Protection v. Freetrade
Grahamstown. Printed at the Thames Advertiser Office, Albert Street,
The following few pages were written in response to a request made by the Thames Debating Society, and as Protection has long been a favorite theme of mine, I thought the present potitical contest in which we are engaged a favorable opportunity of launching my views (however crude) on the sea of public criticism.
To provoke discussion is my main object, which I now invite, confident that, if conducted in an honest, open manner, with the welfare of the colony as our first consideration, I need not fear the dictum.
To the Industrions and Working Men
Of New Zealand
The following lines are dedicated with the fervent hope that those who read them may be benefitted by their perusal.
Protection v. Freetrade.
have no desire to air my eloquence, even as a Protectionist, but as the subject of Protection is one of vital importance to a new country like this, it is the duty of every man to do what he can in fostering and helping his fellowmen; and especially is it necessary at the present time, on the eve of a General Election, when, by our collective votes we are called upon to return men to the House, who for the next three years shall rule the destinies of New Zealand. If ever there was a time when men should seriously consider their position it is the present: the power is in their own hands, and as they use that power, so the weal or the woe of the future depends. Protection, then, I contend, ought to be our national policy. "National industry is national wealth." Are we as a nation industrious? Are our people all busily engaged in even supplying our own wants? I say no. Then, is it not a great anomaly to think that we have a great many idle people; a great many only half employed—men with ability and energy, but can't get employment, and yet we a nation are employing: thousands in other countries to do the work for us. which we could do ourselves. Supposing that I required a large amount of labor, and that I introduced some hundreds of Chinese, Cooly, or other cheap labor to perform that work, what would you think of it! Why I would be hunted out of the country, and rightly too. Yet every one of you who purchases articles manufactured in other countries by cheap labor are doing worse: you are countenancing and encouraging cheap labor, and they contribute nothing towards your taxes, while I who would impart the cheap laborers would make them colonists, who would contribute their quota towards the taxes of the country. I wish you to note this wed; think it out carefully. Protection, I conceive to be the right policy for us, because all countries within the range of my observation that have adopted it have prospered, and all countries that have endeavored to perpetuate the grand old fallacy of Freetrade have declined, Let me take the case of Canada as an illustration. The lands of Canada attracted a large population of the agricultural clauses, hence Canada was settled by what is called a small farming class. Freetrade is her adopted policy, and down to the year 1877 the trade of her towns was compartively small The United States supplied her markets, and any attempts to establish industries of their own were immediately defeated by the manufacturers of the United States, who flooded the markets with their goods, and sold them in Canada at prices even below what they cost to produce in the States so as to frustrate the attempts of the local manufacturer even getting a start, What was the result in 1877—only ten years ago. Canada was the poorest of the British possessions. The young men of the Colony unable to find employment at Home, crossed over to the States—a protected country—where there was lots of work: others followed, induce I by the success of their comrades; Canada was thus losing the bone and sinew, the cream of her population. It was time for Canada to awaken to a true sense of her position, which she did, and I will show you the results. The question of Protection was agitated. Sir John McDonald, who was then leader of the Opposition (McKenzie, Premier), who had been a staunch Freetrader, but seeing the necessity for some change took up the cause of Protection, and went about the country preaching it. The people, alive to the urgency of their case, took up the cry, and a majority were returned pledged to Protection, and they immediately altered the Customs Duties by raising it 25 per cent, on every article that could be produced in the country, whether it was a necessary of life or not, and in a year or two afterwards when she found that the manufacturers of the States were still sending their goods they increased the duty on some articles, such as agricultural implements, to 35 per cent., and this in the very face of a large proportion of their population being; farmers. What followed; their debentures rose seven per cent, in two years. In four years after their Protective policy was in force, or in 1832, their factories had increased so largely, the number of persons employed in those factories so great, their productions so valuable that people were able to buy luxuries. The revenue from their customs duties so increased that they had an overflowing treasury from that source. In 1882 they were able to reduce the customs duties by £250,000, and in 1883 - only one year more—by another £250,000. So that the result of protection there was that, in two years they were able to reduce the customs duties half a million of money, retain and increase their population and that population more contented and happy. It is an exploded fallacy that because you adopt Protection, you increase the cost of living, that is proven by the various countries that have adopted it, which I will refer to farther on.page 4
