Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/100

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thought bringing them into office was the only way of putting their professions to the test. They came into office, and before they had been six months in office they had thrown protection to the winds. And that is the way in which the British farmer's expectations are treated by those who claim for themselves in the special sense the designation of his friends.

But are we such children that, after spending twenty years—as I may say from 1840 to 1860—in breaking down the huge fabric of protection, in 1879 we are seriously to set about building it up again? If that be right, gentlemen, let it be done, but it will involve on our part a most humiliating confession. In my opinion it is not right. Protection, however, let me point out, now is asked for in two forms, and I am next going to quote Lord Beaconsfield for the purpose of expressing my concurrence with him.

Since 1842, and down to the present time, we have had along with railways—always increasing their benefits—we have had the successive adoption of free-trade measures; and what has been the state of the export business of the country? It has risen in this degree, that that which from 1840 to 1842 averaged 50,000,000l., from 1873 to 1878 averaged 218,000,000l. Instead of increasing, as it had done between 1830 and 1842, when railways only were at work, at the rate of 1,000,000l. a year—instead of remaining stagnant as it did when the coun-