Front Page Titles (by Subject) 28.: W.E. Gladstone  21 JULY, 1866 - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXVIII The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXVIII - Public and Parliamentary Speeches Part I November 1850 - November 1868
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28.: W.E. Gladstone  21 JULY, 1866 - John Stuart Mill, The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXVIII The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXVIII - Public and Parliamentary Speeches Part I November 1850 - November 1868 
The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXVIII - Public and Parliamentary Speeches Part I November 1850 - November 1868, ed. John M. Robson and Bruce L. Kinzer (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1988).
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W.E. Gladstone 
Daily Telegraph, 23 July, 1866, p. 2. Headed: “The Cobden Club.” Reported fully in The Times, the Morning Post, and (in shorter form) the Daily News. (A clipping of the last is in the Mill-Taylor Collection.) The report in the Daily Telegraph gives the background to the formation of the Club, mentions its advanced liberalism, and gives a list of the eighty-five members from the Commons, including Mill. The occasion was the inaugural dinner of the Cobden Club, on Saturday evening, at the Star and Garter Hotel, Richmond. A meeting of the Club was held before the dinner, at which fifteen members, including Mill, were appointed as a governing committee. Gladstone presided at the dinner, Mill being one of the vice-chairs. Just before the speeches began, several ladies took seats in a small gallery placed at the side of the room. After the traditional toasts to the Queen and other members of the Royal Family, Gladstone gave the toast of the evening, “To the Revered Memory of Mr. Cobden,” in a long speech. The toast was drunk in silence, and then Goldwin Smith, “in a very animated” (but unreported) speech, gave the “Health of Lord Russell,” to which Russell replied at length; Russell next proposed the health of Mrs. Cobden. Mill, “who met with the most cordial reception,” then spoke.
there is one part of the business of the evening which still remains to be performed; and though I am sensible of my incompetency to do it justice, I cannot but feel some pride in its having been entrusted to me. It is that of tendering our grateful acknowledgments to the distinguished statesman who has done this club the honour of presiding at its inauguratory meeting. (Loud cheers.) The nature of this commemoration, which is not of a party, nor even, in the narrower sense of the term, of a political character, adisclosesa to us on this occasion many of the most important topics which are connected in all our minds with Mr. Gladstone’s name. (Hear, hear.) One thing, however, not only may but ought to be said on such an occasion as the present; that to him of all men belonged the post of honour in a celebration of the great apostle of commercial freedom, being, as he is, the one survivor of the three eminent men by whom, as Ministers, that cause has been most effectually served. (Cheers.) If Mr. Huskisson opened the long and arduous campaign; if Sir Robert Peel achieved its most signal and most decisive victory,1 Mr. Gladstone will be for ever remembered as he who completed the conquest, and who not only made freedom of trade and industry the universal rule of the institutions of our country, but by the brilliant success of his application of it is fast converting the whole of Europe to its principles. (Cheers.) There is another thing which this is, perhaps, a suitable opportunity for saying. Veneration for the memory of Mr. Cobden is not confined to any section of the Liberal party, nor even to the Liberal party itself. (Hear, hear.) But it has so happened, owing principally to the cast of Mr. Cobden’s own political opinions, that an unusual proportion of the original members of this club is composed of gentlemen who would be classed, and who would class themselves, as what are called advanced Liberals. (Cheers.) As being one of these, I may say for myself, and I believe they would all join with me in saying, that we claim our fair share, and no more than our fair share, in the great leader of the Liberal party. (Cheers.) It is one of the differences between a party of Progress and any Conservative party, that its political sympathies are not restricted to those who conform, or who pretend to conform, to those of a distinctive creed. We have not bound ourselves by any narrow articles of orthodoxy—ours is a broad church. (A laugh.) The bond which holds us together is not a political confession of faith, but a common allegiance to the spirit of improvement, which is a greater thing than the particular opinions of any politician or set of politicians. And if there ever was a statesman in whom the spirit of improvement was incarnate—of whose career as a Minister the characteristic feature has been to seek out things which required or admitted of improvement, instead of waiting to be compelled or even to be solicited to it—that honour belongs to bthe late Chancellor of the Exchequer and leader of the House of Commonsb . (Cheers.) I might stop here; but, fresh as most of us are from listening to that magnificent speech which went forth last night2 to the furthest extremity of Europe as the utterance, in the noblest language, of what is felt and thought by all the best part of the British nation—(loud cheers)—for sympathy with freedom and national independence is not exclusively confined to any section, or even to any party, among us—I should not do justice to the feelings of those present were I to sit down without giving expression to the pride, and more than pride, to the hopefulness with which we are filled when we see the author of that speech standing at the head of the Liberal party to lead it to victory. (Cheers.) That speech was not only a splendid specimen of oratory, it was also a good action; for it will ccheerc those who are struggling and suffering in the cause of freedom and progress; while its value is inestimable in raising—when I remember certain speeches, I might almost say in redeeming—the character of England. I propose “The health of the Right Honourable William Gladstone.” (Loud cheers.)
[Gladstone in reply] expressed his sincerest thanks to Mr. Mill for the kind way in which he had given the toast, and to the company for the reception they had been pleased to pay it. He was the more grateful to Mr. Mill because he could not forget that he was one of the most distinguished and powerful critics of the day, and, at the same time, possessed the most generous feelings of the heart. (Hear, hear.) [He also expressed thanks to Russell and to colleagues in the House for their support. The dinner concluded about eleven o’clock.]
[a-a]MP] DT,DN closes] TT recalls
[1 ]William Huskisson (1770–1830), advocate of free trade, influential cabinet minister and member of the Board of Trade 1823–27; Robert Peel (1788–1850) during his term as Prime Minister was responsible for the reduction of many duties and worked for the repeal of the corn laws.
[b-b]DN,MP,TT] DT Mr. Gladstone
[2 ]Gladstone, Speech on Foreign Policy (20 July), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 184, cols. 1241–52.