Anyone who advocates Free Trade and takes Britain as the basis for their arguments, and say that because she has increased so wonderfully under her Free Trade regime that, therefore, every other country ought to follow suit. Let us look at their different circumstances: Britain has 121,000 sq miles, with a population of 35,000,000; New Zealand. 107,000sq miles with under half a-million population. Britain can have no desire to double her population as it would mean famine with all its horrors, while we, on the other hand, are desirous, not only of doubling our population, but of multiplying it tenfold. Britain with Her limited area densely peopled was the manufacturing workshop for the world, being the cradle of Genius, took the lead in all branches of industries, to send out her manufacturd wares, was not only her policy, but her very necessity. It was also equally necessary that she should bring back grain to feed her people, heuce Free Trade was her policy and her Protection; she simply did what every other nation does, she adopted a policy that was Protection to her people, and called it Free Trade. There was no pouring in of manufactures into her country to compete with her workmen, as there was no country in a position to do so. Things have now changed, and countries that used to absorb her manufactures have crown strong under Protection, and can export their surplus into her markets, and successfully compete with her at her own doors. I am as much an admirer of J. S. Mill's writings as anyone, but you must beer in mind that he wrote in England, with English sympathies and British interests; had he been a Colonial I have no doubt the esse would have stood very different. One thing: I am certain of, I am a Protectionist here, but had I been in England these 20 years, I would be as ardent a Free Trader as I am now a Protectionist, and being here I c aim the same right to that policy which suits us best, viz. Protection, as they to that which suits them, viz. Free Trade. I also claim, as a citizen of this new country, to work out our own destiny without the inrerference of those in other countries. If they wish to manufacture for us, then let them come out here, conform to our rules of shorter days and higher wages, become colonists like ourselves, then I am sure all will extend to them the right hand of fellowship.
What do the advocates of Free Trade imagine we are made of? Do they think they are so much smar er than their fellow men that they can successfully compete with those who only pay one-third of the wages that we desire to do in this country. You must accept the inevitable you must either adopt Protection in providing our own people in employment at the shorter hours of labour and higher wages, or wages must come down, your days lengthened to the level of other nations, whom we allow to compete with us. "Wages are too high," is an argument too oft expressed by the employers of labour; and especially the Free Trader, and which at first sight appear? to have many arguments in its favour. The farmer finds that the wages demanded cannot be realised out of the prices obtained for his produce; the property owner finds that the rents obtained for his houses, are altogether inadequate to give interest upon his outlay hence he builds no further, and will scarcely maintain up to a habitable standard, those that have been but under more prosperous auspices; the farmer ceases to employ unless at a very reduced wage, forgetting that while he is doing so. he is most assuredly bringing down the price of his own products. If you will calmly look into this matter you will find that it is quite a natural position for the individual employers of labour to take up. A man asks tor employment, the employer is master of the situation, he may or may not gave the wages asked but when he goes to market to sell his products, he is in exactly the same position to the merchant as the wages man was to him he is asking his wages for certain work pertormed, and those wages will be paid only in proportion to the wages obtained by the bulk of the population. Hence, everything is reduced to the lowest, time is of less value and a lot of it is wasted, the wealth of the world is only the result of the labours of the world, hence the same applies to nations. If the people of a nation only work one-half their time, those people and that nation will only be one-half as rich as they ought to be, hence they have only half the purchasing power. What is the cause of this unsatisfactory state of things? "Free Trade." The allowing of the pouring in from other countries their surplus wares, glutting our markets, stiffling our industries, crushing the brightest hopes and aims of cur young people in this new country.
But is there any necessity why we should reduce the wages? Unlike England, our population is not so dense. Competition for existence is not so keen that we need extend the hours of labour. When it is, and when we are supplying our own wants and have a surplus to send away, then we may consider the advisability of adopting Free: rade, and then depend upon it the wages must drop to the level of all other nations who are in commercial relations with us. The question of over-production will then stare us in the face, and the hours of labour will require shortening all the world over.
