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tionship between the operations of the the consumers of these articles, and there Government Treasury and the business of seems to be nothing so well able to bear the the country, and too extensive a com- burden without hardship to any portion of mingling of their money, thus fostering an the people. unnatural reliance in private business upon But our present tariff laws, the vicious, public funds. If this scheme should be inequitable and illogical source of unneces. adopted it should only be done as a tempo- sary taxation, ought to be at once revised rary expedient to meet an urgent necessity. and amended. These laws, as their primary Legislative and executive effort should gen- and plain effect, raise the price to consumers erally be in the opposite direction and of all articles imported and subject to duty, should have a tendency to divorce, as much by precisely the sum paid for such duties. and as fast as can safely be done, the Thus the amount of the duty measures the Treasury Department from private enter- tax paid by those who purchase for use prise.
these imported articles. Many of these Of course it is not expected that undeces- things, however, are raised or manufactured sary and extravagant appropriations will be in our own country, and the duties now made for the purpose of avoiding the levied upon foreign goods and products are accumulation of an excess of revenue. called protection to these home manufacSuch expenditure, beside the demoraliza- tures, because they render it possible for tion of all just conceptions of public duty those of our people who are manufacturers
, which it entails, stimulates a habit of reck- to make these taxed articles and sell them less improvidence not in the least consistent for a price equal to that demanded for the with the mission of our people or the high imported goods that have paid customs and beneficent purposes of our government. duty. So it happens that while compara
I have deemed it my duty to thus bring to tively a few use the imported articles, milthe knowledge of my countrymen, as well lions of our people, who never use and as to the attention of their representatives never saw any of the foreign products, purcharged with the responsibility of legislative chase and use things of the same kind made relief, the gravity of our financial situation. In this country, and pay therefor nearly or The failure of the Congress heretofore to quite the same ephanced price which the provide against the dangers which it was duty adds to the imported articles. Those quite evident the very nature of the diffi- who buy imports pay the duty charged culty must neces
essarily produce, caused a thereon into the public treasury, but the condition of financial distress and appre- great majority of our citizens, who buy hension since your last adjournment, which domestic articles of the same class, pay a taxed to the utmost all the authority and sum at least approximately equal to this expedients within executive control; and duty to the home manufacturer. This refthese appear now to be exhausted. If dis- erence to the operation of our tariff laws is aster results from the continued inaction of not made by way of instruction, but in order Congress, the responsibility must rest where that we may be constantly reminded of the it belongs.
manner in which they impose a burden upon Though the situation thus far considered those who consume domestic products as is fraught with danger which should be well as those who consume imported articles, fully realized, and though it presents feat- and thus create a tax upon all our people. ures of wrong to the people as well as peril It is not proposed to entirely relieve the to the country, it is but a result growing country of this taxation. It must be exout of a perfectly palpable and apparent tensively continued as the source of the cause, constantly reproducing the same government's income; and in a readjustalarming circumstances-a congested na- ment of our tariff the interests of American tional treasury and a depleted monetary labor engaged in manufacture should be condition in the business of the country. It carefully considered, as well as the preservaneed hardly be stated that while the present tion of our manufacturers. It may be called situation demands a remedy, we can only be protection, or by any other name, but relief saved from a like predicament in the future from the hardships and dangers of our by the removal of its cause.
present tariff laws should be devised with Our scheme of taxation, by means of especial precaution against imperilling the which this needless surplus is taken from existence of our manufacturing interests. the people and put into the public treasury, But this existence should not mean a conconsists of a tariff or duty levied upon im- dition which, without regard to the public portations from abroad, and internal-revenue welfare or a national exigency, must always taxes levied upon the consumption of to- insure the realization of immense profits inbacco and spirituous and malt liquors. It stead of moderately profitable returns. As must be conceded that none of the things the volume and diversity of our national subjected to internal-revenue taxation are, activities increase, new recuits are added to strictly speaking, necessaries; there appears those who desire a continuation of the adto be no just laint of this taxation by vantages which they conceive the present
system of tatiff taxation directly affords manufacturing industries as are claimed to them. So stubboruly have all efforts to re- be benefited by a high tariff. form the present condition been resisted by To these the appeal is made to save their those of our fellow-citizens thus engaged, employment and maintain their wages by that they can hardly complain of the sus- resisting a change. There should be no picion, entertained to a certain extent, that disposition to answer such suggestions by there exists an organized combination all the allegation that they are in a minority along the line to maintain their advan- among those who labor, and therefore tage.
