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per quarter.1 In what way, then, did manufacture gain during this period by a free intercourse in corn?

"Increase consumption by all means," but you must not thereby injure the productive sources of the nation. This was the commercial maxim of William Huskisson. He knew the importance of cheap bread with reference to the labouring classes. He did all he could to meet the wishes of the manufacturers on this point. But he would not encroach upon the "demand for labour" to effect a temporary increase of consumption. He analysed the problem into its elements. He correlated this cheapness with all these other consequences which cheapness would bring about. And he foresaw that "demand for labour" would be injured in consequence. "Cheapness, without demand for labour," he concluded, "is a sign of distress."2

But Cobden believed that this demand would be improved by his free - trade measure. He risked the chance. He could not be assured that "demand" would certainly increase. He could only give his opinion that it would increase, if other nations became free-traders. It was a speculation, this free-trade policy of his, and depended for its success upon the assumed action of surrounding peoples.3

1 This is a little higher than it would have been had the war in the Crimea not intervened to raise prices in 1854, 1855, and 1856. But, on the other hand, there were the deficient harvests of 1837 and 1838. When both these figures are compared with 50s., which Cobden anticipated would be the permanent price of corn, it is seen that both under protection and free trade forces existed to reduce prices. But they were of a very different nature. The gradual descent in the price of corn under protection is nearly always forgotten.

2 Huskisson's Speeches, vol. i. p. 307.

3 But there is some obscurity concerning Cobden's inmost thoughts

Huskisson made no such speculation. He pursued a slow, but it was a steady and sure progress. He regarded the commercial aspect of the problem of free trade alone: he made our trade more free, while it still progressed under protection. He was not concerned in its political bearings.

Perhaps, in this latter respect, we can discern the reason why Cobden speculated on the universal freetrade problem. For we know that the great agitator was not content with commercial renovation; he must have political renovation as well, or innovations, as the matter is variously regarded by the free-trader and protectionist respectively.

We can see, now, what protection really did. It effected relations, all of which maintained the productive powers of the nation. But all those relations have been destroyed by free trade. When agricultural distress prevailed, the labourers were taught to regard the tenant-farmers and landlords as the immediate source of their calamity. But we can estimate how erroneous it is to rely for trustworthy information from the inflammatory speeches of the free-trade agitators.1 Nowadays we are advanced enough in reasoning power to test any system, not by a phenomenon which occurred under it but was not produced by it, but by taking a comprehensive survey of its progress as a whole.

upon "isolated" and upon "universal" free trade. On more than one occasion he predicted the advent of universal free trade. And in one passage, after refuting the arguments of those who rested upon the fact that other nations showed no strong inclination for the new policy, he says, "If free trade is a good thing for us, we will have it."

1 "Organised efforts, which have been made by men of great wealth and local influence to exasperate and inflame the minds of the people." —Memoirs, by Sir Robert Peel, vol. ii. p. 341.

The free-traders took a period of depression under protection, and argued from it that protection was the source of all the national troubles. The more soberminded of to-day will regard this period of distress as but the occasion which certain reformers grasped at to further their "ulterior views." They will conclude not from a part, but from the whole of our commercial career under protection.

But the strange error into which the free-traders designedly plunged the people is continued even to the present day. The free-traders take the period of prosperity which occurred during the primary action of the free-trade principle, and argue from it alone. The argument is again from the past. And thus the error, disastrous in its nature, has, from the long period of power enjoyed by the Eadical and free-trade party, become deeply rooted in the public mind.

Now, in the instance of protection we have all the facts of the case before us. On the other hand, as regards free trade we have only part of the facts. We have a period of prosperity,1 followed by a period of adversity.2 What, then, is left for us to do? To arrive at conclusions, we are bound to consider the existence of tendencies. And it is from the existence and play of those tendencies, that we can alone predict the

1 The gold discoveries and the extension of railways being the most important factors in its causation.

2 Our markets are free, while external markets are closed by duties.

Huskisson made no such speculation. He pursued a slow, but it was a steady and sure progress. He regarded the commercial aspect of the problem of free trade alone: he made our trade more free, while it still progressed under protection. He was not concerned in its political bearings.

Perhaps, in this latter respect, we can discern the reason why Cobden speculated on the universal freetrade problem. For we know that the great agitator was not content with commercial renovation; he must have political renovation as well, or innovations, as the matter is variously regarded by the free-trader and protectionist respectively.

We can see, now, what protection really did. It effected relations, all of which maintained the productive powers of the nation. But all those relations have been destroyed by free trade. When agricultural distress prevailed, the labourers were taught to regard the tenant-farmers and landlords as the immediate source of their calamity. But we can estimate how erroneous it is to rely for trustworthy information from the inflammatory speeches of the free-trade agitators.1 Nowadays we are advanced enough in reasoning power to test any system, not by a phenomenon which occurred

upon "isolated " and upon "universal" free trade. On more than one occasion he predicted the advent of universal free trade. And in one passage, after refuting the arguments of those who rested upon the fact that other nations showed no strong inclination for the new policy, he says, "If free trade is a good thing for us, we will have it."

1 '' Organised efforts, which have been made by men of great wealth and local influence to exasperate and inflame the minds of the people." —Memoirs, by Sir Robert Peel, vol. ii. p. 341.

under it but was not produced by it, but by taking a comprehensive survey of its progress as a whole.

The free-traders took a period of depression under protection, and argued from it that protection was the source of all the national troubles. The more soberminded of to-day will regard this period of distress as but the occasion which certain reformers grasped at to further their "ulterior views." They will conclude not from a part, but from the whole of our commercial career under protection.

But the strange error into which the free-traders designedly plunged the people is continued even to the present day. The free-traders take the period of prosperity which occurred during the primary action of the free-trade principle, and argue from it alone. The argument is again from the past. And thus the error, disastrous in its nature, has, from the long period of power enjoyed by the Eadical and free-trade party, become deeply rooted in the public mind.

Now, in the instance of protection we have all the facts of the case before us. On the other hand, as regards free trade we have only part of the facts. We have a period of prosperity,1 followed by a period of adversity.2 What, then, is left for us to do? To arrive at conclusions, we are bound to consider the existence of tendencies. And it is from the existence and play of those tendencies, that we can alone predict the

1 The gold discoveries and the extension of railways being the most important factors in its causation.

"Our markets are free, while external markets are closed by duties.

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