Protection Versus Free Trade.
Speech on the Necessity of Promoting, Encouraging and Protecting Native Industries..
Dunedin: Woodifield, Jolly & Co., "Morning Herald" Jobbing Printers. Octagon 1880.
Protection V. Free Trade.
As the above subject has of late excited so much attention, and as Free Trade advocacy has preponderated, we give the following on the other side. It is a speech by David Buchanan, Esq., M.P., for Sydney, and was recently delivered at the Victoria Theatre there, under the auspices of the League for the Encouragement of Colonial Industries:—
The position and prospects of our mechanics have always appeared to me in the highest degree unsatisfactory; large bodies of them continually idle and unable, however willing, to find any regular or continuous occupation. Everything having the semblance of a local industry either struggling for bare existence, or finding itself suddenly drowned and extinguished by a flood of foreign importations. All workers in wood, iron, leather, cloth, and many other materials are thrust aside and condemned to enforced idleness, while the corresponding workmen of other countries are kept busy and comfortable with our money. Is there a man amongst us so blind as not to see, that if we import all we want in manufactured iron, wood, leather, and cloth goods, the workers in those materials here must, of necessity, remain idle; while all the money which we pay for these foreign importations goes mainly as wages to the foreign workmen, while our own workmen stand at the street corners, in pitiable idleness, watching the drayloads of foreign goods rolling past them, and the manufacture of which goods here should have given them full and constant employment, good wages, and all the comfortable happy home accompaniments of a state of things so beneficent and so just. I say again, emphatically and truthfully, that if the people of New South Wales resolve to employ foreign workmen for all they want in the shape of machinery, furniture, clothing, boots and shoes, and many other articles, let them not be the least surprised if they find large bodies of their own mechanics condemned to lives of idleness and poverty. Let them not be the least surprised if they find the country destitute of manufacturing industries, and the people unemployed, hopeless and despairing. Let them express no wonder if they see our male and female youth growing up with no means of employment open to them, and their prospects for the future dark and lowering. How is it possible for these to be otherwise when a fiscal system is in force, by which our whole manufacturing and mechanical community is sup-planted by the mechanical and manufacturing community of some other country. And this state of things is justified by Freetraders, forsooth, by the shallow pretext that we can only be producers of the raw material. If there is any truth in this most iniquitous assertion, we want no mechanics here, we want no skilled workmen of any kind. Slaves from the South Sea Islands will do our turn. As far as I can gather, all that the Freetraders have to say in justification of the state of things here described is a few phrases such as "Buy in the cheapest market and sell in the dearest;" "Free Trade benefits the many, Protection the few." But I put it to the common sense of this meeting, even supposing that you can buy the imported article a little cheaper than if it were manufactured here, is this cheapness in any way to be looked upon as a compensation for your armies of idle mechanics, and the dosolation of your industrial population? But we deny the alleged cheapness under Free Trade. We say that by a wise system of encouragement to all our native industries, the competition amongst ourselves would keep prices fair and equitable. In fact, in the neighbouring protected colony of Victoria almost every article can be bought their cheaper than in Free Trade New South Wales. The four-pound loaf is twopence cheaper in Melbourne as compared with Sydney, although there is a duty on imported wheat and flour in the neighbouring Colony, vastly to the advantage of the Victorian farmers, and essentially to the advantage of the people of Victoria, as compared with their Free Trade brethren of New South Wales. It makes me melancholy to think of the narrow-minded and narrower-hearted argument used by Freetraders, that Protection can only benefit a few manufacturers. Protection calls into existence every industry that the country is capable of. It originates manufacturing enterprises, employing thousands and thousands of our men, women, and children. It keeps our mechanics engaged doing all that the surrounding population wants done. It circulates all the money that went to pay for foreign imports amongst ourselves. Who, therefore, can truthfully say that it is a system that benefits the few at the expense of the many? If Protection enables a manufacturer to rise amongst us who employs 5000 hands, and pays them wages which keeps themselves, their families, and their homes in every comfort, how gross and ignorant a thing it is to say, as Freetraders say, that Protection only benefits the few manufacturers. Just look for a moment at this. Suppose we had no manufactured furniture imported, no boots and shoes imported, no ready-made clothing imported, no cloth imported, no saddlery imported, no machinery imported, and that the manufacture of all of these commodities, including coach-building and many other industrial articles, afforded full and constant employment for every worker in the community, what a revolution