should forego an advantage, in the interest We are in the midst of centennial cele- of low prices for the majority; their combrations, and with becoming pride we re- pensation, as it may be affected by the opjoice in American skill and ingenuity, in eration of the tariff laws, should at all times American energy and enterprise, and in the be scrupulously kept in view; and yet with wonderful natural advantages and resources slight reflection they will not overlook the developed by a century's national growth. fact that they are consumers with the rest; Yet when an attempt is made to justify a that they, too, have their own wants and scheme which permits a tax to be laid upon those of their families to supply from their every consumer in the land for the benefit earnings, and that the price of the necesof our manufacturers, quite beyond a reason- saries of life, as well as the amount of their able demand for governmental regard, it wages, will regulate the measure of their suits the purposes of advocacy to call our welfare and comfort. manufactures infant industries, still needing But the reduction of taxation demanded the highest and greatest degree of favor and should be so measured as not to necessitate fostering care that can be wrung from Fed- or justify either the loss of employment by eral legislation.
the working man nor the lessening of his It is also said that the increase in the wages; and the profits still remaining to price of domestic manufactures resulting the manufacturer, after a necessary readfrom the present tariff is necessary in order justment, should furnish no excuse for the that higher wages may be paid to our work- sacrifice of the interests of his employés ingmen employed in manufactories, than either in their opportunity to work or in are paid for what is called the pauper labor the diminution of their compensation. Nor of Europe. All will acknowledge ihe force can the worker in manufactures fail to of an argument which involves the welfare understand that while a high tariff is and liberal compensation of our laboring claimed to be necessary to allow the paypeople. Our labor is honorable in the eyes ment of remunerative wages, it certainly of every American citizen; and as it lies at results in a very large increase in the price the foundation of our development and pro- of nearly all sorts of manufactures, which, gress, it is entitled, without affectation or in almost countless forms, he needs for the hypocrisy, to the utmost regard. The use of himself and his family. He receives standard of our laborers' life should not be at the desk of his employer his wages, and measured by that of any other country less perhaps before he reaches his home is favored, and they are entitled to the full obliged, in a purchase for family use of an share of all our advantages.
article which embraces his own labor, to By the last census it is made to appear return in the payment of the increase in that of the 17,392,099 of our population price which the tariff permits, the hardengaged in all kinds of industries 7,670,493 earned compensation of many days of toil. are employed in agriculture, 4,074,238 in The farmer and the agriculturist who professional and personal service, (2,934,- manufacture nothing, but who pay the in876 of whom are domestic servants and creased price which the tariff imposes, upon laborers, ) while 1,810,256 are employed in every agricultural implement, upon all he trade and transportation, and 3,837,112 are wears and upon all he uses and owns, exclassed as employed in manufacturing and cept the increase of his flocks and herds mining.
and such things as his husbandry produces For present purposes, however, the last from the soil, is invited to aid in maintainnumber given should be considerably re- ing the present situation; and he is told duced. Without attempting to enumerate that a high duty on imported wool is necesall, it will be conceded that there should be sary for the benefit of those who have sheep deducted from those which it includes 375,- to shear, in order that the price of their 143 carpenters and joiners, 285,401 milli- wool may be increased. They of course are ners, dressmakers, and seamstresses, 172,726 not reminded that the farmer who has no blacksmiths, 133, 756 tailors and tailoresses, sheep is by this scheme obliged, in his pur102,473 masons, 76,241 butchers, 41,309 chase of clothing and woolen goods, to pay bakers, 22,083 plasterers and 4,891 engaged a tribute to his fellow farmer as well as to in manufacturing agricultural implements, the manufacturer and merchant; nor is any amounting in the aggregate to 1,214,023, mention made of the fact that the sheepleaving 2,623,089 persons employed in such owners themselves and their households,
must wear clothing and use other articles the sick and well, and the young and old, manufactured from the wool they sell at and that it constitutes a tax which, with tariff prices, and thus as consumers must relentless grasp, is fastened upon the clothreturn their share of this increased price to ing of every man, woman, and child in the the tradesman.
