He was, moreover, an Imperialist and a Colonial Federationist at a time when Liberalism was tied and bound to the Manchester traditions; and, to the consternation of, the official wire-pullers, he vigorously supported Disraeli's foreign policy, and in 1881 opposed the Gladstonian settlement with the Boers.
The Life (19m) of Mr Childers, by his son, throws some interesting side-lights on the inner history of more than one Gladstonian cabinet.
He thus became identified with the Roseberyite attitude towards Irish Home Rule; and, while he continued to uphold the Gladstonian policy in theory, in practice the Irish Nationalists felt_ that very little could be expected from his advocacy.
He took a leading part in ventilating the Bulgarian and Armenian "atrocities," and his combative personality was constantly to the fore in support of the campaigns of Gladstonian Liberalism.
In the interval there had been other questions on which he found himself at variance with Gladstonian Liberalism, for instance, as regards the Sudan and the Transvaal, nor was he inclined to stomach the claims of the Caucus or the Birmingham programme.
Mr John Redmond was chosen chairman, and the alliance of Nationalists and Gladstonian Liberals was dissolved.