British Prime Minister and Liberal politician (1809-1898), Gladstone served as Prime Minister a staggering four times in his long political career. Gladstone's intense and vitriolic rivalry with Benjamin Disraeli, the leader of the Conservative party, has been well documented and we have a superb eleven page autograph signed letter from Gladstone addressed to the members of the Liberal Association of Bedford regarding Disraeli. Within these pages Gladstone launches an attack on Disraeli's foreign policy, shortly after the latter's triumphant return from the Berlin Congress that summer, and following his speech at the Guildhall. He voices his concerns about Britain (led by Disraeli) breaking Treaties and the duplicitous nature of the agreements. He argues "What right have we to annex by war, or for menace, the territory of our neighbours, in order to make scientific a frontier which is already safe? What should we say of such an Act if done by another Power?". He concludes his argument by providing rhetorical recommendations for foreign policy initiatives that should be followed, namely that "the best barrier against Russia, as we have seen in the case of Roumania, is to be found in the establishment of local liberties that men will value, and will fight for, and will not willingly surrende". Disraeli had returned in triumph from the Congress of Berlin, declaring that he had achieved 'Peace with Honour' and dismissed the criticisms of Gladstone as the offensive epithets of a 'sophistical rhetorician, inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity'. The applause for Disraeli soon died down and in a generation the collapse of the Turkish Empire dragged Europe into full scale war. Signed "W.E. Gladstone" at the close of the letter, in a clear, flowing hand. Three pages (with central gatefold) written on each side, Hawarden, 12 November 1878. Measures 175x112mm and is unframed. With foxing and some weakness at the folds (both of which could be remedied by professional conservation), otherwise good condition. A wonderful piece of rhetorical writing by one of the greatest politicians of the 19th century.