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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 56

The Province of Government: An address Delivered Before the Liberty & Property Defence League

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The Province of Government.

Published at the Central Offices of the League, 4, Westminster Chambers, London, S.W.

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The Province of Government.

My Lords and Gentlemen, I have been requested to take the chair on this occasion, with the view of laying before you the Annual Report of the Liberty and Property Defence League, and with a view also, I hope, of advancing the objects of that League, and of considering how best those objects can be promoted by a short discussion here to-day. Looking at this matter in a general way I cannot help observing that in the history of modern Europe, and in fact of the world, there has been an extraordinary change in the last 100 years in respect of freedom. The contest which has been carried on for more than that period, beginning, perhaps, in the American colonies and taking place in most countries of Europe, and even within the shores of our own country, has been one for political freedom. It has been one for a greater share of the right of governing, for the extension of the privilege of taking a part in directing the affairs of the nation, so that by degrees, in the course of time, a very large proportion of our countrymen here—a large proportion of mankind in the civilised countries of Europe, have gradually acquired a share in the directing power of the State. This has practically been a great revolution. It has been a revolution accompanied by violence in many cases, by great civil convulsions in others, while in some cases it has been a quiet revolution. But not the less has it been a revolution; and the result has been that practically, we may say, that in most of those countries and in our own the majority rules. It is page 4 not perhaps a mere numerical majority, but what with the influence of public opinion and with the extended franchise now possessed by the population of this country, here, at any rate, what is called a majority rules. Now, in former times, the rulers were in a small minority. Sometimes this was a minority of one, and sometimes a minority of comparatively few, as set against the great mass of the population over whom they ruled. The struggle then, on the part of those who were contending for political freedom, was more or less to limit the powers of those who ruled, and to control the exercise of their arbitrary will, and to endeavour to place a limit on the functions of the Government. But owing to the change which has now taken place to which I have adverted, the question assumes a totally different shape, because it is no longer the power of one, or a few, over the many, which is sought to be limited, but it is the power of the many which, in many cases, in my humble judgment, is sought to be unduly exercised over the few, and which it is desirable to limit.

