Page:Problems of Empire.djvu/210

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price, and it is doubtful whether any remedy will be effectual which does not protect the British farmer from the dumped agricultural produce of the foreigner. I have often said when Col. Brookfield used to advocate this policy that it was idle to advocate Protection for the agricultural industry while the manufacturing industries were prosperous, but it is within the past ten years that manufacturing industries have begun to show signs of decay, and that we are beginning to see our home market invaded by the produce of foreign Protectionist countries. There is now an opportunity for agriculturists to press their claims upon the Government, and unless Members of Parliament who represent agricultural constituencies make their voices heard in the discussion, the farmers and labourers will find themselves left out in the cold as on previous occasions.

I congratulate Mr. Boscawen most sincerely on his success in getting a representative hop-grower on Mr. Chamberlain's Commission, but I should like to say that I am not at all satisfied with the representation of agriculture on the whole Commission. It is, in my judgment, most inadequately represented, but we can only hope that the agricultural sub-committee will be enabled to get together a body of evidence which will seriously impress, not only the Government, but the people of the country.

Mr. Chamberlain's proposals.As regards the value of Mr. Chamberlain's proposals to the farmer. A 2s. duty on foreign wheat no practical farmer believes would be of much value. The duty on other articles of agricultural produce will be of more value, but perhaps the most benefit to the agriculturist will arise from the imposition of a higher duty on flour than on wheat, which will have the effect of restoring