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A regular meeting of the Harvard Union was held last evening in Sever 11, President E. S. Griffin in the chair. A motion was made by Mr. Scott that a certain number of the future debates be conducted on the senate plan. His idea was that the debates would assume a freer attitude. This motion was seconded by Morton and passed. It was also moved that a committee be appointed to consider the question of a joint debate with some other college, presumably Yale. This was also passed and the president appointed Messrs. Morton, Scott and Furber as a committee. Messrs. Scott, Holden, and Brackett were appointed a committee to decide on the advisability of the senate-meeting scheme. The debate of the evening then ensued. The question was, Resolved, "That the removal of duties on raw wool would benefit the woollen manufacturers of the United States."
Mr. H. H. White, Sp., opened the debate for the affirmative with a few irrelevant definitions of the different kinds of wool and of the variations in duty upon washed wool, wool in grease, clean wool, and also a few figures relating to its importation. The high duty on imported wool must be a gain to a few wool growers, but it is a loss to the manufacturers and the people at large. The cheaper the raw material, the cheaper the product.
Mr. F. A. Foxcroft, '90, first for the negative, gave a few pertinent facts concerning the Atlanta mills which were very successful under a high tariff but upon a reduction were forced to close. The speaker drew a picture of the sufferings of the woolgrowers in case of a repeal of the tariff on raw wool, and said that suffering could not be a benefit to anybody, least of all to manufacturers.
Mr. Morton, '92, advanced a few powerful arguments for the repeal of the duty on raw wool. He said that the present tariff with respect to wool is unjust and ridiculous. The few wool producers are benefited, but the many manufacturers are not. Give the manufacturer protection by taking off the duty on wool.
Mr. A. H. Williams, '91, then closed the debate for the negative. He said that if the consumer paid a high price, it would not be to the detriment of the manufacturer, but to his benefit. For even if the manufacturer pays a high duty on raw wool, he adds this sum to the price of the goods and thus sustains no loss. Wool-producing, too, has increased more rapidly than the manufacturing of woolen goods and in time the wool produced in this country will satisfy the demands of the manufacturers. Then, too, it is a benefit to the manufacturer to have his wool near at hand in case of war.
The voting was as follows: On the merits of the question-affirmative 23, negative 10; on the merits of principal disputants-affirmative 14, negative 11; on debate as a whole-affirmative 6, negative 3.
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