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Title: The British Jugernath - Free trade! Fair trade!! Reciprocity!!! Retaliation!!!!
Author: Molesworth, Guildford L.
Language: English
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  A gruesome huge misshapen monster void of sight.--_Virgil._


  G. L. M.

  E. & F. N. SPON, 125, STRAND.

  _Price Sixpence._








The following squib was written in 1883, with the intention of
drawing attention to the serious danger into which we are rapidly
drifting, through the suicidal policy of our rulers.

Since it was written the evils indicated therein have greatly
increased in intensity.

The interests of the producers having been completely sacrificed to
those of the consumers; the results of such a policy are becoming
painfully apparent, in the increasing number of the unemployed,
consequent on _unlimited foreign competition_.

Working men who are unable to obtain employment can no longer be
persuaded, either by the plausible statistics of Mr. Giffen, or
by the peevish denunciations of Mr. Bright, that, thanks to Free
Trade, they are better off than they were ever before.

Cheap food is of little avail if the means of purchasing it be not

The cry for _fair_ trade is waxing stronger and stronger.

I have endeavoured to show that a light tax on foreign wheat,
would, without any appreciable increase in the cost of food,
probably enrich England and its dependencies to the extent of about
£60,000,000 annually; whilst at present a large portion of this is
employed in furnishing the sinews of war which will probably be
used against us.

  G. L. M.

  _March 30th, 1885._


  CHAP. I.--To the Votaries of Jugernāth                         1
       II.--The Blasphemer                                       2
      III.--What is Jugernāth?                                   4
       IV.--A few ugly Facts                                     6
        V.--Axioms for Jugernāthians                             9
       VI.--Political Economy                                   12
      VII.--Political Extravagance                              17
     VIII.--False Prophets of Jugernāth                         21
       IX.--Isolation of Jugernāth                              24
        X.--Treachery in the Camp                               29
       XI.--Quem Jupiter vult perdere prius dementat            33
      XII.--The wages of Jugernāth                              35
     XIII.--Pauperism, Crime, and Intemperance                  37
      XIV.--Jugernāth afloat                                    41
       XV.--Adverse Prosperity                                  43
      XVI.--Sacred Rights of Property                           47
     XVII.--Selections from Jugernāth’s Sacred Writings         51
    XVIII.--The Vampire                                         54
      XIX.--Odimus quos læsimus                                 59
       XX.--Prosperous Adversity                                63
      XXI.--Ireland under the wheels                            64
     XXII.--The Finishing Stroke                                68
    XXIII.--Little Greatness                                    71
     XXIV.--Blunder and Plunder                                 73
      XXV.--Dear Cheap Food                                     77
     XXVI.--The Pagoda tree                                     81
    XXVII.--I know a Maiden fair to see                         85

      APPENDIX I.--Discourtesy _versus_ Argument                89
          ”    II.--Unheeded Warning                            96




My Idolatrous Compatriot! Were it not for the gravity of the
situation, it would be amusing to watch the self-complacent smile
of conscious superiority which you assume, when descanting on
the paternal character of our rule in suppressing such abuses as
those of Suttee and Jugernāth; unconscious at the same time that
the Jugernāth of the wretched Hindoo is dwarfed into complete
insignificance when compared with that huge idol which you yourself
have set up for worship.

My dear fellow! for goodness’ sake put away the microscope with
which you are so patiently investigating the mote in the eye of
your Aryan brother, and bear with me, whilst I attempt to extract
the huge log which obscures your own visual organs. And should
I (contrary to my expectation), succeed in removing so large a
mass, you will find that, whilst you have been depriving your
Aryan brethren of their comparatively innocent little plaything,
which at the most might have crushed some half dozen fanatics,
in the course of a year, you have reared up a horrible fantastic
creation which you worship, which in its progress is crushing its
thousands and even millions every year; which is stamping out the
lifeblood of England and its dependencies; whilst all the time
you are applauding it, sounding your political tom-toms, blowing
your trumpets to shouts of wah! wah! complacently misapplying glib
quotations from your sacred Vedas (Adam Smith and Mill), flaunting
your banners of political economy while violating every principle
of that useful but misused science.



Now, my Friend, I am not sanguine enough to expect a patient
hearing from you whilst I revile that idol which you have set up
with sound of sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and other kinds of
(un)musical instruments.

I am perfectly aware that I shall be cast, by you, into the fiery
furnace of criticism; I can imagine, in anticipation, the vials of
your wrath poured out on my unlucky head; and I don’t expect to
escape like our friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

I am not composed of those materials of which martyrs are made.

I know full well that I shall writhe horribly under the taunt of
“ungrammatical twaddle,” for how can I hope to escape an occasional
slip of the pen, of which even the heaven-born “Covenanted
Civilian” is not always innocent.

I shall wriggle under the analysis of my “illogical reasoning,” my
“exploded theories,” my “faulty statistics.”

I shall squirm under the exposure of my “ignorance of facts,” my
“want of knowledge of political economy,” my “antiquated notions.”

That I shall suffer severely for my blasphemy I know right well;
but I cannot help it. Strike!! but hear me.

I am weary to death of the claptrap and imposition with which your
votaries applaud their idol, and attribute the evils caused by it
to anything but the right cause. I am disgusted with the blind
obstinacy with which you close your eyes to the light of facts;
besides, I have the selfish feeling that, sooner or later, I may be
jostled by admiring votaries under the wheels of your car, whilst
I shall not have even the consolation of deluding myself that I am
a martyr ascending to the heaven of your Jugernāthian mythology,
but, on the contrary, a victim of your confounded stupidity and
obstinacy, and of the incompetence or dishonesty of your leaders.

If I could only stand on the platform of any other audience and
address Americans, Dutch, Belgians, Germans, or say Frenchmen, I
might secure a sympathetic hearing.

The Frenchman would probably shrug his shoulders and say:--

  “I quite agree with, you, mon ami! mais que voulez vous? It
  amuses these other English, and does not hurt us; on the
  contrary, we profit by it. We furnish the gilt and gingerbread,
  the paint and the unmusical instruments; and we are paid for
  them, vive Jugernāth!! only don’t ask us to be fools enough to
  put ourselves under its wheels.”

You, on the other hand, my friend, will naturally say:

  “Bah! these Americans, Dutch, Belgians, Germans, and French are
  brutally stupid, and beyond the reach of argument; blind to their
  own interests. We alone stand on the pinnacle of intelligence in
  our worship of Jugernāth. Has not our High Priest, the G. O. M.,
  swept away all your argument like chaff?”

Pardon me, my friend. The exuberant verbosity of the G. O. M.,
combined with his misleading and incorrect statistics, may easily
silence an opponent in debate, but they cannot alter stern facts;
and facts are against your idol. Your prophets prophesy falsely,
and your people love to have it so.



Well! well!! I have put off the evil day as long as possible; but
sooner or later it must come out, even if you have not already
guessed it.

Stoop low while I whisper in your ear the name by which this
destructive fiend Jugernāth is known in England. It is:--


Yes! it is _Free trade_ that has utterly ruined Ireland; that is
rapidly dragging England down under its wheels; that drains the
lifeblood of India and England’s dependencies.

Free trade is that idol which England worships, but which brings
in its train disaster, bankruptcy, pauperism, drunkenness, and
crime. It is Free trade that is destroying England’s industries,
and is driving her capital to protectionist countries. It is Free
trade that, if not soon abandoned, will soon bring about a national
bankruptcy in England.

My dear fellow! I know your stale arguments by heart. I have looked
into your dishonest and fictitious statistics and discovered their
imposture. I know you can make glib quotations from Adam Smith
and Mill, and misapply them. It is easy for you to prate about
Political _Economy_, and at the same time to practise Political
_Extravagance_, of the most ruinous description; but I ask you
to leave theory for a short time and look ugly facts straight
in the face, divesting your mind, if you can, of all prejudice.
These facts I will give you in the next chapter. But now don’t
misunderstand me. I am not a _rabid_ protectionist. I am not an
advocate of Fair trade, Reciprocity, or Retaliation. I hold that
Protection, if carried beyond its legitimate limits, is nearly
as mischievous in its action as Free trade. And that although
“Fair trade,” “Reciprocity” and “Retaliation” are cries that have
been evoked by the evils that Free trade has brought upon us, yet
they are wrong in practice, as an attempt at a compromise with
an utterly false principle; and I am glad that the movement has

I hold that Free trade is entirely wrong in principle and
disastrous in results. Every argument of the free-trader is based
on the _misuse_, not upon the _proper use_, of Protection.

Every so-called triumphant exposure of the evils caused by
Protection has simply been an exposure of the evils of Protection
carried _beyond its legitimate limits_.

The Corn Laws, to which Free trade owes its existence, were an
instance of undue protection; they urgently required _alteration_,
not _repeal_. Free trade advocates are unable to distinguish the
difference between the use and the misuse of a principle. In their
abhorrence of its misuse, they would sweep it away altogether. They
are about as reasonable as the man who discovers that too much food
will cause indigestion, and therefore proposes, as an infallible
law of political economy, the dogma that no food whatever is to be
taken. And they stigmatize as “simpletons without memory or logic,”
as men “beyond the reach of argument”[1] those who decline to
accept the Free trade gospel of starvation.


[1] Mr. Bright’s letter to A. Sharp, Bradford, 1879.



I have said that facts are against your idol, let me advance a few
of them:--

  (1.) The prophecies made by the originators of free trade have
  proved to be false.

  (2.) England stands alone as a free-trader. Free trade, at the
  present time, is either an English, or a barbarous custom.

  (3.) France made a partial trial of free trade, but has drawn
  back and refused to continue the commercial treaty.

  (4.) Increased wealth,--due to improvements in science, steam,
  and electricity, although dishonestly claimed the work of free
  trade,--has been shared by all civilized nations.

  (5.) Protectionist countries have made _greater relative advance_
  in prosperity than England.

  (6.) The exceptional prosperity of the years 1871-73 was due to a
  partial _suspension of free trade_ caused by the Franco-Prussian

  (7.) The rise of wages in England,--dishonestly claimed as the
  work of free trade,--has been shared by Protectionist countries.

  (8.) The statistics of decrease of crime and pauperism--claimed
  as the work of free trade--are fictitious and misleading.

  (9.) Protectionist America is passing Free Trade England by “in a

  (10.) Protectionist America contrasts favourably with Free Trade

  (11.) Canada having lately departed from free trade principles,
  is satisfied with the result, and clamours for more protection.

  (12.) The Colony of Victoria, which has departed farthest from
  the principles of free trade, is the most prosperous of the
  Australian Colonies.

  (13.) Free Trade Ireland contrasts unfavourably with
  Protectionist Holland, which has every natural disadvantage.

  (14.) The agricultural industry of Ireland has been destroyed,
  and Ireland ruined by free trade.

  (15.) The manufacturing industries of Ireland, which flourished
  under protection, have become extinct under free trade.

  (16.) English agricultural industries are rapidly being ruined by
  free trade.

  (17.) In the last eleven years, about 1,200,000, acres have gone
  out of tillage in the United Kingdom, and about 7,400,000 acres
  are lying fallow.

  (18.) Numerous farms are untenanted, or let at nominal rates.

  (19.) The loss to the agricultural classes within the last few
  years has been estimated at £150,000,000.[2]

  (20.) Many English landowners are realizing what they can from
  the wreck, and investing the capital in Protectionist America.

  (21.) English manufacturing industries are, for the most part, on
  the high road to ruin.

  (22.) Silk industry is nearly extinct in England.

  (23.) Cotton and woollen industries are struggling hard for

  (24.) Iron industries are said to have lost £160,000,000 in four

  (25.) Protectionist countries have outstripped England in
  relative increase of commerce.

  (26.) The accumulation of wealth is increasing more rapidly in
  Protectionist France than in England, in spite of a disastrous
  war, a heavy war indemnity, a civil war, and an unsettled form of

  (27.) Land cultivation is increasing in Protectionist France and
  decreasing in Free Trade England.

  (28.) The relative increase in the production of iron is greater
  in Protectionist countries than in England.

  (29.) The relative increase in general manufacture is Greater in
  Protectionist countries than in England.

  (30.) The working classes, by whom free trade was carried, though
  nominally free-traders, are practically extreme protectionists.

  (31.) The working classes, whenever they have obtained
  predominant influence, have become protectionists.

  (32.) “The revenue returns continue to exhibit a stagnant
  tendency _under all the heads which are considered tests of
  national prosperity_.” (Telegraphic Summary of News, _Civil and
  Military Gazette_, December 7th, 1883.)

  (33.) “It is predicted that, unless Freight rates to India
  speedily improve, a considerable number of steamers now engaged
  in the trade will be laid up.” (_Civil and Military Gazette_,
  December 7th, 1883.)

  (34.) “Gloomy predictions are uttered about the immediate future
  of our iron-trade. Few fresh orders are coming in, and stocks
  are consequently increasing in an alarming manner.” (_Civil and
  Military Gazette_, December 7th, 1883.)

  (35.) “Again it is alleged that the principles of free trade,
  which have been adopted in this country, have tended, in a great
  degree, to produce the disastrous results which we have at
  present to contend against, and which present a gloomy look-out
  for the cotton operatives of this country.” (_The Mail_, December
  19th, 1883.)

  (36.) “It is the intention of the leading men among the cotton
  operatives to move next session for a Royal Commission to enquire
  as to what extent, if any, we suffer from foreign competition,
  and _what bearing our system of free trade_ may have on the
  question.” (_The Mail_, December 19th, 1883.)

Before I proceed to substantiate the facts above given, I wish to
clear the ground by a few axioms which I think few will venture to


[2] By Mr. John Bright.



  _Axiom._                               _Action of Free-Trade._

  (1.) The object of political            Free trade attaches more
         economy is to increase             importance to consumption than
         the wealth and power               to productive industries.
         of a country.[3]

  (2.) The riches or power of
         a country is in proportion
         to its produce.[3]

  (3.) _Industries_, or the produce       Free trade destroys the sources
         of the land and labour,            of employing productive
         are the REAL WEALTH                labour.
         of the country.[3]

  (4.) The requisites of production
         are Labour,
         Capital and Land.[4]

  (5.) Parsimony, not industry,           Free trade promotes consumption
         is the immediate source            rather than parsimony.
         of increase of capital.[3]

  (6.) Capital is wealth appropriated     Free trade is rapidly driving
         to reproductive                    capital to Protectionist
         employment.[4]                     countries.

  (7.) Industries are limited by
         capital, and cannot be
         created without capital.[5]

  (8.) Increase of capital gives
         employment to labour
         without assignable

  (9.) Productive labour is               Free trade makes labour
         labour employed to produce         unproductive
         a profit.[6]

  (10.) Emigration of productive          Free trade encourages the
          labour is loss of capital.        immigration of productive
          The Minister of War               labour to Protectionist
          in France asserts that            countries.
          every individual transported
          to Algeria costs
          the State 8,000 francs.

  (11.) Industries carried on
          without profit, cause loss
          of capital and credit.

  (12.) It is demand only that            Free trade prefers consumption
          causes labour and its             to demand.
          produce to be wealth.[6]

  (13.) To purchase produce is            Free trade purchases produce
          not to employ labour.[5]          instead of employing labour.

  (14.) Capital employed on
          Foreign trade is less
          advantageously employed
          for society than on
          Home trade.[7]

   (In extreme cases Adam Smith           Free trade encourages Foreign
      shows that capital might be           and Carrying trade, rather
      twenty-four times more                than Home trade.
      advantageously employed on
      _Home_ than on _Foreign_

  (15.) Carrying trade is less
          advantageous than either
          Foreign or Home trade.[7]

  (16.) Interest on capital is
          natural, lawful, and
          consistent with the
          general good.[8]

  (17.) A struggle between                Free trade leaders encourage a
          capital and labour is the         struggle between Labour and
          greatest evil that can be         Capital, between Landlord and
          inflicted on society.[8]          Tenant.

  (18.) Land let out for profit
          is the capital of the

  (19.) The capital of the employers      Free trade destroys the capital
          forms the revenue                 of the employer.
          of the labourer.[10]

  (20.) Nothing can be more               Free trade leaders raise this
          fatal than the cry                cry against the capitalist
          against capital, so often         landlord.
          unthinkingly uttered.[9]

  (21.) Rent does not affect the
          price of agricultural

  (22.) It is to the interest of          Mr. Bright says, that rich
          the labourer that there           landlord capitalists are the
          should be as many rich            squanderers of national
          men as possible to compete        wealth.
          for his labour.[9]

  (23.) Agriculture is the most           Free trade has destroyed
          advantageous employment           agriculture in England and
          of capital.[11]                   Ireland.

  (24.) No equal capital puts in
          motion a greater quantity
          of productive labour
          than that of the

  (25.) Cultivated land is more           Free trade leaders urge the
          advantageous than pasture.[11]    substitution of pasture for
          (It has been computed             wheat cultivation in England.
          that wheat cultivation
          per acre, compared
          with pasture land,
          produces eight times the
          quantity of human food,
          and employs three times
          the amount of labour.)

  (26.) The interests of the agricultural
          and manufacturing
          classes are inseparably
          connected with
          those of the whole community.

  (27.) Credit when sound is              Free trade is destroying credit
          capital.[12]                      by causing industries to work
                                            at a loss.
  (28.) Credit, when it exceeds
          the present value of future
          profits, is unsound.

  (29.) Credit is the anticipation
          of future profit.[12]

  (30.) Money is the accumulation
          of past profits.

  (31.) Activity of commerce is           Free trade causes the commerce
          not necessarily an indication     of Great Britain to be one of
          of prosperity.                    consumption rather than
                                            production, and consequently

  (32.) The true Economist pursues        Free trade, to avoid a small
          a great future good               present evil, risks a national
          at the risk of a small            disaster.
          present evil.[13]


[3] Wealth of Nations, by Adam Smith.

[4] Political Economy, by J. S. Mill.

[5] Political Economy, by J. S. Mill.

[6] Political Economy, by H. D. Macleod.

[7] Wealth of Nations, by Adam Smith.

[8] Political Economy, by F. Bastiat.

[9] Political Economy, by H. D. Macleod.

[10] Political Economy, by J. S. Mill.

[11] Wealth of Nations, by Adam Smith.

[12] Political Economy, by H. D. Macleod.

[13] Political Economy, by F. Bastiat.



Do not suppose, my Friend, that I am opposed to _political
economy_; I am simply opposed to _your application of its

Let me illustrate my meaning by a comparison between Mathematics
and Political Economy:--

Mathematics may be divided into two classes--“pure” and “applied.”

Political economy may be divided into two similar classes--“pure”
and “applied.”

_Pure_ Mathematics, being an exact science, is infallible.

_Pure_ Political economy, being a matter of opinion, is not
infallible; but let us for the moment suppose it to be so.[14]

_Applied_ mathematics are not always sound; for example, in
applying mathematics to Engineering problems, it is by no means
uncommon to find that they appear to err most egregiously; so
much so, as to give rise to the saying, that “theory and practice
contradict one another.” The fact, in reality, being that theory
has not been correctly applied; that innumerable small factors,
which can only be ascertained by practice and experience, have been
neglected in the application of theory; and even practice often
fails to supply these factors.

_Applied_ Political Economy is under similar conditions, but with
this difference: _1st_, that _pure_ Political Economy is not
infallible; _2nd_, that the application of Political Economy is
affected by a greater number of intricate factors than any ordinary
problem in Engineering; _3rd_, that the observation of results in a
complex question of Applied Political Economy is far more difficult
than in the case of those simple materials which are dealt with in
Engineering problems.

