majority almost identical with that which they had had at the previous election, 1895. Lord Salisbury remained Prime Minister and Sir Michael Hicks- Beach retained the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer, while Mr. Goschen retired from the Admiralty and the administration, and went to the House of Lords as Viscount Goschen.
THE year 1901, the opening of which saw the death of Queen Victoria in the midst of the long-drawn anxieties of the South African War, was from the financial point of view one of deepening depression and disaster.
The position, in spite of the announcement during the election period of the previous autumn and later that the war was practically over, had not improved since the statement presented in December 1900; for besides the necessity of providing for the still continuing state of war, the growth of the normal public expenditure, which of recent years had shewn a tendency to advance at an ever-increasing rate, had now clearly reached a stage demanding the most serious attention. Moreover, the prospect which Sir Michael Hicks-Beach had always dangled before the House of Commons of securing a substantial contribution from the Transvaal towards the expense of the war was at last admitted to be far from encouraging, and he was forced to announce that such was the "ruined condition" to which that country had been reduced by the war that nothing could be expected