If national industry is national wealth, which I think will not be disputed, then, besides the employment of our own people, see how much better our credit would be in the world's money market. Our prosperous condition would attract the attention of the world. There would be no need of State Immigration; people would flock here voluntarily, by the prospects of food wages, constant employment, and a good climate, Had the Government spent as much page 5 in fostering industries as it has spent in bringing out second-class colonists, this country would be in a very different position to-day. Look at the progress America has made without State Immigration; look at the thousands that are pouring into it from all quarters—and what is the cause? It is a country of Protection, and affords ample employment for its people. Protection drew the people there, and Protection peopled the country. When Protection was first introduced, the English manufacturer who held the market so long, loth to lose her custom, but could not afford to pay the high tariff in posed, sent out junior members of the firm with workmen, established branch factories, employed some American people—in tact, became American people themselves, thus helping in her success. If this was the natural outcome of Protection there, then why not here in New Zealand? So sure as the sun will rise in the morning, so would the same result follow here. One step has already been taken in that direction. Some time ago a duty was put upon jams. Tasmania then, to save the duty and keep our custom, sends over a manufacturer to Dunedin, who employs labour there, while Tasmania still supplies the raw material, in the shape of pulp or parboiled fruit, which is not reached by Duty.
I may be told, look at the unemployed in America. Yes, and look at the unemployed of Great Britain, but as I have no records of the proportion of unemployed, let us take the pauper statistics. The population of the United States is over 50,000,000 and the total number of paupers is 88,000, or about 1 pauper to every 600 persons. Whereas, In England, with a population of 35,000,000. the pauper class exceeds 1,00,000, or I pauper to every 35 persons. A very great disparity here in favor of Protection.
I think I may safely assert that there are considerably more unemployed in this Free Trade New Zealand in proportion to the population, than there is in Protected America. Now it is a fallacy to imagine that because Protective duties are imposed, that the consumers or those protecting have to pay that duty. On the contrary, it is the manufacturers who send the goods into the country who pay. They are therefore contributing towards the taxes of the country by whom they are employed, and rightly too. The results in all countries where Protection has been adopted prove this. In Victoria, where they have Protection, there is a duty on oats, hence New Zealand cannot afford to ray that duty, and sends very little there, while we send to New South Wales from 5000 to 6000 tons per month. In Victoria there are 280,779 horses, and must require a large quantity to feed them, yet the price of their oats has, not risen in proportion to the tax, otherwise we would have been able to pay the tax to sell at the. advanced price. On the contrary, we send to New South Wales, a Free Trade country where oats are higher than in Frotected Victoria. Had we on the other hand, had to pay the increased prise on jams, Mr Peacock would not have come over here to escape that duty, and had the Americans to pay the extra duty on their cutlery, the Sheffield manufacturers would have remained at home. This opens up another phase of the argument, Protection while populating America, that required it, it was drawing them from Britain, who could spare them, so both countries were benefitted. So it would be with New Zealand. Let the workmen of Britain who are working for us there come out here. We have at all events beef and mutton to spare; let us invite them out by Protection to consume it in the country, but don't let the manufacturers send their wares here without paying a heavy tax for doing so, and depend upon it, the escaping of that tax is one of the greatest inducements we can offer.
The wonder is not that we are so poor, but that we have existed so long under such adverse circumstances. No wonder we require to borrow in the London market, when we send her £7,000,000 annually for goods, half of which we ought to produce ourselves.
Let us glance at the exports and imports, and see what those tell us. I take it that all countries whose imports are greater than their exports are not doing a healthy business, nor are they in a sound position. Put it thus: If a family are spending more than their earnings, i.e., if they are importing more into their house than their income, or what they have exported and converted into cash, that family will very soon go to the wall, Or, if a mercantile house spends more in its business than derived from that business, bankruptcy must follow. And so it is with a nation. If it imports more goods into the nation than it exports the difference must be drawn from some other source. It may be accumulated capital; if so, we are reducing the value of our assets, or put thus: A man may be earning no money, yet be able to live well, what does he live on but his assets or accumulated wealth. He may have acquired capital enough so that he may be able to live on the interest In that case there is an assured income without decreasing the value of the asset. No nation can be in such a position unless it has vested interests outside of itself in other nations, from which it draws its income: It could then afford to import without export and then only in such a case, to the extent of its income. Are we in that happy position? Have we vested interests in other countries, that we can afford to waste our time here and draw our supplies from other people? On the contrary, other countries have vested interests in us We have mortgaged the country to such an extent that nothing but the greatest activity for all hands will be able to free us. Let us stop employing labour that we can't afford to pay. Let us work to supply our own wants first, then we may be able to make or grow something to sell to other people.page 6
