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Mr Gladstone and Freetrade.

In the course of his speech at Cardiff, when receiving the freedom of that borough, the G.O.M. said :

" The colonies of this country have thought themselves—and they were entitled, I do not deny it, to form their own opinion on that matter —have thought themselves wiser than the Mother Country, and protective principles have obtained a considerable prevalence in those colonies, and there is no sign, as far as I know, that at the present moment they are losing ground. Well, now, gentlemen, in my opinion the time has arrived when the manhood of this country and the firmness of this country will have to be Beverly tested. What I say is this: We have lifted the banner and unfolded it before the world. On that banner is written: ' Freedom of labor ; freedom of. exchange' We have witnessed these results in forms that cannot for a moment bo doubted or disparaged. We have seen the commerce of our country multiplied fivefold. We have seen the capital of our country largely increased. We have seen the wages of labor, according to the best and highest authorities, not, indeed, brought up to the point which in many cases we should desire to see them, but still increased—so says Mr Giffen, after a deliberate and careful examination—increased by at least 50 per cent. Gentlemen, these are results 100 serious to be tampered with. We must give no countenance to any proposal, direct or indirect, which indicates that we have a disposition to recede. — (Cheers.) There have been in former times combinations of Powers which have led our countrymen to say "England against the world in arms." I am now for England against the world, not, I hope, in arms—though I believe England is fitter to meet that condition now than she ever was; but yet lam for England against the world, if need be. When we, who have been the standardbearers of the world in commercial legislation, have gone to the root of this matter, have tested every part of it by our own sore and laborious experience, have attained to the firmest conviction that we aro right, have spent a quarter of a century of our precious, our invaluable, natural life in givinc effect to the principles that we entertain, I say, under these circumstances, do not let us be ashamed to hold in the face of the world that we are not prepared to compromise one jot or tittle of the results which we have attained at so costly a price, and when we have such faith in the soundness of the principles of freedom attached to industry, as well as to politics; when we are quite satisfied that any delusions which now prevail will be temporal y delusions, will pass away like clouds before the face of the sun, and that in the main and in the long run truth in this as in other matters will prevail."

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Bibliographic details

Mr Gladstone and Freetrade., Issue 8011, 13 September 1889

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Mr Gladstone and Freetrade. Issue 8011, 13 September 1889

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