Abbildungen der Seite

does it so prot

e the otecting

will suppose that twenty millions worth of manufactures were supplied by Northern factories, and ten by those of the South; and that in this state of affairs, the Southern manufacturers should make an invention by which they could fabricate manufactures forty per cent. cheaper than they did before, and that much cheaper than their Northern competitors, from whom theinvention was kept secret. This would precisely illustrate the effect of repealing the protecting duties, upon the Northern manufacturers and Southern importers. And yet would any one imagine that the Southern manufacturers would derive no benefit, as manufacturers, from this invention, but that the whole advantage would accrue to the consumers of manufactures ? On the contrary, the Southern manufacturers would obtain the very same price for their manufactures, that their Northern competitors could obtain for theirs, although the cost of their production would be forty per cent. less. Does it not irresistibly follow that the former would make a profit of forty per cent. more than the latter? And does it not as clearly result, that the repeal of the protecting duties would increase the profits of those who are the real American producers of the manufactures obtained in exchange for cotton, just forty per cent., as compared with that of the Northern manufacturers ?

No just or adequate conception can be formed of the injustice and inequality of the protecting system by those who regard its operation upon the consumers merely ; for, as a duty of forty per cent. upon only one hundredth part of the inanufactures consumed, would equally affect the price of the whole mass of them, and consequently the consumers, though it certainly would not enhance the price of manufactures one half of one per cent., it is too clear to be doubted, that the consumers would be utterly indifferent to such a tax, while those producers who should be selected as the victims of this scheme of partial taxation, would be utterly ruined and driven out of their employments. The manufacturers allege that they can make domestic goods as cheap as the foreign can be imported. They even maintain that the duties imposed upon imported manufactures actually make all manufactures cheaper. It would follow, that they can make manufactures for less than they can be imported, What, then, if this be the fact, is the inevitable effect, of a duty of forly per cent. levied upon imported manufactures? Is it not the exclusion of those imports entirely, and the substitution by arbitrary and tyrannical legislation, of domestic manufactures in their place? And who are the parties injured? The consumers who obtain goods cheaper in consequence



of the duty ? This would involve a direct and palpable contradiction ; unless, indeed, it is a tax upon the consumers to oblain manufactures at a cheaper, rather than a higher rate. The persons really affected by the duties, in the case just stated, would be the two rival classes of producers-those who supplied the market with imported manufactures, and those who suj plied it with domestic manufactures. The fornier would be utterly excluded from the market and deprived of their rightful occupation by the interposition of the power of the government, and the employment thus unrighteonsly wrested from those to whom it belonged by every natural and political title, would be given to those who had no shadow of claim to it, upon any priociple divine or human. It cannot adınit of a question, that every dollar's worth of imported manufactures excluded by the prohibitory duties, deprives the cotton and the rice-planter of a market for his productions to that extent. While, therefore, the consumers would look upon this contest of life and death between these two classes of producers, with absolute indifference, so long as they were satisfied that it did not enhance the price of manufactures—the cotton and the rice-planters would be almost literally driven off from their estates and compelled to seek out some new employment, not to be sure by the power of military invasion, but by a power equally unjust and equally efficacious, that of unconstitutional legislation.

This idea of the effect of prohibitory duties, upon the different classes of domestic producers, is so forcibly presented in an article on “ Free Trade,” which appeared in the number of the Westminster Review, for January, 1830, that we cannot resist the temptation to make a pretty full extract. As it equally abounds in philosophy and wit, we are sure it will be an acceptable relaxation to our readers, in the midst of this dry and abstract investigation:

“ Take the case which the opponents of Free Trade would put forward as most favourable to their cause, and see if it amounts to any thing but this monkey-policy in the end. Assume, for instance, the case of the glove-maker. Gloves may be had, it shall be supposed, from a French maker, for the value of two shillings a pair. An Englishman stands up, and says that he can make gloves of the same kind, for three shillings, and, therefore, for the sake of encouraging British commerce, it is expedient to pass a law to prohibit the introduction of French Gloves at two shillings, in order that those who choose to wear gloves, may be obliged to take them from the Englishman at three.

