Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

14 articles on this Page

(Dur .f anion Corns pntoii.




[No title]







WHAT MR. HORSMAN SAYS. We have made concessions to France upon our side which might be made independent of treaty, and she has on her part made concessions to this country for the purpose of carrying which into effect no arrangement of the kind was necessary, and we now stand in the position of being invited to express our approbation ofthepeèuliar mode of giving effect to their policy which the Government has adopted. WHAT THE EMPEROR WISHES. In this treaty the Emperor of the French addresses him- self to the English Cabinet. Deal with me," he says, by a treaty of reciprocity. To be sure, it is against your law, but it won't be the first time you have endeavoured to oblige me by changing your law." (Hear, hear.) "Give me," he says, a treaty of reciprocity by this means I can leave out my Chambers, and can force free trade down the throats of my reluctant subjects." By this act, say the admirers of the treaty, you secure the friendship of the French nation by helping their Emperor to jockey them you secure their eternal gratitude (hear, hear) you will get hold of their affections; old jealousies and animosities will become as dead as reciprocity was six months1 ago; and as to the war party in France, you will never hear of it again, as M. Chevalier said the other day; and those who were wont to exclaim against perfidious Albion would hasten to the Hotel Meurice to enrol themselves as members of the Peace Society. A POLICY OF AGGRESSION AND AGGRANDISEMENT. When there is an entirely exceptional state of things in France—when the military element predominates over the commercial—when you have a policy of aggression and aggrandisement openly avowed and unscrupulously carried out—when you have armaments by sea and land such as the world has never seen before, and a military organisation unknown since the days of the Roman Empire—such a time, t say, is not the precise moment to part with our legislative independence, especially to that Power whose menacing attitude to ourselves (hear, hear) imposes on us in time of peace war taxes and burdens (hear, hear), and a grievous ex- penditure in order to protect us from the attacks which we apprehend from herself. WHAT DOES AN ALLIANCE WITH FRANCE MEAN ? Does it not mean an alliance prospectively against some other Power ? And is there any other Power at this moment with whose principles of international policy we have no more sympathy and a closer approximation than we have with France? Is it possible for any two countries to differ more widely than we do from France as to the policy to be pursued in Italy ? Our principle is that the Italians should govern themselves. The policy of France is that Italy should be governed by France, Our policy is that Savoy should per- tain to the paternal Government of Piedmont. The French policy is that Savoy should pertain to France. Our policy is respect for treaties, reverence for international rights, as the ijest security for the peace of the world. The policy of France is extinction of treaties, aggression, aggrandisement, ind war. RUINED BY OUR OWN BLACK DIAMONDS! We feel that we have much to dread from the probability that English coal will be used against us in war. We have much more to dread it as an element of competition in peace., Reversing the policy of Sir R. Peel—the jealous patriotism that guided him—our Government have cheap- ened coal to Rouen and Havre, and make it dearer to Birmingham and Manchester. Can any advantages arising from the increased trade of coal compensate for the heavier load and increased cost of manufacturing production in the enhancement of the price of coal ? The Emperor does not bestow on us a share of the sun in southern France, nor can he give us or share with us the brilliant hues of French silks or the delicate flavour of French wines. The command of these he must keep. He is secured in these respects from the possibility of reciprocity. But the whole shores of the Channel, from Dunkirk to Cherbourg, and the whole country from the banks of the Seine to the great Manchester of France, he has made a part, and a favoured part of Eng- land in respect to coal, and henceforth you have a race eminent for industry, for energy, for taste in the fine arts, who have acquired a vested and permanent right in the mineral resources of England. I say the whole history of civilised legislation furnishes no parallel for such improvi- dence. This is the more inexplicable, because it is now proved on every ground to be unnecessary; it was not called for by the interest of England, nor demanded by the Government of France, for the Ambassador of France, the moment this question was stirred, knowing how objection- able the principle was, how.obnoxious and unpopular it must be in England, and how injurious to this country, came forward voluntarily and suggested to the Government a modification of that article. The Government would listen to no modification. IRISH RECIPROCITY AND MORAL EQUIYALMTTS I I saw it stated in the Journal des Dibats, which is a great free-trade authority, and an organ of the Emperor, that 80 per cent. was intended by the Emperor to be a prohibitory duty, and that he had outwitted the English negotiators. This received some confirmation from what the Chancellor of the Exchequer said about French gloves, which were practically excluded by a duty Of 15 per cent. As far, then, as material equivalents go, we do not gain much from tins treaty. We allow French manufactures to come m uuiy free, while our manufactures on entering France are to pay 30 per cent. The treaty is not to come into operation on the side of France for 18 months on our side it takes effect im- mediately. In fact, we make a present to the Emperor of two millions while we have a deficit in our own exchequer that has to be made up from an increased income-tax. The reciprocity of all this is somewhat of an Irish character. But then there are the moral equivalents. BRIBING ENGLAND TO TRIP UP FRANCE! Any hon. gentleman who reads the French newspapers will learn for himself what they say or our proceedings. They are saying at this moment, that the Emperor has bribed England to help him to trip up France-that the complicity of the nation of shopkeepers has been purchased through the lust of lucre for sordid purposes, and that our services have been sold to aid him in circumventing his people. The Protectionists of France-if I may say it without offence to the hon. gentleman opposite-are a very benighted race. But why not leave them to fight out their quarrel with their own Emperor ? Surely the odds are enough against free trade if he wishes to convert them; and it is not necessary that 1#3. we should strengthen their prejudice by teaching them t t- contrast the morality we display with the Mamnjon we wor- ship, or to point to the friendship we profess and the treachery we practise. NO EXCUSE FOR EXCEPTIONAL LEGISLATION! We have not the excuse of commercial pressure or financial embarrassment for this exceptional legislation. All interests are thriving, money-making is going on to an extent unparalleled in the history of the country, and our people are now blessed not only with wealth and comfort, but also contentment. Why endanger all this by a mad chase after more riches and more contentment ? No argument could be more untenable than that, ha.viBg heretofore consistently adhered to a sound political economy, we should now recede from it to help France to advance. The advice which Sir Robert? Peel bequeathed to his successors in this matter r was, that they should take no heed of foreigners! except to set them an example which we might be sui'e they would sooner or later inevitably follow. And just at the very moment when our example is telling on the most powerful and important country in the world, we are abandoning our principles in the face of all nations.




[No title]