Page:Problems of Empire.djvu/9

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THE Imperial Federation League, founded in 1884 under the Presidency of that distinguished Liberal Statesman, the late W. E. Forster, carried on during the succeeding years a vigorous propaganda of education on National questions both at home and in the great Colonies. In 1886 Mr. Forster was succeeded in the Presidency by Lord Rosebery. During the years in which Lord Rosebery guided the work of the League, and largely under his inspiration, a profound impression, pregnant with the results of the greatest national consequence, was unquestionably made on British opinion throughout the world. It was my privilege during those years to come closely in touch with popular feeling both in Britain and in the Colonies, and I have always thought that the gradual change from indifference to keen interest, from an attitude of critical questioning to one of accepted conviction in regard to the main principles which the League put forward, furnishes one of the most singular and encouraging instances in our history of a decisive evolution of political opinion without the aid of party conflict. Those years saw many of our