The eminent Italian Political Economist, Luigi Cossa, warns the
student of this difficulty; but free-trading “fools rush in where
angels fear to tread.”

He says:--

  “It is needful to hold ourselves aloof equally from the so-called
  Doctrinaires who refuse the assistance of practice, and from the
  Empiricists who obstinately close their eyes to the light of

  _The Pure science_ explains phenomena and determines laws; the
  _Applied_ science gives guiding principles, which practice brings
  into conformity with the innumerable varieties of individual

Mill also says:--

  “One of the peculiarities of modern times,--the separation
  of theory from practice,--of the studies of the closet from
  the outward business of the world,--has given a wrong bias to
  the ideas and feelings both of the student and of the man of
  business.[16] ... There is almost always room for a modest doubt
  as to our practical conclusions.”

Let us take an example of pure and applied science.

You, my Friend, quote an axiom of Pure Political Economy when you

“It is unjust to tax all for the benefit of _one class_” So far I
quite agree with you;--it is to your _application_ of the _axiom_
that I object, when you go on to say--“therefore protection in any
shape is wrong.” Your application of pure science to the complex
question of free trade is quite incorrect.

I say “_it is just and expedient to tax all for the benefit of
all_.” I hold that the employment of home and colonial labour, and
the development of home and colonial produce and industries, is for
the benefit of the community as a whole; and that, consequently,
protection, if _carried only to the extent necessary to secure
this, and no further_, is just and expedient.

The Corn Laws, as existing in 1846, went beyond this: and their
_alteration_, not their _abolition_, was needed. Your free-trader’s
argument is like that of a man who has discovered that too much
water will drown, and proceeds at once to the other extreme of
killing by thirst.

_All extremes are bad._ Free trade is an _extreme_. Want of
competition is bad. Extreme competition is bad. _Healthy_
competition is that which is wanted.

Unlimited competition defeats its own purpose by crushing out
weaker industries, diminishing the supply, and enabling the
successful competitors to raise their prices as soon as the rival
industry has been extinguished.

Even Mill admits that protection may

  “be defensible when imposed temporarily ... in hopes of
  naturalizing a foreign industry.”[17]

And Cossa allows that--

  “At certain times, and under certain conditions, protection
  has given notable advantages to industrial organization and
  progress.... Colbert’s system and Cromwell’s Navigation Act,
  contributed not a little to the economic greatness of France and

There seems to be but little doubt that the political economist
of the future will hold up England as an awful warning, but
an instructive example, of a country ruined by the persistent
misapplication of the principles of political economy.

Alexr. Hamilton, the greatest statesman America ever produced,

  Though it were true that the immediate and certain effect of
  regulations controlling the competition of foreign and domestic
  fabrics was an increase of price, it is universally true that
  the contrary is the ultimate effect with every successful
  manufacture. When a domestic manufacture has been brought to
  perfection and has engaged in the prosecution of it a competent
  number of persons it invariably becomes cheaper. * * * The
  internal competition which takes place soon does away with
  anything like monopoly, and by degrees reduces the price of the
  article to the minimum of reasonable profit on the capital.
  (Treasury Report Dec. 1791.)--_Fortnightly Review_, 1873.

It is not merely your misapplication of the principles of political
economy to which I object; I also object to the over-bearing way in
which you thrust down the throat of your opponent the opinions of
your favourite political economists, as if they were infallible and
settled the question beyond all possibility of further argument.
This is especially the case when you quote Mill. Now Mill is no
doubt an eminently able and powerful writer; but he is deplorably
subject to mistakes. He constantly contradicts himself, and is
contradicted by political economists equally able and more reliable
than himself. For example, Professor Bonamy Price[19] accuses Mill
of introducing _utter confusion_ into the topic of Wages.

Cossa speaks of Mill’s “ardent concessions to socialism more
apparent than real;” of his “_narrow philosophic utilitarianism_.”

Also, speaking of Thornton, Cossa says:[20]--

  “His book on labour is an excellent one; it made a great
  impression on Mill, and caused him to _abandon his theory of
  wages fund_; which has also been opposed by Lange, by the
  American Economist Walker, and by Bretano.”

Many of the inaccuracies of Mill have been exposed by Professor

Mr. Cook says:--

  “Mill, however, is said to have _abandoned the seesaw theory_ in
  his latest and yet unpublished essays.”[22]

Macleod also, in writing on the question of rent says:--

  “This does not exhaust the _absurdity_ of the Ricardo-Mill theory
  of rent ... but in fact _Mill himself has completely overthrown_
  this theory of rent.”[23]

Anyone who has carefully studied the writings of Mill cannot fail
to be struck with the manner in which he allows that which Herbert
Spencer terms “Political Bias,” and which Cossa terms Mill’s
“narrow philosophic utilitarianism,” to affect his opinion, and
warp his better judgment; and when this is the case, he is guilty
of absurdities, inconsistencies, and illogical reasoning that would
disgrace a school-boy.[24]


[14] I venture to maintain that political economy is not a body
of natural laws in the true sense, or of universal and immutable
truths, but an assemblage of speculations and doctrines which are
the result of a particular history coloured even by the history and
character of the chief writers.--T. Cliffe Leslie, _Fortnightly
Review_, Oct. 1870.

[15] Guida Allo Studio dell’Economio Politico.--L. Cossa.

[16] Some Unsettled Questions of Political Economy, J. S. Mill, p. 156.

[17] Mill’s Political Economy, Bk. V. Chap. X.

[18] Cossa’s Political Economy, Bk. II. Chap. III.

[19] Practical Political Economy, by Profr. Bonamy Price.

[20] Cossa’s Political Economy, Bk. II. Chap. III.

[21] Some Leading Principles of Political Economy newly expounded
by Professor Cairnes. 1874.

[22] Labour. Joseph Cook, p. 179.

[23] Macleod’s Economics, p. 116.

[24] An illustration of this is given in Chap. XV.



You are very fond, my Friend, of talking about political economy.
Suppose, for a change, we discuss a certain political extravagance,
of which you are guilty.

  “Look!” you say, “at the visible signs of prosperity caused by
  free trade, our annual imports are in excess of our exports by
  £100,000,000. This represents the annual accumulation of our
  national wealth.”

Now, my friend, I want you to try and take a common-sense view of

Mill says, that “_saving_ enriches, and spending impoverishes,
the community along with the individual.”[25] Now let us apply
England’s action in this respect to the assumed case of an
individual. Suppose a farmer should allow his land to go out of
cultivation and purchase farm produce, for his own consumption,
from the open market; suppose at the same time he has a limited
supply of iron ore on his estate, which he sells at a rate that
does not quite cover the cost of its production; would you argue
that the more food such a one purchased and consumed, and the more
iron ore he sold, the greater was his prosperity; and especially so
because he _consumed_ more than he _sold_?

In my ignorance of political economy I should have said that such a
man was on the highroad to bankruptcy. Now this is precisely what
England is doing.

She is allowing her land to go out of cultivation. She is
purchasing from foreign countries food which she might produce
herself, and which, when consumed, leaves nothing to show for the
expenditure. Her manufacturing industries are losing concerns; her
shipping is carrying at nominal rates; her iron industry has been
losing at the rate of £40,000,000 a year; and she is parting with
her _limited capital_ of iron at a loss. The excess of Imports over
Exports does not represent wealth capable of accumulation, but
consists of consumable articles of food.

The annual imports of the principal staples of food in 1881 were:--

  Capable of being produced { Corn and flour  £ 60,856,768[26]
    in England.             { Live animals       8,525,256[27]
                            { Meat              35,760,286[27]
                                             £ 105,142,310

  Capable of being produced { Tea             £ 11,208,601[28]
  in England’s dependencies { Sugar             24,288,797[28]
                                    Total    £ 140,639,708

Besides these, there are butter, cheese, eggs, coffee, cocoa, and
other articles of food, which must probably amount to something
between 20 and 30 millions sterling. So that the excess of
£100,000,000 sterling is _entirely due to consumable food, much
of which might be produced in England_. If this be not political
extravagance, I am at a loss for a definition of Extravagance. My
friend, it appears to me that you are burning the candle at both

Mr. Leffingwell, an intelligent American, writes:[29]--

  “Should the day ever arrive when most of her mills are silent,
  her ‘Black country’ again green, her furnaces cold, her shops
  filled with foreign wares, and her food brought from distant
  lands, it will add little to her welfare that all other nations
  find a market on her shores for the products of their factories
  and fields.”

Let us now hear what America has to say about free trade:--

  “If, during the last fifty years, America had permitted a system
  of unrestricted trade with all the world, she would never have
  reached that development of her manufactures which has rendered
  her independent, but would to-day be little more than a huge
  agricultural colony exchanging the produce of her fields for the
  manufactures and fabrics of Europe.

  “Under a system of protection America has been able to develop
  her boundless mineral resources, to encourage the growth of
  her manufacturing industries, until to-day she is not only
  independent and able to supply her own needs, but she exports to
  foreign nations, and has begun to compete with England for the
  trade of the world.”

A few quotations from the utterances of our own countrymen may
serve to show what Protection has done for America:--

  “The edge tool trade is well sustained, and we have less of
  the effects of American competition. That this competition is
  severe, however, is a fact that cannot be ignored, and it applies
  to many other branches than that of edge tools. Every Canadian
  season affords unmistakable evidence that some additional article
  in English Hardware is being supplanted by the produce of the
  Northern States; and it is notorious how largely American wares
  are rivalling those of the mother country in others of our
  colonial possessions as well as on the continent. The ascendency
  of the protectionist party in the States continues to operate
  most favourably for the manufacturing interests there, and it
  is no wonder that under such benignant auspices the enterprise
  in this direction is swelling to colossal proportions. The
  whole subject is one demanding the serious attention of our
  manufacturers.” (Rylands’ Trade Circular, Birmingham, March 4th,

  “A leading manufacturer expressed himself startled and alarmed at
  what he saw (at the Paris Exhibition) as the proofs of successful
  rivalry on the part of the Americans in branches of his own
  trade.” (Lectures at the Colonial Institution, November, 1878.)

  “Unless our manufacturers bestir themselves, the Americans will
  completely command the markets of Europe.” (Col. Wrottesby’s
  Letter to the _Times_, July 6, 1869.)

  “Manufactories have been _created and fostered by a system of
  protection_, which, through enhanced prices paid by consumers,
  must have been very costly to the nation, but of the result of
  which they have reason to be proud, since it has made them to so
  great an extent independent of other nations for their supply.”
  (Report of Philadelphia Exhibition, Mr. P. Graham, Vice-President
  of the Society of Arts.)

  “The worsted manufacture of the United States is comparatively
  of recent origin, but it has made very rapid progress during
  the past ten or twelve years, the _high tariff having greatly
  stimulated its development_.” (Report of Philadelphia Exhibition.
  Mr. H. Mitchel, Member of Bradford Chamber of Commerce.)

  “America is not only supplying her own country with goods, but
  exporting her manufactures to such an extent that she has become
  a powerful rival to England.” (Mr. Mundella, Nov. 21, 1874.)

  “There is no time to be lost if we mean to hold our own in
  the hardware trade.” (J. Anderson’s Report on Philadelphia

  “For years Sheffield has supplied not only our own country,
  but nearly the whole world. The monopoly remains with us no
  longer. It would be foolish not to recognize the fact that at
  Philadelphia Great Britain was in the face of a powerful rival in
  manufactures.” (Report on Philadelphia Exhibition--D. McHardy.)

  Some idea of the increase of American manufacture may be found in
  the example of two items--Paper and Carpets.

  Value of paper imported into the United States--

  In 1870 = £145,000
     1876 =    4,000

  Value of exports of paper--

  1869 =      750
  1876 =  162,000

  Tapestry carpet imported into the United States--

  1872 =  2,754,000 yards.
  1879 =     23,900   ”


[25] ‘Political Economy,’ by Mill, Bk. I. Chap. V.

[26] ‘Statesman’s Yearbook,’ 1883, p. 257.

[27] ‘Whitaker’s Almanack,’ 1883, p. 254.

[28] ‘Statesman’s Yearbook,’ 1883. p. 257.

[29] Albert Leffingwell.



The truth of a religion may perhaps be gauged by the fulfilment of
the utterances of its prophets. Let us analyze some of these.

           _Prophecy._                      _Fulfilment_.

  Even the _free_ importation of         Total importations of wheat
  foreign corn could very little         in 1881 = 17,000,000 quarters
  affect the interest of the farmers     as against 23,728 prophesied by
  of Great Britain.... If there          Adam Smith.
  were no bounty, less corn would
  be exported, so it is probable
  that, one year with another, _less
  corn would be imported than at
  present_.... The average quantity
  imported one year with another
  amounts only to 23,728 quarters.
  (Wealth of Nations, by Adam
  Smith, Bk. IV, Chap. II.)

  The Americans are a very cautious,     After receiving the agricultural
  far-seeing people, and every           products of America for
  one who knows them knows that          thirty-eight years, we find the
  they would never have tolerated        Americans are as strong
  their protective tariff if we had      protectionists as ever, and the
  met their advances by receiving        presidential message, 4th
  their agricultural products in         December 1883, recommends that
  exchange for our manufacturing         America should retaliate on all
  products. (Cobden, 1842.)              countries taxing American

  I speak my unfeigned convictions       After thirty-eight years of free
  when I say I believe there             trade Prophet Bright admits that
  is no interest in the country that     the agricultural classes, owners
  would receive so much benefit          and occupiers of land have lost
  from the repeal of the Corn Laws       more than £150,000,000. Numerous
  as the Farm-tenant interest in         farm-tenants have emigrated
  this country. (Cobden, 1844.)          to protectionist America.

  I believe when the future historian    The true historian will have
  comes to write the history             to record:--
  of agriculture, he will have to
  state:--In such a year there was a     “After the introduction of free
  stringent Corn law passed for the      trade, although the general
  protection of agriculture. From        advance of wealth due to
  that time agriculture slumbered        improvements in science, steam
  in England, and it was not until,      and electricity gave to England,
  by the aid of the Anti-Corn-Law-       from time to time, the appearance
  League, the Corn Law was               of agricultural prosperity, yet
  utterly abolished, that agriculture    agriculture gradually decayed; and
  sprung up into the full                in 1884 millions of acres had gone
  vigour of existence in England,        out of tillage; land had become
  to become what it is now, like         foul and was badly farmed;
  the manufactures, unrivalled in        hundreds of farms were absolutely
  the world. (Cobden, 1844.)             untenanted; farmers had emigrated
                                         to protectionist countries;
                                         landowners had sold their land
                                         at ruinous prices, and invested
                                         the residue in America. Never
                                         was ruin more complete.”

  You have no more right to              Not only is no other country
  doubt that the sun will rise in the    free-trader, but even England
  heavens, than to doubt that, in ten    is getting rather shaky
  years from the time when England       in her adhesion. Mr. Forster,
  inaugurates the glorious era of        at Bradford, entreated his
  commercial freedom, every civilized    hearers not to “say anything that
  country will be free-trader            might induce foreigners to
  to the backbone. (Cobden, 1844.)       _suspect that our faith in free
                                         trade was shaken_” Mr. Bright,
                                         in his letter to Mr. Lord, wrote;
                                         “To return to Protection, under
                                         the name of Reciprocity, is to
                                         confess to Protectionists abroad
                                         that _we have been wrong and
                                         they have been right_.”

  I believe that if you abolish          After thirty-eight years not a
  the Corn Laws and adopt free           single country in Europe has been
  trade in its simplicity, there will    foolish enough to follow our
  not be a tariff in Europe that         example. France has drawn back
  will not be changed in less than       from her commercial treaty with
  five years to follow your example.     us. Mr. Thiers, in his speech of
  (Cobden, 1846.)                        January 18th, 1880, said: “In
                                         the first country in the world
                                         arrangements are made to protect
                                         the different branches of
                                         native industry.”

  Bastiat prophesied that France         France has not adopted free
  would adopt free trade in six years    trade, and is more strongly
  after England had adopted it.          protectionist than ever.

  Bastiat prophesied that, without       Statistics given in the next
  free trade, no country can             chapter shows that the relative
  prosper.                               prosperity of protectionist
                                         countries is greater than that
                                         of England.

  Bastiat prophesied that because        Belgium is enjoying wonderful
  Belgium had rejected free              prosperity.
  trade her ruin was certain.

Professor Cairnes says:--

  “The able men who led the agitation for the repeal of the Corn
  Laws promised much more than this. They told us that the Poor
  Laws were to follow the Corn Laws; that pauperism would disappear
  with the restrictions upon trade, and the workhouses ere long
  become obsolete institutions. I fear this part of the programme
  has scarcely been fulfilled; those ugly social features,
  those violent contrasts of poverty and wealth, that strike so
  unpleasantly the eye of every foreign observer in this country,
  are still painfully prominent. The signs of the extinction of
  pauperism are not very apparent.”[30]

Disraeli prophesied in 1852:--

  “The time will come when the working classes in England will
  come to you on bended knees, and pray you to undo your present

And it really seems as if the time was approaching for the
fulfilment of his prophecy, for I read in a recent Paper:

  “It is the intention of the leading men among the Cotton
  Operatives to move next session for a Royal Commission to enquire
  as to what extent, if any, we suffer from foreign competition,
  and _what bearing free trade may have on the question_.”

Sir Edward Sullivan also stated in a recent speech that:

  “Already a number of Operatives, far more than is necessary to
  turn a general election, have, through their delegates, given in
  their adherence to _Fair_ trade.”[31]

Fair trade is one step in the direction of protection.


[30] _Fortnightly Review_, July, 1871.

[31] _The Mail_, December 19th, 1883.



Carlyle has said--“There are thirty millions of people in Great
Britain, _mostly fools_.”

You remind me, my friend, of the Irishman who complained that he
never served on a jury without finding himself associated with
eleven of the most obstinate pig-headed men conceivable.

Are all other nations, except England, obstinate, and pig-headed?
Is the shrewd American blind to his own interest? Are the
phlegmatic Dutchman, the thrifty Belgian, the clever Frenchman,
the philosophical German, simpletons and idiots, as Mr. Bright is
pleased to call all those who do not implicitly accept the gospel
of free trade.

Might not Carlyle’s pithy remark teach a little humility?

No country except England is free-trader. Free trade, at the
present time, after a trial of thirty-eight years, is either an
English, or a barbarous custom. All other civilized nations are
obstinate protectionists; and the worst of it is, that they are
growing more and more obstinate in their adherence to protection,
as they find they are making greater relative advance in prosperity
than England with its free trade. Even Mr. Gladstone himself admits
that “_America is passing us by in a canter_.”

Is not Mr. Gladstone somewhat ashamed to admit that the country,
in the government of which he has had so large a share during the
present century, should be “passed in a canter” by a country so
terribly handicapped by protection. Does not it suggest the idea
that the country which he has governed may possibly have been
misgoverned. “Passed by at a canter!!” What a damning admission of

His excuse is, that America is a young country with abundant room
for its surplus population; but this excuse, like the majority of
his ingenious evasions, is utterly fictitious.

England, taken as a whole, with its colonies and dependencies, is
two and half times as large as America.[32] She has every advantage
that America possesses.[33] She had a good start, and if she had
only been governed by statesmen of comprehensive grasp, she ought
to have outstripped America in wealth and progress, quite as much
as America has now outstripped us.

If England had but carefully protected the interests of its
colonies and dependencies, studied their interests as identical
with her own, she would now have been foremost in the race.

