The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 53
Persecution of the Jews in Russia
Persecution of the Jews in Russia.
n Wednesday afternoon, February the Ist, a meeting convened by the Lord Mayor, in response to the subjoined requisition, was held in the Egyptian Hall, Manison House, "to express public opinion upon the outrages inflicted upon the Jews in various parts of Russia and Russian Poland." The chair was taken by the Lord Mayor, at three o'clock. The requisition was then read, and was as follows:—
To the Right Hon. The Lord Mayor of the City of London.
We the undersigned consider that there should be a public expression of opinion respecting the persecutions to which the Jews in various parts of the Russian empire have for a long time past been subjected. We therefore ask your Lordship to be so good as to call, at your earliest convenience, a public meeting for that purpose, at the Mansion House, and that you will be good enough to take the chair on the occasion.We remain, my Lord,
- His Grace the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury.
- The Right Hon. the Earl of Shaftesbury, K.G.
- The Right Hon. Lord Scarsdale.
- The Right Rev. The Lord Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol.
- The Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Oxford.
- Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice, M.P.
- The Hon. W. St. John Brodrick, M.P.
- Sir Arthur Otway, Bart., M.P.
- Alderman Sir James Clark Lawrence, Bart, M. P.
- Sir Erasmus Wilson, F.R.S.
- The Rev. the Master of Balliol.
- The Rev. Canon Spence, M.A.
- The Rev. H. R. Haweis, M.A.
- Charles Darwin, Esq., F.R.S.
- Matthew Arnold, Esq., E.R.S.
- Henry Richard, Esq., M.P.
- Charles Magniac, Esq., M.P.
- Mr. Alderman Lawrence, M.P.
- F. A. Inderwick, Esq., Q.C., M.P.
- His Eminence Cardinal Manning.
- The Right Hon. and Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of London.
- The Right Hon. Lord Mount-Temple.
- The Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Manchester.
- The Right Hon. Lord Elcho, M.P.
- The Hon. F. Leveson-Gower, M.P.
- The Right Hon. J. G. Hubbard, M.P.
- Sir John Lubbock, Bart., M.P., F.R.S.
- Sir Donald Currie, K.C.M.G., M.P.
- The Very Rev. the Dean of Peter-borough, D.D.
- The Rev. Canon Farrar, D.D.
- The Rev. W. Page Roberts, M.A.
- The Rev. James Martineau, D. D.
- Professor Tyndall, F.R.S.
- Samuel Morley, Esq., M.P.
- Michael Biddulph, Esq., M.P.
- Mr. Alderman Cotton, M.P.
- Alexander McArthur, Esq., M.P.
- C. A. McLaren, Esq., M.P.
The Lord Mayor on taking his seat on the platform was greeted with loud cheers. Among those present were the Earl of Shaftesbury, the Bishop of London, the Bishop of Oxford, Cardinal Manning, Lord page 4 Reay, Lord Arthur Russell, M.P., Sir Nathaniel de Rothschild, M.P., Mr. Serjeant Simon. M.P., Mr. Alfred de Rothschild, Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, Lord Haldon. Lord Stanley of Alderley, Lord Elcho, M.P., Sir Arthur Otway, M.P., Sir Albert Sassoon, Alderman Sir Robert W. Carden, M.P., Mr. C. M'Claren, M.P., the Rev. Canon Farrar, Alderman Sir Francis Truscott, Mr. A. M'Arthur, M.P., Mr. Alderman Lawrence, M.P., Alderman Sir J. C. Lawrence, M.P., Alderman Sir Thomas White, the Hon. E. Lyulph Stanley, M.P., Sir Julian Goldsmid, Admiral Sir Geoffrey Hornby, Professor Bryce, M.P., the Right Hon. J. G. Hubbard, M.P., Mr. Alderman Fowler, M.P., the Mayor of Folkestone (Mr. Coules), Mr. Robert Browning, the Rev. Canon Spence, Mr. Arthur Cohen, Q.C, M.P., Mr. Edward Clarke, Q.C, M.P., Mr. Alderman Cotton, M.P., Mr. Shield, Q.C, M.P., Mr. Thomson Hankey, the Right Rev. . Monsignor Capel, Sir George Bowyer, Mr. William Fowler, M.P., Sir Albert Galt, Sir Julius Vogel, the Hon. Saul Samuel, C.M.G. (Agent-General for New South Wales), the Rev. Newman Hall, Mr. Montague Guest, M.P., the Dean of Wells, the Dean of Peterborough, Mr. Marriott, Q.C, M.P., Mr. E. Howley Palmer, Mr. Francis Buxton, M.P., Mr. Oswald John Simon, the Rev. Prebendary Cadman, the Rev. J. H. Coward, the Rev. Dr. Hermann Adler, the Rev. Harvey Brooks, Sir John Bennett, Baron George de Worms, the Rev. H. R. Haweis, the Hon. Moritz Ellinger, of New York, Mr. Alderman Breffit, the Rev. E. H. Bickersteth, Major Snell, Dean Bagot, the Rev. C. Voysey, Mr. J. W. Probyn, the Rev. H. Lansdell, Mr. Samuel Montagu, Mr. Burne-Jones, the Rev. Dr. Martineau, Professor Thorold Rogers, M.P., Mr. Magniac, M.P., Mr. Henry Brinsley Sheridan, M.P., Mr. Israel Davis, Mr. SidneyWoolf, M.P., Dr. Gladstone, Mr. Lionel L. Cohen, Dr. Congreve, the Rev. Canon Jenkyns, Sir William Rose Robinson, Archdeacon Brooks, Mr. Daniel Grant, M.P., the Hon. Rollo Russell, the Rev. A. L. Green, Mr. Sedley Taylor, Mr. P. Callan, M.P., Mr. Cyril Flower, M.P., Mr. George Ellis, M. Léon Jolivard, Ven. Archdeacon Blunt, Sir George F. Bowen (Governor of Victoria), Sir Thomas Bateson, M.P., Mr. Loftus Tottenham, M.P., Rev. Horrocks Cocks, Rev. J. Wilkinson, Mr. Israel Hart (High Bailiff of Leicester), Alderman Emanuel (of Southsea), Dr. A. Asher, Mr. I. Seligman, Mr. Leopold Schloss, Mr. H. L. Beddington, Mr. E. M. Leon, Mr. J. B. Montefiore, and Mr. W. J. Soulsby. Among the ladies present were the Lady Mayoress and Miss Ellis, the Baroness Burdett-Coutts, Dowager Lady Stanley of Alderley, Viscountess Strangford, Lady Wynford, and the Hon. Miss Mostyn, Lady de Rothschild, the Dowager Lady (Anthony) de Rothschild, Louisa Lady Goldsmid, Mrs. George Lewis, Mrs. Henry Lucas, Lady and Miss Henderson, Mrs. and the Misses Simon, the Countess d'Avigdor, Mrs. Arthur Cohen, and Mrs. Jacob Waley.
"My Dear Lord,—It is a distress to me that I am forbidden by my medical attendant to take part in the meeting your lordship has undertaken to call together to enter an emphatic protest against the recent outrages to which the Jewish people have been exposed. Unable to attend myself, I have asked Canon Farrar to be present (cheers), and express the horror with which I contemplate the disgrace brought on the Christian name by these shameful persecutions."
"I am unable to attend the meeting to-morrow. I cannot, however, repress my feeling of horror and of indignation at the barbarities and ruin worked upon the defenceless Jews in Russia. I am afraid there page 6 can be no doubt as to an enormous amount of great and hideous wrong-doing, but we want more information, to obtain which every effort should be made, and for acquiring which I believe the Russian Goverment are willing to give facilities? Meanwhile, I can well understand and can sympathise with the feeling that prompts thousands of our fellow-countrymen to give vent to their indignation against the perpetrators of these barbarities, and of sympathy with those who have suffered and are suffering under these enormities."
"I should have greatly desired to join my voice to those that will be uplifted in protest against such cruelties. No language can well be thought too strong to declare our abhorrence of such conduct and our appeal to the Russian authorities to use every effort to punish it and prevent its repetition."
