Front Page Titles (by Subject) 143.: The Cobden Club 10 JULY, 1869 - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXIX - Public and Parliamentary Speeches Part II July 1869 - March 1873
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143.: The Cobden Club 10 JULY, 1869 - John Stuart Mill, The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXIX - Public and Parliamentary Speeches Part II July 1869 - March 1873 
The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXIX - Public and Parliamentary Speeches Part II July 1869 - March 1873, ed. John M. Robson and Bruce L. Kinzer (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1988).
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The Cobden Club
Daily News, 12 July, 1869, p. 2. Headed: “The Cobden Club.” Reports (all in the third person) appeared in the Morning Star, the Daily Telegraph, and The Times. The annual dinner of the Cobden Club was held at 6 p.m. on Saturday in the Ship Hotel, Greenwich, with about 150 members and guests taken there by steamer from the House of Commons Stairs. George Douglas Campbell, Duke of Argyll, was in the Chair; Thomas Bayley Potter, Honorary Secretary of the Club, was Vice-Chair. Mill, “who was supposed to be in Paris, unexpectedly entered the room, and was loudly cheered.” Argyll, in proposing the health of the Queen, made reference to despatches to India, and mentioned his friend Mill, “who knows so much more of India than I can pretend to do, and who has taken, as we all know, the fair sex under his chivalrous and eloquent protection (laughter),” and went on to mention the death of the Begum of Bhopal, calling her state “one of the best governed of all the native States”—a comment that elicited “ ‘Hear,’ from Mr. Mill.” The other toasts to the Royal Family were followed by Argyll’s proposing the toast of the evening, “the Prosperity and Welfare of the Cobden Club,” to which G.C. Brodrick responded. Mill was then called on to toast “The Honorary Members and Guests,” and rose to loud cheers.
when i entered the room I had no expectation of being selected, as the organ of this society, to propose the health of their distinguished honorary members and guests. Fortunately, it is the less necessary that I should say much on this topic, as your grace has already expressed the sentiments of this club with your accustomed skill and good taste. As to the gentlemen who are the subjects of my toast, it is quite superfluous that I should say much of them; for among those who desire and watch the progress of European opinion, where is it that Mr. Cobden is honoured and that M. Michel Chevalier1 is not honoured? (Cheers.) In him we recognise the Cobden of France; but for him it is very unlikely Mr. Cobden would have succeeded as he did in producing the great results he achieved. M. Michel Chevalier, at times when there were but a few enlightened men among Frenchmen who saw the advantages of free trade, was exerting himself in every way in which a man could exert himself to promote it. He is still a grand pillar of the cause of free exchange in France, and it is not in that only he has rendered service to his country and Europe. To see this one has only to watch his conduct as a member of the Senate, where he has entitled himself to the highest praise which it is possible for a member of a legislative assembly to deserve, for on more than one occasion he has not feared to stand up alone on behalf of great principles. He has often been the single solitary voter in a minority of himself. (Cheers.) The most remarkable occasion of that kind was in the cause so dear to our Cobden—the cause of peace. (Cheers.) This is the more meritorious because M. Michel Chevalier is well known to be a supporter of the present Imperial Government. As to M. Arlès-Dufour,2 all who know anything of that distinguished man know that the influence he has long exercised upon commerce and manufactures in the city of Lyons, and thereby throughout France, has been exercised in the cause of free trade, in the cause of general peace and good will between nations, and I may say in every other good cause that has been at stake throughout his life. (Cheers.) I do not think I am exaggerating when I say this. We have here, too, many distinguished Americans. One of them, Mr. George Walker,3 is well known throughout the United States by the spirit and energy and enlightenment with which he has exerted himself, and by the reproach, and attack, and ill-will he has braved in the great cause of free trade, and, on behalf of that universal peace and good-will among nations, which is inseparably bound up with it; and I do say it is not possible that a nation that has, at an incredible expenditure of blood and treasure, put into effect this grand principle of economy by setting free its slaves—it is not possible in a nation in which educated intelligence goes down to the very lowest ranks—in which there is the freest and openest discussion of all great questions which come home to the understandings of every man, and, I may add, every woman throughout the community—(laughter)—it is, I say, impossible that this great nation should go on in the superstition of protection, and that it should not see that the interests of its citizens are sacrificed every day and every hour to the interests, or supposed interests, of a few. (Cheers.) It is impossible that the fallacies which our great Cobden energetically dispelled and drove out of the minds of the prejudiced among our own people should not also be driven out of the minds of the people of the United States. (Cheers.) It is impossible, now that the great question of negro labour is settled, but that the question of free trade will come into the foremost rank, and when it does become the question of the United States the time is not far distant when it will be impossible to sow dissension between them and Great Britain, when it will be impossible there should be any ill-will between the two nations, but when all differences will be cleared up by explanation and argument. (Cheers.) When that time comes we shall all recognise that the grand work of Cobden, and his great coadjutors in France, in Europe generally, and in the United States, is complete. Then, and not till then, will this club consider its work to be executed. aI consider that we owe a great debt of gratitude to the distinguished foreigners who have made the late Mr. Cobden’s cause their own, and I, therefore, have great pleasure in proposing the toast entrusted to me.a The toast is, “Our honorary members and American guests.” (Loud cheers.)
[Chevalier spoke next, in French, concluding with a toast to Cobden’s memory; he was followed by Arlès-Dufour, and George Walker of Massachusetts, and then Potter proposed the Chair’s health, and after Argyll responded, the company separated, most returning by the same steamer.]
[1 ]Michel Chevalier (1806-79), who was present and later spoke, had been instrumental in securing the “Treaty of Commerce between France and Great Britain” (23 Jan., 1860) (in The Consolidated Treaty Series, ed. Clive Perry [Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.: Oceana Publications], Vol. 121, pp. 243-58).
[2 ]François Barthélemy Arlès-Dufour (1797-1872), also present, who had been a Saint-Simonian ally and a friend of Cobden’s, was another agent in the treaty of 1860.
[3 ]George Walker (1824-88) had written extensively on U.S. and international banking and currency questions.
[a-a]+MS, TT [in third person, past tense]