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the public to free fishing for trout with certain limited exceptions, objected to any close-time being enforced unless that right to free fishing were first legally established. According to the evidence from all parts of the Tweed, it appears that the proprietors in whom at present the legal right to trout-fishing is vested are extremely liberal in granting facilities to the public to prosecute trout-fishing to their hearts' content. Under these circumstances we are unable to recommend such an alteration in the law as Mr Brown suggests; but, though it is somewhat beyond our province to do so, we recommend that the general law of Scotland should be amended so as to provide a close-time for trout, and that the sale and possession of trout should be made illegal during the close-time."
Mr A. L. Brown, having thus failed to influence the Tweed and Solway Commissioners in favour of a bill for free fishing, has now proceeded, in conjunction with his successor in the Border Burghs, Mr Thomas Shaw, the ex-Solicitor-General for Scotland, to concoct a scheme whereby to defeat Sir Herbert Maxwell's bill for a close-time for trout. In order to do this effectively, he has entered into an unholy alliance with certain Irish members who have blocked the bill. It may very reasonably be asked. what the Irish members have to do with blocking a bill for a close-time for trout in Scotland, especially when, as I have shown above, the trout and pollen in Ireland have the benefit of a closeseason. The reason Mr Brown has had the audacity to make public in the press it is that "the Border Burghs have helped the Irish cause.' Thus, for party purposes, certain members of the Irish gang are blocking a bill about which they, in all probability, know nothing and care less! But in whose interests is
it that Mr A. L. Brown and Mr Thomas Shaw are so anxious to acquire this free fishing? Is it for the benefit of the respectable angler in that Border constituency? Not so. I defy Mr A. L. Brown or Mr Thomas Shaw to produce a single respectable angler from the Hawick Burghs who has expressed himself in favour of such an enactment. I may here quote, as of more weight than any words of my own, a memorandum regarding the origin and progress of the Upper Teviotdale Fisheries Association, the largest and most important association of the kind in Scotland, prepared for the Duke of Buccleuch by the secretary of the Association on April 9, 1894. These fisheries, it may be mentioned in passing, are connected chiefly with the very constituency which had for its representative in Parliament Mr A. L. Brown in the past, and possesses Mr Thomas Shaw for the present. After showing that
the Association was formed in 1881, so that "all respectable anglers could obtain liberty to fish, for the payment of a small annual fee, and which Association would have the power to enforce an annual close-time for trout, and to protect the waters from unlicensed fishers and poachers," the report goes on to show what has been done in that direction since the commencement of its operations. Licences have been granted, the waters have been protected, and the trout-fishing has improved enormously. But a still further benefit has been conferred upon all the decent anglers in the neighbourhood through the action of this Association. The memorandum thus puts it:
"By preventing any one fishing for a livelihood, by prohibiting any angler
allowing dogs to follow him to the riverside, and by refusing its licence to all parties who have infringed its rules, or who are suspected of poaching, of whom there are at present no less than 106 on the Black List, the Association has, in a great measure, put a stop to poaching in the district."
It appears to me that this report of the Upper Teviotdale Fisheries Association conclusively proves that the respectable angler will have nothing to do with the free fishing bill proposed to be granted by Mr A. L. Brown and Mr Thomas Shaw, and that the only persons that will reap any benefit through the passing of such a measure would be the 106, or thereby, so-called anglers who, from their poaching methods or
wilful breach of the regulations of that society, have been publicly debarred from receiving licences to fish.
It has been further
alleged by Mr A. L. Brown and Mr Thomas Shaw that the bill of Sir Herbert Maxwell is one in the interests of the landlords of Scotland only. This, I consider, is a deliberate misstatement of fact. The bill has been carefully prepared for the benefit of the respectable angling community, and has, as I have shown, the support of the representatives of practically the whole of Scotland. It is to be hoped that Mr A. L. Brown and Mr Thomas Shaw employ more sportsmanlike methods in their angling than they appear to do in dealing with political questions.
HARCOURT AND CANNING.
"IT is clear that they [the Greeks] had everything to gain by complying with the wishes of the Powers instead of taking the law into their own hands. They would probably have done so, had all the Governments of the six great Powers been able to adopt simultaneously prompt decisions. But three of them were hampered by Philhellenic manifestations at home, which are in a measure responsible for the war."— Vienna
now extended to Greece can wipe out the events of the last six weeks, she has lost, and which it will take or restore her to the position which her at least half a century to recover. Dissipated for ever are the idle dreams which native revolutionists and foreign sympathisers had so long cherished. The action of the English Radicals, with Sir William Harcourt at the head of
Correspondent of the Times,' April them, has had an effect exactly the
In the May number of 'Maga,' we suggested that Sir William Harcourt, if he really sympathised with the Greeks, must some times have an uneasy quarter of an hour with himself when he reflected on the probable effect of his own violent declamation on that excitable and vainglorious people. We added, "Those who are sincerely anxious for the welfare of a race to whom the whole civilised world is so deeply indebted, would have shown them more real kindness by pointing out the danger of the course on which they have now entered, than by encouraging them in efforts calculated to embarrass and disable the best friend they have in Europe." Were these idle words, written only in the spirit of a partisan? No; events have only too abundantly justified them. The "unwise Philhellenism," allowing it to have been sincere, to which the Times' refers, has brought about the result which we foresaw, more completely and more quickly than we expected. Greece has been humbled in the dust; and her Radical friends are principally to blame for the result. Whatever terms of peace may be ultimately arranged, no favour or indulgence
reverse of that which they professed to have in view. Their object was to exalt Greece and trample upon Turkey. Now Turkey is stronger-stronger both morally and materially-than she has been for the last twenty years, and Greece is crushed.
