11 JULY 1908, Page 24

The Hungry Forties. (T. Fisher Unwin. 3s. 6d.)—This volume was

published four years ago, but it is not out of season to recall it. That a high price for wheat did not mean comfort to the agricultural labourer is proved over and over again. One thing, however, must not be forgotten. The repeal of the Corn-laws did not make cheap bread, but made it possible. In 1853-54 wheat went up to something like a famine price, and whenever there is a shortage of production it is bound to rise. And it will most certainly rise, also, whenever there is a rumour of war, a significant token of what would happen if the anti-Navy men

could get their way. Of all political follies, the very worst is that which suggests giving up command of the road by which our food comesto us: Cobden probably never anticipated to how great an extent we should become dependent on imports, or he would have moderated his language about armaments.