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Stearns To Blaine

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To BLon. James G. BlahtB: Diïar Snt- As you are about to lend j'our influence In Michigan in advocacy of protection, as embodied in the national platform, you will pardon a public request for iuformation upon that subject. In a speech made by you just prior to the September election in Maine this year, you are reported by the New York Tribune as saying: "Give as the Mill's tariff bill proposes- give to the lumbermen of Canada the market for all their products in the United States, give to their farmers the right to bring in everything they raise, give t9 their orchards the right to bring in their fruits, give to their gar dens the right to bring in their vegeta bles, give to their dairies the right to import their products, give to theii quarries the right to supply the United States building stone, give to their brickyards the right to make brick foi our great cities and manufacturing towns, give to their grazers the right to bring in wool, give tq their butchers th( right to supply us with meat, etc, anc when that is done you who live on the border and are in constant communication with all that vast fleld of trade, don't need to be told that it involves millious of loss to American citizens." I am to understand, therefore, that you wish to have a tariff on all these things to prevent any of them from coming into this country. I ask your attentionto a speech made in Congress June 10, 1868, by James ü. lilaine, then congressman from Maiae, in which he said: "During the entire war when we were seeking everything on earth and in the skies and in the waters under the earth, out of which taxation could be wrung, it never entered into the conception of consrress to tax breadstuffs- never! "During the most pressing exigencies of the terrible contest in which we were engaged, neither breadstutfs nor lumbereyer became the subject of one penny of taxation . " [He was discussing the matter you will recollect. with an Ohio man and further said:] is'ovv as to the article of lamber, I atrain remind the house theie has never been a tax on tlns article. The gentleman f rom Ohio may t;ilk as he pleases, but I say that wherever the western frontiersman undertakes to make for himself a home, to till the soil, to earry on the business of life,heneeds lamber; for his wagon or cart, he needs lumbev forhis plow, he needs lumber for almost every puipose in daily life. " Now Mr. Bl.aine, are you the gentleman who uttered those worde Uventy years a go? It so, were they true? Tf true, did you really believe themV [f it was good doctrine tueii, why is it that now. witli more reyenue than we need. it is not good political eeouomy now'? Were you sincere Uien? If so, are yon sincere now? When, m the speech you warned the i house and protested against the gross injustice of putting a tax upqn breadstuffs and household necessities and lumber. did you think potatoes. vegetable, meat and fruit were not breadstuffs? Was not your position then precisely democratie doctrine to-day. Hovv do you reconcile the two speeches? In 1SGS reven ue was needed . You protested against taxing lumber and breadstuffs. You then pleaded for the laboring classes and for farmers. ïo-dav the reven ue, even though a "mole-bill," as you then termed it, is not needed. The laboriug classes need cheap breadstuffs and cueap lumber as much as they did then. Kindly explaiu in your Michigan speeches, why lumber and breadstuffs, which in 1865 to 1868 were not taxed and which has always been tree. should be taxed in '88, tweuty years later? If done satisfactoriiv, it may be the meaus of inspinng coufidence in your words about protection, a state of affaire that you will observe scarcely exists at present. iïespectfully yours,


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News