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should pay $20 a ton; the Senate, that it was to pay $20.16 a ton. The gentlemen of the Conference Committee reconciled this difference-how? By raising bar-iron, above both House and Senate, to $22.40 a ton. The Tariff Commission reported that the tariff on iron ore should be fifty cents a ton; the Senate said that it should be fifty cents a ton; the House said it should be fifty cents a ton; gentlemen of the Conference Committee reconciled this agreement of the House, Senate, and Tariff Commission into a disagreement, and made the duty on iron ore seventy-five cents a ton. The gentlemen of the Conference Committee did a similar service for the great corporation of corporations, the Iron and Steel Association, by giving it a tax of $17 on steel rails, which the House had fixed at $15 and the Senate at $15.68 per ton."
Well may the protected persons cherish a special fondness for conference committees! Miscellaneous manufactures of iron, brass, lead, etc., were raised by the Act of 1883 for I suppose it will be unnecessary to say that the Conference Bill was the one to pass both Houses from thirty-five per cent ad valorem to forty-five per cent; marble blocks from fifty cents per cubic foot to sixty-five cents (a twenty per cent ad valorem duty being dropped); woollen goods, one class, from eight cents per yard to nine cents, etc., etc. Some reductions were also made, indeed the reductions effected are distributed pretty well through all the schedules. The impression left by a careful inspection of the discriminations is decidedly that the additions to the rates were all in the interests of persons corporeally and actively represented" before the various committees, while persons not so represented were left to bear the burden of the reductions as best they might. If this is a correct impression, the fact is by no means
*The conferees were Morrill, Sherman, Aldrich, Bayard, Beck, Kelley, McKinley, Haskell, Randall, Carlisle. Of these, as is well known, all but Bayard, Beck, and Carlisle were strong Protectionists. And this does not imply that all of the latter were uncompromising opponents of protection.
unique, such discrimination being the invariable and unavoidable accompaniment of all tariff legislation, as indeed of all industrial legislation whatever.
The foregoing narrative is, from some points of view, a partisan sketch of the Republican party down to the election of 1884. The issue at that election, as every one knows, was largely personal, at best a struggle for civil-service reform on an entirely inadequate basis.* The election of 1888 turned, for the first time, distinctly on tariff reform, and the protected persons were again successful in conjuring the Republican party to their aid. Finally, a Republican Congress has passed the McKinley Bill, which, in addition to particular increases of duties, is a distinct gain for the protective policy in two ways. These are, further reductions of the internal revenue, coinciding with augmented appropriations, and the substitution of specific for ad valorem duties.†
One peculiarity of this sketch is that, although partisan as related to current politics, it is also true. Another and perhaps more striking peculiarity is that the industrial theory of protection has so completely ingrained itself in a large section of the American people that its advocates are ready and willing to have their case stated that way. Revisions of the tariff by its friends, that was the campaign argument of 1888; and that is the principle put into practical legislation. In other words, the Protectionists are themselves persuaded of the justness and expediency of the conduct I have described. As to the conduct, that is of course a matter of history, and it is as I have stated.
Going back to the consideration of evolu
*It goes without saying that the only adequate basis for a reform of the civil service is the abolishment of the post-office and of other socialistic impediments.
† Specific duties- levied on dimensions or weight - are more effectively protective than ad valorem duties, for the reason that the cost of production of commodities of nearly all kinds is steadily and rapidly diminishing, but the dimensions do not vary preceptibly.
tion in politics and political parties, it would be necessary to enter upon an examination of political history in general in order to find a criterion of what constitutes progress. Having found a suitable mark of the conditions which accompany improvement in the political state of a people, we might apply the measure to the Republican party. But this task, although logically essential, must be omitted here. I assume that the industrial theory of protection is as completely discredited by facts and reasoning as it is possible for any conclusion to be discredited. The Republican party presents us with a contemporary illustration of political degeneration. decline may be observed as dating from the campaign of 1868, when the party was confronted with a foregone conclusion. In this way, the entire history of the organization is conveniently divided into three periods: the first, from 1854 to 1868, may be called its war period; the second, shorter duration, from 1868 to 1872, may be called its critical period, or period of hesitation; the third brings us to the present time, and may be called period of infatuation. Whether or not the party contains the elements for regeneration, I offer no opinion. If its protectionist professions have not been the offspring of deep convictions they may be easily discarded. But the indications might be less favorable in that case than in the reverse.
