20 MAY 1905, Page 2

On Wednesday afternoon Mr. Chamberlain addressed the Annual Conference of

the Organised Labour Branch of the Tariff Reform League in a speech which was frankly Pro- tectionist in the old sense. He had had two objects in his political career. One was to improve the condition of the working classes, and the other to maintain the Empire. It was with the first of these objects that Mr. Chamberlain chiefly dealt. What the working man wants is more employment. Protection—the taxation of foreign manu- factured imports—would increase employment, therefore the working man ought to vote for Protection. That, in short, was Mr. Chamberlain's argument. It was illogical for the Trade-Unionists to be opposed to Protection, because not only did Trade-Union rules endeavour to do what Pro- tection does, but the legislation demanded and obtained • by the Trade-Unionists was also Protective. There was the Fair Wages Resolution; there was the prohibition of importation of prison-made goods ; there was the legislation against sweating; and lastly, there was the promised legis- lation against aliens. How could working men support the policy of their Trade-Unions and the legislation just enumerated, and yet refuse to support Protection for British labour from foreign competition? They could not go on in the illogical way in which the Trade-Union leaders had been going on. "You must take a line. Bo Free-traders if you ,