Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/166

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151
1884.—Mr. Justice West.

England, and will probably be looked back upon in the ages to come as constituting one of the great eras in our history. Certainly we may look forward with hope and confidence seeing what education has done for Scotland and Germany, and considering the extraordinary advances made in England, as every one revisiting the country must have noticed, during the last twelve or fourteen years in the education and intelligence of the people. We cannot but bless the name of one who has brought such manifold blessings upon our Native land. Now this work was carried on very much under the care and guidance of Lord Ripon, who was at that time Lord President of the Council which had the controlling power and direction over the work of education in England. In 1869 his Lordship was made a Knight of the Garter and in 1870 he received the degree of Doctor of Civil Laws at Oxford.

In the period during which Lord Ripon was President of the Council, Lord Ripon and the Treaty of Washington. a serious question arose between England and the United States, and it became necessary to determine how that difference was to be settled, and to place matters, if it could be done, upon such a footing, as to remove all the motives of estrangement which might exist between these two sister nations. For this duty Lord Ripon was selected. He negotiated or helped to negotiate as a member of the High Commission the Treaty of Washington. It may be that some of us Englishmen think that in the final event when the treaty having been completed, active operations were transferred to Geneva and the Committee of experts sitting there gave their decision in the international cause, poor England came off second best. That may be; but let us remember that three or four millions to a great nation was but the price of a fortnight or less than a fortnight of war. By the Treaty of Washington was first established, and by the subsequent proceedings effect was first given, on a large and important scale to the great principle of settling international differences by reference not to the arbitrament of war, but to the decision of persons recognised as specially competent to deal with the questions in issue. This idea of a universal peace and of a council governing Europe in the interests of peace and reducing its jarring elements to one great harmony originated first in modern times in the mind of the great Statesman Sully, and was adopted by Henry IV of France, his equally great master. Our own sagacious Queen Elizabeth gave her adherence to the scheme, but in the then existing state of Europe it proved impracticable The conception was revived under