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THE C OBDEN CLUB. To the.Editor of the COUXTY TIMES and POST. Slit, The Cobdeu Club iu their letter to me 01 the 12th are vastly amusing, as, nothing daunted, they proclaim in their most grandiloquent stvle that the United Kingdom reigns supreme in manufactures, trade, and navigation." Now, ir is by this sort of wild and misleading assertion, ai d also by hiding the truth, that England has so long been deceived and 10J astray. But what are the facts ? Agriculture, which should bo and is the mainstay of every country, is in a state of collapse! The iron industry, which, next to laud, has always been considered one of the best and safest of British industries, is in a state of rapid decay. In 18S2 we were supreme, the iron masters ol the world cur production cf pig iron was 8.586,680 ton* but in 1894 it was 7,427,342 tons And now America is supreme, they have. gone far ahead of us, and this all with protection, mark. Then, ao-ain in 18 ) iu Germany" exported same year made in the United Kingdom £ 1,834,431. We are not supreme there. V\e were in 1882. We then exported £ 4,107.1251 It is perfectly distressing to read such' figures. There we see in a. very marked manner how Ger- many under protection has gained, and how Enland has lost nuder free imports; and it is much the same with every industry. I cannor too often repeat and enforce, that the productive power of the United Kingdom is bein# destroyed bv free imports. It is true thai, for the moment the iron trade is fairly bu -y, chiefly owing to war ship- huilding. And now we come to cotton there we are supreme. Bnt neither protection nor anvthiag else can save Lancashire from a great collapse at no distant day. Even now the figures aie not satisfactory as m 1874 we exported of yarn and cloth £ 74.247.625, and in 1894 only £ 66^564,529! <- oming events eat their shadows before them, if I mistake not. Then as to wool manufactures, for the present, Yorkshire is busy, chiefly owing to the change in the American tariff; but here again the figures show distinctly how very seriously we are being beaten both in the home and also in the foreign market. In 1874 we exported wool manu- C]°th and £ 28,359,512, and in 1894 £ ..3,728,-46; and we imported in 1894, what looks almost impossible, no less than Xll,000,000 from foreign countries. All this is verv deplorable, and unless we change cur fiscal system it seems nothing but rnin. But then to cheer us the Cobden Club tells us triumphantly thai the United Kingdom ¡"(';gns supreme in manufactures,trade and naviga- tion." What a supreme delusion And linen is just a- bad, as in 1374 we xported X8,832,53,3, and in 1894 only £¿),44\8b8. Such figures should cause Lbe nation to go into mourning, Then as to silk, it is almiit as usual as rickety as it well can be, just ai-ve and that's ail. have the verv pleasant figures to 100it at, that vre import upwards of 12 millions, and only export about a million and a half. [ I might also pui nt to th., ruinous state of many other industries' swell as the tin-plate workers, the sugar retiner, the corn millers, and any number of otuer industries, «11 ip a state of collapse but I think that I have proved my case up to the hilt, that free imports have been, and are, injurious to the country," and the Cobden Club knew better than to accept the challenge. Although they sav that we are supreme, we are going faster down the hill than any nation ever did in history. But. before I close, I wish to say a, few words in answer to Mr Thwaites, as 1 have been accused of shirking it. About ten years ago 1 poiuted out in the Press that takinginto consideration the long hours and cheaper labour of France it was costing us zC60,000 or £ 70,000 a year more in England, and that it would pay us to remove the entire concern (Manningham Mills). The difference is not so great now, although it is very considerable, but we should have the enormous advantage of two markets, a protected homp market, and and a free market for surplus stock—so very nice for the middleman and con- sumer, but death, absolute death, to the British producer; and it is not possible for any individual concerned, or for any nation to withstand 'such unfair competition. Ruin, ruin it means nothing but ruin. The figures speak for themselves, and when all the producers are ruined and destroyed what then will become of the consumers ? Can they live without production ? Let them try I am sending my pamphlet to the members of both Houses of Parliament and a-copy of this letter to all the leading journals, in hope that I may be able to thoroughly arouse the country to the vast im- portance cf reconsidcrina- Or fisral nnlW "nil L- l- I,I danger, serious danger, of any further del,,tv.-I remain, sir, yours faithfully, MASHAM. Clunimore Lodge, Pitlochry, June 22nd, 1896. P.S.-Abont ten days ago I had sent to me from New York 1, ( urtiss's Protection and Prosperity," by far the most important and comprehensive work ever published, not very pleasing reading for the British Free Trader; but it should convince him of his folly if anything ill. Many of my figures are taken (after verification) from "Made in Germany a capital book, full of instruction.