The Progress of Freer Trade

  • Barry Gordon


At an early stage in the parliamentary session of 1824, Frederick Robinson, Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced that the government intended to pursue a strong liberal line in matters of trading policy.1 The Ministry was to heed the advice of the political economists. It would ‘cut the cords which tie down commerce to the earth, that she may spring aloft, unconfined and unrestricted, and shower her blessings over every part of the world’. England, he affirmed, was ‘smiling in plenty’, and this was the best possible moment ‘to make a new start in the race for national wealth and prosperity’. Other nations would be invited to follow England’s lead in progressive liberalisation.


Freer Trade Trading Policy Import Duty Commodity Taxation Progressive Liberalisation 
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  1. 2.
    John Galt, The Member: an Autobiography ( 1831) (Edinburgh and London: Scottish Academic Press, 1975 ) 80.Google Scholar
  2. 16.
    Cf. Sir Hubert Llewellyn Smith, The Board of Trade ( London and New York: Putnam’s, 1928 ) 55–6.Google Scholar
  3. 28.
    P. Sraffa, The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 1 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1953 ) 11.Google Scholar
  4. 33.
    A. Briggs, The Age of Improvement ( London: Longmans, 1959 ) 221.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Barry Gordon 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Gordon
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NewcastleAustralia

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