11 DECEMBER 1880, Page 3

Mr. Evelyn Ashley, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of

Trade, has addressed two letters, one to the Work- men's Committee for the Abolition of the Sugar Bounties, and one to the West-Indian Committee formed for the same purpose. In the former, he speaks of the sugar bounties as, in effect, "a boon "to our sugar-consuming classes, which it would be con- trary to the policy of the G-overnment,—which always prefers the interest of a great consuming class to the interest of a small producing class,—to attempt to repel. In the latter, he admits that no country can ultimately benefit from such a policy, and if we understand him rightly, ultimately at least, not even the country which appears to receive the "boon ;" and he pro- mises to see what can be done to persuade other countries that it is false policy to give bounties, as it is false policy to impose protective duties. This sort of fidgetty changing from one leg to another on so important a subject as this, is hardly wise in the Government. These sugar bounties are either "boons" or mischiefs to England. If they are boons, we ought to praise them, and suggest their enlargement and the extension of the principle to other sorts of foreign exports. If they are mischiefs, we should do all that is practicable, without causing fresh mischief, to get rid of them, and not blow hot and cold on them at once.