The struggle, therefore, which will ensue in the coming century and which is beginning now, as I think you will observe, in many parts of the world and also in our own country, is the struggle of the few to endeavour to limit the arbitrary power which may be exercised over them by the tyranny of the many. Now, this question is one of the utmost importance, not merely in abstract politics, but in practical politics. We know that a very great philosopher who has recently departed this life, Mr. Carlyle, talked about mankind, as being "mostly fools." Perhaps, that was a rather strong way of putting it, but we know, for certain, that a great portion of mankind owing to their having no comparative leisure—owing to their not having engaged in studies which would have enlightened them, are influenced by impulses, and feelings, and passions, which are not of an enlightened character, and we know also that there is in our own country especially, a strong tinge of fanaticism in matters religious and connected with religion, which if once associated with what may be called the folly of mankind, would, in the arbitrary exercise page 5 of political power by the many, have a most disastrous influence over the nation's best interests and ourselves. Now, in the abstract I should say, that the greater advance a State made in civilisation—that is to say, in morality and religion, in the development of the culture of its citizens, in their efforts at self-control, in their prudence, in their thrift, and in their intelligence, the greater ought to be the personal freedom in that country, Folks who can wisely govern themselves, and do all they should do, do not need to be governed by others. But I sadly fear the tendency of modern times, in our state of civilisation, is rather the reverse, and that it is to diminish personal freedom, so that it behoves those who share in that feeling to endeavour to combine, if possible, to stem the tide which they think may be setting in a wrong and disastrous direction. We all remember the phrase which was applied to the Bourbon Princes when they went back to France, that they had forgotton nothing, and learned nothing. But we, too, seem to have forgotten very much and to have learned very little, as regards a large portion of the matters interesting to us concerning the effect of the interference of the Government and the Legislature with the free action of the individual. The truth is, as far as I can discern it, that this vast extension of political privileges and franchises of which I have spoken, has practically turned up a new stratum of political soil, so to speak, which is readily prepared to grow exactly the same weeds of pre-judice and ill-understood opinions, which sprang up and prevailed among the more cultivated class two hundred or three hundred years ago, and which has been eradicated from their minds by the experiences of those times. We must recollect that those prejudices, if we believe them to be so, those false and preconceived notions, have to be overcome. They are the natural produce of ignorance, inexperience, and folly. They can only be overcome by discussion and enlightenment, and by endeavouring to set before those, who are practically holding sway in a country like this, what is the truth. There are circumstances, too, at the present time, which make the influence of this power page 6 thus held the more galling, and the more terrible in prospect, than it might have been in former times; because the eye of the Government has become now much more acute and searching, and its hand has become more weighty and powerful. In old days, Acts of Parliament were passed to regulate trade in various ways, such as to fix the rate of wages of labourers, to settle what should be the rate of interest which should be paid by those who borrowed to those who lent, to prescribe the mode of making certain goods, and so on. But these were comparatively bruta fulmina. They may, to a certain extent, have been put into force by the decision of the law courts; but, so far as these enactments were alien to the habits and feelings of the mass of the people, and contrary to the natural course of trade, they were probably, in many cases, a dead letter. And, I believe, that is an explanation of why you find such a large number of these Acts in the old statute-books re-enacted, again and again, for pre-cisely the same objects. There was the sense of evil to be over-come, some uneasiness of feeling, which originally prompted the desire to have an Act of Parliament, which it was fancied would prove a remedy. This Act was proved a dead letter; and, consequently, there was a constant re-enactment of the existing statutes, while in the recital of those old Acts it was set forth, that as the laws previously enacted had continued to be unobserved, it was therefore necessary to re-enact them. Now, in these days, we have armies of policemen all over the country; we have battalions of Inspectors of every kind. The catalogue of them is endless. I have put down from memory a few of the inspectors, who have come into existence in recent years; some for a good purpose, and some for a questionable one. There are, for instance, Prison inspectors, Factory inspectors, Mine inspectors, Workshops inspectors, Brickfields inspectors, Asylum inspectors, School inspectors, Boiler inspectors, and a whole long list of others. This system of constant inspection, though something may be said for it with a view to preventing offences against the law, brings, on the other hand, the Government into close and imme- page 7 diate contact with the citizens of the State, and makes this infringement of the liberty of those who are subject to it, far more galling than ever it was in the history of this country before. I would like to maintain that, as to all these Acts, the burden of proof is upon those, who are in favour of special interference by the State. It is often a question of the utmost importance in legislation, as it is in a law-suit, to know where the burden of proof lies, and it seems to me that, in many of those cases, where Parliament is now called upon to interfere between man and man in the way in which it has never interfered in recent times till now, the burden of proof should be laid strictly on those who contend for the change, not only to show that there is some evil which it would be right to attempt to diminish or put an end to, but that also the methods to which they would have recourse, are the true methods by which that evil may be corrected. The collateral consequence of this method of modern legislation is the enormous expense of it. There can be no action, you may say, of the Government, in a general way, without expense. Whatever the Government is called upon to do, it must be done by instruments who are paid for doing it, and consequently every addition to the functions of a government is an addition to the expense of the Government. And I believe myself that the real explanation of the constant increase of the public expenditure, which has been going on now for a great many years, and which is always found fault with by the leaders of the party in opposition, but which is also carried on by every Government when it is in power, is that this increase is a necessary expenditure consequent upon the constant increase of interference by the Government in every direction. You cannot have the services of the Government without paying for them. Some of those cases of minute interference lead to consequences which the public do not seem to contemplate. There is an Act of great importance, the objects of which nobody can find fault with—the Act of 1883 for the amendment of the Bankruptcy Law. An ingenious friend of mine page 8 who is in the House of Commons himself, and who is a shrewd man of business, told me he had taken the trouble to calculate what would be the accumulation of volumes of account-books which by direction of this law are ultimately to be collected and kept for a given period as records in the central institution which has to adminster this law. He took a moderate number of books for each bankrupt concern. He took the average number of bankrupts in a year, and he accumulated these books for five years—he thought perhaps that that would be long enough to keep them—and he estimated that, in that time, there would be an accumulation of 142 miles of books preserved in this central office of the accounts of bankrupts. This is not therefore a theoretical question, but it is simply a practical question-one upon which politics will turn, and upon which the struggle will be carried on in this and other countries of the world, in the next 50 or 100 years. The same thing exists in America, that we see tending to arrive in this country. In America we know that the cultured, most independent, and intelligent class are in the minority, as probably they will be in most countries to the end of time, because culture involves leisure from physical toil, and leisure is not a boon which the bulk of mankind can look for if they are to work for their living. This minority is excluded from political life. They are ostracised. Those who by their culture and character are the natural aristocracy in the United States are there ruled out altogether, and the majority, with the feelings of majorities, and the feelings of the class to which they belong, ignore the wishes, and desires, and even the rights, of the minority, who are obliged to sit in silence as best they may and submit to what is, after all, nothing more or less than the tyranny of the democracy. Now the real question at the bottom of all this matter is—what is the real and true province of Government? Is it to protect people in the enjoyment of their liberty and their property, and their industry, and their right to think and speak and do as they like, so long as they do not interfere with or injure other people—is that the page 9 business of Government, or is it a great machine which is to endeavour, by some awkward mechanical contrivance, to grind out, as it were, a greater amount of material enjoyment and happiness for the bulk of those who are governed, than they ever had before. That is indeed the great question which has come to the surface abroad, as well as here, but more conspicuously on the continent, than in this country.

