Mr. Thorold Rogers, in responding to the toast of the
Cobden Club, referred to Tenniel's admirable picture of Mr. Chamberlain as the daring duckling launching out into the pond of Radicalism, and ventured to suggest that, like Hans Christian Andersen's "ugly duck," Mr. Chamberlain might yet turn out the swan of the brood. Sir Charles Mike afterwards made an interesting speech on the actual progress of Free-trade. A commercial treaty had been signed with Italy on the 15th of last month, which is a great step in the direction of Free-trade; and even before this our trade with Italy, which some years ago fell off greatly, had completely recovered. More- over, the Anglo-Italian Commercial Treaty contains a general arbitration clause, with detailed regulations for the appointment of arbitrators in case of divergencies of interpretation. The renewal of our relations with Mexico is another great step in the right direction, and with Portugal, a "most favoured nation" treaty has been signed. With Spain there is more difficulty, though Sir Robert Morier gives us hope that happier counsels are likely to prevail in Spain ; and in the United States, Sir Charles Dilke recognised not so much a distinct progress of Free-trade doctrine, as a much clearer admission of the doctrine that tariffs should be constructed on a revenue basis, and not on a basis of Protection. On the whole, the policy of Govern- ments in civilised countries had been recently becoming more and more favourable to Free-trade, instead of less and less so.