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Letters From The People

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Coal Is on the up grade. All slzes aml kinds ¦t'l vuti l ." i er iis per ton ou the l(Hh, and vry scaroe ut tliat.- Oourier. Beventran mllltonalre coal mine owners met in Pennsylvania the other day and struck against the public weal by resolvIng to limit the output for the eiisuing year, and then and there resolved to advaiice the price 25 cents per ton. They entered into a conspiracy to extort - and hare Mieceeded - in increased price from every coil buyer in the countrj1. The reader inay ask, is tliere no l;iw to ponilh sue.h conspirutors? Qov. Pattison dlreoted thi attonipy-eneral to investígate the case, and see if there is law to reach theni. If there was, does anybody bellere they would be couvicted. ïio. Why? They are wealthy, control the politics of l'unusyivaniu, and henee, plainly 8peakinr,the eourta also. A tariff of 75 cents per ton prevents Importatlon of forelgn coal, and serves to help the (ibove seventeen milllonaires advanee the price of their product to the amnunt of the duly. Already rich, the goverament aids ihein to put more inoney into their pockets by forciiifr it from the pockets of coiifiimi'rs. The plea of the protectionist is, tliat a tariff en halteen wageii but it is a fact that the mlneft, obs;rving the advanctd price vainly asked for increased wages. If the eyesof the public can be oponed to the tarilf tax robbi'ry, which so nmny believe to be the correct thing for this republic, I will willingly paj' the advanced prloe apon what I consume. J. N. BAII.ET. It ia a very pretty case Mr. Bailey has made out - In theory - but let's see about its practical side. In the tlrst place the tariff is 50 cent?, not 75 cents per ton on coal. Gratit that tlie doinj away with the taiïff would allow Ktiglish coal to be laudad ai onr waporti 50 cents per ton cheaper than s being paid to-dny (whicli is imponible) woukl tlut prevent our railrnad magnates frota {tetting tojjether and putting up the price of conl freights 50 cents per Ion, as they have recently done? What difference does il make to the consumer whetlier the source of supplr is foreign ooal in the harboH of New York or Botton, or domestic coal at Pittsburg or Man Cimok? Would the tiking off of the tariff prevent forcign mllllonlire mine ntriien from oomblnlng, or American rail rond oompaBiM from entering into n couibinntlou with sald foreign mine owners at home? Suppose a hundreil cargoei of toreen coal wei e lamled in New York to morrow, would the rallroa'ls carry that cosí iiny cheaper tlian they Cirry ooal from our own mines? Or h tbera any law to prevent tho same aort of a combination ascomplained of above? Human nature is alike the world over, and (braljfn millioriaiie mine ownen iroald combine to control the mai kei il' they could, just the same as do our home mine owners. So the tarifl' really lias nothing to do with it, af ter all, bas it? There are two ri'asons why coal should be deuu-i' hi'i'e iliau in England. lat, Because the men who mine the coal are better paul. W. Because the distanre from the mines to the markets is very mucli greater. And vet we flnd the price of anthiacite coal in London, Eng., on November lst, to have been lLCd, (equivalent to about $5.00 U. 8. tnouey) per ton. and the same coal in Arm Arbor $6.50 per ton. Add to the London price ocean and railroud Irciglits froin London here, and what would the price be ? Tlie tariff i.s as mtich to blame for the present combination of railroad anti coal magnale?, aiid the consquent advance in prices of coal, as President Cleveland U for the weatber we are having. What is needed is a law to prevent a combimition, or "conspiracy" if you choose, between these great corporations. Take off the Inriff and you reduce the labiiring classes of the United States to the same level as the laboring classes of the balacee of the .world, and you are still as far from the root of tho evil referred to by Mr. Bailey as you weiv at tlie stuit. Thora are i chías of croakers wlio see in tlie UirifT a great bugaboo to wliicli tliey iscribe all the ills üiat belall the people of America, añil when anything happens they cry: "Tlie Uriff U to blamu! "Tafee off tbe taiill!" without ever looking to see wliere the cause lies. We can see how a mortally seltlsh mnn, who bas no thouglitof othersand wlio has a fixed salary from a source noteíeitd by business, can wish to tear down the walls llnit protect our industries and our industrious classes, viz: because he coukl then buy English broudcloth for Mmaelf, and English silks and satins tor bis family, a trille cheaper. (Our friend Bailey is not one ot' that class, but he lends his pen to tlioir aid.) But how any reMOllftblc man, interested in the welfare and prospeiity of this nation, and with any iecling or care for the toiling massi'S can advociite Briüsh free trade for


Ann Arbor Courier
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