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upon Mr Gladstone, whose best to measures of a less trenchant and days have been spent in the altera- sweeping character. Two things, tion and arrangement of our finan- however, are sufficiently obvious : cial system, who has recast and first, that if there be "private remodelled it with extraordinary owners” whose skill, and who certainly never in- diverted from the charitable uses tended that the “poorer classes” to which they were destined,” those should bear an unequal pressure of resources, whether "vast or not, taxation. Let it be shown that are fair subjects for inquiry, if not such is the case, and there can for legislation; and secondly, that be little doubt that a Parliament to the far greater portion of "prielected by household suffrage will vate owners no such reproach can be ready to do its utmost to rem- possibly attach. It is probable that, edy any injustice under which the with the exception of a compara' poorer classes ” may lie.

tively small number of estates, by It must be recollected, however, far the greater portion of the land that the word “unequal” is one in England has been fairly bought which may be variously applied. and sold in open market, in many In this imperfect world, in cases two or three times over, equalities of income must exist, during the present century. If it just as much as inequalities of is the creed of the new Liberal. health, strength, longevity, and ism that any considerable portion everything else that appertains to of the land has been “diverted" the condition of man; and if it is from the uses, charitable or otherattempted to throw an "unequal” wise, for which it was "destined," weight of taxation upon the we ought to be informed by whom "middle" and upper,"

," in order and to whom this destination took to relieve the “poorer” classes, the place, and whether it occurred net result is that the employing within such a distance of time power of the former is diminished; as would render it in any degree and in this, as in every other at- fair to attack the present proprietempt to obtain equality by legis- tors. If, on the other hand, new lativo action, it is sure to be the Liberalism wishes to assail the lowest in the social scale who have “monopoly » of owners eventually to suffer for an undue simple ground that their interference with the natural laws

are too

vast” in comby which the condition of mankind parison with those of other people, is regulated. But while it may be let this view be openly stated, an open question as to the relative without any shallow pretence of & pressure of taxation upon different former “ destination." It is a fair classes, the allusion to "the mo- question for a democracy to connopoly of private owners” opens sider, whether a restriction should up an entirely different field of be imposed upon the amount of controversy, and, if it indicates property, in land or other security, anything at all, would appear to which a citizen should be permitted disclose the desire of new Liber- to hold. alism to deal with that monopoly It must be remembered, how. by legislative action. It is hard ever, that “ vast” is, after all, a to say whether the writer intends relative term. If the man who owns to advocate what is called the a hundred thousand acres is pos“nationalisation of the land” of sessed of “ vast resources " in comthe country, or whether he points parison with the owner of one


on the








hundred acres, so is the latter if would rebel; and even those who
compared with the owner of a have approached such a process in
single acre. It is impossible to their method of dealing with Irish
draw the line; and therefore, if a landlords, would think twice before
crusade is to be commenced against they proposed to adopt it in Great
the monopoly of private owners,” Britain.
it must be one of a far-reaching But if confiscation is to be
and general character. The word avoided, fair compensation must
“monopoly” would appear to be be given, . Fair compensation
only introduced ad invidiam ; for could only be given from the
the owner of land has of course no general taxation of the country,
more monopoly than the owner and new. Liberalism would thus
of bank shares, railway stock, or begin its reforms in this direc-
any other property, and it would tion by an enormous addition to
be just as wise and sensible to the taxation of the people, with-
place a restriction


out any corresponding advantage, ship of these as upon landed pro- or, at least, none which could posperty.

The word "monopoly sibly possess the principle of peronly means that the property which manence. For when the “ belongs to A does not also belong poly of private owners

" had been to B, but is A's own. In the case swept away,

it could only be of land, it is rather essential that followed by the same kind of this should be the state of things, monopoly in a different form.

one would expend money Every owner of a plot of land is, upon land if somebody else had a in this point of view, a monoconcurrent claim upon the results polist, and whether a man is the of that expenditure ; and if money monopolist of one or ten be not expended upon land, all im- thousand acres, the principle is the provement comes to an end, and

