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the country. It was Cobden's aim to make them predominant in the markets of the world. When, therefore, they are depressed from various causes, or absolutely checked by the protective tariffs of other countries, how are you going to consume the labour displaced by those adverse forces? One thing is clear, that British capital unproductive at home will seek employment abroad. It will be diverted " from less to more remunerative sources;" but you must mark the application of the doctrine. It no longer refers to a single community, but embraces the world. And as other nations do not return those advantages which we give them, this doctrine, like all the other free-trade doctrines, when they are applied to a set of circumstances in which mutual free trade does not exist, cannot but injure the free-trade nation. They obtain, by the assistance of the ardent British free-trader, our capital. What ought to have employed British labour, employs foreign labour. And the same free-trader draws the conclusion that we are the gainers by such unpatriotic conduct! For he says that the interest of that capital comes back to England in the shape of goods. We are all the richer, therefore. But he seems to struggle very hard to obtain this moderate benefit from his free-trade doctrine. He appears as if he were striving to avoid colliding with certain facts,1 which
1 Under protection it was a good thing for this interest to be consumed in our country, all its resources being engaged in the production of wealth. But under free trade, when all our resources are not so engaged, to divert capital which might be employed at home, and to reap the benefit of interest when wo ought to enjoy the circulation of the capital which gives rise to it, is certainly, in the labour interest, not a good thing. Thus, a million is diverted to the United States. The would stun him. He does not care to tell you that the capital formerly employing labour in this country must leave behind it labour unemployed. Nor does he seem to be conscious of the circumstance that to employ interest, when we might be using the capital which supplies that interest, is not the best possible manner of conducting the business of the nation. We gain the interest only: the foreigner has his labour employed by our capital. It is difficult for the free-trader to conceive that, under another state of things, we might not only acquire the interest, but likewise derive the national advantage of the additional employment of labour, by means of the capital which is now diverted from less remunerative channels in this country to more remunerative ones in foreign countries,—in other words, to lighten the burdens which weigh so heavily upon the occupation of capital, by affording our industries, according to Huskisson, "due and proper" protection.
interest is £50,000, and employs, say, 760 labourers. But the capital, if employed at home, and it would be employed were our industries protected, would employ 15,200 labourers.
UNIVERSAL FREE TRADE AND MANUFACTURING SUPREMACY:
THE IDEAL PICTURE PARTIAL FREE TRADE AND BRITISH
MANUFACTURING DISTRESS: THE ACTUAL FACT.
"The prosperity of Manchester is another expression for the wellbeing of England. When that great town and the immense population dependent upon it cease to advance in prosperity and in wealth, the star of England has culminated. Failing trade will soon undermine the foundation on which every other interest rests. Our teeming population, deprived of employment, will soon convert this happy land into a warren of paupers. Nor can the retrograde movement stop even at this stage. A dense population, maddened by disappointment and rendered desperate by irremediable want, will soon fall into a state, from the contemplation of which one may well turn away." 1—Samuel Jones Loyd.
THE "REAL" AND "OSTENSIBLE" OBJECTS OF THE MANCHESTER SCHOOL—THE WEAK POINT OF THE MANUFACTURERS' ARGUMENT DISCOVERED BY SIR ROBERT PEEL—THE EFFECT OF UNIVERSAL FREE TRADE ON OTHER NATIONS NOT WELL CONSIDERED—IMMEDIATE SECURITY FOR US, UNCERTAINTY FOR THEM IN FUTURE—THE STIMULATING INFLUENCE OF CORN IMPORTS INTO THIS COUNTRY NEUTRALISED BY POLICY OF FOREIGNER—THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING AN ACTUAL GUIDE, IN PLACE OF A PRINCIPLE, TO CONTROL OUR COMMERCE.
§ 25. The extension of manufacture not resident in cause put forward by free-traders—viz., foreign demand for com. Sir Robert Peel shows that this cause is not powerful enough to produce desired effect.—Let us endeavour to lay bare the motive which the free-traders had in disturbing the protectionist doctrine that the welfare of the nation means the welfare of each class and interest composing it. There was some strong influence at work urging them to destroy that relationship which had always existed between the agricultural labourer and his master, who was condemned because, his self-interest concurring with that of his landlord, he added to the political influence of the latter. There was a dominant power in existence which likewise created a tendency towards the disruption of those intimate relations which had grown up between the manufacturer and his labourers. Under protection the interests of the master and the man were identical. But free trade disordered the direction of these interests: they have become divergent. What was the object, then, of the free-traders?
i Quoted from Cobden, pp. 44, 45. Mr Loyd was created Baron Ovorstone.
It is found in the scheme which they devised for converting all the interests of the nation into one vast manufacturing interest. This is no exaggeration; at least, if it be so, the exaggeration was entertained by Sir Eobert Peel, before he was forced to alter, not his opinions, but his policy. All who are conversant with that statesman's speeches will remember the occasion when, speaking against some of the future results of a free trade in corn, he ascended a hill, a lofty position, and worthy his intellectual eminence, and surveyed therefrom the fields of England waving with corn, the surest sign of her greatness and prosperity.1 He be
1 Sir Robert Peel's Speeches, vol. vi. p. 94, edited by Dr Cook Taylor. lieved then in the doctrine that the nation, over which he exercised so peculiar a destiny, ought to be selfsupporting ; that all its interests ought to be conserved, and external attacks upon them counteracted. In short, he was the exponent of the policy of protection, under which he asserted—and the assertion is of value as coming from such an authority—that the country had prospered, and prospered in no ordinary degree.
Now the following was the underlying motive of all the free-traders' desigu, both economical and political. They intended that England should be nothing less than one gigantic workshop. They saw the means, as they lightly thought, of the consummation of their idea, but * in the process of giving them effect, they were involved in all kinds of difficulties. Those difficulties arose mostly from a determined opposition on the part of the agricultural interest. As Cobden accurately observed, the repeal of the Corn Laws was the key-stone of the arch of free trade.2 After their repeal, the rest of the national trade becomes free, as matter of course.
Contemplate for a while the effects of so vast a project upon the social and political wellbeing of the community, both which were, in the opinion of the freetrader, to ensue upon an increase of material prosperity. The agricultural labourer (and in his class the free
Ho had been arguing that the Corn Law was a provident insurance against the dangers of famine (and he might have added, of war too): '' How perfectly baseless must be the anticipation that there will be a boundless demand for our manufactures in exchange for foreign corn, if the Corn Laws were repealed! Is it credible that a regular future demand of 1,000,000 quarters—that is, 250,000 quarters in addition to the past supply—will produce these enormous benefits?" 1 Cobden's Speeches, pp. 39 and 177.