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when by your system he is com- the prices of commodities, they are pelled to sell not in the dearest dearer, not cheaper." but the cheapest market.

The case is thus stated by the The less the price of commodities, writer in a pamphlet recently pub- the lower must be the rates of lished, “ Free Trade so called tested wages, and the less the capacity by Facts":

of the masses to consume: a la

bourer has but his labour to sell, “To buy in the cheapest and sell but our policy is to destroy his in the dearest market is a perfectly market. 1 sound recommendation, provided al- It has hitherto been contended ways it is in the power of a nation to do both. If not in its power to sell by the Cobden school that “Britin the dearest market, by which we

ish commodities are always paid understand one from which a profit for by foreign commodities, therecan be derived, what advantage does fore the purchasers of foreign comthe producer derive from cheapness, modities encourages British inwhen forced to sell not in the dearest, dustry as much as the purchaser but the cheapest market? This is of British commodities,” and “that precisely the position of the producer in this country. Shut out from for- every export of goods must be eign markets by high tariffs, he has to balanced by an import of goods." sell in the cheapest, and that his own,

If by this is meant that a nation made so by fierce competition from shall exchange that which it proabroad. Cheapness,' for which ap- duces for something it does not proparently one-sided traders think we duce, and were it as a question of should sacrifice everything, is an al- fact true that British commodiluring term; but if we carefully consider it, we find it not only ambigu

ties exported are always paid for ous but misleading. Cheapness may by foreign commodities, we take be caused by an excess in the supply no exception to it; but whatever of commodities generally (intensified, M'Culloch may have intended, we as we see at present, by our system know this is not the meaning of of free imports, attracting to our the latter-day Cobdenite. His markets the over-production of the theory is, that if by exchanging world); but inasmuch as it entails a diminution in incomes generally and

a commodity produced at home less employment, it is not cheapness; for one produced abroad—whether for if the working man ceases to earn

the latter is a product of this wages, of what use to him are the country or not — you can do so low prices of commodities he has no on better terms than if you exlonger the means of paying for? In changed it for a commodity grown other words, the cost of living is to

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or manufactured at home, it is as be measured not by what we pay for the articles we consume, but by the great an encouragement to British amount of income we possess out of industry as if you exchanged it which the payment has to come. If for the produce of domestic init declines more proportionately than dustry. Let us hear what Adam

1 Mr Harris has shown us, in the · Economist' of 29th January last, that from 1884-86 the annual consumption per head of population of wheat and flour averaged 337 lb., costing £i, 35. 4d., against in 1881-83, 354 lb., costing £1, 12s. Id.; from which it appears, if we take the average population of these periods, of which £2, 138, 348 was due to diminished consumption. These figures are remarkable as indicating the decreased spending power of the working classes, and that in reality they do not benefit by “the cheap loaf” they have no longer the means of paying for as of old.

Smith says in Wealth of Nations,' we import it we gain £5, and though book ii. chap. v. :

we pay for it with our own manufac

tures we lose £100 of wealth, which The capital which is employed we might have created less the £5, or in purchasing in one part of the a net loss of £95, which we might country, in order to sell in another, have saved by producing both comthe produce of the industry of that modities at home. Suppose hosiery country, generally replaces by such to the value of £300,000 produced anoperation two distinct capitals that nually in Birmingham, and exchanged had both been employed in the agri- for lace produced annually in Notculture or manufactures of that coun- tingham to the amount of £300,000 ; try, and thereby enables them to con- all classes engaged in the production tinue that employment. When in Birmingham and Nottingham are both are the produce of domestic in- benefited to the extent of £600,000. dustry, it necessarily replaces by every But if Birmingham exchange its such operation two distinct capitals hosiery for lace made in Saxony, Notwhich had both been employed in sup- tingham will have £300,000 less to porting productive labour, and thereby spend; for let it be carefully noted enables them to continue that sup- that it is not only the profit Notport. The capital which sends Scotch tingham loses, for the entire value of manufactures to London, and brings the domestic product would have been back English manufactures and corn net income to its people, benefiting to Edinburgh, necessarily replaces by bakers, grocers, butchers, tailors, shoeevery such operation two British cap- makers, and others." itals, which had both been employed in the agriculture or manufacture of

Take the question of labour Great Britain.

only: if this modern free-trade “ The capital employed in purchasing foreign goods for home consump

contention

anything, it tion, when this purchase is made with

means that when we pay for labour the produce of domestic industry, re- expended abroad instead of at places, too, by every such operation, home, the wages fund of this countwo distinct capitals, but one of them try is quite as much benefited as only is employed in supporting do- that of the foreign country !! méstic industry. The capital which sends British goods to Portugal, and

