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English And American Wages

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A Germán manufacturer of woolen goods, who visited this country with a view to establishing a branch manufactory here in order to retain the market ont of which the MoKinley law has practically shut hini, has written to a New York paper giving the reasons why he abandoned the idea of building here. His principal reason was the tax on raw wool, which wotüd make it impossible for him to sell any of his product outside of the United States. Our protectionists nsnally represent that the one great disadvantage which confronte our manufacturera in competdtion with the manufacturera of Etirope is the higher price of labor in this country. This Germán manufacturer, however, did not find that there was near so great a difference of wages as has been claimed. Indeed, he says that, after personal inquiries in the industrial districts of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, he finds that the average rate is scarcely 25 per cent, higher than in Germany; and he asks what this amonnts to when the woolen producís are subject to duties ranging from 80 to 100 per cent It has long been known by people who care to inform themselves of the exact facts that cotton and woolen weaving costs less per year for labor in the United States than in any European country. Wages are admitted to be generally higher, often much higher, here by the day or week, but as our labor is more productive, a yard of cloth is actually woven more cheaply with us than in Europe. This is a f act officially certified to by the anthorities at Washington under Eepublican administration. In 1882 our consuls in Europe were directed by Secretary of the Treasnry F. T. Frelinghuysen to report upon the cotton and woolen weaving industries in their respective districts. Our consul at Manchester, England, Albert D. Shaw, reported upon the cotton goods industry of Lancashire. In the courae of his report he gave certain tables prepared by the late Mr. James Thornly, of Manchester, 8howing the labor coet of cotton weaving at several English and American centers. This Mr. Thornly visited America in 1879 as the "special commissioner" of the Manchester Tertile Manufactnrer, and wrote a series of letters which Consul Shaw vouches for as "reliable." Here are two tables quoted by Consul Shaw from the lettere of Mr. Thornly which give the English and the American cost of weaving what is called printing cloth - that is, the cloth from which calicó prints are made: 28in.,56 28 in., 60 reed, 14 picks reed, 16 (60x64). 58 picks (64x64), yards. 58 yards. In England- Cents. Cents. Ashton-under-Lyne.. 34.68 27.70 Blakburn 25.04 29.0 Btockport 25.04 29.48 Hyde 2528 2!i.3O Average 25.00 28.88 28 in., 56 28 in', 60 reed, 14 picks reed, 16 (60x56), 58 picks (64x64), yards. 58 yards. In America- Cents. Cente. Rhode Ialand 16.82 Unknown. Providence 17.28 22.30 Fall Riyer 19C96 230 Lowell 19.96 23.20 Average 18.50 22.90 This is a comparison of wages by the piece; a similar result is obtained in a comparison of wages by the pound of cloth woven. Thus the wage cost per ponnd is: In Fall River, 6.907 cents; in Lowell, 6.883 cents; in Rhode Island, 6.422 cents; in Pennsylvania, 6.44 cents; in England, 6.962 cents. Notwithstanding onr lower wages by the yard and by the ponnd this Englishman found that our weavers were earning more money in a week than English weavers did. The cause was simple enongh. The American weavers in many cases work eight looms, a thing unheard of in Engiand. The figures here given show a difference which certainly has not grown less since 1879. How extremely ridiculous, in the light of these f acts, becomes the cry of "pxotection for American labor!" How foolish the fear of the "pauper' labor" of Europe!