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The Price Of Wool

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The greatest d'fficulty met with in discussing the tariii question couies from the diversity of commodities with which we have to deal. The tariff on certaiu articles increases the prioe; ou certain other articles it has no effect whatever and on certain other articles it lowevs the pnce. The tariff on wool is one of those cases where the tariff lowers the price. The Aböus has devoted some little time iu studying up i this suhject during the past few eeks aud desires to lay the concluons at which it has arrived bfifore its eaders in a candid marnier, that they may be saved the trouble in posting ïemselves to which it was put. The rat fact which rnay be stated is that a emoval of the duty upon wool will inrease the foreign importation of wool. nat has been the experience in the ast and will be the experience in the uture, if it should be triecL But this is ot an argument that it will lessen the rice of American wool. There is not nough wool raised in this country to upply the American manufacturers. use the American wool to the best dvantage, the manufacturer mixes it with cheaper gradas of foreign wools. The cheaper he eau obtain this wool that he uses to mix with the American the lower the cost of manufacturing or the higher price he can afford to pay f or American wool. It has been shown by figures which cannot be disputed that he years of increased importations of oreigu wools have been years of inrease in the price of American wool nd also years of decrease in the imortations of foreign woolen goods. In ther words the American manufacurer is placed upon a-footing where he an the better cempete with the foreign manufacturer and instead of woolen oods being smu?Ltled in or sent hrough the custom houses of the ountry, the goods are made here, usng part American wool. This bas credted a greater demand for American vool and increased the price of wool. These are not theoretical statements but actual f acts boni out by Bgüres, ?hey have been proven by the experenee of the wool growers in this country in the past. THE FIRST WOÜL ÏAR1FF by whicb a duty was imposed upon vool was in 1S24. The price of wool at nee sliglitiy decreasësdaöd af ter a year or two the Drice feil off rápidly so that coinmon wool vvhich sold in 1S25, when the tariff went into operation, for frooa 30 to 3S cents, in 1832; after eight years of protêctiori, sold for from 25 to 30 ets., h loss of eight cents a pound under protêction. In the same period, the price of full blooded mermo wool feil from 50 to 02 cents to from 40 to 45 cents. The canse of this decliue can easily be found. The mauufacturers were unable to use the for. eiRn wools profltabjy for mixius: under the heavy tariïï and consequently the manufacture was depressed and unable to consume as larsjely as before, which lessened the demand for American wool. In f act so small wasjthe demand at times that wool at one time sold for twenty cents and for a whole montli at eignteen cents. In spite of the fact tb at at the time a duty was ürst placed upon wool, the duty on woolon goods was raised, the amountof woolen goods imported at once increased, so that the importation of 5S,250,000 of woolen goods in 1824, had increased to over $11,000,000 importation in 1825. This was due to the depression of our manufacturies, owing to the denial of a choice of raw material. So that the tanff 011 wool ineant a decrease of the importution of wool but an increase in foreign woolen goods used in this country. How much better tor the American grower to have woolen goods used, in whicli American wool was mixed, rather than foreign goods in which no Ameiican wool was contained . THE TARIFF REDUC15T). In 1832, the evil eöeets of the high tariff on wool having been by this time demonstrated, it was greatly lowered by a bilí which provided for its f urther reduction from year to year. The price of wool at once began to'go up and four years later common wool sold for from 40 to 50 cents, which under the high tariff had only sold for from 25 to 30 cents and merino wool, under the beneficieiit influence of a reduction of the tariff increased in pnce to 50 and 68 cents. To what was this increase in price due? To the increase in the mauufacturing of woolen goocls. In the lirst five years of this reduced tarifE the amount of woolen goods manufactured in Massachusetts increased sixty per cent. This increase created a greater demand for American wool which increased the price. THE SECOND HiGH TARIFF on woo! was imposed in 18ÉÏ and lasted just four ytars, whon the wool growers Ktew lired of it. The year of the enactrnent of the heavy duties on wool, the price of the commou wool feil to l'rorn IS to 20 cents a pound and four years later it was still only 20 to 21 cents, wliile merino wool was reduced to 27 and 28 cents. Thejimportation of woolen goods again increased as it had under the first high tariff. ■ "A. BKITISHFREE TP.ADE TARIFF" is what the advocates of protection called the tariff of 1847, which once more reduced the tariff on wool. Wool incieased in price. In the ensuing four years it had increased 13 cents a pound ni pnce, so that the comraon wool averaged 334 cents and the merino wool 40+ cents and wool continuad at about these prices until in 1857 still another change was made in the wool tariff. The low duties on wool under this "free trade" tariff were removed and in 1S57 a period began of FKEE AVOOL when all foreign wool costing 18 cents a pound and under, was admitted free ofduty. This gave a free suoply of wool for nrixing purposes and the price of American wool at once jumped up to 37 cents. The next year came the panic of 1858, when in eoniruon with other commodities, the price of wool went down to 30 cents, owine to the stoppage of manufacturies. But the next year the times brighteued up and common wool brought 38 cents. In 1860, the last year of free wool, common wool brought 34 to 3S cents and merino wool 48 to 52 cents. THE WAK PERIOD is hardly a criterion in priees. In comrnon witli every tlnng else a duty was placed on wool and a heavy duty on woolen goods. All priees were inflated. Yet iu 1863 number One wool was only worth 33 to 36 cents in gold and in 1864, it brought 31 to 33 cents in gold. In 1866 it had gotten down to 23} to 27 cents iu gold, which was about 12 cents less a pound than dunng the last year of free wool. The price of wool has 3inoe continued to fluctuóte under the tarifts on it, until uuder a high tarilï wool now sells at from 20 to 2-5 cents. 5 In the light of history we fail to s?e how the tarifl increases the price of wool. On the contrary the lower the tarifl the higher the price to the American woüI grower.


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