We have only to refer to the

abstracts to brings back Portuguese goods to

see how utterly unGreat Britain, replaces by every such tenable is the assertion that • Britoperation only one British capital. The ish commodities are always paid other is a Portuguese one. Though for by foreign commodities. the returns, therefore, of the foreign We exported in the three years trade of consumption should be as 1883-85, merchandise to the value quick as those of the home trade, of 872 millions, and received of the capital employed in it will give but ONE-HALF THE ENCOURAGEMENTS

imports 1191 millions.

add to these 872 millions 10 per TO THE INDUSTRY PRODUCTIVE LABOUR OF THE COUNTRY."

cent for freight, insurance, ship

ping charges, &c., we get 959 Or as stated in the pamphlet from millions, leaving a balance, were which we have already quoted : 1- the assertion true, of 232 millions “Let us consider what the term

as net profits earned on the 872

millions. 'replace capital' means. For example,

But foreign countries suppose we can produce an article for have not only to pay us for the £100, and can import it for £95. If merchandise we send them, but

means

If we

OR

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i Or as stated at much greater length in the fourth chapter of • Sophisms of Free Trade, published shortly after the repeal of <he Corn Laws—a work well worthy of caresul study by all desirous of arriving at the truth of this all-important subject.

the interest on loans, and divi- light. Suppose the great American dends on British investments in millionaire Mr Vanderbilt had been foreign countries, estimated at

able and willing to buy the entire Isle 60 millions; and as, of course, there, and lived a life of opulence and

of Man, and built himself a palace they do not do so in specie, the luxury, importing everything that excess of their export over what such a life demanded from England or we send them, plus the charges from abroad. If he lived there to the and profit, if any, is merely a re- age of Methuselah, what was there to mittance in payment of a debt due prevent his spending his vast income for something else. Driven from in the purchase of foreign imports, their position by such figures as

without exporting a single bale of these, one-sided free-traders con

goods, paying his way by bills drawn

on America, representing the earnings tend that, let that be as it may, of the New York Central Railroad ?” the growing excess of the import over the export, inasmuch as it Having regard to the interest of shows foreign countries are getting the working classes, what does the more and more indebted to us, decrease in the export, and rapid only points to increased national increase in the import of manuwealth. Is this certain ? Is there factured goods, but too clearly not strong reason to believe that point to ? It points to diminished we have, as Mr. Medley appears work for them. That America for to admit in his controversy with instance, aided by her protective Lord Penzance, been recently part- system, and assisted by British ing with foreign securities? but capital, the interest on which she whether or not, it is not with the pays by enormous importations of accumulation of wealth in the grain as well as manufactures, is hands of a few we are here con- not only manufacturing for herself cerned, but with industrial pro- much she formerly took from us, gress and the wellbeing of the but is sending, in spite of having to masses. Lord Penzance, in his pay double what we do for labour, reply to Mr. Medley in the · Nine- her manufactures to compete with teenth Century' of last September, ours, and that successfully, in our shows the absurdity of our trying home and foreign markets ! A to persuade ourselves that accumu- startling and flat contradiction to lation of wealth (if indeed it be the dictum of the Cobden school, accumulating) from such sources “ that duties imposed for the prois indicative of increased national tection of home industries, increase prosperity. He says :

the cost of production, and make it

more difficulty for us to compete “ Imports are paid for, he (Mr with foreign producers ;" for be it Medley) says, either by the export of observed, it is only since American merchandise or by securities. Be it

industries have been by a high tariff so. In the word ' security' he includes, I presume, bills of exchange, which i protected, they have been able to have shown to be the ordinary method compete with ours. If the excess of payment in point of fact, and then of the import over the export is a what does it all come to? Why, no- certain proof of increasing national thing but this; that imports are paid wealth, it follows that the greater for somehow, either by goods or securities, or something of value. All the amount of that wealth, and

the excess, the greater should be this is plain and simple enough as a matter of reasoning and experience,

that we shall only have attained but let me imagine a state of things the zenith of our prosperity when which will illustrate it in a practical we have ceased to export, and import all we require from abroad! «• The shares of the leading flaxbut what then becomes of the free- mills in Germany are 20 and 22 per trade contention, that every export cent above par.' The shares of the of goods must be balanced by an

ten principal flax-mills in Belfast are

58 per cent below par.'—Nineteenth import of goods ?