would be created in our whole industrial page 3 system! What an absorption of all idle hands! What an infusion of fresh energy and strength into every conceivable manufacturing enterprise! What an accumulation of wealth among ourselves; and what a startling metamorphosis would be effected in the whole interests, prospects, advantages, and rights of labour! I assert that one year's experience of a system which brought about this state of things—and I further assert that a judicious encouragement to our native industries would go far to bring it about—would so change the industrial aspect of this country, would so enhance its prosperity, progress, and wealth, would so invigorate and stimulate labouring enterprise at its very heart and centre, that the best and oldest friend of the country would not know it after one short year's experience of a system so sound, wise, and beneficent. Mr Justice Byles, in his remarkable and most able work on the "Sophisms of Free Trade," says—and to make it more clear to you I will substitute the word "Australian" for "British"—Mr Justice Byles speaks thus: "The entire price, or gross value, of every home-made article constitutes net gain, net revenue, net income to Australian subjects. Not a portion of the value, but the whole value, is resolvable into net gain, income, or revenue, maintaining Australian families, and creating or sustaining Australian markets. Purchase Australian articles with Australian articles and you create two such aggregate values and two such markets for Australian industry. Whereas, on the contrary, the entire net value of every foreign article imported is net gain or income to the foreigner, and creates and sustains foreign markets. Purchase foreign articles with Australian articles, and you then create only one value for your own benefit, instead of creating two, and only one market for Australian industry instead of two. You lose by this policy the power of spending the entire value on one side, which you might have had as well as on the other, and you lose a market for Australian industry to the full extent of that expenditure. It is not a small difference in price that can compensate the nation for the loss. For example, suppose New South Wales can produce an article, say an engine, for £100, and can import it for £99. By importing it, instead of producing it, she gains £1; but though she pays for it with her own manufactures, she loses (not indeed by the exchange itself, but by not producing at both ends of the exchange) £100 of wealth which she might have had to spend by creating the value at home; that is to say, on the balance she loses £99, which she might have had in addition to the £100 by producing both commodities at home. You will remember that when this was quoted at the great Free Trade v. Protection controversy, at the Masonic Hall, Mr Reid shrieked out, in tones that resembled the crowing of a spasmodic cock, "But what becomes of the engine?" evidently not seeing that under Free Trade whatever paid for the engine went away from us; while, under Protection, both the engine and what purchased it remained as wealth among ourselves. I do not think that this reasoning of Mr Justice Byles can by any possibility be refuted. Let us take another illustration from the same high authority, merely using Australian names, for the sake of a better understanding of the matter. Suppose we had manufactories in this country of any importance—which I regret to say we have not, and never will have under a system of Free Trade—but suppose the day came when this state of things was altered, and that under a Protective system manufactories sprung up in every district—well, then suppose woollen stockings to the value of £500,000 a year are made at Bathurst, and exchanged annually for gloves to the value of £500,000 a year made in Maitland—the landlords and tradesmen and workmen of Bathurst and Maitland enjoy together an annual net income of £1,000,000 sterling from this source. Suppose now that from some real or supposed advantage in price or quality the Bathurst people, instead of exchanging their stockings for gloves from Maitland, exchange them for gloves from some foreign country, say from Calais, thus depriving the Maitland people of their Bathurst market—what is the consequence? It is this, that Maitland loses what Calais gets; that Australia loses and France gains half a million a-year by the new locality of the glove manufacture—by its transference from Australia to France. Australians have half a million a-year less to spend, Frenchmen have half a million a-year more to spend. Australian markets, of which Maitland used to be one, fall off to the extent of half a million a-year; French markets, of which Calais is one, are augmented by half a million a-year. The Australian glove manufacture, with its half-million of national net income, is gone from Australia, where it used to maintain Australians and Australian markets, to France, where it now maintains Frenchmen and French markets. Nor does the mischief end here. On the Maitland glove-makers were dependent bakers, millers, grocers, butchers, tailors, shoemakers, &c., with their servants and families. The migration of the glove trade from Maitland to Calais ruins all; they are destroyed like a hive of bees. Let me illustrate this subject a little farther, by recording a little bit of trade history, which will enable you to see clearly what a disaster Free Trade I is to a young struggling country like this. When last in England I met a gentleman who was carrying en business