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Binding Twine And Bagging

Binding Twine And Bagging image
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The bul to put cotton bagginsr on th free list has passed the house, all the Deinocrats excepting Ooburn, of Wis consin; O'Neill, of Missouri, and Eng j lish, of New Jersey, voting in the affirn j ative, and all the Republicana in th 1 negative. Cotton bagging is in the same catei gory with binding twine. It is manu j factured by the cordage combine. Th raw material is free of duty. It is use by southern farmers for covering theii bales of cotton as binding twine is use by northern farmers for binding whea and other small grains. There is as i much reason why cotton bagging should I be free of duty as there is why binding twine should be free of duty. But when the McKinley billion congress was dealing with this schedule it reduced the duty on binding twine considerably more than one-half and did not reduce the duty on cotton bagging at all. It discriminated against the southern farmer and in favor of the northern farmer. And now the Republicans of the house, accompanied, The Herald is sorry to see, by three Democr;it3, vote unanimously to continue the discrimination. The cordage combine did not cease to manufacture binding twine after the duty was reduced to seven-tenths of a cent per pound, or inore than one-half. That it manufactured more than ever before is a fair inference from two facts First, that the grain crops last year were the largest in the history of the country, and, second, that the importation of binding twine during the last fiscal year, covering all the importation for the erop year, or nearly all, was only 822 pounds, valued at thirty-three dollars. The opponents of the free twine and bagging bilis have obj ected to them on tho ground that they are bilis for class legislation. They teil tls there is no more reason why congress should favor farmers than there is why it should favor those who use cables and other articlea made of the same and like materials, and that it is inconsistent for Democrats who profess to oppose class legislation to inake such bilis party measures. This objection implies that such legislation would favor the farmers by giving them cheaper twine and bagging, while other classes nsing producís from the same materials, the dutiea on which were not reduced or abolished, would still have to pay high that is, it implies that tariff tases increase the prices of the articles on which they are laid, of the domestic as well as the imported producís. According to the Republican doctrine, therefore, these bilis would not give the farmers cheaper twine and bagging. Therefore, they are not class measures. The Republican claim that really protective duties do not raise prices is false, as the beneficiarles of the tariii' are perfectly well aware. Their whole system is a system of class legislation. It is a system under which industries that are self sustaining are f orced to contribute to the support of other industries that claim to be and are assumed to be incapable of self support. The ists admit that this is the original purpose and effect of their system, and seek to comfort the victims with the assurance that while they must bleed for a time they will ultimately, and in some way not clearly defined, recover their own with interest. Now the farmer class is pre-eminently the victim class. The farmers more than any others are forced by tariff legislation to contribute from their profits to the profits of other classes. They have been contributing for thirty years, and they do not yet find themselves recovering their own. They are still the victims, as they have been all these thirty years. What the Democrats propose in these two bilis and in the bill putting cotton ties on the free list is not to grant special favors to farmers as a class, but only to relieve them from a small part of the burden which has been laid upon them as a class. They propose not to legislate for a class, but to relieve a class in some measure from legislation which for years has discriminated against that class. Against these Democratie measures of relief from class legislation we find the Republicana in the house arrayed in unbroken ranks, and we will find the Republicans in the senate arrayed on the same side in solid phalanx. And as the fugitive thief shouts "stop thief!" more lustily than his pursuers, so will the Remblican attorneys for monopoly shout 'class legislation!" to bewilder and ceive the people.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News