Friday, March 26, 1886

Fair Trade

Location: London, Middlesex

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Text Content of Page 1 of Fair Trade on Friday, March 26, 1886

Fair-Trade (Newspaper) - March 26, 1886, London, Middlesex Registered for] A ]V?ek/y yournal Devoted to Industry and Commerce. [Transmission Abroad. Vol. I.-No. 24.] LONDON, FRIDAY, MARCH 26, 1S86. [Price One Pennv. MR, JOSEPH ARCH, M.T., AND FAIR-TRADE. ��� Thk so-called representative of the agricultural labourer, Mr. Joseph Arch, has recently visited Keighley, in Yorkshire, where lie has preached up Cobdenism, and, as usual, sneered at the policy of Fair-Trade. Mr. 'Arch 'quoted poetry to give force to his ideas as to how a country -may Insure prosperity. lie advised his hearers to give full scope to industry, and then they need not fear.....-  'Twas Industry that bade your throne arise : "Twas Industry that still your strength supplies. I .ft Commerce stop her wheels, - Destroy the plough, bid Labour erase. � And Mammon ! where art thou?' Mr.-Arch did not do justice to the poet or he would not have given iree Trade .credit-for causing the throne to arise. .The throne was there before any attempt was made,to put the Free Trade theory into practice,; and its -power was established, under, a'-.system 'of- Protection-', to native labour. Industry in the past, under import duties', did afford strength to the British cause, and in the main created for this country the title of being the workshop of the world. If 'the:wheels of' Industry are to be stopped, Mr. Arch and his friends are going the right way to stop them. They have almost destroyed the plough, and labour, depreciated to an enormous extent, has to procure -employment,' the consequence being that / Mammon" has found Protection in foreign lands, where blessings have been showered upon peoples who would otherwise be in a state of forced idleness, as, -Englishmen are to-day. '' -  ... Mr. Arch warned the people against returning to a system of .import duties because - '.'.. , .'  '...," Me could remember the time when the working classes had no money ;md dear food." There seems to be about as much accuracy and logical reasoning in this statement as there was in that wonderful story which Mr. Arch invented when he said that a friend of his in" ('iloucestershire. had just harvested sixty-two bushels of firi.e wheat from his allotment, sixty "or seventy bushels of potatoes, had-'possessed - himself of a sty containing '.seven fat hogs,.besides earning during the year as a farm labourer wages to the amount of ^,"57 7s, 6d.," Mr. John Evans, of Stamford Hill,- -London, proved very clearly that the story was a fiction, and most likely Mr. Arch's knowledge about the working classes having no money when ��bread was dear, is equally unreliable. The year before Sir Robert Peel carried his Anti-Corn Law measure, when so; much was said, about a wheat fam'ine, was one of extraordinary abundance, and the stocks were double in.'amount to what they were twelve months previously. The failure of the potato crop in Ireland ..precipitated the abolition of the Corn Laws, but there was nothing in England,at that time to warrant the statement made by Mr. Arch. Supposing, however, it'were true, d is .�simply absurd to compare the. present, with forty years ago so far as concerns the supply of wheal, for, as we have often remarked, there is in the civilised world such an.over-production to-day, that there, is not the faintest prospect of bread becoming dear in England with imported corn bearing a moderate duty. The only-possibility-of such a .dung is to be foiind. in-a continual, reduction of our .home production, whereby, we should be placed at the � mercy of the foreign grower, win.) would then have much greater facilities Tor raising prices than can be secured while home competition is maintained, England might produce .much more wheat than she does. Combined with the full development of agriculture in Ireland and Scotland, we ought to produce all that we require. Under Free Trade the production has not increased, but has ..seriously diminished. In the. development of agri-culture Free Trade has been a gigantic failure. It was otherwise under Protection ; it would be otherwise under the policy of hair-Trade. Eel it not be forgotten that no duty can seriously enhance the price of any article of which the country is producing an . adequate supply. All . that-it could do would be to make production commercially possible at ;home. Surely that would be an unmixed benefit.' A duty will not raise the price in favour of producers without setting producers into competition with each other, which competition constantly, tends, to reduce the price as low as that under which production can be maintained. Again, the revenue would benefit by the amount of the duty imposed upon the imported article. To that extent would Imperial taxation be reduced, and every section of the community would be proportionately benefited. By this 'reasoning, which, we contend, is the correct way of dealing with the subject, Mr. Arch's warning becomes mere balderdash, and his weak conclusions in relation to it pronounce him to be more plainly than ever an agent, we will not say the tool, of the Cobden Club. Mr. Arch acknowledged that, "The Fair-Trade cry had no doubt produced some effect upon-the working classes of the towns, but it did not take hold upon the agricultural