Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/269

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CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN

in India? There has been an unbroken rule — a wise rule which we, assuredly, shall not be the first to violate — to keep questions of the internal administration of India outside the area of party polities. So far as questions of the day are con- cerned, I expect that it will not be your friend and my friend, Mr. John Morley, in whom the doings of the late government will find their most eloquent and energetic and unsparing critic. No ; it will be one of the most distinguished and powerful members of their own party — I mean Lord Curzon. One of the problems arising from the system of military administration in India has raised an angry controversy in which a prime minister, a secretary of state, a viceroy, and a commander-in-chief, have taken their part, and which has been marked by a vehemence of alter- cation and recrimination that would be unedify- ing anywhere,. but is more than unedifying where the stage of such a scene is the great dominion of India. Talk of imperialism ! I know nothing, I can imagine nothing, less like a sense of our imperial responsibility than the spectacle of this controversy, so rashly raised, so tactlessly hand- led, so recklessly published. You may be sure that it will be our aim to restore that spirit of caution and vigorous common sense which has been the basis of British rule in India; and you may also be assured that we shall make ourselves party to no steps that involve any invasion of the sacred principle — for it is a principle recog- nized by each party throughout the realm of the 2°9

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