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The Price Of Wool

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In our issue of July 13, 1888, we published an article on the price of wool which had been earefully prepared by the editor after considerable research. At this time we republish it, to show tliose of our republican friends who denied its accuracy, how trite the article was. The article was as follows: The greatest difficulty met with in discussing the tariff question comes f rom the diversity of commodities with which we have to deal. The tariff on certain articles iucreases the price: on certain ofcher articles it has no effect vrhatever, and on certain other articles it lowers the price. The tariff on wool is one of those cases where the tariff lowers the price. The Argus has devotcd some little time to studying up on this subject during the past few weeks, and desires to lay the coneluslons at which it has arrived before its readers in a cundid inanner, that they may be saved the trouble of posting themselves to which it was put. The first f act which may be stated is that a rcmoval of the duty upou wool will increase the foreign importation of wool. That has been the experience in the past. and will be the experience in the future, if it should be tried. But this is not an argument that it will lessen the price of American wool. There is not enough wool raised in this country to supply the American manufacturera. To use the American wool to the best advantage, tne manutacturermixesitwithcheaper grades of foreign wools. The cheaper he can obtain this wool that he uses to mix with the American, the lower the cost of manufacturing or the higher price he can afford to pay f or American wool. It has been shown by figures which cannot be disputed that the years of increased importations of foreign wools have been years of increase in the yrice of American wool, and also years of decrease in the importations of foreign woolen goods. In other words, the American manufacturer is placed upon a footing where he can the better compete with the foreign manufacturar, and instead of woolen goods being smuggled in or sent through the custom houses of the country, the goods are made liere, using part American wool. This has created a grèater demand for American wool, and increased the price of wool. These are not theoretical statements, but actual facts borne out by figures. They have been proven by the experience of the wool growers in this country in the past. THE FIRST WOOL TARIFF by which a duty was imposed upon wool was in 1824. The price of wool at once slightly decreased, and after a year or two the price feil off rapidly, so that common wool which sold in 1825, when the tariff went into operation, for from 30 to 38 cents, in 1832, after eight years of protection, sold for from 25 to 30 cents, a loss of eight cents a pound under protection. In the same period, the price of full-blooded merino wool feil from 50 to 62 cents to from 40 to 45 cents. The cause of this decline can easily be fouud. The manufacturera were unable to iise the foreign wools profltably for mixing usder the heavy tariff, and consequently the manufacture was depressed and unable :o consume as largely as before, which essened the demand for American wool. In fact, so small was the demand at times that wool at one time sold for 20 cents, and for a whole nonth at 18 cents. In spite of the f act that at the time the duty was first placed upon wool, the duty on wooleu goods was raised, the amount of woolei goods imported at once increased, so that the importation of $8,250,000 o: woolen goods in 1824 had increased to over $11,000,000 importation in 1825 This was due to the depression of oui manufactories, owing to the denial oi a choice of raw material. So that the tariff on wool meant a decrease of the importation of wool, hut an increase in foreign woolen goods used in this country. How much better for the American grower to have woolen goods used, in which American wooi was mixed, rather than foreign goods in which no American wool was contained! THE TARIFF KEDUCED. In 1832, the evil effects of the high tarilï on wool having been by this time demonstrated, it was greatly lowered by a bilí which provided for its f urther reduction f rom yeartó year. The price of wool at once began to go up, and four years later cornmon wool sold for from 40 to 50 cents, which under the high rariff had only sold for from 25 to 30 cents; and merino wool, under the beneflcial infiuence of a reduetion of the tariff, increased in price to 50 and (8 cents. To what was this increase in price due? To the increase in the nanufacturing of woolen goods. In ;he first five years of this reduced tarff the amount of woolen goods manu'actured in Massachusetts increased 60 per cent. This increase created a greater demand for American wool, vhich increased the price. THE SECOND HIGH TARIFF on wool was imposed in 1842 and lasted just four years, when the wool growers grew tired of it. The year of the enactment of the heavy duties on wool, the priee of the common wool feil to from 18 to 20 cents a pound, and four years later it was still only 20 to 21 cents, while merino wool was reduced to 27 and 28 cents. The importation of woolen goods again increased as it had under the flrst high tariiï. 'A ISKITISil FliEE TKADE TARIFF" is what the advocates of protection called the tanff of 1S47, which once more reduced the tarii'f on wool. Wool increased in price. ín the ensuing four years it had increased V4 cents a pound in price, so that the common wool averaged 33 cents and the merino wool 40} cents, and wool continued at about thesr prices until in 18ö7 still anotbei change was made in the wool tariff. The low duties on wool under this -'free trade" tariff were removed and in 1857 a period began of frée wool, . when all foreign wool costing 18 cents a pound and under, was admitted free of duty. This gave a free supply of wool for mixing purposes and the price of American wool at once jumped up to 37 cents. The next year came the panic of 1858, when in common with other commodities. the price of wool went down to 30 cents, owing to the stoppage of mahufactories. uut the next year the times brightened up and common wool bron glit 38 cents. In 1860, the last year of free wool, common wool brought 34 to 38 cents and merino wool 48 to 52 cents. THE WAR PEKIOD is hardly a eriterion in prices. In common with everything else a duty was placed on wool "and a heavy duty on woolengoods. All prices were inflated. Yet in 1863 number one wool was only worth 33 to 3G cents in gold, and in 1864 it broughjt 31 to -3o cents in gold. In 1866 it had potten down to 23 to I ■J. cents in gold, which was about 12 cents iess a pound than during the last yearof f ree wool. The price of wool lias since continued to fluctuate under the tariffs on it, nntil under a high tariff wool now sells at from 20 to 25 cents. In the light of history we faii to see how the tariff increases the price of woo). On the contrary the lower the tariff the higher the price to the American wool grower.