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parliamentary hand to know that if he did not accept the Prime Minister's terms, some Conservative drone would have been put up to talk against time until the Government could whip up a majority.
But the debate itself which had taken place had been of the greatest importance, and had practically settled the question. In addition to Mr. Lowe,-Sir George Campbell, Mr. Grant Duff, Lord Elcho, and Mr. Isaac Butt (whose two sons were in the North-Western Provinces Civil Service), had all spoken; while such prominent Conservatives as Mr. BeresfordHope, Mr. Spencer Walpole, Sir W. Stirling Maxwell, and Mr. Gibson, now Lord Ashbourne, had promised their support. No wonder Disraeli was anxious to come to terms when, jauntily dropping in at four o'clock, he, to his astonishment, perceived this state of things, and found Lord George Hamilton, in his best official manner, upholding the cause of Indian mismanagement against such unexpected odds. Lowe himself had spoken from half-past two till a quarter to four, and his speech had been even more applauded on the Conservative than on his own side of the House. The civilians of the North-Western Provinces,' said a writer in the Allahabad Pioneer, owe him a heavy debt of gratitude. . . . He has devoted an infinity of time and energy to their cause, and has won for it a victory such as hardly any man but he could have secured.' So delighted were the Indian civilians with this speech that they proposed to him, through Mr. Tupp, to reprint it.
The Right Hon. R. Lowe to A. Cotterell Tupp, Esq.
34 Lowndes Square, S.W.: July 13, 1875
My dear Mr. Tupp,-Of all amusements in the world, that which I like least is reading my own speeches. So you need not send more to me till it is struck off.
I am very glad that you and your friends are satisfied with me. I can only say that there are very few subjects in which I feel a greater interest.
I am very glad to say that I am informed that a very strong letter was written, by the next mail, to the Government of India, and that much good is expected from it by persons competent to judge. Believe me, very truly yours,
In a very frank and characteristic letter of November 5th, Lord Sherbrooke pointed out to Mr. Tupp that, having elected to make this subject of the Indian Civil servants' grievances a public matter, he could not write privately to Lord Northbrook, who was a personal friend as well as a fellow Liberal.
'The truth is,' he wrote, I have in your cause attacked my own party and the Governor-General, a private friend of twenty years' standing, and I must treat the question as strictly public. I cannot, therefore, write a letter of introduction. If you will take a return ticket from Charing Cross to Warlingham station by the train which leaves London at 3.28 to-morrow, I will meet you at the station and we will talk matters over.'
Mr. Cotterell Tupp's account of his visit is so interesting that I give it in his own words :
With his usual courtesy Mr. Lowe met me at the Warlingham station, and walked to the house with me. He took me over the grounds, and then we had tea together, and a two hours' talk, which I shall never forget. Hitherto, though he had often talked to me of politics and other matters, yet our conversations had necessarily been chiefly on business; but on this day, when I was his guest, he treated me as an ordinary guest, and talked on all sorts of subjects in a way which left me quite fascinated at the end of the visit. To me, who had spent the last twelve years in the jungles of India, and had yet kept up my interest in politics and in English public life, nothing could be more delightful than this long talk with one who had lived for so long at the very heart of things, and who was so well able to express his impressions in those vigorous and incisive phrases which at first almost startled one, but which one grew to expect as one got to know him better.
This little episode of Lord Sherbrooke and the Indian Civil Service is here reproduced at some length for one reason: because no reference is made to it in Mr. Henry Lucy's ad
mirable Diary of Two Parliaments-evidently that vigilant critic had not put in an appearance at the House of Commons. on the afternoon of June 29, 1875. It is also given because it reveals Robert Lowe in his true public character-that of a great member of Parliament. Many a man of mediocre abilities, with smooth and conciliatory manners, makes a very fair Cabinet Minister; and it is not difficult to get a supply of private members, with a turn for electioneering, who will, on occasion, champion a deserving or popular cause. But, if narrowly looked into, it will generally be found that the underlying motive of their zeal is the desire to ingratiate themselves with their constituents, to injure their political opponents, or to advertise themselves. Few, very few it is feared, will ever espouse a cause purely on account of its inherent justice; and still fewer will do so without a thought of their own advancement in public life, and with absolute and fearless impartiality towards their political friends as well as foes. If to these moral attributes of disinterestedness, zeal, freedom from faction, and love of justice, be added, as in Robert Lowe's case, immense ability and assiduity, so that neither time nor trouble was spared in mastering an intricate case-we have all the ingredients of what I have called a great member of Parliament.
After Mr. Cotterell Tupp returned to India, he wrote to Lord Sherbrooke, thanking him in the name of the whole service for all that he had done. Later on he wrote to inform him of his appointment as Accountant-General at Madras, when he brought under his notice some fresh acts of jobbery.
The Right Hon. R. Lowe to A. Cotterell Tupp, Esq.
34 Lowndes Square, S.W.: Feb. 15, 1879
My dear Mr. Tupp,-I am very glad that you have escaped from the hands of the Philistines, and have found rest for the sole of your foot. I am afraid I cannot undertake another crusade. The jobbery you detail is very wrong and even illegal, but I fear would not be of a nature to attract any serious attention in Parliament.
I will send your letter to Mr. Stanhope, the Under Secretary of State, and that is all I can do. Our relations with the Government are much more strained than they were three years ago.
Very truly yours,
The friendship and correspondence thus commenced over a grievance which had no personal interest for Lord Sherbrooke, but which he espoused on public grounds, did not terminate here. It was continued after the one had retired from India and the other had entered the House of Lords. The redress of the grievances of Indian Civil servants, which was effected by the despatch of Lord Salisbury to the Governor-General in 1876, was, as Mr. Cotterell Tupp's narrative shows, entirely the work of Lord Sherbrooke. The contented state and thorough success of the service at the present time,' writes Mr. Tupp, 'we owe altogether to him.' 'One of the greatest proofs,' he adds, of Lord Sherbrooke's ability was the wonderful way he had mastered the whole subject within a month of the time he took it up. Latterly he used to ask me questions and raise objections which, though I had been years at the subject, I could not answer at the moment. I have often since said that he gave me the impression of being far and away the ablest man I have ever met; and in thirty years of administrative life in India and in England, I have met many very clever men.'
CLOSING SCENES IN THE COMMONS
ON February 3, 1874, Robert Lowe was for the third time. re-elected member for the University of London, without opposition. Sir John Lubbock presided as Vice-Chancellor in place of Mr. Grote, but Lowe's proposer and seconder, Sir Julian Goldsmid and Sir Richard Quain, were the same distinguished members of the University who nad proposed and seconded him on the first occasion; and the writ and other legal documents were read by Dr. Carpenter, who was still the Registrar of the University. In his speech in returning thanks, Lowe, as one of the leaders of the Liberal party, not only defended the policy of the Gladstone Government, chiefly against the attacks of Mr. Disraeli, but dealt with one question -that of Home Rule for Ireland-which is still of pressing interest as likely to affect the immediate future of this country. After pointing out that under any system of Irish Home Rule all British contributions towards the internal government of Ireland must cease, he thus dealt with the all-important question of the retention or non-retention of Irish members in the House of Commons:
If we are not allowed to interfere in the domestic affairs of Ireland, the difficulty arises that has always been felt by the Colonies-are we to let Ireland interfere with the domestic affairs of England and Scotland? England and Scotland will never like to have their affairs managed by the Irish members. They might