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Christian subject in the realm. Still, even in the deepest gloom, human sympathy is not without its value; and its expression, to some extent, mitigates every calamity, and alleviates even the bitter pang of bereavement such as this. The event is not withont its lessons for us all. It may well teach us the vanity of earthly distinctions, and the uncertain tenure by which we hold all the most coveted and choicest possessions which the world can give. Let but these lessons be duly laid to heart, and they will effectually check the vain desires and promptings of ambition; enabling us to realize that the only crown worth striving for is that crown of eternal life and glory which shall never fade away, and which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give to all them that wait for His appearing.
The Marquis of Lorne, the new Governor-General of Canada, and the Princess Louise, after an unusually rough and tempestuous passage across the stormy waves of the Atlantic, have been received with the utmost enthusiasm on its western shores. If their embarkation took place under auspicious circumstances, their debarkation, and subsequent progress through the Dominion whose affairs the Marquis is now called on to administer, have been more auspicious still. Everywhere that progress has been marked by the warmest demonstrations of loyalty, and the most unmistakable evidences of rejoicing; and there is no doubt that, in selecting as the successor to Lord Dufferin in this viceroyalty the Queen's son-in-law, the Government have taken a most politic and prudent course. Our Canadian brethren obviously regard the appointment of one so near to the Throne to be their Governor as an honour done unto themselves. The Princess Louise and her husband have been greatly gratified at the cordiality which marked their public reception, and the Queen has acknowledged the satisfaction it has afforded to herself. It was not long after the intelligence of the welcome thus accorded to one daughter that Her Majesty received the information of the illness with which another had been seized-an illness the fatal issue of which was not then foreseen. Thus in royal, as in humble life, do the lights and shadows, the joys and sorrows of existence, rapidly succeed each other. We trust that the administration of the Marquis may tend to develop the resources, promote the prosperity, and increase the loyalty of Canada ; thus cementing the ties which bind that dependency so firmly to the British Crown. Governor-General has been early trained in the paths of statesmanship ; he is the son of a nobleman whose philosophic habits of thinking, breadth of intellectual view, large-hearted sympathy, and devoted attachment to the cause of freedom, are guarantees that his son has been educated in principles the practical recognition of which, in a political position of such commanding influence, is well adapted to secure the attachment of a powerful and growing people, and to extend the popularity of the British Throne amongst its Transatlantic subjects.
Since our last issue there has been a brief session of Parliament. The special purposes for which it was convened have been thoroughly discussed; the great debates, from which so much was looked for, are now over ; and the policy of the Government in relation to the Afghan War has, so far as the majority in both Houses was concerned, received a triumphant vindication. So much for the actual and practical result, which, of course, by all parties was clearly and unmistakably foreseen. Against this policy of the Cabinet, however, there has been no lack of earnest, energetic, and indignant protest ; and whilst on one side the expediency, and therefore the necessity and justice, of the war were strenuously urged, on the other it was denounced as uncalled for, needless, and aggressive-as subversive of sound principles of Indian policy, and undertaken in contravention of the opinions of former Governors-General—as cowardly and cruel in its nature, and as an assertion merely of the power of the strongest. Never, perhaps, was a debate conducted with greater spirit, or the antagonistic ideas and principles which underlie all such discussions more fully and decidedly brought out. Mr. Whitbread's amendment on the report on the Address in reply to Her Majesty's Speech was, of course, a vote of censure on the Government. Although not originating with the leaders of the Opposition, it was supported by the Marquis of Hartington and the almost unbroken strength of the Liberal party, including also one or two Conservatives. It was, therefore, a fair trial of strength between the two great parties in the Commons' House, as was also, in relation to the Upper Chamber, the debate and division in the Lords, where Earl Granville joined issue with the Cabinet upon a question substantially the same. The majority in the Upper House of 165, and in the Lower of 101, is decisive of the agreement of the Legislature with the Executive Government, and endorses, for the time, the entire scope and objects in relation to the Eastern policy of Her Majesty's advisers. There were, however, two great debates; and as the first turned upon the right or wrong of the policy of Lord Beaconsfield—the justice or injustice of the war-so the second hinged upon a question scarcely less important, upon which country, England or India, should the expenses of the war be charged. The Ministry contended that, notwithstanding the generally depressed state of Indian finance, there was a surplus, for the present year, in the cash balances of the