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Telephone Talks

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United States- Helio! Helio! South' Am erica - Helio ! U. S. - Is that you, South America? S. A. - Yes; what do yon want? ü. S.- This is United States. You know we put a reciprocity clause into what we cali the McKinley bill, that we paesed here last fall? S. A. - Yes, I heard you did. ü. S. - Well, that clause authorizes the president to put duties on tea, coffee, Bugar, molasses and hides. S. A. - Aren'tyou mistaken? I thought your constitution gave your congress full and exclusive power to lay and coltect taxes, duties, etc. U. S. - Yes, so it does; but I haven't fime to discuss a constitution now more than 100 years oíd. As I was going to say, the president can put a duty of 3 cents per pound on your coffee, % cents per pound on your hides and 2 cents per pound on your sugar, if in his opinión you unduly tax the goods imported into your countries f rom the United States. It is to learn what you intend to do in regard to this matter that I have called you up. S. A. - If your president wishes to put a tai on these articles, all of which are now on your f ree list, and your people don't object to paying it, I don't see why we should. As to what kind of duties we should have, I think we can decide for ourselves without any foreign interference. U. S. - Of course we don't wish to interfere, but don't you understand that if we tax our imports of those articles from your countries and not from other countries you will lose some of your trade up here? S. A. - Oh, yes; of course we might lose a little with you, but we would gain about as much with other countries. If you tax raw hides and increase their cost your manufacturera will make fewer gloves and shoes, but Europe will make more; so if you tax sugar as you have been doing your canners and preservers will do less business and Europe will do more in this line. I see clearly that while such a policy might injure us a little it would harm you much more, so much more that I can't think you would be so foolish as to adopt it but only intend it for a bluff. No, we don't care to swap any tariffs this vear. U. S.- But wait a little; don't talk quite bo loudly. After I shall have explained a few things you may take quite a different view. S. A.- Well, go on. U. S. - You see we have had a high protective tariff here for thirty years. S. A.- Yes, I know that's what you cali it. 1 agree, though, that it's high, U. S.- Well, the Republican party that made this tariff has been telling the farmers and laborers that it was to help them by giving them home markets, high wages, etc. S. A. - You didn't have to give reasons to your manufacturers, 1 guess. They didn't object to a policy that would give them exclusive ownership of your "home markets," and U. S. - Please wait until I amthrough. As 1 was going to say, the farmers who expected everything of protection became spendthrifts, and, because nearly half of their farms were mortgaged, and because farmers east of the Mississippi river have lost half of their value during the last fifteen years, they got it into their heads that "protection" was to blame for all their extravagance and foolishness. The same kind of an absurd idea was taking possession of the wage eamers, who, because they had to do more work or see their wages reduced nearly every year, began to think that protection was at fault, though it was explained to them that it was due to overproduction, excessive competition, etc. Well. anyway, by 1890, when McKinley was revising the tariff, a few of us saw clearly that the protection sysñra could not stand much longer unless t was again repaired with a view to ïelping the farmer. It was for this purDOse that 1 - that is, we- hit upon this scheme of reciprocity to open markets n your countries for our farm producís. S. A. - Yes, 1 see; but you don't expeet to find markets for farm producís down here? We are in the farming business ourselves, and unless your farmers look wel! to their laurels they will soon lose some of their markets in Central America and the West Indies, where we are already selling flour and other agricultural producís. It is implemenis of agricultureratherthan products of culture that we want. U. S. - Now you understand our predicament. We must make the farmers believe that we really expect that reciprocity will open up new markets S. A. - But ISïrt Cue scBeme a sad coznmentary on your "home market" theory? Doesn't it admit that protection can't make "home markets?' Canada- Helio! Helio! Is this United States? ü. S.- Yes. C. - I called you up tolearn what kind of a reciprocity treaty you intend to make with us. D. S. - We are not considering any reciprocity treaty with you and I am not certain that we shall do so. We do not care to dicker with you. C- But our 5,000,000 people purchase as much of you as the other 51,000,000 on the western hemisphere, and this is the only country that buys more from you than it sells to you. For the last forty years you have had a balance of trade in your favor of over $250,000,000, while the balance of trade against you with these other 51,000,000 people was over $1,000,000,000. U. S.- Eeally, Canada, I don't care to talk with you now; I would have to explain too many things. I will only say that the farmers of New York state, so f ar as I can learn, don't want f ree trade with you even "in spots," such as reciprocity would give - and you know New York is a doubtful state. Good day.


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