There is a school now—an able school, too—who contend that it is the business of the Government, by the revenues raised from the taxation of the people at large, to endeavour by artificial means to alter the condition of those who have to toil for their maintenance and for existence—that toil which is imposed upon the bulk of us as a burden, and which, practically, is unavoidable as long as mankind and the present world continue to exist. There is, I say, this one school—the school of socialism. But there is another school which even goes much further than that, as we know, which contends that all property is a mistake. First of all it contends, that property in land is entirely wrong and indefensible, though I have never been able to understand what distinction there is between land and other property. But, further, this school says that all property is entirely wrong; that a period is comimg when there will be no property, and everybody will be all the richer and happier. The difficulty is, as has been suggested by a French writer, that everybody will have to be taxed to give everybody else a salary. But these questions, again, I say, are no new ones. They are questions that have sprung to the surface in former times, and which have been thrashed out, and the foundations of which have been shown by absolute demonstration to be unstable and unsound. These questions originated with the first outburst of the Reformation, with the revival of letters, and with the consideration which was then given by learned and able men to what is, after all, the main question at the bottom of all these matters of discussion, namely, why should there be suffering and sorrow, and misery and toil amongst mankind? The very word "Utopian" points to the page 10 ingenious and able romance, written by one of the greatest men of the 16th century, Sir Thomas More, which was an endeavour to find a solution of this question. And so again, now, these ideas have been revived, once again to be met and discussed, and, once again, I have no doubt when fully discussed, to be found to be false, and so far from being able to yield any substantial addition to the happiness of mankind is concerned, found to be fraught with mischief, disorder, and increased misery. I am sorry, gentlemen, to detain you at this length. I have carried you further afield than I wished or intended with regard to questions of this sort, but they are practical questions of the day. Look at what is proposed to be done even in the present session of Parliament. I have got here two or three Bills, and have looked at them with a view of considering whether they do not unfairly infringe upon just principles of freedom. I found one Bill is to prohibit the sale of intoxicating liquors, on Sundays, in the county of Durham. A similar Bill was passed a year or two ago to prohibit the sale of intoxicating liquors in the principality of Wales. Now, these are no new notions—these notions that, by Act of Parliament, you can prevent drunkenness and vice. They are merely the revival of old notions. There is inherent, I believe, in mankind a desire to prohibit people from doing what you don't like to do yourself, and this particular kind of prohibition seems always to have had a peculiar attraction to the puritanic mind of England. Don't believe that those notions have only sprung up for the first time in the present day. There were Sir Wilfred Lawsons and Temperance Leagues in the days of James I. and Queen Elizabeth, who attempted to do the same thing by legislation, which these gentlemen are attempting now. They passed Acts of Parliament for the observance of the Sabbath. They passed Acts prohibiting drinking in ale-houses, to make it penal to get drunk, and a variety of other things, intended, according to the light which they then had in them, to improve their fellow-creatures. These Acts were failures. They were admitted in those days to be failures. Let me read page 11 the recital of the Act 7, James I., chap. 10; the date of it is 1609. It is called "An Act for the Reformation of Alehouse Keepers."

