But when I advocated Free Trade, do you suppose that I did not see its relation to the present question, or that I advocated Free Trade merely because it would give us a little more occupation in this or that pursuit? No; I believed Free Trade would have the tendency to unite mankind in the bonds of peace, and it was that, more than any pecuniary consideration, which sustained and actuated me, as my friends know, in that struggle. And it is because I want to see Free Trade, in its noblest and most humane aspect, have full scope in this world, that I wish to absolve myself from all responsibility for the miseries caused by violence and aggression, and too often perpetrated under the plea of benefiting trade.
DBx: On this date, June 25th, one hundred and seventy five years ago the House of Lords joined Commons in voting to repeal the corn laws. Thus did Britain take its most momentous step toward becoming a free-trade nation for more than three-quarters of a century. No individual was more responsible for that repeal than was the great Richard Cobden. (I discuss the repeal in this podcast with Steve Davies, Doug Irwin, and Arvind Panagariya .)