land, reasons are suggested why, the reI think it may be fairly assumed that a moval or reduction of this duty should be large proportion of the sheep owned by included in a revision of our tariff laws. the farmers throughout the country are In speaking of the increased cost to the found in small flocks numbering from consumer of our home manufactures, resulttwenty-five to fifty. The duty on the grade ing from a duty laid upon imported articles of imported wool which these sheep yield, of the same description, the fact is not overis ten cents each pound if of the value of looked that competition among our domestic thirty cents or less, and twelve cents if of producers sometimes has the effect of keepthe value of more than thirty cents. If the ing the price of their products below the liberal estimate of six pounds be allowed for highest limit allowed by such duty. But it each fleece, the duty thereon would be sixty is notorious that this competition is too or seventy-two cents, and this may be taken often strangled by combinations quite preas the utmost enhancement of its price to valent at this time, and frequently called the farmer by reason of this duty. Eighteen trusts, which have for their object the regudollars would thus represent the increased lation of the supply and price of commodiprice of the wool from twenty-five sheep ties made and sold by members of the comand thirty-six dollars that from the wool of bination. The people can hardly hope for fifty sheep; and at present values this ad- any consideration in the operation of these dition would amount to about one-third of selfish schemes. its price. If upon its sale the farmer re If, however, in the absence of such comceives this or a less tariff profit, the wool bination, a healthy and free competition releaves his hands charged with precisely that duces the price of any particular dutiable sum, which in all its changes will adhere to article of home production, below the limit it, until it reaches the consumer. When which it might otherwise reach under our manufactured into cloth and other goods tariff laws, and if, with such reduced price, and material for use, its cost is not only in- its manufacture continues to thrive, it is creased to the extent of the farmer's tariff entirely evident that one thing has been profit, but a further sum has been added discovered which should be carefully scrufor the benefit of the manufacturer under tinized in an effort to reduce taxation. the operation of other tariff laws. In the The necessity of combination to maintain meantime the day arrives when the farmer the price of any commodity to the tariff finds it necessary to purchase woolen goods point, furnishes proof that some one is and material to clothe himself and family willing to accept lower prices for such comfor the winter. When he faces the trades- modity, and that such prices are remuneraman for that purpose he discovers that he tive; and lower prices produced by compeis obliged not only to return in the way of tition prove the same thing. Thus where increased prices, his tariff profit on the wool either of these conditions exists, a case would he sold, and which then perhaps lies before seem to be presented for an easy reduction him in manufactured form, but that he of taxation must add a considerable sum thereto to The considerations which have been premeet a further increase in cost caused by a sented touching our tariff laws are intended tariff duty on the manufacture. Thus in only to enforce an earnest recommendation the end he is aroused to the fact that he that the surplus revenues of the governhas paid upon a moderate purchase, as the ment be prevented by the reduction of our result of the tariff scheme, which, when he customs duties, and, at the same time, to sold his wool seemed so profitable, an in- emphasize a suggestion that in accomplishcrease in price more than sufficient to sweep ing this purpose, we may discharge a double away all the tariff profit he received upon duty to our people by granting to them a the wool he produced and sold.
