The night after, or two nights after, he met me in the
lobby; and he said he thought it was but right he should explain why he
left the House after the conversation he had held with me on this
question before. He said he had hoped the Government would agree to the
motion, but when he found they would not, his position was so delicate
with regard to them and his own old party, that he was most anxious that
nothing should induce him, unless under the pressure of some great
extremity, to appear even to oppose them on any matter before the House.
Therefore, from a very delicate sense of honour, he did not say what I
am sure he would have been glad to have said, and the proposition did
not receive from him that help which, if it had received it, would have
surmounted all obstacles.
To show the sort of men who are made ministers--Sir John Hobhouse had on
these occasions always a speech of the same sort. He said this: 'With
respect to the peculiar urgency of the time, he could not say the
honourable Gentleman had made out his case; for he found that the
importation of cotton from all countries showed an immense increase
during the last three years.