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Grey of Fallodon

edward, sir, foreign, lord, british, policy and regarded

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GREY OF FALLODON, 1sr Visciathri, better known as Sm EDWARD GREY; English statesman: b. London, 25 April 1862. His father, Colonel George H. Grey (4. 1874) served in the Crimea and in the Indian mutiny; his mother was the daughter of Lietit.-Col. Charles Pearson and his grandfather the well-known statesman Sir Georg( Grey, a nephew of Earl Grey, the great Whig leader and reformer. On the death of his grandfather he succeeded to the baronetcy and became •Sir Edward.* Three years later he was elected Liberal M.P. for Berwick-on-Tweed, which constituency he. rep resented for 31 years, till his elevation to the peerage in 1916. When Gladstone became Premier for the fourth and last time in 1892, he appointed Sir Edward under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs. Lord Rosebery was the Foreign Secretary, and as by virtue of his title he necessarily sat in the House of Lords, it fell to the under-secretary to represent the foreign office in the Commons—a delicate and responsible task. During the short-lived Rose bery administration (1894-95), Sir Edward cent tinued in his post under Lord Kimberley. The foreign policy pursued by Lord Rosebety marked a profound change in British political history. Hitherto there had been two distinctly different policies, according to whether the Con servatives or the Liberals were in power—that of the former being invariably energetic and strong; of the latter, vacillating and unreliable, Lord Rosehery had tract. aacceeded Lord Salisbury as Foreign Secretary (1886 and 1892); and on each occasion continued the policy of his conservative predecessor. Thus it may be said that Sir Edward Grey studied diplomacy under these two excellent masters, diametrically opposed on perhaps every question of the% excepting only that of Bntish relations wfth other countries. After the resignation of the Rosebery Cabinet in 1895 the Liberals °watt.; dered in the wilderness* for 10 years until the resignation of Mr. Balfour in December when Sir Edward Grey became of State for Foreign Affairs in the Campbell-BanJ nerman administration. Long regarded. as a man of °infinite possibilities in the future* by his colleagues, his accession was marked by nd little curiosity and speculation in the chan celleries of Europe. The government was cer-:

tainly °Liberal* in the widest sense of 'the word — even radical, socialistic, revolutionary. BY far the bulk of the government's overwhelming majority was of the °little Englander* or anti imperialist type, imbued with °millennium* theories born of the Tsar's peace of 1898. Reduction in naval and military ex penditure was an important item in their pro gram. The extreme section, indeed,' favored gradual disarmament,. since democracy was now supposed to be firmly:established in the world and the Russo-Japanese War was regarded at the last conflict among the great nations. The vision of the Utopia had hypnotized not only the rank and file, but almost the entire Cabinet, with two notable exceptions: Mr. Pesquith, then Chancellor of the Exchequer and Sir Edward Grey. They were regarded by the conservative element of British opinion as the stabilizing forces of the government. Neither was a dreamer nor an idealist; each was practical and businesslike.

Sir Edward Grey took up the threads of British foreign policy at an epochal moment. The policy of ((splendid isolation" was dead; from his predecessor, Lord Lansdowne, he in herited the Anglo-Japanese Alliance and the Cordiale" with France, 'which latter he strengthened by concluding the Anglo-Rus sian agreement (31 Aug. 1907), thus completing that triple bond to which German opinion sought to ascribe the origin of the European War. The German Emperor's pilgrimage to Tangier in 1905 had already raised the spectre of war; the subsequent conference at Algeciras and the Agadir incident were generally recog nized as German attempts to break up the coali tion. Certain elements in the British Cabinet were suspected of °truckling" to Germany at the expense of France; Sir Edward, happily; stood firm and impervious to the promptings Of his colleagues and the radical press. It is to his credit also that he aimed at securing an American alliance by means of an unlimited arbitration treaty, but failed. His statesman ship during the Balkan Wars (1912-13) con tributed in large measure to avert a general European conflagration; he handled the deli Cate negotiations with tact and strength.

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