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History of Free Trade page 5

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In theory the system of equality and fair play for labour, either of arm or of brain, has now been very generally accepted, and in practice it is becoming more and more extensively adopted. The working classes, all along steadfastly maintaining their rights, have at last begun to reap what their fathers sowed amid much anxiety and agitation. The public service, greatly improved in comparison with former periods, is yearly opening all its various branches to public competition. A great and just reformation has been accomplished in the army, where promotion by purchase has been abolished, leaving the commissions accessible to merit alone. In the Civil Service attempts have been made to inaugurate better systems, which have been attended with some degree of success and satisfaction. These branches of public service afford occupation for above 60,000 persons, and are open, more or less, to all classes of the community - the two great pre-requisites being character and education. Altogether, the progress made has been so decided as to encourage the belief that better days for the great mass of our countrymen have dawned at last.

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