Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/459

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COMMON SENSE AND THE TARIFF QUESTION.

tude, but also that it is one which could not be established in this country without importing the Welshmen to do it, because we have so many opportunities for work, under more wholesome and profitable conditions, that we can no.t afford to do such work, no matter what the inducement may be.

In other words, the policy advocated by the Republican party is one of privation and not of protection, and it is avowedly sustained by many prominent Republicans against their avowed conviction of what would be beneficial, and merely because an assumed party necessity compels them to surrender their own convictions of right.

On the other side, the policy advocated by the Democratic party for protecting American industry is to exempt from taxation all articles of foreign origin which, either in a crude or in a partly manufactured state, are necessary or useful in the processes of domestic industry. They hold that our capacity to produce food which the world must have or suffer from hunger; cotton, without which the commerce of nations would be crippled; oil which we can not burn ourselves; goods, wares, tools, and implements of many varieties, the best of their kind; all our great crops made and all our goods being produced or manufactured at the highest rates of wages and yet at the lowest cost as compared with any other country in the world, enables us to exchange these products for the crude or partly manufactured materials, the raw wool, the tin plates, and for whatever we need which foreign laborers or workmen desire to sell in exchange. They hold that if we can get for one day's work at high wages in our own country the product of ten days' work even of foreign paupers, we can not afford to do that kind of work for ourselves; they hold that by such exchange we may gain yet higher wages and larger profits, the wider we can extend our commerce on such terms.

They hold that what we receive from other countries in exchange for the excess of our products which we can not consume, becomes as much a part of our own product as if these necessary commodities had been produced on our own soil or from our own mines and forests.

They hold that the home market is most fully established when all possible obstructions to the mutual service of nations are removed and the utmost facility given to the people of every land to send to our home market what we need and to buy in our home market what we do not want for our own use.

That is free trade, qualified by the necessity of obtaining a revenue from duties on selected imports. When we have attained it we may wonder why any one ever dreaded it; and if I may once more repeat my favorite quotation from Mr. Gladstone, "Then will the ships that pass between this land and that be like the shuttle of the loom, weaving the web of concord among the nations."