16 NOVEMBER 1907, Page 19

In reality the rise of the motor industry gives the

strongest possible proof of how entirely unnecessary it is to foster an industry by Protection, or rather, we should say, how Free- trade is by far the best foster-mother. If ever there seemed to be primil-facie ground for the claim of an infant industry to be helped by a little Protection, it was in the case of the motor industry. It was possible to argue that owing to our pig- headed and restrictive legislation we had allowed the foreigner to get the start of us in the matter of construction, and that under a fiscal system which allowed the free import of foreign-made motors it would be absolutely impossible for our manufacturers to compete with their rivals. It will be remembered, indeed, that at the height of Mr. Chamberlain's Fiscal agitation the motor-car industry argument was the " show " argument. Fortunately we did nothing, but left the motor industry alone, with the results attested by so convinced a Tariff Reform journal as the Daily Mail.