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Ireland and swept her factories from the face of the earth. The manufacturing and landed monopoly of England but a few years ago huddled into their graves the decaying bodies of more than 1,000,000 of the people of Ireland, who died of starvation in a single year.
By peaceful arts, without the clash of arms, we can emancipate the hundreds of millions of people England now oppresses. The source of her power is her commercial and manufacturing supremacy, and this we can and should undermine, as we are its chief support. With our cotton fields, our widespread and inexhaustible deposits of all the metals, and our immense sheep walks, we should supply all our wants. When we do this our commerce will revive, for populous nations that supply their own markets always produce a surplus which they can export at low prices. But now England properly regards us as a dependency more profitable than "all the English-speaking dependencies of the empire.'
The gentleman from Iowa [Mr. Allison) says that we are offering inducements to thousands to go at wheat growing; that the homestead law is tempting immigrants to engage in wheat growing and add to the unsalable and unavailable stock. That is true, and how would he improve matters? He agrees with me that the homestead law is beneficent and should not be repealed. What, then, is the gentleman's proposition! It is identical with those we have heard from so many gentlemenreduced duties on coal, salt, hides, lumber, iron, and woolen goods. This is the burden and refrain of all the sweet singers trained in the musical academy of David A. Wells, Commissioner of Revenue.
Is free trade a specific for all or any of our ills? No, sir, it is sheer quackery, charlatanism. The only cure for the evil of which Western grain growers complain is to increase the number of consumers and decrease the number of growers of wheat; raise, if possible, the wages of workmen so as to make mechanical employments attractive; say to the farmers' sons, “There is work and good wages for you in the machine shop, the forge, the furnace, or the mill”; say to the men whose capital is unproductive on farms, “Build mills, sink shafts to the coal bed which underlies your farm; avail yourselves of the limestone quarry and the ore bed, whether of iron, lead, copper, zinc, or nickel; employ your industry and capital so that it shall be profitable to you, your country, and mankind”; and in a little while you will cheapen iron and steel and make an adequate market for all the grain of the country. The gentleman's remedy is the theory of the homeopathic physician, that like cures like, which, though it may be correct in physics, is not an approved maxim in social science.
MR. ALLISON.-I would like the gentleman to state how long it will be before that happy period will arrive?
MR. KELLEY.—As the price of iron goes down here it is going up in England; and under the present duty we will soon be able to supply our own demand, and meet England in common markets at equal prices.
Sir, I want to show gentlemen from the West what effect the tariff has on immigration. I have before me the tariffs from the organization of the Government down to the present time, given in ad valorem percentages, and a statement of the number of immigrants that arrived in each year, from 1856 to 1869 inclusive. By comparing them I find that whenever our duties have been low immigration fell off, and whenever our duties have been high the volume of immigration increased. This seems to be a fixed law.
It is thus demonstrated historically that, precisely as we make our duties protective of high wages for labor, so do we bring skilled workmen from Germany, Belgium, France, and England to work in our mines, forges, furnaces, rolling mills, cotton and woolen factories, and create a home market for the grain of Iowa, Illinois, and the other States whose farmers complain that they have no market for their grain.
GENERAL SCHENCK.—We have free trade in men.
MR. KELLEY.—Yes, men are on the free list. They cost us not even freight. Yet how they swell the revenues and help us pay the debt of the country! They are raised from helpless infancy, through tender childhood, and trained to skilled labor in youth in other lands, and in manhood, allured by higher wages, they come to us and are welcomed to citizenship. In this way we have maintained a balance of trade that has enabled us to resist without bankruptcy the ordinary commercial balance that has been so heavily against us. We promote free trade in men, and it is the only free trade I am prepared to promote.
On March 30 Mr. Maynard spoke as follows:
It has been confidently asserted that “a tariff is a tax," and “that a tariff on imports is, under all circumstances, a tax which is paid wholly or in part by the consumer."
A tax, in political science, is a sum of money levied by authority, directly or indirectly, from the citizen for the support of the Government.
A tariff is a sum of money exacted from the importation of foreign merchandise. It is a duty, not a tax, a burden in rem and not in personam,' enforced when necessary by a proceeding against the property itself. “Taxes, duties, imposts, and excises," is the language of the Constitution, never tautological. But it is assumed that the importer, in turn, exacts it from the citizen to whom he sells; or, to state the proposition differently, that the tariff invariably and necessarily forms a part of the price and is paid by the consumer. And it is insisted that the price of all like articles of domestic production is equally enhanced as a necessary effect of the tariff; that the duty of $1.25 per ton on bituminous coal, for instance, increases the price just so much to the consumers not only of the 100,000 tons imported from England and the 230,000 from Nova Scotia, but of the 4,000,000 tons from the mines of the United States; and it is further argued that, while the Government receives but $412,500 duty on the coal imported, the American miners receive on their production $5,000,000, and that it all comes from the hard-used, overtaxed consumers. This has been asserted so often, with respect especially to coal, salt, iron, and wool, that a belief has resulted from the continued reiteration. It would follow, then, as a corollary, that no duty should be imposed upon these articles, or indeed upon any others that compete with the growth or production of our own country.
