Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/264

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Born in 1836; elected to Parliament in 1868; Financial Secretary to the War Office, 1871, 1874, 1880-82; Secretary to the Admiralty, 1882-84; Chief Secretary for Ireland, 1884-85; Secretary of State for War, 1886, 1892-95; Liberal Leader in the House of Commons, 1899- 1905; Prime Minister, 1906.

We are met to-night as Liberals in a position which we have not occupied for ten years. The Unionist Government has gone. It has executed what we may call a moonlight flitting. It has run away. Not in the broad day of the Session, not even in the twilight of October, but in the murky midnight of December. They have gone. They had long ago lost, as they well knew, the confidence of the country. They still boasted in a feeble and uncertain way of holding the con- fidence of the House of Commons; but, last of all and worst of all, they lost confidence in them- selves. And they are gone. We were told — told emphatically and abundantly — that the method

1 From a speech at the Albert Hall, London, December SI, 1905. By kind permission of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, and the London Times.


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