Mr. Baxter then attacked the Fair-trade delusion, and well as
the subject has been threshed out, he produced some new facts. After quoting the figures which show that the United Kingdom has within the decade increased vastly in population, income, general prosperity, and freedom from crime—there were, he noticed, 51,000 convictions for crime in 1850, against 15,000 in 1880—he gave the following most suggestive table. This is the consumption per head of articles of diet imported :—
1870. 1875. 1880.
Bacon, lb. 1.98 8-26 15.96
Batter, lb 4.15
7-42 Cheese, lb
Potatoes, lb 2.80 16-05 31.63 Wheat, lb 122.90
6.74 11-68 14.14
Sugar (raw), lb 41.40
54.22 Sugar (refined), lb.
5.83 8.88 9.46
3.81 4.44 4-59 Spirits, imported tic excisable, galls... 1.01
The Fair-traders would stop all this eating. Mr. Baxter even ventured to doubt whether universal Free-trade, if we could en- force it, would be so favourable to Great Britain. It would, he feared, cheapen production in all other countries, and so en- able foreign manufacturers to compete with English. That is certainly most true as regards ships.