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the direct injury of his long-suffer- the most skilled of their artisans, ing constituents. Yet those con- the teaching of their trade to a forstituents stoutly resist the idea of eign country, its enrichment, infree trade in labour. The “knob- creased power to compete with us, stick,” they will have none of and reduced cost of its production. him !! Strange they cannot see Worst of all, diminished employthat “knobstick” labour perform- ment for our working men. Sir ed in a foreign country is vastly Theodore Martin lately stated, more injurious to their interests when addressing a meeting of than if done in their midst. We miners, that owing to Spanish saw it lately stated that the firm competition mainly, 169 lead-mines with which Mr John Bright, M.P., had been shut up in this country, is or was connected, has a branch throwing 30,000 men out of emin America. The Mundellas have ployment, and causing ruinous hosiery works in Saxony, where losses to capitalists, who had inthey obtain skilled labour at one vested enormous sums in opening penny an hour.
Can we wonder these mines and providing machinthat gentlemen like the Jacobys, ery. A similar fate awaits pigBrights, and Mundellas, who pose iron producers, for Spain has reas friends of the working man, are cently begun to import hæmatite "free-traders to the backbone.” pig at lower prices than we Manifestly import duties would produce it. Iron girders, steel not suit them; nor can we feel rails, window-frames, sashes, shutsurprised at their dreading an ters, doors, staircases, coffins even; inquiry into the causes of trade wardrobes, cabinets, chairs, pianos, depression.
and all articles required for furThese are but a few typical cases nishing purposes, are now being of many which might be adduced largely sent from abroad. Also to show how rapidly the best and railway carriages, of which, bewealthiest of our manufacturers tween 1870 and 1876, we exported are being driven, either to alto- annually, on the average, 3762 in gether close their works, or trans- number, but of whlch the export fer them to a foreign country. has since 1881 entirely ceased, Continental nations and America In fact, there is hardly an indusstrive to keep their people at home, try we can name, which is not
a means, they foster in suffering from this cruel foreign every way the interests of the pro- competition. ducer, and rightly leave the con- But we are told that, in spite of sumer to his fate. We do all we all this, the alleged depression is can to drive our people from us, negatived by the income-tax reand devote our energies to cheap- turns; and in proof thereof, we are euing in the interests of the con- referred to the gross amount under sumer. The results we have seen. Schedule D, under which commerYet we persist in maintaining a cial profits are assessed—namely, system which, scouted not only by £293,000,000 in the year 1885, all other nations, but even our own against £291,000,000 in 1884, colonies, has now been, by this these being the highest figures alarming migration of our capital- recorded. The Commissioners in ists, most emphatically condemned. their final report show that, owing Let us think what this migration to “the increased efficiency of colinvolves. The loss of valuable and lection of late years, the unwillingenterprising men, their wealth and ness of traders to make their losses
known," and to the fact “that the sioners that while we stand with assessment is made over an average open ports to receive the over-proof years," these returns, as indicat- duction of the world the result can ing the state of trade, cannot be hardly be otherwise. trusted. Sir James Caird stated At page 21 the report points in his evidence that the annual out that while in the last twenty loss of spendable income, as com- years wages have risen, the profits pared with 1876, is not less of capital have fallen, and that than £20,000,000 by landlords, “the time may come when the
£20,000,000 by tenants and latter will lose all inducement to £2,800,000 by labourers. But if lend itself to the work of producwe refer to the statistical abstracts, tion, and if the employer is driven we find the gross amount assessed out of the field, the labourer will under Schedule B, in respect of also suffer with him." Do we not occupation of land, tenements, see, in the fact so strangely igand hereditaments, was in 1876 nored by the Commission, of so £,66,806,095, against, in 1885, many capitalists transferring their 265,233,206,—or, if Sir James works to foreign countries, that Caird's estimate is correct, as it is it has already come? It is most readmitted to be, £18,500,000 more markable that in the mass of evithan it ought to have been.
