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But some of these figures are inaccurate, because since the opening of the Suez Canal, which happened in 1869, the method of entering the statistics has been altered, and articles formerly included in the statistics of trade with Egypt have been transferred to the account of the Oriental countries to and from which they have been sent. To this reason must be attributed the great decline of imports from Egypt from £17,000,000 in 1869 to from £6,000,000 to £11,000,000 in later years; and of exports to Egypt from £8,000,000 or £9,000,000 in 1870 to from £2,000,000 to £4,000,000 in later years." Exactly at what period or by what degrees this change in the statistics took place is not clear from the Returns, but enough is known to enable us to compare the period before the British occupation with the subsequent period. The battle of Tel-el-Kebir took place in 1882, and since that date Egypt has been more or less under British management. That management has, no doubt, been gradually consolidated and improved, and may be expected to yield better results in the future than it has hitherto yielded. Still, the figures of imports and exports taken from 1882 onwards may be taken as a fair indication of the effect which the virtual control of Egypt has had upon Egyptian exports to and imports from the United Kingdom ; and for this purpose I have taken from the Statistical Abstract for the United Kingdom the figures of the trade year by year from 1869 to 1896, bearing in mind that it is only from a few years before the British occupation in 1882 that we can confidently rely on them.

They are as follows:

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* See table on opposite page.

From the Statistical Abstract for the United Kingdom

in £'s sterling


Imports from Egypt into United Kingdom.

Exports of British
produce to Egypt.


Opening of Suez Canal.


1869 1870 1871 1872 1873 1874 1875 1876 1877 1878 1879 1880 1881 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889 1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897

16,796,233 14,116,820 16,387,424 16,455,731 14,155,913 10,514,798 10,895,043 11;481,519 11,101,785 6,145,421 8,890,052 9,190,589 9,317,916 7,796,092 10,008,659 9,701,459 8,818,376 7,256,759 7,689,177 7,285,499 8,620,602 8,368,851 10,658,288 10,525,230 8,845,426 9,284,801 9,524,507 9,659,376 9,294,240

7,982,714 8,726,602 7,038,795 7,213,063 6,222,013 3,585,106 2,945,846 2,630,407 2,273,311 2,194,030 2,143,681 3,060,640 3,168,488 2,450,504 3,367,300 2,893,411 3,486,858 2,870,938 3,013,569 2,911,276 2,919,720 3,381,830 3,789,238 3,193,158 3,364,718 3,996,655 3,349,162 3,777,966 4,435, 101

It appears from these figures that since 1882 there has been practically little or no increase in this trade. The imports from Egypt were £10,000,000 in 1883, and between £9,000,000 and £10,000,000 in 1897. They were as low as £7,250,000 in 1886, and their highest point was £10,600,000 in 1891. Our exports to Egypt were £3,360,000 in 1883—they were less than this in several subsequent years—and about £4,400,000 in 1897. Their lowest point was £2,500,000 in 1882, and their highest point was touched

There is, therefore, no evidence in these figures that the

last year.


trade of Egypt with this country has been largely or rapidly increased by our dominion over Egypt; hardly, indeed, as much as we might expect.

The above conclusion is confirmed by reference to the Egyptian statistics, as given in the Foreign Statistical Abstract, No. 24, pp. 180–81. I have begun with the year 1886, because, from the interesting report of Mr. Rennell Rodd on the commercial relations of Great Britain and Egypt (Parliamentary Papers, C. 7920–12, 1896), it appears that the earlier Egyptian statistics, from which the figures in the previous Foreign Statistical Abstracts are derived, cannot be relied on as giving accurate information concerning the countries of origin and destination.

From Foreign Statistical Abstractin Egyptian £'s

(000's omitted).

