graphic][merged small]

By Justin McCarthy

Author of "A History of Our Own Times," " The Story of Gladstone's Life," etc.

S

IR HENRY CAMPBELL-BAN. inclined to regard Campbell-Bannerman NERMAN has but lately come to as a typical specimen of his Scottish

hold that position in the House of compatriots, who are facetiously said to Commons and in the political world which joke with difficulty. As a matter of fact, those who knew him well always believed Campbell-Bannerman has a keen and him destined to attain. He is now not delightful sense of humor, and can illusmerely the nominal leader of the Liberal trate the weakness of an opponent's case Opposition in the House of Commons, but better than some recognized wits could do, he is universally regarded as one of the by a few happy touches of sarcasm. He is very small number of men who could in every sense of the word a strong man, possibly be chosen for such a place. Sir and, like some other strong men, only William Harcourt and Mr. John Morley seemed to know his own strength and to be are the only Liberal members of the capable of putting it into action when hard House who could compare with Sir Henry fortune had brought him into political diffiCampbell-Bannerman for influence with culties through which it appeared well-nigh the Liberal party, the House of Commons, impossible that he could make his way. and the general public. Yet the time is Schiller's hero declares that it must be not far distant when he was commonly night before his star can shine, and regarded in the House as a somewhat although Campbell-Bannerman is not quite heavy, not to say stolid, man, one of whom so poetic and picturesque a figure as nothing better could be said than that he Wallenstein, yet I think he might fairly would probably be capable of quiet, steady comfort himself by some such encouragwork in some subordinate department. I ing reflection. He had gone through a remember well that when Campbell-Ban- long and hard-working career in the House nerman was appointed Chief Secretary to of Commons before the world came to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland in 1884, a know anything of his strength, his judgwitty Irish member explained the appointment, and his courage. He got his edument by the suggestion that Gladstone cation at the University of Glasgow and had made use of Campbell-Bannerman on afterwards at Trinity College, Cambridge, the principle illustrated by the employ- and he obtained a seat in the House of ment of a sand-bag as part of the defenses Commons for a Scottish constituency as a of a military fort. Campbell-Bannerman Liberal when he was still but a young man. had, in fact, none of the temperament He has held various offices in Liberal which makes a man anxious to display administrations. He was Secretary to himself in debate, and whenever, during the Admiralty in 1882, and was Chief his earlier years of Parliamentary life, he Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Iredelivered a speech in the House of Com- land for a short time a little later. There mons, his desire seemed to be to get is not much to be said about his Irish through the task as quickly as possible administration. He governed the counand be done with it. He appears to be a try about as well as any English Minister man of a naturally reserved habitude, with could have done under such conditions, indeed something of shyness about him, for this was before Gladstone and the and a decided capacity for silence wher- Liberal party had been converted to the ever there is no pressing occasion for principle of Home Rule for Ireland; and, speech, whether in public or in private. at all events, he made himself agreeable

Many whom I knew were at one time to those Irishmen with whom he came ? This forms the eighth of a series of articles on living into contact by his unaffected manners British statesmen. Subjects already treated are: Mr. Balfour, Lord Salisbury, Mr. John Morley, Mr. Henry

When Glad

and his quiet good humor. Labouchere, Lord Aberdeen, Sir William Harcourt. stone took office in 1886, Campbell-BanOther articles will have as their subjects Sir Michael Hicks Beach, John Redmond, John Burns.

nerman became Secretary for War, and he held the same important position in events had taken place which made a Gladstone's Ministry of 1892.

great change in the condition of Irish The story of that administration tells of political affairs and put fresh difficulties a most important epoch in the career of in the way of Gladstone's new administraGladstone and the fortunes of the Liberal tion. party. In 1893 Gladstone brought in his The Parnell divorce case came on, and second Home Rule measure for Ireland. led to a serious division in the ranks of His first measure of Home Rule was in- the Irish National party and in Irish pubtroduced in 1886, and was defeated in the lic opinion.

lic opinion. The great majority of ParHouse of Commons by means of a coali- nell's followers refused to regard him as tion between the Liberal secessionists and their leader any longer, and those who the Conservative Opposition. The Lib- determined to support him and to follow eral secessionists in the House of Com- him through thick and thin were but a mons, as most of my readers will remem- very small minority. Gladstone was firmly ber, were led by Joseph Chamberlain. convinced, as were the majority of the Then there came an interval of Conserva- Irish Nationalist members, that Parnell tive government, and when Gladstone ought to retire, for a time at least, from returned to power in 1892 he introduced the leadership of his party, if not indeed before long his second measure of Home from public life, and keep aloof from Rule. The second measure was in many active politics until the scandal of the ways a distinct improvement on the first divorce court should have been atoned and in the meantime some of the Liberal for by him and should have passed to secessionists, including Sir George Tre- some extent from public memory. Gladvelyan, whose opposition was directed only stone was convinced that if Parnell reagainst certain parts of the first measure, mained the leader of the Irish party it had returned to their allegiance and were would be almost impossible to arouse in ready to give Gladstone all the support the British constituencies any enthusiasm in their power for his second attempt. in the cause of Home Rule strong enough The Home Rule measure