"As I signed the requisition to the Lord Mayor begging him to call a public meeting at the Mansion House, at which an opportunity might be given for the expression of the feeling that, I imagine, is strong in the hearts of all Englishmen with regard to the outrages to which the Jews appear to have been subjected in Russia, I regret that it is out of my power to attend that meeting in person; but the Mayor has called a similar meeting in Manchester for February 3rd, at which I hope to be present, and where I shall have an opportunity of saying what I feel. I will merely say now that those outrages, as they have been reported in England, have aroused in my breast the liveliest feelings of pity and indignation. I cannot for a moment believe that any civilised Government could either encourage or connive at them, and it seems to me that the Government of Russia owes it to the place it occupies in Christian Europe to extend the strong arm of its protection to the weak and helpless, and to repress with all the force at its command acts of pillage and violence which one would have thought were only possible in some bygone age of barbarism."
"I particularly regret that diocesan business of importance prevents me attending and raising my poor voice against the horrors and barbarities that have taken place. Pray express publicly, if you think fit, my deep regret that I am prevented attending the meeting, and that thus lose this opportunity of joining with others in expressing abhorrence at the atrocities perpetrated in a Christian country against God's ancient people, the Jews."
"I am unable to be present at the Mansion House on February Ist. Not the less am I dismayed by the reports of this madness of hatred against the Jews, whatever the possible provocation, and of the page 7 unspeakable barbarities consequent. If they are not universally denounced, it can only be that they are so alien to the spirit of the age as to be almost unbelievable. The stronger the national protest the better. Our Government, however, may have reason to fear that it may do more harm than good by official intervention."
"The cruelties which have been inflicted on the Jews in Russia, as narrated by the correspondent of the Times, are detestable, and should be denounced by the unanimous opinion of civilised nations."
"Feeling deeply how scandalous are the outrages inflicted upon the Jews in Russia, and I may add elsewhere, I should have wished by my presence at your meeting to manifest my sympathy and to testify my abhorrence of the wrongs to which they have been subjected."
"I hope the meeting will be very largely attended, and that the protest against the cruel and cowardly persecution of the Jews in Russia will be strong enough to check the continuance of barbarities which are a disgrace to the Christian name. I hope that every Mayor in England will follow your good example in convening a public meeting on the subject."
"My father wishes me to express his thanks to you for the trouble you are taking in a matter which so deeply affects him personally, and at a moment when the whole world is ringing with the cruelties and outrages inflicted upon a long-suffering and innocent people. At the same time he feels proud as a fellow-citizen, and as one of the oldest members of the Corporation, that the voice of the Lord Mayor of London should have been raised against intolerance and injustice."
"I regret extremely that it will not be possible for me to be present at the meeting at the Mansion House on the Ist of February, as I have a political engagement at Manchester for that day. Could you oblige me by notifying this at the meeting, as in my capacity of President of the Anglo-Jewish Association, and as one taking the deepest interest in the movement, I should not like my absence to be mis-understood."
"It is the duty of Englishmen, irrespective of creed or party, to utter their strongest protest against this brutal and barbarous persecution. If the Russian Government have sanctioned, connived at, or condoned these fiendish cruelties, no considerations of a political or dynastic character should be allowed to stifle the voice of England."
"I am very grieved not to be able to attend the meeting at the Mansion House next Wednesday, by reason of my absence from England. The recent events in Russia are so sad, and so great a blot on our civilisation and our age, that it becomes a first duty of all feeling men and women to lift up their voice in condemnation of them, and in sympathy with the victims. It is to be hoped that the noble conduct of your Lordship will be imitated in other cities and in other countries, and that those in authority in Russia will be led to see how wicked a tiling it is to allow the persecution of persons belonging to any race, or professing any creed, and how dangerous a policy it is to all the other portions of society. I trust that at the great meeting your lordship is now holding, all persons will feel impressed with the seriousness of the humanitarian cause which has brought them together, and that none will pervert this demonstration of brotherly love into becoming an arena of party strife, nor of political or sectarian contention. Hoping that as much good will result from this meeting as I believe likely to spring from it, I am, &c."
"My dear Lord Mayor,—I regret more deeply than I can express that the state of my health renders it impossible for me to be present at the public meeting to be held at the Mansion House to-morrow, under your lordship's able presidency. I need hardly assure your lordship how keen is the grief which I share with every member of my community at the pitiable calamities suffered by my co-religionists in Russia. But in the midst of the darkness which overshadows my oppressed brethren, there is happily a gleam of light. For there appears to me no small probability that deliverance may arise through the influence of the public opinion of free and enlightened England, and through the noble and spontaneous outburst of sympathy from our Christian fellow-countrymen. Grateful, indeed, do I feel, in common with every Israelite in this land, for the enthusiastic and practical sympathy which has thus found utterance; and the grief which oppresses my heart at the dire woes of my brethren is not a little assuaged by the consoling thought that I have lived to witness in the people of England the noblest development of religious toleration—the union of all creeds on the broad platform of common humanity. May God, our common Father, bless your philanthropic efforts, and crown them with success.—Believe me, my dear Lord Mayor, yours very faithfully, N. Adler, Dr."
"I have to express my deep regret that absence in Scotland on public business prevents my attending the meeting at the Mansion House, to-morrow."
"I am sorry that I am quite precluded by prior engagements from being at the Mansion House to speak against the outrages committed upon the Jews. I am, however, relieved by the belief that the heart of England is one in a strong feeling of indignation at the inhuman conduct of certain savages in Russia. Every man and woman among us feels eloquently on behalf of our fellow-men who are subjected to plunder and death, and still more for our sisters, to whom even worse treatment has been meted out. Hence you have the less need of speeches and orations. As a Christian, I feel that the name of our Redeemer is dishonoured by such conduct on the part of his professed followers. As a Nonconformist and a Liberal, believing in the equal rights of all men to live in freedom and safety, I must protest against a state of things in which the Jew is made an outlaw. Lastly, as a man, I would mourn in my inmost soul that any beings in human form should be capable of crimes such as those which have made Russia red with Israelitish blood. But what need even of these few sentences? The oppressed are sure of advocates wherever Englishmen assemble."
The reading of the foregoing letters was frequently interrupted by cheers. Similar letters had, it appeared, been received from the Bishop of Oxford (who was on the platform), Lord Scarsdale, Lord Mount Temple, Lord E. Fitzmaurice, M.P., the Hon. F. Leveson-Gower, M.P., Sir Arthur Otway, M.P., Sir John Lubbock, M.P., Mr. Henry Richard, M.P., Mr. Samuel Morley, M.P., Sir Charles Trevelyan, Mr. Ashmead-Bartlett, M.P., Mr. George Russell, M.P., Mr. Karl Blind, and others.