She drove America from the union with her by her selfish policy,
and she is pursuing the same, or rather far more, suicidal policy

What is the use of the colonies? our Liberal politicians now
cry. What indeed? I echo; so long as free trade neutralizes all
possible benefit to be obtained from them or by them; but, properly
governed, they would have enabled us to do to America that which
Mr. Gladstone admits America is doing to us--“passing us by at a

Unfortunately we are lagging in the race with other protectionist
countries, as the following statement will show.

Free-traders compare our wealth and commerce with what it was
before the introduction of free trade, and claim the increase as
the result of free trade. If the claim were just, other nations
ought to have stood still, or retrograded under protection; let us
see if they have done so. The only fair comparison is to take the
condition of each country at a given date; assuming its relative
condition at that date as 100, and then comparing it with its
advance at the present time.

_Relative Advance of Nations._

  Commerce generally--                        Years 1860     1880

  Free trade England                                 100  to  180
                { France                              ”    ”  205
                { Germany                             ”    ”  197
  Protectionist { Holland                             ”    ”  216
                { Belgium                             ”    ”  242
                { America                             ”    ”  201

  Exports--                                         1860     1882
      England                                        100  to  177
      France                                          ”    ”  158
      Germany                                         ”    ”  200
      Belgium                                         ”    ”  274
      Holland                                         ”    ”  295
      America                                         ”    ”  197

  Railway Construction--                            1860     1882
      England                                        100  to  176
      France                                          ”    ”  290
      Germany                                         ”    ”  322
      Belgium                                         ”    ”  318
      America                                         ”    ”  343

  Railway goods traffic--                           1860     1882
      England                                        100  to  312
      France                                          ”    ”  409
      Germany                                         ”    ”  654
      Holland and Belgium                             ”    ”  525

  Production of Coal--                              1860     1880
      England                                        100  to  173
      France                                          ”    ”  237
      Germany                                         ”    ”  421
      Belgium                                         ”    ”  170
      America                                         ”    ”  467

  Production of Iron--                              1850     1882
      England                                        100  to  377
      France                                          ”    ”  498
      Germany                                         ”    ”  789
      Belgium                                         ”    ”  377
      America                                         ”    ”  719

  Production of Copper--                            1850     1880
      England                                        100  to   29
      France                                          ”    ”  212
      Germany                                         ”    ”  615
      America                                         ”    ”  750

  Consumption of Raw Cotton--                 Years 1860     1880
      England                                        100  to  123
      France                                          ”    ”  158
      Germany                                         ”    ”  177
      America                                         ”    ”  234

  General Manufactures--                            1860     1880
      England                                        100  to  139
      America                                         ”    ”  280

  Woollen Manufacture--                      1860   1880     1881
      England                                 100 to --       122
      America                                 100 to 331       --

  Number of holders of National Securities--        1850     1880
      England “consols”                              100  to   83
      France “Rentes”                                100   ”  547

  Legacy probate value--                            1860     1880
      England                                        100  to  162
      France                                         100   ”  193

  Amount of Deposits in Savings Banks--             1850     1882
      England                                        100  to  267
      France                                          ”    ” 1912
      Germany                                         ”    ” 1950
      Belgium and Holland                             ”    ”  405[34]

For many years England did not feel the evils of free trade.
She had a good start in the race, with the commerce and markets
of the world in her hands. She had been foremost in improvement
of machinery, having secured her manufactures by a system of
protection, and she was therefore the first to reap the profits of
such improvements. It would naturally take years for other nations
to overtake her, when she had so good a start; but the capital she
recklessly employed in purchasing commodities which might have
been produced at home, was expended in arming foreign nations for
successful rivalry with us.

It was not until fifteen or twenty years ago, that this suicidal
process was sufficiently advanced to tell upon our trade; but
it is now pressing on us with alarming strides, and had not our
industries been saved, by partial suspension of free trade, in the
American and Franco-Prussian wars, we should now feel it still
more severely. As it is, we have not seen the worst. Every day
foreign industries are increasing in magnitude and efficiency,
and consequently must increase in cheapness of production. At
present they have done little more than take up a share from the
markets, which were formerly our own. Soon they will invade our own
country in force. In the present cotton strike in Lancashire, the
employers have given us a reason for the terrible depression of
trade, that cloth manufactures from Belgium can now be supplied to
the print-works in Lancashire at lower rates than the Lancashire
manufactured cloth can be purchased.[35]

You may say the depression of trade is not confined to England,
but exists in America. I admit it, but it is very different from
that which exists in England. With America it is the reaction of
a too rapid increase of new manufacture stimulated by successful
enterprise; in the case of England it is the steady decline of
old-established industries under crushing competition, of which we
have not yet felt the worst.


[32] Area of the United States = 3,602,300 sq. miles. Area of
England and its dependencies = 8,982,200 sq. miles.

[33] It may be argued that America is a more compact dominion,
but steam and electricity annihilate space, and England’s immense
superiority in area far more than outweighs the advantage of

[34] It must be understood that, in all the statistics above given,
“England” and “America” are intended to mean--the United Kingdom
and the United States respectively.

[35] _The Mail_, Dec. 19th, 1883.



How is it, that the men of the working class, who are nominally
free-traders, are practically protectionists?

How is it, to use the words of Mr. Wise, an ardent apologist for
free trade, that--

  “In 1846, the working classes overthrew protectionism in England,
  and in 1878 the same classes, _wherever they have obtained
  predominant influence_, are carrying into practice the extreme
  theories of their old opponents?”

Mr. Syme also says:--

  “In Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, the party of progress
  has always been identified with a restrictive commercial policy,
  while the conservatives are the most uncompromising of free
  traders. Indeed, it may be said, that one-half of the entire
  English-speaking race are, in one shape or another, in favour of
  a restrictionist policy, and of this half the great majority are
  advanced liberals.”[36]

Free trade was an assertion on the part of labourers as consumers;
the protectionist policy of America and Australia is the attempt
of the same class to obtain privileges as producers. The working
men in those countries are possessed by the thorough belief
that, by carrying out their policy, _they benefit all_. Free
trade considered that the interests of _consumers_ suffered by
protection; the Americans and Australians, with their eyes open,
undergo these private inconveniences because they believe the _mass
of the community is better off thereby_. To use the words of an
intelligent American:

  “We all recognize that a protection tariff forces us to pay
  for many articles slightly more than they would probably cost
  us under a system of free trade. We know too that at first our
  manufactured products, whether of metal, cotton or coal, cost us
  in general more to make at home than they would have cost us if
  imported freely from abroad. We know that we are not buying in
  the cheapest market, but we believe, on the whole, it is _best to
  impose upon ourselves the voluntary tax[37] for the great ends_,
  not of enriching Monopolists, but of _promoting the best interest
  of the nation_.”

The average American is neither a fool, nor a knave. To fanciful
theories, whose value is problematical, he prefers the solid
assurance of experience and fact.

The cause of this apparently inconsistent action on the part of
the working classes is easily explained. Free trade was a political
job,[38] and the working classes were enlisted, by politicians,
into a crusade against their own interests, to assist in the
overthrow of those classes which supported the political opponents
of the Free-Trading rulers.

For this purpose the working classes were stirred up to class
antagonism, and the Free-Traders have kept up the delusion by
dishonestly claiming as the work of free trade every advantage
which protectionist countries have shared in common with us.

History is repeating itself in the delusion against which poor old
Æsop warned us centuries ago by his fable of the “Members and the

The members (manufacturing hands) hounded on by Bright and Co.
to class antagonism against the belly (the agricultural classes)
who were represented as “squandering national wealth,” have now
brought England to a pretty pass. The reaction is taking place.
Poor old Æsop was, as a political economist, more far-seeing than
Mr. Bright; who now, however, seems to be changing his views in
the most marvellous manner, for he has at last recognised that
the manufacturing interests are affected by the agricultural
depression. For he says:--

  “Home trade is bad, mainly, or entirely, because harvests have
  been bad for several years. The remedy will come with more
  sunshine and better yield of land, _without this it cannot

  “I believe the agricultural owners and occupiers of land
  have lost more than £150,000,000 sterling through the great
  deficiency of harvest.”

Bravo, Friend Bright! you are approaching the truth. Without
improvement in agricultural prosperity “the _remedy for bad trade_
cannot come.”

But England is not celebrated for sunshine, the _sunshine we
require is that of protection_.

Taking the nine years ending 1881, I find that, in only one year,
the rainfall of the United Kingdom has been largely (7¼ inches)
above the average of the last seventeen years. In five out of the
nine, the rainfall has been a little below the average; in one
year, ¼ of an inch above, and in another year, not quite 2 inches
above, the average.

There is no doubt that the average produce of farming in England
has, of late years, been below the average of former years; but the
_Mark Lane Express_ returns show that, in all these years, there
has been a considerable percentage of cases in which the crops have
been equal to or over the average. From this we may assume that the
sun is not wholly to blame, but that want of sufficient capital
to farm properly and to recover the results of bad years has been
a very important factor in the deficiency of crops. This may be
gleaned from the replies to the questions circulated by Mr. Bear as
to the condition of the farmers in 1878.

  _Bedfordshire_:--“Farmers are losing heart, and the land is in
  a much worse state than formerly.... There has been a serious
  inroad upon capital account during the last few years, and the
  land has seriously gone back in cultivation.... The condition of
  the land has sunk.”

  _Cumberland_:--“The last season has been a good one; but the
  present prices are not satisfactory, and the general depression
  in trade is now having its influence on farming.”

  _Essex_:--“Farmers suffering from low prices, general depression
  of trade, the rise in wages.... The work all round is carried on
  languidly, and year by year the condition of the land is becoming
  poorer.... A large quantity of the kind very badly farmed.”

  _Kent_:--“More weeds grown last year than I ever saw before.”

  _Monmouthshire_:--“Land going out of cultivation, stock reduced
  in quantity, only necessary work done.”

  _Northamptonshire_:--“The results of the two last seasons will
  not supply means for substantial improvements.”

  _Northumberland_:--“An immense deal of land producing nothing, I
  may say, simply out of cultivation.”

  _Oxfordshire_:--“The land is very foul and poor, partly from the
  continuous rains and the shortness of stock.”

  _Shropshire_:--“Very few farmers, if any, paying their way....
  Hand-to-mouth farming.”

  _Sussex_:--“The land generally is not so clean or so
  well-cultivated as it was a few years since.”

Lord Derby estimates that, with proper farming, we should obtain
twice as much produce as we now get.


[36] _Fortnightly Review_, April, 1873.

[37] The false economist pursues a small present good which will
be followed by a great evil to come, while the true economist
pursues a great good to come at the risk of a small present evil.
(Political Economy--Bastiat.)

[38] “I am afraid that most of us entered upon this struggle with
the belief that we had some _distinct class_ interest in the
question.” (Cobden.)

[39] Mr. Bright is deserting his free-trade comrades, who say--“It
is not only the beneficial _working of free trade that prescribes
the agricultural ruin of England_: it is the great natural law of
the preservation of the fittest that proclaims that, as England is
not the best fitted to grow corn, she must grow corn no longer.”



I think you will admit, that if a statesman, pretending to govern
by rules of political economy, should make very gross, misleading
statements regarding the results of a particular line of policy
which he had pursued for years, such a man must be convicted of
hopeless incompetency or else of gross dishonesty, either of which
ought to disqualify him as an administrator; and your Free Trade
statesman certainly comes under such an indictment.

Your Right Hon’ble Ruler rises after a public dinner, and holds
forth with matchless eloquence, pointing out the blessings and
prosperity Free Trade has brought to the country. His statements
are received with thunders of applause, and the Right Hon’ble
Orator and his audience disperse mutually satisfied with each other.

I wonder whether it ever occurs to the orator, in the quiet
of his chamber, that to use his own words, he “has resorted
to the simple but effectual plan of pure falsification.”[40]
Can he possibly be so ignorant of current events, and of the
subjects with which he ought to be acquainted, as not to know
that other nations--_protectionist nations_--_have made greater
relative advance_ than ourselves; that the increase of wealth is
_universal_; that it is shared by all civilized nations in common
with us; and that it is due to improvements in science, art,
and manufacture--to improved communications by railways, steam
navigation, telegraphs, &c., which have made such enormous strides
since the date at which Free Trade was adopted. Even Mill admits

  “So rapid had been the extension of improved processes of
  agriculture, that the average price of corn had become decidedly
  lower even before the repeal of the Corn Laws.”[41]

There have been short periods of temporary prosperity in
agriculture, and your Right Hon’ble Free Trader has been jubilant
in hailing them as triumphs of Free Trade; but Adam Smith says:--

  _Improvements in manufacture tend to raise the value of land._[42]

Dare you, my Friend, after examination of the statistics given in
the foregoing chapter, say, that the general increase of wealth
is due to Free Trade; when protectionist nations have shared it
in common with us? Aye! and taken the lion’s share too! You claim
the temporary prosperity of the years 1871-73 as a victory for
Free Trade, when in reality this prosperity is the most damning
evidence against it. Are you so utterly blinded, as not to perceive
that this prosperity was caused by the Franco-Prussian war, which,
by preventing the unlimited importation of French and German
commodities into England, caused, in fact, partial _suspension of
Free Trade_? Don’t you know that, in those years of prosperity, the
price of wheat rose to 58_s._ 8_d._ per quarter, and that, in the
present depressed condition of England, it is down to 41_s._ 5_d._
per quarter? Don’t you know that, during that time of prosperity,
the excess of imports beyond our exports was £60,000,000 less than
in the present depressed time? In other words, we were depressing
our industries by 60,000,000 sterling per annum less than at
present. Now, my Friend, give your verdict; is your Right Hon’ble
Free Trader guilty or not guilty, either of hopeless incompetence
or gross dishonesty in attributing the general increase of wealth
in the world to the agency of Free Trade?--Your friend, Bright,[43]
naively admits that “to return to protection under the name of
reciprocity, is to _confess to the protectionists abroad, that we
have been wrong, and they have been right_.” Verily! Friend Bright,
whether you confess it or not, the truth will out. Friend Bright!
you are like the ostrich, burying its head in the sand and thinking
no one can see you. The protectionist nations of Europe can see you
distinctly, and they are all laughing at your folly.


[40] Applied to the Conservative Party by Mr. Gladstone, in 1879.

[41] Mill’s Political Economy, Bk. I. Chap. XII.

[42] Wealth of Nations, Bk. I. Chap. XI.

[43] Mr. Bright, when brought to bay by unanswerable arguments, is
in the habit of pleading that he has “neither time nor inclination”
to enter into discussion, and takes refuge in discourtesy. A choice
specimen is given in Appendix No. I.--correspondence with Mr. Lord.



I have not yet done with your Right Hon’ble advocate for Free Trade.

I have another charge, of that which Mr. Gladstone terms the
“simple and effective plan of pure falsification,” in which he
himself appears to be not an unskilful adept.

Your Right Hon’ble Ruler ascribes the rise of wages and consequent
prosperity to the beneficial action of Free Trade. If this were the
case, wages ought to be depressed, or at all events stationary, in
protectionist countries.

Let us see if this is the case:--

_Relative rise of Wages._

                                        1840  1850  1880
              { Agricultural labourer     --   100   150
  GT. BRITAIN { Skilled labourer         100    --   153
              { Cotton operative         100    --   133

  FRANCE      { Agricultural labourer     --   100   125
              { Skilled labourer          --   100   150
  Belgium and Holland                    100    --   130
  United States, average labourer         --   100   143

It will be seen by this that the rise of wages has been general;
due to the general increase of wealth in civilized nations; and
that, in some cases, the relative increase has been nearly as rapid
in thirty years in the protectionist country as it has been in
forty years in England. Mill says:--

  “The labourer in America enjoys a greater abundance of comforts
  than in any other country in the world, except in some of the
  newest Colonies.”[44]

Is it possible to conceive a more impudent claim than that which
your Free-Trader sets up in claiming the rise of wages as the work
of Free Trade? It stands to common sense that Free Trade, or, in
other words, unlimited foreign competition, must have a tendency to
_reduce_ wages. During the agitation preceding the repeal of the
Corn Laws, it was one of the arguments in favour of the movement,
that cheap bread would enable the British operative to _work for
lower wages_, and thus be able to compete with the continental
operative, who enjoyed the advantage of food at lower rates than
those obtaining in England.

The general rise of wages which has occurred throughout
protectionist countries, as well as in England, has been
_principally_ due to the increase in the wealth of Europe; but
it has also been _partially due to protection_ in the form of
Trade-unionism. For what is Trade-unionism but protection in a
somewhat extreme form?

The protection of _British labour_ does not differ in principle
from the protection of the _results of British labour_ in the
shape of its industries. Amongst the resolutions adopted at the
International Conference of Trades Unions Delegates, I find the

  “There are two ways of attaining the object:--

  (1) Legislation for the _protection_ of the weak against

  (2) Organization of workmen who should be united and disciplined
  as in certain countries.”

Protection for the “_weak against competition_.” Is this in accord
with Free Trade?


[44] Mill’s Political Economy, Bk. II. Chap. XV.



I have still another serious charge to bring against your Right
Hon’ble Ruler, who pompously lays before you statistics to show
that, since the introduction of Free Trade, pauperism and crime
have decreased; and this your Right Hon’ble Ruler claims as one of
the results of Free Trade.

The figures produced seem to be all right; but really the
statistics of your Right Hon’ble Ruler have been found so very
untrustworthy, that a careful scrutiny of them is necessary; and
on investigation I find in them unmistakable evidence of either
ignorance or dishonesty.

These statistics show that the number of paupers under relief in
England was--

  In 1862            890,000
  In 1880            799,000
  Apparent decrease   91,000

In considering these figures, however, it must be remembered
that England has of late years greatly increased the rate per
pauper;[45] or, in other words, the relief now given will either
relieve worse cases of pauperism than before, or else extend relief
to other members of the family of the actual recipient. The present
rates of relief in England are now four-and-half times as much
as those in France, and seven-and-half times as much as those in
Belgium and Holland.[46]

In the next place, your Right Hon’ble Free-Trader omits to
mention that the private charities of _London alone_ (orphanages,
homes, asylums, hospitals, &c.) have increased, since 1859, by
£1,159,000,[47] a sum sufficient to relieve 526,000 paupers at the
French rate, or nearly 900,000 by the Belgian rate.

It is probable that private charities of the rest of England,
including the large provincial towns, have increased in the same
ratio as those of London; representing an enormous amount of relief.

Then, again, no mention is made of the relief afforded by Trades
Unions and Benefit Societies,[48] which now expend about £4,000,000
annually in relief. This, at French rate, represents the relief of
1,800,000 paupers, or at Belgian rate of about 3,000,000 paupers.

Now, my Friend, what is your fictitious saving of 91,000 in
comparison with the enormous figures given above?

Mr. Fawcett says:--

  “Mr. Torrens, the Member for Finsbury, sought to prove that
  pauperism was increasing, that vast numbers of able-bodied
  labourers were unemployed, and that the normal condition of a
  considerable proportion of our population was one of abject
  misery and deplorable destitution.