was carried

to bring back the Liberals to power and through the House of Commons by what to carry a Home Rule measure. This we call a substantial although not a great was a reasonable and practical view of the majority, and then it had to go to the question, but Parnell and his followers House of Lords. Everybody knew in resented it as a positive insult, and Paradvance what its fate must be in the nell issued a manifesto denouncing Gladhereditary chamber. Every great meas- stone, the immediate result of which was ure of genuine political reform is certain that break-up of the Home Rule party I to be rejected in the first instance by the have already mentioned. Not very long House of Lords. This is the old story, after came Parnell's early death. It may and is repeated again and again with well be supposed that such events as monotonous iteration. The House of these must have made a deep and disLords always gives way in the end, when couraging impression on Gladstone's hopes the pressure of public opinion from with- for the success of the second Home Rule out makes it perilous for the hereditary measure. The Irish National party had legislators to maintain their opposition. been broken up for the time, and some Therefore the Liberals in general were even of Gladstone's colleagues in office not much disconcerted by the defeat of had allowed themselves to be mastered the Home Rule measure in the House of by the old familiar idea that as Irishmen Lords. Home Rule for Ireland had been could not be brought to agree for long on sanctioned by the decisive vote of the any plan of action, it was futile for EngHouse of Commons, and the general im- lish Liberals to put themselves to any pression was that it would only have to inconvenience for the sake of an Irish be brought in again and perhaps again, National cause. Such men might have according to the usual process with all found it difficult to point out any great reform measures, until the opposition of measure of political reform in England the Lords had been completely borne concerning which the English people had down. But before the introduction of always been in absolute agreement and the second Home Rule measure, some

about which there was no conflict of

angry emotion in any section of English leader to the very last in whatever strugrepresentatives. But the fact remained, gle he had made up his mind to encounter. all the same, that the dispute in the Irish There were, of course, many others of party had brought a chill to the zeal of Gladstone's colleagues--men like Sir many influential English Liberals for the William Harcourt and John Morley and Home Rule cause, and we have had in James Bryce-on whom their leader could much more recent days abundant evidence have safely reckoned for the same unthat the chilling influence is with them swerving fidelity and courage. But, whatstill.

ever were the reasons, there was no appeal Among Gladstone's official colleagues made to the country, and the administrathere were some who held that the time tion went on with its ordinary work in a had come when an appeal ought to be dull, mechanical fashion. The effect made to the country by means of a disso. upon the Liberal party was most depresslution and a general election against the ing. Men could not understand why domination of the House of Lords. This nothing decisive had been done, and at appears to have been the opinion of Glad- the same time were haunted by a forebodstone himself. Others of his colleagues, ing that some great change was impending however, held back from such an issue, over the Liberal party. while admitting that the moment did not The foreboding soon came to be justiseem favorable for an appeal to the coun- fied. On the 1st of March, 1894, Gladtry on the distinct question of Irish Home stone delivered his last speech in the Rule. The general impression on the House of Commons. The speech dealt public mind was that the decision of the with the action of the House of Lords on Cabinet was certain to be in favor of an a subject of comparatively slight imporappeal to the country on the one issue or tance. The Lords had rejected a measthe other, and much surprise was felt ure dealing with the constitution of parish when it began to be more and more evi- councils, which had been passed by the dent that the Government intended to go House of Commons. Gladstone spoke on with the ordinary business of the State, with severity in condemnation of the as if nothing had happened. The outer course taken by the House of Lords. world has as yet had no means of know- Towards the close of his speech he said: ing what the reasons or the influences “My duty terminates with calling the were which induced Gladstone and his attention of this House to a fact which it colleagues to come to this determination. is really impossible to set aside, that we The whole truth will probably never be are considering a part—an essential and known until John Morley's Life of Glad- inseparable part-of a question enorstone shall make its appearance.

We mously large, a question which has bemay safely assume in the meantime that come profoundly a truth, a question that Gladstone had the best reasons for taking will demand a settlement, and must at an the course which he adopted, and that he early date receive that settlement, from would have made an appeal to the coun- the highest authority.” No one who was try against the decision of the House of present in the House when this declaraLords if he had believed the conditions tion was made is ever likely to lose the were favorable for such a challenge just memory of the scene, although not all or then. Probably Gladstone knew only too even most of those then present quite well that even among his own colleagues realized the full significance of Gladstone's there were some who were turning cold words. There were many in the House upon the question of Home Rule, who who did not at once understand that in had never accepted his views on that the words I have quoted the greatest subject with whole-hearted willingness, Parliamentary leader of modern times and could not have been relied upon as was speaking his farewell to public life. steadfast adherents in such a struggle. I remember well that a few moments I think I shall be fully justified by any after Gladstone had finished his speech I revelations which history or biography met John Morley in one of the lobbies, has yet to make, when I say that Camp and I asked him if this was really to be bell-Bannerman was among those who taken as the close of Gladstone's career, would have faithfully followed the great and he told me, with as much composure

« 上一頁繼續 »