as a merchant in a small seaport town. He told me the following story:—He said he had orders from Melbourne—at this time Vic- page 4 toria was under Free Trade principles—for certain machinery to be manufactured at a certain fixed price. He asked some engineers if they could execute the order. They declined to do so at the price. He then had recourse to a clever blacksmith of the town, whose prospects were, at this time, at the lowest ebb, probably not worth £10. Well, the blacksmith undertook the work willingly, and executed it with cleverness and alacrity. The result was that the blacksmith got a prodigious quantity of this work, his fortunes rose, large workshops were erected, and numerous hands employed. In about ten years the blacksmith had made a large fortune, and he resolved to see the country that had been such a benefactor to him. He consequently took his passage in the ill-fated London for Australia, and unfortunately met the fate of almost all concerned in that disastrous voyage. He had appointed the gentleman already spoken of, and who opened up this splendid prospect to him by first employing him, as his executor, and that gentleman informed me that his estate realised £87,000, besides the cost of large and extensive works. He had employed numerous hands in carrying on this trade, who drew high and regular wages. Now, I ask this audience to reflect on this for a moment. All this work might, and should, have been done in Melbourne. It went away from Melbourne to employ foreign workmen and to enrich the foreign manufacturer. If Victoria, at that time, had adopted the wise and salutary principle of protecting its own peoplo, ana encouraging its own industries, the £87,000 that was realised at Home in ten years would have been realised by a Melbourne manufacturer, instead of by an English one. The extensive and expensive workshops that were erected to carry on this trade would have been erected in Melbourne, instead of the English seaport town referred to; the hundreds of workmen employed to execute this extensive work would have been Melbourne workmen instead of English workmen. So that the prodigious loss to the colony by this little bit of trade history is so palpable that a blind man might see it. No doubt it will be said that the English manufacturer could do the work cheaper than the Victorian. Probably he could, at a time when Free Trade had struck everything in the shape of manufacturing industry with paralysis, and laid waste the whole industrial prospects of the country. But Victoria has awakened from the delusion of Free Trade; and I know as a fact that, at the present moment, Victoria could turn out the same ma-chinery cheaper than it was at the time imported from England, and cheaper than it could now be imported from that country. Freetraders cannot answer arguments of this description; they prefer to pass them by in silence. But just let us look a little into the history of this great question, with a keen rapid glance which time necessitates. As far back as the time of Queen Elizabeth, and anterior to that time, no country was so environed by Protective laws as England. She was protected at all points, and under this system she achieved whatever wealth and greatness was hers up to the time when she adopted the principles of Free Trade. England's policy seemed to be to create markets abroad for her manufactures, and to protect herself strictly at home from any injuries by importations. Although she herself was wedded to Protection, she enforced Free Trade upon all her colonies, including America, then a colony of hers. Ireland was treated in the same way, and looked upon merely as a market for England's manufactures, as was also India and the Cape of Good Hope. At the time spoken of England's treatment of her colonies was very different to what it is now, and the most unpalatable things were forced upon the colonies until open rebellion brought about emancipation and freedom as in the case of America. The very same spirit shows itself in some quarters in England at the present time, and may be seen in the angry spirit in which the colonial protective laws are condemned—showing that England has no consideration for the interests of the people here, but merely wishes to use the colonies for her own advantages, or, in other words, as markets for the absorption of her manufactures. England turns a deaf ear to the fact that Protection is undeniably benefiting Canada and Victoria; but what is that to her; they have closed their doors against her manufactures, and that is an unpardonable fault, no matter what prosperity it brings to the colonies named. The time was when England would not have permitted this, but in these enlightened times the colonies can govern themselves, and seem to be resolutely bent to study their own interest in whatever legislation they adopt. England may grumble as much as she likes at the loss of colonial markets, but if the colonies are wise they will resolutely secure those markets for themselves, and employ their own work-people in the manufacture of all they want, and who for a moment doubts their ability to do this? Under Free Trade this will never be done. That system means abundance of work for the foreign workmen, paid with our money, and total idleness and poverty for our own people. Horace Greeley calls Protection a system of national co-operation for the encouragement and elevation of labour, and who can deny that this is a sound and true definition? Its truth and wisdom, illustrated by the practice and experience of every nation