William D. (William Darrah) Kelley.

Mr. Hurd's free trade resolution online

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from Alabama [Mr. FORNEY] with Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York,
and New England will attest the value of the business afforded by
the carrying of raw materials from the field of production in Alabama
to the places of conversion .

Were our workshops on the other side of the Atlantic, as the party
which favors a tariff for revenue on}y would have them, our trans-
portation companies would carry little other freight than finished
products, and the immense revenues they now derive from the car-
rying hither and thither of raw materials would be lost to the com-
panies and the country. So, too, would the earnings of the thousand
of locomotive builders, engineers, firemen, and laborers who are now
at work for them. Sir, until the gentleman can show that the price
of an article is depreciated by increasing the demand for it, he cannot
demonstrate the truth of his assertion that a protective tariff does not
increase the wages of workingmen.


In this country the services of men only are required in mining,
smelting, constructing and operating railroads, and in kindred in-
dustries which have resulted from the protection our tariff laws
have given to the producers of iron and steel. Happily the bless-
ings conferred by the protective system are not confined to able-
bodied or masculine laborers. There are among the women of Amer-
ica daughters who would gladly relieve their parents of their sup-
port, and contribute to the subsistence of the family. There are
widows dependent on their own exertions, too often not for them-
selves alone, but for the support and education of their orphan chil-
dren. There are orphan girls with younger brothers and sisters for
whom they would gladly toil ; and by giving infinite diversity to
our productions, the protective system has provided employment,
always honorable, and often highly remunerative, to these classes.
In non-manufacturing countries they would all be dependent, or be
driven to compete with men in the roughest, most severe, and least
compensated fields of labor, as do British women and those of Bel-
gium, Germany, and other continental States.

I have spoken of the beautiful city of Paterson as a creation of the
silk tariff, and I recur to it to illustrate the important truth I am now
pressing upon the attention of the committee. Having noted the
extraordinary growth of Paterson, I some days since addressed a note
to my friend the senior partner of the firm of William Strange &
Co., ribbon manufacturers of that city, asking for definite informa-
tion on certain points. His reply came promptly, and was as fol-
lows :

DEAR SIR: In reply to your questions, I would state that we have at present in


Paterson fifty- eight establishments engaged exclusively in the manufacture of si DC
in its various branches, four extensive silk-dyeing establishments, three silk finish -
ing establishments, one harness and reed-maker establishment, and five card-
stampers and designers. These employ in round numbers 12,500 operatives, at
an annual cost in wages of |4, 164,000; and the capital invested in mills and ma-
chinery amounts to between nine and ten millions of dolhrs.

In addition to the above, we have $125,000 invested in mills and machinery ex-
clusively employed in the manufacture of silk machinery, bobbins, swifts, and
other articles used in the production of silk goods. About seven hundred mechanics
are employed in these branches of industry, at an annual expenditure In wages of
about five hundred thousand dollars.

The population of Paterson, as per census of 1860, was 19,586; in 1870 it had
increased to 33,579, and in 1880 to 50,950.

Among the direct benefits which have been conferred by the establishment of
the silk industry upon our city, may be mentioned the universally-admitted fact
that during the panic of 1873, when almost every other branch of industry was
paralyzed, it continued to find remunerative employment for its operatives, and
saved many others from starvation and despair who, for want of an outlet for their
own labor in other branches, found themselves dependent for the means of sub-
sistence upon the earnings of their wives and children, who were employed in the
silk mills of Paterson. It has also been reasonably credited with protecting the
general business interests of the city from the ruin which threatened it during that
long period of distress and anxiety.

Paterson, however, has not been the only recipient of direct benefit from the
energy and enterprise of her silk manufacturers, as may be instanced in the erec-
tion of important branch establishments by Dester, Lambert <fc Co., at Hawley,
Pennsylvania, the Phoenix Manufacturing Company at Allendale, Pennsylvania,
and the Myenberg at Hoboken, New Jersey, and others, which shows that not-
withstanding the rapid growth of our city it has not kept up with the requirements
and wonderful expansion of the silk industry.