"Whereas, notwithstanding all former laws and provisions already made, the inordinate and extreme vice of excessive drinking and drunkenness doth more and more abound, to the great offence of Almighty God and the wasteful destruction of God's good creatures."

This proves that the same views prevailed then that are current now with a large class of well-meaning people; and that the endeavours then to legislate in this sense wholly failed in their purposes. I look upon the like attempts of modern days exactly in the same light. Nobody can stand up to defend intemperance; nobody can say but that drinking to excess is a vice which leads to many other evil consequences, but the question is whether you can stop it in this way; whether, as in this Bill, the State is entitled to say that the houses men choose to go to for an innocent purpose—for rest and refreshment are innocent purposes—shall be shut up entirely one day in the week, because some people happen to drink to excess, and many people believe a thing to be wrong on a Sunday which is innocent on another day. I may on this point differ from some of you, but it seems to me that is distinctly an infringement of just personal liberty. I don't understand how I can be regarded as having the rights of a free man if during one day of the week, when I am travelling in a populous district like Durham, for instance, I am to be debarred from going to a public inn to find a place of rest and refreshment, because it has pleased a certain number of people in that county to say that all public-houses shall be shut on the Sunday, and that I am to have no place of rest, as a stranger, on the day of rest. And apart from the general objections which I feel very strongly to such a proposal, which I am confident will not bear discussion with unprejudiced people—apart altogether from this, I say, what can be more ridiculous and absurd in this kind of legislation, than to say that while you shut up these houses in Durham, and in the prosperous, town of Gateshead on the south side of the Tyne, you may, if you walk across the bridge to Newcastle, find all these houses open in Northumberland just as they were before page 12 the Durham Bill was passed? If this is to be done at all it should be done universally. But I venture to contend that to do it at all would be entirely wrong, and I want to substantiate yet further, if you will allow me, what I said, that this is nothing more than old-fashioned puritanism, now revived by an influential section amongst our constituencies, who are driving things much further than people will be disposed to bear, and which puritanical notions were tried and exploded amidst public scorn and derision nearly 300 years ago.

Now here is the preamble of another Act which was passed in the reign of James I., 276 years ago, for "repressing the loathsome and odious sin of drunkenness."

"Whereas the loathsome and odious sin of drunkenness is of late grown into common use in this realm, being the root and foundation of many other enormous sins, as bloodshed, stabbing, murder, swearing, fornication, adultery and such like, to the great dishonour of God and of our nation, the overthrow of many good acts and manual trades, the dishonour of divers workmen and the general impoverishing of many good subjects, and wasting the good creatures of God."

This has the ring of an Alliance denunciation, but this statute and others with the same object in those times wholly failed.

Then, again, you will find a series of old statutes, which are called by lawyers the "Tippling Acts," passed, not for the Sunday merely, but for every day in the week, to prohibit anybody staying more than an hour in a public-house, for the purpose of drinking and eating. And this is the class of legislation now again sought to be imposed upon the free people of England. The same class of wiseacres who got these passed then, are trying to get them passed now; and if they succeed in getting them, there will be the same result—a failure. We are very much unlike our forefathers if we are likely to submit to this kind of legislation. It is an attempt by foolish well-meaning people to make other people good, in their own way.

