But without referring any further to this instance, or attempting to question the propriety of a college paper vehemently taking sides on a matter of national importance, unless it means to open its columns to a full discussion from all sides, I am very glad to note that the way has now perhaps been opened to a more extended consideration of the subject at Harvard from the several standpoints of free trade, extreme protection, and moderate protection. Political economy is indeed a popular subject here, as shown by the number of men who take courses in that study and in the recent movement for the enlargement of the department in instruction, but the tendency has been, as at most colleges, to instill into students certain abstract principles of free trade on which are based opinions that show little acquaintance with the practical workings of our national institutions and prove equally intolerant with those of the extreme protectionists. As one of the Cooper Institute speakers says, "they do this without reflecting that those theories are constructed from a British standpoint." And, too, "they assume that political economy is an exact science, applying alike to all countries and situations; when, as a matter of fact, it is a relative science, and must be accommodated to the circumstances and conditions of the country."
I hope that the happy suggestion made by the Crimson, that our instructors bring forward the subject of protection and free trade, will be adopted, and I shall be glad to see it better popularized among us; but I hope, too, that their elucidations will not be confined to the free trade side of the question alone, for it is only fair that the extensive interests involved in favor of protection should be allowed to present their arguments. An excellent opportunity is offered the Finance Club to inaugurate a course of lectures on the subject, and it can not perform a more valuable service to the mass of students than to procure for us recognized and rational authorities on both sides of the question to whom an interested and attentive hearing would certainly be given.
B. '82.MARCH 22, 1883.