measure of relief from tariff taxation in When the number of farmers engaged in quarters where it is most needed and from wool-raising is compared with all the farm- sources where it can be most fairly and ers in the country, and the small proportion justly accorded. they bear to our population is considered ; Nor can the presentation made of such when it is made apparent that, in the case considerations be, with any degree of fairof a large part of those who own sheep, the ness, regarded as evidence of unfriendliness benefit of the present tariff on wool is illu- toward our manufacturing interests, or of sory; and, above all, when it must be con- any lack of appreciation of their value and ceded that the increase of the cost of living importance. caused by such a tariff, becomes a burden These interests constitute a leading and upon those with moderate means and the most substantial element of our national poor, the employed and the unemployed, I greatness and furnish the proud proof of
our country's progress. But if in the emer- home consumption--saving them from the gency that presses upon us our manufactur- depression, interruption in business, and ers are asked to surrender something for loss caused by a glutted domestic market, the public good and to avert disaster, their and affording their employés more certain patriotism, as well as a grateful recognition and steady labor, with its resulting quiet of advantages already afforded, should lead and contentment. them to willing coöperation. No demand The question thus imperatively presented is made that they shall forego all the bene- for solution should be approached in a fits of governmental regard; but they can- spirit higher than partisanship and considnot fail to be admonished of their duty, as ered in the light of that regard for patriotic well as their enlightened self-interest and duty which should characterize the action safety, when they are reminded of the fact of those intrusted with the weal of a conthat financial panic and collapse, to which fiding people. But the obligation to dethe present condition tends, afford no clared party policy and principle is not greater shelter or protection to our manu- wanting to urge prompt and effective action. factures than to our other important enter. Both of the great political parties now prises
. Opportunity for safe. careful, and represented in the Government have, by deliberate reform is now afforded; and repeated and authoritative declarations, none of us should be unmindful of a time condemed the condition of our laws which when an abused and irritated people, heed- permits the collection from the people of less of those who have resisted timely and unnecessary revenue, and have, in the niost reasonable relief, may insist upon a radical solemn manner, promised its correction ; and sweeping rectification of their wrongs. and neither as citizens or partisans are our
The dificulty attending a wise and fair countrymen in a mood to condone the derevision of our tariff laws is not underesti- liberate violation of these pledges. mated. It will require on the part of the Our progress toward a wise conclusion Congress great labor and care, and espe- will not be improved by dwelling upon the cially a broad and national contemplation of theories of protection and free trade. This the subject, and a patriotic disregard of savors too much of bandying epithets. It such local and selfish claims as are unreason- is a condition which confronts us-not a able and reckless of the welfare of the en- theory. Relief from this condition may
involve a slight reduction of the advantages Under our present laws more than four which we award our home productions, but thousand articles are subject to duty. Many the entire withdrawal of such advantages of these do not in any way compete with our should not be contemplated. The question own manufactures, and many are hardly of free trade is absolutely irrelevant; and worth attention as subjects of revenue. Å the persistent claim made in certain quarconsiderable reduction can be made in the ters, that all efforts to relieve the people aggregate, by adding them to the free list. from unjust and unnecessary taxation are The taxation of luxuries presents no features schemes of so-called free-traders, is misof hardship; but the necessaries of life used chievous and far removed from any considand consumed by all the people, the duty eration for the public good. upon which adds to the cost of living in The simple and plain duty which we owe every home, should be greatly cheapened. the people is to reduce taxation to the nec
The radical reduction of the duties im- essary expenses of an economical operation posed upon raw material used in manufac- of the government, and to restore to the tures, or its free importation, is of course an business of the country the money which important factor in any effort to reduce the we hold in the treasury through the perprice of these necessaries ; it would not only version of governmental powers. These pelieve them from the increased cost caused things can and should be done with safety by the tariff on such material, but the manu. to all our industries, without danger to the factured product being thus cheapened, that opportunity for remunerative labor which part of the tariff now laid upon such product, our workingmen need, and with benefit to as a compensation to our manufacturers for them and all our people, by cheapening the present price of raw material, could be their means of subsistence and increasing accordingly modified. Such reduction, or the measure of their comforts. free importation, would serve beside to The Constitution provides that the Preslargely reduce the revenue. It is not ap- ident "shall, from time to time, give to the parent how such a change can have any in Congress information of the state of the jurious effect upon our manufacturers. On Union." It has been the custom of the the
contrary, it would appear to give them Executive, in compliance with this provia better chance in foreign markets with sion, to annually exhibit to the Congress, the manufacturers of other countries, who at the opening of its session, the general cheapen their wares by free material. Thus condition of the country, and to detail, with our people might have the opportunity of some particularity, the operations of the extending their sales beyond the limits of different Executive Departments. It would
be especially agreeable to follow this course the President's recommendations. Perhaps at the present time, and to call attention to that fact stamped the character of the mesthe valuable accomplishments of these sage more clearly than any words of mine departments during the last fiscal year. can. But I am much impressed with the para “You don't mean actual free trade withmount importance of the subject to which out duty?'' queried the reporter. this communication has thus far been "No," replied Mr. Blaine. “Nor do devoted, that I shall forego the addition of the London papers mean that. They simply any other topic, and only urge upon your mean that the President has recommended immediate consideration the state of the what in the United States is known as a Union" as shown in the prosent condition revenue tariff, rejecting the protective featof our treasury and our general fiscal situa- ure as an object and not even permitting tion, upon which every element of our protection to result freely as an incident to safety and prosperity depends.
