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Where Protection Fails

Where Protection Fails image
Parent Issue
Day
27
Month
February
Year
1891
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

The country has never Been a time, perhaps, when there was snch an abundance of eviaence to show that protection cannot guarantee "steady work and high wages." That high tariff organ, The Boston Commercial Bulletin, furnishes the following two items, placing them together: The rolling mili and pipe works at Scottdale, Pa., have been closed down indefinitely, as have been also the Charlotte furnace and coke works. About 10,000 men are out of employment in Scottdale alone. The Frick company ha? also shut down nearly 1,200 ovens. The officials of the Illinois Steel company give the following reasons why the rolling milis at South Chicago, Hls. , have been shut down. They say: "We are trying to settle a scale of wages with the men for the coming year, and want time te adjust it. We have been negotiating with the men for ten or fifteen days in rgard to the wages, and I can't tel] how long it will be before we arrange the entire scale. We will be obhged to make some reduction in wages, as the milis in the east have done so, and we want ta meet the difference." The Illinois company's milis have generally been shut down at this season for repairs. This statement that the wages of steel rail workers have been reduced is of interest in view of the f acts brought out in the senate debate on the steel rail tariff last summer. A dispute having arisen as to the difference between the laboi cost of making steel rails in America and in Europe, an inquiry on the subject was sent to Carroll D. Wright, United States labor commissioner. He reported that the labor cost in one ton of rail3 in Europe is 11.32 and in America $11.59, a difference of twenty-seven cents. In his let♦er to Senator Carlisle, moreover, Mr. Wright made the following striking statement: "You will pardon me if I cali your attention to one analytieal feature which should be observed in the use of the analysis herewith forwarded. Labor cost in one ton of steel rails - I mean after all the materials have been assembled in the steel rail works and are ready te be subjected to the proper manipnlationg for the production of standard steel rails - should be less per ton relatively in thia country than in Great Britain or on the continent, because American producers of standard steel rails dispense with at least one expensive process still adhered to by the foreign producer; and furthermore, our materials, ore, etc, are purei than those used in most other places; so the quantity of ore, for instance, required for the production of a ton of standard steel rails is less in this country than in other places, and of' course the labor required to produce one ton of steel rails is, so far as the purer materials are concerned, less here than abroad." To cover the difference of twentyseven cents a ton the two houses of oui high protective congress put a duty of $13.44 a ton on steel rails. The price of rails is now $34 a ton in England and $28 in the United States. The American railmakers are now Consolidated into only six or eight establishments, and they have a practical monopoly of the home market. The shntdown of the Chicago concern is not the only evidence that the steel raümakers are not getting all that high protection promised. The great steel rail king of this country is Andrew Carnegie. The following interesting newa item has recently been printed: "Five hnndred employés in Carnegie's steel works at Bradford, Pa. , have struck f or the ad vanee in wages which was promised before the McKinley bill was passed, but has since been indefinitely postponed." Here is another from a Philadelphia paper: The Edgar Thomson Steel works of Carnegie Brothers & Co. (limited) have again broken their phenomenal record at rail making. An output of 1 ,441 gross tons of rails in twenty-four hours is now the record, the best prevïous performance ha ving been 1,417 tons. The best day's work by any other mül is said to be 1,312 tons. The difference between the price in England and Aïnerica, as above given, is $4 a ton, which would be $5,764 on Carnegie's one day's output. To insnre Carnegie against the competition of the cheaper Eiiglish rails the McKinleyites imposed a tariff of $13.44 a ton, which, on Carnegie's 1,441 tons, would amonnt to a tariff protection of $19,366.04. How beautifui a thing it is for brethren to dweil together in nnity and tax themselves to make millionaires! The widow of the late Vice President Hendricks will read a paper before the National Council of Women, to meet in Washington on the 22d of February. The beautifui thought that a man and his wife are one receives concluedve demonstration through the public interest that always follows the widow of a prominent man. Mrs. Richard A. Proctor, the astronomer's widow, proposes ta perpetúate her husband's name by building an observatory on Mission heights, at San Diego, Cal. It is estimated that tte building, with the telescope, will cost about $25,000, and the bulk of this sum Mrs. Prootor hopes to raise by lecturing. The universityatG-enevahasjustmade an M. D. of the young Polish Countess Wanda von Szcawinska. Her graduatioD thesis was a remarkably learned paper concerning the eyes of crustaceous animáis and the effect of light and darknesa upon them. The Countess Wanda will practico in Poland. The fainons Ida Lewis, the Grace Darling of the United States, has received an invitation to go upon the stage as the heroine in a life saving sceno, before which her Puritanical soul recoiled. She still lives at tha Newport lighthouse. Aa a rule women are better conversationalists than men, being endowed with a readier talent for repariee, a quicker wit and a keener intuiuon of the fitness of things. Patience is half-brother to laziness.