Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/243

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ASQUITH

figure Mr. Chamberlain has left altogether out of the account, altho it is strictly relevant to and strictly comparable with and belongs to the same class as the exports of our goods. Now, is that a growing or a diminishing quantity? I will compare the figures of the United Kingdom un- der free trade with the figures of the United States under protection. In 1870, just about the time that Mr. Chamberlain has taken for his comparisons, our tonnage of oversea shipping was 5,700,000; in 1902 it was 10,000,000 tons. In other words, it has increased very nearly 100 per cent. Now, in 1870 the oversea shipping tonnage of the United States was 1,500,000; in ] 902 this had fallen to 880,000 tons, or a diminu- tion of between 40 and 50 per cent. If it is true, as Mr. Chamberlain has told us, that we are sending less manufactured goods into the United States, you must not forget that at the same time we are performing for the United States, not gratuitously — great as is our affection for the United States — not gratuitously, but for value received, the service of carrying their goods as well as ours all over the world. While their shipping has declined owing to the excessive cost of shipbuilding which protection brings about, our shipping under free trade has most continu- ously and most prosperously increased.

My last criticism upon this part of Mr. Cham- berlain 's case is this: that he has committed an absolutely unpardonable error— unpardonable in a man who has acquainted himself with the 207

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