on the face of the earth excepting England, and England itself seems, for some time past, to have been feeling most keenly t e injury to herself by he page 5 ports being open to every protected country on the face of the earth while theirs are strictly shut against her. In the days immediately preceding the declaration of American Independence, the colonists of America were kept in great poverty and distress by all their industries being destroyed as soon as attempted, by importations from England. No sooner was an industry started than ship-loads of English manufactures pouring in swamped and destroyed it. The people were consequently idle and impoverished; but no sooner was their independence declared, than their first President, the illustrious Washington, in his first message to Congress, most earnestly exhorted them to adopt a stringent system of Protection if they wished to save their country from absolute ruin. But even before this those sagacious men, the authors of the federal constitution of the United States, urgently recommended the adoption of the principle of Protection, as an absolute necessity to the well-being of the State. All the early Presidents of the United States were equally earnest in their recommendation of Protection, as the only policy by which the country could rise to wealth and power. That extraordinary man, Benj. Franklin, earnestly exhorted his countrymen, at the very birth of the nation, to adopt without delay a system of Protection to their native industries, if they wished to grow in wealth and greatness. The policy was adopted by the universal voice of the people, every statesman of note, from that day to this, adhering tenaciously to the principle, and such men as Clay and Webster spending their best powers in proving its soundness and truthfulness and defending it against the attacks of enemies, Well then we sometimes hear Free Traders talk of the wealth and advancement of England since she adopted the principle of Free Trade. But is there in the history of nations any approach to the miraculous and swift advance to greatness and power made by the United States during her short existence? She is about one hundred years old, and, at the present moment, she stands at the very head of the nations of tha world, and outstrips them all in her gigantic wealth and in her continually swelling proportions. If any one doubts this at the present moment, there will be no room for doubt after the lapse of a few years. This great nation owes her present position largely to the wisdom of her statesmen, who would not suffer their people to be kept in idleness while the money that should have paid them wages went to enrich the workmen of another country. The great statesmen of America, from its foundation up to the present hour, did not believe in supporting the manufacturers of England while they left their own to perish. They saw at a glance that they would have no manufactures without Protection. They also saw that if everything they wanted was manufactured abroad, they must of necessity have an idle and impoverished people at home. With one emphatic voice they enacted protective laws, and at the present moment, as well they may, they cling to those laws with more determination than ever. Well, here is a country that has had a large experience of the advantages of Protection. It has grown in every conceivable way as no other nation has done. It is composed of a keen, shrewd, sagacious people, alive and sensitive to every injury, and just as clear sighted in discerning an advantage, and, therefore, those who know this great people must know that if Protection was an injury to them, it would not stand twenty-four hours, or rather would never have been adopted, as the Americans are far too clever a people not to know what is best for them—but written on the mind and heart of the nation, in characters that cannot be erased are these words, "Protection has been our salvation, and is now our highest hope," and the whole nation, while I speak, is more wedded to it than ever. Can it be that a nation like America is wrong in adopting the Protective principle after a hundred years' experience of its advantages, and after every one of her great statesmen and writers in different eras of her history, vieing with each other in extolling the soundness, wisdom and absolute necessity of its adoption? Surely a fact like this should teach your flippant shallow Freetrader a little modesty and lead him to the belief that it is just possible that a nation like America may know what is for her advantage and what is for her disadvantage. And above all that shrewd people after long years of practical illustration of the benefits of a protective policy, may be allowed to continue it without being called "lunatics," the civilist word that Freetraders have for those who differ from them. America has grown to unprecedented wealth and power under Protection, and the nation seems to be at the present moment more thoroughly satisfied of its immense advantages than ever. How extraordinary a thing it is that we should have the case of Canada alongside of this great State to illustrate at once the injury and ruin worked by Free Trade, and the prosperity and wealth brought about by Protection. I assert that the history of Canada mathematically demonstrates the truth of both these propositions. Canada has had a long and dismal experience of the results of Free Trade in the fullest sense of the word, and after a most extensive and all-embracing trial of the principle, she has condemned it, and