Page:Problems of Empire.djvu/199

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on both sides, you will get figures which will show that the industrial position of this country gives grave ground for anxiety. In this table are given figures showing the export of manufactured articles from this country, as well as from France, Germany, and the United States for a considerable period of years. It is perfectly true that by taking only the last five years it is possible to show these exports had increased; and some of the speakers against Tariff Reform are very fond of taking the figures of the past five years. But if you take the figures of a longer period—and I maintain that to arrive at a right conclusion, you must take a longer period—you will observe that our trade is subject to periods of prosperity and of depression, and that at the end of each decade our exports have reached about the same figures as at its commencement. Taking the last thirty years, our exports of manufactured goods have remained practically stationary; while those from France, Germany, and the United States have enormously increased since they adopted a protectionist policy. On the other hand, during the last few years of the period the importation of manufactured articles has largely increased, showing that foreign countries are beginning to seriously invade our home market.

Another point which has had a very powerful influence in bringing me to my present convictions, is that during the twelve years from 1890 to 1902 the balance of imports over exports had practically doubled, having increased from £92,000,000 to £181,000,000. This balance represented the earnings of our shipping and the interest on foreign investments. Last summer the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in reply to a question put to him in