  “Mr. Goschen met these statements by a positive and indignant
  denial. He quoted a number of statistics to prove that the iron
  trade, the cotton trade, and other important branches of industry
  were reviving; he was jubilant over the fact that the number of
  paupers had only increased by 10,000 in a twelvemonth, and he
  became quite elated when recounting that the working classes were
  using more tea and sugar, and that their average consumption of
  beer and spirits was augmenting. The speech was loudly applauded,
  especially by the commercial members. There are many who still
  think that the well-doing of a country can be measured by its
  exports and imports.... It is not our intention to dispute the
  accuracy of Mr. Goschen’s statistics. There is, however, too much
  reason to fear that they only tell a small part of the truth; and
  that, if not judiciously considered, they may conceal awkward and
  ugly facts which it will be perilous to ignore.”[49]

  “Sir Edward Sullivan alluded to a statement made, he said, by a
  distinguished statesman, that, out of a population of thirty-four
  millions seven millions were _toeing the line of starvation_.”[50]

And these statements would appear to be in accord with the figures
I have given above.

The statistics of your Right Hon’ble Ruler, which you receive with
thunders of applause, are not worth the paper on which they are

Again I ask your verdict--guilty or not guilty?

Now for Crime. The statistics in this case are less defensible
than in the previous case, because they involve a dishonourable
_suppression of facts_.

The statistics brought forward to show that a diminution of crime
has been the result of Free Trade, are as follows:

  Convictions in 1859         13,470
      ”          1881         11,353
  Apparent decrease of crime   2,117

Now this _apparent_ decrease is wholly due to the “Criminal Justice
Act” of 1855, which enables Magistrates to pass short sentences;
and these, coming under the head of “Summary Convictions,” do not
appear under the head of “Convictions,” _where they would have
appeared but for the “Act” of 1855_.

If we take the total cases, _including summary convictions_, the
figures stand as follows:--

  Convictions in 1859  246,227
      ”          1881  542,319
  Increase in crime    296,092

In other words, instead of your Right Hon’ble Ruler’s decrease
of 2,000 convictions, we have actually an increase of nearly
300,000. Is it possible to conceive a more glaring case of what Mr.
Gladstone himself terms “the simple but effectual plan of _pure

Now for Intemperance. The number of persons fined for drunkenness
in England:

  In the year 1860   88,410
  In     ”    1881  174,481

or roughly speaking, the convictions for drunkenness have doubled
in twenty-one years.

Truly, my Friend, you cannot congratulate Free Trade on the
decrease of pauperism, crime, and intemperance it has produced.


[45] “In fifty years, Great Britain has lifted her estimate on this
point so rapidly that she spends five times as much for a given
number of paupers? than she did fifteen years after the opening
of the century.” (‘Practical Political Economy,’ by Profr. Bonamy
Price, p. 237.)

[46] _Comparative Cost of Relief to Paupers._

      England              £10  0
      France                 2  2
      Belgium and Holland    1  3
  (Mulhall’s Statistics, p. 346.)

[47] _Expenditure in London Charities._

                       1859.     1881.
  Orphanages        £409,000   £458,000
  Homes for aged      88,000    770,000
  Asylums             25,000    156,000
  Hospitals, &c.     301,000    596,000
                     -------   --------
              Total  823,000  1,980,000

[48] The financial condition of many of the Trades Unions is
causing serious alarm. The drain has been so heavy on them, that
their capital is greatly reduced, and unless some change takes
place, they will become bankrupt. The increase of pauperism will
then be enormous.

[49] _Fortnightly Review_, January, 1871.

[50] _The Mail_, December 19th, 1883.



I see, my Friend, that you are bringing out your trump card.
“Behold!” you argue “the unfortunate condition to which America has
been reduced by her protectionist policy; she has scarcely a ship
afloat, whilst Free Trade England is carrying the commerce of the

First, I would ask, are you _quite_ sure that all this is caused by
Free Trade?

Don’t you think that it is just within the bounds of possibility
that our shrewd American cousins may possibly find a quicker and
more remunerative investment for their capital, in encouraging
their home-productive industries, and in employing their
home-labour productively, than in a keen competition with the
English for a barren trade that is not worth having?

Are you ignorant of the fact that the shipping trade has been a
losing concern for some considerable period?

Are you unaware of the fact that wheat has been frequently carried
as ballast, and has paid no freight; that other articles have been
carried at almost nominal rates?

In the _Civil and Military Gazette_ of 7th December, 1883, under
the Telegraphic Summary, I read--

  “It is predicted that, unless freight rates to India speedily
  improve, a considerable number of steamers now engaged in the
  trade will be laid up.”

I also read in the _Madras Mail_, January 9th, 1884, that an organ
of the shipping interests in London has drawn up the probable
“results of the gross working of thirteen steamers of a well-known
Steam Navigation Company, the result of which is a total loss of
£34,000 in one year’s trading.”

Are the Americans to be pitied, because they have no share in this
losing concern?

If protectionism has kept them out of it, you can scarcely blame it.

But even without such keen competition, the Americans are
justified, by the writings of your sacred shastras, as may be seen
by the following quotation:

  “The capital, therefore, employed in the _Home trade_ of any
  country will generally give encouragement and support to a
  greater quantity of productive labour in that country, and
  increase the value of its annual produce, more than an equal
  capital employed in the _Foreign trade_ of consumption; and
  the capital employed in this latter trade has, in both these
  respects, a _still greater advantage over an equal capital
  engaged in the Carrying trade_.”[51]

So you see that the authority of your own sacred writings is
favourable to the policy of our American cousins in this respect.


[51] ‘Wealth of Nations,’ by Adam Smith, Bk. II. Chap. V.



I have a few words to say about high wages and prosperity, before I
quit the subject.

Although the rise of wages is, in fact, to some extent, the work
of protection, I am not proud of it; for trades unionism is
protection of an extreme character, generally narrow in its aims,
not sufficiently far-seeing, and consequently sometimes mischievous
in its results.

The raising of wages within reasonable bounds is desirable; but,
in a Free Trade country, it is apt to be attended with serious
consequences in raising the cost of the manufactured article, when
competing against the manufacture of foreign countries, where wages
are lower and hours of work longer.

It is said by Free Trade advocates, that although the cost of
provisions has not sensibly increased, yet _wages are 50 per cent.
higher, and hours of labour 20 per cent. less_, than they were
forty years ago.

From the political economist’s point of view, this appears to be a
decrease of national wealth. Mill says:--

  “Saving enriches, and spending impoverishes, the community along
  with the individual. Society at large is richer by what it
  expends in _maintaining and aiding productive labour_, but poorer
  by what it expends in its enjoyments.”[52]

Now if a stalwart race could have existed, and have done 20 per
cent. more work on the lower rate of wages,--although, doubtless,
some improvement in the condition of workmen was desirable,--50
per cent. appears to be a large margin, when we consider that the
price of provisions is said to be unaltered. The British workman
is proverbially extravagant and improvident. High wages encourage
extravagance, whilst surplus cash furnishes the means, and short
hours the leisure, for gratifying a taste for drink.

Setting aside for the moment the serious evils of intemperance,
we have practically, with high wages, the causes that lead to the
impoverishment of a community.

A glance at the statistics of Mr. Giffen seems to indicate this,
for whilst the consumption per head of those commodities which are
termed necessaries of life, have only increased 33 to 40 per cent.
respectively, the consumption of those which may be considered
luxuries--namely, tea and sugar--have increased 232 and 260 per
cent. respectively.

Again, statistics show that, whilst the other classes of the
community have increased in number by 335 per cent. of late years,
the working classes have only increased by 6½ per cent. In other
words, the unproductive classes have increased largely, but, whilst
there is only 6½ per cent. _numerical_ increase in the productive
classes, their labour has decreased by 20 per cent. from shorter
hours of labour.

The drones in the hive have increased very largely, and the workers
have not done so, but have developed an alarming taste for honey.

The question of waste of wealth would be comparatively of minor
importance were it not seriously complicated by the existence of
Free Trade; but we have now to confront the fact, that, in the
present day, we have to pay 50 per cent. more money for 20 per
cent. less labour than we did forty years ago; whilst Free Trade
brings into the market the products of the keen competition of a
thrifty and parsimonious class of workmen who accept lower wages
and work longer hours. The result must be a gradual extinction of
our industries:

Cotton and woollen industries are struggling hard for existence.[53]

Silk manufacture is dying out.

Iron industries in a bad way.

Gloomy predictions are made respecting the shipping trade.

Agriculture is rapidly becoming extinguished.

English pluck, capital, and credit are struggling manfully against
disaster, but the struggle cannot last much longer; capital is
sustained by credit; and credit is receiving heavy and repeated
blows from unremunerative industries. Meanwhile, high wages and
extravagant habits are not the best training for the millions that
will be thrown out of employment when the crash comes.

Your prophet, Adam Smith, though an advocate for the repeal of the
Corn Laws, foresaw and forewarned you of these consequences, as

  “If the free importation of Foreign manufactures were permitted,
  several of the Home manufactures would probably suffer, and some
  of them perhaps go to ruin altogether.”[54]

Verily, my Friend, you are like a shipowner who congratulates
himself that his sailors were never so well off before--never went
aloft less--never kept fewer watches--never remained so much in
their warm beds: meanwhile the devoted ship is drifting slowly, but
surely, on to the rocks.[55]


[52] ‘Political Economy,’ by J. S. Mill, Bk. I. Chap. V.

[53] Mr. S. Smith, M.P., who is connected with cotton industry, has
recently stated that “with all the toil and anxiety of those who
had conducted it, the cotton industry of Lancashire, which gave
maintenance to two or three millions of people, had not earned so
much as 5 per cent. during the past ten years. The employers had
a most anxious life; and many, after struggling for years, had
become bankrupt, and some had died of a broken heart;” and he added
that he believed “most of the leading trades to be in the same

The cheap production of Belgian fabrics is stated by the employers
to be the cause of the depression in the cotton trade. (_Times_,
Dec. 1883.)

[54] ‘Wealth of Nations,’ Bk. IV. Chap. II.

[55] A writer in _Vanity Fair_, in analyzing the Board of Trade’s
statistics for the year ended March 31st, 1883, when compared with
those for the year ended March, 1880, or the three years of the
Gladstone Ministry, says:

“We were promised cheaper Government, cheaper food, greater
prosperity. We find that so far from these promises being verified,
they have every one been falsified by the result.

“Our Imperial Government is dearer by £8,000,000; our Imperial and
Local Government, together, is dearer by £10,000,000.

“As to food, wheat has become dearer 1_s._ 3_d._ per quarter; beef,
by from 3_d._ to 5_d._ per stone; Mutton, by 1_s._ 3_d._; money is
dearer than 1¾ per cent.

“As to prosperity, our staple pig iron is cheaper by 22_s._ 2_d._
per ton. We have 398,397 acres fewer under cultivation for corn,
grain and other crops; 50,077 fewer horses; 129,119 fewer cattle;
4,789,738 fewer sheep in the country. We have, in spite of the Land
Act and the allegation of increased prosperity, 18,828 more paupers
in Ireland on a decreasing population. We find that 115,092 more
emigrants have left the country in a year, because they cannot get
a living in it. We lose annually 349 more vessels and 1,534 more
lives at sea. The only element of consolation that these figures”
(Board of Trade Returns) “have to show is, that we have 778,389
more pigs and 4,627 more policemen in the country. In fact, we are
more lacking in every thing we want; more abounding in every thing
we don’t want.

“The price of everything we have to sell has gone down; the price
of everything we have to buy has gone up; and what has gone up most
is the price of Government.

“Dearer Government, dearer bread, dearer beef, dearer mutton,
dearer money; cheaper pig iron; less corn, potatoes, turnips,
grass, and hops, fewer horses, fewer cattle, fewer sheep; more
paupers, more emigrants, more losses of life and property at sea,
more pigs, more policemen.

“These are the benefits that three years of liberal rule have
conferred upon us!!!”



I have already stated that Mill, when he allows that which Herbert
Spencer terms “political bias,”--and Luigi Cossa terms his “_narrow
philosophic utilitarianism_,” to warp his better judgment,--is
guilty of absurdities and inconsistencies that would disgrace a
schoolboy. This is notably apparent when he attempts to draw a
fundamental distinction between land and any other property, as
regards its “sacred rights.”

Mr. Mill greatly admired the prosperity of the peasant proprietors
in France and Belgium, unfortunately forgetting that a system,
suited to the sober thrifty peasantry of the Continent, might
possibly not be equally suitable to the improvident lower classes
of Ireland and England,[56] neglectful also of the sensible view
taken by M. De Lavergne that “_cultivation spontaneously finds out
the organization that suits it best_.”[57] He wished therefore to
establish an Utopia of peasant proprietors in England and Ireland
as a panacea for the evils which Free Trade in the first place,
and mischievous legislation in the second place, had brought upon
agriculture. Without presuming to offer an opinion on the debated
subjects of “Grande” and “Petite Culture,” or peasant and landlord
proprietorship, I may say that cultivation appears to have found
out spontaneously the organization best suited to it, and that,
in England and Ireland, landlordism seems best suited to the
improvident character of the lower classes, in providing capital to
help the tenants over bad times, and enabling improvements to be
made in prosperous times.

Be this as it may, peasant proprietorship has proved to be a
failure in Ireland, and is rapidly becoming extinct.[58] Writers
on the subject state that, under that system, labour was so
ill-directed, that it required six men to provide food for ten;
and consolidation of holdings is recommended. Mr. Mill, however,
thought otherwise, and biased by this political conviction, he has
propounded the following extraordinary arguments to prove that the
sacred rights of property are not applicable in the case of landed

  (1) “No man made the land.”

  (2) It is the original inheritance of the whole species.[60]

  (3) Its appropriation is wholly a question of general expediency.

  (4) When private property in land is not expedient, it is unjust.

  (5) It is no hardship to any one to be excluded from what others
  have produced.

  (6) But it is a hardship to be born into the world and to find
  all nature’s gifts previously engrossed.

  (7) Whoever owns land, keeps others out of the enjoyment of it.

Now let us apply Mr. Mill’s arguments to any other kind of property.

Suppose I say to you:--“My friend! you have two coats; hand one of
them over to me! Sacred rights of property don’t apply to it; you
did not make it; and Mill says--‘_it is no hardship to be excluded
from what others have produced_;’ but it is some hardship to be
born into the world, and to find all nature’s gifts engrossed. Your
argument that you paid for it in hard cash is worthless. _No man
made_ silver and gold, ‘it is the original inheritance of the whole
species, the receiver is as bad as the thief, and you have connived
in the robbery of those metals from the earth, leaving posterity
yet unborn to be under the hardship of finding all nature’s gifts

“The manufacture of your coat is based on robbery and injustice,
and you have connived at it; the iron and coal used in its
production were _made by no man_, they are the _common inheritance
of the species_, those who have obtained them have robbed
posterity. You have bribed them to do so by silver and gold, also
robbed from posterity.

“The very wool of which your coat is formed was _made by no man_,
it was robbed from a defenceless sheep. Your argument that the
sheep was the property of the shearer is useless. No man made the
sheep, it is the common inheritance of all, &c. Your argument that
his owner reared the sheep, is equally worthless. Monster! if you
find a child, have you a right to rob him and make a slave of him?
such an argument would justify slavery[61] or worse.

“When _private property is not expedient it is unjust_, and from
my ground of view, it is not expedient that this private property
should be yours; public only differs from private expediency in
degree. ‘He who owns property keeps others out of the enjoyment of
it,’ the sacred rights of property don’t apply to this coat; so
hand it over without any more of your absurd arguments. Nay! if
you don’t, and as I see some one is approaching who may interfere,
its appropriation is one of expediency,--individual expediency
must follow the same law as general expediency,--it is expedient
that I should draw my knife across your throat, otherwise I shall
lose that which is my inheritance in common with the rest of the
species.” And so I might argue _ad infinitum_.

Mr. Mill’s sophisms however are, what Cossa terms, “concessions
more apparent than real to socialism,” for further on, in his
Political Economy, he completely stultifies his argument by stating
that the principle of property gives to the landowners:--

  “a right to compensation for whatever portion of their interest
  in the land it may be the policy of the State to deprive them of.
  To that _their claim is indefeasible_. It is due to landowners,
  and to owners of any property whatever recognised as such by
  the State, that they should not be dispossessed of it without
  receiving its pecuniary value.... This is due on the _general
  principles on which property rests_. If the land was bought with
  the produce of the labour and abstinence of themselves or their
  ancestors, compensation is due to them on that ground; _even if
  otherwise_, it is still due on the ground of prescription.”

  “Nor,” he adds, “can it ever be necessary for accomplishing
  an object by which the community altogether will gain, that a
  particular portion of the community should be immolated.”[62]

Unfortunately, however, his mischievous denial of the sacred
rights of property in land is eagerly read, while his subsequent
qualification of it is neglected by those who, like Mr. Bright,
aim at the destruction of a political opponent; or, like Mr.
Gladstone, are bent on a particular policy, reckless of the results
in carrying it out; or, like Mr. Parnell and his followers, whose
hands itch for plunder; and it has produced a general haziness
of ideas amongst that well-meaning class of people who are
good-naturedly liberal with the property of other people.

Yet, clothe it with what sophism you will, any attempt, whether
legalized or otherwise, to deprive the landowner of his property
and to violate his rights, is as unjustifiable as the depredations
of the burglar or the pickpocket. Nay more so; because the
statesman or political economist cannot plead poverty or want of
education as his excuse.


[56] If we were to partition out England into a Mill’s Utopia of
peasant proprietors to-morrow, it would not last a week; half of
the proprietors would convert their holdings into drink, and be in
a state of intoxication until it was expended.

[57] ‘Grande and Petite Culture. Rural Economy of France.’ De

[58] The yeomen and small tenant-farmers, men of little capital,
have almost disappeared, and the process of improving them off the
face of the agricultural world is still progressing to its bitter
end; homestead after homestead has been deserted, and farm has
been added to farm--a very unpleasing result of the inexorable
principle--the survival of the fittest--by means of which even the
cultivators of the soil are selected;--but a result which, not the
laws of nature, but the bungling arrangements of human legislators,
have rendered inevitable. (Bear., _Fortnightly Review_, September,

[59] ‘Mill’s Political Economy,’ Bk. II. Chap. II.

[60] The original inheritors have, through their lawfully
constituted rulers, parted with their property, having, in most
cases, received an equivalent for it in the shape, either of
eminent services rendered to the State, or else of actual payments
in hard cash; and these transactions have been deliberately
ratified and acknowledged by the laws of the country from time
immemorial. It is therefore simply childish to argue that the land
thus disposed of still belongs to the original inheritors, after
they have enjoyed for past years the proceeds for which they have
bartered the land that once belonged to them.

[61] I beg your pardon, my dear Fanatic, I see I have unconsciously
made a slight mistake. Mill says, that appropriation is wholly a
matter of general expediency, and on that ground you _may_ justify

[62] Mill’s Political Economy, Bk. II. Chap. II.



Allow me, my dear Idolator, to make a few quotations from one of
your sacred Vedas, on the subject of land.

You are fond of quoting them when it suits your purpose.

  _Wealth of Nations, by Adam Smith._         _Action of Free Trade._

  (1.) Every improvement in the           Free Trade has ruined
         circumstances of the society       agricultural industry. Can it
         tends, either directly             be an improvement in the
         or indirectly, to raise the        circumstances of the society.
         real rent of land, to increase
         the real wealth of
         the landlord, his power of
         purchasing the labour or
         the produce of the labour
         of other people.

  (2.) Every increase in the real         Free Trade has lowered rents.
         wealth of the society,             Can it have wrought increase
         every increase in the              in the real wealth of society?
         quantity of useful labour
         employed within it, tends
         indirectly to raise the real
         rent of land.