The principle of such interference is unsound. So long as I do no harm to my neighbour, and use my rights so as not to harm him, or infringe his right to equal liberty, so long he has no just page 13 claim to impose upon me State restrictions of this kind. He may have a majority in his favour—perhaps he will have—but majorities cannot make that right and just, which is wrong and unjust. If I violate the laws of public decency, which is an obvious offence, that is another thing; but as long as I do that which is innocent, or simply that which hurts myself alone, and not other people, then, I say, the State has no right to interfere with me. At one time it was thought reasonable to attempt to regulate trades of every kind. They regulated how hats were to be made, how skins were to be curried, and how horses were to be turned out on the commons. I find that in the reign of Queen Elizabeth two hundred and sixty-nine Acts of Parliament were passed; of these sixty-eight were for regulating trade. In James I. 's reign one hundred and sixty-seven Acts were passed, of which thirty-three were for regulating trade. These have all been repealed. Experience showed them to have been useless, or mischievous; but the same fallacies which then led our ancestors into passing them now again crop up among us, and again the same blunders will be made, and again experience will have to demonstrate the folly of these attempts to interfere with the natural laws, which may be best relied on properly to regulate Trade.

The new gospel of prosperity is that we are to have the making of contracts taken out of the hands of those who have the best means of making such as suit their interest, and settled by public authority for them. Grown men are not to be supposed capable of taking care of themselves, and their fortunes, but they are to be nursed and dandled by Act of Parliament. This is the old doctrine of Protection revived. The Agricultural Holdings Act is founded on that doctrine. Why especially are the tenants of land supposed to be incapable of taking care of themselves? And why are land and contracts as to it to be made the special subject of Legislative interference? Only on the assumption that those concerned in its cultivation have a claim to special privileges—that is, to protection. I thought page 14 all this had been exploded, when the Corn Laws were justly repealed. But the notion, at the bottom of this new scheme of legislation, is the old one, again come to the front, and set up to be worshipped. Could it be better expressed than in the preamble of the Act 15 Charles II., chap. 7, "For the encouragement of Trade"? It would serve admirably for the Agricultural Holdings Act of 1883. Here it is—

"Forasmuch as the encouraging of tillage ought to be in a special manner regarded and endeavoured, and the surest and effectuallest means of promoting and advancing any trade, occupation, or mystery, being by rendering it profitable to the users thereof, and great quantities of land within this kingdom for the present lying in a manner waste and yielding little, which might thereby be improved to considerable profit and advantage if sufficient encouragement were given for the laying out of cost and labour on the same, and thereby much more corn produced, greater number of people, horses, and cattle employed, and other lands also rendered more valuable."

It looks as if with the new extended constituencies the whole battle of freedom against restriction, of liberty against State meddling will have to be fought over again. I have no doubt myself that the true doctrine is, that the greater the freedom, the greater the amount of prosperity and enjoyment. We have by long experience realised the truth of this maxim, and that has been the source of the wealth and the greatness and the power of the country which have exceeded that of any other country in the world at any time. If we as Englishmen once allow a complete change to come over the spirit of our dream in that respect, go back to what we once did, as I have shown, and attempt to find our happiness in the pposite system of restriction and protection, we shall reap our reward in loss, in suffering, and in misery.