One of the most commendable features of this industry to the community at
large, is the opportunity it affords for the employment of female labor, as evidenced
by the fact that at least two-thirds of the work performed in our silk mitts is executed
by that class of operatives.

Our productions are now equal in quality, and in many instances surpass those
of foreign manufacture. "We have even been complimented as well as injured by.
the adoption of our brands and trade-marks by our transatlantic competitors for
the purpose of facilitating the sales of their fabrics.

These are but a few of the returns which have been made by the silk manufact-
urers of Paterson to their countrymen for the benefits which they have received
from the adequate protection which Congress has conferred upon them.

Paterson is an old settlement, yet it will be seen that the census
of 1860 found it with less than 20,000 inhabitants, while that of 1880
found it with very nearly 51,000. And, notwithstanding this remarka-
ble growth, it has, as Mr. Strange tells us, offshoots at different points
in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. I am confident the gentleman will
not, in the face of these facts, have the temerity to assert that that
which has created this demand for American labor, and opened such
delicate and remunerative sources of employment to women, has not
benefited the laboring classes, or that a tariff which works such
effects does not increase the wages and improve the condition 01
working people.


But what has been the effect of the creation of this industry at
Pftterson upon the farmers of the neighborhood ? To them these
fifty thousand thrifty people look for spring vegetables, summer fruits,
milk, butter, eggs, poultry, lamb, veal, and other articles, which, while
they will not bear transportation to distant markets in such quanti-
ties as the small farmer can produce, give splendid remuneration for
the care his wife and daughters bestow upon their production and
preparation for market. Every such an industrial center that a pro-
tective tariff creates by developing and defending an industry is a
boon to the farmer ; and no class of our citizens share the benefits of a
protective tariff more largely than farmers whose lands lie within a
limited distance of a manufacturing town or city. They feel the
effect of such a tariff, not only in the demand for articles which but
for a near market would go to waste, but for those which they culti-
vate or raise specially for such markets ; and, beyond this, in the en-
hanced price of the acres from which they derive an income, which
ordinary farm products would not yield. But the point to which I
wished to invite special attention in this connection is the manner in
which a tariff that is broad enough to diversify our industries pro -
motes the independence of women.

In the stump speech the gentleman appended to the proposition
under consideration, he says " that in Germany, where there is a pro-
tective tariff, the wages are lower than in countries without a tariff
or with a tariff for revenue only." Is this true ? With all my respect
for his general intelligence I cannot believe it. Can he tell whether
wages in Germany are not as low as they now are because the empire,
elated by its victory over France and seduced by the enormous war
fine it collected, repealed the protection theretofore secured to its
laborers by the Zollverein? Will he tell me what effect the de-
monetization of silver has had upon the price of German wages and
commodities ? Until he disposes of these questions he cannot charge
that the protective tariff which was re-enacted in the autumn of 1879
brought the manufacturers of Germany into trouble and reduced the
wages of their laborers to the rates now paid.

But, sir, let what cause or causes may have produced this unhappy
result, I deny that wages are lower in Germany than they are in Ire-
land, Turkey, India, the South American States, or any other coun-
try which, being without a protective tariff, suffers under the curse
of British free trade.

In this connection the gentleman also says that in England, since
the policy of free trade has been adopted, the wages of laborers have
been higher than when the system of protection prevailed. If this
be true, which I deny, it would not prove that we should abandon
the protective system, or that free trade would promote the interests
of any class of our citizens. The situation of England is peculiar, and


