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! LADIES' LETTER I-

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!P";'Fwr11.' IESTATE MARKET…

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Elephant's Tantrums.

. Great Fire at Dewsbury.

0 Fell Into a Kiln.

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RURAL LIFE.

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AGRICULTURAL POLITICS.

Premier's Double.

RURAL LIFE.

AGRICULTURAL POLITICS.

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THE FIIEE TRADE FANATICISM. Of course, these proposals were reinforced by what I may call direct frontal attacks-by deliberate suggestions that clauses and portions of clauses which would offend the nostrils or limit the opportunties of the foreigner should be eliminated. As a fact the whole purpose of the Bill stank rank in the nostrils of these men —these politicians who would administer the thumb-screw or would apply the gentle Inquisi- tion-method of blowing out with a Gargantuan over-dose cf liquid to all who would dare un- hallowly breathe in the neighbourhood of the Free Trade fane. And yet it is these men who are jeopardising the edifice by giving it a character its authors never desired it to possess. After all, Cobden himself could negotiate with France so that English trade in France should enjoy equitable and equable advantages with French traders in England. FAIR AND DEBATABLE SUGGESTIONS. Heaven forfend it be deemed I would say that all the amendments had this eharaetei Let me illustrate what I may call the more reasonable attitude of saner men, of a politi- cian, say, of the earnest propagandist views of 3 Mr. Chiozza Money. Frankly, I think that there j is cogency and force in the following suggestion of the hon. member-a suggestion avowedly drafted in the interest of the foreign importer: Where, in any district out of the United Kingdom, it is proved to the satisfaction oi the Board of Trade that it is the custom to grow hops in small quantities and to send them to a central establishment for curing and packing, the Board shall submit the sub- stitution of the name of such central es- tablishment for the name of the grower, and it shall notify to the Board of Customs the districts to which such exemptions shall apply. Of course,I admit that there would have to be adequate precautions taken that this concession was not evaded—and evasion without precau- tions would be easy. At all events, the proposi- tion was debatable and fair. In the same way, too, though I do not approve of it, and fear that its acceptance would have provided a loophole which would have been seized with a good deal of avidity, I concede that there is ground for argumentative consideration in the suggestion of Mr. Essex, a teetotal M.P., who is not such a fanatic as to be a prohibitionist and an arrogant shutter-up of all public- houses :— Any person who shall sell or offer for sale any beer in the making of which hop substi- tute has been used shall declare that fact to any purchaser or intending purchaser, and in default therof shall incur an excise penalty not exceeding £100. Of course,t he unfortunate fact about this sug- gestion is that it would permit the use of hop substitutes. When, too, would the declaration of the fact be made? Would it be upon the barrel. If so, how many of those who resort to a public house would see the barrel? Would it be upon, the bottle? In how many cases, again, in a public-house does the person who quaffs a bottle of beer read the, label? In ¿.ow many private cases is the label heeded or per- used? I must say too, that Mr. Patrick White, the Nationalist member of Meath, made a not injudicious suggestion on a proposed additional clause, which would-pray heed this, ye hep- growing readers—have compelled every importer of foreign hops to lodge at the British Consul at the port of embarkation two copies of an invoice containing all the information demand- ed of the foreigner by the Bill, which would have compelled that Consul to forward one copy to the Customs officials at the port of de- barkation who should refuse delivery unless the marks on the packets corresponded with the facts stated in the invoice, and which would have also compelled that Consul to, from time to time, make inquiries in order to see that no misleading invoices were sub- mitted to him. A PARLIAMENT WITH THE JUMPS. These, however, are practically the only al- loying suggestions in this dreary desert of an- tipathy and prejudice. I do not think Mr. Courthope was quite fair on Thursday afternoon in his suggestion—though considering the vivid character of his interest in the matter, we can quite understand it-that the Government in abandoning the Bill have been guilty of a breach of faith, or in his assertion that by this abandonment Ministers had made them- selves the laughing-stock of the country. After all, the condition precedent which Mr. Asquith laid down for transmuting the Bill into an Act did not exist-that is, an unanimous senti- ment oi sympathy; but fail though the Govern- ment has failed through the perverseness of an invincibly prejudiced section of its own follow- ing, it has achieved a measure of success-in that it his made assured the lines on which any legislation must proceed. Hop substitutes are to be prevented, and the foreign rival of the British hop-grower is to be compelled to observe equal conditions, and to trade on terms equitable to the British hop-grower. "This parliament has got the jumps"—thus I over- heard one legislator remark to another. It has, or rather a section of its membership has. Every quivering aspen applls its nerves-and means to this section Protection. Every whis- pered hope spells Protection. Every suggestion of provident self-care spells Protection. Every wise proposal for the protection of the British trade by even the most trusted of the leaders of this section means the unfair harrassment cf the foreigner and the heightening of the price to the home producer. The men of this section have got the jumps, and are haunted by ghosts. v But why, oh why, did not Mr. Asquith accept the Conservative suggestion and embody clause 1 in a definite Bill? He would then, at least, have prevented the use of hop substitutes.