revenue duties." The reports of the heads of departments, “I don't know that I quite comprehend which will be submitted, contain full and that last point,” said the reporter. explicit information touching the transac
said Mr. Blaine, "that for tion of the business intrusted to them, and the first time in the history of the United such recommendations relating to legisla- States the President recommends retaining tion in the public interest as they deem ad- the internal tax in order that the tariff may visable. I ask for these reports and recom- be forced down even below the fair revenue mendations the deliberate examination and standard. He recommends that the tax on action of the Legislative branch of the tobacco be retained, and thus that many government.
millions annually shall be levied on a do There are other subjects not embraced in mestic product which would far better come the departmental reports demanding legis- from a tariff on foreigu fabrics." lative consideration and which I should be “Then do you mean to imply that you glad to submit. Some of them, however, would favor the repeal of the tobacco tax?": have been earnestly presented in previous “Certainly; I mean just that,” said Mr. messages, and as to them, I beg leave to Blaine. I should urge that it be done at repeat prior recommendations.
once, even before the Christmas holidays. As the law makes no provision for any It would in the first place bring great relief report from the department of State, a to growers of tobacco all over the country, brief history of the transactions of that and would, moreover, materially lessen the important Department, together with other price of the article to consumers. Tobacco matters which it may hereafter be deemed to millions of men is a necessity. The Presi. essential to commend to the attention of dent calls it a luxury, but it is a luxury in the Congress, may furnish the occasion for no other sense than tea and coffee are luxa future communication.
uries. It is well to remember that the lusGROVER CLEVELAND.
of yesterday becomes a necessity of toWASHINGTON, December 6, 1887.
day. Watch, if you please, the number of
men at work on the farm, in the coal mine, Mr. Blaine's Answer to Cleveland. along the railroad, in the irou foundry, or
in any calling, and you will find 95 in 100 By Cable to the N. Y. Tribune.
chewing while they work. After each meal Paris, Dec. 7, 1887.-After reading an the same proportion seek the solace of a abstract of the President's message, laid be- pipe or a cigar. These men not only pay fore all Europe this morning. I saw Mr. the millions of the tobacco tax, but pay on Blaine and asked him if he would be willing every plug and every cigar an enhanced to give his views upon the recommendation price which the tax enables the manufacof the President in the form of a letter or turer and retailer to impose. The only exinterview. He preferred an interview, if I cuse for such a tax is the actual necessity would agree to send him an intelligent short- under which the government found itself hand reporter, with such questions as should during the war, and the years immediately give free scope for an expression of his following. To retain the tax now in order views. The following lucid and powerful to destroy the protection which would incistatement is the result. Mr. Blaine began dentally flow from raising the same amount by saying to the reporter:
of money on foreign imports, is certainly a "I have been reading an abstract of the most extraordinary policy for our governPresident's message and have been espe- ment." cially interested in the comments of the "Well
, then, Mr. Blaine, would you adLondon papers. Those papers all assume vise the repeal of the whiskey tax also ?” to declare that the message is a free trade “No, I would not. Other considerations manifesto and evidently are anticipating than those of financial administration are an enlarged market for English fabrics in to be taken into account with regard to the United States as a consequence of whiskey. There is a moral side to it. To