contrasts with ours as diametrically as the situation and interests
of two nations can. England is the only nation in the world whose
manufacturers are dependent on a foreign market ; while we cannot
manufacture enough to supply the demands of our people. England
cannot feed her own people. She looks to other countries for all
forms of food that will bear transportation across the sea, and spends
|10 ; 000,000 annually on imported poultry and eggs. We, though we
consume 90 per cent, of our farm products, can furnish her with
adequate stores of wheat, corn, aud rye; of beef, pork, mutton,
cheese, green and dried fruits, and other elements of subsistence.
Amply stored with coal, iron-ore, limestone, and salt, as she is,
England is deficient in raw materials. For these she depends on
foreign countries. Not so with us. Our stores of raw materials are
unmeasured. The man does not live who can estimate their variety
and extent. They embrace every element of manufactures which
may be found in the temperate regions of the world. That whick
can be produced only in tropical regions, or like cryolite is found
alone in the arctic regions, we must import, but all else we can pro-
duce. Foreign trade is essential to the life of England. She must
sell in foreign countries manufactures enough to procure the means
whertwith to purchase food and materials ; hence she strives to
cheapen commodities to such a point that in the markets of non-pro-
tected nations she may undersell the world. Low wages are to her a
necessity. She cannot consider the condition of her working classes.
If she cannot sell in foreign markets, she cannot give them employ-
ment, wages, or food. Not so with us. Were the oceans that separate
us from other lands oceans of flame, the American people could live
in the enjoyment of all the essential comforts of life they now enjoy.
None of them would suffer for the want of food or raiment or of homes
so well appointed as to supply not only the. wants of the inmates but
to gratify their desires and aesthetic tastes. Yes, sir, after a score of
years of liberal protection our manufactures have been so developed
and our love of the beautiful so trained and disciplined that while
England, were her coasts surrounded by hostile fleets, might starve,
we, under similar circumstances, could go on prospering and to prosper.
The economic laws demanded by England's necessities are not ap-
plicable to our case. Our working people are apart of the body-politic.
Into the hands of their children will soon pass the destinies of our
country, and we must see to it that our industrial system is so or-
dered that the sentiment of home and family shall be cherished by
every citizen ; that schools shall be opened for the children of the
whole nation, and that parents, while toiling to give them the benefits
of school and church, may still be able to lay up from year to year
that which will protect them in age from dependence upon the public
or their children. I will not wrangle with the gentleman over the


scale of British wages, or of the work demanded from the British la-
borer, but will beg him to consider the following sketch of an English
blacksmith which I found in the recent letter of a regular corre-
spondent of the London Daily Telegraph. It is an interview with a
woman blacksmith, whose lot is such as God forbid that any Ameri-
can mother may ever be doomed to endure. Yet her lot does not ap-
pear to be the hardest among English wives. She is a nail-maker,
and pronounced her trade "almost as bad as chain-making." My
friend will perceive that in j ustifi cation of her assertion that her lot
was not the hardest known to English workingwomen she advised
the correspondent to visit Cradley and learn by observation whether
the lot of the English wives and mothers who were engaged in chain-
making was not more deplorable than hers. But let her speak for
herself and tell the gentleman something about the adequacy of the
wages laborers receive in free-trade England :


At one forge later on, between nine and ten o'clock in fact, I discovered a female,
nailer working under disadvantages that might have daunted an anchor smith.
Whether she had a husband whose absence was accounted for by his being ad.
dieted to beer-shop fogging, or whether she had no husband, I did not ask her, and
she did not tell me. Anyhow, she was working alone, and she spoke o^ having
' all these brats " to provide for, as though the whole responsibility rested on her
poor narrow shoulders, the bones of which were so sharp that they threatened to
cut through the flimsy material that covered them every time she tugged at the
heavy bellows. There were four little children, the oldest about seven, the young-
est a baby in " long clothes " in a calico bed-gown, in fact, and nothing else. This
solitary article of raiment had once been white, but was now approaching the com-
plexion of a coal-sack.

The two children who came between the eldest and the youngest were disport-
ing in the ashes, and pummeling each other's awfully dirty little bodies in a fierce
struggle for the mangled remains of a wooden doll. There was only its carcass
left, and its hair was singed off its head, and the paint on its face all scorched and
blistered; "but the two infant nailers could not have fought for it more ferociously
had it been the choicest prize in Mr. Cremer's collection. The other two children
the oldest and the youngest, the former acting the part of nurse to the latter were
deposited in a kind of wooden cradle, that shared with a bellows the hearth where
the fire was. The baby was shrieking, and the boy was shouting out a hymn in a
vain endeavor to quiet it.