The Earl of Shaftesbury, having risen at the request of the Lord Mayor to move the first resolution, after being greeted with loud cheers, spoke as follows:—The Lord Mayor has rightly described the purpose and character of this meeting. It is, perhaps, special and peculiar in its character. There may be, or there may not be, a precedent for such a meeting; but I hold that in these days of what is called the "solidarity of nations," of enlarged responsibilities and greatly-increased force of public opinion, if there is not a precedent it ought to be established on this very day. (Cheers.) I am glad that the people of England have come forward to make a solemn declaration that, in their belief, there are moral as well as material weapons; that the moral weapons in the long run are the more effectual and the more permanent; and that it is our duty to resort to those moral weapons when for the use of the material we have neither the right nor the power. I dare say we shall be asked, "What is the purpose of all your movement? Your document or memorial, if there be one, will be cast aside and thrown into the waste-paper basket." My lord, that may be the fate of any document we present; that will not be the fate of the spirit of that document—(cheers)—that spirit will survive and will work its effect upon the hearts of all who can feel or think upon this or upon any other matter. My lord, I have a very strong feeling—and I believe we all have a very strong feeling—as to the power of any open and constantly-repeated affirmation of a great principle founded upon justice and humanity. It carries with it prodigious weight. Have we not seen in times past, and in the present day the marvellous page 10 influence produced by a manifestation of public opinion founded upon such attributes? Even the Sultan of Turkey succumbs to public opinion, and the Shah of Persia yields to it. Napoleon, in the very plenitude of his power, as we have read in recent works, so feared the influence and power of Madame de Stael that he would not allow her to come to Paris, because, he said, if she came she would injure his reputation, and influence the public opinion of the whole world against him. Was the stern and powerful Emperor Nicholas indifferent to public opinion, and especially the public opinion of England? Far from it. I know, from conversations held with him by one of my most intimate friends, who reported to me what had passed that the Emperor Nicholas felt deeply and acutely the public opinion of England. And may we not hope and believe that the humane and enlightened prince who now sits on the throne of all the Russias will feel the influence of the public voice as sent forth from such a meeting as this? I believe that it will be so; I believe that it is far beyond his power to disregard it. I believe we may apply to it the words of old Richard Hooker, who, in writing long ago about the Divine law, said, "The very least feel its care, and the greatest are not exempt from its power." It is not necessary for me to dwell in detail upon the horrible circumstances of the late events in Russia, marked as they have been by murder, lust, rapine, and destruction. They have been set before the world in the columns of the Times and of other newspapers. The narratives have been supported by every testimony that could possibly be adduced, and especially by the wise, touching, and unanswerable memorial presented by the Jewish Committee. My lord, we follow the details with horror and disgust, and we are come here for the purpose of expressing our opinion and of praying God that a stop may be put to atrocities which have afflicted and disgraced the generation and the age in which we live. To the statements made, denials have been offered, coming from official authority. Of course it was to be expected that that would be so; but I maintain, after all that I have read and heard, that the evidence in favour of the truth of those statements is so great, so overwhelming, and so powerful as to leave no room for hesitation in accepting them as substantially true. If the Russian authorities say that there has been exaggeration, I will give them the benefit of the doubt; but if one-tenth of all that has been stated be true it is sufficient to draw down the indignation of the world, and to justify the holding of this meeting. (Great cheering.) But, my lord, there are not only denials—there are attempts at refutation in those quasi-official documents which are as truly official as anything that ever came out of the Russian Chancellery. The authors proceed to cast imputations; and what do they say of the movements of the people of England, and what do they say of the gathering here? They say that this movement is one of affected philanthropy; that the object of the promoters is to set English and Russian society by the ears, and that the movement has also the party object of disturbing the peace and happiness of the Cabinet of Mr. Gladstone. (Laughter.) My lord, of all the wild assertions that were ever made this last is the very wildest. Look at the signatures to the requisition. I almost doubt whether you can find the name page 11 of a Conservative upon it. Let me just mention one or two names that occur to me. There are the names of Mr. Matthew Arnold and Sir John Lubbock. Are they men whose minds are full of venom and rancour against the Prime Minister? (Laughter.) If this case were not so serious and appalling, I should say that such imputations are childish and contemptible. Those who make them know the fact and feel it; they know very well that this is a free meeting of free citizens, and that we came here to express our deep regard for the rights of the human race. It is not simply because those who are persecuted are Jews that we are met here; Englishmen would, under similar cir-cumstances, feel the same sympathy equally for Buddhists, Maho-medans, or Pagans. (Cheers.) I know that many have a deep and special feeling towards the Hebrew race; I have it myself, I confess, most deeply and most strongly; but we are met here upon one grand universal principle. If there is one thing on earth which an Englishman loves better than another it is freedom—(loud cheers)—and it is the desire of every true Englishman that every one should be as free and as happy as he is himself. (Cheers.) But we must look a little closer into this matter; we must clear the ground of another charge. It is said in one of these quasi-official documents that this movement arises out of hatred of Russia. My lord and gentlemen I do not believe it. (Cheers.) I cannot answer for what may be the feeling of private individuals, but I will boldly take upon myself to say that the feeling of the great mass of the people of England is one neither of hate nor of fear of the Russian people. (Cheers.) Honoured as I have been to-day by having assigned to me the task of moving the first resolution, let me here speak of myself. I cannot be considered a hater of Russia. Let me recall to your recollection that when a meeting was held some years ago for the purpose of protesting against outrages committed on the wretched Bulgarians, I was called upon to occupy the chair, and I then made a statement which I have never retracted, and am not going to retract; I then said "I should not fear to see, nay, I almost wish to see, the Russians upon the shores of the Bosphorus." So far from there being a feeling of hatred towards Russia on the part of the mass of our people, I believe their feeling is precisely the reverse. I will boldly maintain that there is among them nothing in the shape or form of hatred. Further, I am satisfied that there is in the whole of this kingdom at the present moment a feeling of deep sympathy with the people of Russia and with their ruler in the terrible calamity that has fallen upon their country and upon the Imperial family. When the late Emperor fell by the hand of a demoniacal assassin the whole of this country was filled with horror and dismay, which were expressed as with the voice of one man, not only because the people were appalled at such a frightful crime, but because they remembered that the father of the present Emperor—may the son also remember it—was the glorious emancipator of two millions of slaves. (Cheers.) And, after all, if we approach the present Emperor, or in any way appeal to his Imperial Majesty, what are we asking for? Are we asking anything to lower his dignity or abate his power? Nay, on the contrary, are we not asking him to do that which would conduce very much to his honour? Are page 12 we not asking him to do justice to a large body of his loyal and suffering people? Are we not simply asking him to restrain violence, murder, outrage, and spoliation? Are we not asking him to be a Cyrus to the Jews and not an Antiochus Epiphanes? Are we not asking him to enter upon the greatest and noblest exercise of power—to "undo the heavy burdens," and to "let the oppressed go free"? (Loud cheers.) My lord, this is the purpose and object of our meeting; this will be the prayer of our Memorial, and may God in His mercy prosper it to the removal of these horrors and to the comfort of the Jewish people, on whose behalf we are gathered together. His Lordship concluded by moving "That in the opinion of this meeting the persecutions and the outrages which the Jews in many parts of the Russian dominion have for several months past suffered are an offence to civilisation to be deeply deplored."
The Bishop of London, who was received with loud and protracted cheers, said—My Lord Mayor and Ladies and Gentlemen: One circumstance and one circumstance alone justifies me in rising, at your Lordship's request, to second this resolution before such a meeting as this, —which I am quite unfitted to address in the presence of those whom I see around me,—and that one circumstance is the unavoidable absence of the Archbishop of Canterbury. I quite admit—indeed I deeply feel—that the Church of England ought not to be, and I am sure she will not be, backward in joining in the expression of a feeling of indignant sorrow at the statements which have come before us lately with regard to the treatment of the Jews in Russia. In the absence, therefore, of the Archbishop it may not be presumptuous in me, the Bishop of the most populous and most important Diocese in England, if I venture, in the absence of any one more fitted for the office, to second the resolution. (Cheers.) Happily, no words-from me are needed. The case has been stated to you by the noble Earl with a vigour which shows that age has not diminished his powers of speech, any more than it has extinguished, or ever can extinguish, his sympathy with suffering and his sense of indignation at injustice and crime. (Loud cheers.) The facts can scarcely be denied. If they could have been denied, what need for all those reasons which have been assigned why the English people should not have been so moved at reading oi these atrocities? If the Russian Government had been able to say that the statements could be proved to be false, it need not have alleged that the English hate Russia or are afraid of her, and that we desire to turn out the Ministry. We have seen in the newspapers an attempt, hardly to deny the facts, but certainly to palliate them by excuses not only improbable but utterly inadequate, and set before us, I may say, with such a cynical indifference that one would be glad not to be obliged to believe that the words had been traced by the hands of a female. (Cheers.) There is one circumstance, and it is the only one I dwell upon—there's one circumstance connected with these atrocities which must make every member of the Church, indeed every Christian, feel together with his indignation a certain sense of shame. A few years back our country was horrified with accounts of atrocities committed in what were then provinces of the Turkish Empire. The country was moved, but it had page 13 the consolation of knowing that though the sufferers were Christians, the perpetrators were almost all of another creed. Now, alas! the case is the reverse. They who have perpetrated these atrocities are men who bear the name of Christians; so that the persecutions of the Middle Ages, on which history has long set the stamp of reprobation, have been reproduced in this latter part of the 19th century, and the dark stain of rapine, lust, and murder is let fall again upon the fair fame of Christianity. (Cheers.) We do feel this; but I will venture to say that not in this crowded room alone, not in this metropolis merely, not in the cities and large towns of England only, are the sympathy and horror felt which have been expressed before you and have called you together to-day, but in the most quiet parsonages and in the most retired villages throughout England there is the same feeling of mingled horror, grief, and shame that now in an age of civilisation, in days when we think ourselves, and in some respects certainly are, better than our fathers, we find a Christian nation persecuting Jews. (Hear, hear.) Knowing this, my Lord Mayor, I venture to assume, speaking here from-this platform, that I may without presumption,—or if it be presumption it will be easily pardoned,—in the name of every member of the Church of England second the resolution which Lord Shaftesbury has proposed. (Loud cheers.)
