Front Page Titles (by Subject) 151.: 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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151.: 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, 17 October 1849
[vol. 1, p. 181]
My dear Cobden, you should not doubt my eagerness to attend the meeting on 30 October, if my parliamentary duties are not a total obstacle to this. To have the pleasure of shaking your hand and witnessing the progress of public opinion in England in favor of peace will be a double happiness for me. It will also be very pleasant for me to thank Mr. B. Smith297 for his gracious hospitality, which I accept with gratitude.
Be assured that I will do all in my power to bring our excellent friend, M. Say. I am afraid his duties in the Council of State may retain him. I am all the more anxious to have him as a traveling companion since he does not totally believe in the peace conference.298 To witness your meetings will surely steel his confidence. I will be seeing him this evening.
My friend, nations, like individuals, are subject to the law of responsibility. England will have a great deal of trouble convincing people of the sincerity of her efforts for peace. For a long time, for centuries perhaps, it will be said on the continent that England is preaching moderation and peace, but it has fifty-three colonies and two hundred million subjects in India. This single sentence will neutralize many a fine speech. When will England be advanced enough to renounce voluntarily a few of its expensive conquests? This would be a fine means of propaganda.
Do you think it would be imprudent or out of place to touch on this delicate subject?
[297 ]John Benjamin Smith.
[298 ]It is not clear what peace conference Bastiat was referring to, possibly a domestic British conference. International peace congresses were held in Brussels in September 1848, Paris in August 1849, Frankfurt in August 1850, and London in July 1851. Classical liberals came from all over the world to discuss ways to disarm and cut taxes. See the Report of the Proceedings of the Second General Peace Congress and the Report of the Proceedings of the Third General Peace Congress.