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my secure commercial advantages from Con euring for herself a proper share of
is virtually a return to the old fallacy, the agree statesmen of the eighteenth century.
Bf the intricacies of modern trade should increased trade with Russia, Germany, and
aneus in intimate commercial intercourse with De monopolies of Chinese trade which they 2017 prove as beneficial to our foreign trade as 126 trade with China. The protective policy of
us while it undoubtedly involves a net waste of tä not enable them to keep to themselves either
ised proportion, of the gains of a large new eiwilonal trade is, in spite of tariffs and monopolies,
lacional co-operation which assigns to all the covend some share of every trade advantage which each cha cach may doubtless be conceived as desiring to : sa to himself, he cannot do so, but must hand over
cery other nation which is directly or indirectly a z wwignment, therefore, of spheres of influence in China
à France, Germany, or Russia may seek to monopoLauf trade, does not imply, as is apparently supposed
Conservatives alike, a corresponding loss of markets it is indisputably true that the direct trading gain
for the country which enjoys the monopoly, but wl the gain can be retained by her is utterly unwardi uot difficult to conceive cases where another nation **e'd a larger share of the results of trade than the nation
the private markets of this trade. For instance, if rance, drawing supplies of food or raw materials of rom the private estates so jealously protected by them si tagland their best customer for these goods, we might,
low compete with one another, suck out of them the It will of their monopoly of market. In certain trades this ty to happen.
Free Trade theory which the great majority of the the Liberal party in this country still profess. It
ceable policy of expansive foreign trade. Why is it ... med, or even repudiated, by the action of Liberal leaders
Anak and file of the party ? If other nations, seized by a va boudies and inspired by narrow conceptions of their trading
23. upon obtaining exclusive ownership of foreign markets my expensive parade of force, we are not compelled to aku tinha pell ample, unless we have rejected utterly the counsels of
We can wait and obtain cheaply, peaceably,
. We thinkers.
and indirectly, our full share of the commercial benefits of these adventurous and expensive projects.
If it be urged that these indirect gains are merely hypothetical, we may reply that England is in a far stronger position than any other nation to practise this peaceful policy of abstinence, because she possesses in her shipping industry a most effective guarantee that she will obtain an adequate share in the net gains of opening up now markets. Though no complete statistics are available, measuring the quantity of the carrying trade for foreign nations which England andertakes, it is known that a very large proportion of the trade, not only between England and foreign countries, but also between foreign countries trading with each other, is carried by English ships. So long as this continues to be true, England must participate in a direct and a most important manner in every opening up of foreign markets achieved by our European trade competitors.
The assumption that England can only expand her foreign trade by extension of her Empire and her commercial spheres of influence, is thus shown to be wholly inconsistent with the theory of international trade. Expanding foreign markets may be won by peace. But it may seem that this does not dispose of the case for spirited" commercial policy. We cannot, it is alleged, afford to wait for the chance of indirect benefits, a pushful policy pays better. Indeed, we are bound to assume that most persons are convinced that it is “sound economy” for England to support the cost of increasing armaments and to contend with other nations for increase of her Empire and for direct participation in new markets. We need investments for British capital, outlets for our superfluous labour and enterprise, markets with “inferior” races for the disposal of our increasing manufactares. Such a policy admittedly involves risk and expense; but we possess the ships, the men, and the money, and the policy “pays."
A complete refutation of this alleged "economy” is, in the nature of the case, impossible. The full cost of a policy which visibly embroils as in “envy, hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness towards other nations has no fixed reckoning day. To some of us it seems likely to cost in the long run all we are worth in blood, treasure, trade, and in national character. But there are certain present measurable facts, which are commonly ignored, and which yet serve to suggest that our pushful policy and our distrust of Free Trade may not, even from a short focus of expediency, be the "good business” that it seems.