|(We pay) or our imports for 1886 were:—||6,759,013||7,479,921|
|while our exports (our wages) 1886 were:—||6,672,791||6,819,939|
|divided by||2) 746,204|
|Gives for two years (per annum.)||373,102|
This leaves only an apparent difference of 373,102. Not a great sum, but if you analyse the export list you will find that about one-half of the goods on that list have been imported, we have bought them from somebody else; we have paid foreign workmen wages to produce some of our exports. You can't call what comes in a ship to-day and is passed into another tomorrow for the Islands or else where, as exports from this country; it is classed as such. A true export should mean that which is produced in the country, so that in place of being only 373,102 on the wrong side, st ought to show about 1,500,000 less exports than our imports. I may be told that if we sell these imported articles we get the money back into the country again; how much better are we for that? That money has got to be spent in wages in producing something for export, before it can be honestly classed as an export. "Import all you can." says the Auckland Herald, "the more you bring into the country the richer it becomes" a strange process of reasoning this. If you bring a million pound's worth of material into the country and it is consumed, how much richer are we? Exactly in the same position, ready for another million. Would it not be much better to utilize our own internal force and energies, that can be turned into a mine of wealth, from which all the treasures, all our necessities, all our comforts can be gathered, I am surprised that all people cannot see it. and especially newspapers, and those newspapers who take upon themselves to teach their fellow colonists doctrines ruinous to their best interests are traitors to their country, and ought to be treated as such. I regard it as very humiliating that we have people amongst us who either from want of thought or interested purposes are Free Traders. These are the proverbial black sheep of the flock.
The Free Traders' axiom is to buy in the cheapest market and sell in the dearest, but how do they put into practice. They buy their good - in the foreign market, and by the same rule they (the foreigners) are selling in the dearest market hence we the purchasers are their best customers; we are the foreigners' dearest market, hence we may be paying too high for our goods Test it by encouraging local competition, and you will see by results. You will find we have been selling in the cheapest market and buying in the dearest. A Home Market is the best to deal in, to either buy or sell, because all the intermediate expenses in the shape of freight, exchange, middlemen's profit, etc., are dispensed with, being unnecessary; the producer and consumer are brought closer together. Ail those expenses which have got to be added, to what we purchase, and deducted from what we sell, are got rid of. That is the kind of market the Protectionist is striving for, not the visionary cheapest and dearest market the Free Trader has been dreaming of, and whom we have followed so long. He will tell you Protection is granting mono poises to manufacturers. Do not believe it, think it out for yourselves; see whether Protection will not break down the monopolies that at present exist amongst Importers, who are the representatives of your foreiga cheap competition. They have a monopoly becaue their numbers are necessarily fewer than local manufacturers would be. Everyone with ability can mannfacture something, and but very few can be importers. Let us unitedly strive to make importers manufacturers of the wares they deal in, then they will be better colonists. Let them cease to be the medium of sending so much money out of the country: induce them to circulate that money amongst the people from whom it is collected, and patiently abide the issue.
A few words about foreign vessels competing in our coastal trade will show the hardship our own coasters have to put up with. Foreign vessels come here, bring their crews., their own stores, which are of the very cheapest character. The men are paid at the very lowest rates, 35s. per month, while colonial boats pay their crews £5 to £6 per month. They are fed on the produce of this country, are contributing to the taxes of the country. Is there any reason why the foreigners should be allowed to come in and snatch a few freights from those who follow that pursuit. The foreigner has not lent a helping hand in settling t he country, pays nothing towards the maintenance of the country; he has therefore no more right to shore in the fruits of it than a stranger has to come into my orchard and help himself to fruits he never helped to plant or maintain. The one robs the orchard, the other robs the nation. He is a floating foreigner, who has no right to participate in our show without paying the proper feee for admission. We want Protection against such.