If you change your one deterioration soon

The monopolist into ten thousand moattempt in Ireland to constitute nopolists, there will be still many A and B, i.e., landlord and tenant, thousands of persons outside this joint owners of the land, has, so charmed circle of land-possessors far, been a wretched failure, and who will have just as much right can only result in the gradual ab- to claim a further division of the sorption of the interest of the one acre as the first claimants in that of the other. New Lib. had to demand the first division. eralism, if it desires to obtain a Great Britain remains of the same more equal redistribution of land size and extent, whilst her poputhroughout the country, and to lation rapidly increases, and any destroy this supposed monopoly, attempt at the compulsory division must not stop at the men of “vast of land could by no possibility reresources," but is logically bound sult in more than a very temporary to make an assault upon the

success. Against the probability ral body of landowners. It must, of such success must be set the however, be borne in mind, that difficulty which would be experito seize the property of private enced by a very large portion of owners, in the attempt to arrive the new monopolists in turning at a general equality of possession, their land to good account. would be an act of confiscation is no greater mistake than to sup against which not only official pose that, if the land of Great Liberalism but all honest men Britain were divided into allot






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ments to-morrow, a greater amount individual may possess, is, in other of comfort would be felt by the words, to restrict his means of inmasses, whose interests the new vestment—which is unjust to the Liberalism affects to promote in individual ; and to prevent the exa special manner, as against the tended application of capital to the rest of the community. Many of land—which is injurious to the them are not tillers of the soil at nation. The balance of argument all. A still greater number would is in favour of the contention that not be able to receive allotments of a greater amount of produce is obland sufficiently near to their dwel- tained from farms of considerable lings to admit of their cultivation size than from a multitude of small to advantage; and as transactions holdings; and whether this be so or in the nature of sale and barter not, those who are acquainted with would immediately begin, “equal- rural life know perfectly well that, ity would soon disappear, and the as a rule, the labourer upon a large thrifty man would prosper, whilst farm, in receipt of good wages, is his careless neighbour starved, better off than the small occupier just as is now the case in every of ten or twenty acres, who, at country and under every system. present prices, finds the “problem The subdivision of land by legis- how to live" uncommonly hard of lative action is surrounded with solution, and who contributes a difficulties; and those who write quota of taxation at the present glibly about the “monopoly of moment, in the shape of rates and private owners ” would do well if, taxes, which would have to be before exciting discontent with our supplied from other sources, when present system by vague and idle the land had been subdivided so language of condemnation, they as to make it impossible to be paid would endeavour to put before the by its possessors. public some definite scheme by So far, then, as we can judge which these difficulties could be from a partial investigation of the surmounted. Until they do so,

doctrines of the new Liberalism, the thinking portion of the British it seems very probable that old public will rate at their proper and genuine Liberalism, party and value these claptrap allusions to principles together, will presently “monopoly”. and “ di 'erted re- be doomed by this, product of sources,”-expressions which may democracy, which, in usurping the serve the political purpose of the name, has abandoned the princi

, moment, but which, when analysed ples of the real Liberal party. and investigated, will be found to To ema

To emancipate trade; to make have no substantial foundation in commerce free ; to war against the the facts upon which practical abuse of privilege ; to unfetter the legislation must be based.

It press; to promote religious equalshould, moreover, be noted, that ity and uphold the principles of this new Liberalism, into which liberty in every department of the the Liberalism of former times is State, these were the objects invited to merge, is a Liberalism which the Liberal party formerly which at every turn belies its own advanced as those which constiname by imposing restrictions upon tuted its programme, and on beeverybody, and restraining freedom half of which it fought and won of action in the most ordinary its battles in the days which we transactions of life. To restrict have left behind us. But those who the quantity of land which an aspire to lead our new democracy


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have an altogether different creed. Power, unable to maintain either Liberty to them is no reality, but offensive or defensive war; only a political catchword with “retrenchment,” by starving the which to delude the masses into services and falling back upon a the support of projects which are cheese-paring and fallacious econopposed to its true spirit. It is omy; “reform,” by assenting to not liberty but licence which they all the revolutionary projects of really desire, -licence for the many