One way and another, the mother, poor soul she was quite a young woman-
seemed well-nigh distracted as she banged away at her work, bent seemingly on
getting some set task done ; the perspiration streamed down her face as though
he was crying. She stuck to her work, however, and kept the sparks flying
showers of them besprinkled the occupants of the cradle, but without producing
the least effect on those young salamanders until a shriller shriek than hitherto
caused the woman to throw down her hammer and take the child on her lap as she
sat down on the nose of the anvil.

"Hard work?"

"It is just that, master," she remarked, in reply to an observation of mine,
"and often I wish I was in heaven, and out of it all, 'pon my soul and body, I do ;
I raley get so sick of it !"


And as she took the sooty handkerchief from her head and wiped her wet faco
with it, a milder form of asseveration would have satisfied me of the probability
of the change suggested being to her advantage. It was in vain she tried to pacify
the squalling cbild at her lean bosom.

" Hush, then, and mammy '11 spare a penny for half a pint of beer presently, and
then, perhaps, she'll tuckle down a bit," said the poor soul, as protesting against
the mockery offered it; the little rebel stiffened itself out and refused either to
unbend or leave off shrieking.

" Haven't I got no help in working for "em all? No, master, I've got no help.
How much can I earn ? "Well, it's right-down slavery to earn a penny an hour at
it. More often, especially when this young un o'mine is cross it isn't more than
mnepence for the whole day. No ; we don't live quite on that, sir ; I'm lowanced
two loaves a week, but it's nigh on four miles to fetch 'em, so I don't know, reckon-
ing the loss of time, that I'm much richer after all. I'm sure I don't know what's
coming to the work, and the price they're giving for it. It's almost as bad aa

" Is that worse than nail-making?"

" Tor the women it is. Just you go to Cradley and ask 'em."

It was too late to follow her advice that night, but I did so next day.


We come now to the gentleman's fourth proposition, which is as
follows :

A protective-tariff builds up one citizen at the expense of another, for every dol-
lar of additional price protection enables the manufacturer to charge must be paid
by another citizen.

I do not doubt that the gentleman really believes this proposition.
He was so taught at college. The authors of the text-books he then
used affirm the proposition as confidently as he does; and it is evi-
dent that he has never consulted the writings of his great countrymen,
Stephen Col well and Henry C. Carey. Yet, if it be true, what becomea
of the averments the gentleman made in support of his second propo-
sition, that a tariff for protection results in overproduction, overstock-
ing of the market, and low prices ? In support of that proposition he
tells us that the further effect of a protective tariff is embarrassment
to the proprietor to the extent, in many instances, of final bankruptcy
and to the ruin of the workingmen employed in protected factories,
and all this because such a tariff reduces prices. Surely they who by
overstocking the market reduce prices to such points as to involve
themselves and their workingmen in ruin cannot be burdening with
additional price the consumers of their productions. The gentleman's
second and fourth propositions will not stand together ; indeed, they
flatly contradict each other ; and yet I cannot ask him to choose be-
tween them, as each is in itself essentially false. He is one of the
best lawyers in this House, and as a lawyer will not withhold homage
from the learning, powers of investigation, painstaking industry, and
cool judgment of Sir John Byles, author of Byles on Bills, and for
many years a justice of the court of common pleas of England. This
profound thinker and distinguished jurist devoted himself not to juris-


prudence alone. Political economy has been one of his favorite stud-
ies, and it is nearly half a century since, in endeavoring to stay the
free-trade fanaticism of Britain, he published a volume under the title
of Sophisms of Free Trade and Popular Political Economy. The ninth
revised British edition of this volume now before me appeared in 1870.
Through how many editions it may have gone ia the mean time in
that country I do not know, nor can I tell how many our countryman,
Henry Carey Baird, has published ; but this I do know, that for many
years the book has been widely read in this country. I propose to
draw from it my exposition of the absurdity of the proposition we are
now considering. The gentleman from Ohio submits it as a princi-
ple which should govern the American Congress. Sir John Bylea
presents it as a sophism which should be exposed, because its accept-
ance by any nation would be destructive of its best interests :


Don't tax the nation for the benefit of a producing class. Take care of the consumer
tt,nd let the producer take care of himself.