The resolution was then put and carried with acclamation unanimously.
His Eminence Cardinal Manning, after a very cordial reception, said—My Lord Mayor, Ladies, and Gentlemen: it has often fallen to my lot to move a resolution in meetings such as this, but never in my memory have I moved one with more perfect conviction of my reason or more entire concurrence of my heart than I shall do on this occasion. Before I use any further words it will, perhaps, be better that I should read that resolution. It is—" That this meeting while disclaiming any right or desire to interfere in the internal affairs of another country, and desiring that the most amicable relations between England and Russia should be preserved, feels it a duty to express its opinion that the laws of Russia relating to Jews tend to degrade them in the eyes of the Christian population, and to expose Russian Jewish subjects to the outbreaks of fanatical ignorance." I need not assert, for I accept the eloquent disclaimer of the noble lord, that we are not met here for a political purpose. If there were a suspicion of any party politics I should not be standing here. It is because I believe that we are high above the tumults and conflicts of party politics, that we are in the serene region of human sympathy and of human justice, that I am here to-day. I can also declare that nothing can be farther from my intention—as I am confident nothing can be farther from yours—than to do anything which would be a violation of the laws of mutual peace, order, and respect which bind nations together, or to attempt to interfere or to dictate in the domestic legislation of Russia. (Hear, hear.) I am also bound to say that I share heartily in the words of veneration used by the noble Earl towards the Imperial Family of Russia. No man can have watched the last years of the Imperial Family, no man can know the position in which the Emperor stands now, without a profound page 14 sympathy which would at once control any disposition on our part to use a single expression which could inflict a wound on the mind of the Czar. (Hear, hear.) Therefore I disclaim absolutely and altogether that anything that passes from my lips—and I believe I can speak for all—is intended to assume a character inconsistent with veneration for a person charged with a responsibility so great as that which has fallen to the lot of the Emperor of Russia. Further, I may say that, while we do not intend to touch upon any question in the internal legislation of Russia, still there are laws larger than any Russian legislation, laws which are equally binding in London, in St. Petersburg, and in Moscow—the laws of humanity, of nature, and of God—which are the foundation of all other laws; and if in any legislation these are violated, all the nations of Christian Europe, the whole commonwealth of civilised and Christian men, would instantly acquire a right to speak out aloud. (Cheers.) And now my Lord, I must touch upon one point which I acknowledge has been very painful to me. We have all watched for the last twelve months what is called the anti-Semitic movement in Germany. I look upon it with a twofold feeling; in the first place, I look upon it with abhorrence as tending to disintegrate the foundations of social life, and, secondly, with great fear lest it may tend to light up an animosity which has already taken fire in Russia and may spread elsewhere. I have read with great regret an elaborate article, full, no doubt, of minute observations, written from Prussia and published in the Nineteenth Century giving a description of the class animosities, jealousies, and rivalries which are at present so rife in that country. When I read that article my first feeling was one of great sorrow that the power and energy of the Old Testament should be so much greater in Brandenburg than those of the New. I am sorry to see that a society penetrated with Rationalism has not sufficient Christian knowledge, Christian power, Christian character, and Christian virtue to render it impossible that, however cultivated, refined, industrious, and energetic, the Jewish people should endanger the Christian society of that great kingdom. I have also read with pain accounts of the condition of the Russian Jews, bringing against them accusations which, if I touch upon them, I must ask my Jewish friends who hear me to believe I reject with incredulity and disgust. I have read that the cause of what has happened in Russia is that the Jews have been pliers of infamous trades, usurers, immoral, demoralising, and I know not what. When I read these accusations, I ask, "Is outrage the remedy? Will they be cured by outrage, murder, abominations of every sort? Are they not learning the lesson from those who ought to teach a higher law?" Again, if it be true, which I do not believe, that they are in the condition described, are they not under penal laws? Is there anything that can degrade men more than to close against their intelligence, energy, and industry, all the honourable careers of public life? (Cheers.) Is there anything that can debase and irritate the soul of man more than to be told: "You must not pass beyond that boundary;" "You must not go within 15 miles of that frontier;" "You must not dwell in that town;" "You must live only in that province"? (Hear, hear.) I do not know how anyone can believe that the whole population can fail to be page 15 affected in its inmost soul by such laws. And, if it be possible to make it worse, this is the mode and the discipline to make it so. I hey bring these accusations against the Russian Jews. Why do they not bring them against the Jews of Germany? By the acknowledgment of the anti-Semitic movement the Jews in Germany rise head and shoulders above their fellows. (Cheers.) Why do they not bring these accusations against the Jews of France? (Cheers.) Is there any career of public utility, any path of honour, civil or military, in which the Jews have not stood side by side with their countrymen? If the charge is brought against the Jews of Russia, who will bring it against the Jews of England? (Loud cheers.) For uprightness, for refinement, for generosity, for charity, for all the graces and virtues that adorn humanity, where, I ask, will be found examples brighter, or more full of true human excellence, than in this branch of the Hebrew race? (Immense cheering, and a voice: "Thank you.") And now, my Lord, we are told that the accounts of these atrocities are not to be trusted. I ask your Lordship, if there were to appear in the newspapers of the continent long and minute narratives of murder, rapine, and other atrocities round about the Egyptian Hall, in Old Jewry, in Hounds-ditch, in Shoreditch—if it were alleged that the Lord Mayor was looking on, that the Metropolitan police did nothing, that the guards at the Tower were seen to mingle with the mob—I believe you would thank any man who gave you an opportunity of exposing and contradicting such statements. Well, then, I say we are rendering a signal service to the public departments and the Ministry of Russia by what we are doing now; and I believe it will carry consolation to the heart of the great Prince who reigns over that vast Empire. (Cheers.) But let me suppose for a moment that these things are true. And I do not found my belief in their truth on what has appeared either in the Times newspaper or in the Pall Mall Gazette, which has confirmed the statements. I hold the proofs in my own hands. (Cheers.) And from whom do they come? In an official document from the Minister of the Interior, General Ignatieff. The resolution speaks of the laws of Russia as regards its Jewish subjects. I do not assume to be a jurist in English law, much less in Russian law; I do not pretend to say what the laws of Russia are in this respect, and I should not know what to say on the resolution, if I did not hold in my hand a Rescript of much importance. I trust I shall not be told that, like the Ukase, it is a forgery. These horrible atrocities had continued throughout May, June, and July, and in the month of August this document was issued. The first point in it is that it laments and deplores—what? The atrocities on the Jewish subjects of the Czar? By no means; but "the sad condition of the Christian inhabitants" of the Southern provinces. The next point is that the main cause of these "movements and riots," as they are called, to which "the Russian nation had hitherto been a stranger," was a commercial one. The third point is this—that this conduct of the Jews has called forth "protests on the part of the people, as manifested by acts of—what do you think? of violence and robbery." Fourthly, we are told by the Minister of the Interior that the country is subject "to malpractices which were, it is known, the cause of the page 16 agitation." My Lord Mayor, if the logic of this document be calm, the rhetoric and insinuations of it are most inflammatory; and I can hardly conceive how with that Rescript in their hands the Russian people should not have felt that they were encouraged to go on with their violence. (Cheers.) The document then goes on to say "We have appointed a Commission to inquire"—into what? "First, what are the trades of the Jews which are injurious to the inhabitants of the place; secondly"—I beg the meeting to mark this—"What makes it impracticable to put into force the already existing laws limiting the rights of the Jews in the matter of buying and farming land and trading in intoxicants and in usury; thirdly, how shall these laws be altered so that the Jews will no longer be able to evade them, and what new laws are required to stop their pernicious conduct." Then, lastly, besides answers to the foregoing questions additional information was sought first on the usury practised by the Jews in their dealings with Christians in cities, towns and villages; secondly on the number of public houses; thirdly on the number of persons in the service of the Jews; fourthly on the extent or acreage of the land; and, lastly, on the number of Jewish agriculturists. Now we have in our hands the Russian laws affecting the Jewish subjects of the Empire. I would ask what is the remedy for a population in this state? Is it more penal laws? Is it to disqualify them from holding land? Is it to forbid them to send their children to higher places of education? All these things have been done. No, my Lord Mayor; I believe that the remedy for this state of things is twofold—first, the vital supremacy of Christian law in all its amplitude. It was not by laws like these that the Christians won the world, and won the Imperial Power to execute justice among men; it will be by laws other than these that the great Imperial Power of Russia will blend with the population of the Empire their Jewish subjects. (Hear, hear.) The other