The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, July 28, 1911, Page 2, Image 2

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-.Tariff Catechfem
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An Interesting dialogue recently took, place
lip.twfion ConirroBaman W. A. Oldileld of .Ar
kansas and one of his constituents. . The dialogue
Jb o such widespread interest and so pertinent
' at' this time that The Commoner is glade to print
the same in full as it comes from Mr. Oldfield's
'facile pen.
Every Commoner reader should carefully
.study this catechism:
" Question I am somewhat confused as to
'what is meant by the ph raise,. "raw, .materials,"
can you explain It to me?
Answer Yes. Raw materials are those ma
terials which are in their lowest and crudest
iform when they enter commerce.
. q. Can you name somp things which are raw
A. Yes. Cotton, wool, lumber, coal, iron
"ore and so forth are raw materials.-
Q. What do you mean by free raw materials?
A. I mean that the raw materials such as
I have just named, are free when they are im
ported into this country from a foreign country
jfree of any tariff tax.
" $. What do you mean by the terms tariff
tax or customs duty? ..-'
' . 'A. A tariff tax or customs duty is a; charge
which is paid at any customs house for- the
privilege of bringing a1 particular article into
this country from a foreign country.
t.'Q, Does this tariff tax enhance the price of
the 'article to the consumer? '
A; Yes.
Q. Will you give me- an illustration?
A. Yes. If a foreign hat merchant has a
particular kind of hat which he can afford to
sell for two dollars and ho brings that hat to
this country to sell, and if he were not com
pelled to pay a tariff tax he could sell it for
just a little more than two dollars, say two dol
lars and a quarter, but, if he is compelled to
pay a tariff tax of one dollar on the hat, then,
he must sell the hat for more than three dollars.
Q. Well, I believe I understand that. Now,
-tell me, is the doctrine of free raw materials
vgood democratic , doctrine?; ,..,.-
r,i: A.' Yes.
'-Q. What democratic tariff bJJLi.can
whiph recognized this doctrine? , - .
A. The democratic tariff bill of .1883, known
as the Morrison bill, recognized it.. The Mills
. bill of 1888, and its framers recognized this
doctrine. The Springer bill, of 1892, another
democratic tariff bill, audits, framers advocated
and recognized this principle.; and the Wilson
bill, of 1894, and its framers recognized this
principle or doctrine of free raw materials.
Q. What republican tariff bjlls have put into
practice the doctrine of free raw materials?
A. None.
Q. Can you'now give me the names of demo
cratic leaders who have stood for this doctrine
'of free raw materials? "
'A. Yes. Robert J. Walker, the great demo
crat who was secretary of the treasury when the
tariff of 1846 -was written, and James M. Guthrie,
another great democrat and who was secretary
, of the treasury when the tariff of 1857 was
"written, both advocated the doctrine of free raw
Q. Can you give me the names of distin
guished democrats who have advocated this doc
trine of free raw materials of a more recent
date, say since the civil war?
A. Yes. Roger Q. Mills, William L. Wilson,
William R. Morrison, John G. Carlisle, Benton
McMillan, Clifton R. Breckinridge, Roswell P.
-Flower, Isham G. Harris, Z. B. Vance, Daniel
., Voorhees, James B. Beck, Rfchard Coke,
John H. Reagan, Grover Cleveland and William
J. Bryan.
Q. Can you give me the names of some
distinguished republicans who oppose the doc
, trine of free raw materials?
..' A. Yes. John Sherman, Thomas B. Reed,
Julius C. Burrows, Sereno E, Payne, President
. , Taf t, John Dalzell, Albert J. Hopkins, James
S. Sherman, Reed Smoot, Henry Cabot Lodge,
-Joseph G. Cannon, Nelson W. Aldrich, Boies Pen
rose, Simon Guggenhoim, Isaac Stephenson and
William Lorimer, all of these leaders of the
republican party and the protection idea oppose
the democratic doctrine of free raw materials.
Q, Can you give me any particular instance
of any of the distinguished republicans you have
just, named expressing opposition to free raw
X. Yes. John Sherman, in his book entitled,
"Forty Years in the House, Senate and Cabinet,"
says, "The dogma of some manufapturers, that
The Commoner.
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raw materials should he admitted .free of duty
is far more dangerous to the protective policy
than the opposition or free traders a denial of
protection on coal, iron, wool and other so
called raw materials will lead' to the denial of
protection to machinery, to textiles, to pottery,
arid other industries. . '
q. What has Mr. Aldrjch 'said on this sub
ject? A, In 1909, when the- Payne-Aldr.ich tariff
bill was under discussion in the senate, Mr?
Aldrich said ho knew of no republicans and no
protectionists who were in favor of the doctrine
of freo raw materials.
Q. Well, I guess Mr. Aldrich would have
known if any republicans and protection manu
facturers were in favor of free raw materials,
wouldn't he?
A. Yes. Nobody in the country knows the
personnel of republican leaders and the' teach
ings of the republican party lietter than Mr.
Q. I have read where some distinguished
democrats have recently said that they believe
inn. small revenue duty on everything. Also, if
-we must have a' tax on the finished product, then,
the people who produce the raw materials should
have the benefit 6f a tariff. How about this
A. I would say, beware of this doctrine.
Q. Why?
' A. Because this sort of doctrine leads, you
to the conclusion that tariff taxes are not bur
dens, but benefits.
Q. How is that?
A. The republican theory is, that tariff taxes
should be so laid that there shall be both equal
burdens and equal benefits, although it does
not work out that way, and. in the very nature
of things, pan not work out that way.
Q. Now, what is the democratic doctrine on
this proposition?
