4 MARCH 1905, Page 2

Some of Mr. Chamberlain's points have, no doubt, , a

certain basis of truth; but he seems to us to have missed the force of the chief argument against the Convention,—that if local decrease is to be counteracted, all, producing areas must be put under contribution, and kept clear of such embargoes as the Convention imposes. If a natural loss is to be remedied naturally, there must be no artificial interference. It may be, true that the amount imported from Russia and Argentina, was relatively small, but, as he himself admitted, it is the small excess or deficit which determines cost. Even if it were balanced by a large increase on one area, the variety of producing ground which he desired is still limited. The debate was continued on Tuesday, when Mr. Lloyd-George and Mr. Sydney Buxton made excellent speeches exposing the evil effects of the Convention, and Mr. Bonar Law delivered a very clever and persuasive speech in support of the Government policy. In the end the Government bad a majority of 65 (276 to 211). The general trend of argument and experience goes to show that it is essential to maintain the policy of the open market. We rejoice to think that we steadily refused to give any countenance or support to the Sugar Convention, though before its passing the abstract considerations in its favour seemed fairly strong.