FOR a decade and more the initials "T.S.C." at the end of a letter in the Glasgow Herald or other newspaper have been the guarantee of a clear, illuminating, and wonderfully simple communication on some vital point of economics. During the same time Mr. Cree has been the contributor of several of the most conclusive papers on his subject to the transactions of the learned societies, and the value of his work was some years ago recognised by the degree of LL.D. conferred upon him by Glasgow University. A good deal of the trenchancy of his economic arguments is derived from the fact that his theories have been built upon a varied practical experience of the working of economic laws in several different trades.
    Dr. Cree comes of an old Glasgow stock, his great-great-grandfather having been a Deacon of the Trades' House, and his great-grandfather, another Dr. Cree, an Examiner in the University. Born 11th August, 1837, he lost his father at the age of 14, and leaving the High School, entered the business of James Black & Co., in which his uncles were partners. Seven years later he became cashier to their firm of James and William Inglis, Scott & Co., then the largest spinners and weavers in Scotland, and for two years he afterwards ran a spinning mill of his own in Paisley. His next experience was with a large firm of coalmasters who failed; and it was only after that event that he entered the wholesale stationery business which had been his father's, and in which he has since remained.
    In these various industries - weaving, coal-mining, and book-binding - he had had ample opportunity of observing the methods and results of trades-unionism, and he had arrived at the conclusion, from practical acquaintance, not only that the action of trades' unions was mischievous, but that their theory was unsound. He had early read Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill, and learned gradually that the theory and methods of the unions were approved by many modern economists. For himself he came to the conclusion that these modern economists had completely gone astray, that under the influence of sentimentalism they had given up the central doctrine of the old economics, the belief in the automatic action of the law of supply and demand, and had become, not so much economists, as sentimental philanthropists. They start, he said, with the notion, not of making "an enquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations," but rather of circumventing the natural law so as to give the working classes a larger share than that law allows them; and the result is that the law beats them, and their clients get less than it would give, if left alone. He considered it a curious paradox that while they believed in free trade in commodities, they could not believe in free trade in labour. His own belief in the automatic action of the law of supply and demand, and in the heresy of modern economics, is the keynote of all the letters he has written on economic subjects - labour, land laws, free trade, bimetallism, etc. Besides these letters he is the author of three pamphlets on his special subjects. The first of these, "A Criticism of the Theory of Trades' Unions," was read before the Economic Science Section of Glasgow Philosophical Society in 1890, and is now in its fourth edition. The next, on "Evils of Collective Bargaining in Trades' Unions," now in its second edition, was read to the Civic Society of Glasgow in 1898. And the third, "Business Men and Modern Economics," was read before the British Association at Glasgow in 1901. The first and second of these papers were re-published in Germany, one by an economic journal, the other by a federation of employers; and the second, on the "Evils of Collective Bargaining," was reprinted in France, in instalments from day to day, by M. Yves Guyot in the columns of Le Siècle.
    In politics Dr. Cree is "an old-fashioned Liberal, a believer in freedom from State interference in every direction - the very reverse of a Radical." For his motto he takes Lord Bramwell's saying, "Please govern me as little as possible."

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