The maxims of our ancient and successful policy were very different.

A nation, -whether it consume its own products or with them purchase from
abroad, can have no more value than it produces. The supreme policy of every
nation, therefore, is to develop the producing forces of its own country. What
are they ? The workingmen, the land, the mines, the machinery, the water-power,

Our fathers said : " Whatsoever you do, be sure you take care to develop the pro-
ducing forces of your own country. The gain of doing this will be so immense
that it will present the nation with an ample fund, not only sufficient to pay the
tax on consumers ot which you complain, but after having paid it still super-
abounding and leading in the hands of the nation for its own spending a surplus
ten times as great as that tax. Nay, the very tax itself will in most cases soon dis-
appear ; for the development of your own producing power will not only, at first
and at once, bring plenty and riches, but in the end will bring a steady cheapness
too, and along with that cheapness the powers of purchasing. It will add accessi-
bility to cheapness."

So reasoned Cromwell, Lord Chatham, Sir Robert Walpole, Edmund Burke, Peter
the Great, Colbert, Napoleon. So at this day reason France, Belgium, Russia,
Germany, America, and, unfortunate for us, Canada and Australia, too.

Our fathers and we, the children, must, however, both cordially agree in this :
The more a nation produces the richer it is.

Indeed, this seems a self-evident proposition. Without production of value you
can neither consume nor buy. Ex nihilo nihil fit. Every increase of domestic pro-
duction is an addition of so much wealth and so much of the means of purchase ;
any diminution of domestic production is a subtraction of so much wealth and of
BO much of the means of purchase.

We, the children, however, now seem unconsciously to assume that the amount
of production in a country (the land, the men, and the actual property remaining
the same) is an unvarying quantity. But the fathers thought that (the land, the
men, and the actual property of a country remaining the same) that country will
produce infinitely more, or infinitely less, according as certain regulations, favor-
able to domestic production and internal exchange, are present or absent.

Produce within your own dominions what you formerly imported from abroad, and


your land, labor, and capital produce what they otherwise would not have pro-
duced. They atill produce the articles which might have been used to purchase
the new domestic product just as much as they did before. But, over and above
this, they now produce the whole value of the new domestic product. Tried by the
rule that the more a nation produces the richer it is, you are now the richer. You
have now developed a new producing power of the country, which otherwise, in-
stead of being developed, would have been stifled and smothered by foreign imports
perhaps a little cheaper. By a sacrifice, it may be of 1 per cent., not the producers
but the nation have gained the other 99. To pay your tax of one pound you are
presented with a new and additional net income of a hundred pounds; and what
you have done other nations may also do. The producing power of all the earth
may thus be effectually developed, and yet, as we have seen in chapters YI and
X, ample scope be every where left for foreign trade and international exchanges.

* * * But the children are not yet silent. They say, " It is the producers that
gain, while the consumers lose." Again the fathers rejoin, "You are wrong in
marshaling the nation into two hostile camps of producers and consumers. Not
only is every producer a consumer who is not either a producer or else, living en-
tirely out of the income of a producer, standing or falling with him." Laborers,
farmers, manufacturers are all clearly producers. The landlords derive all their
rent from the revenue of producers ; so, of course, do the mortgagees, to whom
they pay interest. The professional man is ultimately paid by producers ; so ia
the fundholder himself and the public servant, too. Find, if you can, a living man
who is not either a producer or maintained by a producer. Whatever, therefore,

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Online LibraryWilliam D. (William Darrah) KelleyMr. Hurd's free trade resolution → online text (page 3 of 6)