abandoned it. Under Free Trade, Canada found that she could not prosper. No sooner did she attempt to establish a native industry than an inundation of imports from the United States and England swept it away. Canada struggled hard to establish manufacturing industries of her own, page 6 and again and again attempted to do so, but was always defeated and destroyed by shiploads of importations. She struggled on in this way till hope was at last extinguished and desperation took its place, and the nation demanded in a voice, the tones of which could not be mistaken, either Protection or annexation to the United States. Under Canada's long experience of Free Trade, the people were idle—everything that their mechanics should have made was imported—distress was everywhere the consequence. No manufacturing industries of any kind existed, and the nation was drifting fast towards utter ruin, when the people, awakened to intelligence by the powerful lessons of fact rose in their majesty and might, and scattered to the winds a Free Trade Parliament and a Free Trade Government. The Government and people of Canada have now, and for some time past, adopted the protective principle with almost electric advantage to the best interests of the people. The moment Protection was adopted by Canada one man came forward with £100,000 to again set up an industry that had been previously twice or thrice ruined by Free Trade importations. That industry now flourishes in Canada, and employs many hands; those hands would be idle but for this beneficent principle of Protection. Other industries have started up in every Canadian district, and the country prospers and grows in wealth and greatness; while her formerly idle people are now well employed, earning good wages. Just let us pause for a moment to con-template the significance of this small piece of Canadian history, and see with what irresistible force it comes to the aid of the advocates of Protection. Canada had done all she could with Free Trade; she had tried it for years and years, and, under it, her whole fiscal and industrial system was crushed to utter ruin, and her people left in idleness and penury. She saw alongside of her a stupendous nation which had grown to her unparalleled dimensions of wealth and power by the adoption of a fiscal system which she claims as the main cause of her unexampled rise. Canada looking, with the eyes of intelligence, at all this, roused herself from her lethargy and apparent stupor, and with one supreme effort, revolutionised her whole system and adopted Protection, as the only means left her to ward off impending ruin and to save the nation from inevitable decay. The nation is, beyond doubt, saved by this policy—Canada no longer having her markets swamped and ruined by foreign importations—witnesses now her own mechanics and her own manufacturers supplying the wants of her own people. She witnesses a busy, well-employed people thriving and prosperous, just because she has come to see the advantage of keeping the work to herself, instead of sending it, and the money to pay for it, to keep busy and to enrich the labourers of other countries. One would think that a child could see the reason and the force of all this, but Freetraders seem unable to see anything. Need I remind you that every country of Europe is strictly guarded by protective duties; and that all the great continental statesmen, such as Bismarck, have never dreamt for one moment of even giving Free Trade a trial, so satisfied are they of the immediate ruin that would follow, What a country would India be if Protection gave it a chance to rise to manufacturing greatness. But as long as England rules there, India will be reserved as a great market for her manufactures, utterly regardless of the poverty and idleness that this brings on her people. No country in the world offers such advantages to the establishment of native manufactures, and if they were established by India protecting herself against foreign importations, that country would speedily become one of the richest countries on the face of the earth in industrial enterprise and manufacturing wealth. As it is her enormous population are in the most abject poverty and ruinous idleness. England compels them to keep their ports open, and supplies all their wants,—how is it possible, under such circumstances, for any industries to start there, or the people to thrive there? But now, just let us inquire how England herself is thriving under Free Trade. She is the only Free Trade country on the face of the earth, or, to speak more accurately, in Europe. According to Freetraders all England's greatness dates from the day she adopted Free Trade; but sensible people know that England was a great nation centuries before this. All England's manufacturing wealth grew under a system of strict Protection. The nation was made what it is by the adoption of a protective policy, which existed up to our own times, and I question if England would have ever thought of Free Trade but for the tax on corn. This was an impolitic and an unjust tax, simply because England could not grow half as much wheat as would supply her own wants; and in the face of a famine and a starving people, how could such a tax be for a moment maintained? It was abolished amidst a ferment of angry feeling, the people's passions being lashed into fierce agitation at the bare thought of such a tax, and, in the public turmoil of the time the system of Free Trade, which now prevails in England, was adopted. No intelligent reader of the history of those