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At the debate last evening the semiannual election of officers took place. J. M. Perkins '92, was elected president, H. E. Grigor, Sp., vice-president, and M. A. Bartlett, '93, secretary and treasurer. G. B. Henshaw, '90. G. P. Winship, '93 and F L. Whittemore, '92 were elected to the Union. The hearty thanks of the Union were extended to all the out-going officers and the gavel was voted to President Griffing.
The question for debate was: Resolved, that the McKinley Tariff Bill should be passed.
The debate was opened for the affirmative by G. R. Dorsey, Gr. He said that the bill ought to be passed because the people showed by the last election that they wanted a moderate protective administration. It has been carefully drawn up to further the interests of the country at large. Forty-eight articles have been placed on the free list, while eighteen articles formerly on the free list have been made dutiable. In this bill the Republican pledge to reduce the tariff has been carried out. Books and works of art have been put on the free list, also sugar, which cannot be successfully raised in this country. The revenue will be reduced $61, 500,000 by the provisions of the bill. Although it now contains some absurdities, these will be remedied by debate. It is impossible to please everybody, but this bill has been framed for the best interests of the majority of the people.
R. W. Hale, '92, opened for the negative. He said in brief that the bill now occupies over sixty pages; that it discriminates between certain industries Several arguments are given why we should have Protection: That it affords an easy way of collecting revenue. Although this is true to a certain extent, yet if we should become engaged in a foreign war we would lose our foreign trade and therefore our revenue also. Second, that this tax is paid by foreigners. Not so; it is paid by the consumer at home. Third, that it benefits the farmer. Now the duty amounts to a virtual bounty, and this bounty is paid in part by farmers who get no return for their money. Fourth, that it is not safe for America to rely on foreign countries for the necessities of life. We are a rich country, and can buy anything, at any time and in any country; so there is no danger here. Fifth, that if fosters infant industries. Yes, but how long are these industries to be infant industries?
C. H. Lincoln, '93, continued for the affirmative. He showed that England had had protection from 1350 to 1846, while we have had it only about 30 years. England had kept the protective system until she found that she could control the markets of the world, and then she wanted every foreign country to allow her a free market for her productions. We have, as a nation, always been more prosper oust when we have had protection than when we have had free trade. The bil should pass because it is fair to all parties.
S. C. Brackett, '91, followed for the negative. The McKinley bill is not just. Those who have had the strongest "pull" have benefitted themselves to the detriment of those who were less skilled in the use of the political machine. The bill discriminates between rich and poor. For example the cheap articles used by the poorer classes pay a heavy duty. Less than one-fifth of the inhabitants of the United States are benefitted by protection.
The debate was then thrown open to the house. The results of the votes were: Merits of the question-affirmative, 12; negative, 11. Merits of the principal disputants, affirmative, 6, negative 20. merits of the debate as a whole, affirmative, 5, negative, 9.
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