  (3) All those improvements in           The improvements in machinery,
        the productive powers of            science, steam, and electricity
        labour which tend directly          prevented the collapse of
        to reduce the real price            agriculture at first, and has
        of manufactures, tend indirectly    even given a semblance of
        to raise the real                   temporary prosperity, and this
        rent of land.                       has been dishonestly claimed by
                                            Free-traders as their work.

  (4.) Whatever reduces the real          In spite of this advantage
        price of manufactured               agriculture has collapsed
        produce raises that of              under Free Trade.
        rude produce of the landlord.

  (5.) The neglect of cultivation         Your Free Trade prophets, Bright
        and improvement, the fall           and Gladstone, are unceasing
        in the real price of any            in their endeavours to destroy
        part of the rude produce            the landlord and diminish his
        of the land ... tend to             power of employing productive
        lower the real rent of land,        labour.
        to reduce the real wealth
        of the landlord, to diminish
        his power of purchasing
        either the labour
        or the produce of the
        labour of other people.

  (6.) The whole annual produce
        of the land and labour of
        every country constitutes
        a revenue to three different
        orders of people,
      1. Those who live by rent.
      2. Those who live by wages.
      3. Those who live by profit.
         The interest of the first
         of these three great orders
         is strictly and inseparably
         connected with the general
         interests of the society.
         _Whatever either promotes        Free trade obstructs the
         or obstructs the one, promotes     interests of the first of
         or obstructs the other._           these three great orders, and
                                            necessarily obstructs the
                                            general interests of the
                                            nation at large.

  (7.) The interest of this third         Free trade has emanated from
         order has not the same             this order.
         connection with the
         general interest of the
         society as that of the
         other two.

        _Merchants and Master
         Manufacturers_ are, in this
         order, the two classes of
         people who commonly employ
         the largest capitals.

  (8.) The proposal of any new            If attention had only been paid
         law or regulation of commerce,     to Adam Smith’s warning, we
         which comes from                   should not now have to mourn
         this order, ought always           the decadence of England’s
         to be listened to with great       industries.
         precaution, and ought
         never to be adopted till
         after having been long and
         carefully examined, not
         only with the most scrupulous,
         but with the most
         suspicious, attention.

  (9.) It comes from an order of
         men whose interest is
         never exactly the same
         with that of the public;
         who have generally an
         interest to _deceive and
         even to oppress the public_,
         and who accordingly have,
         upon many occasions,             How true of your prophet Bright!
         both deceived and oppressed        Free Trade is another fearful
         it. (Wealth of Nations,            example of the _deception and
         by Adam Smith, Bk. I.              oppression_ practised by
         Chap. XI.)                         this class.

You will probably, attempt to discredit your sacred writings when
they do not support your own views.

You will argue that Adam Smith wrote when the conditions of society
and commerce were very different from what they are now.

Mathematicians say, that when a formula will not accommodate
itself to altering conditions and circumstances, it is unsound. It
is the same with political science. Either the political science
of Adam Smith is unsound, and he is not reliable, or the serious
indictments against Free Trade given in the quotations above are



What is the nature of a country-life that it should breed such
a vampire,--such a monster of iniquity,--such a “squanderer of
national wealth” as the landlord whom your Free-trading friends
hold up to public execration? The old classical idea “procul
a negotiis” would indicate that it had a contrary influence.
How is it then that it produces the unmitigated miscreant whom
Bright delights to denounce,--whom Gladstone loves to pursue with
ruinous enactments,--and whom Parnell, with his murderous crew,
takes pleasure in “boycotting,” maiming, and assassinating? The
external appearance of this monster gives no clue to his character.
From personal acquaintance with men of this class in England I
should have said, that, on the average, they were well-meaning,
harmless, good-natured men; not always of the widest of views,
or shrewdest intelligence, but with the best intentions, anxious
in bad times to help their tenants, and in good times to improve
their property. Even your prophet Adam Smith appears to have been
deceived by them.[63] Again, appearances are deceptive; for, to
my inexperienced eye, there seemed to be a large amount of kindly
sympathy between tenant and landlord.

I am unable to speak from personal experience respecting the same
classes in Ireland; but all novels and tales of Irish life, which
should reflect, with some degree of truth, the general aspect of
things, agree in describing scenes, probably founded on facts,
from which one would imagine that, before the present agitation
and enactments, there appeared to exist much kindly feeling and
sympathy between the peasantry and the “Masther,” who, with all his
faults, is represented as a generous, rollicking, devil-may-care
sort of fellow,[64] quite opposed to the grasping, grinding
miscreant whom your friends denounce; of course, there were

Mr. A. M. Sullivan seems also to have been mistaken when he says:--

  “The conduct of the Irish landlords throughout the famine period
  has been variously described, and has, I believe, been generally
  condemned. I consider the censure visited on them too sweeping.
  I hold it to be in some respects _cruelly unjust_.... It is
  impossible to contest authentic cases of brutal heartlessness
  here and there; but granting all that has to be entered on the
  dark debtor side, the overwhelming balance is the other way. The
  bulk of the resident Irish landlords manfully did their best in
  that dread hour. If they did too little compared with what the
  landlord class in England would have done in a similar case, it
  was because little was in their power.... They were heritors
  of estates heavily overweighted with the debts of a bygone
  generation.... To these landowners the failure of one year’s
  rental receipts meant mortgage, foreclosure, and hopeless ruin.
  Yet cases might be named by the score in which men _scorned to
  avert_, by pressure on their suffering tenancy, _the fate they
  saw impending over them_. They went down with the ship.

  “No adequate tribute has ever been paid to the memory of those
  Irish landlords, and they were men of every party and creed, who
  perished martyrs to duty, in that awful time.”[65]

It is wonderful how, at such an awful time, the Irish landlord
should have continued to mask his true character.

Still I am rather puzzled.

I quite admit that the Irish landlord is wrong in rack-renting his
tenant to the extent of grinding out of him one-third of the amount
that is cheerfully paid by tenants in _protectionist_ countries.

I admit that he should not have tried in a _Free Trade country_ to
have extorted more than one-tenth of the rent paid by protectionist
tenants. Nay, I will go further. I don’t think that a tenant in
Free Trade Ireland would farm to a profit even if he had the land
_rent-free_. I admit also that it was selfish of the landlord to
allow the question of his own pauperism to weigh in the question of

Still, after making due allowance for all these faults, I cannot
quite understand how his guilt is sufficiently proven to
warrant his continued persecution and gradual extermination, by
enactment after enactment for his ruin, should he chance to escape
assassination. A snake or a rat could not be hunted down with
greater venom. I must say that, in spite of his crimes, he is an
object of pity.

Perhaps an analysis of his villainy may help me to understand the
heinousness of his crime; let us apply, therefore, to the political
economist for the character of the rent, the instrument with which
he commits his crime--what does he say?[66]

  “Rent does not affect the price of agricultural produce.”[67]

  “Whoever does pay rent gets back its full value in extra
  advantage, and the rent which he pays does not place him in
  a worse position than, but only in the same position as, his
  fellow-producer who pays no rent, but whose instrument is one of
  inferior efficiency.”[68]

  “Rent is reached by bargaining between the landlord and tenant;
  bargaining founded on the practical elements existing in the
  business. Profit must satisfy the tenant, or he will not take the
  farm; and on the other hand, if he claim an unduly low rent, he
  will find a rival competitor stepping into the farm house.... The
  position of an in-coming tenant is that of a man who is buying a
  business for sale (for whether he purchases the farm outright in
  order to cultivate it, or hires it, makes no difference in the
  nature of the transaction). He is buying a specific business in
  a given locality, as any man might do in a manufacturing town,
  and his motive is _profit_. This consideration governs the whole
  of the negotiation between the landowner and himself ... upon
  the terms of an annual payment of the means of _profit_ which he
  seeks to acquire.”[69]

Yes! This appears to me to be just and business-like; the tenant
hires the land for the profit he expects to get out of it, and his
rent is a simple debt. Proceed:--

  “To refuse to pay debt violently is to _steal_, and to permit
  stealing is not only to dissolve, but to demoralize, society.”[70]

  “When a portion of wealth passes out of the hands of him who has
  acquired it, without his consent, and without compensation, to
  him who has not created it ... plunder is perpetrated.”[71]

  “Law is common force organized to prevent injustice.”[71]

  “If the law itself performs the action it ought to repress,
  plunder is still perpetrated under aggravated circumstances.”[71]

  “To place the position itself of a landlord in an invidious
  light, as a man who exacts from the labours of others that for
  which he has neither toiled nor spun, is a most unwarrantable
  process of argumentation.”[70]

  “It would be impossible to introduce into society a greater
  change and a greater evil than this:--the conversion of law into
  an instrument of plunder.”[71]

Yes, yes! All this appears to me to be just and sensible! but
pardon me, I am a little obtuse. I cannot yet see that the
landlord’s guilt is proven. Let us recapitulate:--

Rent does not raise the price of corn! The tenant gets value for
his rent! He enters into a business contract for profit! The rent
is a simple debt. To refuse it, is to steal! To assist legally at
this refusal, is to be an accomplice in the theft! In this case
Government is the accomplice, and the Government is a plunderer
under aggravated circumstances! Moreover, it not only plunders,
but demoralizes society. Mr. Gladstone represents Government.
Messrs. Bright, Parnell, Davitt and Co. assist in this legalized
and illegal plunder; thus demoralizing the society. The property
of the landlord passes to another without his consent and without
compensation! Messrs. Gladstone and Co. use that which Professor
Bonamy Price terms a most “unwarrantable process of argumentation.”

Stop! Stop!! for goodness’ sake!!! My brain is getting confused; in
my innocence, had I not been gravely assured that they were angels
of light, patriots, philanthropists,[72] I should have mistaken
Messrs. Gladstone, Bright, Parnell, Davitt, and Co. for the real


[63] Adam Smith, in speaking of the class of merchants and
manufacturers, says:--“Their superiority over the country gentleman
is not so much in their knowledge of the _public interest_ as in
their having a better knowledge of _their own interest_ than he has
of his. It is by this superior knowledge of their own interest that
they have frequently imposed upon _his generosity_ and persuaded
him to give up his own interest and that of the public from a very
simple but honest conviction that their interest, and not his, was
the interest of the people.” (Wealth of Nations, Bk. I. Chap. XI.)

How true in the case of Free Trade!

[64] The landlordism of the days before Famine (1847) never
“recovered its strength or its primitive ways. For the landlord,
there came of the Famine the Encumbered Estates Court. For the
small farmer and tenant class there floated up the American
Emigrant ships.” (‘History of Our Own Times,’ Justin Macarthy.)

[65] New Ireland, by A. M. Sullivan, p. 133.

[66] Adam Smith contradicts himself about rent--in one set of
passages he says it is the _cause_, and in another the _effect_, of

[67] Macleod’s Economics, p. 117.

[68] Political Economy, by J. S. Mill, Bk. II. Chap. XVI.

[69] Profr. Bonamy Price.

[70] Profr. Bonamy Price.

[71] Political Economy, Bastiat.

[72] “Legal plunder has two roots. One of them is in human egotism,
the other is in false philanthropy.” (Political Economy, Bastiat.)



Your friend, John Bright, with his usual disregard for accuracy,
describes the large landlord as the “squanderer and absorber of
national wealth,” but seeing that the total rent of land in Great
Britain and Ireland is less than 5 per cent. of the whole national
income,[73] and that of this less than one-seventh is in the hands
of large landowners, it would require a more able statesman than
Mr. Bright to show how he can squander that, of which such a very
small proportion passes through his lands.

No? friend Bright. You and your fellow free-traders are the real
squanderers of national wealth, and you seek to shift the blame
from your own shoulders, by dishonestly laying it on those of the
landowner. I command to your perusal the graphic description of a
large landowner--the Duke of Argyle--who states that, in Trylee, by
feeding the tenantry in bad times, by assisting some to emigrate,
by introducing new methods of cultivation, by expenditure of
capital in improvements, by consolidating small holdings when too
narrow for subsistence, he has raised a community, from the lowest
state of poverty and degradation, to one of lucrative industry and

The prosperity these tenants enjoy is due to the beneficial and
regulative power of the landlord as a capitalist. The greater
the wealth of the landlord, the greater is his beneficial and
regulative power. There were thousands of landowners who acted up
to the limits of their power in this way, until you, friend Bright,
ruined them and deprived them of the power of helping their tenants.

No, doubt, there are bad landlords, as there are bad men in all
classes, but the interests of the landowner and those of the tenant
are inseparably bound together; and the landlord is shrewd enough
to see that it is to his own interest to improve the property if he
can afford to do so.

The old classic, with his insight into human nature, in _odimus
quos læsimus_, shows that human nature has not altered, and it does
not surprise me that you should hold up to execration the class you
have so cruelly injured.

You, my Free-trading Fanatic, have (thanks to Mill’s unfortunate
sophisms and your leaders’ persistent misrepresentations) such a
very hazy view about landowner’s rights and duties, that I think a
few words on the subject may clear the atmosphere.

  (1.) Landed property is the capital of the landlord.

  (2.) Interest on capital is fair, reasonable, and consistent with
  general good.

  (3.) Rent is interest on the capital of the landlord.

  (4.) The landlord may sell[74] his land, invest the proceeds in
  any other way, and thus get interest on his capital.

  (5.) The tenant can get rid of rent, either:--

    (a) by borrowing money to buy land, in which case he has to pay
    interest on the loan;

    (b) by saving sufficient money to purchase land, in which case
    he might, instead of purchasing, invest the money, so that its
    interest would pay the rent.

  (6.) In any case the whole question of rent resolves itself into
  a question of capital, and interest thereon.

  (7.) Law, from time immemorial, has recognised the right of
  property in land.

  (8.) In most cases the owner has paid hard cash both for the land
  and for the improvements of it.

  (9.) Land is therefore actual capital just as much as money,
  coal, iron, cattle, or any other disposable commodity.

It is absurd, therefore, to say, that a man possessing capital in
land may not act in the same way as the owner of any other form of
capital. (Of course he has his moral obligations, but those are
applicable to the possession of any other form of capital.) If
the tenant desires capital, he must work for it, or obtain it in
some legal manner. If he get it in any other way, it is theft; and
any legislation that transfers the capital of the landlord to the
tenant without due compensation, is legalized theft.

As regards absentee landlords, I admit it is desirable, on many
grounds--on the ground of his own personal interest--to put it on
the lowest ground, that he should not be absent; but if the life
of the landlord and his family be at stake, is he to be blamed if
he declines to take the risk of being boycotted or shot? You argue
that _he does nothing for his money which he draws, and spends away
from the place in which it has been produced_, thus impoverishing
the district.

Is he different in this respect from the capitalist who invests
money in colonial or foreign funds, who does nothing for his money,
and spends it away from the country in which it is produced? Is
he different in this respect from the London banker, who lends
money to the manufacturer in the provinces, or abroad? He does
nothing for his money, but spends it away from the locality in
which it has been produced. Would you argue on this ground, that
the railway shareholder, the foreign bondholder, the London banker
ought, in equity, to receive no interest on their money, and
should be held up to public execration? If you place any value on
the laws of political economy, which you are so fond of quoting,
my Fanatical Friend, drop your absurd arguments about landlords.
Land is a commodity to be bought, sold, improved by the capital
of the landlord, and if you treat it otherwise, you violate every
principle of sound political economy.

Admitting that land is capital, and the landlord is the capitalist,
what does Political Economy say?--

  “If a man has not wealth himself, but only his labour to sell,
  what is most to his advantage? Why, of course, that there should
  be as many rich men as possible to compete for his labour....
  Nothing can be more fatal than the _cry against capital_ so often
  unthinkingly uttered.... It would be impossible to conceive
  a _greater benefactor to his country_ than the one who would
  permanently reconcile the interests of masters and workmen, and
  _put an end to the internecine wars of capital and labour_.”[75]

Verily! Friend Bright, the cry against the landlord is a “_cry
against capital unthinkingly uttered_.” Verily thou encouragest the
“_internecine wars of capital and labour_.” Verily thou art the
reverse of a benefactor to thy country.

The verdict of Political Economy condemns thee!!



  Total national income                  £1,247,000,000
  Total rent for land                        58,000,000 (Mulhall, p. 7.)
    Percentage of rent to total income, 4⅔ per cent.

                       No.     Acres.   Average acres per
  Large Landowners       34   6,211,000     183,000
  Medium  ditto         841   3,156,000       3,760
  Small   ditto     179,649  60,912,000         330
                    -------  ----------     -------
           Total    180,524  70,279,000         390 (Mulhall’s Statistics,
                                                        p. 266.)

The acreage of large and medium landowners is, therefore, less than
one-seventh of the total.

[74] Or _could_ have sold it, until the iniquitous Land Bill was
passed. For my own part, I would not, under any consideration,
risk money in the investment of land under British rule, which has
proved itself capable of legalizing plunder and breach of contract.

[75] Macleod’s Economics, pp. 138-39.



One conclusion at which the Commission of 1882 arrived was, that
the agricultural labourers were “never in a better position.”
When, however, we analyze the evidence on which that conclusion
was based, the case wears a very different aspect. The evidence
of landlords, agents, and factors,--of those who have to pay the
wages out of their struggle to make both ends meet,--is to the
effect that the labourer is well enough off; but the evidence of
the labourer himself--the recipient--gives rather a different
version of the case. It is true that wages are higher than they
were formerly: this naturally must follow the increase of wages in
manufacturing districts; but the evidence of the labourer shows
that these wages are insufficient to keep a family, or provide
for bodily wants, to say nothing of sickness or loss of work;
perquisites are being gradually taken away, and no compensation
given; families are suffering severely; physique degenerating for
want of sufficient food; articles of diet, such as cheese, bacon,
eggs are much more expensive than before; the supply of milk, and
especially of skimmed milk, formerly so plentiful and obtainable at
nominal prices, is now at prohibitory rates. Water, with a little
bread, sweetened with sugar, forms the general substitute for
wholesome milk in rearing children.

The recent census shows that although the population of England has
increased 14½ per cent., there has been, in the purely agricultural
districts, a decrease in the population,--a sure sign of want of
prosperity. In all parts farms are badly cultivated, in a foul
condition, or out of cultivation altogether; neither the landlord
nor the tenant, have sufficient capital to make improvements.[76]
A clergyman writes from a rural parish:--

  “I fear nothing will lessen the evil, the land of England will
  gradually go out of cultivation, and our villages will become
  impoverished and empty till the country is all urban, and the
  population effeminate and demoralized. Then may follow a great
  war, and disaster will ensue.”

Emerson warned England of the fact that her--

  “Robust rural Saxon population had degenerated, in the mills, to
  the Leicester stockinger, and to the imbecile Manchester spinner
  far on the way to be spiders and needles.”[77]

Why did a handful of undisciplined Boers beat our soldiers in the
Transvaal? Simply because they are physically a finer set of men
than our 5 ft. 3 in. army, rapidly degenerating for want of a
healthy agricultural population for recruiting purposes.


[76] See _Fortnightly Review_, November, 1883.

[77] Emerson--Traits, Chap. X.



I repeat the assertion that Ireland has been _ruined by Free Trade_.

Let us take a brief retrospect of Ireland before the introduction
of Free Trade.

At the earlier part of this century Ireland showed great
capabilities for improvement and national prosperity, and (in
spite of the somewhat selfish policy of England, which did not
sufficiently protect from herself the industries of Ireland) she
gave undoubted signs of a steady but rapid advance in prosperity.
Between the years 1825 and 1835, her exports and imports were more
than doubled.

