The principal achievements of the long session of 1902 (which extended to the autumn) were the passing of the Education Act, - entirely reorganizing the system of primary education, abolishing the school boards and making the county councils the local authority; new rules of procedure; and the creation of the Metropolitan Water Board; and on all these questions, and particularly the two first, Mr Balfour's powers as a debater were brilliantly exhibited.
The Greek ecclesiastes means one who takes part in the deliberations of an assembly (ecclesia), a debater or speaker in an assembly (Plato, Gorgias, 452 E), and this is the general sense of the Hebrew word.
A careful and even brilliant financier, and a keen debater, he became known as a strong believer in protection for Canadian industries and in preferential trade within the British empire.
He made a reputation as a parliamentary debater, but lost favour with his constituents who were largely Republican, and only held his seat with the help of Livio Quartaroli, mayor of Forli, and Saffi; when they died his position became untenable and he was not reelected.
Mr Balfour had never spoken more brilliantly, nor shone more as a debater, than in these years when he had to confront a House of Commons three-fourths of which was hostile.