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About The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 7, 1899)
" ' 4ff T
Our borax tariff is , therefore , the real
mother of this great world trust.
Trust Prices Hero and in England.
But observe now the difference
between trust prices in protected Ameri
ca and in unprotected England. On
October 28 , 1899 , the Chemist and
Druggist , of England , quoted refined
borax at 16 shillings per hundredweight.
This is less than 3 * cents per pound as
against 724 cents in New York. And
yet the same company supplies borax ,
from the same mines and mills , to both
markets. Could there be a better illus
tration than this of the oppressive effects
of tariff-protected trusts ?
It may be asked why , if it owns all of
the profitable mines of the world , does
not the trust put its prices as high in
Europe as in America ? It is partly
because it has not got , and it is not easy
to get , as complete control of the world's
borax mines as those in California and
Nevada , and partly because the trust
has not , as yet , had full opportunity to
test its world monopoly. Some of the
companies which it took over were
under contract to supply raw material
at certain prices for one , two or three
years. Until these contracts expire ,
refined borax will be likely to remain
low in England.
Germany's Protected Borax Trust.
Germany , because of her tariff duties ,
has had a similar experience to ours.
Thus in May , 1894 , the Chemist and
Druggist , an English publication , said :
"At present the posititiou of the three
German manufacturers is quite secure.
Aided by a rather heavy duty , they
have gradually been able to reconquer
their home market almost entirely from
the Britishers , and oven to develop a
considerable foreign trade , the German
exports of refined borax and boric acid
having risen since 1880 from 222 tons to
about 1,700 tons yearly. "
Undoubtedly France has enjoyed , in
higher prices , some of the blessings of
high duties and protected combinations.
The trusts that have existed in this in
dustry in England have been compara
tively short-lived and have been unable
to put tip prices to anything like the
Borax in the Senate.
When the Dingley bill was being dis
cussed in the senate in 1897 , a great
calamity howl went up from the Cali
fornia and Nevada senators about the
depressed borax industry. Senator Per
kins told the senate that "there can be
no trust and no monopoly of the borax
fields of Nevada and California. ' ' When
attempting to answer Senator Gray's
inquiry as to why it was that an indus
try which had been built up on lower
duties should as time goes on and the
infant industry is established , still want
higher duties , Senator Perkins replied
that "it is simply the old story of crush
ing an industry which has been estab-
ished. The mines are opened , the water
s pumped out of them , roads have been
built to the mines and if they are
abandoned , then the trusts again come
in and advance the price. "
This absolute misrepresentation of
'acts passed as wisdom in the senate.
When faced by the fact that the borax
industry had passed into the hands of a
British corporation the Pacific Borax
and Redwood Chemical Works , Limited
which had been running six mouths
and had , in spite of the low prices and
depression , cleared 12 per cent on its
apital absolute fabrication was re
sorted to and the western senators denied
the existence of the English corporation
and Senator White , who hsvd turned
protectionist and beggar for the borax
Infant , read a telegram "from a gentle
man in California * * * for whom
am ready to vouch , " saying that
"borax mines are owned by individuals
and companies , all American. "
Senator Stewart helped to deceive the
senate by saying that he ' 'understood
that there had been an attempt to make
ihis sale in Europe in good faith , but I
think the whole thing fell through.
It was one of the bombastic prospectuses
that the English put out. It must be
an exaggeration. " The "bombastic
prospectus" had stated that the earnings
of the two companies to be amalgamated
( The Pacific Company being by far the
larger ) were $446,000 in 1892-98 , $405,000
in 1893-94 , and $267,000 in 1894-95. The
reduced profits in 1894-95 were said. to
be ' 'owing to the reduction in the price
of borax by the American Company. "
Senator White played his part in the
deception by stating that "it is an ab
surdity for anyone * * * to assert
that this article can be sent to and Bold
in England at 2 cents a pound at a profit ,
and it appears nobody was gullible
enough to believe that statement. " And
this in face of the fact that 20,420 bags
had been exported the previous year and
sold for less than 2 cents , "at a substan
tial profit , " as the "bombastic pros
pectus" stated. One of the conditions
of these sales in London was said to be
that this crude borax should not be re
sold to American refiners.
Of course the ordinary protective
claims about "cheap foreign labor , "
"difference in wages in America and
Turkey , " "American citizens spending
their money at home , " "crippled home
industries , " "mills closed by low duties
of 1894 , " etc. , were placed before the
delighted senators , although the facts
were that practically all of the labor
employed in the borax beds was Chinese
and Indians , hundreds of whom were
working for $1 a day , and that we never
before produced as much borax as we
did under the low duties of 1894.
By such arguments and deceptions
this trust beguiled the senators and gel
its partner , the protective tariff , to put
more money into the business , and to
greatly increase the profits of one of the
wealthiest men on the Pacific Coast. Is
; here anything here for the Industrial
Commission to investigate ?
BYIION W. HOLT.
New York , Nov. 23 , 1899.
PASSING . . _ , ,
PIONEERS. 1899 thre6 men
noted in the annals
of Nebraska among the most influential
and illustrious of her citizens , have
passed forever from homes and loved
ones. They were among the pioneers.
Chey had braved the hardships of the
frontier and by their lives western men
and western enterprise were made more
and more admirable and respected in all
mrts of the republic.
Algernon Sidney Paddock died first.
J.Q had been territorial secretary , acting
overnor and United States senator.
3e was a sturdy , self-reliant , honest
man , whose ambition led him to attempt
great labors. His success was com
mensurate with his abilities.
Alvin Saunders came to Nebraska as
: erritorial governor in 1861 to succeed
Sam W. Black , who immediately became
olonel of a Pennsylvania regiment
and was killed at Gains' Mill while
; allantly leading his men.
Governor Saunders organized the first
Nebraska regiment and appointed John
M. Thayer its colonel , H. P. Downs its
lieutenant colonel and W. D. McCord
its major. He also made his private
secretary , Geo. F. Spencer , sutler , and he
soon became United States senator from
Alabama. Governor Saunders was well-
known as the war governor of Nebraska
Territory and was very influential in
bringing about the change from territory
to state. The returns for the first state
election held in 1866 , precedent to appli
cation for the admission of the state of
Nebraska into the Union , were made to
the governor of the territory who con
vened a board of canvassers consisting
of the secretary of the territory , the
United States district attorney and him
self. Returns made from Cass county
were peculiar. But the board would
not go "behind the returns. " Thus the
republicans gained the governorship by
a hundred and forty-five majority and
the legislature by seven or eight on
Governor Saunders was a loyal
partisan and although defeated for the
senate by Thayer , when the state
entered the Union , he was rewarded
later on by the prize he then sought.
He served six years and then retired
from public life with the exception of
holding a place on the Utah commission
up to 1894. He was a man of fair
ability but neither original nor
courageous. In commercial life his suc
cess was great until he formed a banking
copartnership with Mr. Hardenberg and
opened a private banking house in New
York City which ultimately failed and
much impaired his health and fortune.
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