Barrister Stanley Buckmaster KC was selected by the Cambridge Liberal Party as their candidate for Cambridge Borough – and he would become MP in 1906 in a closely fought election campaign.
Lord Buckmaster shortly after becoming Lord Chancellor, via WikiP.
Fortunately the article covering his inaugural speech as candidate summarised the key points from his very extensive speech.
“One of the most enthusiastic and successful meetings of the Liberal Party held in Cambridge for many years was that on Tuesday opening at the Guildhall, when Mr. Stanley O. Buckmaster made his first public appearance after his adoption as the respective Liberal candidate for the Borough. The hall was filled long before the time at which the meeting was advertised to commence, the audience whiling away the time of waiting by singing well-known Liberal songs, with organ accompaniments by Mr. J. H. Warmington.
“When Mr H. G. Whibley, the President of the Cambridge Liberal Association, appeared on the platform, accompanied by Mr. Buckmaster and a number of prominent supporters of the Party, there was a scene of the greatest enthusiasm. Mr. Buckmaster bowed is acknowledgments, and from the cheers which again and again rang through the building the audience broke out into the well-known refrain, “For he’s a jolly good fellow.”
“Mr. Buckmaster made a magnificent speech, lasting an hour and twenty minutes, and mainly devoted to the fiscal question. Towards the close the meeting resolution confirming the adoption of Mr. Buckmaster as the prospective Liberal candidate for the borough was carried unanimously.
Points From the Speech.
“Our opponents have said all they want is fair fight. They are easily satisfied. I promise them a fair fight, aye, and a hard fight.
“For many years past you have not been called upon to exercise your judgment and your vote upon question so important a: the one now before you.
“It is whether or not the people of this country are for the future to free to buy their food in the cheapest market. Open minds.” like open spaces, if they are not properly guarded, are apt to become the receptacles for a large quantity of rubbish.
“The Government has no policy—or it is a policy of paralysis.
“I have greatly misunderstood my countrymen if they like a policy which consists of letting “I dare not” wait upon “I would.”
“To assert that the Free Trade movement in this country began with any other idea help the helpless, and to speak for those who had no voices to speak tor themselves, is both to misread history and to cast a most unworthy slander upon a great and noble name.
“There is no foundation whatever for the alarm which has been started about our trade.
“It is idle nonsense to say that because we export a certain value of goods and get back greater value of goods is a bad thing for us. It is the very essence of successful trading.
“We absolutely depend for our existence upon the fact that into our open ports is poured the wealth of the world. For the men who live by labour, for the women round whose skirts cluster the hungry little children, for all the great and growing needs our great and growing people, this (Mr. Chamberlain’s scheme) is a return to the system which brought on hunger and want and misery in the past.
“You cannot possibly compete with intelligent enterprise by protective tariffs. You cannot breed brains behind protective tariff walls.
“They say that we the Liberal Party are afraid to adopt the policy of retaliation because we are afraid of giving offence to foreign countries.
“It is as base mean insinuation a newspaper could be guilty of.
“It is some old taunt that we were afraid to uphold the national honour. It is untrue. If it should happen that the clouds you see from time to time crossing the horizon of European politics gather together in a thunder cloud of war, whose rain is red, our hearts would not quail in meeting the storm, providing know that our national defence is not in the hand of the Tory Government.
“I believe in the subject of Education lies the whole future of the English people. It is often the to laugh at the Nonconformist conscience.
“I speak as a member of the Church of England, and I say I have never yet seen anything in any person’s honest convictions that was the proper subject of ridicule.
“I think that the Education Bill was wrong, because it compels people to pay for teaching of which they disapprove.”
It was this Education Bill, enacted as the Education Act of 1904 that swayed the balance towards Mr Buckmaster and the Liberals – that Act favouring Church of England and Roman Catholic-run schools over non-conformist-run schools.
The article continues with a full transcript of Mr Buckmaster’s speech – all 80 minutes of it, which runs into over 10,000 words. The image below shows just how much content the newspaper crammed into its pages.