Front Page Titles (by Subject) 135.: The Westminster Election of 1868  6 NOVEMBER, 1868 - 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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135.: The Westminster Election of 1868  6 NOVEMBER, 1868 - 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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The Westminster Election of 1868 
Morning Star, 7 November, 1868, p. 2. Headed: “Election Intelligence. / Westminster.” Reported also in summary in the Daily Telegraph; the Daily News has only a one-sentence comment. In a letter to Chadwick of 7 November, Mill says: “I had already addressed one of my meetings on election expenses [see No. 134], and in compliance with your suggestion I did so again last evening” (CW, Vol. XVI, p. 1481), but, as he goes on to complain, the newspapers were not reporting his remarks in full. He repeats the complaint in a letter to Chadwick on 10 November, saying: “The newspapers have not reported what I said about election expenses and I have no note of it” (ibid., p. 1484). The public meeting of the electors of St. George’s Without and Knightsbridge was held in the evening in the Pimlico Rooms, Warwick Street, Mr. West in the Chair. Most of the “leading inhabitants of Pimlico” were on the platform. Grosvenor spoke first; being interrupted by the Chair with the warning that pickpockets were about, he commented that he did not see the connection between pickpockets and the Irish Church. Mill was greeted with enthusiastic cheers.
mr. mill impressed on the electors the fact that they had something more important to decide than the merits of their representatives. As a part of the electoral body of the United Kingdom, they had to decide whether they would be governed by a Conservative Administration or not. a“Conservative” was an extremely pleasant term; and it would be time for a Conservative Government when there was nothing else to be done. (Laughter and cheers.) When everybody was perfectly happy and comfortable, there would be a state of things worth conserving; but the world was not just yet happy enough for anybody to be conservative in it. (Loud laughter.) If they wanted it made better they had better trust to earnest Liberals. (Cheers.) It would be unjust to say all Tories were the enemies of improvement; but it was so uncommonly difficult to make them perceive that there was anything to improve, or that anything could be safely improved. (Laughter.) When an improvement was made, and evidently successful, they very often would accept it and be glad of it; but, on the whole, they were not people who could be expected to do much in that way of their own accord. (Hear, hear.)abThis had been, and was likely to continue to be, the character of the Tory party, because if any man arose amongst them possessed by the spirit of improvement, he was sure to become a Liberal and to throw off the Tory party, as Mr. Gladstone had done; or the Tory party would throw him off, as they did with Sir Robert Peel. (Cheers.) Thereforeb there could be no surprise that the residuum of that party should not be depended upon for making great improvements—(hear, hear)—and there could also be no surprise that the remaining members of that party should require a great deal of educating. (Laughter.) The Tory party had now got a very able man to lead them who would make us believe that he had educated the party to which he was supposed to be attached. cMr. Disraeli had professed to educate his party,1 as the Irishman did his pig when he tied a string to its hind leg, and took it into Limerickc backwards. The Irishman was asked the meaning of his getting his pig to walk backwards, and replied in what is known in Ireland as a “pig’s whisper:” “Hush! The pig must not suspect where I’m taking it to; walking this way it does not see where I’m taking it to; the pig thinks it’s going home; I couldn’t get it into Limerick otherwise.” (Laughter.) Mr. Disraeli had also taken his party into Limerick. There was, however, this difference between the Irishman and his pig, and Mr. Disraeli and his party. The Irishman made his pig go forward by making it fancy it was going backward, but Mr. Disraeli made his party believe they were going backward when they were really going forward. (Laughter.) But this was a thing that could happen only once. Mr. Disraeli could not make his party go into Limerick a second time in a similar way. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) But he (Mr. Mill) did not believe that Mr. Disraeli was entitled to the credit which that gentleman took to himself of educating his party. Besides, he believed that even Mr. Disraeli himself had undergone a process of education. (Laughter.) dHe believed that Mr. Edmond Beales—(cheers)—had had much more to do with the educating of the Tory party than Mr. Disraeli, and he believed also that the same popular gentleman had a hand in educating Mr. Disraeli himself.d But he (Mr. Mill) did not think that this educating of the leaders of the great parties was a thing that could answer in the long run. (Hear, hear.) eBut driving one’s leader was uphill work, and the country had better send men to Parliament to support the most earnest Minister of the day in doing these things. (Cheers.) To get rid of the ratepaying clauses of the Reform Act, to secure purity and freedom of election, to remove the real and heavy grievances of Ireland, to secure a fair and equal management of charities for the welfare of the poor, and to accomplish similar needed reforms, Mr. Gladstone and a Liberal Government must be substituted for Mr. Disraeli and a Tory Government. (Loud cheers.)e
[Grosvenor answered questions about the Prince of Wales’s allowance, primogeniture, working-class representation, and payment of members.]
Mr. Mill, replying to questions, thought that £60,000 a year ought to be enough for the Prince of Wales2 —(Hear, hear, and cheers)—but he thought the question might be left in the hands of Mr. Gladstone. He should vote for the abolition of the law of primogeniture.3 (Cheers.) He thought it was of great importance that working men, who could be considered good representative men, should be in Parliament. (Cheers.) He was not in favour of paying members of Parliament. He would vote against the three-cornered constituencies.4 He did not think, however, that those constituencies would injure the Liberal cause at the forthcoming elections. On the contrary, he believed that the Liberals would gain in the counties, and in Liverpool. It was a question to him whether they would lose anywhere by the introduction of that principle.
[A resolution supporting Grosvenor and Mill was moved, seconded, and passed with three dissenting votes, and the meeting concluded.]
[b-b]DT] MS As the Tory party was constantly losing its best and greatest men, either because it rejected them or they rejected it,
[c-c]DT] MS Mr. Disraeli’s education of the Tory party reminded him (Mr. Mill) of the story of the Irishman who managed to get his pig into the town of Limerick by making it walk
[1 ]Disraeli, Speech at the Corn Exchange, Edinburgh (29 Oct., 1867), reported in The Times, 30 Oct., p. 5.
[d-d]DT Mr. Disraeli had not been so clever or so unprincipled as he represented; for he had been himself educated, with his party, by the ancient goddess Necessity, whose high priest on this occasion had been Mr. Beales. (Cheers.)
[e-e]DT] MS Mr. Mill then proceeded to review the various measures—among them the settlement of the Reform, Church and land, and trade-union questions—which he considered necessary to be passed as soon as possible, so as to improve the physical and moral condition of the working classes, and which he believed would never be done by the Tory party unless the people of London and Mr. Beales did as they had done before. (Cheers.) Mr. Gladstone was, he believed, the most likely person to be able to carry those measures. (Loud cheering.)
[2 ]Albert Edward (1841–1910), Prince of Wales, later Edward VII.
[3 ]“A Bill for the Better Settling the Real Estates of Intestates,” 29 Victoria (13 Mar., 1866), PP, 1866, V, 29–32, had been defeated; a bill with the same title was to be introduced in the next session, 32 Victoria (11 Mar., 1869), PP, 1868–69, V, 29–30.
[4 ]The Reform Act of 1867 had given some boroughs three members, the electors voting for only two, with the intention of facilitating representation of minorities.