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MR. CHAMBERLAIN RE-STATES' HIS CASE. THE SUCCESS OF HIS SCHEMES. THE DUTY OF FREE TRADERS. J ON May loth, 1903, Mr. Chamberlain first launched his proposals of what he describes as Fiscal Reform." His policy has been greatly modified in fjome directions and considerably extended in others. Originally started as a great Imperial s ebcme to unite the Empire by the institution of preferential tariffs, it developed into a proposal of general Protection in which the Empire had a small part. A year's campaign has sufficed to bring about many changes. For this and other reasons the time had come when re-consideration of t1-e whole position and a re-statement of the case from Mr. Chamber- lain's point of view was necessary. This was given at the annual meeting of the same Association before which Mr. Chamberlain's scheme was originally placed. This meeting was held at Birmingham on May 12th. As he said: It may be useful, twelve months later, to take stock of the result, to estimate the situation in which we find ourselves. Reviewing the Situation. IF Mr. Chamberlain is a pessimist about the future of British trade, he shewed himself very optimistic when speaking to his friends on May 12th of the success his proposals had achieved in the country. He argued that a question which has aroused so much interest' can never die. He told us that he neither expected nor desired an early success; on the contrary, he thinks any haste would be a great mistake When we remember that a year ago we were told the Empire was in danger of falling into disjointed atoms, this assurance of the needlessness of hurry is comforting. Mr. Chamberlain congratulated himself that he had captured or converted the Unionist party. Said he: The Unionist party almost unanimously in the House of Commons, even more unanimously in the country, is pledged at least to this: to endeavour to recover the power of retaliation, the loss of which far-seeing statesmen regretted fifty years ago, and the restoration of which has been desired by tar-seeing statesmen since. 4' A-Terrible Personl THEN he went on' to tell us that the mere threat of what he would do if he got the chance had brougljt foreign nations to their senses The late ^Colonial Secretary evidently thinks himself a very terrible person, whose mere word to do all that is required to preserve our Colonies from the evil designs of foreign nations. Because certain German Jingo newspapers have forgotten to breathe out senseless threats against British Colonial trade, Mr. Chamberlain imagines he has influenced the German Government. One can only hope foreign statesmen have a little more common sense, when they review the position of British politics, and do not take our Daily Mail as the mouthpiece of the nation. Fprefgners Frightened. THEN Mr. Chamberlain tells us he has met certain unnamed and unknown foreign manu- facturers who are terribly upset at the prospect of his possible success, and who in such an event are coming over to Great Britain to set up "their works here This chatter about "people I have met." is really most uncon- vincing. Any globe-trotting Briton could tell far more exciting tales of the deep ways of the artful foreigner. Dumpers in Despair. IVF, were next told that as a result of-the Tariff Reform agitation there had been a "noticeable diminution of dumping." The reasons given for this are most entertaining, and must be given in full That is attributed to the fact that our ingenious and energetic competitors thought it prudent to stop their hands for a while, and to send their surplus goods in other directions rather than irritate a controversy which already they would desire to put to rest. This shews Mr. Chamberlain has simple and j childlike ideas about business which were supposed to be somewhat foreign to his general character. He seems to think foreigners shoot their goods upon our shores without being asked, and that no British importer is in any way responsible! It is sad to have to relate that as long as British merchants can buy dumped" goods from the foreigner cheaper than from anybody else they are rot likely to be disturbed by Mr. Chamberlain or his Tariff Reform League. But alas in this matter Mr. Chamberlain is wounded in the house of his friends, for at the very time he was speaking came the message that 5,000 tons of Canadian bounty-fed billets are on their way to this country. If our Colonial brethren are proof against Mr. Chamberlain's threats, how can he hope to impress the foreigner ? Defeated or Defiant ? STILL, Mr. Chamberlain is so elated with his success that he imagines the country is anxious to express its gratitude and confidence in him If the people of this country were only given the chance to express an opinion upan his scheme and his scheme alone, he says; Honestly I believe that by a g e"ll majority they would vote in favour of the change. Unfortunately, there are so many other subjects which interfere with a straight vote. There is the Education Act, with which people do not agree, and with whom Mr, Chamberlain sympathises. There is Chinese Labour, which may be good or bad. Then there is the Licensing Bill, which is causing so much trouble just now. All these things, according to Mr. Chamberlain, are so many weights which drag down those Tariff Reform candi- dates who otherwise would be victorious at every election. Tariff Reform, according to Mr. Chamberlain, instead of being a handicap to Unionist candidates, has been the one subject that has saved them from utter disaster. It is, in his opinion, the one asset of the Unionist party, and success has followed those candidates who, in the parlance of the hour, are whole-hoggers "— those candidates who had a little courage, who dared to call their souls their own, who had supported with all their mighf-, whole-heartedly, the policy in which they believed, and who had earned, and deserved to earn, the result of their courage. It is refreshing to have Mr. Chamberlain's candid opinion about gentlemen who are on the fence over this question. Said he: IT TS NOT GOOD POLICY—TO SAY NOTHING AT ALL ABOUT MORALITY—TO SIT UPON THE FENCE. Thus we see that, so far from admitting he has been defeated, Mr. Chamberlain claims he is winning all along the' line. In his closing words he told his Birmingham friends: I know that Birmingham has sometimes been a little ahead of the country. The country has always come up to it in time, and now I rely on you to help me to carry forward this beneficent reform, which will be the crowning act and glory of our political association.

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