importing cigars, champagne, turtle, and pine-apple for himself, or more expensive silk dresses for his wife, society is worse off; if, on the other hand, he is wise enough rightly to distribute it, society does not necessarily gain anything.
Specious inferences are drawn from the enormous rise, since 1855, in the gross amount of the annual value of property and profits assessed to the income tax. To analyze these returns would be to write a volume; but, obviously, what is said in the last three paragraphs, and what is hinted at earlier, disposes of many such sanguine inferences. Moreover, Messrs. Alexander Collie and Co., the shareholders in Overend Gurney and Co., Limited, and in the Glasgow City Bank—types of a numerous class—helped to produce the rise in question.
The exports of British and Irish produce during the fifteen years, 1866—1880, cannot be said to have grown. In the first named year they were represented by the declared value of one hundred and eighty-nine million pounds sterling. The yearly averages are—
|For the quinquennial period ending||1870,||188 million pds. stg.|
|„ „ „||1875,||239½ „|
|„ „ „||1880,||201½ „|
|For the two years, 1881—2||237½ „|
|And for the two years, 1871—2||239½ „|
Mr. Gladstone at Leeds in October, 1881, tried hard to attenuate the force of the disagreeable fact he had to admit, namely, that our exports of British manufactures are now seriously diminishing. He did this first by lumping together exports to foreign countries (which have largely fallen off) with exports for our own colonists who naturally prefer English goods (which exports have largely increased; they are nearly double the declared value in 1865, thus teaching the importance of promoting colonial development and growth of colonial populations); second, by telling his audience that a reduction in values of exports amounting to one hundred and sixty million pounds only signifies that the profit upon that sum, arbitrarily estimated by him at ten per cent., or sixteen million pounds, has not been earned by British traders. Mr. Gladstone overlooked the truth that the value of all manufactures is (theoretically) the sum of the labour expended in obtaining and manipulating raw material in itself valueless. Were the goods our customers did not buy from us such as must have been extracted from British soil, then not less than one hundred and sixty million pounds are lost to