7 JANUARY 1865, Page 7



MR. BRIGHT attended the opening of the new Exchange Hall at Birmingham on Monday, and made an eloquent but exagge- rated speech on manufactureni, chambers of commerce, and the des- tinies of trade. He thought that manufacturers had been too modest, that they were " gradually becoming more important than warriors and statesmen," that the stream of commerce would be found always to have run side by side with that of freedom and civilization, that every Exchange was a portion of the Parliament of the world, and that the future would belong to the " captains of industry." The traders to whom he spoke of course applauded these sentiments to the echo, without reflecting that without liberty, which is due to the warrior and the statesman, their trade could not even exist, or that a man like Coke of Norfolk or the Duke of Northumberland is a " captain of industry" of a very high and productive kind. The speaker passed on to strikes, upon which he was for a manu- facturer singularly fair, arguing that the right of striking was " a reserved power which, under some circumstances, it might be the duty of the workmen to exercise." He thought its exercise, how- ever, usually impendent, and trusted to education as the best cor- rective/of the bitterness between masters and employed. He may be right; and we shall reckon on him to resist the absurd outcry against the cost of State education, but the masters are better educated than the men, and are at least as unfair.