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of the world than a hundred imperial conferences. To devise means to keep her money and her men at home and to give each an equal chance is now the problem which lies on the doorstep of the home citadel of this fecund mother of nations, who still abounds in incredible resources, strength, and power, notwithstanding the demands already made upon her and to which she has responded with a lust for adventure without parallel.

No greater source of England's strength exists than that which lies in her dominance of the seas. It is not the armored vessels of which her people are so proud that contribute to her vitality, but the unarmed liner following its regular route, or the blunt-nosed, slow-speeded "tramp," seen perhaps first at the London docks, then again a few weeks later at anchor in some far tropic port.

The tonnage of ships flying the British flag is nearly twenty million. The United

States comes next with less than eight million and then Germany with less than four and a half million. A great percentage of the American tonnage is in the coasting trade, while that of England is overseas. There are no signs of decrease in this greatest of all the British industries, for in 1910 over 500 vessels were launched from British yards,-figures which included 331 sea-going steamers, ranging from small yachts to the 45,000-ton new passenger steamer Olympic. In the United States 195 vessels were launched, and in Germany 117. Nearly 50% of all the world's new shipping of 1910 carries the British flag. The very nature of England's trade demands this great merchant fleet, for her highways are those of the sea. Her greatest port of tonnage is London, the second is HongKong, and the third is Liverpool.

To say that this great English industry stands on its own feet, that it is just as

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free from government aid or organized directing is as true as to say the same of the commerce it stands for. Many careless and intentionally or unintentionally misleading statements have been made concerning the aid given to steamship lines by the British government. With the exception of a favorable loan and a subvention conditional upon high speed arranged by the English government to secure the building of the Mauretania and the Lusitania, virtually no subsidies are now paid by England to further the interests of sea transportation. Statements are not uncommon in which all the amounts paid by the British government for carrying the mails and other services are lumped together and characterized as shipping subsidies. This is not really a fair statement, for the British Post Office pays for the carrying of the mails at the lowest ton rate which can be secured under the circumstances. In former years some subsidies have been paid; one notable instance was that designed to encourage the development of a line to the West Indies, but even this subsidy has been discontinued, owing to the refusal of Jamaica to continue payment of her half share of $200,000 a year. That the payment for the mail services is based upon actual work done is shown by the fact that with each succeeding year less and less money is paid to the Peninsular and Oriental Line owing to the decrease in the amount of mail matter sent by that route. On the whole it may truly be said that English commerce, including the great shipping industry, is entirely dependent for success upon the intelligence and persistence of designed effort and activity.

"What England needs," said an Englishman to me, "is a tariff for revenue with a carefully adjusted degree of protection for home industry and the power such protection will give us to favor the products of the colonies." It was in the course of a smoking-room chat on a steamer northbound from South America that this was said. My friend is the kind of man who would succeed anywherequiet, wasting no words, and commanding respectful attention when he does speak; practical to the last degree, and with a fortune, the profits of many years of successful trading, which speaks for the value of his opinion. "I am going home," he

continued, "to stand for Parliament on the Tariff Reform platform. The constituency in which I shall ask for votes is one of laboring men. I shall tell them what I think and take the consequences." He did, and was defeated; but he will be in the field at the next general election in England, when he believes the tide will turn toward what he terms "a plain, common-sense view of the situation."

When his attention was called to the fact that the year 1910 witnessed an enormous increase over previous years in the figures of England's foreign commerce, he said, "Yes, it did; but a large part of the gain is accounted for by increased prices paid for raw materials imported and the corresponding increase in the prices received for goods sold abroad. The actual gain in bulk is not so satisfactory. An ominous feature of the so-called boom of last year is that according to the returns made by the labor organizations a much smaller percentage of unemployed labor was absorbed than during any trade boom of recent years. We are seriously wrong at the bottom and must put our house in order."