dence collected, there is not, so far The "majority report,” after as we have been able to discover, a giving reasons for distrusting in- single reference to this migration. come-tax returns, and stating that Probably it was found more conproducers have been working on venient to ignore facts which go greatly reduced profits, and fre- so directly to condemn the system quently at a loss, yet find it dif- we so blindly worship. ficult to understand how the net Disbelief in its merits is rapidly product of industry, which consti- spreading, and it is an immense tutes the wealth of the country” (the step, gained, that those who aditalics are ours), “ can have failed to vocate a different policy are no increase also. There is, moreover, longer refused a hearing. Nor sufficient evidence that capital has are indications wanting, that even on the whole continued to accum- statesmen have their faith ulate throughout the period which in the system shaken, We have is described as depressed, though it on the authority of Mr. Chamthere has been a sensible deprecia- berlain, that Mr. Gladstone was tion in some kinds of capital.” prepared to concede to Ireland Mr. Auldjo Jamieson conclusively power to revert to protection. refutes this view, and shows that Mr. Parnell has told us, that in his no dependence whatever is to be interview with Lord Carnarvon, placed on income tax returns (pp. on his stating that this power 31 and 32). The report then goes should be given, Lord Carnarvon, on to say:
“ But is it more diffi- replied, “ There I am with you ; cult to account for systematic over- but what a row there would be in production continued over a long England !” and the Duke of Argyll period, and resulting, according lately said, “ He was not sure he to the unanimous testimony of the would not give Ireland power to witnesses who appeared before us, try the experiment of protective in little or no profit to the pro- duties." We have seen that the ducing classes." "Strange it should motion brought before the Manchesnot have occurred to the Commis- ter Chamber of Commerce by Mr
Russell, for a reconsideration of the with the hard facts of experience, whole question, was only lost by one are rapidly finding out for themvote, the numbers being 21 to 22. selves that the much-vaunted cheap At page 77 of the first report of loaf is for them a very dear loar the Royal Commission on the De- indeed. pression of Trade, we find that the The evils it has brought on IreCouncil of the Chamber of Com- land are incalculable. We have merce of Birmingham, of all places seen the effect on the Irish linen in the world, recommends-" The industry. On its agriculture, the
... imposition of an import duty on backbone of its existence, the reforeign manufactured goods in all sults have been infinitely worse. cases where the same classes of goods It is impossible to doubt that the are manufactured in this country.”'l distress produced by foreign comIn all parts of the United King- petition has been the main factor dom the more intelligent of the in producing the no-rent agitation. working classes, no er able The decrease in the cultivation of to reconcile the gross misrepre- arable land is shown by the folsentations of Cobden Club leaflets lowing figures: –
798,942 422,47 I 89,197
Her population in 1846
was indissoluble tie—we should have 9,287,848; it is
only gained vastly in political strength. 4,887,439.
The stream of emigrations would have Nor does it appear in a more
been diverted to them; and instead
of British capital flowing to America favourable light when viewed in
to assist her in developing her reregard to its action in our rela
sources, and in constructing her magtions with our colonies. 2
nificent railway system, it would have
flowed to India, Canada, and Aus“Had we retained our protection tralia, where it is much wanted, system, and, when we conceded to
to develop their almost limitless them self-government, entered with resources. them into a customs union, on the basis of a free interchange of commo
Most serious of all is the danger dities, we should have been self-sup- to Britain from her dependence porting, and they bound to us by an for food-supplies on foreign coun
1 Since the above was in type a motion “ in favour of a change in the fiscal policy of the country” was carried unanimously at a meeting of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce.
2 Free Trade so called tested by Facts.
3 “ It is a striking fact that during the past twenty years 67 per cent of our emigrants have gone to the United States, and only 2712 per cent to our own colonies. The more extreme protectionist policy of the United States, so far from repelling emigrants, has operated as an effectual bribe to both capital and labour, by holding out the inducement of higher prices and higher wages.”—Final Report of Royal Commission, p. 66.