remedy I believe to be this—a stem and rigorous execution of justice upon evil-doers, coupled with an equally stern and rigorous concession of all that is right in the law of nature and of God to every man. All that is necessary for the protection of life and limb and liberty and property—all that constitutes human freedom—this, and nothing less than this, will be the remedy for the evils of which the Minister of the Interior complains. Now, my Lord, you have spoken very hopefully of what may be the effect of this meeting. Do not let us overrate it. If we believe that this meeting will have done the work, and that we may cease to speak, I am afraid its effect will not be what we desire. Neither let us underrate the effect. I believe that all through England, I may say all through the United Kingdom, there will be a response to this meeting. (Cheers.) Manchester and Birmingham have already begun, and wheresoever the English language is spoken throughout the world, that which your Lordship has said so eloquently and powerfully will be known. I believe that at the very moment that we are assembled here a meeting of the same kind is being held in New York. (Cheers.) And what is done here will he translated into every language of Europe. It will pass even the frontiers of Russia. Like the light and the air, it cannot be excluded; and wheresoever there is human sympathy upon earth the declarations page 17 that are made here and elsewhere will meet with a response that will tend to put an end to these horrible atrocities. There is but one word more that I have to say. I have endeavoured to deal with this question calmly and fairly. I have spoken on the importance of equal political justice: I should be ashamed if I were to cease to speak without saying a word on what will appeal strongly to the sympathies of Christian men. There is a Book, my lord, which is common to the race of Israel and to us Christians. That Book is a bond between us, and in that Book I read that the people of Israel are the oldest people upon the earth. Russias and Austrias and Englands are but of yesterday compared with the imperishable people which—with an inextinguishable life and immutable traditions, and faith in God and in the laws of God, scattered as it is all over the world, passing through the fires unscathed, trampled into the dust and yet never combining with the dust into which it is trampled—lives on still a witness to us, a witness and a warning. We are in the bonds of brotherhood with it. The New Testament rests upon the Old. They believe in half of that for which we would give our lives. Let us, then, acknowledge that they are united with us in a common sympathy. I read in that Book these words: "I am angry with a great anger with the wealthy nations that are at ease, because I was a little angry with Israel and they helped forward the affliction." That is, "My people were scattered; they suffered unknown and unimaginable sufferings, and the nations of the world that dwelt at ease and were wealthy and had power in their hands, scourged them and helped forward the mighty affliction which was upon them already." My Lord, I only hope that not one man in England, who calls himself a civilised or Christian man, will have it in his heart to add by a single word to that which this great, and ancient, and afflicted people suffer, but that we shall do all we can by labour, by speech, and by prayer to lessen if it be possible, or at least to keep ourselves from sharing in sympathy with, these atrocious deeds. (Loud cheers.)
The Rev. Canon Farrar said—My Lord Mayor, Ladies and Gentlemen: I will not waste your time with any apologies for having accepted the invitation to second the resolution which has just been moved. I must confess that I feel considerable surprise at the amount of opposition which has been offered to this expression of sympathy. I think it is a very good rule when your feelings are appealed to in a matter of this kind to read not only what is said by those who agree, but also what is said by those who disagree with the leaders of the movement; and therefore I took the pains to read what was said by Russian newspapers, including such newspapers as the Journal de St Pétershourg, as well as what was said in English newspapers. I noticed, in the first place, that our opponents called this agitation anti-Christian and anti-philanthropic. These are charges which may be safely passed by. Then they went on to say that our indignation was founded upon a mass of falsehoods and exaggerations; that we were desirous—to quote words which have been already quoted by Lord Shaftesbury—of "setting English society and Russian society by the ears"; and that these events were being seized upon by the page 18 Opposition to weaken and embarrass the Government of Mr. Gladstone. This last charge has already been dealt with and therefore I will not take up your time by dwelling upon it, but I will deal with the question of falsehoods and exaggerations. We should be only too glad to believe that there have been some exaggerations and even falsehoods in the details which have been given respecting atrocities committed upon the Jews; but, nevertheless, it is quite certain that events which have been recorded by all European newspapers are no fictions, those accounts being in accord with Russian documents of undisputed authority, authenticated by names, and dates, and places. The statements made have been supported not merely by Jews, but also by other persons who have examined into the facts for themselves, and have written on the subject with scrupulous impartiality. The suggestion or idea that this is a political agitation has been already scattered to the winds. Surely the Duke of Westminster and Lord Rosebery are not men who are likely to desire to embarrass Mr. Gladstone's Government. (Laughter.) The requisition to the Lord Mayor asking him to convene this meeting was signed by men who, like myself—not that I would ask the meeting to attach any importance to my own politics—have always been Liberals, and I am sure that not one of those who signed it could even for a moment think of dragging the sacred name of charity into the noisy arena of party politics—(cheers)—there is not one of them who would not be ashamed to make an agitation in the cause of humanity an engine of political warfare. The charge of fostering enmity against Russia is sufficiently disposed of by the names of those who have spoken at this meeting. The noble Earl who moved the first resolution has devoted his whole life to the promotion of peace and happiness among his fellow-men. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, who preside over the Church of England; the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, whose name has never been wanting when the sacred cause of charity had to be pleaded for; the Bishop of London and the Bishop of Oxford, both present on this occasion, and the numerous ministers of other religious denominations who have expressed their approval of our object—these are men of whom I may say that the first principle of their religion is the universal Fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of man. (Loud cheers.) I am afraid the fact that Prince Lobanoff would not transmit the singularly moderate and respectful Memorial of the Jews in London did indicate that there was a certain amount of irritation; but nothing could be further from the intention of this meeting than the fostering of such irritation; we only want to make a kind and a friendly remonstrance. From the time when the son of Vladimir Monomachos, one of the greatest among the early Russian princes, wooed and won the daughter of Harold, the last and greatest of our Saxon kings, down to the time when a daughter of the Imperial House found, we trust, a happy home among us, the chief, if not the only interruption in our friendly relations with Russia has been the Crimean War, the memory of which has been so completely effaced in this country that when the late Czar perished by the hands of dastardly assassins we expressed as with one voice the deepest and most respectful sympathy. But although the two nations page 19 are now perfectly friendly we cannot give up our right to raise a remonstrance when a remonstrance is needed; and it is impossible to say that it is not needed when there have been murder, pillage, and conflagration, and men, women, and little innocent children have been left perfectly unprotected, and are still left in trembling apprehension, lest they should fall victims to brutal violence. There are towns in Russia where at this moment Jews are afraid to show their faces, and where, being horror-stricken at the treatment which they have received one day, they tremble lest cruelties of the same kind should be repeated the next day with still more brutal violence. Under these circumstances we claim a right to remonstrate against men of high rank, who by words and actions have fostered this deplorable hatred between race and race; against those Russian officials who have not acted with sufficient energy and promptitude; and against Russian newspapers which by their articles have swollen these insensate cries of envy and hatred. Of course I do not for a single moment dream—none of us, I am sure, can dream—of charging the Russian Church, or the Russian Government, or the Emperor, with any complicity in or condonation of these abominable actions. We are perfectly certain that to the Czar and to high ecclesiastics, and to all high-minded Christian Russians, these deeds are as hateful as they are to ourselves; but for that very reason we ought to point out that in the dominions of the Czar there are those who do not share these sentiments or think that greater protection ought to be afforded to the Jews. My Lord Mayor, when a few years ago we got the news of the Bulgarian atrocities all England thrilled from end to end with horror and detestation. I, for one, fully concede that the position of the Turkish Government in relation to the Bulgarian atrocities was wholly different from the relation of the Russian Government to the outrages on the Jews; but the crimes were analogous, and in many instances identical; and why, when the Bulgarian atrocities were denounced with burning indignation, are the annals of the Russian atrocities to be listened to with freezing apathy? (Cheers.) Is it because the sufferers in one case were Bulgarians and in the other are Jews? Is it because the offenders in one case were Mahomedans and in the other are Christians? Is it because one Government was weak and the other is mighty? Is it because in one case the atrocities were committed amid the turbulence of war and in the other in the depths of peace? Is it because one was a sort of spasm in a comparatively transient agony and the other the outcome