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SAMPLES OF ARGUMENT.

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SAMPLES OF ARGUMENT. THOUGH many of our readers may feel tired of following the fiscal wrangle, we would have them reflect that the subject is infinitely of more vital importance than any other political question before the country. Religious equality is worth fight- ing for, and serious social wrongs are call- ing loudly for redress, but while we battle for these reforms, let it not be forgotten that the grim spectre of Protection is abroad. That is our apology for dealing at length with the letter of a Tariff Reformer, signed Wunsarad," which appears on another page. It is an unusually interest- ing epistle because of plausible arguments which, while breaking no new ground, are calculated to impress people either unable or unwilling to minutely examine them. It is not less amusing for inconsistency of con- tention. In his lamentation over the enor- mous shoals of foreign manufactures which come into this country, our correspondent pauses to suggest as an example of the efficacy of tariffs the imposition of a slight duty on glass bottles, by means of which the foreign article would be discarded, while the home-made bottle would remain at its present price, in addition to which the tax would wholly accrue to the Treasury. His faith in the operation of Protection is quite undisturbed by the plain facts of Pro- tectionist history, which he can gather from the price lists of any tariff-ridden country. The British manufacturer, he re- marks, would not be prevented from sell- ing at his own price, as the cost of produc- tion would not be raised." The first part of that argument gives his whole case away. As to cost of production, would it not be affected by a tax on machinery and other materials required in the glass in- dustry, whose exports, by the way, are in- creasing, while the amount of imported glass is decreasing ? Statistics will also in- form him regarding this "going" trade that according to the last census the num- ber of persons engaged in it has increased from 20,000 in 1891 to 33,000 in 1901, and though it damages his political argument, he should be further pleased to learn that these employees receive higher wages and work a shorter day than do those similarly employed in continent-al Protectionist countries. But let us suppose that a tax were im- posed upon the importation of foreign bot- tles for the benefit of the home manufac- turer. Where should we stand then ? Upon "the inclined plane" of Protection. Would it be fair or equitable to give this preference and refuse a like protection to the bootmaker, the glove manufacturer, the leather manufacturer, and all others ? It is not in the power of Mr Chamberlain or any other man," said the Duke of Devon- shire, to give any security that if we take the first step in the direction of Protection we can stop there. All experience proves that Protectionist principles, when once adopted, tend to increase in severity and intensity." Nothing truer was ever spoken.! How are the huge trusts created ? Pro-! tected from foreign competition, the home manufacturer can control the output, prices and wages his one aim is to main- tain or increase the tariff on all articles he produces, and his political cry is our trade our politics." But our correspondent feels sure that the trades unions of this country would see to it that higher wages were obtained from the increasing indus- trial prosperity. He has less respect for the opinion of trade unions, which strongly contest the possibility of increased trade or improved social conditions through the agency of protective tariffs. At their an- nual congress, ever since Mr Chamberlain raised the question, these unions, number- ing millions of workers, have by over- whelming majorities repudiated Tariff Reform. In dealing with the comparative statistics which we gave last week of exports and imports, our critic loses sight of certain economics that govern international trading. In the first place, he should know that most Protectionist countries grow the great bulk of the raw material of their industries. and, more important still, the greater part of their people's food. On the other hand, in this country we cannot produce more than a quarter of our food or raw material. Hence the extent of our imports. As to the law of imports paying for exports, let us offer this plain illustration. In 1906 we obtained from abroad 523 millions worth of goods, and sold abroad 376 millions worth. That is to say we imported 147 millions of T r _L • _1_ -1.1- __1 goous ior wmcn no visioie gooas were sent in exchange. How did we pay ? Not in money, for a reference to the blue book in- forms us that in 1906 we imported two mil- lions more of gold and silver than we sent abroad. We paid part of those 147 mil- lions not by exporting goods, but by doing service for the foreigner through carrying his merchandise in our ships and in various other ways. That shipping service alone is estimated to earn for us not less than 80 million pounds annually. Nor does our cor- respondent appear to understand that a large proportion of our imports are re- exported. For instance, we import an im- mense amount of wool from Australia, and sell a very large portion of it to Germany.

LURING THE FARMER.

QUESTIONS TO PONDER.

THE TERRITORIALS.

ANOTHER VINDICATION.

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A NEW ERA.

---NEWTOWN ELECTORAL WARDS.

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