« AnteriorContinuar »
ment, for the very reason that they are sufficiently protective of French industry; and are opposed by the practical men of France, for the reason that they have been disastrous to her industries. M. Pouyer Qartier, eminent both as a manufacturer and statesman, in a speech before the Congress of the learned societies of France during the present year, plained of the treaties of commerce of 1860, which had been in operation ten years, and demanded what developments the treaties had procured for French industry, and if agriculture had derived any advantage from it. He separated himself from the political economists (free traders), when they wished to apply economical science to France. In England the strife was opened by the manufacturers against the landed proprietors. In France it was the men of doctrine who had taken the initiative. Hence all our misfortunes. They had no experience, and hence they could not fail to take the wrong roads." These remarks illustrate the truth which will be apparent to any one who reads the French journals, that free trade is generally repudiated by the practical men of France. It is supported by extreme or speculative philosophers, and by sentimentalists of the liberal school, like Jules Simon, who closes his late speech in the Corps Législatif with the transcendental argument : "All the liberties are sisters ; if we have liberty of trade, we shall have the others."
Mr. Carey has shown that the shattered fragments which five and thirty years ago passed with the world as Germany, united into a German Confederation by the Zollverein, and with its industry protected by a scale of duties which effectually disarmed English competition, then bearing down all the industry of Europe, entered through the gates of the protective policy upon the career which has had so brilliant a culmination. The new policy secured a market on the land for nearly all its products, and, as a necessary consequence, an agricultural population which grows daily both in intelligence and power. Thirteen years ago Mr. Carey expressed the opinion that Germany, " whose national sin for two centuries has been poverty,” already stood first in Europe in point of intellectual development, and was advancing in the physical and moral condition of her people with a rapidity exceeding that of any
portion of the eastern hemisphere. The philosopher is the only
How marvellously are these predictions confirmed by the events which now startle the world! To what, says Mr. Carey, is the progress due? "To the great and simple operations of the protective features of the system of the Zollverein, long regarded by me as the most important measure of the century, and among the most important ever adopted in Europe." We demand what really truly protective feature of the Zollverein duties has been modified in accordance with the spirit of the age? It is vain to say that the duties are low compared with our own, since they are carefully adjusted to the admitted and actual necessities of the manufactures which they are designed to protect. Low as the apparent rate of duties in the Zollverein, they are stated by Mr. Burn, of Manchester, in his recent pamphlet, to be " practically prohibitory” of British manufactured goods. It does not affect the question whether the duties are 50 or 5 per cent, if the lower duty act equally for the advantage of the industry of the country which seeks to exclude injurious competition from abroad. A careful observation will show that all the boasted concessions to free trade in the continental tariffs, such as the admission of yarns, warps, and thrown-silk, which are of the nature of raw material, are made as measures of " qualified protection,” of which we shall hereafter speak, and with the avowed object of encouraging native industries.* If any doubt existed
* The protective character of the Zollverein is confirmed by the following extract from a recent article by Mr. Henry Carey Baird :
"To this grand result (the Zollverein) the two men, not in official position, who contributed most, were Frederic List and Baron Cotta. The central and controlling ideas of List, who was an eminent and popular political economist, were a nationality for his native land and the building up of a diversified industry by means of protection. These were the great ends he aimed at, and these thoughts can be traced on nearly every page of his ‘National System of Political Economy,' from the title itself to the concluding line of the book. As to whether the tariff gave the protection required, as well as to the results of it, there can be no more competent authority than he. Of the tariff and its effects, writing in 1841, he says :
"We hesitate not to say it affords a protection from twenty to sixty per cent on manufactured goods ;' and adds, Germany in the space of ten years has advanced a century in prosperity, in self-respect, and power. How so? Th
as to the protective sentiment in Germany, it is set at rest by the fact, that the works of our great protective philosopher have been translated into the German and Italian languages, passed through numerous editions, and adopted and studied as text-books in continental universities. If we add to these examples that of India, whose finance minister, Mr. Wilson, long a free trader, found that the adoption of measures tending towards protection was the only means of saving the remaining manufactures of that magnificent country, impoverished by the opposite policy ; that of Australia, which has already entered vigorously upon the protective policy ; and that of Canada, which less vigorously, but no less surely, is tending in the same direction, — what examples remain to prove that the leading commercial nations are relaxing their commercial systems? The example of England alone.
SIR EDWARD SULLIVAN AND ENGLAND.