“Never mind what quantity of flourishes the supporters of the legerdemain may make to cover the performance. Let it be utterly inditferent to you, what names, sacred or profane, they invoke, to give gravity to their proceedings. If they are poetical, think of the Rule of

Three. If they quote Scripture, take care of your puckets. Your money, which is your life, is at stake; therefore, keep a cool head, and a clear eye. The army of thimble-men from Doncaster is upon you, and there is no yeomanry at hand to clear the course. Trust no man that looks like a conjurer; be upon your guard also against those that do not. Beware of the quack-doctors, who make long speeches, they will “ ravish you if they get you into their net.” Say, like Mr. Sadler, that “ all men are liars," and you will not be very far from being right. Believe nobody, nothing-except that two and two make four. If an angel or an archbishop preach any thing contrary to this, give them no heed. If judges on the bench contradict it, tell them they sit there to make law and not arithmetic. You have money, and, therefore, every body is in a plot against you. There is something in your pockets, and you will be beset right and left, till they are cleaned out.

“ When you buy a pair of French gloves, it is clear they have been paid for in something. You have the substantial evidence that you did not get them for nothing; and so has every body else. They must have been paid for either with goods of English produce, or with goods of some kind-gold and silver included--which have been bought from abroad with goods of English produce, or with bills which are only an order for payment, in one of the other ways, a few days hence, instead of to-day. Unless an Englishman has the art of getting any thing for nothing, in one or other of these ways must they infallibly have been paid for. Here, then, are, at all events, two shillings accounted for out of the three, which are as fairly expended for the benefit of British producers and manufacturers of some kind, as they would be if the gloves were bought from a British glove-maker at the same price. They are paid for to the Frenchman, it may be, in Sheffield goods. But if the glove-maker procure a law that gloves shall not be brought froin France, it is plain that Sheffield goods must stop. The glove-maker may gain employment and trade by the alteration, but, it is equally plain, that the Sheffield man must lose.

“ So much for the part which consists of two shillings. Next for the part which consists of the other one. And this, says the glovemaker, is to be a clear gain to British commerce, and it is a horrible wrong if it is deprived of it. Now mark the juggle ; look sharply to the shuffling of the balls. If the wearer of gloves is to be forced to expend a shilling more upon the glove-maker, he must expend a shilling less upon somebody else. It may be that he would not have expended it at Sheffield, but at Birmingham; or that it would have been divided among fifty other places which it is impossible to assign by name. But still it is as clear as ever, that the shilling which it is proposed to make him expend nolens volens upon the glove-maker, must be taken from the custom of some other British manufacturers, somehow and somewhere. There is no deception arising from the payments being inade in money; if, instead of shillings, they were made with pecks of wheat, it would be just as true that the third peck which the glove-maker demands a law to put into his own pot, must be taken from the pudding of some British manufacturer, to whom it would other

wise have gone. Sift this, turn it over; see if it be true or not. Do not allow yourselves to be tamely taken in, because the men who try to do it wear good clothes. Either it is true or it is not. If it is not true, let somebody show where it is false. Till then, take leave to account it correct.

“ Here, then, are the whole three shillings perfectly accounted for. It is shown to be a hocus-pocus, and a fraud--that states that any gain arises to British commerce or production, in the aggregate, from the prohibition of the commerce in French gloves, or that any aggregate loss is induced by the permission. The whole amounts only to a plan for robbing a Sheffield man, or a Birmingham, who can make what people will voluntarily buy, for the benefit of the glover, who cannot; for clipping the commerce of some individual who has ingenuity and skill enough to command a market, to add to him who is without.”

