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E. E. Williams on Made in Germany-1896


Ernest Edwin Williams, Made in Germany (1896; 4th edn., William Heinemann, London), pp. 1, 3.


‛The Industrial Supremacy of Great Britain has been long an axiomatic commonplace; and it is fast turning into a myth, as inappropriate to fact as the Chinese Emperorís computation of his own status.

This is a strong statement.

But it is neither wide nor short of the truth.

The industrial glory of England is departing, and England does not know it.

There are spasmodic outcries against foreign competition, but the impression they leave is fleeting and vague. . . . German manufacturers, notably those in which artistic finish is needed, are undeniably superior to those produced by British houses.

It is very dangerous for men to ignore facts that they may the better vaunt their theories.

Because England is a Free-Trade country and Germany is not, therefore, says the fanatical Free-Trader, Englandís trade must of necessity advance while her rival stands still; and to prove his case, facts straightway are either to be perverted or to be denied.

This is poor patriotism. It is poor service, too, to Free Trade; there is no cause so good that it cannot be weakened by suppressions of the truth. The Free-Trader must not shrink from looking the facts of foreign competition squarely in the face; and if he search for their origin he will find other causes beside a protective tariff.í