I have no desire to be selfish or dogmatic, and I would ask Free Traders to be equally page 7 generous. Let me say to them you have had a long innings, you have tried to govern this country; your mistaken Free Trade policy has been a signal failure. Are the people prosperous, contented and happy; where are the happy homes and bright firesides, that has been so glowingly pictured forth by some of your statesmen; has your waste lands of the colony been dotted over by those visionary smiling homesteads; have you no unemployed, where of necessity you have to dole out a few weeks' labor at State expense, to save from starvation; have you made provision for the young men of the Colony, after having spent large sums upon their education, that those young men can be profitably employed at home. I say, No! Then, in all fairness, I ask you Free Traders to stand to one side, let us give Protection a chance, and we will show how, as if by fairy wand, all those things you have aimed at, and striven for, but never could attain, will be successfully accomplished under our regime. We will undertake to provide employment for all the people, and from the people's weekly earnings will follow those happy homes you have so idly dreamt of. We will undertake to populate the country without spending one shilling of State money, and with a superior class who will come here learned in their various crafts, employ and impart that knowledge to you. Unlike your system that while the people here were only averaging four days work per week, you have taken from their four days' pay enough to bring out immigrants, whose competition has been equal to reducing their four days' work to three. Can you deny it? You have been obliged to build up a huge Charitable Aid System, brought on by enforced idleness of the people, enforced because you encouraged the glutting of our markets at fabulons prices, wares manufactured by cheap labour. We will undertake to abolish this incubus, because under our new system of National Industry, employment will be found for the young and the aged, even the maimed we will find something congenial to the necessities of their case: we will settle the people on land by a scheme far superior to yours. Yours has been one of necessity, or a Charitable Aid in another form, where the people are taxed to put them there, and to maintain for a time; we, on the other hand, will get voluntary settlers, men who will clear their own bush, build their own homesteads and make the wilderness blossom as a rose.
We also undertake to provide a home market for the farmers, a home market made up of an industrious working population, who will be able to buy at increased prices all the products of the farm, while you, on the other hand, have left the farmer to seek a market on the other side of the world, where, after the risk and expense incurred in sending his goods there has left him no margin wherewith to employ fresh labour. You have left him no choice, he must either send his goods there or leave them to perish at home, or further still, a little more enforced idleness and produce nothing beyond his own requirements.
You have wisely adopted and spent a large sum upon a National System of Education, but you have failed of utilise it, and put it to practical use; you are allowing other countries to reap the benefit of your expenditure. It is like the farmer who tills and sows, produces a beautiful field of grain, but neglects to harvest it, and it is left to perish. We will take over that system lop of many superfluous branches, teach a sound commercial education only, draft them from the schools to the workshop, factory, or the desk, who in turn, will retire into the rural districts on a competency, making room for the younger ones to make their mark and a name in this new and grand country.
We will enhance the value of property, so that in place of being a burden to its owners, it will become a source of revenue, to be re-distributed amongst the people in wages, which the improved state of things will warrant; we will reduce your taxes by getting others to share those burdens with us. We promise to do all this and much more, all we ask is give us a fair trial, if we don't accomplish what we undertake, the power that adopts a protective tariff can undo it again. We claim to have made out a fair case, have put the matter in a fair light, have established good precedents, and if it has resulted in good to countries that have adopted Protection, we can reasonably claim that the same prosperity will follow in New Zealand,
"To put the matter in another form, it may thus be stated—to Protection there are two page 8 parties—the Protector and the Protected. In this colony, the Protectors are the farmers who are tilling the soil, and endeavouring to the best of their ability to settle the country; the Protected are those who are engaged in other industries, manufacturing the articles the farmer needs for his use. The effect of the Protection is that the farmer has his market limited to the narrowest range and obtains the smallest price for his produce, whiist in return he obtains only £83 10s value of goods for every £100 of produce, and yet Mr Moss says this is a great gain to the farmer. The mischief does not end here The Customs tariff was adopted for the purpose of raising revenue, but as these industries have been started one after another, the manufacturers have transferred the duties on the articles they have made from the revenue to their own pockets, and when the shrinkage became so large as to cause such a falling off in the revenue, the property tax had to be imposed. This tax is collected from the farmer, on the value of his land with all implements, improvements, etc. The extent to which it is necessary to replace losses by Protective duties cannot be precisely ascertained, but it is certainly to more than one-half. If when the farmer is writing out his cheque, he will reflect that if we had Free Trade his cheque need only be for half the amount, he will become aware that Protection is a farmers' question."
According to this Protection is to be the ruin of the fanner. If providing a market at home for his products, and at better prices, without the losses of risk and freights means ruin, then my understanding must be sadly at fault. I claim to have had some experience, and some knowledge of a farmer's wants, but the mode of reasoning and style of arguments contained in the above extract is beyond my comprehension, and I think must also be to the ordinary common sense mind. And for a public journal to try and mislead the farmers by telling them that Free Trade is for their benefit, and Protection against them, shows a heartless disregard for our nation's welfare.
