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Judqino from the brief particulars which have been furnished by cable, the fuss which has been made over what is known as " The Sackvillo West Affair " is uncommonly like what is colloquially described as " a storm m a teapot." It appears that some Californian lawyer, who represented himself as very much an Englishman, having been born m England and resided for some years m Canada, wrote to Sir Sackville West for bis opinion as to the most suitable candidate for the Presidential election, and that the British Ambassador unguardedly delivered himself of an opinion on the subject ; forgetting, for the moment", that it would havo been wiser for him altogether to hold his peace at an election time, lest the accusation should be made of partisanship on the part of the Government and the country he represented. It seems, indeed, that this was the very object of the question, and that a trap was deliberately Bet for the Ambassador, for election purposes, with a view, if successful, of raising a " cry " which might have the effect of turning the anti-British vote m favor of the candidate not favored by Sir • Sackville West, whose opinion, it was no doubt known beforehand, went m favor of the re-election of Cleveland. The plari succeeded, and President Cleveland and Secretary Bayerd were exceedingly wroth m consequence, for it scorns that they fully recognised that the very worst thing fcir Sackville West could do for Cleveland was openly to avow his (construed into England's) preference for his return. But even though tho British Ambassador was indiscreet, as he doubtless was, the precipitate and ridiculously, extravagant action of both the President himself, and the United States Secretary, m demanding the immediate supercession of the British Ambassador is altogether unjustifiable and cannot he excused even under the excitement caused by the greatest electoral contest of the world. Still, great dignitaries, like the smaller fry of humanity, must make silly exhibitions of themselves occasionally, for, as was known m the time of the Roman Empire, it is human to err, and no man now, any more than then, is wise at all hours. As to any serious international misunderstanding arising out of so trumpery an affair, that iB all moonshine, and it is only to be regretted that some of the English papers have made themselves simply ridiculous by shrieking about v a national insult," demanding the withdrawal of the American Ambassador at the Court of St James, and saying or doing other egregiously foolish things. The election is now over and we shall know its result to-morrow, and the Sackville West affair may now, having served Its purpose, be relegated to tho limbo of oblivion.

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Bibliographic details

THE SACKVILLE WEST AFFAIR., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1992, 9 November 1888

Word Count

THE SACKVILLE WEST AFFAIR. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1992, 9 November 1888