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it would never last, and that nobody at this time of day would believe that it was going to last. To pass it now would be merely to set up a target for the next Radical Administration to demolish with great demonstration of its superior attachment to the principles of progress and freedom. To pass such a measure would be to give the immediate signal for a joining of hands on the part of agitators in India and extreme politicians in England, an alliance out of which nothing but misapprehensions and mischief can come. Nor can anyone wish to see more legislation by mandate in the Viceroy's Council. That body has not even yet recovered altogether from the discredit it incurred when, after unanimously supporting Lord Lytton's Act in 1878, its official members, four years afterwards, under Lord Ripon, to the amazement of the public, spoke one after another just as pronouncedly for repeal. As a subordinate body, the Indian legislature has more than once had to pass measures it was known to dislike, and that were against its convictions. Such a necessity puts it in a sufficiently false position towards its own subjects; but the effect of a total change of front must be to destroy any respect it possesses, and it would be an ill day if another such exhibition was seen to be impending. Let us be thankful for the wisdom, wherever it was found, that has saved us from these consequences.
On the other hand, two or three amendments of the codes, brought forward as a part of a general revision that is in process, are an intangible mark comparatively, and can only be combated by argument. To those, however, who say,
Why not have let the thing alone altogether?' one might reply that, if there is to be a law against sedition at all, it is best for everyone that it should be as definite and certain in its operation as possible. No one can deny that it is repugnant to natural justice to see men getting heavily punished for saying nothing more than scores of others have said with impunity, or than they themselves may have often said before. What would be thought in England if the dormant terrors of the law of blasphemy were suddenly revived against the last half-dozen publications of a free-thinking tendency?
One would like to end an article, like a novel, cheerfully: and it would be easy to finish with a few hopeful anticipations of the good time ahead, when the native newspapers shall only serve to interpret to the masses the benign intentions of the Government, and to keep the Government informed of the wants and desires of the millions. But in sober truth it is difficult to see how any radical improvement can be looked for. Amendments in the law of sedition itself are of little consequence as compared with the disposition to apply the law, which will fluctuate as greatly as it has done before. And, moreover, the press, given the intention, can do just as much harm without sedition as with it. It is the pertinacious, irreconcilable opposition all along the line, misrepresenting motives, distorting facts and figures, and above all maligning the individual officers who are carrying on the
administration in touch with the people, that sows most of the bad seed in the long run. It is impossible to prove that writers who argue that the railways are ruining the country are not honest; but such views may be suggested in a way to do just as much harm, when addressed to an ignorant and inconceivably credulous public, as an article asserting that the despotism of the Czar would be preferable to the tyrannies of the Queen-Empress-a thesis sometimes attempted in safer days. The law, in fact, will only touch the stupid blunderer, who is by presumption the most harmless. Just as little is it possible to stem the flow of personal attacks upon the officers of Government, in their official capacity by the law of libel, which in the rare instances where it admits of being invoked places the prosecutor in effect upon his defence, and offers such opportunities to the other side that it is not wonderful that the Government is very shy of giving leave to bring an action in such cases. If it is possible to imagine the entire English press existing as a thing apart from the public, the organ of a single class, indifferent or opposed to national interests and national successes, and animated by a standing spirit of hostility which would lead it to rejoice over a disaster to the country's arms, and would render even the evidences of material prosperity a subject of affliction—if such a press could have existed here, it is obvious that it would not have existed long unregulated. Such a press, unfortunately, has come to exist in India, but its regulation is impossible because regulations have not been wanted in England. Things being as they are, the situation cannot be remedied by any safeguards that it would be practicable or just to introduce now; and, from the nature of its position, the native press will continue to be a thom in the side of Government, and an obstacle to a good understanding between the country and its rulers. We have to pay the penalties of an untimely experiment in political transplantation. And if the result acts as a warning against the hasty extension of other institutions—such as trial by jury, for example--which took centuries of growth in British soil to attain and adapt themselves to their present functions, in the belief that transferred full grown to the East they will follow the same course of development and bring forth the same fruits, that warning is perhaps the main service that the experiment of 1835 is now capable of rendering
G. M. CHESNEY.
THE MANCHESTER SCHOOL
While Ex-Premier Rosebery was recently lauding the triumphs of the Free Trade Manchester School at Manchester, Foreign Minister Goluchowski, in Vienna, was beseeching the nations of Europe to combine against the destructive competition with Trans-Oceanic countries : We must fight shoulder to shoulder against the common danger,' he exclaims, and arm ourselves for the struggle with all the means at our disposal.' 'European nations must close ranks in order successfully to defend their existence.' Thus do extremes meet, and we
more how much depends upon the point of view. Had the predictions of the Manchester School been realised, cheaper goods from across the seas would be hailed as an economic gain, and a blessing to the recipients, instead of being considered a menace to their existence. Every port would be open to this influx of goods, and the new countries which supplied them hailed as benefactors, for ‘Free exchange of commodities' was the watchword, but it was undreamt of then that the commodities of the new lands sent to the old might take the form of competing manufactured articles, which makes all the difference.
Sixty years ago steam upon land and upon sea—the steamship and the railway train-began their revolutionary work, Britain, their creator, situated upon beds of coal and ironstone, being naturally the scene of their development. The world was a mere looker-on while she harnessed steam and began to change it. If any other country wished to avail itself of the advantages of the new inventions, to Britain it must go for everything connected therewith. Britain had realised her destiny, and was soon to become the workshop of the world.