Her population between 1821 and 1841 increased from 6,802,000 to
8,196,000. That this population was not too great for the land,
is proved by the fact that the whole resources of land were not
utilized; moreover, her population was far smaller per square mile
than the population of Holland or Belgium[78]--countries that enjoy
a high state of prosperity. In the years of 1826 and 1835, the
ratio of exports was as follows:--

                      1826.    1835.
  Oxen                 1·0  to  1·7
  Pigs                 1·0  ”   5·1
  Sheep                1·0  ”   2·0
  Butter               1·0  ”   1·7
  Wheat, oats, &c.     1·0  ”   1·9

The county cess rose between 1825 and 1838 in the ratio of 1·0 to

The transfers of invested funds from England to Ireland between
the years 1832 and 1841 exceeded those from Ireland, to England by

Deposits in savings banks, in 1831 and 1841, were relatively in the
proportion of 1·00 to 2·24. Crime and offences were diminishing.

The Weavers Commission in 1840 reported as follows:--

  “The comparative prosperity enjoyed by that part of Ireland where
  tranquillity ordinarily prevails.--such as the Counties Down,
  Antrim, and Derry,--testify the _capabilities of Ireland to work
  out her own regeneration_, when freed of the disturbing causes
  which have so long impeded her progress in civilization and

  “We find there a population hardy, healthy, and _employed_;
  capital fast flowing into this district; new sources of
  employment daily developing themselves; and people well disposed
  alike to Government and to the institutions of the country, and
  not distrustful and jealous of their superiors.”

In another place the Commission reports that the manufacturing
industries of Ireland were doing well, and that--

  “The woollen trade in Ireland is in a more sound and healthy
  condition than it has ever been, and its yearly advance may be
  confidently expected.”

There was an abundant supply of land for the increasing
population--1,200,000 acres of land being capable of cultivation,
besides upwards of 1,000,000 acres of bog land capable of
reclamation at a cost of little more than £1 per acre.

With such capabilities for advancement, nothing short of the most
extraordinary prosperity ought to have followed the general advance
of wealth in the civilised world, caused by the improvements in
arts, sciences, machinery, steam, and electricity. But what do we
find after thirty-six years of the curse of Free Trade? Land out
of cultivation; farms abandoned; manufacturing industries extinct;
population decreasing by more than three millions[79] in forty
years. Anarchy, murder, assassination rampant. No doubt the Famine
of 1847 and the subsequent emigration caused a large decrease in
the population of Ireland, but disciples of the Malthusian theory
would have told you that this was an element of prosperity. I
do not hold this view, but any protectionist country would have
rapidly recovered the blow, whilst Free Trade Ireland has since
steadily decreased in population, and is sinking lower and lower
into the Slough of Despond.

You argue that “_rack-renting is the cause_.” Nonsense! The average
rent of land in Ireland is only one-third of that which is paid
in prosperous protectionist countries;[80] any rent at all will
soon be a rack-rent. There is plenty of land in Ireland to be
had at nominal rents, land that has gone out of cultivation; but
Free Trade has taken away the possibility of its cultivation at
a profit, even if it were rent-free. You urge absenteeism as the
cause; it is the _effect_, not the cause. Moreover, only about
one-sixth of the land is owned by absentees.

Ireland is like a child crying out in the pangs of starvation,
and you give it opiates in the shape of mischievous enactments
(such as the Encumbered Estates Act and the Land Act) which
only augment the evil. To use the words of a writer of the day:
“_Your Statesmanship knows no policy but that of coercion to-day,
concession to-morrow_.” Ireland cries in the pangs of hunger, you
alternately beat and coax it.

You propose wholesale emigration, which may be compared to bleeding
the patient to death in order to cure it of starvation.

_Fools!!_ Can’t you see it is dying of hunger? All it wants is
food, work, and employment of its labour,--development of its

Take away your iniquitous policy of Free Trade,--abolish your
unjust enactments, your legalised instruments of confiscation
and plunder,--abandon your insane encouragement of internecine
war between capital and labour,--desist from your suicidal
encouragement to agitation and class antagonism,--encourage
capitalists,--protect industries,--employ labour,--and you will
soon find Ireland prosperous, contented, and loyal.

The cry for Home Rule is a protest against your misrule.

If you persist in your insane policy, Ireland must inevitably be
depopulated either by starvation or by wholesale emigration.[81]



  Population in Ireland in 1841  256  per square mile.
      ”            ”       1880  161   ”        ”
      ”         Belgium in  ”    480   ”        ”
      ”         Holland in  ”    312   ”        ”


  Population of Ireland in 1841   8,196,597
     ”          ”       ”  1881   5,174,836
                      Decrease    3,021,761


                                  _s._ _d._
  Average rent in Ireland         10  3 per acre.
     ”      ”     United Kingdom  19  9  ”    ”
     ”      ”     France          30  0  ”    ”
     ”      ”     Belgium         30  0  ”    ”
     ”      ”     Holland         30  0  ”    ”

[81] I cannot think that, in a country where four millions of acres
of valuable land are calling out pitifully for labour,--where
thousands of families of agricultural habits and of laborious
instincts are pleading for work and hungering for the tenancy
of deserted farms,--where labour is becoming scarce,--where the
population is deteriorating in quality by the continued exportation
of its strongest and most promising elements; that, in such a
country, and under such circumstances, Englishmen should resign
themselves to accept the continued banishment of the flower of the
population to a foreign land as the best and only means of meeting
this great national difficulty. (E. Hart, _Fortnightly Review_,



I have not the slightest doubt, that you will tell me that Ireland
is _not ruined_, that she was never before in so satisfactory
condition, and that you will bring forward ingeniously manipulated
statistics to prove your case.

You will tell me that the farms are larger,--that the farm stock is
richer,--that the peasant proprietors who were a failure (contrary
to Mr. Mill’s theories) are disappearing, and holdings are more
consolidated; but, my Fanatical Friend, if Ireland be not ruined,
what is the meaning of this frantic legislation, which many of its
supporters can only excuse on the ground of expediency, not equity?
How is it that, during the last thirty-two years, nearly 1,500,000
acres have gone out of tillage and 677,000 acres have gone out of
farming altogether?

How is it that, during the last nine years, there has been a
decrease of 1,000,000[82] live stock in Ireland, or nearly
one-ninth of the total?

How is it that, during one year, 114,327[83] acres of land in
Ireland have gone out of farming, and that with a decreasing
population, and that in spite of a better crop in 1880 than in 1879?

What is the meaning of the increase of 18,000 paupers and 115,000
emigrants in Ireland within the last three years?

Mill would have told you that the extinction of peasant proprietors
was a sign of retrogression; whether that be so or not, the
crushing out of weaker industries is decidedly not a sign of

But now tell me, what would you think of the prosperity of an
undertaking in which the original shareholders had been ruined and
sold their shares at a greatly depreciated price; and this second
set of shareholders again being ruined, again sold their shares
at a still further depreciated price, whilst the third set of
shareholders, obtaining their shares at this enormously depreciated
value, were able to make some little show of temporary prosperity.
Would any business-man call that a prosperous undertaking?

Now this is precisely the case with Ireland. Under the Encumbered
Estates Act, thousands were reduced to beggary,[84] and the new
landlords were able to make a temporary show of prosperity on the
ruin of their predecessors. When this was over, the still more
iniquitous Land Act of 1881 was passed to complete the ruin of

Mr. FitzGerald, of Dublin, states that there are more than 600
cases before the Court, and that the Judges have, from time
to time, adjourned the sales rather than consent to a “wanton
sacrifice of property, for which there are no bidders.”

Land, which one of the Judges declared to be worth thirty years’
purchase, was sold for eleven years’ purchase, and the unfortunate
owner was told “You must submit to the inevitable.”

But this is not all; the Land Act of 1880 has put a stop to all
possible improvement of land, for no reasonable man will expose
himself to the risk of losing his money on improvements, because,
notwithstanding any contract he may have made with his tenant,
the Land Commission may step in and legalize a breach of the

The typical landlords in Ireland, whom you hold up for public
execration, are not rich noblemen; it would be better for Ireland
if they were, but they are mostly men of the middle class,
struggling hard to escape the pauperism your iniquitous legislation
has brought upon them.

Mr. Gladstone on one occasion said:--

  “If Great Britain has become a place where the majority can
  oppress the minority in this way, it has come to be a place of
  which I should say that the sooner we get out of it the better.”

I repeat Mr. Gladstone’s sentiment with greater emphasis. If Mr.
Gladstone, with his majority, are allowed to oppress the minority
in this way, England is no longer the place for honest and loyal


[82] Total livestock in Ireland in 1874, 9,665,700; in 1883,

[83] Decrease of acreage farmed in 1882--

  Cereal crops             20,356 acres.
  Green crops              21,072   ”
  Flax                     33,643   ”
  Meadow and Clover        39,256   ”
        Total decrease    114,327 acres.

_Statesman’s Yearbook_, 1883.

[84] “It forced properties to a general auction, to be sold for
whatever they would bring, at a time when _legislation had imposed
new and unheard of burdens on landed property_. At a time of
unprecedented depression in the value of land, it called a general
auction of Irish estates. _English History records no more violent
interference with vested interests_ than the provision by which
this Statute forced the sale of a large portion of the landed
property at a time no prudent man would have set up an acre to be
sold by public competition.” (Tenant Right in Ireland, Butt, p.

“Estates that would have been well able to pay twice the
encumbrances laid upon them, if property was at all near its
ordinary level of value, now failed to realize enough to meet the
mortgages, and the proprietors were devoted to ruin.... The tenants
complain that they have gained little and lost much in the change
from the old masters to the new.” (‘New Ireland,’ A. M. Sullivan,
p. 88.)

At the sale of Lord Gort’s property thirteen years’ purchase was
the maximum; many lots were sold at five. Some portions of the
property since resold have fetched twenty-five and twenty-seven
years’ purchase.

Excessive rack-renting has been attributed to sales under this
iniquitous Encumbered Estates Act.

“In those sales persons buy small portions of property; of course
their interest is to get as large a return as they can, and they
think of nothing but an increase of rent.” (_Minutes of Evidence,
Lords Committee_, 1867.)

[85] See Speech of Mr. W. H. Smith, M.P., Nov. 19, 1883, commencing
“No country on the face of the earth has been so misunderstood and
misgoverned as Ireland, &c.”



M. Merimée writes:--

  “That which strikes me most in the English politics of our own
  times, is its _littleness_. Everything in England is done with
  a view to keep place” (conserver les portefeuilles), “and they
  commit all possible faults in order to keep twenty or thirty
  doubtful votes. They only disquiet themselves about the present,
  and think nothing of the future.”

Unfortunately the _littleness_ to which M. Merimée refers is not
always attended with _little results_.

In his anxiety to secure the Irish votes, Mr. Gladstone, by his
notorious Midlothian speeches, directly encouraged Irish demagogues
to agitate.

His advice was followed, and the result has been, as every one
expected, anarchy, murder, and assassination.[86]

Froude, the historian, writing in 1880, clearly predicated it:--

  “Mr. Gladstone will not willingly allow himself to be foiled.
  Yet, if he perseveres, he may bring on the struggle so long
  foretold between democracy and the rights of property, and in a
  great empire like ours, with such enormous interests at stake, it
  is not difficult to foresee on which side the victory will be.
  However this may be, the apple of discord has been flung into
  Ireland, there to spread its poison.”[87]

Let us charitably hope that the results of Mr. Gladstone’s advice
to _agitate_ were not anticipated by him; but a man who will
scatter sparks in a powder magazine cannot be held altogether
guiltless of the results of the explosion that may ensue, whether
he did it in ignorant folly or with culpable intent. Froude,
alluding to the Midlothian speeches, says:--“No statesman who
understood Ireland would ever have spoken of the ‘_Upas Tree_,’
unless he was prepared to sanction a revolution.” Mr. Gladstone
must, therefore, be held morally responsible for the blood
guiltiness--for the atrocious crimes and murders that have
disgraced Ireland; he has sown the wind, and he has reaped the
whirlwind; he has sown agitation, and reaped dynamite; he has not
only caused anarchy by his advice, but has encouraged it by the
weakness of his policy.[88]

An admirer of Mr. Gladstone writes in the _Westminster Review_,
describing Mr. Parnell and his associates as “_indispensable_
to the _success of Mr. Gladstone_!!” A fitting associate indeed
in a work of legalized plunder is Mr. Parnell, whom Mr. Forster
denounced in the House of Commons as the aider and abetter of
assassins and murderers; who dared not stand up and answer the
scathing denunciation, but slunk off to America like a whipped


[86] Lord Beaconsfield, with great foresight, vainly warned us of
the dangerous state of Ireland.

[87] _Nineteenth Century_, September, 1880.

[88] An admirer of Mr. Gladstone naively writes in the _Westminster
Review_: “During the six years of Tory repression and Tory refusal
of remedial measures, they were as mild as doves and comparatively
silent in Parliament, because they knew that the Tories would
strike with despotic severity and with exceptional laws; but from
the moment the magnanimous and friendly Gladstone came into power
... they excited the excitable Irish people to such a degree
against this friendly Government, that there were perpetrated a
long run of cruel and brutal outrages, &c.” (_Westminster Review_,
October, 1883.)



I have already shown the utter failure of the prophecies of your
Free Trade Prophets, now let me show the failure of the prophecies
of your Right Hon’ble Friends with regard to the Land Act of 1881,
and ask if such lamentable want of discrimination is fitting in one
pretending to be an administrator.

          _PROPHECY._                          _FULFILMENT._

  Mr. Gladstone, in 1880, scouted       Judge Flannagan, 1883:--
  the warning that there would            “The rents are so well secured
  be no bidders for land, after the     that the property ought to bring
  Land Act had been passed, and         thirty years’ purchase.”
  he fixed the value of land at
  twenty-seven years’ purchase.         The owner:--
                                          “Three years ago I could have
                                        sold the property for £1,775.”

                                        Judge Flannagan:--
                                          “You must submit to the
                                        inevitable. Is there no advance
                                        on eleven years’ purchase? This
                                        is the first estate I have had
                                        to sell on which the rents have
                                        been fixed by the Land Commission.
                                        I hoped to get twenty-five or
                                        thirty years’ purchase.” The land
                                        was sold for £875; according to
                                        Judge Flannagan’s valuation it
                                        was worth £2,386.
  Mr. Forster:--
    “My firm belief is, that no           In 1840, the rents of Mr.
  damage can be proved. On the          Usborn’s estate in Kerry
  other hand, if the landlord were      amounted to £2,376 _punctually
  compensated, you would compensate     paid_. The nearest railway
  him for conferring upon him           station was then 150 miles
  a benefit.”                           distant. There is now a railway
                                        station on the property, the
                                        landlord has spent money on its
                                        improvement, and the “fair” (?)
                                        rent now fixed by the Land
                                        Commission is £1,893.

                                          Irish newspapers teem with
  Lord Selborne, 1880:--                similar instances.
    “I deny that it will diminish,
  in any degree whatever, the rights    Judge Ormsby, 1883.
  of the landlord, or the value of
  the interest he possesses. I should     The Judge then asked if there
  never agree to such a proposal.”      was any advance on £2,200.
           Hansard, cclxiv. 252.        Offers were given until £2,450
                                        was reached. Mr. O’Meara, on
                                        behalf of the estate, objected to
                                        the sale. In Chancery proceedings
                                        connected with the estate it
                                        was mentioned that £4,500 had
                                        been offered for this lot, and

  Lord Carlingford, 1880:--             Judge Ormsby:--
    “I maintain that the provisions       “No one could foresee what
  of the Bill will cause the            would subsequently occur to
  landlord no money-loss whatever.”     depreciate the value of the
                                        property. _I cannot adjourn for
                                        a third time._”

  Mr. Gladstone, 1880:--                  Mr. Fitzgerald, of Dublin,
    “I certainly would be very slow     states, that the Judges have
  to deny that when confiscation        adjourned sales from time to time
  could be proved compensation          rather than consent to a wanton
  ought to follow.”                     sacrifice of property, and there
                                        are “600 estates in the Court
                                        waiting for sale, and for these
                                        hardly a bidder.”

Again I ask your verdict of guilty or not guilty? Are your Right
Hon’ble Rulers either incompetent or dishonest, to have made such
prophesies? It was not for want of warning that they have blundered
so hopelessly. The whole country rang with warnings[89] that the
measure was one of confiscation. Even Mr. Parnell predicted it,
telling his hearers that there would be no buyers, and the tenants
would have “an opportunity of purchasing their holdings under the
Bright Clause.”

The whole measure is one which commenced by breach of faith and
ended in confiscation.[90]

Mr. James Lowther, M.P., has been blamed for saying, that “loyal
subjects have been deliberately plundered by the Land Act.”

Let us see how the political economist defines “plunder:”

  “When a portion of wealth passes out of the hands of him who has
  acquired it without his consent and without compensation, whether
  by force or artifice, to him who has not created it, I say that
  property is violated, that _plunder is perpetrated_.... If the
  law itself performs the action it ought to repress, I say that
  _plunder is still perpetrated_, and even in a social point of
  view, _under aggravated circumstances_.”[91]

Now tell me, my Friend, how do the instances I have given above
differ from legalized PLUNDER as defined by Bastiat?

When Judge Flannagan says, “you must submit to the inevitable,” he
says, in fact, “_you must submit to be legally plundered_.”

When Judge Ormsby says “no one could foresee what would occur,” he
says in fact, “no one could foresee that the law would become an
instrument of _plunder_.”

No one could foresee it? Why, every one with common sense could
foresee it--every one but those wilfully blind. An admirer of Mr.
Gladstone naively writes in the _Westminster Review_ respecting the
Land Act:--

  “The people of the United States would not have tolerated such
  an interference with the laws of contract as it involved. No
  member of Congress could be found who would propose anything so
  _indefensible_ from the American point of view.”[92]

And he might have added _indefensible from every point of view_.

Froude, the historian, says:

  “It was England which introduced landowning and landlords into
  Ireland as an expedient for ruling it. If we choose now to remove
  the landlords or divide their property with their tenants, we
  must do it from our own resources; we have no right to make the
  landlords pay for the vagaries of our own idolatries.”[93]


[89] See Appendix No. II, in which is a resumé of the unheeded
warnings, drawn up in 1880, from the arguments brought against
the Bill. Any one not blinded by party prejudices, who read those
arguments, could not fail to see that the Bill must be a measure of
confiscation; and the subsequent action of the Bill shows that the
forebodings have been verified.

[90] Froude, the historian, writing in 1880, says:--“The policy has
been to make the property of the landlords worthless, and their
possession so dangerous, that they would find their estates not
worth keeping.”

[91] ‘Political Economy’--Bastiat.

[92] _Westminster Review_, October, 1883.

[93] _Nineteenth Century_, September, 1880.



Don’t you see, what a fallacy underlies your cry for cheap bread.
Does the consumer eat nothing but bread? Is everything to be
sacrificed to the consumer? Don’t you see that cheap bread is not
all that is necessary to prosperity.

Have not you seen that, during one year of greatest prosperity, the
price of wheat rose to 58_s._ 8_d._ per quarter, far higher than
it was in ten years, 1831-40, before the repeal of the Corn Laws,
whilst during the present time of depression it is down to 41_s._
5_d._, and that, in 1835, before the repeal of the Corn Laws, it
was down to 39_s._ 4_d._[94]

Cannot you see that cheap food is dear if the causes of its
cheapness deprive the labourer of that employment which enables him
to purchase it? Cannot you see that, although a healthy competition
stimulates production, a crushing competition in the end causes the
rise of prices by the lessening of production?