In order to provide rational grounds for a choice between the two National parties, the same investigation ought to be applied to the Democratic party. But the Democratic party has no recent history. At no time during the past thirty years has it been in control of the Federal Government; and there is small prospect of the responsibility being thrown on it for a considerable time. Since 1876 the Democrats have controlled the House several times, and the executive veto has been at their disposal during four of the fourteen years, but at no time has it been possible for them to effect partisan legislation. Professions
made under these circumstances cannot be regarded as a sufficient earnest of performance under other circumstances. The history of the party for the years immediately preceding the catastrophe which put a period to all political progress, and perhaps an end, is not suggestive either of sense or courage. It should not be overlooked, however, that the sins expiated at that time were fully as much the legacy of a preceding generation as of the one on which the penalty fell. It is always so. As far as the South is concerned, on whom the penalty chiefly devolved, the retribution seems well deserved, if the biblical view of the visitation of sins on the heads of the children's children is sound. The men who had the incredible audacity, seventyfive years before, to take advantage of their numerical and commercial superiority to insist on having their chattels counted for representation in Congress and for Presidential elections laid a mine which was sure to explode.* The boomerang then hurled took three quarters of a century to return, but its recoil found no hand skilful enough to arrest its whirl. The Republican party might spend its time worse than in following out the implied parallel. †
That partial review of the conditions which is possible in the case of events that lie so near seems to indicate that progress of other kinds has been antagonistic to and incompatible with political progress. The appearance is exactly as if political prog
*The Southern men over-reached themselves then, by securing the enumeration of negroes for the apportionment of Representatives, and therefore of Presidential electors. No other cause of rancor in the North was more potent than this, or more justly So. The Republican party is now trying to impose a negro rule on the South, for its own aggrandizement. It is to be hoped that the penalty exacted for this blunder will not be as severe as that the South has had to pay.
† For example, the Republicans have carried out an ingenious plot to secure the control of the Senate to themselves by the admission of Western Territories neither large enough nor important enough to justify their participation in the Senate. This conduct is not to be distinguished, politically, from the Southern expedient of counting slaves for representation.
ress had arrived at a definite term early in this century. Whatever changes for the better have occurred since then — and there have been such changes - seem to be collateral effects of larger social causes. The press, the post, and the telegraph have not left POLITICS unaltered in all this time; and the changes seem to be for the better. If we are sanguine, we shall hope that the factors of progressive change predominate over the retrogressive. For present guidance, say for ten or twelve years, there is a slight, but unmistakable, balance in favor of the Democratic party. But it will be another fifty years after that before it is definitely known, and perhaps not so soon, whether there has been progress, whether either party is predominantly progressive, and if neither, which is the least retrogressive.
POLITICS IN THE MAGAZINES.
The most important political article in the Forum is that one in which Prof. F. W. Taussig discusses the probable Working of the new Silver Act. The two questions to which attention is directed are: First, the effect of the new legislation upon the maintenance of the gold standard; and second, the effect upon the general range of prices. These questions are shown to be closely connected, because, as long as gold is the basis of the currency and all other forms are redeemable at par in gold, silver issues can have little independent effect in prices.
The same point is insisted upon which Mr. Sherman insisted upon in the Senate, that prices depend not upon the ratio of commodities to be exchanged to the volume of "money" in the every-day sense, as upon the ratio of the commodities to the total amount of purchasing power in terms of money. By far the most important element of this purchasing power consists of bank deposits and checks; through these all large transactions and many small ones are carried on; as a consequence, there is a strict limit to the amount of any other currency which will be used. A quantity of small bills and fractional currency is needed, and this quantity increases with the growth of population
at the rate of about twenty millions a year, according to Prof. Taussig. The issue of new notes will be about sixty millions a year, and there may be a difficulty in getting all of them into circulation; though the retirement of national bank-notes may make it possible for a time. Eventually, however, the sixty millions of new issues will be more than will be absorbed naturally by the demands of business, and the Government will have to choose between hoarding the excess in the treasury and forcing it into circulation, thus producing an inflation of the currency.
