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TARIFF REFORM. j

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TARIFF REFORM. (Continued.) TARIFF REFORM AND THE INCIDENCE OF TAXATION. In popular language^ this is putting the burden of taxation upon the shoulders of the people according as each person is able to bear it. The total number of persons whose annual income is above P,150 is 5,000,000. The total number of persons whose annual income ■'s below 2150 is 38,000,000. These figures I 'quote from Sir Rohert. Or iff en's wage census. Now, if Tariff Reformers' policy of taxing 'the importation of food is adopted; then, out 'of nine millions of new revenue to be derived 'from Mr. Chamberlain's tariff scheme, the working-class population whose wages range I from 18s. t6 F,3 per week, and who can least afford to pay it, will contribute or '30 per cent. of the total. .The wealthier classes, who can best afford to pay it, will only contribute £ 800,000, or 10 Per cent. The higher the duties OIl corn and dairy produce, the heavier the burden on the poorer "population will be, and this is 1 i kely to hap- pen once Protection is established. Mr. Balfour describes such a method of "raising revenue as "broadening the basis of taxation," but the late Sir Williaii). Harcourt, the ex-Liberal Chancellor, in a speech in Monmouthshire, described it as "making the rich richer, and the poor poorer." TARIFF REFORM AND THE COST OF LIVING. The effect of imposing duties upon imported .goods is that it raises the prices of those "goods to the consumers. That is not, merely 1111 accepted theory, hut it. is an experienced 'fact. In starting their propaganda, Tariff Re- formers said the foreigner would pay the duties; but afterwards they themselves found that statement too "frigid and calculated." According to the Board of Trade investigation in 190S, the proportion of a workman's ex- penditure on food from his wages is as fol- lows :— Weekly Spent. Percentage .Income, on Food. of his Wages.? 52s. 29s. 8d. 67 per cent. -31s. lid. 29s. 9d. 65 per c'nt. '21s. 4d. lIs. 4d. -1.. 67 per cent. I The lower a man's wages, the greater is the percentage on his wages which he spends on food and, therefore, the less money is avail- able for the purpose of the other necessities of life; so that a duty on corn, meat, and 'dairy produce, such as Tariff Reformers pro- Pose, to a workman who earns, say, 32s. per Week, will only leave him for other necessities such as clothing, boots, etc., 9s. 3d. for him- ,self and family. The price of the quartern loaf in this coun- try is 6d.; in Protectionist Berlin, Is. in Protectionist Munich, Is 6gd.; in Protectionist, St. Louis, U.S.. from JOeL to Is. lid.; in Pro- teetionist Toronto, Canada, 10d. These figures are quoted from "Milling, the organ of the milling industry in this 'country, and they have been obtained in re- ply to a, special enquiry. The experience of Germany. with horse fresh •"and. black bread is sad reading, and one is 'not surprised that the majority of voter. cast :at the last., election, in Germany was in favour of a, system of Free Trade in food imports. Of food-stuffs imported into this errmry, eorn bears a proportion of 60 per cent. Bread being the chief article of diet, the importance üfeheap bread cannot be over-estimated. Therefore, to create revenue for the State at the expense of thirty-eight millions of the Poorer classes, merely to protect a certain number of industries, is, in the language of the late Viscount Gosehen, an ex-Cliancellor of the Exchequer in a Conservative Govern- ment. "a gamble with the food of the people. TARIFF REFORM AND LABOUR. (EMPLOYMENT—WTAGES.) I "Tariff Reform means work for all." That, I like the "Belle of New York," was the sub- ject of all The town talk before and during the last General Election. (Even the Barber has flight the refrain—Nottingham Barber.) Mr Balfour said in a speech in Ipswich that Tariff Hüfonu rneHns "the promise of the hope of uiore employment/ so that there is a philo- sophic "doubt" about it. Statistics upon employment in. various "(01mtries are heterogenous, and not, arranged for purposes of comparison, each country "bavins a different method of recording them. The Board of Trade, in the "Labour Gazette" for November last, gave the following figures, based upon the experience of Trade Unions of i.-different countries;— "New York State 33 per cent. Massachnsets. 