Do you not know that, in the opinion of many political economists,
dear food has been considered a cause of progress and prosperity
to a nation, by stimulating its inhabitants to exertion and
thrift,--notably so in the case of Holland?

Do you not know that, in many countries, where food is cheap, the
natives are degraded and wretched?

Cannot you see that the revenue of the country must be raised in
some manner, and if a tax be put on corn, it may be _taken off
some other article_ of consumption, almost equally important? and
therefore that, if the substitute be judiciously chosen, the tax on
it comes back to the consumer in some shape or other? Do you not
know that an import tax does not always fall on the consumer?[95]

Cannot you see that the want of a _light_ tax on corn (I do not
defend the Corn Laws as they existed, for they imposed an excessive
tax) has ruined agriculture, and you are preparing for yourself a
serious difficulty? In case of war with any combination of strong
maritime powers[96] wheat will rise to famine rates.

Don’t you see that if we transferred a small portion of the tax on
tea, sugar, coffee, &c., giving a preference to our dependencies
in the case of wheat, we should not only encourage our home,
but also our colonial, industries, which are trembling in the
balance between existence and nonexistence for want of some slight
fostering care.

You are like Nero fiddling while Rome was burning. You are fiddling
with your Free Trade, whilst England is going to ruin.

How can it be otherwise? Unlimited foreign competition must
necessarily end in disaster. Don’t you see that you are
handicapping your people in every way. They have higher wages than
other nations. You tax them more heavily, and you pass enactments
to prevent their working long hours. You thereby place them at a
disadvantage with people who are thrifty and industrious and are
not restricted in their hours of work. The same amount of money now
buys only half the labour it did forty years ago, this increases
the cost of production. Competition forces your manufacturers to
work only three or four days a week. This again increases it.
Increased leisure gives opportunities for intemperance. This again
has a deteriorating effect on produce. Your best hands emigrate to
prosperous countries not cursed with free trade,--another cause
of deterioration in quality of manufactures. The cheap freights,
almost nominal, place foreign productions in England at prices very
little beyond that at which they can be produced in their native

The money spent on foreign produce, instead of being spent in
England, is so much capital taken away from this country, helping
foreigners to compete with you. You have, in fact, in Free Trade,
the most ingeniously devised plan of impoverishing the country.
We had a good start, and other countries have been a long time
in catching us up, so that we did not feel their competition at
first, but they are now passing us hand over hand. English pluck,
English capital, and English credit have until now stood the strain
bravely, and the general advance of the wealth of the world has
blinded our eyes to our real danger, but the struggle cannot last
much longer. Capital is draining out to protectionist countries
in all directions, but the amount at stake in our manufactories
is so enormous that the struggle must be continued at any risk.
Credit alone sustains the fabric, and as soon as that is thoroughly
shaken, the collapse will be terrible and sudden. The working
classes, so long as they receive higher wages than before, are
unable to see the danger, but when the collapse comes--and come it
surely will before long--the working classes will be the first to
demand protection. There are symptoms of it already, for Sir Edward
Sullivan has stated:--

  “Already a number of operatives, far more than is necessary to
  turn a general election, have, through their delegates, given in
  their adherence to Fair Trade.”[97]


[94] Average price of corn for ten years ending 1845 = 57_s._ 10_d._

[95] Taxes on commodities do not always fall on consumers, but
sometimes on producers, and sometimes on the intermediate agent.
When a duty is imposed on a foreign commodity, which the importing
country has facilities for producing at home, in ordinary cases
the duty falls, in the first instance, on the consumer; but when
the duty has the effect of increasing competition, the tendency is
to a reduction in price, and therefore to the ultimate benefit of
the consumers. As the duty equalizes the conditions of production
between the local and foreign producers, it enables an entirely
new class of competitors to enter the field,--namely, the local
producers; and as the circle of competition becomes extended, the
rivalry among producers becomes keener, and prices become lower;
for competition inevitably leads to this when it is genuine and
not a monopoly in disguise, as is often the case. If the duty
fails to increase competition, it goes direct into the treasury as
revenue; if it fails partially as a revenue tax, owing to the local
producer contributing part of the supply, and paying no duty, the
competition between the local and foreign producers will cause a
reduction in price to the consumer, so that the falling off in the
revenue will in some measure be compensated for. If the revenue
from duty fail altogether, owing to the local article taking the
place of the imported and duty-paying article, a three-fold benefit
will be secured. The consumer will gain by a reduction in the price
of commodities; the public will gain by increased employment of
labour and capital; and, lastly, the State will gain by increased
revenue from the additional number of revenue-producing population,
supported by the new industry. (David Syme. _Fortnightly Review_,
April, 1873.)

So with the English shipping dues, which, as a matter of fact, are
not paid by the merchants or consumers, but by the shipowners.

In answer to a deputation which waited on the Chancellor of the
Exchequer recently, Mr. Lowe, _adopting the popular view on the
question_, attempted to explain that the shipowners did not pay
the dues out of their own pockets, that they only advanced the
money to the merchant, that the merchant again indemnified himself
by raising the price of goods to the consumer. But it appeared
that in this particular case _Mr. Lowe’s theory did not square
with the facts_, as the deputation, which consisted of the leading
shipowners in England, positively assured him that no such transfer
took place.

A tax may, under certain conditions, have the very opposite effect
from that which it usually has, for instead of increasing the price
of a commodity it may have the effect of diminishing it. (This has
been the case with cotton in America, as shewn by the evidence
given before the Select Committee of the House of Commons, in
1840.) (_Fortnightly Review_, 1873.)

[96] Competent authorities state, that the French navy alone will
be far more powerful than that of England, when the ships now in
course of construction have been completed, and the French navy can
be much more concentrated than ours, which must be distributed over
the whole world.

[97] _The Mail_, Decr. 19th, 1883.



What has become of the Pagoda tree? Is it a myth? Did it ever exist?

These are questions which you must have heard over and over again.

Have you ever tried to answer them? No!

Well! let me do so.

The Pagoda tree is _no myth_. It exists, but in a deplorably
dilapidated condition, and bears but little fruit. Your car of
Jugernāth has crushed its roots; your wheels have excoriated its
bark; you have torn down its branches to cremate your victims.
You have denied it water and manure. Its vitality has been sadly
lowered, but it is not _quite_ dead.

Only smash your detestable car of Jugernāth; send your false
prophets adrift; and devote a little attention to the cultivation
of the Pagoda tree; and it will flourish and bear more fruit than
it has ever borne before.

Let us drop metaphor a little.

India has every requisite for the production of unbounded
wealth--for the employment of untold capital. How is it then that,
with all the advantages it possesses, its industries languish and
struggle for bare existence, and in many cases die out altogether?
How is it that, with all its material advantages, it does not
enjoy unbounded prosperity? I have no doubt that you will point
to the increased exports and imports of India, and claim this as
an instance of unbounded prosperity due to Free Trade. I contend
that it is wholly due to extension in railways, improvement in
facilities of transport, and that with these improvements its
prosperity ought to have been enormous. If it be prosperous, why
do we have essays on the Poverty of India?[98] Why do Viceroys
dwell on the subject of its poverty?[99] Why do its industries
languish and die out?

India has untold wealth, and wonderful natural resources, whether
agricultural, mineral, or industrial, but they are to a great
extent dormant.

It has coal of an excellent character, and inexhaustible in
quantity; it has fine petroleum, large supplies of timber and
charcoal; it has iron, of a purity that would make an English
iron-master’s mouth water, spread wholesale all over the
country,--in most places to be had by light quarrying or collection
from the surface; it has chrome iron capable of making the
finest Damascus blades; manganiferous ore; splendid hematites in
profusion. It has gold, silver, antimony, tin, copper, plumbago,
lime, kaolin, gypsum, precious stones, asbestos. Soft wheat,
equal to the finest Australian; hard wheat, equal to the finest
kabanka.[100] It has food grains of every description: oilseeds,
tobacco, tea, coffee, cocoa, sugar, spices, lac, dyes, cotton,
jute, hemp, flax, coir, fibres of every description; in fact,
products too numerous to mention. Its inhabitants are frugal,
thrifty, industrious, capable of great physical exertion, docile,
easily taught, skilful in any work requiring delicate manipulation.
Labour is absurdly cheap; the soil for the most part wonderfully
productive, and capable of producing crop after crop without any
symptoms of exhaustion.

The present yield of wheat is about 26,500,000 quarters, or about
9,500,000 quarters in excess of the total imports of wheat into
England; and in the Punjab alone there is cultivable waste land
sufficient to produce 12,000,000 quarters, besides enormous parts
in Burmah and other parts of India, only requiring irrigation or
population to bring them under the plough.[101]

England imports annually commodities to the value of about
£148,500,000 under six heads alone,[102] a large portion of which
might be diverted to India by simply adopting a preferential
tariff slightly favorable to her dependencies. Take, for example,
wheat. If England be determined to persist in the endeavour to
ruin its agricultural industry for a political whim, a slight tax
on American and Russian wheat would suffice to turn the whole of
the wheat import trade to India and Australia. Such a tax would,
I believe, tend to lower, rather than raise, the price of wheat,
because India would steadily go in for the production of wheat,
if its calculations were not liable to be disturbed by a slight
fall in the price of wheat in America or Russia, which may throw
back a quantity of wheat on the hands of the Indian producers or

Again, India suffers from a tax which prevents the export of rice
except on a tariff which is sometimes as high as 14½ per cent. on
the value of the rice. This not only handicaps India in its exports
when compared with other countries, but it drives the natives to
grow less remunerative crops of oilseeds for export, and the result
of this is that, when famine arises, there is no surplus food which
might be retained from exports, and thus prevent the painful scenes
of starvation and distress that India has witnessed of late years.
To take off the tax would prevent depletion, for no foreign country
could compete with the demand which failure of crops in any part of
India would inevitably cause.

There is about £32,000,000 of English capital invested in Indian
manufacturing industries, of which £18,000,000, or more than
one-half, is invested in indigo, tea, coffee, jute, cotton, sugar,
coal and iron industries, and how are these thriving? Everywhere
throughout Bengal you see the ruins of English Indigo factories.

Coffee and tea are struggling hard for existence. Planters are
ruined, and their estates bought at depreciated rates in times
of depression. This enables the industries to survive with some
show of prosperity in good times. Agricultural industries, such as
coffee or tea, draw off surplus population, and employ them on land
that would otherwise be uncultivated. Coal is doing fairly, but
not nearly so well as it might do if our manufacturing industries

Cotton manufacture sprung up under a protective tariff, and
appeared to be prospering; but selfish Manchester called aloud
for the sacrifice of the industry. The tariff was removed, and
the industry is left to struggle for life, or perish, as it may.
Several capitalists who have embarked capital in cotton manufacture
on the faith of this tariff, have lost their money. Everywhere in
India, you may see evidences of native iron manufacture crushed out
by Free Trade, with nothing but slag heaps remaining to testify
to former prosperity. The splendid native iron being superseded
by cheap worthless iron of English manufacture. Many attempts
have been made by English capitalists to revive, or start, fresh
iron industries, but they have one and all been crushed out
for want of a little fostering protection. The latest attempt
nearly succeeded, but the modest request for a little help was
sternly refused:--What!!! Foster your industry? What sacrilege
to advocate the violation of every principle of Jugernāth!!!
and so the helpless babe was thrown under the relentless wheels
of Jugernāth. There was a crunch,--a faint moan from the ruined
shareholders,--and then all was over. Hurrah for Jugernāth!! Pereat


[98] “India is suffering seriously in several ways, and is sinking
in poverty.” (Poverty of India, by Dadabhai Naoreji.)

[99] “India is, on the whole, a very poor country: the mass of the
population enjoy only a scanty subsistence.” (Lord Lawrence, 1864.)

“I admit the comparative poverty of this country as compared with
many other countries of the same magnitude and importance, and I am
convinced of the impolicy and injustice of imposing burdens on this
people which may be called crushing or oppressive.” (Lord Mayo,
March, 1871.)

“It is not too much to say that the very existence of our rule in
India may be gravely imperilled unless the finances of the country
are placed in a more satisfactory position.” (Professor Fawcett,
Feb., 1879.)

“The first thing to do is to point out well that frequent
iteration, which alone impresses political masses, that India is
of no real use at all to us, that we should be _richer_, stronger,
better, happier without it, that we are cramped, distracted, and
_impoverished_ by it.” (Why keep India? by Grant Allen.)

[100] Dr. Watson’s Report.

[101] Government of India Records. Home Agriculture, and Revenue
Department, clx. p. 16.


  Cotton        37,300,000
  Silk           2,400,000
  Grain         66,800,000
  Flax           8,700,000
  Sugar         22,400,000
  Tea           10,900,000

[103] “With a more certain market for wheat, it would, in many
districts” (of Australia), “be profitable to bore for or to
store water and open railways or make rivers navigable, and thus
enormously increase the area of profitable wheat production.” (Duke
of Manchester, _Nineteenth Century_, 1881.)


      I know a maiden fair to see. Take care!
      Trust her not, she is fooling thee. Beware!!

Fair Trade! Reciprocity! Retaliation! Such are the cries that have
been raised by those who have felt the evils of Free Trade, without
fully realising the mischievous principle involved in it.

England, _with its dependencies, if properly governed_, might be
independent of foreign nations for its trade, commerce, markets and

“Retaliation” is an action at once undignified, inexpedient and

Are we to injure ourselves by the imposition of protective tariffs,
which are mischievous when unnecessary, and to attempt to injure
our neighbour, because he declines to imitate our folly in ruining
ourselves for an economic “ignis fatuus?”

The only true and statesmanlike policy of a great nation like
England is to pursue the even tenor of her way, governing the
empire with its dependencies _as one vast country_, the interests
of any one portion of which should be considered inseparable from
those of the whole;--protecting jealously every industry; seeking
every possible means of employing the labour and developing the
resources of _all_;--fostering every industry when it needs
fostering, and releasing the fostering care as soon as such care is
seen to be unnecessary; protecting only to the extent that may be
needed to prevent the decay of an existing industry, or to enable
a new industry to spring up; the primary aim being to utilise the
labour and produce of _the whole_, and to ensure a market for the
produce in our own great United Empire.

With our enormous territory, two-half times as great as that of
America,--with our enormous capabilities and varied productions, we
ought, if governed rightly, to be able to secure this; and holding
such an immense area of territory we should have no want of healthy
competition without _calling_ in foreign nations to compete with us.

We have within our grasp an imperial policy which would enable
us to outstrip America in a far greater degree than she is now
outstripping us.

By an _imperial_ policy I do not mean that narrow insular policy
which takes all it can from its dependencies, and gives nothing in
return;--I do not mean that selfish policy which drove America to
separate from us, and which is now disgusting our Colonies, and
forcing them to federation--the first step towards separation.

I mean a generous enlightened policy, which considers the welfare
and prosperity of each and every dependency identical with its own.

We want the federation of _union with England_, not the federation
of _separation from her_. But where are we to look for such a
policy, surely not to the littleness described by M. Merimée, which
“_commits all possible faults to keep a few doubtful votes_--the
policy that _disquiets itself about the present, and thinks nothing
of the future_,”--not to the politicians who put party before
nation,--not to the petty caucuses of those economic charlatans who
have impoverished the empire. We want an extension of franchise,
but not _mob franchise_ such as Chamberlain and his crew propose.
We want extension of franchise to India and the Colonies. We want,
in the House of Commons, representatives of the interests of
England’s dependencies. We want practical, far-seeing, intelligent
men--those who have seen the world in its different aspects, and
know, by experience, its wants; not mere “globe-trotters” and
travelling M.P.s, who return to their country more ignorant and
puffed up with their partial knowledge than when they started; but
representative men who have lived out of England long enough to
have shaken off the idea that their “Little Pedlington,”--be it
London or Liverpool, or Manchester or Birmingham,--is the pivot on
which the world revolves. We want in fact an Imperial Parliament,
not a wretched caucus of narrow-minded party politicians, whose
view is limited to the horizon of the coming election, and whose
whole business in life is to stump the country, making flatulent
speeches, with exuberant verbosity, to gaping admirers, and
pandering to the fleeting popularity of the mob.[104]


[104] The old colonial system is gone. But in place of it no clear
and reasoned system has been adopted. The wrong theory is given
up, but what is the right theory?--There is only one alternative.
If the colonies are not in the old phrase, possessions of England,
then they must be a part of England; and we must adopt this view in

We must cease altogether to say that England is an island off the
north western coast of Europe, that it has an area of 120,000
square miles and a population of thirty odd millions.

We must cease to think that emigrants when they go to the colonies,
leave England or are lost to England. We must cease to think that
the history of England is the history of the Parliament that sits
at Westminster, _and that the affairs that are not discussed there
cannot belong to English history_.

When we have accustomed ourselves to contemplate the whole Empire
together, and call it all England, we shall see that here too is a
United States.

Here too is a great, homogeneous people, one in blood, language,
religion and laws, but disposed over a boundless space. We shall
see that though it is held together by strong moral ties, it has
little that can be called a constitution; no system that seems
capable of resisting any severe shock. But if we are disposed
to doubt whether any system can be devised capable of holding
together communities so distant from each other, then is the time
to recollect the history of the United States of America. For they
have such a system. They have solved this problem. They have shown
that in the present age of the world political unions may exist on
a vaster scale than was possible in former times.

No doubt our problem has difficulties of its own, immense
difficulties. But the _greatest of these difficulties is one which
we make ourselves_.

It is the false preconception which we bring to the question,
that the problem is insoluble, that no such thing ever was done
or ever will be done; it is our misinterpretation of the American
Revolution. (Expansion of England, by J. R. Seely, M.A., p. 158.)




_Mr. Blood’s Letter to Mr. Bright._


DEAR SIR,--The Birmingham newspapers have recently published a
letter written to you by Mr. W. G. Lord, of Bradford, on the
subject of Free Trade. The letter is somewhat brief, and it struck
me that, though you might not feel called upon to enter into
correspondence on such subjects with persons who are not your
constituents, possibly you might feel more disposed to discuss the
question with an Elector of Birmingham.

You say, to imagine that the bad trade from which Bradford is
suffering is due to hostile tariffs, is absurd; and then, as
though in your opinion it was an unanswerable objection to those
who contend that hostile tariffs have a great deal to do with it,
you add, “_because you have had great prosperity with the same
tariffs_.” Now, I venture to submit that this is no argument at
all,--that it is merely a statement based upon false conclusions.
You are, or at least you ought to be, aware, that the circumstances
under which the trade of this country is carried on have entirely
changed during recent years. At the period when, as you say, we
“enjoyed great prosperity with the same tariffs,” the foreign
nations, which now exclude our manufactures from their markets,
were not sufficiently advanced to do without our assistance.
Whether they liked it or not, they were compelled to buy of us
largely, and, therefore, comparatively speaking, their tariffs
were harmless. Now they can not only dispense with the bulk of
our manufactured goods, but, in many branches of industry, can
also compete with our manufacturers in our own markets. Hence,
hostile tariffs, which were once of little moment, have become
serious, and if you look at the question from this point of view,
you will probably see that absurdity is not with those who cry out
against the hardships of foreign tariffs, but with those who, like
yourself, shut their eyes to the changes going on around them,
and blindly adhere to an old system after it has become obsolete
and absolutely mischievous. You cannot be unaware that, since
the great Exhibition of 1851, the commercial relations of this
country with other nations of the world have undergone an entire
change for the worse. Then it did seem as though England was to
become the “workshop of the world,” as the apostles of Free Trade
predicted she would be. But at that Exhibition the manufacturers
of Europe and America were invited to inspect our machinery, were
shown all the intricacies of its mechanism, and made familiar
with the secrets of our manufactures. Among our visitors at that
period were experts, whose eyes were open wherever they went, and
who have since made good use of the information obtained. With
equal good nature--or shall I call it folly--we have sent our
machinery abroad, and skilled workmen to work it, without any
regard to consequences, and hence foreigners, who but for the
open-hearted candid nature of John Bull, would still have been in
the background, are now fully ahead of us in a great many branches
of manufacturing and commercial enterprise. Unprejudiced persons
cannot fail to see that arguments based on a state of things which
existed thirty or forty years ago, have no force, now that state of
things has passed away; and your contention that hostile tariffs
have nothing to do with our commercial depression, because under
the same tariffs we enjoyed prosperity years ago, falls to the
ground. On the contrary, unless our prosperity is to still further
decline, it becomes a matter of vital necessity that in those
manufactures in which England can still keep the lead, she shall
have the same privileges as she ungrudgingly gives to others; or
that we should be protected in our markets from those who refuse us
admission to theirs.

