Page images

There is a couplet in Milton's "Paradise Lost” that fittingly depicts the present plight of our shifty Chief Executive, as the stand-y protectionists think he should feel. I quote a couplet from Milton:

Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell;
And in the lowest deep a lower deep,
Still threat ’ning to devour me.

In conclusion Mr. Sherwood discussed the subject of the annexation of Canada.

Quite recently I had a conversation with an ex-member of the Canadian Parliament on the question of annexation. said that 25 years ago there was a powerful element in Ontario and the other provinces in favor of annexation, but now the Canadians were almost universally opposed to annexation. He called my attention to the recent statement of the Canadian Premier, Laurier, that during the past two years over 80,000 United States farmers from North Dakota, Montana, Iowa, and - other Western States had sold their farms and moved across the border into Canada in order to better their condition.

Why have we been losing the most thrifty and most valuable citizens of the Western States, who, from choice, have left the protection of our flag and renounced citizenship in a Republic to become citizens in the Canadian provinces under the protection of a British flag? Why have these valuable citizens left their homes and firesides in a mild climate to settle in the frozen north! Here comes the startling thought: Why should any United States farmer care to repudiate the flag of his country for the flag of Great Britain, or why are the Canadians opposed to annexation to the United States ?

Is it because we have parted with the simple Republic of the fathers and are now tending rapidly to a military oligarchy, with the military spirit dominant and a present military establishment more costly than the Empire of Great Britain? Is it because of the corruption of American politics? Is it because of the present unrest of our industrial classes? Is it because there is an economic and financial system in the United States controlled by not more than 5 per cent. of our people, who either own or control all the railroads, steamship lines, iron mines, steel mines, oil refineries, tank lines, copper mines, and copper industry, the woolen industry, and the cotton industry? Is it because the average Canadian, looking across the border line, sees in this country no fair opportunity or a poor man's chance, outside the controlling influences of monopoly?

I have never heard or read an explanation of the hostility in Canada to annexation, and can but guess. I am not a political diagnostician.

An amendment of the bill relating to the paper and pulp schedule was adopted, and the bill was then passed by a vote of 221 to 92.

On February 15 the Senate referred the bill to the Committee on Finance, which reported it back on the 24th without amendment. The bill failed to come to a vote, however, in this session.

On April 4 the President called a special session of Congress to consider again the question of putting the reciprocity agreement in operation.

The House bill to carry the treaty into effect was this time introduced by Mr. Underwood. He, on the same day (April 12), introduced a bill “to place on the free list agricultural implements, cotton bagging, cotton ties, leather, boots and shoes, fence wire, meats, cereals, flour, bread, timber, lumber, sewing machines, salt, and other articles." This was known as the “Farmers' Free-List Bill.”

Both bills were referred to the Committee on Ways and Means. The general reciprocity bill was reported back the next day. It came up for discussion on April 15.



Asher C. Hinds [Me.] opposed the bill.

The manner in which this bill distributes its supposed benefits and its undoubted hardships violates mankind's fundamental idea of justice and equity. Since the dawn of time, through all mythologies and religions, man has expressed his inborn idea that to those who have the suffering and self-denial should come the bliss of the better world, the peace of the Elysian fields, the joy of the golden streets. That is real reciprocity. But this bill introduces into that ancient, instinctive idea of equity a new principle; that one class of citizens is to have the sacrifices, while another class enjoys the rewards. The dairymen of New York and Ohio are to tread the earthly pathway of self-denial, and in reward the makers of barbed-wire fencing are to roam the Elysian fields [laughter]; the wheat farmers of the Dakotas are to keep the long vigil of unrestricted competition, and in return the automobile makers of Detroit are to speed over the streets of gold; the fishermen of Gloucester who keep watch and watch with death on the banks of Newfoundland are to surrender their market, and in return the Connecticut clock makers are to set up their timepieces in the realms of bliss, where a thousand years are but as a day; the potato farmer of Maine or Michigan is to have the troubles of Lazarus, but the maker of harvesting machines is to rest his head on the bosom of Abraham. [Laughter and applause.) One class sows that another may reap, and you call it reciprocity.


On April 18 Paul Howland [O.] spoke in favor of the bill. On the subject of Canadian opposition to reciprocity he said:

Mr. Chairman, it might be interesting, after all the eulogies which have been paid and all the tears that have been shed in behalf of protected interests in this country, to read a brief extract from the debate in the House of Commons at Ottawa on this subject.

