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156

PALMERSTON AND GLADSTONE

rights which belong to our fellow-subjects resident in Greece, let us do as we would be done by, and let us pay all the respect to a feeble State, and to the infancy of free institutions, which we should desire and should exact from others towards their maturity and their strength. Let us refrain from all gratuitousx) and arbitrary meddling in the internal concerns of other States, even as we should resent the same interference if it were attempted to be practised towards ourselves. If the noble Lord has indeed acted upon these principles Iet the Government to which he belongs have your verdict in its favour; but it he has departed from them, as I contend, and as I humbly think and urge upon you that it has been too amply proved, then the House of Commons must not shrink from the performance of its duty, under whatever expectations of momentary obloquy2) or reproach, because we shall have done what is right; we shall enjoy the peace of our consciences, and receive, whether a little sooner or a little later, the approval of the public voice, for having entered our solemn protest against a system of policy which we believe, nay, which we know, whatever may be its first aspect, must of necessity in its final results be unfavourable even to the security of British subjects resident abroad, which it professes so much to study — unfavourable to the dignity of the country, which the Motion of the hon. and learned Member asserts that it preserves — and equally unfavourable to that other great and sacred object which also it suggests to our recollection, the maintenance of peace with the nations of the world.

Gladstone's Speeches ed. Bassett. London.

Methuen, 1916.

1. gratuitous: given for nothing; done without good cause.

2. obloquy: abuse, being ill spoken of.

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