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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 297-298 of Albert Venn Dicey’s 1905 volume, Lectures on the Relation Between Law & Public Opinion in England During the Nineteenth Century (footnotes deleted):

This disposition to rate low the value of personal liberty, and to rate high the interest of a class, is to a certain extent illustrated by the Aliens Immigration Bill, 1904.  This measure is on the face of it intended to restrain the settlement in England of foreign paupers, and other undesirable immigrants, whose presence may add to the mass of English poverty.  It has been brought before Parliament by the Government, and is supposed, possibly with truth, to be supported by a large body of working-men.  No one can deny that arguments worth attention may be produced in favour of the Aliens Bill; but it is impossible for any candid observer to conceal from himself that the Bill harmonises with the wish to restrain any form of competition which may come into conflict with the immediate interest of a body of English wage-earners.  However this may be, the Bill assuredly betrays a marked reaction against England’s traditional policy of favouring or inviting the immigration of foreigners, and in some of its provisions shows an indifference to that respect for the personal freedom, even of an alien, which may be called the natural individualism of the common law.