Lord Salisbury and Waddington at the instance of Bismarck, that, when convenient, France should occupy Tunisia, an agreement afterwn.rds confirmed (with a reserve as to the eventual attitude of Italy) in despatches exchanged in July and August 1878 between the Quai dOrsay and Downing Street.
He specially devoted himself to finance, being for a short time president of the customs commission before his appointment as minister of agriculture and commerce in March 1879 in the Waddington cabinet.
Waddington on the 4th of February 1879, he was one of its members, and continued in the ministry until the 30th of March 1885, except for two short interruptions (from the 10th of November 1881 to the 30th of January 1882, and from the 29th of July 1882 to the 21st of February 1883), first as minister of education and then as minister of foreign affairs.
In that year appeared Waddington's Mdmoire sur la chronologie de la vie du rheteur Aelius Aristide, in which it was shown from a most acute combination of circumstances that the Quadratus whose name is mentioned in the Martyrium was proconsul of Asia in 155-156, and that consequently Polycarp was martyred on the 23rd of February 155.
Waddington's conclusion has received overwhelming support amongst recent critics.