labourers.'' The reason is pretty well understood. As "one of themselves'' Mr. . Arch was able to lead the labourers off the scent. Amongst them the subject has not been debated, and its bearings are not understood as'clearly as we have good reason to believe they very soon will be. " The cry had some effect in the towns," said Mr. Arch ; but he might have added that it had a verv great effect, tor it was in the towns where - O .... J it was the best understood. The towns helped forward the Anti Corn-Paw League. The towns have been the first to understand the position to-day, and they are now leading the movement �� by-which they hope to speedily repair the error of a blind adherence to the past.' Mr. Arch considered that the result of the general election, was sufficient to show anybody that the Fair-Trade cry was a hopeless one. Not half so hope less as the -stupid idea -of giving to each- farm-labourer "three acres and a cow." The last general election1 did more to. strengthen, the Fair-Trade movement than Cobdenites care r)u> ponder over. .For the time they are, silenced. They are waiting for another excuse to prop up their theory.  As Mr. Arch is of an inventive turn of mind,, it is'ungrateful otvhis.part that he does not supply them with, one that might be worth using. For the time being Mr% Arch /may keep his agricultural frietids under the illusion which has almost' ruined their'industry and has brought into existence many deserted homesteads. But presently privation will teach its awful lesson, and then, the labourer will refuse to hug any longer the delusion under which he has' been enthralled. From, the past he will ' ."glean a.warning, for .the future f. dnd by doing justice' to British labour' . he will' demonstrate: to the .world-that he has at- last derived .experience from his folly. - '�'.,; il'AGES IN THE UNITED STATES. ; .' . Latkst .advices..froin America confirm the reports of .indit.^trial.prb , s'peuty in that country.'- They; bring . us details of the. general, rise oi wages in nearly every branch .of - manufacture. Whilst .wages, are. being' reduced to almost starvation point in England, work'inen'.'hv America are ,'. �adding to. their-weekly incomes, and are'favoured with full employment.-Everything points to a nourishing condition of. national life. Labour, is profitably employed not only upon, the soil but upon coal, and iron, and textile fabrics. . Present experience confirms the wisdom, .of the Tariff Laws, and affords the Americans an opportunity of . pointing to the miseries which-are-being endured, in England as unmistakeable illustra-;.: t.ions of'the folly of sacrificing a people for-' -a theory. . From .'Norwich, Conn., we learn that the Ponemah mills at Taft.vil.le-have granted their . employes' demand for. 10 per cent, increase in wages and a. reduction in the hours .of labour to sixty per week from the 1st inst. . 'J'he Shetucket Company has raised wages"5, per cent., in addition' to the 5 .-per. cent. recently given. From Adams,Mass., comes the announcement that ..the Renfrew Manufacturing Company, manufacturers of ginghams and table cloths, have raised the'wages of their operatives 1 o per cent., and the. men had not asked for more pay... The.wages of the men employed by. the Concord (N.H.) Axle, Company have also been advanced ; and; at the 1'emberton Mills, Lawrence, -Mass., there has also been an increase of from 7. to 10 per cent. .-With., such evidence "as the above of the., temination of the temporary depression which affected American trade, two .years ago,, we can well understand the. silence which men. of the. Cobden school now observe as to the. condition of affairs on the other side of the Atlantic. We no longer' hear 'of 'Free Trade' conventions at ; Chicago, and of scores of thousands of men being out of work. . . America keeps her home markets for her own workpeople.' Of all her 'markets, the home market is the most,valuable to home labour; Whilst it is pre served from unfair competition trade cannot remain depressed for a Jong period. America affords evidence of the correctness of this reasoning., England, with her free, import system remains in a state of stagnation. The depression which set in eight years ago becomes more intensified. Her over-production, as .some people term it, is not the over-production of'home-made goods, but the flooding of foreign goods upon her- markets. Instead of improvement, as Cobdenites.' have predicted, the prospect . becomes more hopeless, and the "skilled artisan',-'"instead .of gaining an advance of 10 per cent, in his wages and securing regular employment,: as his brother does in protected America, is almost compelled to take any rate of wages that may be offered; to him, even if he can procure employment at all. These are. tacts, the truthfulness of which any man may test for himself. They are not mere theories, or suppositions, or " its," that may mean anything or nothing. The- framers of the American Constitution, a hundred years ago, decided that their first duty was to protect the labour of the. people from unfair foreign competition. They passed an Act "to encourage and protect the manufactures of this State " of Pennsylvannia, and declared that " Good policy, and a regard to the well-being of divers useful and indus- . trious citizens, demands of us that moderate duties be laid on certain fabrics

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