Salisbury, Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3d marquess ofSalisbury, Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3d marquess of (sôlz'burē) [key], 1830–1903, British statesman. He entered Parliament in 1853 as a Conservative and devoted himself for 50 years to a program of cautious imperialism and resourceful resistance to sweeping parliamentary and franchise reforms. He became (1866) secretary for India in Lord Derby's government but resigned (1867) in protest against the Reform Bill sponsored and passed by Benjamin Disraeli. Salisbury (who succeeded to his father's title in 1868) returned to the India Office in 1874 and in 1878 became Disraeli's foreign secretary. His “Salisbury Circular” outlined British policy concerning the Eastern Question and led to the Congress of Berlin (1878), which he attended with Disraeli. The Conservatives lost office in 1880, and on Disraeli's death (1881) Salisbury became leader of the opposition to the administration of William Gladstone. In 1885 he entered upon the first of his three ministries. His government fell early in 1886, but Salisbury returned to
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