Question: "Resolved, That the Springer woolens bill ought to pass."
Brief for the Affirmative:
F. C. CHAMBERLIN and LIVINGSTON JENKS.
General references: Mr. Springer in No. Am. Rev. for Feb. 1892; Boston Herald for Feb. 5, 6, 13, 18 and 22; Nation for Jan. 7.
I A reduction of a high tariff is prima facie desirable; Cairnes Pol. Econ. part III ch. IV.
II. An attempt at a general revision of the tariff is not political at this time (a) It would not accomplish the object sought for. - (b) It would not make the principle involved any more obvious. - (c) It would invite the opposition of every interest depending upon the favors of the present tariff. - (d) Tariff reformers should attempt only what they can reasonably expect to accomplish, and - (e) No extreme measure can pass the Republican Senate.
III. A general revision would be inequitable at this time. A tariff is in a measure a pledge to the business interests of the country and should not be rudely disturbed.
IV. Partial revision is possible and desirable.
V. The duty on wool and woolen goods is one of the vulnerable points in the McKinley bill. - (a) It is at present too high. - (b) It was never asked nor expected by the manufacturers. Nation Jan. 7. - (c) It was introduced solely to collect a revenue to carry on the war and the duties now in operation were not imposed till 1867 and then because of the work of a few interested parties; Boston Herald Feb. 6. - (d) It has not the justification of affording advantage to those in whose interests it is maintained. - (e) Importation of wool has increased since the passage of the McKinley bill.
VI. A reduction of woolen duties will be an application of the great principle of raw materials. - (a) A saving of at least $45,000,000 a year would result. - (b) Manufacturers would be enabled to compete with foreign countries. - (c) a larger market would be secured. - (d) A greater demand for labor would result and cause a general revival of industry; No. Am. Rev. Feb. 1892.
VII. The character of the men who propose the bill is a surety for the fact that it will not injure the woolen manufacturers.
Brief for the Negative.
R. MCM. GILESPIE and J. M. PERKINS.
References: Boston Journal, Feb. 1892; New York Tribune, Jan. 30, and Feb. 23, '92; Boston Herald, Feb. 29, '92; Home Market Bulletin for August, '91, and February, '92; D. H. Rice's address to Commercial Club, Providence, Feb. 15th, '90; New York Tribune, Jan. 9th, '92.
I. The woolen industry should not be disturbed again so soon by a change of duties. - (a) It takes some years for a tariff bill to show its effects; (Report of Nat. Association of Wool Man. at Parker House, Jan 8th, '92).
II. The repeal of duties on raw-wool and the lowering of duties on woolen-manufactures will injure the wool raisers. - (a) By leaving them open to disastrous foreign competition; Home Market Bulletin, August, '91.
III. It will have no corresponding advantages for manufacturers. - (a) They cannot increase their sale in foreign markets, owing to cheap labor abroad; Hon. W. Lawrence of Ohio, before Comm. Club of Providence, Jan. 15, '90, p. 18. - (b) The foreign market ($45 - -.) is small compared with our home market ($45 - -.) when you compare our population with that of the world; Am. Econ. vol. V, p. 133.
IV. The double system of duties on woolens since 1867 has benefited in the United States; - (A) The wool raisers. - (a) By protecting them from foreign competition. - (B) The woolen manufactures. - (a) The prosperous producers of raw-materials become liberal buyers of manufactured articles; letter to Hon. F. T. Greenhalge, Oct 16, '90, signed by Belvidere Woolen Manufacturing Co., and six other companies. - (b) The woolen industry has doubled since 1867, (160 to 322 mill. lbs. of wool per year); Lawrence's speech as above, page 19. - (c) Under the period of best protection our woolen manufactures have prospered most; Lawrence, page 20. - (C) the consumers. - (a) Woolen clothing costs less than half what it cost thirty years ago; New York Tribune, Feb. 23d, 1892.