Two ways are suggested in which such an inflation may cause a suspension of gold payments. First, the notes may be issued at a time of business depression. In this case it might be impossible to keep the notes issued in circulation; they would accumulate in in bank vaults and thence flow back into the treasury; also a larger and larger share of the Government's revenue would be received in them. "Meanwhile, gold would be paid out to such as called for it, and the bank reserves being already overfull, the gold would tend to flow out in foreign payments; the more so, because at such times securities, which form ordinarily a considerable part of our resources for foreign payments, would be difficult to sell abroad." Again, new issues may be made when business is buoyant, and then, by enabling bank deposits to mount higher, they may increase the purchasing power in the hands of the community. In such a case prices will rise, and the rise will lead to an increase of imports which will have to be paid for in gold; if the export of gold does not cause prices to fall, gold payments will have to be suspended The chief difference between the two cases is, that in the latter the breakdown of gold payments does not occur until after an era of high prices.
The other political articles are The Decadence of New England, by George S. Boutwell, and First Steps Towards Nationalism, by Edward Bellamy.
Mr. BOUTWELL occupies ten pages in attempting to prove that there has been no decadence in New England, and that what there has been (ship-building) has not been due to the tariff; while the prosperity which New England has enjoyed is the direct result of the tariff.
We have often been told that "money is the root of all evil." It has been reserved for the chairman of the National Greenback Committee, Mr. G. O. Jones, of Washington, D. C., to reverse the verdict of the ages, and assure us that money is indeed the fountain from which all blessings flow. He writes to the Voice:
"The history of money proves that throughout all time, when the volume of money has been steadily increasing, crime, poverty, and vice have diminished, and that whenever its volume has been diminishing the reverse has been the case, thereby leaving a reasonable doubt as to whether human suffering and misery is not more directly attributable to want of money than to any or all other causes.
"Intelligent National Greenbackers are optimists: they believe that nearly all would be good if they were not tempted or driven to be bad for want of money. They believe their mission is heaven-born, and therefore must succeed before any other great reform can be wisely considered, honestly acted on, or put in success.ul operation."
We have frequently been at a loss for a euphemism to take the place of the rather crude expression used in the Bible to describe him who saith in his heart there is no God. Now that we have been informed by the highest authority that the National Greenbackers are optimists, our vocabulary will be relieved of an embarrassing restriction.
As soon as Congress adjourned, preparations were begun to get the hall in readiness for the next season. Each of the Democrats to be provided with a cast-iron desk, securely riveted to the floor, and with a chain and padlock attached, so that the minority may be chained to their seats during the roll-call, and a quorum by that means secured. The doors leading into the lobbies are to be of chilled steel, and tests are being made now of various kinds of armor plating to determine which is best fitted to resist the impact of Representative Kilgore's heel. Republican Representatives will wear iron masks, like the catcher in a base-ball nine, to save their noses. Speaker Reed has sent to the Czar of Russia to get the pattern of his undershirt, made of the best boiler iron, which is to firmly riveted on the Speaker every morning by the blacksmith employed at the House stables, and taken off every night. A large pack of blood-hounds is being trained to search out Democratic Representatives when a call of the
House is ordered. The Speaker says, "I hope by these, and some other forcible measures that I have in contemplation, to secure the presence of a quorum during the second session of the Fifty-first Congress. The Judiciary Committee, under my instructions, will prepare a sixteenth amendment to the Constitution, providing that the Speaker may count the members' hats and sticks in order to make a quorum if other measures should fail. But I am in hopes" - here the Speaker winked darkly-"that with the pillory, which was a favorite institution with our forefathers, that I propose to set up in the rotunda of the capitol, the guillotine, which I am having erected in the Speaker's room, and other contrivances, such as the ducking-stool, etc., which will make my private room an exact counterpart of the chamber of horrors at Madame Tussaud's celebrated exhibition of wax works, I shall be able to secure a quorum and transact business at any time. In addition to my metal undershirt, I shall wear a section of tubular iron on each of my legs, and my luxuriant head of hair will be protected by a brass helmet, that will contribute to the terrifying effect on the Democrats when I shake my gory locks at them. If the Democrats think that I am at the end of my resources, they don't know their man, that is all."-"Sydney” in the Boston Transcript.
A RARE OPPORTUNITY.
The following miscellaneous list of books we will furnish, for thirty days only, at fifty per cent discount from the list price. When copies are ordered by mail, ten per cent of the list price must be added for postage.
Starred prices are net, from
The Life of Young Sir Henry Vane James K. Hosmer
Eighteenth Century Essays- Austin Dobson
British Novelists and their Styles - Masson
English Humorists- Wm. M. Thackeray
Turgot. Per vol.
Great French Writers: George Sand, Montesquieu, Victor Cousin,