times fails to observe that the leading advocates of Free Trade imagined that if the principle were adopted by England, every other country would have followed England's example; and if this had taken place, every other country would have page 7 speedily found how completely they had out their own throats, and how essentially they had served England. But every other country had more sense, and instead of following England's example, they redoubled their protective guard, and set themselves earnestly to the perfecting of themselves in manufacturing art, so that they might as soon as possible take all due advantage of England's open door to pour in their own manufactures on her markets. There is not much use in Freetraders producing statistics of England's exports and imports during her Free Trade history, to prove her great increase of trade, and her great prosperity. What is the use of this, unless they can prove that protected countries, of equal wealth and power, fell away during the same period in a corresponding ratio. We all know that England advanced, with giant strides, during the last forty years; so did also America, France, and other countries. The Freetraders say Free Trade did this for England. If this is so, will they kindly tell us what did the same thing for America, where Free Trade has no existence? I apprehend that increase of population, the discoveries of science, the improvements in locomotion, and the wonders that time works, had much more to do with England's prosperity than Free Trade. Well, as a Free Trade country England is left alone in her glory; and instead of even her own young colonies imitating her example, they jump at Protection as essentially necessary to their existence, and thrive and prosper under it, as they had previously sunk towards ruin and decay under their experience of Free Trade. No question about this, that it will take an enormous amount of injury inflicted on England before she cries out; her innate strength, her colossal wealth, her vigorous and energetic people, the rare spirit of enterprise that impels them, and which seems characteristic of the nation, will always enable it to put a good face on the worst of times. But that England has, of late, cried out in tones of utmost distress is a fact that cannot be denied. There is at present serious calamity in the manufacturing districts of England, and her trade is weltering in a state of stagnation. A child might ascertain the cause of this, and it is a comfort that the English people are not blind to it. They say they are fighting an unequal battle, inasmuch as, while their manufactures are excluded from every country on the face of the earch, so far as heavy protective duties can exclude them, yet our ports are open and free to the entry of the manufactured goods of every one of those protected countries, and on these terms we can no longer continue the battle. This is true, whatever Freetraders may say to the contrary. In one year £64,000,000 sterling of manufactured goods comes into the free port of England from protected countries. If England had been protected that year she would have sold £04,000,000 sterling of her manufactured goods more than she did do. Is it not clear that England's Free Trade brings her the loss of this enormous sale and consumption of her manufactures? And is it in the least degree wonderful or surprising that the English manufacturers cry out when they find their own manufactures thrust aside to the extent of £64,000,000 sterling in one year, and see the manufactures of foreign countries to that amount bought in preference! No wonder the call for reciprocity is loud and long at the present moment in England; and it will be louder still as the imports from protected countries flow in upon her in a stream continually increasing in breadth and depth. The protected manufacturer in America and other countries, is guarded against foreign competition, and has the home market entirely to himself, supplying which clears all his expenses and gives him his profit; but seeing England's door gaping wide open, and a free entry, he, with the zeal of a keen man of business, takes instant advantage of the position, so favourable to himself, works his plant to its fullest capacity, supplies the home market, and pours an immense surplus into England's open door. If the English manufacturers can stand this much longer, I will be greatly surprised. It is already causing them to cry out in much agony and even shutting up many of their manufactories, while many are working half time. One of two things must take place, either England must be armed with the same weapon yielded by her competitors, that is Protection, or she must go to the wall as certainly as I speak. England cannot perform miracles, and if other nations have now reached the same perfection, skill, and ability, in the manufacture of every commodity that England has long been distinguished for, how is it possible for England to continue a fight so unequal, which must be the case as long as her ports are free and open to the manufactures of every nation in the world, while every nation of the world most carefully shuts the door against a single ounce of England's manufactured goods coming in upon them without previously paying a heavy and impassable duty. Can anyone doubt that England will very soon be compelled to listen to the voice of distress, which rises from the manufacturing districts, and resort again to protective duties if she has the slightest notion of preserving her great manufacturing interest from