The speech, though it contained much which was excel- lent
in sentiment and spirit, was remarkable for a discreet avoidance of details. It also greatly exaggerated the weak- ness of the existing ties that unite the Empire. Finally, Mr. Chamberlain entirely ignored the fact that sixty years ago we had almost exactly the system of Colonial Preference which he now demands, and that the outcome was well-nigh the ruin of the Empire. We bound ourselves to buy of one another, with the result that Imperial sentiment and Imperial patriotism were all but extinguished. The era of Colonial Preference bred Little Englanders, that of Free-trade sound Iin- perialists. This is no rash assertion, but a fact which is capable of the clearest proof.