of deep-seated and long-continued disease? (Loud cheers.) It is because we feel friendship for Russia that we claim the right to remonstrate, as we have always done in such cases. It is a positive duty that England should make her voice heard, and that she should not speak "with bated breath or whispering humbleness." The voice of England has always been heard, thank God! on the side of the oppressed. We all know how Queen Elizabeth received the French ambassador in London after the massacre of St. Bartholomew. We know how 5,000 brave Englishmen went to fight in the Low Countries against the tyranny of Alva. We know in what a voice of thunder Cromwell demanded toleration for the Albigenses. We know in what tones page 20 Milton wrote after the massacre in Piedmont. It has been part of our traditional policy to show our sympathy with down-trodden nationalities. We have sympathised with Poles, and Syrians, and Sclaves, and Neapolitans. We have fought for Greeks at Navarino, and even for Turks at Alma and at Inkerman, and we have fought for what we believed to be the liberties of Europe again and again, from the days of Blenheim and Ramillies to those of Talavera and Waterloo. The Jews are at once the noblest and the most trampled-upon nationality in the world. Their religion was the cradle of Christianity. The Jews have among them names which, as Sir Walter Scott says, as compared with any of our names, are like the gourd to the cedar, and which go back to the time when the voice of God shook the mercy-seat between the Cherubim. It is to the Jewish nation that humanity owes the deepest debt of gratitude, and it is on that nation that humanity has inflicted the deepest wrongs. I will detain you but one moment longer. We are approaching Russia in the most respectful and the most friendly spirit; and because we are friendly and because we are united, and because the faithful wounds of a friend are better than the deceitful kisses of an enemy, we ask Russia to do what England has done, and give the Jews equal rights and privileges. We have abolished persecutions prolonged from age to age, we have done away with the Ghetto and the torturing whip, and the garb's disgrace, and such summons to Christian fellowship; we have abolished all such things, and almost every other great nation has, like ourselves, accorded to the Jews the rights of civilised men. Surely Russia will not stand alone in her treatment of the Jewish nation? With us the Jews are loyal and useful citizens, and so they would be in Russia if Russia listened to our appeal. Russia has always shown herself keenly sensitive to European opinion; she has an honourable desire to take what she believes to be her true place among the nations of Europe. We have a higher opinion of Russia than to think that she would wreak indignation against the Jews because our sympathy for them has been expressed. We believe that she will follow the example of other European nations. It is because we believe that good is stronger than evil, and justice and mercy stronger than hate and wrong, that we feel perfectly sure that this meeting will not have been held in vain. We are here to raise the voice of England in the cause of mercy and justice, and we believe that that voice will be expressed in no uncertain tones. (Loud cheers.)
The resolution was then put and carried.
Professor Bryce, M.P., said—My Lord Mayor, Ladies, and Gentle-men, I feel honoured in being asked to address this meeting. I happen to be one of those who took an active part in the agitation which was raised by the Bulgarian massacres five years ago, and suppose it is for that reason that I have been asked to bear witness, or rather to confirm the testimony already given, that those who then spoke out so strongly against atrocities committed by Mahomedans against Christians feel now similar indignation against the attacks made by Christians upon Jews. I do not, indeed, intend to draw a parallel between the case of the Bulgarian atrocities and the case of the recent cruelties in Russia, because in what has lately happened in Russia we have to page 21 charge the Government of that country with remissness or neglect, not with complicity, while the fiendish cruelties which took place in Bulgaria were actually approved by the Turkish authorities, who promoted some of their most notorious perpetrators. But when all due allowance has been made for possible exaggerations with regard to the persecution of the Jews in Russia there remains quite enough not only to justify the holding of this meeting but to make the holding of it a matter of necessity and of duty. We are bound to express our opinion as to the conduct of those who have joined in the commission of these horrors even with a stronger voice than is heard from any other nation in Europe, because we in England have admitted the Jews to complete political and civil equality with Christians, because Jews have been allowed to sit on the highest seats of Justice, because many of them are to be found in the learned professions, and because there are so many Jews of whom we feel proud when we think of them as our fellow-countrymen. Our own experience, as well as the political principles we hold, has convinced us that the true way to do justice socially to men in the position of the Jews and to make them good members of society is to grant to them the fullest political and civil equality. I will not say any more on that point because it has already been dealt with by previous speakers. The resolution which I have to propose is as follows:—"That the Lord Mayor be requested to forward a copy of those resolutions to the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone and the Right Hon. Earl Granville, in the hope that Her Majesty's Government may be able, when an opportunity arises, to exercise a friendly influence with the Russian Government in accordance with the spirit of the preceding resolutions." Now that resolution docs not suggest—it would not be right to suggest—what is commonly called diplomatic action. It would be a mistake, a great mistake, for us to call upon the Government for diplomatic action in a matter of this kind. We know how sensitive the Governments of Europe are as regards diplomatic representations in matters which affect their own conduct. It was only yesterday that I read in a newspaper that the King of Italy had made a speech, received with acclamation in the Italian Parliament, in which he referred to a report that Prince Bismarck was going to intervene on behalf of the Pope. His Majesty disclaimed with the utmost warmth the idea that the Italian Government would listen to any foreign intervention or representation on subjects connected with its own internal affairs. The position of the Pope in Rome is one which would justify, if anything could, intervention on the part of the Governments of other countries, because the Pope occupies somewhat of an international position, and because he is the spiritual head of a Church to which many of the Sovereigns of Europe belong. If the Government of Italy refuses to allow any diplomatic intervention in that case, how could we expect to find the Russian Government otherwise than irritated by any attempt at diplomatic action on the part of our Government on behalf of the Jews in Russia? It is because we know that diplomatic action, in the strict sense of the term, is impossible that we think a meeting like this of such great value. A meeting like this is, in fact a far better representation of the feelings of the people of England on page 22 the subject than any diplomatic action could be. (Hear, hear.) The spontaneity of this meeting, the enthusiasm that characterises it, the fact that there are assembled on this platform persons of almost every political party and of almost every religious denomination, and that not a voice has been raised throughout the country against holding this meeting, although a fortnight has passed since it was convened, these things afford the best proof that the heart of England is stirred on this question, and that the voice of England is heard in its proceedings. It is to be feared that the evil against which we are met to protest is not confined to Russia, but extends throughout the whole of South-Eastern Europe. It was my fortune about sixteen years ago to travel along the borders of Moldavia and Wallachia, and in the course of my travels I saw on the roads a number of Jews flying for their lives from Moldavia before an enraged crowd who had been incited against the Jews by a report spread in a district in which cholera had broken out that they had poisoned the wells. This burst of brutality is a phenomenon to be found all over South-Eastern Europe, and it is a phenomenon which is not confined to the less civilised peoples, for it has found expression, not, indeed, in so terrible a form, but it has found expression in the so-called anti-Semitic movement which we have seen with so much regret in Germany. It is, indeed, enough to make one blush for modern civilisation to think that a people like the Jews—a people whose ancient literature is so sacred in our eyes, on whose ancient religion our own is based, who have rendered such eminent services to learning and science—in the nineteenth century should be subjected to such terrible persecutions. What we may fairly say to our Government under these circumstances is this:—"We recognise the obstacles to direct diplomatic representations. We leave it to you how, when, and in what manner you will express to the Russian Government the sentiments which we entertain regarding these persecutions, and which we believe you share. But we hope and trust that you will discover some appropriate mode of expressing them, and of using your influence, the influence of England, on behalf of these unhappy sufferers." It is because I believe that this question is one upon which all Englishmen are agreed, because this movement is far above the range of party politics, that I believe we may have confidence in our Government. I do say unhesitatingly and I believe that there is no man living who has earned more a title to be believed and to be trusted in a matter of this kind than Mr. Gladstone. (Cheers.) What I understand this resolution to do is to recognise the difficulties which stand in the way of formal diplomatic action, and to strengthen the hands of the Government by declaring that we hope and trust that opportunities will not be wanting for making the voice of England heard in this matter. I understand that we desire to encourage the Government to speak when they may have an opportunity of doing so, and to assure them that when they do speak it will be with the voice of united England. (Cheers.) We desire to see an extension to every country of those great principles of religious toleration and civil equality which we were the first to establish as a nation, and the maintenance of which, while it conduces to our greatness and our happiness, is an inseparable bond between us and our Jewish brethren. (Cheers.)page 23
