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place, nearly 400,000 of such tracts were distributed freely over the country. It is further stated that arrangements are now making to distribute a million tracts of this kind in the near future. Such publications cost large sums of money, which are freely contributed by the association. Nor is it their purpose simply to promote the interests of the iron and steel trade, but “to educate our whole people to believe in protection as a principle which is forever to be defended.” It taxes buman credulity to the utmost limit to believe that those engaged in manufacturing iron and steel would exhibit such zeal in the distribution of tracts and spend such large sums of money, to educate the public mind in favor of that “principle of protection " which, when carried into effect, will reduce the prices of their manufactures below the prices paid in the world's market for similar products of "the pauper labor of Europe.” One example may illustrate the absurdity of this position. The tariff on steel rails is now $17 a ton, or 84.33 per cent. ad valorem. At the beginning of last year, that is, during the months of February and March, 1887, the price of steel rails in Pennsylvania was $39.50 a ton. The last quotation of steel rails in Liverpool was £4 4s. 5d. per ton, or $21.10, estimating the pound at $5. The duty was $17 a ton, and the charge for freight between Liverpool and New York, and for insurance, would be $2.50 a ton, making the price of English rails in New York, duty and freight and insurance paid, $40.60 per ton. Had it not been for the tariff on steel rails, the English rails could have been sold in New York during the past year at $23.60 a ton. With the tariff the price was $39.50 last spring, but has been somewhat lower since that time, with an average of $37.13 a ton during the year—an increase in price of $13.53 a ton on all rails produced in this country. The total production for the year 1886 was 1,749,888 tons. The official statistics of 1887, now published, show that the production of steel rails in this country for the year 1887 was 2,049,638 tons. The consumers, therefore, of steel rails for the year 1887 have paid $27,731,602 more for them than they would have paid had it not been for the protective tariff. Notwithstanding this immense bounty exacted by the manufacturers of steel rails in this country in one year, it is announced that three of the largest steel-rail mills in the United States on the 1st of January, 1887, reduced the wages of their employees 10 per cent., and three other steel mills reduced wages in November; while several other large steel-rail companies have suspended operations and closed their works for an indefinite period. This! is doubtless for the purpose of influencing the action of Congress, by citing these acts as evidence of the desperate condition of the steel-rail business, and of the necessity for increasing instead of reducing the duties on steel rails. In 1880, the census year, the whole number of Bessemer and open-hearth steel works was thirtysix, the capital invested was $20,975,999, the hands employed were 10,834, the wages paid were $4,930,349, the total product of all kinds was 983,039 tons, and the total value of all products was $55,805,210. About two-thirds of the product of these establishments was steel rails. This would indicate that 7,224 hands were engaged during that year in the manufacture of steel rails, and that $3,286,900 was paid in wages, or $455 to each employee. Excluding Sundays, and assuming that each person was employed every working day in the year, his wages would amount to $1.45 a day. This was in 1880. The output of steel rails in 1887 was about two and one-half times greater than in 1880. This would require about 18,060 employees, and at the same rate of wages paid in 1880 would increase the sum paid for wages in 1887 to $8,217,250. The increased price paid by the consumers of steel rails in 1887, by reason of the tariff of $17 a ton on imported rails, was, as before stated, $27,731,602, or nearly three and one-half times more than all the wages paid to those employed in their manufacture. I concede that the cost of production of steel rails in this country exceeds that in Europe. Hence I do not claim that that sum has been realized in net profits. The people have paid that excess however. But the manufacturers of steel rails in this country have, during the past year, realized at least $10,000,000 over and above a fair profit upon the capital invested. Still the owners of our steel works are not happy. They are reducing the wages of their employees, and, in some instances, shutting down their mills, thus depriving their men, in the midst of winter, of all means of support. The Iron and Steel Association and the tariff leagues will, however, generously furnish the discharged employees with protective-tariff tracts to read during their idle hours, and the Manufacturers' Club of Philadelphia will urge upon Congress to grant them the further boon of free whisky and free tobacco.

