The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 56
The Newcastle Weekly Chronicle on the Cobden Club Leaflets. — Leaflet No. XIX
The Newcastle Weekly Chronicle on the Cobden Club Leaflets.
Leaflet No. XIX.
"The Pitt and Fox Clubs have disappeared mainly because they were simply dining institutions. But the Cobden Club exists to keep the memory of the great Free Trader green by propagating his opinions. When there was a chance of a revival of a Protectionist policy under the Government of the late Earl of Derby, the Anti-Corn Law League was resuscitated. To-day, the talk about Fair Trade, which simply means a resurrection of the Bread Tax, has aroused the vigilance of the Cobden Club, and called forth all the latent energy of its hon. secretary, the member for Rochdale. Under his inspiration 'leaflets' have been prepared on the subject, which are virtually a species of hand grenades for the explosion of the fallacies of Protection. In these leaflets, fable and dialogue, narrative and exposition, are all in turn pressed into the service of an unfettered commerce. Already some fifteen of these tractates have appeared, and to those who may not have the leisure to master the more elaborate works which have emanated from the same source, they may be [unclear: ecommended] as presenting the salient facts and arguments for Free Trade in a form at once attractive and convincing. There is, indeed, no royal road to knowledge; but the path should not be made unnecessarily obscure. There are no more useful men than the expositors of recondite science. Our French neighbours pronounce political economy 'tiresome,' and a great English writer has styled it 'dismal.' But these are gross misrepresentations of a subject which, in the hands of any competent master, can be made quite as entertaining as general literature. Alive to this fact, the Cobden Club is now raising a special fund for the purpose of scattering the truth which the club exists to make plain, over the length and breadth of the country. The generation is rapidly passing away that was educated under the great Free Trade leaders, and the necessity for a fresh instruction is made obvious by the dogmatism with which Fair Traders, ignorant of Adam Smith, and unfamiliar with the struggle for the repeal of the Bread Tax, repeat the fallacies so often refuted in that controversy as if they were substantial arguments. A lack of the knowledge of the primary principles of economic science ruined the trade of Spain, and is at this moment crippling the industry of France, Germany, and America."
Messrs. Cassell & Company, Limited, La Belle Sauvage Yard, London, E.C., supply the Cobden Club Leaflets, in packets of 100, price 1s.