We wonder what the gallant "one hundred" think of their handiwork now. But however the war had ended, our opinion of their folly, and of the attitude adopted by their leader, would have been just the same. It is this mischievous meddling of the English Liberals while negotiations with foreign Powers are in progress that has constantly been the source of the gravest embarrassment to Ministers and Governments, whether Whig, Tory, or Liberal. Let us appeal again to Sir William Harcourt's hero, Mr Canning. The singularly close parallel between the European situation in 1823, when Mr Canning was straining every nerve to prevent a war between France and Spain, and the situation in March, when Lord Salisbury was doing his best to prevent war between Greece and Turkey, has never, we think, been noticed. The situation arose out of the Spanish Revolution, which made Ferdinand VII. virtually a
prisoner in the hands of the Cortes. The great Powers, including France, were determined to restore him to liberty, and at the end of the year 1822 a French "army of observation" was already encamped on the Spanish frontier. It was certain that if nothing could be done towards improving improving the position of the king, and allow ing him the exercise of those functions which formed part even of the new constitution, war would follow. If the Spanish Revolutionary party chose to set Europe at defiance, they must take the consequences. "If the Spaniards were not wrong-headed," said Mr Canning, "all might go well." But they behaved exactly as Greece has done: they were wrong-headed. The Cortes turned a deaf ear to all Canning's suggestions, when a very slight concession would have prevented war. War followed; with the complete discomfiture of the Liberal Party, and the restoration of the old despotism: and who, in Mr Canning's opinion, were mainly answerable for this result, by encouraging the Spanish Radicals to resist? Why was it that the English advice tendered through Lord Fitzroy Somerset was summarily rejected? Hear Mr Canning's own words :
"Spain, then, I repeat, has never been misled by the British Government. But I fear, nevertheless, that a notion was some way or other created at Madrid, that if Spain would but hold out resolutely the Government of England would be forced by the popular voice in this country to take part in her favour."
Exactly the notion that was created at Athens. Mr Canning goes on—
"And I do firmly believe that such
a notion had great share in producing the peremptory refusal of any modification of the constitution of 1812."
Spain, when she discovered the truth, must have been bitterly disappointed :
"This disappointment, sir, was from the beginning certain, inevitable: for the mistake of those who excited the hopes of Spain was not only as to the conduct of the British Government, but as to the sentiment of the British nation." 2
This mistake "thwarted the policy of the British Government, and the difficulties of aggravated Spain."
"For myself, I declare that even the responsibility of plunging this country into an unnecessary war would have weighed less heavily upon my conscience than that which, instigating Spain to war by exciting thank God, I have not incurred, of hopes of assistance which I had not the means of realising." 1
Are not the above passages every whit as applicable to the English Radicals and Greece at the present moment as they were to the English Whigs and Spain Mutato seventy-four years ago? nomine de te. Could the effects of that unwise Philhellenism spoken of by the 'Times,' and more recently rebuked with eloquent gravity by the Prime Minister, be more accurately described? Sir William Harcourt has referred us to Canning, and to CanMutato ning we refer him back. nomine de te. We say that Lord Salisbury's position before the war broke out was very much what Canning's was in 1822: that he has been "thwarted" in a similar manner, and with similar results and that the strongest condemnation of Sir W. Harcourt's
1 Hansard, April 30, 1823.
conduct comes from the lips of the very Minister whom he is always quoting in his own favour, and whose authority he places far above that of any living statesman. Undoubtedly the fact that before the delivery of Somerset's message the great Powers had withdrawn their Ambassadors from Madrid did something to harden the Cortes against all concession. But we see where Canning himself thought that the chief responsibility rested. The impression made upon the Cortes by the English Liberals was largely responsible for the peremptory rejection of the advice tendered by Great Britain-advice which would have prevented war and saved the Spanish constitution. The impression made upon the Greeks by the words and actions of the English Radicals a few months ago was exactly similar in kind, and followed by similar consequences. But besides encouraging the Greeks, it had a bad effect upon the Powers, which was visible at once in the different position of England before the meeting of Parliament and afterwards. The influence of Lord Salisbury, which was predominant during the autumn and winter, has latterly been overruled; and who can question but that the change is due in great part to the mischievous behaviour of the Opposition, who, refusing pitched battle when the Government victory would have reassured the other Powers, have kept up a dropping fire, which leaves them still uncertain which way English public feeling is tending after all. They have deceived not only Greece, but Europe, and "not only as to the conduct of the Government, but as to the sentiments of the British nation."
To this very danger Lord Salisbury adverted in the impressive
speech which he delivered on the 20th of last month at a London political club. Now that the war is over, our difficulties perhaps are in one sense only just beginning; and it is, said the noble Marquis, "of great importance that neither the Sultan of Turkey and his supporters, nor the Government of Greece and their supporters, should be under any illusion as to the state of feeling in this country with respect to the present passing events." The Powers are all agreed that no Christian population must be replaced under the dominion of the Sultan. Turkey must understand that. But we must be careful to prevent any impression from getting abroad that public opinion in Great Britain is prepared to relieve Greece from the natural consequences of her own acts of folly and injustice. The penalties which she has incurred by them she will have to pay-if not by the cession of territory, by some other amercement only a little less agreeable to her. Greece must understand that. If English opinion is misrepresented on this point, as it was on the question of Crete by those who, without the smallest right to constitute themselves the spokesmen of this country, persuaded Greece at all events to regard them in that capacity, they will only bring on their unfortunate clients the repetition, in some other form, of the disasters which they have already endured. The hundred members who disgraced the House of Commons by an act which contributed so largely to mislead the Greeks, and so to lure them on to their ruin, are chargeable with the sin of blood-guiltiness; and this should be a warning to all politicians and all sympathisers with Greece at the present moment-of whom, indeed, Lord Salisbury is