The steel-rail bounty was paid upon one item of manufacture only. The bounties resulting from our protective-tariff system upon all the manufactures of the country during the past year have doubtless exceeded $500,000,000. The persons who received such princely incomes through the legislation of Congress may be confidently relied upon to use their wealth and influence to prevent any legislation that will interfere with their profits. The protected interests in every part of the country are organizing to prevent any reduction of protective tariffs. The money which they have gained through the bounty of the government they are spending lavishly, and will continue to spend, in order to check any legislation that might lessen their revenues or interfere with their combinations and monopolies. The hinderances to surplus reduction may be traced directly to the influence of the protected interests.

The President, in his recent message to Congress, pointed out from the statistics of 1880, the fact that of the 17,000,000 persons engaged in all kinds of industries in the United States, only 2,623,089 were employed in such manufacturing industries as are alleged to be benefited by higher tariff. This estimate is a liberal one, but it does not appear that the workmen employed in such protected industries received a greater compensation than is paid to laborers in other employments. The principal benefits arising from protection inure to the owners of the mills. We have no statistics from which the number of persons owning such establishments, or interested in them as owners of stock in manufacturing companies, can be ascertained. It is probable that less than one million persons are interested in such ownership. How far the influence of these favored few will be effectual to prevent legislation in the interest of all the people, is the problem of the future. The discussion of the question cannot fail to have a beneficial effect

The best interests of the manufacturers of the country require that they should meet this question in a spirit of fairness. They should be willing to make some concessions for the benefit of all the people. A selfish and illiberal policy on their part might provoke such antagonism in the future as would result in violent and sudden reductions and possibly great embarrassment to existing industries. There must be a large reduction of the public revenues, and much of this reduction should be on tariff duties. Raw materials, which yield over $16,000,000 of revenue, should be put upon the free list, and corresponding reductions should be made upon finished products. The woolen manufacturers of the country are disposed to deal liberally in this respect, and have already organized a movement in the direction of free wool and chemicals used in woolen manufactures. If this is obtained, they can safely submit to large reductions in other directions. If the representatives of other industries would meet this question in a like liberal spirit, many of the embarrassments and complications of the situation would be removed. If, however, obstructive measures are adopted, and continued and exorbitant exactions are inade, there can be no hope of substantial tariff reductions during the present session of Congress. The whole subject will then go to the people in the ensuing presidential and congressional elections. The friends of revenue reform have nothing to fear in such a contest. A thorough discussion of the question before the people will expose the fallacies and sophistries of the advocates of protection, and settle definitely and forever the question, whether this is “a government of the people, for the people, and by the people," or a government of monopolies, for monopolies, and by monopolies.

WILLIAM M. SPRINGER.

IS OUR SOCIAL LIFE THREATENED?

SOCIAL problems are organic, and related to the essential conditions of human life. All life indeed is a result of association, and man becomes a conscious agent only in society. His soul is born asleep, and awakens first at the call of lovers and friends; and so we are indebted to society for what makes us human, for the ability to use the faculty of thinking and loving, of believing and hoping.

All questions which deeply interest and concern us, ques. tions of religion, of morals, of literature, of politics, of physical science even, are in a true sense questions of sociology; and the paramount attention given in our day to this study is to be attributed to a wider and deeper view of the facts of nature and life than hitherto it has been possible to take. But society, like nature, seems to be simple and is infinitely mysterious. The surface lies open to view, but the causes of what appears work in secret and hide from our searching. If philosophers have failed to arrive at unity of thought on the question of life—whether it be essential, or only the light, the fragrance, and the beauty of something which is not itself; or only a disease, a grouping of atoms at war with Nature's laws, and which she forever breaks up and destroys—if on this previous question difference of opinion is so pronounced, how shall we have confidence in the ability of even the strongest and most enlightened minds to reach true conclusions concerning the ever-varying complex relations of innumerable living beings with one another and with their physical environments ? But we speak with most assurance on subjects which we least understand, and opinions sprout like weeds where there is question of social evils, their causes and remedies. The knowl. edge of one's self is proverbially difficult, but the knowledge of a whole people, including one's self and innumerable others, with all the varieties of intellectual and moral character, of religious

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