Page:The house of Cecil.djvu/305

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THIRD MARQUESS OF SALISBURY 265

for India. The debates further led to an incident which has become historical. In urging the Lords to stand firm in rejecting an amendment inserted by the Commons in deference to the wishes of the extremists, Lord Salisbury referred to the argument that the Peers ought to pass the clause because of the majority in the Commons, and of the danger to the Bill if the clause were rejected ; and he further remarked that there was " a good deal of that kind of bluster when any particular course has been taken in the other House of Parliament," adding that it was the duty of the Lords to take the course which they deemed right. The clause was accordingly rejected, and the Commons accepted the alteration rather than lose the Bill. But Disraeli, mis- understanding Lord Salisbury's words, took the opportunity to refer to " my noble friend " as " not a man who measures his phrases ; one who is a great master of gibes and flouts and jeers," but, he added, " I do not suppose there is anyone who is prejudiced against a member of Parliament on account of such qualifications. My noble friend knows the House of Commons well, and he is not perhaps superior to the consideration that by making a speech of that kind, and taunting respectable men like ourselves with being ' a blustering majority,' he probably might stimulate the amour propre of some individuals to take the course which he wants and to defeat the Bill." Lord Salisbury took the first opportunity of protesting against this interpretation of his

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