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Taking quinquennial periods, the average annual amount of Egypt's trade with the United Kingdom is as follows, in Egyptian £'s, 000's omitted :

Imports from

Exports to United Kingdom. United Kingdom. 1886-90


7078 1891-95


7585 1896



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It appears from these figures that the whole trade of Egypt with outside countries has considerably increased since 1886, but that the trade of Egypt with the United Kingdom has scarcely increased at all. No doubt, if quantities were taken instead of values, the later


figures would show some increase, for there has been a considerable fall in prices since 1881. But the fact remains that whilst trade with the United Kingdom was 52 per cent. of the whole trade of Egypt in 1886, it was only 44 per cent. in 1896, and that, as will be

on referring to the Foreign Statistical Abstract, the trade of Egypt with France, with Germany, with America, and with other countries, though small compared with her trade with the United Kingdom, has grown faster than that trade. This is confirmed by the details given in the very interesting report of Mr. Rodd above referred to, as well as by the report of the United States Agent on the commercial development of Egypt, quoted at page 400 of the Board of Trade Journal for October 1898. Both of these papers dwell on the fact that British trade with Egypt, whilst forming still so large a proportion of the whole trade of Egypt, does not increase so fast as that of other countries, especially Germany.

I do not wish to make too much of these facts. We cannot expect a large trade such as that of the United Kingdom with Egypt to increase by the same percentage as a very small trade ; and it is probable that the trade of Egypt with the United Kingdom is, under the excellent management of English administrators, as large as, or larger than, it would have been onder any other management. Moreover, there are ample reasons for believing that the policy of the “ open door," which England has adopted in Egypt, is the best policy which could be adopted in the interest of Egypt, of England, and of the world. But the fact that since the English took the management of Egypt into their own hands English trade with Egypt has increased but little, and has not increased in proportion to the whole trade of Egypt, is a strong argument against the opinion that trade depends upon government, and against the suggestion that, if we wish to increase our share of a country's trade, we must make it a part of our dominion.

Let us now sum up the result of these somewhat tedious figures. What do they prove ? I do not for a moment suggest that the natives of foreign countries with wants and habits different from those of Englishmen will buy and use as large a quantity of the things produced in England as people of English origin and habits would buy and

I do not suggest that the trade of the United Kingdom would not have been larger if the British dominions had been larger, and if the Union Jack had waved over all the countries now dominated by the tricolor or by the double-headed eagle. Still less do I suggest that the protective and prohibitory tariffs of foreign nations, not to mention those of our own colonies, have not made the volume of the trade of the United Kingdom less than it would otherwise have been.

What the above figures do prove is, that the trade of the United Kingdom with foreign nations is three times as great as the trade of the United


Each pro

Kingdom with countries under the British flag; that this proportion has been substantially maintained for the last balf-century-in fact, for the whole period for which we have trustworthy statistics; that it has remained the same, or nearly the same, in spite of changes of all kinds ; in spite of the enormous increase of the British Empire ; in spite of wars and alterations of boundaries; in spite of changes in the internal policies of the nations; in spite of the partial adoption, and in spite of the subsequent relinquishment by other nations, of the principles of Free Trade. And in the very peculiar case of Egypt, wbich, though ander British dominion, is not under the British flag, the figures above given show that the extension of British dominion, whether accompanied or not by an extension of British trade, has not involved a greater extension of Egypt's trade with the United Kingdom than of Egypt's trade with other nations. In short, these figares provo conclusively that extension of empire is not neces. sary for the maintenance of the foreign trade of the United Kingdom, and that there is some fundamental fallacy in the doctrine, so dear to Jingoes and Protectionists, that " the trade follows the flag."

It is not difficult to see why this should be the case. ducer seeks the best market for his goods, and cares nothing about the nationality of the purchaser. Each consumer seeks the goods which suit him best at the lowest price, and cares nothing about the flag which covers the country of origin. National habits, no doubt, influence production, and the same habits influence wants; but given the wants, and given the production which satisfies the wants, nationality does not govern exchange. Further, the artificial barriers which the folly of nations attempts to set up are really much less effectual tban is commonly supposed. What is intended to be a closed door is often only an obstruction in the passage. Protection, when there is excessive production, ceases to protect. Where production is advanced and highly specialised in one country and is less advanced and less specialised in another country, protective duties in the latter may raise prices, but they do not protect. This is the case as between more advanced and less advanced nations, but it is also the case between the most advanced nations. Where, as is at present the case, the most advanced nations in the world are becoming manufactoring nations, one of them will make special progress in one branch of manufacture and another in another branch, and they will exchange in spite of protective tariffs. Hence the great increase of our present trade with Germany in exports as well as imports. All nations, however protective, desire to import what they do not produce, and in so doing promote indirectly the trade against which they try to shut their own doors. Continental Europe exports to England and obstructs the importation of English goods, but at the same time imports from the East; England, in her turn, exports goods to the East, and thus pays

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