Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/458

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

taxed in order to sustain manufactures; commerce taxed to sustain agriculture; and impositions proposed upon both agriculture and manufactures to sustain commerce by subsidies and bounties?

Again quoting President Cleveland, "It is a condition and not a theory which we are called upon to meet." What is that condition? Here are two parties in Congress each attempting to deal with this great problem, each claiming to be equally in earnest to promote domestic industry, to develop the home market, and to protect the workmen of this country. The representatives of each of these two parties are elected by great bodies of voters who are equally honest and sincere in their efforts, or who have persuaded themselves that they are, and that the future prosperity of the country will depend upon their having their way. In this position we merely find conditions of the same kind that have been met before. In every great emergency each party claims to be the savior of the country; but the country saves itself in spite of parties, as it did in the civil war. Its material progress continues on its stupendous way in spite of the little petty obstructions which are interposed by those who believe they can manage all the affairs of the people better than they can manage them for themselves.

Between these two parties, if this is to be a party question, each one of us must make a choice when we vote or when we select the party with which we must act. Both these parties claim to protect domestic industry in the measures which they propose; but their proposed measures differ fundamentally. On the Republican side the policy is to tax every foreign product, crude, partly manufactured, or finished, of which a similar product has been or can be established in this country, without regard to the effect of such a tax on other branches of industry. Their avowed purpose is to impose taxes "for protection with incidental revenue," in order to render this country, as they term it, "independent of all others." It does not matter to them whether a branch of industry which might be set up exists at the present time or not. For instance, the Republican tariff bill will double the tax on tin plates without regard to the use to which these tin plates are to be put. No regard is paid to the nature of the work which must be done in order to ascertain whether it is desirable or not. The promoters of this measure simply say, Here is something which may be made in this country for which we now exchange our surplus products. The work ought to be done here, even if its establishment costs twice or thrice what it is worth!

Now, if the most superficial examination had been given to the kind of work which is to be done in dipping sheets of iron or steel into melted tin by hand, no machine having been invented for displacing this process, it would have been found that it is an art for which the people of Wales not only possess an inherited apti-