4 MARCH 1905, Page 2

Free-traders who contend that Protection is an inclined plane will

be fortified in their view by the remarkable letter addressed to a Notts farmer by Mr. Jesse Collings.

The farmer cannot grow corn in face of the competition of the whole world. If protection were given him, and nothing short, of 6s. or 8s. a quarter would be of any use, it would, I fear, be of no use to the tenant-farmer." Mr. Jesse Collings explains the meaning of this somewhat incoherent sentence by pointing out that Protection is useless so long as the landlord is in a position to take advantage of the prosperity which it brings to the tenant-farmer by raising his rent "My remedy," he continues, "is that contained in the 'Land Purchase Bill '—namely, to turn the tenant-farmer into the yeoman owner of his farm. In that case substantial protection could be defended, and would be agreed to by the public, because the money, instead of going into the landlord's pocket, would go directly to the farmer's, and, through him, into the land, thereby increasing its productiveness." It comes to this : we are to create a peasant proprietary in order to obtain more voters for Tariff Reform. We shall next be told, no doubt, that we must disestablish the Church because the existence of a State Church prevents many Nonconformists from supporting Tariff Reformers.