Indian exchequer, and that upon this the expenses of the Afghan expedition might, for convenience' sake, be temporarily charged ; leaving it to the future to determine (when the cost and results of the war should be definitely known) what proportion of the total cost should be defrayed from Indian, and what from English finances. Mr. Fawcett's amendment, on the contrary, urged, in effect, that as the war was undertaken by the Imperial Government, and in pursuance of an" Imperial” policy, its cost should be borne by the British people, who had placed the present Ministry in power—more especially as the Indian people were already heavily taxed; the Indian surplus was but temporary, and that surplus had already been, by anticipation, set apart to constitute a Famine Prevention Fund. On this point the majority for the Government was 110, being nine more than the majority on the question of the war itself. The question is thus for the present disposed of; and when Parliament meets in February, other topics will probably take precedence and come for decision to the front. Of the two debates, the first was doubtless the most noteworthy—the most conspicuous for force and fire. It would doubtless have been more satisfactory to the peace-loving portion of the nation—to those who believe that wars of aggression are altogether unjustifiable, and that the sword of Great Britain should never be unsheathed save in a case of paramount necessity, or in a cause which is manifestly one of righteousness and truth—had the Government been able, on this point, to make out a clearer and a stronger case. They cannot but regret that Parliament was not earlier consulted on the matter; for although it is doubtless true that the Crown has the power, by the Constitution, to declare peace and levy war without first taking counsel with the people's representatives, it is also true that when this prerogative is pushed to its extreme limit, the control of the latter over the public expenditure becomes little more than nominal. Though Parliament should even condemn a war in toto, it is difficult, if not impossible, for it to refuse supplies, when once that war has been begun.
There has been much controversy of late on two points—both of indubitable importance—the one, the probability or otherwise of an early dissolution; the other, the question whether the administration of Lord Beaconsfield has impaired the
principle of parliamentary supremacy. As regards the suggested dissolution, the hints thrown out in debate by Sir Stafford Northcote have doubtless given tangible shape to what previously were but vague and undefined rumours. Seeing, however, that Parliament has, by such large and repeated majorities, sanctioned the policy, and emphatically the foreign policy, of Lord Beaconsfield and his colleagues—seeing, moreover, that recent isolated elections (and notably that of Bristol) show some signs of reaction against that policy in the constituencies; and considering, most of all, that the present Parliament has but one year's more existence at the most ;we doubt much whether any advantage the Government might possibly gain from a dissolution would, in their judgment, counterbalance its uncertainties and risks. On the other question, whether parliamentary supremacy has been imperilled hy recent and remarkable events, indicating a more than ordinary exercise of the Royal prerogative, there has doubtless been shown a disposition to use that prerogative to the utmost limit which the Constitution will allow. Personal sovereignty is no doubt a cherished political notion of Lord Beaconsfield; and some regard his recent policy as, in this sense, a serious inroad on the Constitution. On the other side, it is contended, and with force, that as all this has been done solely by virtue of a parliamentary majority; and as the same majority, if on the other side of the House, could drive the Premier from power, the principle of parliamentary, as opposed to personal sovereignity, has by no means been impaired.
Military operations in Afghanistan have thus far been quite as successful as the Ministry could reasonably desire or expect. General Roberts is not alone in his victorious advance. General Biddulph has pushed forward and occupied the eastern side of the Khojak Pass, having found the tribes in the locality disposed rather to facilitate than to impede his progress, and willing to promote it both by keeping the pass open and by providing him with the needful supplies. A telegram from the Viceroy has also been received at the India Office, intimating that General Browne, with his division, started on the 17th of December for Jellalabad, which place he hoped to reach by the 20th, with a view to occupation. It is thus clear that, by different detachments of the Indian army, a decided progress has been made; that the troops have proceeded a considerable distance into the interior; and that their prospects of a further advance are of a definite character—the commissariat being good, and no fears entertained of insufficient or precarious supplies. Notwithstanding these facts, it seems probable that there will be nothing of a very decisive character undertaken before the spring, when we shall probably learn what is likely to be the outcome of the Afghan War, and what is to be our future Indian frontier. Meanwhile, those who most condemn the war, as well as those who justify it, may unite in the prayer that, for the sake of all concerned in it, it may be short,—that it may not further cripple either our Indian or Home finance, and that it may not involve us in any fresh or further complications.