For my part, I have always been a believer in the old doctrine which I learned at school, which was that one Englishman was equal to three Frenchmen, and I really believe that there was some foundation for that prejudice. The reason of it is that, as compared with the French people, for many centuries the Englishman has been comparatively a free man, whereas the Frenchman has not. The system which has prevailed in France has always been till very recent times one of Government interference, page 15 direction, and control, of responsible power, and arbitrary monarchy. Our system contained the essence of freedom. Everybody was allowed to do what had not been prohibited, and as little was prohibited by law according to the lights which prevailed from time to time as well could be. In France the spirit of the nation is so different from ours, begot by generations and centuries of traditions, that even in the most trifling matters the Government and the public authorities interfere. A friend of mine was in France a few years ago at a cricket match, which was played by a team of my own countrymen at Pau, in the south of France, and one of the cricketers was a very swift bowler. By the wicket stood a gendarme, who from time to time shouted out, "doucement, monsieur, pas si fort, sil vous plait," "not so fast—gently, man, if you please," for fear the batter should be damaged. This is the system of protection. Here we have to take care of ourselves, and on the whole we do it better than if we had the protection accorded to our neighbours, who are treated as babies. If we are treated as babies, we grow up and behave as babies. I believe all these schemes and notions for State meddling, directing and protecting are essentially and inherently wrong. Freedom is the true solution for many of our troubles—the utmost freedom that can be given to industry—the utmost freedom for a man to contract, or to bestow his labour upon any subject he chooses, without State interference, while the only protection which the Government has a right and a duty to extend over its subjects is the protection to life, liberty, limb, and property, from injury by others; which protection they are bound to give to the humblest of our fellow-citizens.

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Self-Help versus State-Help.

Liberty & Property Defence League.

For resisting Over legislation, for maintaining Freedom of Contract, and for advocating Individualism as opposed to Socialism, entirely irrespective of Party Politics.

Central Offices:—4, Westminster Chambers, Victoria Street, London, S.W.


Ordinary Members:—

  • The Right Honourable the Earl of Wemyss,Chairman.
  • The Rt. Hon. Lord Bramwell.
  • Wordsworth Donisthorpe, Esq.
  • The Rt. Hon. Earl Fortescue.
  • Captain Hamber.
  • Alsager Hay Hill, Esq.
  • J. A. Mullens, Esq.
  • The Rt. Hon. Earl of Pembroke.
  • The Rt. Hon. Lord Penzance.
  • H. D. Pochin, Esq.
  • H. C. Stephens, Esq.
  • W. T. M'C. Torrens, Esq., M.P.
  • Sir Ed. W. Watkin, Bart., M.P.
  • W. Wells, Esq.

Ex-Officio Members:—

  • The Chairmen (or their Nominees) of Defence Societies, Companies, and Corporate Bodies formally in Correspondence with the League.

Parliamentary Committee:—

  • The Rt. Hon. Lord Bramwell.
  • Wordsworth Donisthorpe, Esq.
  • The Rt. Hon. Earl of Pembroke,
  • H. C. Stephens, Esq.
  • The Rt. Hon. Earl of Wemyss.
  • Honorary Treasurer: Sir Walter R. Farquhar, Bart.


  • Messrs. Harris, Powell & Sieveking, 34, Essex St., Strand, W.C.


  • Messrs. Herries, Farquhar & Co., 16, St. James's Street, S.W.


  • Messrs. Grey, Prideaux & Booker, 48, Lincoln's Inn Fields, W.C.
  • Secretary: W. C. Crofts.
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Provincial Branches:—

EnglandLiverpool: Hon. Secretary, Francis Hartley, Esq., Castle Chambers, 26, Castle Street.

Manchester: [appointment pending.]

Leeds: Hon. Secretary, Walter Rowley, Esq., 74, Albion Street.

Sheffield: Hon. Secretary, Percy Sorby, Esq., 11, George Street.

Nottingham: [appointment pending.]

York: Hon. Secretary, F. H. Anderson, Esq., 41, Stonegate.

Bristol: Hon. Secretary, H. J. Brown, Esq., 43, High Street.

Plymouth: Hon. Secretary, R. S. Clarke, Esq., 4 Athenaeum Terrace.

Bournemouth: Hon. Secretary, J. R. Pretyman, Esq., Richmond Lodge.

ScotlandGlasgow: Hon. Secretary, C.J. Maclean, Esq., 81, Bath Street.

Aberdeenshire: Hon. Secretary, Colonel W. Ross-King, Tertowie House, Kinaldie.

IrelandDublin: Hon. Secretary, E. S. Robertson, Esq., 43, Waterloo Road.

The League opposes all attempts to introduce the State as competitor or regulator into the various departments of social activity and industry, which would otherwise be spontaneously and adequately conducted by private enterprise.

