11 JANUARY 1908, Page 3

It will surely be very difficult for any one who

reads these Returns to go on talking as though the growth of our export trade were an artificial one, due mainly to the export of coal. Coal is only one of innumerable items, and it must not be forgotten that it is the very ships which ballast themselves with exported coal that bring back the raw materials to feed our factories, and bring them at a cost which would be quite out of the question if the double trade were not permitted. We may once more draw attention to the fact that the wonderful successes of 1907 were accom- plished while trade in all foreign countries was good. Tariff Reformers argue as though prosperity abroad were necessarily death to us ; but we cannot understand how any one who studies these figures can fail to see that the greater purchasing power of our neighbours has been of vast advantage to us as well as to themselves. The Daily Chronicle usefully quotes the speech in which Mr. Chamberlain first explained his Tariff Reform proposals. Mr. Chamberlain, after stating that British exports had only increased from two hundred and fifty-six millions in 1872 to two hundred and seventy-eight millions in 1902, remarked: "You cannot go on supporting your population at that small rate of increase." The two hundred and seventy-eight millions have now become four hundred and twenty-six millions.