Mr. Lemieux, on February 21, 1911, said:

We are told by my honorable friend (Mr. Sproul) that it is a onesided agreement, but we also have one of the highest protectionists on this continent, Mr. Joe Cannon-Uncle Joe-prominent in American public life, who objects to this agreement because it is one-sided. It is, indeed, strange to find protectionists on both sides of the line agreeing that it is a onesided agreement to the prejudice of each.


On April 19 Joseph W. Fordney [Mich.) spoke in opposition to the bill.

Mr. Chairman, I want to call the attention of the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. McCall] and the gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. Hill) to one thing. They are very earnest in their efforts to bring about the adoption of Canadian reciprocity. They are both protectionists. Just whether they can see beyond the limits of the State of Connecticut and the State of Massachusetts at this time I am not going to say. [Laughter.]

EBENEZER J. Hill (Conn.).—Mr. Chairman

MR. FORDNEY.—Just one moment. Let me say to you, you wanted free trade in leather, and you voted for protection on shoes. I have repeatedly said, and I repeat now, that any step toward a reduction of our duties was only a step toward free trade.

You are in favor of Canadian reciprocity, and here comes a full-born child of free trade, a bill that puts shoes on the free list and leather on the free list, and I do wish it also put other things produced in New England on the free list. [Applause and laughter.] I am going to ask you if you are going to vote for that bill. I am going to introduce a bill, and I give notice now, and no better protectionist has ever lived than is found in me—and I hope my Democratic friends will support the bill—to put ships on the free list, so that American goods may be carried between two American ports by any foreign ship, and then we shall see how New England will like that.

MR. HILL.-Mr. Chairman, I challenge the gentleman to vote with me in accordance with the principles laid down in the Republican national platform, that the true measure of protection is the difference in the cost of production at home and abroad, and, if he does it once, it will be the first time he ever did it in his life. [Laughter and applause.]

MR. FORDNEY.-Mr. Chairman, I happened to be a member of the committee on resolutions at the last Republican national convention

MR. HILL.—Then the gentleman ought to be bound by the declaration.

MR. FORDNEY.- Are you?

MR. HILL.-I am. On manufactures from New England and lumber from Michigan, and on wheat also and every other product that we have in the United States.

MR. FORDNEY.—Oh, now, do not get excited, because you are in error.

That platform says that the Republican party proposes to give protection to American industry by a tariff wall sufficiently high to offset the difference in the cost of production here and abroad, and to add thereto a fair profit. Where is there any protection for a profit in the free trade for which you vote?

Mr. Hill.-I will ask the gentleman whether the figures on the other side do not also include a fair profit for them?

MR. FORDNEY.-Suppose the cost there was identical with the cost here?

MR. HILL.—Then I would have no duty. [Applause on the Democratic side.]

MR. FORDNEY.-Wait a minute. Where is your profit! Figure it out if you can.

MR. HILL.- Where is their profit? [Applause on the Democratic side.)

MR. FORDNEY.—Let them keep their own market and we will keep ours. [Applause on the Republican side.]

MR. HILL.-We would with the addition of from $3 to $5 a ton in our favor across the ocean.

MR. FORDNEY.-Mr. Chairman, I want to say that I am an admirer of our President, William H. Taft. He will be the Republican candidate for reëlection, if he lives until that time. [Applause on the Republican side.] I am frank to say, gentlemen, that I disagree with his views on Canadian reciprocity. I am exercising my judgment as my conscience dictates as to what is right and best for the American people; and upon that platform I am going to stand.

On April 21 Samuel W. McCall (Mass.] supported the bill. He said in conclusion:

The President is recognizing the laws of nature. The fact that that country buys from us nearly twice as much as she does from all the other nations of the world shows most powerfully how the ties of nature are drawing us commercially together. It is not wise to try to float upstream. We should permit the laws of nature to work without obstruction, and they will work, for the benefit of both countries. The size of our planet is dwindling every year. The discovery of all of the lands of the world, the wonderful inventions of the last century, the railroad and the telephone and the telegraph make this world to-day as small, compared with the world of the time of Columbus, as one of Jupiter's satellites is as compared with Jupiter. We are rapidly growing smaller, and here is this great neighbor of ours that is industrially a part of the United States. I say it is wise for us to recognize that fact and to pass this bill. It does not go far enough, but it takes a long step in the right direction.

Mr. Dalzell spoke in opposition to the measure. In discussing the question of its constitutionality he said:

« PreviousContinue »