The opinion recently expressed by the Premier that we had seen the worst of the present distress, that the corner had been turned at last, and that the stagnation by which so many branches of industry have been paralysed would shortly give place to a better and more hopeful state of things, is one, we fear, wbich is by no means corroborated by the accounts daily coming in from all parts of the country, and more especially from the various districts of the North. Almost every branch of industry is more or less affected by severe and nearly unparalleled depression. In almost all departments a general reduction of wages now appears to be the rule. Masters and men-employers and employed—are alike sufferers ; there is in most branches but little or no demand for the articles produced ; prices consequently fall, manufacturers curtail their expenses, and either close their factories and mills, or reduce both the number and the pay of the hands they continue to employ. In many cases workmen are being put upon short time. The iron trade, the building trade, the hardware trade, and the mines and collieries in every district, are amongst those specially affected. At the present moment the manufacturers in the Northern and Midland counties are entitled to almost as much commiseration as their workmen. All classes of society, indeed, who live in any way by labour are to some extent the subjects of privation, if not of absolute penury. We fear that the prospects of the winter are gloomy and depressing to the last degree. We are glad, however, to learn that, all over the country, organizations are being formed for the purpose of ministering to the wants of those who, but for such aid, must sustain the severest personal distress.
The Emperor of Germany has, happily, been able to resume his bigh Imperial duties, and his public entry into Berlin bas been made the occasion for great and general rejoicings. The approach of his Majesty's Golden Wedding is also to furnish another opportunity for his loyal subjects to evince their devotion both to his person and his throne. It is gratifying, especially in view of the crimes so recently attempted, to witness such attachment to a sovereign who, on personal grounds, is r'ndeniably so well entitled to the regard and affection of his people. It would nevertheless be unwise to shut our eyes to what is just as true—viz., that, underlying all these demonstrations and all this loyalty, there exists a vast amount of discontent, and of disconient which has its origin largely in the social condition and privations of the masses. It is still greater cause for regret that neither the Emperor nor his Ministers seem to be fully alive to the real dangers which surround them, nor to have any true idea how those dangers may best be turned aside. The new anti-Socialist law is now in full and wholesale operation ; papers and publications are suppressed, meetings and discussions closed, printing presses seized and sealed, and persons chargeable with no crime, but obnoxious only by reason of their holding Socialist opinions, exiled in numbers from their homes. For such persons there is not even privilege of Parliament. We fear that it will not be by such methods that the wild vagaries of Socialism will be exploded, or agitations full of peril to the State successfully allayed. Till the “militarism” of the German Empire -the incubus which overwhelms her people with taxation,-nay, which requires of half of them their very lives, at that very age when life is most precious and most productive both to the nation and themselves--is either renonpced or held more effectively in check, it were vain to look for general content, and futile to anticipate that the pernicious fantasies of Socialism will, by the force of any argument, be scattered to the winds.
In many quarters it is still believed, that as regards the matters at issue between the Ultramontanes and the Ministry in Germany, Pope Leo xii. is resolutely bent upon adopting a policy of conciliation. It is even affirmed that, by the hands of the Papal Nuncio accredited to Bavaria, he has himself sent a letter to the Emperor congratulating his Majesty on the resumption of his royal duties, and expressing his own bope that the negotiations still pending between the “Holy See" and Germany may lead to some arrangement satisfactory to both. Meanwhile, in Italy, the Ministry of Signor Cairoli has been overthrown, and Signor Depretis, whose views are in accordance with the recent vote of the majority, has assumed the direction of affairs.
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The opinion recently expressed by the Premier that we the present distress, that the corner had been turned at last, an by which so many branches of industry have been paralysed place to a better and more hopeful state of things, is one, we i means corroborated by the accounts daily coming in from all pa. and more especially from the various districts of the North. Almo industry is more or less affected by severe and nearly unparalleled almost all departments a general reduction of wages now appears Masters and men-employers and employed—are alike sufferers ; tl.