3 DECEMBER 1904, Page 19

Wednesday week's papers contained the details of the new School

of Imperial History which Mr. Alfred Beit proposes to equip at Oxford for seven years, on the understanding that if. the University authorities at the end of that period are satisfied with its usefulness, he will endow it in perpetuity. A Pro- fessor is to be appointed, and two Assistant Lecturers; prizes are established for University essays on Imperial questions; and a small donation is made to the Bodleian to enable it to provide the requisite library. The sketch prospectus of studies seems to us an admirable one, embracing as it does the history of Imperial expansion in general, and the economic and constitutional development of the different Colonies. It is proposed to make the School a branch of the Modern History School, where Indian history is already a subject. We have every sympathy with the movement, provided it is conducted on a broad and liberal basis, for knowledge of Imperial history is the only corrective to false theories of Empire. How many of the heresies of Tariff Reform should we not have been spared if their propounders had had a rudimentary acquaintance with the history of Imperial development, and had known, for instance, that up till 18443 we had a complete system of Colonial Preference,—a system which very nearly lost us the Empire.