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CHAMBERLAIN the “ three acres and a cow ” of the Radical programme. tages to those contemplated in the treaty; and on the Unlike Lord Hartington and other Liberals, who declined whole Mr Chamberlain’s mission to America was accepted to join Mr Gladstone in view of the altered attitude he was as a successful one in maintaining satisfactory relations adopting towards Ireland, Mr Chamberlain entered the with the United States. He returned to England in Cabinet as President of the Local Government Board, but March 1888, and was presented with the freedom of the on 15th March 1886 he resigned, explaining in the House borough of Birmingham. The visit also resulted, in of Commons (8th April) that, while lie had always been in November 1888, in his marriage with his third wife, Miss favour of the largest possible extension of local govern- Endicott, daughter of the United States minister of war ment to Ireland consistently with the integrity of the in President Cleveland’s first administration. At the general election of 1892 Mr Chamberlain was empire and the supremacy of Parliament, and had therefore joined Mr Gladstone when he believed that this again returned, with an increased majority, for West was what was intended, he was unable to consider that Birmingham; but the Unionist party as a whole came the scheme communicated by Mr Gladstone to his col- back with only 315 members against 355 Home Rulers. leagues maintained those limitations. At the same time In August Lord Salisbury’s ministry was defeated; and he was not irreconcilable, and he invited Mr Gladstone on 13th February 1893 Mr Gladstone introduced his even then to modify his Bill so as to remove the objections second Home Rule Bill, which was eventually read a third made to it. This indecisive attitude did not last long, time on 1st September. During the eighty-two days’ disand the split in the party rapidly widened. At Birmingham cussion in the House of Commons Mr Chamberlain was Mr Chamberlain was supported by the “ Two Thousand,” the life and soul of the opposition, and his criticisms had but deserted by the “ Caucus ” and Mr Schnadhorst. In a vital influence upon the attitude of the country when May the Radicals who followed Mr Bright and Mr the House of Lords summarily threw out the Bill. His Chamberlain, and the Whigs who took their cue from chief contribution to the discussions during the later Lord Hartington, decided to vote against the second stages of the Gladstone and Rosebery ministries was in reading of the Home Rule Bill, instead of allowing it to connexion with Mr Asquith’s abortive Employers’ Liability be taken and then pressing for modifications in committee, Bill, when he foreshadowed the method of dealing with and on 7th June the Bill was defeated by 343 to 313, 94 this question afterwards carried out in the Compensation Liberal Unionists—as they were generally called—voting Act of 1897. Outside Parliament he was busy formulating against the Government. Mr Chamberlain was the object proposals for Old Age Pensions, which had a prominent of the bitterest attacks from the Gladstonians for his place in the Unionist programme of 1895. In that year, share in this result; he was stigmatized as “ Judas,” on the defeat of Lord Rosebery, the union of the Unionists and open war was proclaimed by the Home Rulers against was sealed by the inclusion of the Liberal Unionist leaders the “dissentient Liberals”—the description used by Mr in Lord Salisbury’s ministry ; and Mr Chamberlain became Gladstone. The general election, however, returned to Secretary of State for the Colonies. There had been much Parliament 316 Conservatives, 78 Liberal Unionists, and speculation as to what his post would be, and his nominaonly 276 Gladstonians and Nationalists, Birmingham tion to the Colonial Office, then considered one of secondary returning seven Unionist members. When the House met rank, excited some surprise; but Mr Chamberlain himin August, it was decided by the Liberal Unionists, under self realized how important that department had beLord Hartington’s leadership, that their policy henceforth come. His influence in the Unionist Cabinet was soon was essentially to combine with the Tories to keep Mr visible in the Workmen’s Compensation Act and other Gladstone out. The old Liberal feeling still prevailing measures. This Act, though in Sir Matthew White among them was too strong, however, for their leaders to Ridley’s charge as Home Secretary, was universally and take office in a coalition ministry. It was enough for them rightly associated with Mr Chamberlain; and its passage, to be able to tie down the Conservative Government to such in the face of much interested opposition from highlymeasures as were not offensive to Liberal Unionist principles. placed old-fashioned Conservatives and capitalists on both It still seemed possible, moreover, that the Gladstonians sides, was principally due to his determined advocacy. might be brought to modify their Home Rule proposals, Another “ social” measure of less importance, which formed and in January 1887 a Round Table conference (suggested part of the Chamberlain programme, was the Small Houses by Mr Chamberlain) was held between Mr Chamberlain, Acquisition Act of 1899; but the problem of Old Age Sir G. Trevelyan, Sir William Harcourt, Mr Morley, and Pensions was less easily solved, and the subject was Lord Herschell. But no rapprochement was effected, handed over first to a royal commission, and then to a and reconciliation became daily more and more difficult. departmental committee, both of which threw cold water The influence of Liberal Unionist views upon the domestic on the schemes laid before them—a result which, galling legislation of the Government was steadily bringing about enough to one who had made so much play with the a more complete union in the Unionist party, and destroy- question in the country, offered welcome material to his ing the old lines of political cleavage. Before 1892 Mr opponents for electioneering recrimination, as year by year Chamberlain had the satisfaction of seeing Lord Salisbury’s went by between 1895 and 1900 and nothing resulted ministry pass such important Acts, from a progressive from all the confident talk on the subject in which Mr point of view, as those dealing with Coal Mines Regulation, Chamberlain had indulged when out of office. From January 1896 (the date of the Jameson Raid) Allotments, County Councils, Housing of the Working Classes, Free Education, and Agricultural Holdings, besides onwards South Africa demanded the chief attention of the Irish legislation like the Ashbourne Act, the Land Act of Colonial Secretary. It is too soon to estimate precisely 1891, and the Light Railways and Congested Districts the part played by Mr Chamberlain in the affairs which Acts. In October 1887 Mr Chamberlain, Sir L. Sackville at last led to war with the Transvaal. But never has a West, and Sir Charles Tapper were selected by the statesman’s personality been more bitterly associated by his Government as British plenipotentiaries to discuss with political opponents with the developments they deplored. the United States the Canadian fisheries dispute, and a The report of the House of Commons committee (July treaty was arranged by them at Washington on 15th 1897) definitely acquitted both Mr Chamberlain and the February 1888. The Senate refused to ratify it; but Colonial Office of any privity in the Raid, but Mr Chama protocol provided for a modus vivendi pending rati- berlain’s detractors continued to assert the contrary. fication, giving American fishing vessels similar advan- Opposition hostility reached such a pitch that in 1899