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MESSAGE ON FOREIGN TRADE

eminent free-traders have expressed opinions similar to those quoted above.

I will close this rambling and, to me, most unsatisfactory address, with a few quotations from a most remarkable book published in 1850. Its title is "The Theory of Human Progression." Its author was Patrick Edward Dove, a learned Scotchman, who held that land rent should go to the state for the benefit of all.

Where none has a legal right which is not accorded to another in the scheme of the state, the cause of internal strife is obliterated; and though governments go to war on very insufficient pretexts, populations seldom or never do so without a just cause. The obliteration of the cause, therefore, may fairly be expected to obliterate the fact. The feudal system, with all its modifications past and present, however mild or constitutional, is nothing more than systematized slavery. At the bottom of society there must always be found the great masses in a worse condition than nature intended. And wherever the feudal system exists, or any remnant of it, that system, or its remnant, creates a cause of war among the classes of society; which cause of war creates perpetual uneasiness, frequent agitations, and occasional revolutions. . . .

God has constituted nature aright, and the only protection trade requires is protection from violence, and fraud, and state interference. . . .

And first and foremost must come the question of the land. Suppose, for instance, it should be clearly proved, according to the science of facts (as some have termed economy), that it would be more beneficial to the whole associated community of Britain, to abolish all customs and excises, and all taxes whatever except a land-tax, which could be collected for nothing or next to nothing, what would political economy say in that case? Would it abolish all the taxes that interfere with trade, and thereby absorb the rents of the lands; or would it determine that a man with a parchment who does not labor, is to be preferred to a man without a parchment who does? From this dilemma political economy can not escape. There must be another system, one that can solve these questions by rule, not arbitrarily, but scientifically—by a rule that is general and applicable to all parties.

And this new system is necessarily politics, or the science of equity.

Political economy, in fact, is the natural preparative for a science of equity. . . . And thus, politics, or the science of equity, springs necessarily in chronological order out of political economy; and when economists have directed the state affairs up to those questions which they cannot answer, they must cede the first place to the true politicians, or themselves become true politicians. And when that period arrives the political evolution is complete, and there is the reign of equity or justice.
 


A MESSAGE FROM THE COUNTRY ON FOREIGN TRADE[1]
By the Honorable CHARLES H. SHERRILL

LATE AMERICAN MINISTER TO ARGENTINA

LISTEN to a message from the country: "Give new freedom to our railroads and our dying merchant marine so that they can aid our crusade for foreign trade, and permit American labor employers

  1. Address delivered before the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Philadelphia, Dec. 29, 1914.