total ruin by being supplanted by the enormous importations of the manufacturers of other countries. If the late Mr Cobden had been alive at the present time, judging from what he said during his life, who can doubt that he would have been an earnest advocate of reciprocity. Listen to those words of Mr Cobden, uttered not page 8 many years before his death. "What," he says, "is the cause of England's enormous wealth? the answer is the cheapness of her manufactures. What is the cause of her great maritime strength and pawer? the answer again is, the cheapness of her manufactures. What is likely to wrest this wealth and power from her? I answer, only the superior or greater cheapness of the manufactures of other countries." Now this is exactly what has happened. Other countries, assisted by energy, zeal, and activity, and the all-powerful weapon of Protection, and seeing England, through her Free Trade and open ports, in a position of enormous disadvantage, have greedily seized the opportunity to inundate the English markets with their own surplus manufactures, made for the purpose, and so undersell her on her own ground to her palpable injury and distress. Free Traders, in deep chagrin, may shut their eyes to this, but the eyes of the English manufacturer, as well as those of the English people, are being opened j wider and wider every day, until the ruinous and destructive fact has emerged from dim shadowy obscurity into the clear light of day, carrying with it lessons of wisdom, neither to be contradicted or explained away, and which are at present working out their purposes on the practical, thoughtful, and intelligent portion of the English nation. The statistics that Freetraders generally trust to, bearing on England's present position, prove little. Since the advent of Free Trade in England and for a long time afterwards other nations in their manufacturing skill, were not in a position to do her much harm; but as time rolled on they gave their whole attention to perfect themselves in manufacturing skill and industry, and now, and for some years back, America, Belgium, France, and Germany are not far behind her in manufacturing expertness and ability, if they are not actually abreast of her. And, consequently, it is only within I the past few years that England has begun to feel keenly the tremendous results to her prospects in the continually increasing flood of manufactured goods that is constantly flowing in upon her from those strictly protected countries. Well, then, here are statistics that carry some meaning with them as bearing upon the present argument. In the year 1877 the exports of England decreased to the extent of £46,000,000 sterling, while her imports increased to the enormous extent of £56,000,000 sterling. This, to my mind, proves that while the protective duties of other countries reduced her exports as stated, her own free ports increased her imports by £56,000,000 sterling—or in other words, Free Trade in England, without reciprocity, cut down her exports by £46,000,000 sterling; while her open ports enabled protected countries to destroy her home markets in her own goods to the extent of £56,000,000 sterling. If this game is continued much longer, on the same terms, it requires not the assistance of inspiration to predict that a great change must spedily take place in England's policy, or she will find herself driven to the wall, wrecked and ruined in the notoriously unequal contest—a contest that would ultimately overwhelm England were she ten times what she is in point of stability wealth, and greatness. I have now said almost all I desired to say, although the subject is one so large that if I broke other ground the time allotted me here would not admit of me doing anything like justice to the matter spoken of. Well, then, gentlemen, if you believe in the soundness and truth of the opinions I have put forward in this somewhat lengthy address, act upon them if you are wise; resist, with your whole force, a system which leaves you a prey to the cupidity of foreign countries—act like the working men of Canada and Victoria, and assert your power at the ballot box—return men to Parliament who look forward to a higher destiny for this country than merely growing the raw material to be manufactured by other nations. Rise in your might against a system that necessitates the idleness and impoverishment of well nigh half the people. Let our mechanics and farmers, and all who wish to see this a thriving manufacturing country, aim their deadliest blows at the system which at present prevails, and which transfers your labour and its emoluments to the hands and pockets of foreign workmen. Never let this great fact be absent from your minds, that open ports mean work for the stranger and foreigner, and poverty and idleness for yourselves, accompanied by stagnation and national decay. Look to your children and the dark prospect before them under a system which encourages and prospers the workmen of other nations, while it leaves our own people in poverty and idleness. Never relax your efforts to destroy this system, but continually increase the emphasis of your protest against it. The truth is with you, and in the end victory will crown your efforts. In the meantime let all earnest souls combine in the devoted advocacy of this great cause—the very life of the country is involved in the struggle, and our triumph, which is certain at no distant date, will realise advantages for our people which will challenge the gratitude, and obtain the blessings, of our own and after ages.