4 MARCH 1905, Page 24

England's Ruin. By A. M. S. Methuen. (Methuen and Co.

3d. net.)—Mr. Methuen, using the form of letters addressed to Mr. Chamberlain, puts forth various considerations, facts, figures, and conclusions, which go to disprove the assertion that unless England "reforms her Fiscal policy" she is doomed to a rapid decay. That we have rivals in trade now whom we did not have fifty years ago is certain, but that they can be vanquished in this way is another matter. If you have to meet a more formidable enemy than you have before encountered, it is not wise to begin by tying up one of your hands. As Mr. Methuen points out, to take one of his arguments, to gain a revenue of £12,000,000 by a 10 per cent. duty on manufactured imports, you put a burden of 458,000,000 on the consumers. He may well ask : Is this business ? Though in some passages the book is much too personal in its form of attack, it is, as a whole, a very powerful piece of political criticism, and we recommend it with confidence to all who desire to realise the strength of the ease against Protection. We regret that we can- not find space to notice the work at greater length, but that is impossible considering the amount of Fiscal literature now before the public. The book, however, is certain to make its own way, for its clear and trenchant style will attract all Free-trade readers.