Now, if we substitute the Northern manufacturers in the place of the British glove-makers, and the Southern planters in the place of the Sheffield or Birmingham manufacturers, we have precisely the case put by the reviewer, with no change but in names. But there are many persons who could understand all this very well, if the Southern planter made the goods in the ordinary process of manufacture, which he obtains from abroad by the process of exchange; but who seem to be utterly deprived of the faculty of reasoning, by the mere circumstance that the goods upon which the duty is levied are manufactured in a foreign country. They cannot perceive that though imported goods are fabricated in Great-Britain or France, the moment they are exchanged for cotton, they become the productions of the cotton-planter, and the cotton given for them becomes the production of the foreign manufacturer; and that, consequently, the law which excludes them from our market excludes the productions of the agricultural labour of the South, inflicting an injury upon the planting States to the full amount of the articles excluded. This description of persons is very bappily exposed and ridiculed in the following remarks in the article from which we have just made an extract: : “If a saving is to be made by the introduction of steam-coaches, no effectual opposition can be offered by the dealers in horses, because the public are sufficiently informed to know, that all they expend less upon coach-hire will be expended upon something else instead, and, therefore, the loss of business to horse-dealers will be balanced by an increase of business, of exactly the same amount, to somebody and somewhere, and they (the public) will gain the difference besides. They have a perfect comprehension, that, to put down steam-coaches by act of Parliament, would only be enacting that a quantity of employment and profits should be taken from certain dealers, for the sake of giving to horse-dealers the same quantity of employment and profits, and no more, with the further addition of the loss to the coach-riding public of the whole difference of coach-bire besides. They see distinctly that, to propose such a thing, would be as great an absurdity and injustice, as to propose to enact that a carrier should not grease his wheels, for the sake of causing a great quantity of horse-flesh to be charged to bis customers. They are aware that such a piece of legislative dullness as this, would amount to setting up the principle that it was for the interest of every body that every thing should be done in the most bungling and round-about-way possible; and that any pretence to increase national wealth, or stave off national suffering by such processes, must be foolery or worse. All this they know, so long as none of the parties proposes to operate by the intervention of an exchange abroad. But let a single exchange intervene, and the question is too much for them. If the machine in which men are to ride for two shillings instead of three, can only be bought with Sheffield cutlery from France-they are utterly unable to see that the nation profit by steam-riding—the ultimate advantage of employing an English cutler to effect the production of the cheap machine, instead of an English horse-dealer to supply the dear one-is the same as ever. In this case they are ready to join the horsedealer in begging, first, that the employment may be taken from the Sheffield cutlers; secondly, that it may be taken from the persons at present employed by the expenditure of the shillings of which it is proposed to rob the coach-riding public; and, thirdly, that they, the public, may be robbed of a shilling in their coach-riding, without advantage, in the aggregate, to any body. They can see that it would be absurd to put down the Omnibus on the ground that men rode cheaper in it; but they cannot see that if the Omnibus could only be got from France in exebange for Sheffield goods, the case would be unaltered. Was it rightly said, that John Bull is a man of one idea, or, at most, of two? And is there any reason why he should encourage himself in being a fool, for the benefit of those who pat him on the back, that they may pick his pocket ?”.

Now, what is here said of John Bull, may be said with peculiar apiness, of those who would have us to believe, that SouthCarolina is more benefited than any State in the Union, by a system which excludes her productions from her own market, that the manufacturers of Massachusetts may find a sale there for worse goods and at higher prices than our own planters could furnish, if permitted to enjoy their most sacred natural and constitutional rights. It is, indeed, little short of miraculous, that there should be found among us intelligent menhigh dignitaries of State—who sincerely believe that a Tariff having such a tendency and purpose, is an equal system of taxation, as it regards the different geographical divisions of the Union.

To sum up and concentrate the whole argument as to the unequal action of the system, in a single illustration, let us suppose that a company of South-Carolina planters, with a view

« ZurückWeiter »