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cessfully unless it is supported by material prosperity. For if it is exercised in the promotion of extravagant and partial measures, it will with certainty be opposed. The nation was on the brink of a civil commotion in 1846.1 For "free trade," this worst of all national calamities was hazarded. It was met by concession.
But even changes in the surrounding conditions of political parties, and the foundations of law and order, have come about since that time. The democracy may be urged headlong by impetuous and selfish leaders; but the greater part of the middle classes are steadily opposing its violent course. Besides, the system of organisation has been absorbed into those institutions which preside over the maintenance of law and order in the community. As times change and improvements continue, these become all the stronger. But the consideration of these important matters does not deter the demagogue from rashly staking all success of his schemes upon a single throw. In a former time he effected a destructive cheapness, and bought popularity. In another dress, to-day, he would convince the labouring classes that they have the same power they were supposed to have in 1846. But let them not be mistaken. The source of that power was in the manufacturers.
There is sufficient reason, then, for the working classes
1 So thought the Duke of Wellington and many others. The noble Duke had, as he thought, to decide between the Corn Law and the Queen's Government. Although he recognised the utility of the Corn Law, he abandoned it for the cause of order.
to reconsider their position. And if free trade makes them accurately regard their condition from strictly economical, social, moral, and political points of view, it will have been the means of ensuring contentment and prosperity to future generations at least, if not to their own. For prosperity will require time for its production. And a sure prosperity is of slow growth.
Abundance—depends upon favourable conditions, 42; "Plenty is
our motto" (Cobden), 106; sought after by free-traders without
reference to demand for labour, 44; one of the intended results
of free trade, 41 (note); taxes interfered with, 248.
Ambiguity respecting, 109; labouring classes hindered from acquir-
ing, through excessive imports of foreign goods, 40.
Promise of, nullified in 1887, 109; associated with low price of
bread, 118 ; commencing to decline as regards wheat, 121.
Agricultural Labourers—demand for their labour to be increased
by a free trade in corn, 53 (note) ; to have four millions more to
spend upon manufacture, if bread were made cheap, 137; how
Cobden gained them over, 87.
Forced to desert the soil through unequal competition with foreign
The rise in wages of, 291.
Agriculture—Cobden and the corn-producing capacity of British
soil, 111 (note); destroyed by protection, 88.
Free trade to increase by one-fourth the produce of the soil, 103
Injured from the very first by free imports of corn, 39.
The natural protection to,- 73; has disappeared, 76; no nation can
be prosperous without a flourishing, 261.
Gain to, resulting from campaign in Crimea, 290; loss from free
imports (1850-1865), ib. (note).
Aristocracy, The—their tyranny, 116; ground down the wages of
labour, 92; grew rich at the expense of the national labour
interests, 209; Cobden aimed at lessening political influence of,
Cobden's charges against, founded on error, 54 el seq.
Barbour, Mr D.—' The Theory of Bimetallism ' quoted, 5.
Bimetallism—a remedy for depression, 318 ct seq.; would be followed
by evils of its own creation, 321.
Bounty System—used by the foreigner as a means of retaliating,
Bread—cheapness of, and prosperity of labour, synonymous according
to Cobden, 150; effect of cheap, upon producers, 277; low price
of, and low wages, 309; "atfamine prices," used by Cobden to
inflame the people, 257.
Dear between 1850 and 1860, yet labour prospered, 177.
"With decline in price of, appear stationary exports, 178.
Effort to raise the price of, received with ridicule, 305.
Bread-riots—value of, as indicating character of social distempers,
95 (note); the outcome of Chartism, 117.
Bright, Right Hon. John—the richest and most powerful class not
to sacrifice the rights of a whole people, 90 (note); free trade, the
commandment of God, 124 (note).
Sentiments of, concerning British agriculture, 86; no nation can be
prosperous without a flourishing agriculture, 261.
An advocate of the general reduction in wages, 51.
Bullion—increased in Bank of England, 1850, erroneously ascribed
by free-traders to action of free trade: in reality the result of the
withdrawal of capital from agriculture, 184.
