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The Cobden Club and New Zealand.

Mr R. H. Gibson, of New Plymouth, has received the following letter from Mr Arthur A. Porter, the hon. secretary of the Cobden Club .

I am not very sanguine about Preetrade in Now Zealand, Excessive expenditure involves heavy taxation, which is the Protectionist’s opportunity. People employed on the land in new countries appear to be as dense as our agricultural laborers wed to be, I spent six months in the United States in 1880, and X saw then that it was hopeless trying to teach the Western farmer what his interests were. The United States will give up Protection as soon as their national debt is extinguished, and no earlier—i.e., when there is no possible excuse left for duties. The financial future of New Zealand is not so bright, and the utmost the Cobden Club can hope for is that the duties will not be made higher. In 1880 my father had 50,000 copies of the ‘ Western Farmer ’ pamphlet, by Mongredien, circulated in America. The only result was that the Yankees were furious at the intervention of Englishmen in their affairs. We hardly know, therefore, what to think of your suggestion as to a special Shlet for the colonies. The club is interested by your letter, and perhaps something may come of it; meanwhile you will receive another parcel of publications. The description you have given of the New Zealand politician bf statesman corresponds exactly with my experience _ of them in Canada and the XJnited States, The leaders are representatives of thp ranjk apd file, and will never lead them to a higher level. _ I aip not sure that tjiings are much different here; the old-fashioned Radical of the John Bright type, whose demands were justified by common sense, and whose opinions were formed from a study of political economy, has given place to silly Socialists, who are po|t satiated with removing abuses, hut want to teach tjie peoplp to look to the Government for aid in everything—another form of Protection. We are having some trouble over the Sugar Bounties and Bi-metallism. I think that every country will have to fight the question out for itself. All the Cobden Club can do is to supply Freetraders in foreign parts with information as to general principles and the details of the struggle here. Nations, like individuals, only learn by experience. We learnt the lesson through our stomachs, so the process was quicker and the result more lasting. Mr Gibson desires us to state that he is willing to send an assorted parcel of the Cobden Club’s publications to any public library, farmers’ club, mechanics’ institute, or to any person who may care to receive it, the only charge being cost of carriage.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890514.2.37

Bibliographic details

The Cobden Club and New Zealand., Issue 7906, 14 May 1889

Word Count
457

The Cobden Club and New Zealand. Issue 7906, 14 May 1889

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