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unless it drift away in equal moasure olsewhere. . Emigration may be a remedy in certain cases, but one serious objection to it from the present point of view is that the shiftless and incapable are not fit to emigrate ; and if the emigrants are to be drawn from the better class, this is in effect to remove the more capable in order to lighten the competition of the less capable.
Free Trade, after having created widespread unemployment and poverty in Great Britain leads to the deterioration of the workers and of the race. Free Trade is converting Great Britain into a country dotted with workhouses and peopled with paupers. Free Trade has had an effect upon our industries similar to that which the expulsion of the Huguenots has had upon the industries of France. The former was as criminally foolish as the latter, and the chief difference is that Free Trade was a mistake on an incomparably larger--indeed, a gigantic scale.
Through unemployment and hunger the workers of Great Britain have been compelled to become the champion strike-breakers to all Continental countries. Whenever there is a great strike on the Continent, British unemployed workers are successfully called upon to act as blacklegs. On the 9th of September, 1908, at the Trade Union Congress, Mr. J. Sexton pointed out that whenever there was a dispute on the Continent, England was made a recruiting ground of blacklegs on behalf of the employers. Thousands of English men had been sent to Germany and Sweden on this disgraceful business. Many of them were strong and capable workmen, driven to accept anything in the way of a job by the pangs of hunger. Unemployment, therefore, was the root of the evil, and that problem must be solved.
Mr. J. H. Wilson, M.P., said :
There was a time when British trade unionists were held in high esteem upon the Continent; but at Antwerp recently, during a strike, he saw a bill upon the walls which described a worker from this country as a ‘ British louse.' When they were described in that way it was time they made some effort to remove the cause of offence. Only this year over two thousand men had been sent from England to the far north of Sweden to take the place of the dock labourers there.
The foregoing extracts are taken from the official report of the Congress. Strike-breaking is apparently becoming an increasingly important British industry. Through permanent and widespread unemployment the British workers, who used to be the proud aristocrats, are being degraded to the place of pariahs, among the workers of Europe, as was pointed out to them at the Socialist Congress at Stuttgart. The tree is known by its fruit, and Free Trade is known by its result.
Will fiscal reform, the deliberate protection of British labour, improve employment, raise wages, and better the conditions of our workers? I have no doubt that it will. The foregoing sketch shows that the condition of our. workers, a small minority excluded, is habitually very bad. It can scarcely be worse than it is at present when
unemployment has grown to an unparalleled extent. Besides, the experience of other countries, especially Germany, shows that fiscal reform improves employment, and improved employment will mean better wages. Fiscal reform will certainly also mean better profits for our manufacturers, as the Free Traders so often point out; but as wages are paid out of profits, wages can be large only when profits are large. It is vain to expect large wages in unprofitable, stagnant, or decaying industries. Many of our manufacturers have lost heart through a long series of losses which free imports have caused to them. The first effect of fiscal reform will be a moral one. It will give new courage to our manufacturers and stimulate enterprise.
Free Traders have told us that it is unscientific to protect the British workers by means of a tariff against the fearful sufferings which are being inflicted upon them by foreign tariffs. I am afraid our Free Traders are insufficiently acquainted with their text-books, and I would draw the attention of our Free Trade professors to the following passage which occurs in Book V., chapter IV., paragraph 6, of John Stuart Mill's Political Economy : 'A country cannot be expected to renounce the power of taxing foreigners unless foreigners will in return practise towards itself the same forbearance. The only mode in which a country can save itself from being a loser by the revenue duties imposed by other countries on its commodities is to impose corresponding revenue duties on theirs.'
During sixty years Great Britain has followed an unnational economic policy, a policy which benefits the consumer, the merchant, and the capitalist. Her standpoint and outlook have been those of a petty and petty-minded tradesman. Her ideal has been the pursuit of profit' in the sense which the tradesman attaches to the word. Her motto has been that unworthy tradesman's motto of Cobden, in which he summed up the essence of Free Trade : ‘Buy in the cheapest and sell in the dearest market.' Only the purchaser, the man with money, was to be considered. Nobody cared what became of the producers, the workers. Nobody cared what became of the nation and the Empire.
The dawn of a new era is breaking. Great Britain's economic policy of the future will no longer be the policy of the narrow-minded shopkeeper. Her economic policy will be guided by statesmanlike considerations. It will be a national and an Imperial policy. It will protect British workers against unfair foreign competition, and it will endeavour to secure for them regular work with good wages. It will endeavour to re-create the industries which Free Trade has destroyed. It will strive to strengthen the Mother Country, to consolidate the Empire, and to elevate and unite the race. It will place the welfare of the people above the profit of the moneyed individual, and its watchword will be. British work for British workers.'
J. ELLIS BARKER.
DIVORCE VERSUS COMPULSORY
The law is full of inconsistencies, anomalies and inequalities amounting almost to absurdities. . . . It is desirable, in my judgment, ... to express the conviction which has forced itself upon me that permanent separation without divorce has a direct tendency to encourage immorality. ... There is, further, broad and very serious ground upon which the operation of these orders is open to question, having regard to the very large extent to which they are being obtained, namely at the rate of over 7000 a year. The direct tendency of these orders appears to be to encourage immorality and to produce deplorable results. . . . From what I have pointed out there appears to be good reason for reform.
SIR GORELL BARNES, President of the Divorce Court.