Among the many recent indications that a change of opinion as to the working of the free-trade system is going on now in England, the most important is the work recently published, entitled "Protection to Native Industry,” by Sir Edward Sullivan, Baronet, author of "Ten Chapters on Social Reform ; ” the republication of which, in this country, we owe to Mr. H. C. Baird, of Philadelphia, and the Bureau Printing Company of Chicago. Sir Edward occupies a respectable place in the magistracy of his country, being a justice of the peace and deputy-lieutenant of the County of Lancaster. His father was an admiral of the Blue, and his family is traced back to one of the kings of Munster. The testimony of one occupying the social position of this writer is particularly valuable, as it assures us that he has no bias for the industrial class which he seeks to relieve, while
suppression of the barriers and custom-houses which separated the German States has been an excellent measure; but it had borne bitter fruit if home industry had been exposed to foreign competition. The protection of the tariff of the Customs Union (Zollverein ) extended to manufactured products in general use has accomplished this wonderful change.'” (See Pol. Econ., Am. ed., p. 459.)
entirely independent of the commercial class, which derives the principal advantages from free trade in England. The author makes no pretension to philosophy or learning. He gives hardly a quotation, except from General Grant's inaugural ; does not attempt to fortify himself with tables or statistics ; does not accumulate facts, and even repeats such as he has collected. But his work is no less convincing, because it is the utterance of deep convictions. He is not deeply read in the doctrines of protection, and makes admissions which a closer reasoner would not do. But the book is the plain talk of a man of good practical sense, who utterly discards theory, and addresses himself to the facts before him; not in book language, but just as one man of the world talks with another; and with a freedom of expression which is not often found without flippancy.
Sir Edward, above all, wins our admiration by his defiance of the prejudice of his class, in boldly breaking a lance for the cause of the crushed working-men of England. It is a chivalric deed, not less knightly than the legendary feats of Sir Launcelot and the companions of the Round Table, when they went forth to free the English soil from oppressors in the "true old times,”
“When every morning brought a noble chance,
Our object is not to review, criticise, or even to condense this book, nor to make it a text for our commentaries. We shall serve our purpose, and more interest our readers who have not the work in their hands, by largely extracting such portions as show the new and unexpected phase of opinion in England as to a question upon which there has before been no divided sentiment.
The author states the purpose of his work with admirable simplicity and directness.
“ Protection to native industry is not a question of sentiment or theory, but of fact and common sense. There is no magic or mystery about it; it is an ordinary calculation of cost, in which all the conditions and figures are perfectly well known. Wages in France, Belgium, Prussia, Austria, and in Switzerland, are from thirty to
fifty per cent lower than in England: rent, clothing, food, beer, taxes, and general charges, are all in the same proportion. The habits of the people are economical in the extreme; the manufacturers have as much capital, science, and enterprise, and their operatives as much skill and intelligence, and technical education, and industry, as we have; they get their raw materials very nearly at the same price we do. The question is, Can our manufacturers, with higher wages, higher rates and taxes, higher general charges, and our operatives, with dearer food, dearer clothing, dearer house-rent, and extravagant habits, produce as cheaply as they can?
“ The remedy for the present state of things is not to export our workmen and import our manufacturers, but to keep our workmen and manufacture for ourselves.
“ England is the only country in the world that does not, in some shape or other, protect native industry, and preserve a preferential market for its own operatives. Theoretically, it may be very chivalrous: practically, it is very stupid, -c'est beau, mais c'est bête.”
The author commences his treatise with a sensible chapter on the "Growth of Trade." He shows that at the very time, about twenty years since, when the gold of Australia and California, and the spread of steam communication by land and sea over the whole face of the globe, increased to an inconceivable extent the trade of the world, and equalized the trading conditions of the different nations, the Manchester School of Political Economists took out their patent, as it were, for free trade.
“They maintained their patent was so grand, and its advantages so evident, that every nation must adopt it, and that those who did so first would be the greatest gainers : so eager were they to begin, that, like most other things done in a hurry, it was only half done. To try the experiment at all, other nations must be found to join us ; to know what the result of free trade actually was, there must be reciprocity and free ports: but as no other nation joined us, we never had either one or the other. As we advanced, they drew back ; consequently, the experiment has never been tried, and we know to-day as little of free trade, strictly speaking, as we did twenty years ago. It | is amusing to hear people expatiating on the marvels of free trade,
and on the blessings it has conferred upon the human race in general, and ourselves in particular, when we remember that as yet this policy has never even been tried, that its miracles and blessings are still in