Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/86

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GLADSTONE


ON THE DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF ENGLAND [1]

(1879)


Born in 1809, died in 1898; first elected to Parliament in 1832; Vice-President of the Board of Trade in 1841 and President in 1843; Colonial Secretary in 1846; Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1852, 1855, and 1859; Prime Minister in 1868 and three times subsequently until 1894; with the exception of a year and a half sat continuously in the House from 1832 until 1895.


Gentlemen, I speak of agricultural distress as a matter now undoubtedly serious. Let none of us withhold our sympathy from the farmer, the cultivator of the soil, in the struggle he has to undergo. His struggle is a struggle of competition with the United States. But I do not fully explain the case when I say the United States. It is not with the entire United States, it is with the western portion of these States—that portion remote from the seaboard; and I wish in the first place, gentlemen, to state to you all a fact of very great interest and importance, as it seems to me, relating to and defining

the point at which the competition of the West-

  1. Delivered during his Midlothian campaign, November 27, 1879, and followed by his return to power as prime minister in the following spring, succeeding Beaconsfield. Abridged. By kind permission of the London Times and Messrs. G. P. Putnam's Sons.