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NOTES AND COMMENTS. .._-.-

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FonwAni>' declines to give his programme of local reforms, and we arc as much in the dark as ever as to how the Tory Pnrty arc going to prove themselves the friends of the working classcs. Possibly the Tory programme consists only of one item opposition to all Liberal reforms. it, imperial politics^ Forwards platform contains at least three planks lie defends the House of Lords, the Church Establishment, and the Drink Traffic. That gives up an idea as to the true inwardness of his political way of thinking. At last he has launched out the terrible statistics which he has kept in reserve for Wille ii ecks. iii, I which are to demolish all his opponents. He takes tho decade from 188*2 to 1893, and shows that commerce flourished more abundantly under Tories than under Liberals. This is a aamc which two can play at. Wc take another decade, aud see what the figurcs have to tell us. In 1871 the Tories went, into power uuder Lord Beacousticld, and retained office till 1880, v.hen Mr. Gladstone secured n. majority. The total imports and exports for those rear are as follows £ 1374 667,753,165 1875 655,551,900 1876 631,931,305 1877 646,765,702 187S 614,264,600 1879 611,775,239 1880 697,634,031 1881 694.105,264 1882 719,680,322 1883 732,328,649 The foregoing figures tell their own tale. Thcie was a steady decrease while the Tories held the reins, and a remarkable increase as eoon as the Liberals came into power. These statistics some- how do not appear to fit in with' "Forward's" hectoring philosophy. If we take the shipping returns for the same period get the following figures: 1874 Tons 45,428,957 1875 „ 46,276,833 1876 „ 50,784,902 1877 51,531,077 1378 51,595,079 1879 „ 52.715,450 1880 53,736,063 1081 ,,57,949,145 1882 ,,61,491,255 1883 ,,64,961,753 Take again the quantity of coal and iron raised. These aro the figures Tons. Tons. 1874 Coal 125,043,257 Iron 14,844.936 1875 ,,131,867,105 15,821,060 1876 133,344,766 „ 16,841,583 1877 ,,134,610,763 „ 16,692,802 1873 ,,132,654,887 15,72^,370 1879 „ 134,008,228 „ 14,379,735 1880 „ 146,813,622 18,026,409 1881 „ 154,184,300 17,446,065 1882 156,499,977 18,031,957 1385 163,737,327 ,,17,383,046 The textile industries give pretty tnudi the same results. 1 he railway statistics are also very instructive. Taking the same period of ten years the total receipts from all kinds of railway traffic are as follows :— £ 1874 59,255,715 1875 61,237,000 1876 62,215,775 1877 62,973.328 1878 62,862,674 1879 61,776,705 1880 65,441,625 1831 66,557,442 1882 69.377,124 1883 71,062,270 The foregoing ligmcs, which are taken tr>:nn the Sio,if.*mai>">■ Yrar Jivok for l8Ho (" Fon\aid dors not give the source of his information^, do not bear out our correspondent's contentions. They do not show that the Liberal Party frighten capital out of the country, or that the moneyed classes refuse to invest when the revolutionary Radicals are in power. They do not show that trade is alwavs depressed when the Liberals handle the helm of State. It is quite another tale they tell. When- ever there was titi increase during fory years, that increase was fully maintained when'the Liberals callie in. lusonie cases, as iu the impoits and exports, we actually find a Tory decrease con- verted by the Liberals intoanincreaxe. That does not- look like paralysing industry by revolutionary politics. Tiie capitalists no uot seem to be parti- cularly afraid of the wild and erratic Radicals. With Mr. H. C. Lewis and "Disgusted," we do not think that the commerce of this Empire ia affected to any appreciable degree by the vicissi- tudea of party government. e have gone into the matter, and given the above figures, merely to show the fal-ityof l'ut"\Yaro1 is contention that the trade. His ten years indicate greater commercial activity under the Tories, and our ten years are decidedly favourable to the Liberals. We have every right to pit our decade against his. Clearly thc IIloml is that it matters uot very much to commerce which political partv is iu power. Jf "Forward" thinks that the Tories are the friends of the working classes bccause they increase t rade, then it looks as if the evidence of history must go againsthim. '0-

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