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Gorman On Wool

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HoVí. James S. Gorrran, our congressional representative,in a speech in the House of Representatives, on the Wilson bill, devoted part of it to the wool tariff, from which part of the speech we quote as follows: ■Í am frank to confesa, in view oí' the i'act that we do not produce all the wool that is coüsuDied by the manufacturéis of this country that a protective tariff ought to increase the M'ice, and 1 am equally as emphatic to deny that it does. Tvvo causes I allege tor this condiüon of things; The lirst is that we do not produce the variety and quaiity of wool that our manufacturers require in the production of' eertain grades of goods that enables them to compete with our foreign competitors wbo get all the grades; and second, the more we have taxed our woolen manufacturer for the imported wool that he needs to mix with the dornestic in the manufacture oí' particular grades of goods, the greater necessity it has been to decrease the piïce of the domestic wool to make up for the extra price that he pays for the imported wool in order to place nim on art equal footing with his foreign competí tor. We also produce about 60 per cent of ol the wool that is manufactured in tbis country, consequently the importation of the other 40 per cent drives none of our domestic wool out of the niarket; and if the price is not decreased because of the two reasons assigned above. then 1 pause for some one to give me a reason why the price of the domestic wool does not equal the price of a foreign wool of a similar grade plus the duty. To illustrate: Referring to the price list in the British Trade Journal of January 1, 1893, Western Australia and Port Philip, washed, is quoted from 0Ad, to Is. ld., which equals in our country 19 cents to 'Si cents; and on thu same date Ühio, e, washetl, which is the nearest comirison that can fairly be made with Port Philip, was quoted at 29 cents, i And taking the first of January, 1894, J I from tlie .sanie authority, Western ; Australia, washed.sold in Lon.don from 7d. to l.s. id., whiclj eqnals in our aioney i-l cents to 27 cent. New j Walt-s. fleece, sold on the same date in London froui lOíd. to ; Is. -id., wliicli eqiials in our money 21 cent to 29 cent; and on the sanie date in Uoston, Oliii line sold from 27 to 2n cents. Before iexving figures, wliicli make theirown argiiineut and can not be contradicted or successfully controverted, I wisli to warn tliose investigating tliis subject of a protective tarj iff on wool when they are looking at tubles erii-en by advocates of tliat 'policy to notice what grades of wool are compared. If a comparison is made with South Australia or New Zealand and Ühio medium, il will not be a fair comparison, because Obio medium is tbe highest grade of wool pioduced in America, and the two referred to are not ttie same íiber or quality. Ohio medium averages iïoni 3 cents to 5 cents a pound highér than üliio íiue, sometimes called Ohio X, and this tattet grade of wool is that wliich is neareSt the same quality and fiber to L'ort Philip, and are the proper grades to make a fair comparison upou. S. N . D. North, secretary of the National Association of Wool Manufacturéis, and a Republican advocate of a protection on wool, is authority for the statement that these two latter grades are the only fair comparisons. When we fmd that Port Philip wool sells for practically the same pf ice in Loudon that Ohio une sells for in Boston at the same time, I am curious to know what effect the tariff has on the price of domestic wool. Much eft'ort 1jas been made to show that if the duty was taken off of wool that our woolgrowers would have to destroy their flocks. Can not our woolgrowers compete with foreign competition as successfully as the Canadian woolgrowers that have no duty jon wool, and only 27i per cent tariff on woolen fabrics? Does anyone mean to say that the woolen industry has been in the decline in Canada? I think no intelligent woolgrower will argue that. Then, when we come to consider that our wool in price has gone clown proportionately with the price of wool in other countries, I ask the woolgrower, in all sincerity and candor, what he wants a duty for or what good it lias been to himV At this point, Congressman Gorman introduced two long tables, the first taken from the Bradford Observer, England, showing the average price of Port Phillip tleece from 1872 to 1891, which tables show hat the price for the average PortPhillip üeece declined from 25} d to I I4í (1 hikI the. Port PÍiillip (jrease dei cjiüHd fn,m 1-"í (1 to 10 (1. The second tablf sho'As the pricc iff Ohio wool bv moiitlis' i:n 1870 to 18Ö3. by wtaich it is seen ihxt the pnc in Jaiinary for Ohiwíiite wx] (lefliiicd f'ruiu 48ijts in 1870 tír.Hí5ctu 1891. Ohio medium decliiifil t'rotn 43cts t 8"cts, Ohio course declined from 44 cis. Lo87ets. Contimiing he saitl: 1 spwially cali youi' atteution to the (j,r;niial decline from the earlierto (he luter dale. á.longSide Litis talile I give yon tbè price in Boston óf Ohio fine from 187:2 lo 1893', inclusive: and hy a eomparison yon will note that the decline in tlie piice of Port Philip in London representspracticíilly the same correspondipg decline of Ohio íine in Boston. It is unnecessary toeotnment on these figures and prices other than to calHhe attention of any impartial man to tbe correspondiiig relation. 'J'hey make théirown argument, and all the threata and all the prophecies and all the deelamations on the de struction of the American ilocks will not change the facts. ïhoy are real they exist, and the wool-grower of the United States has been obliged to su'nmit to them, and no sophistry can explain them away. I represent in this House, to the best of my ability, one of the best agrie ultural districts in the United States, and I think without any reflection ou any of the other districts, the best district for the production of wool of any in the State of Michigan. The grade of wool that is produced in my di.strict. which is sold in Boston as Michigan X, sold on the 31st clay of January, only yesterday, at 22 cents. The most of ■the wool sold by the farmers of my district is Dought as Michigan X, and I herewith submit a statement received from the Hou. Reuben Kempf, of the firm of R. Kempf & Ero., of Chelsjja, Mich., transmitting an abstract of prices paid by that firm for wool from 1879 to 1893, inclusive: Banking Office of E. Kempf & Uro.. Chelsea Micfcu January 18, 1804. Mr Dear Sir: Agreoable to yours of the 13th instant, I herewith hand you statement of average price paid by us for clean or MicliIgTtn X wa-herl wools from 1RT9 to 18)3, both inclusive: Cents. Cents. iRVfl 32 18S7 30 188 : 35 1888 22 1881 35 1889 27 1882 33 1890 ". 