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Some Good Sense On The Wool Tariff

Some Good Sense On The Wool Tariff image
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En. Courier : The Waslitenaw Evening Timos, in its issue of Marcli the, tiih contains uu editora! wiiiih uses as :i tact tin article 011 ti i e tariff tiiat lias lately appeared in the Chicago Tribune. Tliis sditoral s a lirm illustration of the ease witli which men can sometimes state what they dou'l know. It says if thetariff reviséis at Washington listen tu the Iemands of the wool growers the consequeiioe to the party will be disastrous. fïow in the opinión of the writer, il' the pledges of the party are uot fulfilled to the letter in referente to the tariff, at the end of McKiuley'stermthere will be 110 iepublican party to Bpeak of, aml i propose to teil the readers of the Courier whv 1 think so. I am neither a farmer nor a woolgrower, bul know soinething about this question tliat must not be stated in platitudes. I was reared on a farm and from tny father's door step I could hear the bella of factories in which more than ten mili ion pounds of wool are yearly converted into cloth. I have watehed one of the milis grow in thirty years from the foundation. I know the men who built it. Tlieir factories have increased from nothing to hundreds of thousands. The principal owner has been reported a millioniare ; vet, with only at least lialf a miUion l)etween him and the poor house, lie has been fairly howling fur the last ten years for free wool ; and bas worked for Grover Cleveland and tariff reform with all bis migbt. 1 liso know two brothers wno have imported wool íor these milis. Tliey were born and reared on a farra and thirty years ago their father added to bis small income by dealiug ia cotton waste aiid rags. Perhaps twenty years ugo the boys began handling wool. From the basement they have goue up throuah a four story building to the attic This building is now filled with wool largely in the forin of "noils," an article half manufactured in England and brought into this country under conditions that are ei ormomly profitable to the(mporterand tliR manufacturer, but ruinous to the American wool grower. These brothers have only, say a half inillion apiece, between theni and the poor house. I also know two men now on the threshold of middle life, both college men; well educated, of uublemished character and business integrity. Fifteen years ago they went into the wool business in one of the territories. They went about the business igently. Tliey took a good flock of territory sheep and bred them up with tlie best fine wooled stock oL Vermont and Michigan. In ten years they had preempted lands, secured property rights, built liouses and owued several tliousand oí the best sheep in the territory. They had just got a fair start when the free wool agitatiou began. From a fair valuation of at least $3.50 a head their sheep have gone down to $1.50 a head and no sale at that. In five years the work of ten years has gone and they stand on the threshhold of iniddie life asking, wliat next? Aa they did tifteen years ago. Their case is one of thousands. In 1894 I know of a California farmer who had owned a flock of sheep and had alvpays voted the democratie ticket. He rode on horseback one hundred miles and back to vote the republican ticket against "the d n free trade." me limes says miuions would be the losers and a few ranche men the only beueñciaries." It takes from ten to twenty pounds of raw wool to make a suit of clothes. Tlie proposed duty is six cents a pound. The duty is 60 cents to a 1.20 on a suit. Kobody knows the difference and the amount is wholly lost before the cloth reacties the consumer. The questionis, shall the government have a revenue from the foreign goods that some people are bound to have, and the inoney that is represented by the difference in the price of wool under a tariff and when entered free be distributed ainong the thousands of American farmers who would raise this wool, or added to the already sufficientl v large fortunes of the comparatively few importéis and manufacturera? Á Michigan farmer who keeps 150 sheep and raises 1000 pounds of wool a year can well afford to pay five dollars a year more for a suit of clothes and get six cents more a pound for bis wool. The difference is just $55.00 in his fayor. The free traders who want free wool, whereby the money that would go in sinall sums to thousands of farmers instead of going in large sums into their own pockets, say "d n the farmers." Tliey care no more for the great mass of consumers tlian they do for the farmers. Now tl ie wealtfa of a"natiou consista in just what can be obtained to satisfy the wants of man frotn, upon or out of the earth. Setting aside, laiuiug, the products i agriculture represent very largelv the primary source of wealth of United otates. A great deal of twaddle is indulged concerning farmer boys stay ing on farms. VVliat inducöinent can a Michigan farmer offer hts boy ut the present time to stay on his farm? [f his sheep are not sold they uuglit to be. Wlieatcan lie raisedin the plains of Dakota and in South America or [ndia at ;i price whicli lueana starvation to Michigan. There is no use for horses nor for oats with which to feed tlieir.. Butter is made by the ton from cotton oil, lard and tallow, and suKI al a ree that leaves no profltto the farmer. The proprietoru of creatneriea want all the ilit. Beef can be grown in Texas and fattened on cotton seed meal cheaper than i;, can he lioused in Michigan and fattened on corn. There is nothing lelt bat corn and bogs, and dressed iiogs have been sold this winter in Aun Arhor for three and one-half cents a pound. Whal interest a Michigan farmer has in aending all the moiiey out of the country in free trad e to fatten the fortunes of the importera of wool ia beyoud my coniprehension.


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Ann Arbor Courier