And now for a contrary view. A few weeks later I was traveling from Paris to London. Sitting in the so-called Pullman buffet car on the English end of the journey, I found myself opposite the kind of Englishman who is always promising of interest, tall, strong, keen-eyed, rather good-looking, fairly young, and manifestly full of nervous energy and interest in life; hence entirely lacking the air of boredom which is cultivated by some as evidence of "good form," that exacting god worshiped by the well-born Briton at the expense of his enjoyment in life, and often of his progress. Presuming upon my American nationality, a possession which brings forgiveness in the minds of many Europeans for certain so-called eccentricities, one of which is speaking to strangers, I began a conversation. My fellow voyager was quite ready, in fact, eager to discuss the questions which every intelligent Englishman is now debating.

"Tariff Reform, protection-no, sir, that is not what England wants. We don't need it. Our trade has grown to what it is because it has been free. England has been and is the market-place of the world. In quality we manufacture as

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well as any people in the world, if not better, and if we keep pace with the modernization of industry we can continue to compete in price. Let me illustrate. Let me illustrate. I am an engineer, a manager of steel mills. The history of our property is that of nearly every other mill in Great Britain. The business was founded by a practical hard-working man, who by sheer industry, actual strength of arm, and personal knowledge of the abilities and character of the men whom he gathered about him, built it up to a creditable size. This business then passed to the sons, men who were better educated, better off socially, but still hard workers with an intimate knowledge of practical affairs and of the men in their employ. They sent their sons to the universities. When the time came these young men with university education, good social position, and much knowledge of many things unknown to their fathers, came into the ownership of the mills. In theory they knew what was going on, but not in practice, and they had no first-hand knowledge of the men whom they must place in immediate charge of the works. They now fail to see the necessity for capital expenditure, they do not realize that year by year the cost of production is being reduced, not by economy but by liberal expenditure, and by heroic discarding of plant still apparently useful. The articles they manufacture are still the best in the world as to quality, but they find the Germans, for instance, excelling them in beauty of finish and design, and what is more serious, they find the manufacturers of several other nations, underbidding them in price in, to them, an inexplicable way. These are the men seeking from without some relief from foreign competition, who are crying for protection.

"Some of the most ardent advocates of Tariff Reform among the iron and steel manufacturers are men who are still using the obsolete and expensively operated 'beehive' furnaces. Give our mills modern processes, well managed, and England can compete successfully with the world. In brief, what we want at home is not protection, but the money now being sent out of the country for foreign investment. Delegations from our industrial people go to Germany and they see fine mills, clean, well-fed, well-housed workmen with wives

contented with their lot; and they return convinced that all these advantages result from protection. They are wrong. Our competitors are merely taking advantage of the inventive genius of the age in the conduct of their business, and look upon the proper care of their work-people as part and parcel of an intelligent conservation of force and a tremendous factor in the cheapness of the ultimate cost of production."

Between these two extremes of belief, each held by many well-educated, intelligent, practical, and thoughtful men, stands the Liberal in theory, but who is for protection as a matter of expediency. He thinks that England is all right at the top, but that the laboring classes must be lifted out of the helpless rut into which he believes they have fallen. A wide distribution of education-paternalistic legislation for their benefit, old-age pensions, compulsory insurance, anything, in fact, which will lighten the burden of the poor-enlighten their minds and give them hope. This man says the rich must rest content with even heavier taxation that the future may yield some promise of relief. This man would have protection, not because he thinks British industry needs it, but because he believes it might assist in his general scheme of raising the mental and physical standards of the people as a whole, thus aiding in the desperate struggle to keep the nation abreast of the times and to retain her present premier hold upon the trade of the world. He says it has been done in Germany all within twenty years, and could be done in England within a generation.

Politics in England means fiscal policies, economics. The party organizations are so incomplete and ineffectual that they have built up no considerable following which votes as it is told. Political beliefs in England to-day are marked by an individualism bewildering not only to the foreigner but to the citizen as well. The questions to be disposed of by future elections, which promise under the British system to be of frequent occurrence, are those which deeply concern the integrity of the British Empire and the welfare of England and her people at home. The complexities of the problem are such that no man can say unhesitatingly that this or that policy is unquestionably the best, and

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