Questions of the structure or constitution of the State and those of foreign policy do not come within the scope of the League. It is exclusively concerned with the internal functions or duties of the State.

During the last 15 years all interests in the country have successively suffered at the hands of the State an increasing loss of their self-government. These apparently disconnected invasions of individual freedom of action by the central authority are in reality so many instances of a general movement towards State-Socialism, the deadening effect of which on all branches of industry and originality the working classes will be the first to feel.

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Each interest conducting its self-defence without any reference to the others has, on every occasion, hitherto failed to oppose successfully the full force of this movement concentrated in turn against itself by the permanent officials and the government in power for the time being.

The League resists every particular case of this common evil by securing the co-operation of all persons individually opposed to the principle of State-Socialism in all or any one of its instances, and by focussing into a system of mutual defence the forces of the "Defence Associations or Societies" of the various interests of the country.

As regards such defence societies, companies, and corporate bodies, this co-operation is effected without any interference with the independent action of each body on matters specially affecting its own interest.

Each society passes a resolution formally placing itself in correspondence with the League. The League in return supplies every such society with information concerning each fresh symptom of State interference; it places the various societies and interests in communication with one another with a view to their mutual assistance inside and outside parliament; and, at the same time, it combines for the common end the forces of the several societies and interests with those of the League itself and its members in both Houses of Parliament.

The chairman (or his nominee) of every society, company or corporate body thus in correspondence with the League is an ex-officio member of the Council of the League, and receives notice to attend all its meetings. The corporate action of the League in every case of overlegislation where any interest is affected is regulated by the decision of the ordinary members of Council, acting in conjunction with its ex-officio members.

Persons wishing to join the League are requested to send their subscription (voluntary from Five shillings upwards) and address to Messrs. Herries, Farquhar & Co., Bankers, 16, St. James's Street, S. W. Particulars and Publications of the League, can be had from the Secretary, W. C. Crofts, at the Central Offices.

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Liberty & Property Defence League.

Central Offices:–4. Westminster Chambers,

Victoria Street, London, S.W.

The following recent Publications of the League can be had, on application, from the Central Offices; and from all booksellers:—

Nationalisation of Land. By Lord Bramwell. Second Edition; price 2d. A Review of Mr. Henry George's Progress and Poverty.

"Has not received the attention its acuteness and brilliancy merit."


Rate-and-Tax-Aided Education. By Earl Fortescue. Third Edition; price 2d. An indictment of State education.

"A manly and vigorous protest against the centralisation which is perverting our elementary schools."

Western Times.

Overlegislation in 1883. Second Edition; price 3d. A Review of the Bills of the Session.

"Has a tale to tell of its own which is worth listening to."


Liberty or Law? By Wordsworth Donisthorpe, Barrister-at-Law. Fifth thousand; price 6d. A plea for Let-be.

"A vigorous essay."

Edinburgh Courant.

"Forcible and clearly put."

Irish Times.

Socialism at St. Stephen's in 1883. Fifth thousand; price 6d.

"Will help even the most casual reader to understand the broad principles upon which the League is based."

Morning Advertiser.

The State and the Slums. By Edward Stanley Robertson. Price 2d.

"The difficulties of the theory that the State should provide houses for the working-classes are lucidly stated."

Edinburgh Courant.

Communism. By the same Author. Price 2d.

Private Liberty. By J. R. Pretyman. Price 2d.

At the same offices can be obtained:—

Principles of Plutology. By Wordsworth Donisthorpe. Price 7s. An Inquiry into the True Method of the Science of Wealth.

"His criticism is conceived in a genuinely scientific spirit."

Saturday Review.

"Is worth reading as a critical investigation."

Westminster Review.

"Treating an essentially dry and technical subject with a pleasant freshness and aptness of illustration."


"We have met with no work on political economy more suggestive than the present."

Edinburgh Daily Review.

Serfdom, Wagedom and Freedom. By the same Author. Price is. A solution of the Labour Question.

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