If this doctrine is true of these articles, it is true of all others; for example of butter, cheese, potatoes, and wheat. The duty on butter and cheese is 4 cents per pound, on potatoes 25 cents per bushel, and on wheat 20 cents per bushel. Now, will any man be bold enough or reckless enough to assert that the duty of 4 cents per pound upon butter enhances to the consumers by so much the price not only of the 6,650,000 pounds imported from Canada, but also of the entire produce of our own dairies; or that the duty of 20 cents per bushel on wheat adds that sum or any sum to the price either of American wheat, or of the 1,500,000 bushels imported from Canada. The prices are regulated by the home supply, and the importer must conform to them and pay duties and other expenses out of the proceeds of his sales. How much these amount to the purchaser neither inquires nor cares. Such is the result invariably and under all circumstances when the domestic production approximates the demand so nearly as to regulate the price
160n the thing and not the person.”
in our market, as is the case with the articles enumerated above.
He who takes coals to Newcastle for sale must sell at Newcastle prices and pay all expenses. A load of Canadian wheat in the market of Chicago, Milwaukee, or Buffalo sells no higher than a similar load from Iowa, Minnesota, or Illinois. Yet the owner must pay the duty of 20 cents per bushel, besides all his other expenses, and pocket only the net proceeds.
JAMES A. GARFIELD (0.]. -With the gentleman's permission, I would ask him a question. I ask the gentleman whether what is brought in from abroad, together with what is produced at home, does not undoubtedly form the total supply upon which must necessarily be based the prices? I ask if prices are not based on the whole supply made up from both these sources, and if it is quite correct, therefore, to say that the Milwaukee supply regulates the prices of Milwaukee products; if it is not rather correct to say that the price results from the total of the Milwaukee product, plus the foreign product, added to it?
MR. MAYNARD.—I think when I have stated my propositions the gentleman will see that we are not very wide apart. The profession to which he and I belong recognizes the principle "de minimis non curat lex." 1 I was attempting to show that, when the domestic production is so great in comparison with the demand as to fix the market price a small importation does not affect it either with respect to the imported or to the domestic article. It follows, then, that the duty on all such articles is paid by the importer for the privilege of our market, and does not under any circumstances fall upon the consumer. is not, therefore, a tax-not being levied from the citizen, but from the stranger who brings his commodities for trade. This our English brethren and our Canadian neighbors understand perfectly well; nobody better. Hence the loud complaints and bitter invectives against what they denounce as our unenlightened and illiberal policy.
But it is especially as the Representative of a Southern constituency that I advocate the policy of protecting and fostering our manufactures. The opposite doctrine had prevailed for a whole generation prior to the war; and during the war we experienced the bitter consequences. Isolated from the rest of the world, seaward by the blockade and landward by the military lines, we endured privations altogether incredible and difficult to appreciate. With three thousand miles of sea coast, and naval stores and material in abundance, we had neither
106 The law looks not at little things."
ships nor seamen. With an unlimited supply of cotton, and wool, and hides, and oak bark, and falling waters, we had neither shirts, nor coats, nor blankets, nor shoes. But for the household industry prevalent in the South beyond other parts of the land, not a few would have been reduced to stark nakedness.
It would be a disastrous policy for the South to repeal the present protective tariff and return to the old condition of things before the war. Let New England and Pennsylvania with their superior mechanical skill and capital; let New York, with her great entrepôt of foreign commerce; let the free and mighty West, proud of her growth, satisfied in her abundance and insouciant of the future-let them unite, if they will, to discard protection to their labor and to their springing enterprises; the South cannot afford to do it; she is behind them all in the race of prosperity.
But let her industry be protected and fostered for a few years to come as they have been for a few years past and she will be abreast of the foremost.
If, therefore, she is wise she will discard the pernicious counsels of a school of economists whose teachings in the past brought her to a state little better than vassalage, dependent and in debt in time of peace, without resources in time of war. She will embrace the same policy which has made other parts of our common country wealthy, prosperous, and great. I appeal, then, to my Southern associates. I invoke a common interest. Differing as we have differed in the troubled past or as we may differ even now on questions of political expediency and justice, we surely can agree on a line of policy which will develop our commerce, our mines, our manufactures, no less than our agriculture.
On March 31 General Schenck defended his bill.
The speeches which have been made have generally been presented by gentlemen as embodying their views in regard to free trade on the one side, and a system of protection to the industry of the country upon the other. And, if there were really any great and marked difference among the people of the country in respect to two policies of this kind, then, perhaps, the most significant debate indeed would be that which we have already had. But, Mr. Chairman, I cannot see that the arguments made have to any great extent approached, much less settled and disposed of, the various questions that are involved;