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plausible and popular character that he could invent, he attempted to pass the question off into the state of the science as a question settled. He delivered his professed solution in the following manner:

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"What has now been stated goes far to settle the disputed question as to the influence of absentee expenditure. If an English gentleman, living at home, and using none but foreign articles in his establishment, gives the same encouragement to industry that he would do were he to use none but British articles, he must, it is obvious, do the same thing, should he go abroad. Whatever he may get from the foreigner, when at Paris or Brussels, must be paid for, directly or indirectly, in British articles, quite in the same way as when he resided in London. Nor is it easy to imagine any grounds for supposing his expenditure in the latter more beneficial to this country than in the former."*

In a note, at the bottom of the same page, there is also the following sentence:

"The question really at issue refers merely to the spending of revenue, and has nothing to do with the improvement of estates; and, notwithstanding all that has been said to the contrary, I am not yet convinced that absenteeism is, in this respect, at all injurious."

These are the passages which bear upon this point, and I will maintain that, if the conclusion here arrived at were taken by itself, and made the basis on which to construct an argument, sufficient evidence would arise directly out of it to show clearly that some great error had been admitted into the train of deduction from which it emanated. The doubtful expressions here made use of have to be specially noticed. The evidence of fact which he adduces, the writer says "goes far to settle." Now, in a train of perfect reasoning, there

Principles of Political Economy, by J. R. M'Culloch, p. 157.

can be no degree or limitation of power admitted. It either does or does not prove. Again, he says "IF an English gentleman, living at home," &c. Now, in this passage, notice must be directed to the importance of the word IF. The previous proposition granted, THEN the corollary follows as a correct deduction, and cannot be disallowed. If we grant a false hypothesis, we must also grant a false induction, and likewise a false conclusion. Such a course I admit to be logically correct. But then I deny the validity of the previous proposition, or the hypothesis out of which the deduction issues; and, my objection substantiated, it follows, as a necessary sequence, that from this point the entire number of issues are erroneous. I contend that it is the duty of those who, in the pursuit of truth, arrive at conclusions which stagger their judgments, not to content themselves by pleading the correct issue out of a previous proposition, but to try the argument back, until they have examined every part, from the extremest conclusion backward to the minute principle from which their first deduction issued; for by such a course they could not fail to find the exact point where error was admitted. It has to be remarked, also, that in the passage last quoted, the author seems inclined to admit that the evidence which has been adduced by viewing the subject through the medium of the question now under consideration, affords a preponderance against his own conclusion; for, in the place of expressing a reliance on his own view, his words are, "I am not yet convinced that absenteeism is at all injurious."

In order to show clearly the insubstantial and false nature of the argument thus advanced, I will invite attention superficially to the working out of facts in conformity with the reasoning here attempted to be upheld. In accordance with the admitted hypothesis, its supporters are under the necessity of arguing that absentee expenditure, or, in other words,

that free principle of commerce which is advocated, brings about the best or most prosperous state of things for all countries concerned in such exchanges or commerce. Now, as an example, I will suppose the case of a wealthy person residing in Ireland, who, in exchange for his own various productions, is in the habit of demanding the productions of others for the consumption of himself and family, that is, he expends in that country his income of 10,000l. per annum. Such a person resolves to quit Ireland, and to reside in London. Now, according to the free doctrine, this is to become a more advantageous arrangement of circumstances, both for the people of Ireland and England. After a considerable lapse of time, the same person resolves upon quitting London and going to Paris. Then, again, this is to become the more advantageous arrangement for Ireland, England, and France. Again, he quits Paris for Rome; then this becomes a still better state of things. Again, he quits Rome for Naples; so at last this becomes the best. But I will now draw into instance another state of things, and that, too, which frequently occurs. The same person resolves upon turning round. He quits Naples, and retraces his course first to Rome, then to Paris, then to London, and lastly settles down again in his own country, Ireland. Now, according to the free doctrine, the principle is to reverse its operation, and the residence or demand for commodities at Naples, which was so lately at the extremity of the good scale, is suddenly to become at the extremity of the bad scale; and the residence in Ireland, which was before set down at the extremity of the bad, is to become now at the extremity of the good; and all this is to take place merely by the volition of persons who have thus moved. However absurd such a course of reasoning may appear, and in fact is, nevertheless, an arguer on the free principle is under the necessity of upholding it, for by it

deductions are correctly worked out from received premises. It shows, however, how totally devoid the system is of any sound or guiding principle, or true premises.

Moreover, with regard to testing the theory of commerce by the question now under consideration, that is, absentee expenditure, I have to comment upon the discord which the question makes amongst the advocates themselves of the free principle. We are often called upon to notice the incongruous example of statesmen upholding the doctrine of free trade in one argument, and then, upon being constrained to advance with it, and to be bound by its legitimate conclusions (amongst which is the beneficial effect of absentee expenditure on a country), they turn and argue in opposition to it. I have now before me a speech made by a conspicuous practical statesman of the present era, who, it may be presumed, was as cognisant of the effects of absentee expenditure, be they what they may, as any person could be. I allude to Mr. O'Connell. In this speech he argued most determinedly and most emphatically against the doctrine, whereby it is asserted that absentee expenditure is productive of no mischief to his own country, Ireland; while upon another occasion the same statesman was found to contend in his place, in the House of Commons, on the side of the free principle of


As affording corroborative testimony of the insufficient manner in which the question under consideration, as also the whole subject of social economy, have been treated both theoretically and practically, I will refer, in the next place, to a work written by Mr. Poulett Scrope, who, both in his capacity of writer, and in his capacity of member of the House of Commons, has evinced great interest in the subject. Although Mr. Poulett Scrope is not generally acknowledged by the schoolmen as a leading member amongst them, yet it is highly

useful to examine the quality of his opinions and reasonings, because he may be held as affording an instance of talent and of industrious research, certainly above the average rate of men who take a conspicuous and influential part both as writers and statesmen, on the subjects under discussion.

With respect to the particular character of Mr. Poulett Scrope's work, I have to direct attention to a remarkable identity of argument with that which I have already submitted for consideration, namely, confessed inability in the first instance, and palpable error in the last;-premises admitted to be doubtful;- and the inevitable sequence;-conclusions manifestly wrong.

In the work of this author, entitled, "Principles of Political Economy," there is an attempt to delineate general principles as arising out of the nature of the science; and herein it is begged to be received as an axiom, that the matter which the mind meets with, when occupied upon the investigation of the laws of Social and Political Economy, does not admit of the attainment of accurate results; and in order to have this license for incorrect reasoning granted him, the writer has constructed the following passage:

"The principles of Political Economy must obviously be deduced from axioms relative to the conduct and feelings of mankind under particular circumstances, framed upon general and extensive observation. But neither the feelings nor the conduct of a being like man, endowed with mental volition, and infinitely-varying degrees of sensibility, can, with any thing like truth, be assumed as uniform and constant under the same circumstances. Hence the highest degree of certainty which can belong to the principles of Political Economy will amount only to moral probability, and must fall far short of the accuracy that characterises the laws of the physical sciences. This consideration should have prevented the attempts which have been made by many writers

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