There appeared upon the scene the Manchester School— Villiers, Cobden, Bright, and their colleagues—demanding on behalf of the masses that the taxes upon food should be repealed. The repeal of these taxes, which passes under the name of ‘Free Trade' in Britain, in contradistinction to Protection,' has little to do with the modern doctrine of Protection, as it is now known in other countries. Such taxes could never have been defended by the Protectionist of to-day, because it was impossible that the amount of food-products could thereby be considerably increased. The only sound defence for a protective duty, according to the cosmopolitan protectionist, is when it can be justly claimed that to levy it for a time will so stimulate home production of the article taxed as to supply the wants of the nation; and, further, that home competition will then soon result in the nation obtaining a surer, cheaper, and better supply from within its own domain than it ever did or could do from foreign sources.
A tax levied under these conditions is endorsed by John Stuart Mill's celebrated paragraph, which John Bright once said to the writer 'would cause hereafter more injury to the world than all his writings would do good,' and is also recognised as sound or unsound by Marshall, according to circumstances, and is what is meant in our day by · Protection’ outside of Britain.
Conditions connected with this tax have in no wise changed, and therefore the work of the Manchester School stands. Such a tax imposed upon food to-day would operate precisely as it did before, unless by some marvellous discovery the soil of Britain can be made to grow an abundance of food for the wants of its inhabitants. A temporary tax then, if necessary, to induce capital to develop the new process would be justifiable.
For the reason stated, the modern advocate of Protection denounces as strenuously as any Corn Law Repealer the tax upon food in Britain.
The wonderful success of these British inventions, the steamship and the train, and the profits resulting from the command of the world's manufacturing which these inventions gave, coupled with the undoubted advantages flowing from the free importation of food products, had the natural result of creating the most sanguine views of the future position and prosperity of the United Kingdom, and the successful apostles of the Manchester School were above all men justifiably the most sanguine, and this was the lesson they drew from the then existing conditions :
Nature has decreed, and wisely so, that all nations of the earth shall be interdependent, each with a mission. To one is given fertile soil, to another rich mines, to a third great forests; to one sunshine and heat, to another temperate zone, and to another colder clime; one nation shall perform this service, another that, and a third shall do something else ; all co-operating, each furnishing its natural product, forming one grand harmonious whole.
How beautiful the picture! Then followed the second postulate :
It is clearly seen that to our beloved land, Great Britain, has been assigned the high mission of manufacturing for her sister nations. Our kin beyond the sea shall send to us in our ships their cotton from the Mississippi valley ; India shall contribute its jute, Russia its hemp and its flax, Australia its finer wools, and we, with our supplies of coal and ironstone for our factories and workshops, our skilled mechanics and artificers, and our vast capital, shall invent and construct the necessary machinery, and weave these materials into fine cloth for the nations; all shall be fashioned by us and made fit for the use of men. Our ships which reach
us laden with raw materials shall return to all parts of the earth laden with these our higher products made from the crude. This exchange of raw for finished products under the decrees of nature makes each nation the servant of the other, and proclaims the brotherhood of man. Peace and goodwill shall reign upon the earth, one nation after another must follow our example, and free exchange of commodities shall everywhere prevail. Their ports shall open wide for the reception of our finished products, as ours are open for their raw materials.
Such the beliefs, the hopes—the not unreasonable hopes, judging from their premises—of the Manchester School ; for let it be said, in justice to these good and great men, that the picture they drew, and which we have endeavoured to portray, was realised, Great Britain did become the workshop of the world, and each of the great nations played the rôle prescribed and performed the services indicated. No nation, not even the American, ever made such progress or accumulated such wealth upon products manufactured as Britain did in this stage of her history. The prospectus of the Barrow Steel Company stated that profits had been 30 and 40 per cent. per annum, and in one year they had reached the incredible rate of 60 per
cent. upon the entire capital. This is only one straw showing the unheardof returns made by the manufacturers of Britain when the world was at its feet, and before strenuous competition had reduced, and in many cases banished, profits. And well deserved was the reward reaped by the nation, great as it was, which had given steam to the world, inaugurated the age of machinery, and made the world its debtor for all time.
The law of Nature as interpreted by the Manchester School was revealed in the supposed facts that the resources of the various countries of the earth greatly differed, the capabilities of the men and women thereof not less so, and that manufacturing could be successfully conducted only in Great Britain. That tool-steel, or indeed any kind of steel, much less fine machinery, could be made except there—that the finest woollen, linen, and cotton cloth could be produced successfully in new lands—were suggestions which at that day were not even hinted, but which, if they had been made, would have been greeted with derision.
It is unreasonable to suppose that these able men of the Manchester School would ever have assumed that the principal nations of the earth, or those aspiring to become such, would contentedly play the subordinate part assigned them had the manufacturing field been open to them. The very keystone of the Manchester structure was necessarily that the various nations were restricted by Nature to play the role of growers of raw materials, no other being possible. We find to-day, on the contrary, after a period of enforced acquiescence, that nations with rare unanimity have aspired to share the higher task of fashioning their raw materials into finished products for themselves, and neither British