Is increase of empire attended by a corresponding increase of Imperial trade? Is our increased expenditure on armaments, which is designed to support our policy of obtaining and defending new markets, justified by increase of foreign and colonial trade ? These at least are questions to which some definite quantitative answer may be given.
Even those who are reluctant to measure the “greatness of England by the number of square miles contained within the Empire, or by magnitude of population, and who dislike the risk and the expense of a spirited foreign policy, believe that we have derived some considerable and demonstrable gains of a commercial character from the pursuit of such a policy. Trade tends to follow the flag, it is maintained, and although as “ Free Traders" we bring no pressure upon our colonies and protectorates to trade with us, they naturally tend to do so. Now, there is no adequate foundation for this belief, as the following table of comparison between our foreign and colonial trade during the last forty years will serve to indicate :
Taking the whole term of years covered by this table, we perceive that no tendency whatever is exhibited for our trade with our own possessions to gain apon our trade with foreign countries. On the contrary, both in our import and our export trade foreign countries occupy & more important relative position at the close than at the beginning of this period, and, though considerable fluctuations are visible, the general tendency in import trade, and to a less extent in export trade, is to reduce the relative importance of colonial trade.
The fact that our pashful policy throughout the world is not sensibly increasing the actual value of our trade with our possessions is made manifest by the following comparison of the years 1875, 1885, 1895, which are in no degree abnormal years :
While due consideration of the fall of general prices during the last twenty years enables us to read into these figures proof of substantial progress in volume of trade, it cannot be admitted that our colonial trade has justified the conviction that “trade follows the flag,” and that it is therefore a profitable policy for England to plant her flag upon new tracts of territory throughout the world. For we must remember that during the last forty years, and particularly since 1884, we have added enormous tracts of territory to our possessions, removing the trade which formerly adhered to them from the category of foreign to that of colonial trade. If an increasing proportion of the globe, with an increasing proportion of its population, has been passing from foreign into British possession, while our total trade with our colonies is failing to make a proportionate adyance, it is evident that commercial facts are wholly at variance with the belief that “trade follows the flag.”
The following figures make this failure manifest :
The enormous accessions of territory and population since 1884— comprising the Niger Coast Protectorate, Somali Coast Protectorate, Socotra, Pahang and other Straits Settlements, parts of New Guinea, Bechuanaland, Zululand, Royal Niger Company's territory, British East Africa, the British South Africa Company's territory, Zanzibar and Pemba, Upper Burmah and Shan States—have been followed by no increase of colonial trade reckoned in money values, and by an increase reckoned in goods, which is not commensurate with the increase of British area and population. Little more than a quarter of our foreign trade is with our possessions, almost three-quarters is with the foreign nations to whom we have been preaching Free Trade with our lips, while we have been proving our distrust of its industrial efficacy by laying violent hands upon all the parts of the earth which appear likely to afford us markets.
In order to show the folly of offending our best customers by an irritating policy which does not even pay, in the narrowest sense, I may be allowed to quote the following figures illustrative of the growth of value of our trade with our possessions, as compared with our trade with the nations we are often invited to regard as enemies :
From this table it appears that, not merely is the value of our trade with our most powerful competitore in empire and in commerce much larger than the total value of our trade with all our colonies, but that the growth of the former trade is considerably faster than that of the latter. With France alone our trade shows smaller in 1895 than in 1875, and even there the drop was in the earlier decennium, for a considerable advance has taken place between 1885 and 1895. Moreover, after the United States, France and Germany are by far our largest customers, and Holland is the only other nation which does a larger trade with us than Russia.
Not merely is it untrue that “trade follows the flag,” and tbat colonial expansion is necessary in order to provide markets for our produce, but it appears that our trade with our rivals—the United States, France, Germany, and Russia—has been growing at a rate somewhat faster than the total growth of our foreign and colonial trade, and considerably faster than the colonial trade taken by itself.
It is, then, for the sake of encouraging a class of trade which is both absolutely smaller than our trade with foreign countries and