11 JULY 1908, Page 15


[To THE EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR:1 Sin,—It is now practically certain that the Free-Trade Congress (August 4th-7th) will see an international movement started for the propagation of Free-trade principles. There is no question of the readiness of foreign Free-traders, and earnest and steadfast purpose on our part is all that is needed to make such a movement the means of good, perhaps incal- culable. I have constantly increasing proof of the influence of the Spectator in our Colonies. May I appeal through your columns to Free-traders, especially in Canada and Australia, to do what they can to help this scheme ? To raise the question of Free-trade there is to do a most effectual service to the Mother-country. In his letter of the 4th inst. Mr. Alec Baird says that "no doubt a way will be found out" from the impasse in which the Unionist Free-trader finds himself. Our League believes that that "way out" is shown by such a missionary effort, which, while it helps the cause abroad, must also have the effect of saving the situation at home. To make the movement international is to lift the question at once out of the rut of party; and to attack Protection as the fatuous anachronism which it is, is to keep the Tariff Reformer too busy in defending his position for any opportunity to aggress.

Secretary to the Free-Trade Crusade League. Halton, near Leeds.

[We wish success to the new League in its plucky crusade, but we are not sure whether, like many missionaries, it should not begin at home and in the heart of the so-called Free- trade party rather than abroad. To make the country realise that the Government who are proposing an annual expenditure on old-age pensions which must ultimately reach 230,000,000 are the worst enemies of Free-trade would be to do more real good to the cause than to convert a hundred thousand foreigners or Colonists.—En. Spectator.]