Front Page Titles (by Subject) 64.: Letter to Richard Cobden - The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics
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64.: Letter to Richard Cobden - Frédéric Bastiat, The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics 
The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics, translated from the French by Jane and Michel Willems, with an introduction by Jacques de Guenin and Jean-Claude Paul-Dejean. Annotations and Glossaries by Jacques de Guenin, Jean-Claude Paul-Dejean, and David M. Hart. Translation editor Dennis O’Keeffe (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2011).
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Letter to Richard Cobden
Paris, 25 May 1846
[vol. 1, p. 133]
It is quite a few days since I last wrote to you, dear Mr. Cobden, but finally I could not have found a more appropriate opportunity to atone for my negligence, since I am pleased to introduce to you the mayor of Bordeaux, the worthy and jovial president of our association, M. Duffour-Dubergié. I do not think I need add anything to assure him of the most cordial welcome on your part. Knowing the close union which binds all the members of the League, I am even dispensing with the duty of writing to Messrs. Bright, Paulton, etc., as I am sure that, on your recommendation, M. Duffour will be admitted to your circle as a member of this great confraternity which has arisen in support of the freedom and union of peoples. And who is more worthy of your friendship than he? He it was who, through the authority of his position, his wealth, and his character, carried Bordeaux along and caused the little that has occurred in Paris to happen. He has not procrastinated and hesitated like our diplomats in the capital. His resolution has been sufficiently prompt and forceful for our government itself not to have the time to hinder the movement, even supposing it had the intention of doing so.
Please, therefore, welcome M. Duffour as the true founder of the association in France. Others will seek and maybe gain the glory for this one day. This is quite normal, but, for my part, I will always give the credit to our president in Bordeaux.
In the midst of the uproar and excitement which must be surrounding your affairs, perhaps you sometimes wonder how our small league in Paris is getting on. Alas, it is in a period of the doldrums, which is very annoying for me. As French law requires associations to be authorized, several of our most prominent members stipulated that this formality should precede the release of any information outside. We therefore submitted our request, and since then we are dependent on the goodwill of the ministers. They have indeed promised authorization, but they have not issued it. Our colleague, M. Anisson-Dupéron, is devoting to this matter a zeal for which he should be praised. He combines the vigor of a young man with the maturity of a peer of France. Thanks to him, I hope we will succeed. If the minister stubbornly refuses to authorize us, our association will be dissolved. All the faint-hearted will leave, but there will always remain a certain number of members with greater resolve and we will constitute an organization on different lines. Who knows whether in the long run this sorting out will not be an advantage to us?
I must admit that I will regret having to abandon fine, well-known names. These are needed in France, since our laws and customs prevent us from doing anything with and through the people. We can scarcely act with just the enlightened classes and, since this is so, men who have acquired a reputation are excellent auxiliaries. But, as a last resort, it is better to do without them than not to do anything at all.
It would appear that the protectionists are preparing a desperate defense in England. If you have a moment, I would be grateful if you would give me your views on the outcome of the struggle. M. Duffour will witness this great conflict. I envy him his good fortune.