A. The democratic doctrine is, that all taxes
are burdens and are therefore evils. The demo
cratic doctrine is, that the power to tax is the
power to destroy.
Q. Does the democratic party-believe that
tariff taxes take money out of the pockets of
the people? i -...-..:,.
A,Yes.'1: " '" : --t - , r-
Q. rWhat does,";tho republican 'party leach
that tariff taxes do for the people?-
A. The .republican party says that "tariff
taxes are not burdens," but they are good things
and help the people.
Q. Does not the republican party teach that
all taxes are burdens?
A. No. The republicans say that the more
the people are taxed the richer the people be
come. Q. But, I have read where some prominent
democrats in congress say that they do not
believe in a free list, but that everything should
be taxed a little.
A. If you will converse with those same
democrats for a little while you will discover
that this is only a veil they use in hiding their
real motives, and when you hear a democrat
say lie believes in a little tariff tax on all articles
you may put it down that he is a protectionist
and is more anxious to secure a high duty on
something produced in his own district or state.
In other words, he has herrings on the brain.
Q. What do you mean by the last part of
your answer saying he has herrings on the
brain? What do herrings have to do with this
A. Didn't you ever hear of the letter the
Englishman wrote Sir Robert Peel when he was
trying to destroy the protective system in
Great Britain, back in 1842, asking him not to
repeal the tariff on herrings?
Q. No. Won't you please tell me about it?
A. Well, Sir Robert Peel -was the leader in
the house of commons in 1842, in the fight to
reduce tariff taxes in Great Britain, and while
delivering a speech in the house of commons
he read this letter from one of his constituents
which is quite similar to letters which are being
received by representatives and senators in con
gress now. Here is the letter: "I am a free
trader in every other respect, but with respect
to herrings I caution you against applying the
general rule to them."
Q. Why are the sentiments contained in that
letter similar to the views held by representa
tives and senators who want a little tariff on
A. Because, while they are free traders in
the products raised in, other members' districts,
they know they can not get the protection they
desire on the products produced in their own
districts, unless they concede a little protection
Did you
to articles produced in the districts and states
oi otner representatives ana 'senators.
Q. Oh, I see. vBut, back W-wool.
say wool is a raw material?
A. Yes. '
Q. The woolen manufacturer is in favor of
free or untaxed wool, Is he not, since he would
then get his raw material cheaper?
A. The woolen manufacturer is not in favor
of free wool; for the reason, that if there is a
duty on raw wool, then the manufacturer is
invariably compensated by having the duty on
his finished products increased to the extent of
covering all of the tax or duty he haB to pay
on his wool. Hence, the duty on the wool does
not cost him anything, as he just charges it to
the consumer who has to pay all of the duty on
the raw wool and also the duty on the finished
product of the manufacturer, together with in
terest and profits added.
Q. Is there any other reason why the manu
facturer of woolen clothing does not want freo
A. Yes.
Q. They want the co-operation and help and
influence of the wool growers of the country to
"assist them in passing 'the kind of tariff legis
lation they want.
Q. You don't mean to say that the woolen
manufacturers and the wool growers together
have so much influence over the people's repre
sentaitves and senators at Washington that they
can write the kind of wool and.-woolen bill in
congress they want, do you?
A. President Taft stated, after the Payne
Aldrich bill became a law that the influence of
the wool growers and the woolen manufacturers
prevented the republican party from revising the
wool schedule downward, as should have been
Q. Well, how would free wool help in the
matter of tariff reform? '
A. If wool were placed, on the list free of
duty, then the producers of wool would demand
that the duty on manufactured woolen goods be
reduced to a revenue basis, and eventually, 'the
finished woolen goods wouId"also go on the
free list.
Q. I see. You would divorce the interests
of the woolen, manufacturers., and', 'the wool
growers. ...... , ,. ... ,.. . . ...
' A;; Exactly.. When -.protpptipnists' fail out,
honest people get 'their dues.'- .''' "
Q. Can you Illustrate this more fully?
A. Yes. As soon as the Canadian reciprocity
bill becomes a law, the farmers who have had
the duty removed from their hogs, cattle, corn,
wheat, oats, and so forth, are going to help
take the tariff off the manufactured articles.
Q. Will you explain this more in detail?
-A. Yes. When the tariff is taken off of
wheat, then, the wheat grower will be ready to
help the democratic party take the tariff off of
flour. When the tariff is removed from the
farmer's hogs and cattle he will be ready to help
remove the tariff from pork and beef. When
the tariff is taken off of wool, then the wool
grower will be ready and anxious to take the
tariff off of woolen cloth And woolen blankets
and woolen fabrics.
Q. Well, now I see that ,a tax on wool helps
the wool grower and also helps the oolen manu
facturer, but, whom do these duties hurt?
A. Every man, woman and child in the
United States who buys woolen clothing, woolen
blankets, and woolen fabrics for protection from
the winter's cold.
Q. How much did the wool growers and the
woolen manufacturers get of the people's money
last year, owing tottie hlgli taTiff on wool and
A. About four hundred million dollars.
Q. How much did the woplen manufacturers
get of this amount?
A. They got about three hundred and
seventy million dollars, and the wool growers
got the balance.
Q. Do you believe that all raw materials of
manufacturers should be placed on the free list?
A. Yes.
Q. Why?
A. Because the people would get the finished
product cheaper.
Q. Is It true, as I have heard some people
state, that the consumers would not get the
finished aricle any cheaper if the raw material
were placed on the free list?
A. Well, I believe I can prove by such re
publicans as Sereno E. Payne, Thomas B. Reed,
and John Dalzell, that the consumers would get
the finished products cheaper if raw materials
were placed on the free list.
Q. Well, I would like to have the PToof-,
A. When the Wilson bill, a democratic tariff