Radical crotchet - mongers. to plunder the few ; licence for the This is not the policy of the idle, the thriftless, and the unsuc- genuine Liberal party, which the cessful of mankind to prey upon present Government really reprethe property of the industrious, sent in a far greater measure than the thrifty, and the prosperous their opponents. Peace is at this The Liberal party, under the moment rendered more secure than guidance of Mr Gladstone, has ever; on the one hand, by the care already drifted far enough from which has been given to the deits old principles to have forfeited fences of the country-and on the all claim to its distinctive nomen other, by the confidence reposed, clature. The arbitrary interference both at home and abroad, in the between landlord and tenant in Ire- firmness and discretion of Lord land; the imposition of judicial Salisbury in his conduct of our rents upon

the owner, whilst allow- relations with foreign Powers. ing to the tenant the sale of his good. The financial measures of Mr will by unrestricted competition ; Goschen, and the reductions which the legislative restriction upon the have been made in the Estimates relations between employer and wherever reductions could be legitiemployed in Great Britain, - all mately effected, prove the sincerity these are things which, whether and goodwill of the Government good or bad in themselves, are in the matter of retrenchment; directly contrary to those princi- whilst as to reform, their efforts ples of the Liberal party which have certainly surpassed those of were based upon the encourage their predecessors, whilst their sucment of free thought and free cess will appear the more.remarkaction among

all classes of the able:when contrasted with the failcommunity. Further restrictions ares of recent Liberal adminismay yet be deemed necessary-re- trations. No one who studies the strictions upon drinking, restric- legislative history of the last three tions upon the hours of labaur, years will accuse Lord Salisbury's restrictions upon other of the Government of want of courage in transactions of ordinary life; but entering upon the path of reform. if such are to be demanded and They have stepped forward boldly enforced, let us not be so absurd but wisely, and in carrying comas to allow the party of restriction prehensive measures through Parto claim any longer the title of the liament, have at once evinced their Liberal party. That party for own ability to read the signs of merly inscribed upon its banners the times, and have shown to the the captivating watchwords of world that a Tory Government "Peace, Retrenchment, Reform.” is by no means what its enemies The 80 - called Liberals of . the would declare and desire ita present day would apparently seek Government of reaction. Lord "peace” by reducing England to Salisbury's Gorornment, in comthe position of a second - rate mon with all men who take a large

and sound view of the position, istence, and no system of governfully understand and recognise the ment which can secure universal fact that, in a country such as and continuous prosperity to the our own, there can be no legisla- people. But this lesson can only tive stagnation, but that questions be taught by teachers who are themmust and will continually arise selves in sympathy with those they which require to be dealt with by desire to teach, and who combine Parliament in a free and liberal with the instruction a readiness to spirit. They also recognise, how- grapple with the social questions ever, that reform and revolution which affect the people, and to are things essentially different; legislate where legislation is necesthat a system or institution which sary in a large and generous spirit. stands in need of the one does not For the fact that legislation canof necessity require to be destroyed not effect everything is no reason by the other; and that proposed why nothing should be attempted ; changes and amendments should and it is above all things desirable be carefully weighed and scrutin so to deal with actual grievances as ised before their adoption.

to prevent their being employed by It was never more necessary than political agitators as levers for the at this particular period of our his- furtherance of their own revolutiontory, that the reins of government ary schemes. Mischievous crotchets should be held by men possessed of are often presented to the masses the courage to move boldly forward in an attractive form; but the comupon the path of reform, and of mon-sense of the people, and the wisdom enough to do so in a spirit progress of education, will prevent of Conservatism in the best sense their acceptance so long as sensible of the word. Political power has and substantial reforms are sublately been placed in the hands mitted to them by responsible of the masses, and a deliberate statesmen. Of course, the question attempt has already unhappily as to what are “sensible and subbeen made to persuade them that stantial” reforms, as distinguished those whom Providence has placed from visionary projects and unabove them in the social scale have workable theories, is one which objects and interests divergent will at all times be open to discuss from and opposed to their own. sion and argument.

But it is no To counteract a lesson so evil and true Conservatism, nor is it in acso mischievous as well as untrue, cordance with the dictates of compolitical wisdom of no ordinary mon-sense, to shut our eyes either. kind is required by our rulers. to the existence of grievances or The bulk of the population of this the necessity of reforms. Nor can country is neither destructive nor a greater mistake be committed revolutionary; but they may easily than that of mistrusting the men become both one and the other if to whom the Unionist party has they are induced to believe that confided the conduct of public they are wronged, oppressed, and affairs—as if there was any reasondebarred from prosperity by privi- able suspicion that they had erred leged classes or a faulty system of from the paths of constitutional government. It is therefore essen progress, and had adopted printial that they should be taught the ciples other than those which they truth on these matters, and should have undertaken to uphold. This learn that there is no legislative remark seems to be called for both panacea for the ordinary ills of ex by murmurs last year against the

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