Century.'" If further evidence were wanted of the utter collapse of the system, In 1886 the firm of Messrs it is furnished in the ever-increas- Marshall & Co., established 100 ing nuinber of manufacturing cap- years ago in Holbeck, Leeds, and italists who have, in recent years, the largest flax-spinners in Europe, been driven by it to seek in foreign owing to keen competition from countries the fair play they are abroad, closed their works, and denied at home. Mr Porter, of

have
gone

to establish new mills in the United States Tariff Commis- Massachusetts, taking with them sion, tells us :

their capital and many of their "I found shoddy manufacturers old hands. They employed 4000 from Batby and Dewsbury established workmen, who are thus thrown in Aachen, Prussia; Lancashire and out of employment. It is said Scottish spinners in Rouen; Leicester- seventy millions of yards of linen shire hosiery manufacturers in Saxony; were spun daily in their works. Yorkshire wool-combing establishments when Germans read of this disin Rheims; Dundee jute-mills in Dunkerque; all-wool-stuff manufacturers in placement of home produce by Roubaix ; English iron and steel mills theirs, and see so many of our in Belgium ; and English woollen mills captalists with their works in the in Holland. Removing English capital Fatherland, how they must smile to the Continent has secured a profitable at the homilies we address to them home market, while England was near on the folly of protection !1 Mr with widely open ports to serve as a

dumping ground, to unload surplus Jacoby, M.P., another manufacgoods made by foreign labour superin- turer who has opened a branch in tended by English skill. In this way Germany, said in a recent speech the English markets are swamped, and at Alfreton—“When Prince Bisher labour undersold. Let English marck put up the duties on cotton authorities tell the result.

goods and lace curtains, it was im" During the last twenty years of possible for these goods to be made this century the linen industry of in Nottingham, I therefore opened Germany has increased 300 per cent.' - MULHALL.

a house in Germany;" on which "During the last twenty years the the Times' remarked—“ Owing linen industry of Great Britain has to foreign duties, it is more profitdecreased 18 per cent.'— Nineteenth able to send Nottingham machines Century, June 1883.

abroad and work them there, than ". During the last ten years the to continue working them at home.” exports of linen yarn from England Here is an actual free-trader, who have decreased steadily every year, until they are less than a half of what represents in the British Parliathey were a decade ago.'_ British ment a constituency of working Statistical Abstracts,' 1882.

men, employing foreign labour, to

17

1 When Sir John Macdonald was in England, he was waited on by a body of gentlemen who were anxious Canada should revert to a free-trade policy. After patiently hearing them to the end, he said, "I know Canada; you do not. I know the marvellous change which has occurred since she adopted a tariff;" and when concluding, he told them that “the proposals of the Fair-Trade League to have free trade with our colonies and dependencies, and protection against the rest of the world, were in the highest sense patriotic.”

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the interest on loans, and divi- light. Suppose the great American dends on British investments in millionaire Mr Vanderbilt had been foreign countries, estimated at

able and willing to buy the entire Isle 60 millions; and as, of course, there, and lived a life of opulence and

of Man, and built himself a palace they do not do so in specie, the luxury, importing everything that excess of their export over what such a life demanded from England or we send them, plus the charges from abroad. If he lived there to the and profit, if any, is merely a re- age of Methuselah, what was there to mittance in payment of a debt due prevent his spending his vast income for something else. Driven from in the purchase of foreign imports, their position by such figures as

without exporting a single bale of these, one-sided free-traders con

goods, paying his way by bills drawn tend that, let that be as it may, of the New York Central Railroad ?"

on America, representing the earnings the growing excess of the import over the export, inasmuch as it Having regard to the interest of shows foreign countries are getting the working classes, what does the more and more indebted to us, decrease in the export, and rapid only points to increased national increase in the import of manuwealth. Is this certain ? Is there factured goods, but too clearly not strong reason to believe that point to ? It points to diminished we have, as Mr. Medley appears work for them. That America for to admit in his controversy with instance, aided by her protective Lord Penzance, been recently part- system, and assisted by British ing with foreign securities? but capital, the interest on which she whether or not, it is not with the pays by enormous importations of accumulation of wealth in the grain as well as manufactures, is hands of a few we are here con- not only manufacturing for herself cerned, but with industrial pro- much she formerly took from us, gress and the wellbeing of the but is sending, in spite of having to masses. Lord Penzance, in his pay double what we do for labour, reply to Mr. Medley in the 'Nine- her manufactures to compete with teenth Century' of last September, ours, and that successfully, in our shows the absurdity of our trying home and foreign markets ! A to persuade ourselves that accumu- startling and flat contradiction to lation of wealth (if indeed it be the dictum of the Cobden school, accumulating) from such sources “that duties imposed for the prois indicative of increased national tection of home industries, increase prosperity. He says :-

the cost of production, and make it

more difficulty for us to compete "Imports are paid for, he (Mr with foreign producers ;" for be it Medley) says, either by the export of observed, it is only since American merchandise or by securities. Be it industries have been by a high tariff so. In the word 'security’he includes, I presume, bills of exchange, which i protected, they have been able to have shown to be the ordinary method compete with ours.

If the excess of payment in point of fact, and then of the import over the export is a what does it all come to? Why, no- certain proof of increasing national thing but this; that imports are paid wealth, it follows that the greater for somehow, either by goods or securities, or something of value. All the amount of that wealth, and

the excess, the greater should be this is plain and simple enough as a matter of reasoning and experience, that we shall only have attained but let me imagine a state of things the zenith of our prosperity when which will illustrate it in a practical we have ceased to export, and im

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