Burke, Edmund—on the side of making trade more free under protec-
Cairnes, The Late Professor—opinion concerning the nature of
prosperity, 54 ; and of rent, 79.
Biassed by primary and favourable operation of free trade, 46 (note).
Capital—diverted from less (agricultural) to more (manufacturing)
remunerative sources, 1850, 186 (note); acquired by a free trade,
70; foreign consumption to, averse of labouring interests at
Capitalists—free trade created a brood of, 279.
Chartism—originally political and opposed to free trade, 54 (note);
Chartist leaders did not demand any alteration in the Corn Laws,
95 (note) ; took advantage of high prices of bread to advance their
ends, 117 (note).
Cleveland, President—recent reforms of, erroneously styled a free-
trade policy, 164 (note).
Cobden, Kichard—denounced trade under protection as not legiti-
mate because English exports were exchanged for the railway
shares and State bonds of other countries, 4 (note); protection,
the destroyer of agriculture, 88; the farmer's friend, 71 ; his
"natural regulator" of trade has broken down, 246.
An advocate, not a judge, 87; his insolent attitude towards the
aristocracy, 13 (note); his contempt for the protectionists, 89.
The means he used to advance the national cause unsound, 16; and
insecure, 172; but his end-object praiseworthy, 99, 161.
His errors, 54; misapprehension respecting Huskisson, 62; and the
Corn Laws, 14; did not refer to contracted currency as a cause of
distress, 28; thought erroneously that home industries were de-
pressed owing to high price of bread, 56; supposed that cost of
transit of wheat from foreign ports would always remain the same,
105; reticent regarding the evils of speculation, 114; did not
properly regard the unfortunate policy respecting the silk duties
in 1824 and 1826, 30; wrong in supposing that a principle which
suited England's trade would likewise benefit other nations,
Not statesmanlike to degrade prices, 41; accused Sir Robert Peel
of attempting to degrade prices, ib.; his tariff not to reduce,
by one farthing, the price of articles of consumption, 149 ; free
imports to destroy the source of fluctuation in the price of wheat,
Demand for agricultural labour to be increased, 53 (note); with
low price of bread, the agricultural labourers to spend four
millions more upon manufactured goods, 137 (note); British
agriculture to become unrivalled, 152; his position regarding
the labour market assailed by fact that agricultural labour has
been displaced in opposition to what he predicted, 53; did not
differentiate between occasional and permanent demands for
Home market the mainstay of the manufacturers, 136 (Huskisson
believed the foreign market to be the goal of the manufacturers);
land not to go out of cultivation, and manufacturers not afraid of
States, in one place, that increased price of bread came out of manu-
facturers' profits, 12 (note); and in another, that it was paid for
by the labourers, 64.
His central error in believing that high rent caused high price of
corn, 13 ; this doctrine repudiated by all economists, 54; belief
that all nations would become free-traders, 326.
Character of his comprehensiveness, 108 ; his enthusiasm, 62; in-
tentionally confused protection practised with a due and proper
regard to the established interests of the country, with monopoly,
188 ; his factor—cheap bread—did not come into operation till
after 1860, 181 (note); did not foresee all the events of his reform
—price of butcher's-meat becoming a monopoly price, 149 ; en-
deavoured to persuade other nations to accept free trade, 276.
Commission—the Royal, to inquire into the depression of trade, 81.
Competition—" cheap bread will make us compete better with our
rivals," 10; drives labour and capital from less to more remuner-
ative sources, doctrine of the free-traders, 11.
All competition not beneficial, even in the same country, held by
Lord Overstone, 11 (note); nor when open to rival countries, 32;
amongst labourers rendered more severe by free imports, 271.
The free-traders have no wish to preserve what cannot bear the
climate of healthy competition, 193 (note); what makes it unequal,
Consumers—favoured by unequal free trade, 270.
Corn Laws, The—discussed by London merchants in 1821; reason
why repeal of, not agitated before 1837, 24; their removal not to
throw an acre of land out of cultivation, 34 (note).
The main cause of distress in this country—free-trade view, 93; not
a cause of distress—Huskisson, 134.