4 per cent. Norway 3 per cent. Russia 21 per cent. Belgium 2 per cent. "Germany 2 per cent. France 7 per cent. United Kingdom 7 per cent. The difference between Germany and the '"tfnited Kingdom is accounted for by the il net nations in the shipbuilding industry, which is not applicable to Genuany, heeanse, •••only a comparatively small number of Trade I Unionists are engaged in that country in ship- building. Besides, the United Kingdom em- ploys some thousands of Germans in hotels •■and restaurants, who, had thev remained in "their own country, would probably tind them- selves among the unemployed. The exneri- of Berlin, last Christmas, with, its 80.000 ••'unemployed, is fresh in history. The fact that Germany has 8000 labour exchanges and a system of insurance against unemployment 'is sufficient evidence that protection does not mean more employment. In the year 1908 the Washington. State on- ployed a special commissioner, Mr. W. P. 'Bliss, to vifeit European countries and pre- pare a. report upon" unemployment. This re- port was published a few months ago. Here is an extract of that report There are hundreds of thousands in the I United States who never oome before the charitable, and who dislike and even de- nounce charity, who are, ttfr least for periods of time, bitterly in need of work. Very few working-men pass through I life without being, for a time at least, in need of work." There is no mention •>f Protection in his :report as having.a bearing upon, to say H(I tIling of being a cure for, unemployment. Another interesting report is that of the Poor Law Commission last year. This, report. "•.stares:— "Unemployment is not only a matter of cyclical or seasonal fluctuations. It is now a permanent feature of modern industry, independent of the state of trade." That is the unanimous verdict of an imp-ar- Hal body of Government Commissioners. Now, if import duties mean more employ- ment, why do-not Protectionist countries put more import 'duties for that purpose ? such a step would be consonant with Tariff He form logic. Protectionist countries know J too well the consequences: as Lord Rosebery Put it, "that way lies Revolution": and in his matter it is far more applicable than to j the Budget proposals. As regards wages, the foUowing Ii gu res 1 have been published"by the Board of Trade:— AVERAGE WAGES PER WEEK. 248.: Bernn 24s.? Paris 369.' London 42s.v Provb; ci'al towns >rt Germany 22s. 6d. "fvance 22s. lOd. England 52?. Od. It will be found that in all European coun- I Ll'ies the wages aie very much lower than in J this country. The circulation of statements such as "More wages, more employment," is like the I dreUJation of spcuious coins, which will not be honoured. ITS EFFECT UPON INDUSTRIES. I Just as no man is independent of his en- vironments, so no trader is independent of either trader or consumer. This is the doctrine of expounded by Jchn Stuart Mill and other economists. Therefore, what is one man's raw material may be another man's finished article. Let. us take iron for instance. To the mine owners, iron ore is the finished article: to the smelting company it is the raw material. To the smelting company pig iron is the linished article: to the steel company it is the raw material. To the steel company steel bars is the finished article; to the tinplate-makers it is the raw material. To the tinplate-inakcrs tin pi ate is the finished article; to the stamp- ing and canning companies it is the raw material. The principle of inter-dependence always subsists where an article goes through a variety of stages in its manufacture, until it reaches the hands of the consumer. Where import duties are charged on manu- factured: goods to protect the products of the manufacturer of finished articles, and if they import raw materials which can he gotten and supplied in this country, the producers of law material will combine to protect their rights, and petition Parliament for duties upon imports of the class which they pro- duce. If the smelting and steel companies import ore from Canada, Australia, and Spain for their works, the iron ore mine-owners in this country (which produced in 1907 near sixteen I million tons) will require protection for their industry. Similarly, if tinplate-makers im- port tin ingots from the Strait Settlements and other places abroad, the tin mines in Corn- wall (which are already of sufficient impor- tance to be subject to special legislation, known as the Stannaries Act) will also de- mand protection for their industries. There will be at once tariff struggles amongst inter- dependent. interests. A notable instance of such conflicting in- terests occurred in Germany in 1905. The Tin- plate Trust, with its central bfHce in Berlin, petitioned the Reichstag for an increase in the scale of dlltie on imported tinplates from 50s. to SOs. per ton, according to the gauge of the plate. The tinplate users or consumers, consisting of the stamping and enamelling works, tin-box works, lamp works, toy works, and others, were up in arms against it. They at once formed a combine: established a cen- tral buying office in Berlin, and sent a strong counter-petition to the Reichstag against in- creased duties. The