16 JUNE 1955, Page 25

NEE TRADE AND PROTECTION IN THE NETHER - LANDS, 1816-1830. By

H. R. C. Wright. Cambridge Studies in Economic History (General Editor : M. M. Postan). (C.U.P., 31s. 6d.) TILE union of Holland and Belgium in 1815 Mat well have created a powerful and Wealthy kingdom. Favourably situated, well Provided with rivers and ports, it seemed that the commercial equipment and traditions of the Dutch could spread the agricultural and Industrial products of Flanders and Walloon throughout the world. Internally, there were many goods which the provinces could profit- ThlY exchange amongst thenhlves. There Were, however, important differences of inter- est between the two regions; Dr. Wright studies Some of these divergencies in a book which covers ground new to British historians. He is Particularly concerned with fiscal and tariff Policy, and the way in which the Dutch and Relgians reacted to the ideas of King William 1. This is not an easy book to read : the author tends to assume knowledge on the part of the reader; nor is it in any way an economic his- tory of the Union. There is a great deal of Useful information about the decline of Dutch prosperity, but very little on the rise of Belgian 'ndustry. Such incompleteness necessarily de- tracts from the book's general value.

DOUGLAS JOHNSON