Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/461

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the Committee of Ways and Means, explaining the reasons why it should be adopted. No hearings were given, and it seemed to be so fair, as I also thought it was, that it was adopted and went into the tariff with some other amendments. In it I used the technical word "hank." That Congress dissolved presently on the 4th of March. A few days later, the principal appraiser of the Boston Custom-House called upon me and put to me the question, "What is a hank?" I told him it was a skein of cotton yarn eight hundred and forty yards long; adding, "Why do you ask?" "Because," said he, "some damned fool has put a duty in the tariff by the hank, and, if we can't get around it, an established and important branch of domestic industry will be ruined." I asked for an explanation; and upon the development of the facts I said, "Well, you used the right term, and I am the man." Then said the appraiser, "You must see if there is no way to get around your amendment." I studied the matter carefully, and invented a way for avoiding or evading my own act. The threatened industry was saved, but I lost my little investment, as I deserved to, for putting my money into a business which I did not understand.

But this was not the end. Matters went on smoothly for two or three years, when there was a change of appraisers. The new man contested my construction of my own amendment, and undertook to enforce the law in accordance with the real intention. An appeal was taken to the Secretary of the Treasury. By good luck at that time I happened to call upon the collector; he, knowing my familiarity with the art but knowing nothing of my previous connection with the act, nominated me as merchant appraiser to decide the case on its merits. I of course sustained the practice of the first appraiser who had consulted me, and again the threatened industry was saved; by sustaining my own evasion of my own act, justice was done.

This is but one of many incidents which many men could relate; it is but an example of many great wrongs which have been done that have never been righted.

I have stated the conditions which render important changes in our tariff acts an absolute necessity. It is probable that all intelligent manufacturers and merchants, and all legislators except those who are bound by mere party ties in considering these changes, would agree upon the following propositions:

a. In the preparation of measures for collecting duties upon imports, such discrimination ought to be used as will most fully promote domestic industry and protect American labor from injury.

b. In framing such tariff measures, discrimination ought to be used so as to develop the home market for domestic products to the utmost; so far as this can be done by the exercise of judgment in framing tariff acts.