But he was suspicious of Sir Edward Grey's foreign policy, which he thought too slavish in its following of Lord Lansdowne; and he opposed the naval increases of the years before the World War, as the socialists in Berlin had opposed the German increases which provoked British rejoinders.
Presented to parliament in November 1898, the bill was read a second time in the following spring, but its third reading was violently obstructed by the Socialists, Radicals and Republicans of the Extreme Left.
The general election of June 1900 not only failed to reinforce the cabinet, but largely increased the strength of the extreme parties (Radicals, Republicans and Socialists), who in the new Chamber numbered nearly 100 out of a total of 508.
Unfortunately these genuine grievai~ces were taken advantage of by the Socialists for their own purposes, and strikes and disorders were sometimes promoted without cause and conciliation impeded by outsiders who acted from motives of personal ambition or profit.
The Socialist party, which had grown powerful under a series of weak-kneed administrations, now began to show signs of division; on the one hand there was the revolutionary wing, led by Signor Enrico Fern, the Mantuan deputy, which advocated a policy of uncompromising class warfare, and on the other the riformisti, or moderate Socialists, led by Signor Filippo Turati, deputy for Milan, who adopted a more conciliatory attitude and were ready to ally themselves with other parliamentary parties.