When in pronouncing judgment in the famous case of Dodd v. Dodd on the 27th of April 1906, the President of our Divorce Court thus expressed his opinion of the existing law of divorce and law of separation, and afterwards went on to point out both directly and indirectly how urgently reform is needed if the prosperity and happiness of the English nation are to obtain, he was loudly applauded by a vast section of the community, though perhaps as many differed from him. The great body of the clergy, unwilling to agree with, yet unable conscientiously to differ from him, remained mute; perhaps a dozen, including Canon Jephson, Rector of St. John's, Walworth ; and Mr. Thomas Holmes, the well-known police court missionary, alone having the temerity openly to support him up to a certain point. On the other hand nearly all the thinking body of the laity who had pondered the question of divorce law reform seriously and dispassionately, unhampered by illogical scrupulosity, agreed whole-heartedly with Sir Gorell Barnes's views. In particular our leading barristers, solicitors and London magistrates were pra tically unanimous in acknowledging the wisdom of his observations. The more influential of the London and provincial newspapers, too, without exception supported him. Since then circumstances have arisen, indeed circumstances of the sort are arising almost daily, that tend more and more to prove how accurately Sir Gorell Barnes had gauged the depth of the injustice of the divorce and separation laws which obtain in this country to-day, when he pronounced those laws to be full of inconsistencies, anomalies and inequalities amounting almost to absurdities.' As a natural outcome the great majority of our serious thinkers are now determined that radical alterations in the English laws of divorce and separation shall be effected as soon as possible.
Let us consider, in the first place, how the law stands to-day, that is to say how it has stood since in 1857 the famous Matrimonial Causes Act was brought in by the Attorney-General of that time, Sir Richard Bethell, and passed in the face of strenuous opposition. Mr. G. L. Hardy, and other well-known authorities in whose statements implicit confidence can be placed, have told us that until the year 1857 it was actually, and not theoretically, impossible in England to obtain a divorce a vinculo matrimonii save by private Act of Parliament. Prior to that time second marriages without divorce, also misconduct, were of almost as common occurrence as the birth of illegitimate children; and though in the statute book polygamy came under the heading of felony, it was looked upon very lightly indeed. To pass a private Act for the purpose of obtaining a divorce, civil proceedings for damages had first to be taken and judgment recovered in one of the ordinary courts, and consequently the rule that one law holds good for the rich, another for the poor, obtained in an even greater degree than it does now in connection with divorce. The Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857, however, amended the law that then existed by constituting a new court. To this court was given the power of exclusive jurisdiction in England-not in Scotland or Ireland-in matters matrimonial, with authority to decree in certain cases the dissolution of a marriage. At the same time it established a court of record to which it gave the designation, the Court for Divorce and Matrimonial Causes.' Then as time went on, and it became obvious that yet further changes were very seriously needed, the Judicature Act of 1873 succeeded, in the face of almost fanatical opposition, in abolishing entirely the Court for Divorce and Matrimonial Causes by vesting in the new High Court of Justice the jurisdiction that the Court for Divorce and Matrimonial Causes had exercised, and assigning it to the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division of the High Court of Justice. What we have now, therefore, is not a separate court at all, but the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division of the High Court of Justice sitting in Divorce. In view of the plea about to be advanced in favour of divorce as opposed to separation, which, as it does not allow of remarriage, necessarily enforces celibacy, it is well that this should be remembered.
If we take it, then, as most of us assuredly must, that the tendency of the age, and the tendency therefore of public opinion, is in favour of a higher standard of general morality; that the foundation of all divorce laws must consequently be based upon restraint; that no law of divorce should be so lenient as to militate against the great principle of marriage, or so harsh as to bring the principle of marriage into indifference and disrepute, we at once come face to face with the grave problem, Ought we, or ought we not, in our alleged advanced stage of civilisation and enlightenment, to afford greater facility for divorce with a legal right to remarry, as opposed to legal separation which compels celibacy ?
Ask almost any ecclesiastic to express an opinion upon the subject, and immediately you will be met with the retort, 'How can the point be argued when the Church distinctly lays it down that what God hath joined together no man may put asunder ?' But has it never occurred to such stone-wall dogmatists that the conditions under which we live to-day differ wholly and entirely from the conditions which prevailed when Cranmer and his associates compiled the Church of England Book of Common Prayer ? Has it never struck them that practically it was without the bounds of possibility that the compilers of the Prayer Book could in the least foresee the conditions that would obtain four centuries or so after their death? Indeed we have but to refer to the Prayer Book to see that in very many instances modern marriage fails in every way to fulfil the fundamental purposes for which matrimony was instituted. Marriage was ordained, we read in the Prayer Book, for a threefold purpose : first, for the procreation of children ; secondly, for the avoidance of sin; thirdly, for mutual society and sympathy. Does the Church lay stress, did it ever lay stress, upon any one of those three conditions more than upon the remaining two? If not, then it becomes clear that when matrimony no longer tends towards the avoidance of sinwhen, on the contrary, it aids and abets sin, which happens when either wife or husband becomes guilty of habitual misconduct-or when it no longer in any way exists for mutual society or sympathy (which is the case when either wife or husband becomes incurably insane, or a habitual inebriate, or a confirmed victim to the drug habit, or is sentenced to a long term of imprisonment) one of the main reasons for which the marriage was made is at an end. Consequently under any one or more of those circumstances the sooner the bondagebeing now an involuntary bondage and therefore hypocritical—is put an end to and the parties are permitted to remarry, if so inclined, the better for the prosperity of both, and, more important still, the better for the happiness of the children, if there be any, and therefore of posterity.
The question of legal separation, however, is the one with which this paper intends to deal more expressly. Before coming to the important subject, let us consider carefully some of the more vital points in the law of divorce in England, and afterwards contrast them with the more important points in the law of separation. What, then, are a husband's rights, and what are a wife's rights ? To begin