tries, apparently regarded by her the days of her decline. God statesmen with indifference, and grant it may not prove to be ours ! wholly ignored by the Royal Com- “Quem Deus vult perdere, prius mission on the Depression of Trade. dementat.”' We have had the good fortune, High prices and plenty," says since the close of the Napoleonic Adam Smith "are prosperity; wars, to escape, save in our con- “ low prices and scarcity are misflict with Russia, being involved ery." " It is to no purpose," said in a quarrel with a European Dr. Johnson, “ to tell me that eggs Power. But is it wise to allow are a penny a dozen in the Highthe comparative immunity of the lands; that is not because eggs past to blind us to the possibilities are many, but because pence are of the future? It is “the unex- few." pected which always happens"
“No nation can pretend to indeand signs are not wanting in the
pendence which rests for any sensible political horizon to warn
portion of its subsistence, in ordinary we cannot trust to so escape in the seasons, on foreign, who may become future. A combination of two hostile, nations. And if we would see first-class Powers, such as Russia a memorable example of the manner and France, against this country,
in which the greatest and most may be an improbable, but it is powerful nation may in the course by no means an impossible event.
af ages come to be paralysed by this
cause, we have only to cast our eyes Were such to happen—and our on imperial Rome, when the vast weakness invites it--it is by no extent of the empire had practically means certain, under the changed a free trade in grain with the whole conditions of aval warfare, we civilised world, and the result was, should be able to retain command cultivation disappeared from the
race of of the sea. Our insular position, in Italian plains; that the the past our strength, would then of the empire, became extinct; the
Roman agriculturists, the strength prove our weakness.
Our ports legions could no longer be recruited blockaded, we should be starved but from foreign lands; vast tracts of into accepting any terms the enemy pasturage overspread even the fields might choose to dictate. Such is of Lombardy and the Campagna of the ever-growing danger, with our Naples; and it was the plaintive conpopulation increasing at the rate session of the Roman annalist that
the mistress of the world had come to of 340,000 per annum, and homeproduced supplies of food annually foods of the Nile."—Alison's History
depend for her subsistence on the decreasing, we have now to face. of Europe. It was Rome's great weakness in
[The following sketch is taken from Ludwig Steub's · Bilder aus Griechenland' (Pictures from Greece), published by him a few years after his visit, as a young man of four-and-twenty, to Greece, and founded on his experience during the two years he resided there.]
DURING the last months of my see him. His somewhat elderly stay in Athens in 1835, I lodged sister, Kyria (Mistress) Maria, in the house of Spiros Bamburis, whom I met more frequently, in the quarter stretching eastward would pass me in silence, evidentfrom the Temple of Theseus to- ly considering the exchange of a wards Mount Lycabettus, and 'good morning" sufficient convercalled by the modern Athenians sation for the day; whilst her the Psiri. I chose this house be- niece, Irene, an orphan whom she cause it was fresh and clean, and was bringing up, was apparently because there was an extensive commanded not even to look at me view from the balcony over the if she could help it. At any rate, newly born metropolis and a great whenever I passed through the part of the environs—the valley of courtyard, she always managed to the Cephissus with the mountain- find something to do which should chain beyond, the Mounts Lyca- prevent my obtaining a view of her bettus and Hymettus, and the face. Either she would stoop down Acropolis, being all within its to pick up a stone that a moment sweep. Behind the house there before had in no way troubled her, was a courtyard, which was always or something would be amiss with sedulously swept, and in the yard her shoe, or she sat herself down stood the humble dwelling of my on a bench and put her little head well-to-do landlord—a low cottage, in her hands. And once when I possessing a door, a window, and a happened to appear rather sudsitting-room, but the door without denly, nothing better suggested it. lock, the window without panes, self to her than to thrust her little and the floor unboarded,-a curi- head and ears into the big earthous contrast with the handsome en pot she was cleaning, from house erected in its proximity, the depths of which, however, I and suggesting pleasant thoughts could not help hearing the smothas to the wide field for industry ered sound of a merry laugh. But and thrift offered by young and notwithstanding all her precaurising countries.
tions, it was not always possible At first I had very little inter- for her to hide her face from me ; course with my hosts. Early in and before I had been a fortnight the morning, long before we Euro- in the house, I had convinced mypeans had risen, Kyr (Mr) Spiros self that she was one of the most had left for his stall in the bazaar, beautiful girls in Athens. where he sold woollen and linen Such were our relations at first. goods, as also sugar, coffee, and But gradually as my hosts came to rum; and in the evening he did know me better—that is, when not generally return until I had they observed that I generally gone out to pay visits, or to the came home early in the evening, café, so that it was rare for me to did not take too much wine, and