following extract from that petition is very significant: — "An increase of dutes would be detrimen- tal to the tinplate users, which require a. cheap plate to enable them to export manu- factured goods for successful competition abroad." Another notable v instance of tariff trouble with inter-dependent industries has occurred in Canada, and this was kept up for several years. It was in connection with the Cana- dian Sheet Steel Corporation of Morrisburg, Ontario. This company was established some seven years ago for the manufacture of steel, tinplates, blackplates, and galvanised, sheets, and is, by the way, now in liquidation. The Corporation petitioned the Canadian Finance Minister for a duty to be charged on tinplates. The makers of tin ware and the canning industries sent a counter-petition I against it. The tariff struggle between these two interests continued for a few years by periodical petitions and counter-petitions to the Canadian Parliament. The Corporation failed to make much headway in their works, because of the dumping of Welsh tinplates, and were almost on'the verge, of closing down. The town of Morcisburg came to. their rescue, and at last succeeded in getting a small duty imposed on tinplate imports. They still failed to compete with Welsh dumping. They then petitioned for higher duties, but the counter- petition prevailed against, them. Ultiluately, the tariff was taken off. Now, if the suppliers of raw materials in. this country succeed in obtaining import duties on their I)i-oducts-aiid they are bound to suc- ceed (for Parliament will not sanction protec- tion of one industry to the detriment of auothor),the cost of the finished goods will, of course, increase. South. Wales tinplate-makers will find it more difficult to compete in the, various foreign markets which they now command. A duty I on tin of 10 per cent., and iron ore 10 per cent, will make 20 per cent, advance in the cost, of production, and will result in a prohibitive price of plates for export. The total exports will then decrease, for Germany aud the United States will then be able to produce CInitea.s cheaply. The secret of the success of our exports to fore'gn countries is the cheap cost of production, as compared Protec- tionist countries. Tariff Reformers show tight against the dumping of steel bars into this country. They have an aidea that Free Trade is the cause of it. The cause lies in ihe protected countries. It may affect to some extent a section of steel-makers and workers, but at most it can only be temporary. It is only when stock in the protected countries exceed their home demands, rather than sustain the loss of in- terest on those stocks thev sell to our country. They do not cultivate the business. It is in- cidental. If they could sell 10 their home consumers they would obtain higher prices. They are only able to sell in this country at, a cost below production, because they get their profits on supplies to their home con- sumers. This country, therefore, gets the benefit of low prices at the expense of the con- sumers of the protected countries, and enables tinpiate-makers here to keep, down the cos)., j and so increase the volume of their exports. ,.11(1 ,o ii):erea?,.e the vA)I.liltl(l orxP'?l'is. a section of the steel-workers. On the other hand, it benefits the tinplate workers, railway, dock. and shipping employees, who H_ I point, of number are in the majority. I give here an extract of the report in the "Iron Age" for February (the organ of the steel industries of the United States) in regard to the Canadian Steel Corporation, to I,vhidt T i have referred: "Whene the Anti-dumping Duty was mam- tained, ihe benefit went mainly to the Welsh. exporters of tinplates to this market, as it ore vented the sale of United States tinplates here at sacrificed prices!. The removal of the Anti-dumping "Duty was complained of even more by Welsh exporters than by the Morrisburg manufacturers." The tinplate-makers, therefore, benefitted by 1 a small duty on imported tinplates inÚ) Canada. The United States could not pro- duce sufficiently cheap against B.dtish com- petition. This goes to "hew that, given equal conditions, a Free Trade country can compete more successfully than a Protectionist country in a neutral market. Steel and tinplate makers in South Wales are very sore about steel bars being dumped at a cost below production, but when they dump tinplates to Canada at nprolit to the ¡ detriment of Canadian manufacturers, to the ¡ loss of their capital, to the less of money to creditors, and the (loss of employment to Canadians, they say "it's business," and that, I suppose, Tariff Reformers call "cementing the friendship of our kindred beyond the seas and the bonds of Empire." (To be continued.)

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