PROBLEMS OF EMPIRE.
that this point has a very important bearing on the discussion now going on. While I think the unity of the Empire will certainly be promoted by the adoption of a policy of preferential trade within the Empire, I have come to the conclusion that we cannot hope to permanently hold Canada by the sentimental tie alone.Sir Robert Giffen and ineffectual Preferences.In an article in the current number of the Nineteenth Century, Sir Robert Giffen, one of the most important opponents of the policy, asks: 'What is the use of discussing theories of Free Trade and Protection when no material advantage can result to anybody from the special proposals put forward?' After considering the effect of Mr. Chamberlain's policy as regards Canada, he says: 'A 2s. rise in price will not of itself increase the wheat area in production.' During my recent visit to Canada I went to Winnipeg and the North-West for the express purpose of inquiring into the points raised by Sir Robert Giffen in the course of his article. Sir Robert Giffen asserts that the proposed preference of 2s. on wheat would be ineffectual. I believe that Sir Robert Giffen is mistaken. A leading grain merchant stated to me, and his view was confirmed by others, that a preference of 1s. to 2s. per quarter would be ample to speedily develop the Canadian North-West, and bring under cultivation all the land required to produce the bread supply of the United Kingdom. The following illustration will make the value of the preference clear. Free grants of land are given by the Canadian Government in what are known as quarter sections, or 160 acres. Assuming that on a farm of this size 100 acres are under wheat, and that the production of wheat per acre is twenty