Precis Writing on Control over Trade

Make a precis of each of the following passages. The precis should be as far as possible in your own words. Suggest a suitable title also for your precis.

Trading is a social activity. Whoever undertakes to sell any kinds of goods to the public, does what affects the interest of other persons and of society in general. Thus, his conduct, in principle, comes within the jurisdiction of society. Accordingly, it was once held to be the duty of governments, in all cases which were considered of importance, to fix prices, and regulate the process of manufacture. But it is now recognized, though not till after a long struggle, that both the cheapness and the good quality of commodities; are most effectively provided for by leaving the producers and sellers perfectly free, under the sole check of equal freedom to the buyers for supplying themselves from elsewhere.

This is the so-called doctrine of Free Trade, which rests on grounds different from, though equally solid with, the principle of individual liberty. Restrictions on trade or on production for purposes of trade are indeed restraints; and all the restraints, as the restraint, is evil. But the restraints in question affect only that part of conduct which society is competent to restrain and those are wrong solely because they do not really produce the results which are desired to be produced by them. As the principle of individual liberty is not involved in the doctrine of Free Trade, so neither is in most of the questions which arise respecting the limits of the doctrine : as, for example, what amount of public control is admissible for the prevention of fraud by adulteration; how far sanitary precautions or arrangements to protect work-people employed in dangerous occupations, should be enforced on players. Such question involves considerations of liberty, only in so far as leaving people to themselves is always better than controlling them.

Control over Trade

Trade affects the society. Governments in the past, as a duty, fixed the prices and regulated the manufacturing processes. Things of cheap and good quality can be available only when the buyers and sellers are free to deal with each other and with anybody else. This is called a Free Trade which may or may not have personal freedom. Restraints for the sake of restraints of trade are unjustified. Restraints imposed by the society itself are improper because the result is not as desired. Enforcement of control to prevent adulteration and to protect people from health hazards again involves the point of liberty. So it is always better to left the people free and let them control themselves.