You go on to say “to suppose your case will be improved by refusing
to buy what you want from foreigners, to punish them for not buying
freely from you, is an idea and scheme only worthy of the inmates
of a lunatic asylum.” But, if you seriously believe this statement,
you must believe also that the astute, far-seeing citizen of the
United States,--the plodding, theorizing German,--the thrifty and
ingenious Frenchman,--and the hard-headed, practical Russian,--the
intelligent Italian,--and even the hard-working Swede and
Norwegian, are all lunatics. Are you prepared, seriously, to assert
this as your belief? The fact is, you adopt an ingenious way of
misstating a principle. No one thinks of refusing to buy from the
foreigner when it is to our interest to do so. In our commercial
relations one with another, it is usual for every man to buy from
one who will probably become a return purchaser, or to put it in
plainer language, each man supports the person who will be most
likely to support him in return. But in buying from the foreigner,
we are buying from the man who will never buy from us if he can
possibly help it, and leaving those who would be our customers in
return to starve.

Again, you say, that “to return to Protection under the name of
Reciprocity, is to confess to the Protectionists abroad that we
have been wrong, and that they are right.” But the fact is, no such
confession is necessary. The Protectionist abroad knows _too well_
that he is right, without any confession on our part. The vast
progress of the United States, the immense strides they have made
in commerce, manufactures, and wealth--strides so vast that our own
progress, even at its greatest, is insignificant--will convince
every intelligent American that the principle of protection to
native industry is, under many circumstances, wholesome and
necessary. The same may be said of France, which has made even
greater progress in some particulars than ourselves; and of
Russia, which, under protection, seems likely to come to the fore.

Again, you ask, “Who dares to propose another _sliding scale or
fixed duty on the import of foreign corn_?” Are you not aware that
even amongst your own constituents there is a large party who have
the courage to do this? You take it for granted that good seasons
would enable agriculturists to carry on their avocation with
profit. But many persons who have the best practical acquaintance
with the subject think differently. If, in the result, they should
prove to be right, are you prepared to see the bulk of the land of
the country go out of cultivation rather than impose a duty on the
import of foreign corn? With agriculture ruined, and its capital
absolutely gone, what would become of our home trade? But the fact
is, we don’t want any foreign corn at all. Our Colonists, who could
be induced to trade with us on reciprocal terms, could supply us
with all the corn we want, even though not one single quarter of
foreign grain found a place in our markets. The result might be a
very trivial rise in the price of bread-stuffs for a few years, but
I venture to submit that the disadvantage of this rise would be
more than counterbalanced by larger revenues from imports, which
would result in reduced direct taxation, not only to the farmer,
but to all classes, and by the increased occupation for the artisan
and labourer, which would result from the extension of our Colonial
markets, and from keeping our home trade to ourselves.

As this is a question which, at the present time, is agitating the
public mind, and every one is looking for some practical solution
of existing difficulties, I shall be glad to have your opinion on
the views expressed in this letter. Your previous communication has
been widely circulated through the Press, and, therefore, I purpose
in due course, to publish this letter also, together with any reply
with which you may favour me.

  Yours faithfully,

_Mr. Bright’s Reply._


SIR,--Mr. Bright desires me to acknowledge the receipt of your
letter of the 27th instant.

In reply, Mr. Bright directs me to say that he has neither time nor
inclination to enter into a correspondence with a gentleman who
believes that we need no supplies of corn from foreign countries,
and who would impose duties on its importation. He fears that no
facts and no arguments can be placed before such a person with any

  I am, sir, Your obedient servant,

  _32, Charlotte Street,_

_Mr. Blood’s Reply to Mr. Bright._


SIR,--I am in receipt of your reply to my previous communication on
the Subject of Free Imports. You decline to discuss the question,
and in adopting this course, possibly you act wisely. There is so
very little to be said from your point of view in favour of our
existing system, that I can understand your reluctance to state
your case fully. Whether dignified silence would not have been
preferable to the uncourteous and dogmatic assertions in which you
take refuge, is another matter. You seem surprised that any one
should believe in the possibility of our doing without “Foreign”
wheat, but is your surprise real or feigned? Do you wish to mislead
the public by inducing it to attach a wrong meaning to the word
“foreign?” You know the meaning I attach to it, and you know
further that my statement was absolutely true, and that it has
often been made in public by persons who have a greater claim to a
hearing on this subject than yourself.

I stated, that our Colonies and Dependencies could supply us with
all the wheat we require, and that we could do without any foreign
supply. Do you doubt this statement? If so, the doubt is scarcely
creditable to your intelligence, or to your industry in making
yourself acquainted with the facts. You may fix yourself on the
horns of which ever dilemma you please, but the public will hold
you guilty of a want of information, which is unpardonable, or
else of a desire to mislead. Happily, our Colonies are not foreign
powers, however much the policy of the government of which you are
a member has recently tended to drive them to become such. Hence
my statement holds good. I can only imagine that you presumed
upon the scanty information of many of your constituents as to
the difference in the meaning of the two words “Foreign” and
“Colonial,” and trusted to throw dust in their eyes by this means.
If your opinions require to be supported in this dishonourable
manner, I can only say that they are manifestly unsound, and the
sooner they are renounced the better for your political reputation.
The position you hold in Her Majesty’s Government, although a
lucrative one, is generally regarded as a sinecure, and, therefore,
I fail to see how you can plead want of time as an excuse for
writing a discourteous and contemptuous letter to one of your
constituents, who wrote you in perfect good faith. But I shall
leave it to public opinion to judge as to whether such conduct is
worthy of the prefix of “Right Honourable” which is now generally
attached to your name.

It is scarcely necessary to add that no one proposes to tax the
imports of Colonial wheat to the same extent as that of foreign
growth, and for this reason; the Colonists are willing to adopt a
differential duty,--that is, to trade with us on something like
reciprocal terms. The foreigner will take no steps towards meeting
us fairly; hence the difference between the two cases is apparent
at once. Supposing a duty of 20 per cent. were imposed on Foreign,
and 10 per cent. on Colonial, wheat, it is well known that this
would not increase the price of the four-pound loaf more than a
half-penny. To an average working man’s family this would not
enhance the cost of living more than fourpence a week, and as it
can easily be shown that increased employment for labour would
follow on the judicious adoption of import duties, the working
classes would be large gainers, especially as the revenue derived
from these duties would enable us to reduce our other taxation.

In a former letter to me you stated that the price of the loaf
would be doubled if we had not Free Trade in corn. It would be
interesting to know how you arrived at this conclusion. I fear
your usual method of assertion, without any endeavour to arrive at
the truth, was at the bottom of it. The statement was altogether
without foundation, although, no doubt, many people who have no
time to think out the matter for themselves were influenced by it.
You are now legislating for the people of Ireland, but has it never
struck you that the immense flood of importations from America,
which has been poured upon Ireland, has been the cause of much
of the suffering which that country has endured? It has rendered
agriculture unprofitable both in Ireland and in England, and
therefore labourers have been thrown out of work, while farmers,
especially the smaller ones, have been steadily impoverished. The
natural result of poverty is sedition. The agricultural classes
having no money to spend, all classes have suffered. Just now
there is a cry for fostering manufactures in Ireland, but how many
manufactures can you foster in which foreign competitors cannot
undersell you in the streets of Dublin? If matters go on, they may
perhaps eventually end in an attempted revolution, and if not put
down with the strong arm of force, there will be a separation. How
long in that case would Ireland, under the rule of her own people,
allow America to drain away her wealth and prosperity? The foreign
competition, against which agriculturists have to contend, will
shortly be intensified by increased importations of beef and mutton
from Queensland and other parts of Australia, and the struggle in
England will become keener, while Ireland will find it impossible
to continue any of the small exports of cattle and food she now
sends us, except at still more unprofitable prices.

This letter is somewhat lengthy, but the abrupt and discourteous
nature of your communication has led me to write more fully than I
should otherwise have done.

  Yours faithfully,


P. S.--As this is solely a public matter, I shall send my letter to
the Press, and shall be glad to take the same course with any reply
you may favour me.



The three F’s: Fixity of Tenure, Fair Rent, Freedom of Sale.

  _Contemporary Review_, February, 1881.

The grounds on which the principle of the three F’s were opposed in

  _The Act of 1870 was to be final, and it is a breach of faith to
  reopen the land question._

  1. The Land Act of 1870 was an encroachment on the rights of
  landlords, but was allowed to pass on the understanding that it
  would be final.

  2. To reopen the question with _further_ confiscation is a gross
  breach of faith.

  3. More especially it is a breach of faith with those landowners
  who have, on the invitation of Government, purchased land in the
  “Encumbered Estates Court.” The indefeasible title granted to
  them by the Court (and for which they paid large sums) would be
  turned into a mere claim to a precarious rent charge.

  _The three F’s are an infringement of the rights of the landlord.
  He must be compensated for the material, moral, and sentimental
  wrong which he will suffer._

  4. “Tenant right” is landlord wrong.

  5. Land is the absolute undoubted property of the landlord,
  and he has a right to do that which he wills with his own. Any
  curtailment of his power is an injustice, and affects the very
  principle of property.

  6. If the State interferes with his freedom of action, and causes
  him any material, moral, or sentimental injury, it must properly
  compensate him.

  7. To take away the enjoyment, control, and management of his
  land is a very tangible infringement of rights, and one for which
  compensation must be given.

  8. To fix a rent is to deprive the landlord of the advantages of
  competition, and affects him financially.

  9. It would reduce him to the position of a mere mortgagee, but
  without the security and certainty of payment.

  10. To deprive him of his power of eviction, is to take away a
  privilege, a necessity.

  11. The tenant’s claim to a “right” in the soil is not founded on
  any tangible or real historical basis.

  _The abuse of eviction or raisings of rent is rare; the use is
  necessary and justifiable._

  12. There is little or no abuse of the power of arbitrary
  eviction; and even when rent is not paid, the landlords, as a
  class, are lenient. It is occasionally necessary for the good of
  the estate to evict (compensation for “disturbance” being paid)
  in order to consolidate holdings.

  13. Eviction is seldom enforced, except in the case of bad and
  wasteful tenants; good and improving tenants are never evicted.
  Therefore, any diminution in the power of eviction would be
  disastrous to the prosperity of the country by retaining on the
  land worthless tenants.

  14. Most landlords do properly compensate their tenants for any
  improvements effected by them.

  15. They are justified in raising the rents when the land
  produces greater increase.

  16. Even if a few bad landlords injure their tenants, it is
  unfair to visit on the heads of the majority the sins of the few
  by bringing them all under the same confiscating law.

  17. The existing law provides ample safeguards against arbitrary
  and unjust eviction; the landlord’s power is sufficiently

  _The relations of landlord and tenant are those of contract; the
  State must not interfere in freedom of contract._

  18. Any State interference in contract between man and man
  is very inexpedient and demoralizing, more especially in
  interference in the matter of price and value.

  19. The relations between landlord and tenant are merely those of

  20. The movement of progressive societies is from status to
  contract, and not the reverse.

  21. It is illogical and unfair of the tenant to demand freedom of
  contract in the sale of tenant-right, and ask for curtailment of
  contract in his dealings with the landlord.

  _The objections to a fixed rent; and the difficulties in the way
  of fixing a fair rent._

  22. It would be impossible to fix a rent which would content both

  23. As tenants vary in ability, character, and energy, it would
  be impossible to legislate so that the rent the tenant had to pay
  would be that which he is able to pay.

  24. A fixed rent, even if fair at first, would soon weigh heavily
  on one or other of the parties.

  25. All future enhancements of rent, based on whatever ground,
  would be strenuously resisted.

  26. While the landlord would be bound to accept the valuation,
  the tenant could refuse to pay it and quit his holding.

  27. If the Government, by valuation or arbitration, were to fix
  the rent, the landlord would consider that he had been guaranteed
  his rent by the State; while the tenant (in bad seasons) would
  look to the State to assist him to pay it.

  28. If fixity of tenure were conceded, the next demand would be
  for the abolition of the rent charge, more especially on the
  ground of increased absenteeism, which would itself have been
  encouraged by the change.

  29. At all events, in bad seasons, a demand would be made for
  abatement of rent, on the ground that otherwise the value of the
  tenant-right would be injuriously affected.

  30. The power conceded to the landlord of selling the
  “tenant-right” on breach of contract, would be rendered nugatory
  by the combination of tenants to prevent a purchase; and so the
  landlord would be deprived of all means of obtaining his rent, or
  of preventing subletting or subdivision.

  31. It is illogical and unjust that, in the matter of rent, the
  landlord should be deprived of the benefits of competition, while
  in the sale of tenant-right competition should be allowed.

  32. The landlords, bound by a hard-and-fast rule, would expect to
  receive their full fixed rents, and would not be willing or able,
  as they are now, to allow indulgences in time or remission in bad

  33. The pressure of violence would be brought to bear on the
  valuators to induce them to undervalue the rents.

  _The right of free sale of “tenant-right” would amount to
  confiscation of part of the landlord’s property. It would benefit
  only existing tenants, and would cripple all future tenants._

  34. As the existing tenants would, on the day of the passing of
  the law, be able to sell their tenant-right for a large sum,
  _having done nothing_ to earn it, the amount at which it can be
  valued, is so much subtracted from the rightful gains of the

  35. As tenants had not this scheme in view when they bargained
  for their farms, its adoption would be conceding them a valuable
  privilege entirely at the expense of the landlords.

  36. Only the existing tenants would benefit pecuniarily from the
  change; all future in-coming tenants would be burdened by the
  amount they would have to pay for the “tenant-right,” and the
  interest on this payment in addition to the “fair” rent, would
  constitute a sum exceeding any rack-rent.

  37. The unhealthy “earth-hunger,” which exists in Ireland, would
  force up the price of tenant-right far above the real value,
  and thus entrench on the security of the landlord for his rent,
  whilst reckless tenants would outbid the prudent.

  38. The payment for tenant-right would cripple the in-coming
  tenant just at the moment when he most required capital to
  cultivate the land--to the injury of production, while it would
  leave him no margin to fall back upon in bad times.

  39. The tenants who would benefit most would be those who have
  had indulgent landlords. When rents are low “tenant-right” would
  be more valuable than when they are high.

  40. The tenants can obtain security of tenure by demanding and
  accepting leases; many landlords are willing to grant long leases
  at fixed rents on fair terms.

  41. Therefore, at the most the law should force the landlords to
  grant “security leases,” and leave them to obtain (by means of a
  fine) any extra value which security will fetch.

  42. Any further privileges obtained by the tenant would only be
  used as additional facilities for borrowing money at ruinous

  43. The Ulster tenants have obtained their tenant-right by
  purchase, or by a _quid pro quo_; the concession of free sale
  would gratuitously endow existing tenants with a valuable
  property, which they have neither earned, bought, nor inherited.

  44. Many landlords have bought up the tenant-right on their
  farms; it is manifestly unfair to reimpose it without

  _The landlords have largely invested capital in the soil; the
  three F’s would prevent them in future from making improvements;
  and the tenants’ power to do so would also be diminished._

  45. The landlords, as a class, have invested capital very largely
  in the improvement of the soil; the improvements have been by no
  means entirely effected by the tenant.

  46. It would no longer be to the interest of the landlord to
  invest his capital in the soil; an effectual obstacle would have
  been placed in the way of his doing so.

  47. Therefore, those improvements,--drainage, straightening
  fields and boundaries, &c., which affect many holdings, and can
  only be done by the landlord, would no longer be executed.

  48. As he will have to pay for the “tenant-right,” the in-coming
  tenant will have less capital to invest in the soil than at
  present, while the sum he has paid will be taken out of the land
  for ever; thus, on both hands, the capital available for these
  purposes would be diminished, and production would suffer.

  _Further evils which would result from the adoption of the three

  49. By making the landlord merely a rent-charger, and depriving
  him of all power or interest in his land, absenteeism and
  non-residence, with their attendant evils, would be enormously

  50. The proposed scheme would perpetuate the present system
  of landlord and tenant, while the desirable aim should be to
  increase the number of proprietors.

  51. The tenant, possessing security of tenure, would be less
  desirous of purchasing land, while sale, except to the tenant,
  would be greatly hindered.

  52. It would perpetuate the absurd distribution of land at
  present existing in many parts of Ireland.

  53. While it would confirm not only good and bad tenants in their
  tenure of land and affect equally good and bad landlords,

  54. It would increase the antagonism between the landlord and the

  55. It would be practically impossible to prevent subdivision and
  subletting with their manifold attendant evils.

  56. The Irish people are so miserably lazy, thriftless, and
  short-sighted, that no reform of the land-law would benefit them.

  57. _Nothing short of separation from England will satisfy the
  Irish_; land-reforms are useless.

  58. Under small proprietors or semi-proprietors, the lot of
  labourers would be harder than ever.

  59. The various parts of Ireland differ so much in every way that
  it would be inexpedient and impossible to apply one scheme to the
  whole; if it answered in one part it would necessarily fail in

  60. If the principle of the three F’s were once conceded, it
  would form a precedent for land-legislation in England; and then
  for legislation directed against all forms of property.

  61. It is the first step towards democratic and socialistic

  62. The concession is the more dangerous, inasmuch as it is only
  conceded to clamour and lawlessness.



  Obvious typographical errors and punctuation errors have been
  corrected after careful comparison with other occurrences within
  the text and consultation of external sources.

  Except for those changes noted below, all misspellings in the text,
  and inconsistent or archaic usage, have been retained. For example,
  livestock, live stock; highroad, high road; Free Trader, Free-Trader;
  descanting; squib; cess; uncourteous.

  Pg 26, ‘Liberal politicans’ replaced by ‘Liberal politicians’.
  Pg 41, ‘nearly 3,000,000’ replaced by ‘nearly 300,000’.
  Pg 47, ‘M. DeLavergne’ replaced by ‘M. De Lavergne’.
  Pg 58, ‘without his cousent’ replaced by ‘without his consent’.
  Pg 74, ‘cause the landord’ replaced by ‘cause the landlord’.
  Pg 84, ‘thoughout Bengal’ replaced by ‘throughout Bengal’.
  Pg 87, ‘posperity of each’ replaced by ‘prosperity of each’.
  Pg 92, ‘for the artizan’ replaced by ‘for the artisan’.

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