26 1883 .„ 29 1891 '3 ]4 25 1892 21 1885 23 1893 1.3 US86. 25 Yours respectfullv, Ii. KEMPF. Hon. James S. Gorman. Washington, D. C. This firm is one of thé heaviest wool bu vers in the State of Michigan. It is iinancially solid and entirely relial!e. An exannnation of this schedule of prices paid the farmers of that locality will disclose the fact that wilh one or tuo exrepiiojis tliere luis been acon.stantly increasin; tendency downw;ud in priee, and especially sr after the passage ui the McKinley bill of 1890, siiice vvhich time, it is obsei ved, the orice dropped rapidly. It uiay seem singular to sume, buc neverthelesH it is true, that the lower the tariff the higher has been the price in the tables given above, and every iucrease of the tariff has been l'ollowed by decline in the price of wool. To illustrate: The reduction oí 10 per cent. on the duty on wool in 1872 did not affect the average price, tor during the following year, in 1873, the price was the same. The restoration of tlic' 10 per cent. in 1875 was followed by a reduction in the price of wool in 1875 f rom 55 cents to 48 cents. The change in the tariff in 188;-i was followed by a decline in the price in 1885 from 40 cents to 34 cents. Whether the taropering with the tariff produced this decline or not I ara not prepared to say, neither will I uudertake to argue, but 1 do maintain, and challenge contradiction. that the price of wool in this country has constantly decreased in the same relative proportion that the price of wool in London has decreased, and that the tariff, whether it has been high or low, has njt enhanced the price of wool to the American woolgrower. This is true, it matters not what reasons may be assigned for it. We hear the advocates of a high protective tariff on wool now desert every argument that they have ever before advancedon the subject in form of a protection on manufactured goods, and insist now that i f wioi is placed on the tree list that woolen goods should also be placed on the f ree list. This is puerile, flapdoodle, protectionist statesmanship, made for the purpose of tickling the short ribs of the agricultural crauks on protection. It is the dying gasp of a weak and vicious policy. The men who are advoeating tariff reform to-day are intent and deterruined upon reducing the tariff by degrees, as I said before, giving to the manufacturer all that is deemed to be necessary for his protection by levying the reveuue duty, whichisincidentally a protection, on the manufactured article, and furnishing him hia raw material free. That is the design and the policy. And when any man will stand up on this Hoor and say that because wool goes on the free list woolen fabrics should be on the free list also, he is inconsistent and discloses his insincerity in hisadvocacy of a protective policy heretofore. This bilí proposes to reduce the present duty on woolen fabrics, which will average urder the present law in the vicinity of 00 per cent, to a cluiy of from 25 per cent to 4-5 per cent. Tliis wil) be proiection to the extent of that duty, and oui' manufacturéis eau not complain that "we have left thern open to tlie competition of the world without opportunity to adjust themaelves accordingly. I now wisíi to cali attention to the depletion of our flocks under a high protective tariff, the advocates of which would make you believe that because of the high duty flocks should be increased and a greater amount of wool produced. In highly protected New England in 1840 there were reported 3,820,000 sheep, and in 1891, be-, ing the last report at 'hand, for space will not admit óf my giving every report intervening, but simply say that it lias been a gradual decline, until the nuniber bas dropped clown to 1,205,000. During the same time in the States of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Délaware and Maryland the flocks decreased from 7,403,000 to 2,715,000. In the State of Ohio, the state by the way that talks more about a protective tariff on wooand the destruction of the flocks and the recognition e'f the flock-master than any other state in the Union, in 1870 there was reported 4,929,000 sheep, and they have gradually decreased until in 1890 they regorted 3,944,000 sheep. In Michigan, In 1875 there was reported 3,416,000 sheep and in 1891, 2,263,000; so that my own state has been losing in number notwithstanding the inducements held out by the high protective tariff advocated that a duty on wool would increase the price and cousequently make the sheep more profitable. Let me show a little further where the sheep business has gone, and where that great industry most flourishes now. In 1840 there were no sheep reported in Texas. In 1850 there were 101,000, and it gradually increased until in 1885 they reported 7,558,000, and in 1891 it had decreased to 4,990,000. California makes the first report in sheep in 1850 of 18,000, and iu 1880 had reached 7,647,000, and in 1891 dropped back to 3,7,12,000. Oregon in 1850 reported 15,000, and gradually increased until in 1S71 it reports 2,432,000. New Mexico reports in 1885, 5,411,000, and in 1891, 3,134,000. Montana in 1885 makes the first report of sheep in that Territory of 625,000, and in 1891 reports 2,067,000. Wyoming makes the first report of sheep in 1885 of 610,000, and in 1891, 1,119,000. Utah reports in 1885, 64,000, and in 1891, 2,056,000. Now, referring to every state east of the Mississippi River, the flocks have decreased since ! 1870 and 1875, and there are less sneep in eve.-y state, li tbere is any benefit to come to the flock-masters of thig, country by a protective tariff on wool, it will not materially affect the farinei who has 50 or 100 slieep. The effect, if auy, will be feit by the men who count their sheep by the thousand. East of the Mississippi River the principal proüt to the farmers by raising sheep is the mutton they produce.


Ann Arbor Argus
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