The Hon. Lyulph Stanley, M.P., said—It gives me great pleasure to second this resolution, and it gives me the more pleasure because by its terms it calls the attention of Her Majesty's Government to both the resolutions which have already been passed. The first resolution is an important one because it expresses the detestation which all humane men must feel at the cruelties which have been recently committed in Russia; but the second resolution is to my mind more important because it touches not only the evil but also the remedy. I think we must all feel that this being a case of race-hatred the only way to remove the spirit which creates these outrages is to treat all the inhabitants of the country as citizens in common and to make them all equal as regards civil rights. The object of the resolution which I am seconding is that the two preceding resolutions should be laid before Lord Granville and Mr Gladstone, in the hope that our Government may be able to exercise some influence over the Russian Government and thereby secure better treatment for the Jews. I entirely agree with Mr. Bryce as to the extreme delicacy of diplomatic action and the difficulty of any intervention on the part of our Government which would be at all likely to prove useful. The remedy for the evil should be thorough. I hope that such a change will be made in the position of the Jews in Russia that a renewal of such outrages as have occurred recently will no longer be possible. We all feel that these cruelties arose out of prejudice, or ignorance, or both. Is there not a danger lest by our protest we should inflame the minds of some of the Russian people and arouse a mistaken patriotism? I do not believe the Russian people generally any more than the Russian Government have any wish to put back the progress of humanity, but though the Government is to a certain extent pervaded by Western ideas' and Western civilisation, the great mass of the people are still permeated with a kind of Oriental stagnation, and we must take care that we do not make our representations in a form which would tend to injure the cause which we have at heart. Those who have followed the movement in Russia in favour of what is called Panslavism will be able to appreciate the difficulties to which I allude. We should approach the Russian people on this subject in a spirit of conciliation, and it is in that way that we shall be most likely to attain our object. There is a small sect of modern philosophers who appear to think that Russia lies beyond the pale of Western civilisation, and that that country cannot be admitted to the comity of Europe generally. If I thought that, I should not be seen proposing this resolution. It is because we believe that there is a progressive element in Russia because we believe that there exists a spirit of improvement, and that the Russian people share to a certain extent the feelings and ideas of the nations of the rest of Europe, that we hold this meeting and wish to set before the Russian people as high a standard of duty and responsibility as we set before ourselves. I don't think I need say any more with regard to the resolution. I will only remind you, in conclusion, that there have been in other countries besides Russia exhibitions of race hatred and acts of savagery. We all remember how in the United States great cruelties were inflicted on the page 24 negro population in consequence of race hatred, and how political and civil rights were denied to it by men of our own race. The United States went through an ordeal through which they got rid of this reproach to American civilisation, and a similar reproach may be got rid of in Russia. The surest plan of making a man a citizen is to think him one. Look upon the Jews as fellow-men, men of like feelings and sympathies with yourselves, and they will not be estranged from you or driven into narrowness and exclusiveness; narrowness and exclusiveness will then fade away because they will feel that they are all citizens of a common country and a common home. These are the reasons which have prompted me to take part in these proceedings. No man can say that this is a party question; and I may remark that the English people have such an amount of good in their character that when an appeal is made to their humanity and their sympathy it breaks all the bonds of party. I may remind the meeting that in the case of the Bulgarian atrocities which have been referred to so much this afternoon Lord Beacons field declared in his place in Parliament that his efforts to influence the country favourably to the Turkish Government had been thwarted by the strong general expression of public feeling in England, and that it had made it impossible for him to do what he could have wished. So I say now that whatever party may be in power the Prime Minister of the day cannot show himself indifferent to the claims of humanity. (Cheers.)
The Lord Mayor then said—I have just received the following telegram from America:—"At the New York State Evangelical Alliance Meeting a resolution has been passed protesting against the persecution of the Jews in Russia. It was decided to memorialise the Russian Government thereon."
The resolution was then adopted.
The Right Hon. J. G. Hubbard, M.P., said—My Lord Mayor, Never, I am sure, do you occupy a position more grateful to your own feelings than when presiding at a meeting gathered in the midst of a great trading community, on behalf of suffering humanity, and proposing an expression of sympathy in the form of material help. I trust that the appeal made to the meeting by the eloquent speakers who have preceded me will in this respect not be in vain. As regards the extent of the evil on which those speakers have dwelt, I would remark that while the charge of exaggeration is easy, refutation is difficult. I would confine my own view of the case at present to one phrase in the printed document issued by the Russian Government in self-justification—"The Russian Government ought to be its own administrator." Some expressions in that document which were read by Cardinal Manning appeared to me to place before the meeting ample cause for holding this meeting and for the resolutions which it has adopted. I find a series of accusations against the Jews put forward to vindicate the Russian Executive. It is said that the Jews have grown rich, that they have become powerful, that they have been usurers, and that they have gratified the lower inclinations and appetites of the people around them. My Lord Mayor, it would hardly become us within a hundred yards of the Bank of England to talk of page 25 usury as being an unpardonable fault—(laughter)—and in a country one-third of whose expenditure is provided for by duties on intoxicating drinks it would hardly do to say that the Jews in Russia require such treatment as has been described because some of them sell intoxicating drinks. I think those charges simply indicate a very weak case. Further let me say it is the duty of a Government so to regulate the sale of drinks that the good order and peace of society will not be interfered with, and that is a lesson which the Government of Russia might, perhaps, learn from our own Government. It would also be well for the Russians to remember that the foundations of English commerce and industry were laid partly by Jews to whom our toleration and the spirit of our laws afforded a refuge from foreign persecution. We have had among us many a Hebrew from foreign lands whom we have gladly welcomed as a fellow-citizen. We wish to speak to Russia in the most friendly spirit, and I feel sure that, in spite of all restrictions, our remonstrance will reach those for whom it is intended, and that it will be received in a right spirit both by the rulers and by the people. We all know what has been the fate of the Memorial which was taken to the Russian Ambassador in this country, and even of the proposal to place it in the hands of our own Government in order that they might make it a subject of private and confidential communication with the representative of Russia; but such things do not exhaust all the means that are available for making our influence felt. The holding of such a meeting as this, the fact that we have such people present here and at this hour of the day, and the report of the utterances of such men as have spoken, cannot but exert an irresistible force in any civilised country. The record of what has been said will I feel certain reach the ears or eyes of those for whom it was intended; it will pass through the cordon of any amount of guards or police to the Imperial presence, it will escape the vigilance of any number of censors, it will overcome every kind of local obstacle, and we shall find that the great meeting at the Mansion House over which your Lordship has presided has not been without its effect upon the Emperor and the people of Russia. (Cheers.) The resolution which I have to submit to the meeting is one of response to the appeals which have been made by the previous speakers. I am here to represent the City of London, and I propose that we should make a response to what we have been told. We have been told of suffering men, women, and children, and this is our answer, this is the way in which we propose to help them. The right hon. gentleman then proposed the following resolution:—"That a fund be raised at the Mansion House for the purpose of contributing to relieve the distress among the Jewish population of Russia and among the refugees therefrom, which distress has been caused by the recent outrages of which they have been the victims, and also for the purpose of effecting some permanent amelioration in their condition in such manner as the Committee may deem expedient, whether by emigration or otherwise. That the Right Hon. the Lord Mayor be requested to receive contributions on behalf of such fund, and that the following gentlemen be requested to serve on the Committee, with power to add to their number:-the Lord Mayor, his Grace page 26 the Archbishop of Canterbury, his Eminence Cardinal Manning, the Lord Bishop of London, Sir Nathaniel de Rothschild, M.P., Mr. Alfred de Rothschild, Mr. Benjamin L. Cohen, Sir Alexander Galt, Sir Julian Goldsmid, Mr. Henry Hucks Gibbs, Alderman Sir Robert W. Carden, M.P., Alderman Sir Benjamin Phillips, Mr. Alderman Cotton, M.P., Mr. F. D. Mocatta, Rev. Canon Farrar, Dr. Asher, The Right Hon. J. G. Hubbard, M.P., Mr. Alderman and Sheriff Hanson, Mr. Alderman Fowler, M.P., Mr. Sheriff Ogg, The Hon. Moritz Ellinger, Baron G. de Worms, Mr. S. Morley, M.P., and Mr. S. Montagu."
Mr. W. Fowler, M.P., said—My Lord Mayor, Ladies and Gentlemen, as it is quite time that this meeting should close I will only sav one or two words in seconding the resolution. Having taken an active part in the remonstrances against the Bulgarian atrocities some years ago, it seems to me that I ought now to do what I can in support of the remonstrances against the recent atrocities in Russia. I admit that the cases are very different. While the Turkish Government was to a large extent responsible for the atrocities in Bulgaria, we are assured that the Russian Government is not responsible for the atrocities against the Jews. I trust that that is so: but supposing it to be so, it appears clear that the officers and servants of the Russian Government were not as active as they ought to have been in the suppression or prevention of outrages, and I think we should not be afraid to lift up our voice in remonstrance lest somebody in Russia should be displeased at our doing so. I think we have a right to say what we think and feel on this subject—a right to ask that the Jews of Russia shall in future be safe against outrage. We have no right to interfere in the internal affairs of Russia, and I should be the last man to wish to do so; but we have a right to remonstrate against cruelties like those which have occurred recently. I most heartily second the resolution. I could say a great deal more, but you have heard most eloquently expressed by other speakers all that need be said on this subject, and I think any further words from me would now be out of place.
The resolution was then put and carried with acclamation.
Sir Nathaniel de Rothschild, M.P., said—My Lord Mayor, Ladies and Gentlemen, the last resolution prepared for this great meeting has been placed in my hands; and, although I am aware of my own inefficiency and of my lack of eloquence, yet I have not hesitated to come forward to propose that our best thanks should be given to you, my Lord Mayor, for having convened this great meeting. As Englishmen and Englishwomen we have to-day shown our deep sympathy with the oppressed; we have shown once more that men of all classes and creeds in this country are friends of civil and religious liberty. It is, indeed, no new thing for a meeting like the present one to be held in the heart of this great metropolis; for the city of London has always been the champion of civil and religious liberty. It is owing to the exertions in the past of the citizens over whom you, my Lord Mayor, rule, that my co-religionists in this country have been able to overcome all difficulties and to enjoy equal rights and equal privileges with their fellow-citizens. (Cheers.) The persecution and oppression of the Jews is a thing of all ages and page 27 of all countries; but toleration is, I may say, a child of modern growth, and it is only of late that the world has appreciated the ad-vantages of toleration. Some of the responsible authorities of Russia may have thought that outrages like those which have recently occurred might be prevented by severe penal laws. So far back as 1831, Lord Macaulay wrote an essay on the position of the Jews. I do not intend to weary voy by quoting the whole of it, but I will give you the spirit of it:—"Supposing," said Lord Macaulay, "all red-headed people had been forced for hundreds of years to wear a peculiar garb, and to live together in vile ghettos, and supposing they had been denied the rights oi common citizenship, and not allowed to carry on ordinary trade, would you, at the end of centuries, persecute red-headed people because they lived together, dress differently, and do not follow the same occupations as their persecutors?" Such, my Lord Mayor, was the position of my unfortunate co-religionists in Russia 'up to a few years ago. I acknowledge, and gratefully acknowledge, that the laws which were passed to regulate Jewish life in Russia in times gone by were allowed to lapse into desuetude. But what is the outlook for the Jews now? Outrages have occurred, and a Commission is sitting, not to grant civil and religious liberty, but to see how the laws which have reduced the Jews in Russia to the position described by Macaulay in 1831 can be put in force again. (Cries of "Shame.") My Lord Mayor, we have been assembled here to-day not merely to express sympathy but to afford material help to the oppressed, such help as is always afforded through the Mansion House when any great calamity has occurred. I am sure my co-religionists in Russia will feel very grateful for any material help which may come to them from England, but they will feel still more grateful if the views which have been expressed to-day shall have the effect of securing for them civil and religious liberty. (Loud cheers.)
Mr. Serjeant Simon, M.P., said—My Lord Mayor, Ladies and Gentlemen, at this late hour it would be unbecoming were i to take up much of your time. The object of the meeting has been so well and so ably explained by the eloquent speakers who have preceded me that it is quite needless for me to dilate upon it. My object in rising is simply to second the vote of thanks to the Lord Mayor which Sir Nathaniel de Rothschild has just proposed. (Cheers.) In doing so I desire to thank the Lord Mayor personally for the kind and ready way in which he responded to the requisition which was placed before him. I desire also for myself—and I am sure I may say for my brethren of the Jewish faith—to thank the eminent persons not of that faith who signed that requisition; and I further desire to thank the distinguished men who adorn this platform to-day, and the whole of this great assembly, for the sympathy which they have manifested in the cause. We have not come here to do, or to say, one single thing which might disturb the friendly relations that exist between this kingdom and Russia. Least of all would we desire anything that might embarrass Her Majesty's Government, or increase the responsibilities which now press heavily upon them. We do not and we cannot ask them to assume towards Russia a peremptory tone in this matter. I page 28 should as an Englishman protest against any such action on the part of any foreign Power towards this country. I agree with my hon. and learned friend Professor Bryce that we declare, by the resolutions which have been passed, our confidence that the Government of England, representing this great nation, will do its duty. (Cheers.) I believe that it will. I believe that the Government will lose no opportunity that may present itself for using the great influence which it possesses, by friendly, unofficial means, to do what it can for the sufferers from the great calamity which has befallen them. They must speak to Russia as one friend speaks to another. It is only by acting in this spirit that any good can result from a meeting like this. We have met to denounce a great wrong to civilisation, a great offence against the laws of humanity; and we call public attention to the subject in order that the moral force of public opinion in a country like England may be felt, and may receive attention. I believe that it will. I will say no more, but simply ask you to pass a vote of thanks to the Lord Mayor, who so readily convened this meeting and who has conducted its proceedings in such an admirable manner.
The motion was then put by the proposer and carried by acclamation.
The Lord Mayor said—My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you very much for the way in which you have received this resolution of thanks to myself. Sir Nathaniel de Rothschild spoke of his want of eloquence, but we have learnt to-day that he is eloquent-he speaks from the heart, and I may add that he and his family are always ready to aid in works of charity by the most munificent donations. (Cheers.) There is another name which I should here like to mention, that of Sir Moses Montefiore. (Cheers.) Sir Moses is a fellow-liveryman of mine in the Merchant Taylors' Company. I know that he takes great interest in City affairs, but the fact that he has also made strenuous efforts on behalf of his kinsmen in Russia will, I am sure, commend his name to a meeting like this. The City of London has, I may remark, been the cradle of civil and religious liberty in England, and within her precincts have arisen, as we have been reminded by Sir Nathaniel de Rothschild, some of the greatest industries that have enriched our country. These industries were brought here, and were taught to our people, by men who had fled from persecution abroad, and this is a fact which it is important that we should bear in mind. I believe that whoever may be Lord Mayor of London when either the cause of charity or the cause of civil and religious liberty requires to be promoted, you will find him prepared to render all the assistance in his power. (Loud cheers.)
The meeting, which had been marked by earnest enthusiasm throughout, then separated.