I have noticed many comparisons made in the indebtedness of this country with others as to the amount of taxes per head of the population, to show we are not worse than our neighbours. Now, I don't think this is a fair way of putting it; the ability to pay should also be taken into consideration. Our taxes may be £5 per head, but it may be the last £5 we have, and no prospect of getting another, whereas another country may be taxed £6 per head, and have £6 per head left, and good prospects before them. All things considered I think that New Zealand is the heaviest taxed people in the civilised world.
Importers generally object to a Protective duty naturally so; as things are they have all the Protection to themselves. What means these huge subsidies to mails and cables? That is their Protection What are ail those bonded warehouses that require such a huge army of officials to look after Protection stores for the importers. Manufacturers are supposed to pay wages as he goes along, but the importers awaits the chance of a customer, before he pays his duty.
Again, without local competition, the people have no means of ascertaining the correct value of the goods they purchase, viz.: the cost of production, but continue to pay what is demanded, whether it is a fair price or not. As a case in point, these last 20 years the average price of Register Grates was 50s to £3. A gentleman well up in that trade arrived in Auckland some few years ago, saw there was lots of money in them at the price, started manufacturing, intending to supply the wholesale houses, but owing to the large stocks on. hand would not buy. He had then to undersell to the builder or furnisher, so that competition between the maker and importers has brought the same article down to 18s and £1, and they have probably a fair profit yet, and only for this we might have gone on for another 20 years paying three times the cost of production, with out the slightest suspicion that anything was wrong. Another instance: Blasting powder used to sell on an average at 9d per lb. A powder mill was started in Otago, the merchants there immediately became so generous, that they consented to sell at cost price 5½d, and there I believe it remains. Candles that we used to pay 9d or 10d per lb for, since local competition comes in the fieid you can get at 6d. I could go on quoting numberless instances to show the benefit derived from local competition, but lest I should weary you with illustrations, I will draw this to a close with a fervent hope that to those who are Free Traders, I may have said something that will cause them to re-consider the stand they have taken on this all important subject. The welfare of the country depends upon it; men's time is their capital if utilised; let us by our united efforts help them to turn their time into capital by affording facilities for employment; don't call it selfish by debarring others from competing with us. It was selfishness which brought us out here, viz, to better our positions, then let us be consistent, and strive to better ourselves further by carrying out in its entirety our improved policy of 8 hours' work, 8 hours' recreation, and 8 hours' rest. To those who are wavering and have not declared tor either side, I would ask them calmly and carefully to weigh well the arguments for and against, examine the evidences with an unbiassed mind, look back over the career of other countries, similarly situated as our own. note well the turning points in the progress of their history, and you will see that prosperity begins with the advent of Protection; look at the Australian papers of to day, and you will find that in New South Wales a large party are struggling to burst the page 9 bonds that binds them to rely on foreign nations for their supplies, and I commend the self-reliant spirit that actuates them. On the other hand, do we sec any disposition on the part of the Victorians to return to their early love, Free Trade? None! Then, sir. I think with such examples before us, our demands are not unreasonable; we cannot be blamed for desiring to follow in the footsteps of nations greater than ourselves, their experience ought to be ours, let us cast off our swaddling clothes and become men, men of ability, men of genius, men, with a self-reliant determination to overcome every obstacle. Then, sir, the future of New Zealand will be crowned with happiness and prosperity.
To the limited Protectionist I would say why limit it, if Protection is good, we cannot have too much of a good thing; it is our nature and our duty to Protect our young, not by half-feeding or clothing, but thoroughly, until they are able to take their place side by side with their fellows in this world. We, as a nation, are almost the youngest infants in the world's family, yet we think that we have arrived at that age, that we no longer desire to be fed by the pap supplied us by our parents; we desire to go out from under their control and supply ourselves with something more congenial to our matured tastes. We have arrived at that stage in which we insist in supplying our own wants in our own way in this our future home, and we are able to do so, and more we will also provide accomodation to relieve our aged parents of part of her young family, whose accomodation has been one of the very scantiest, and from their overcrowded state are dependent on other countries for their food, while we have enougn, and a large surplus to dispose of.
I feel certain there are many in oar midst who are advocates of Free Trade; who are good and intelligent citizens too, but I venture to think and hope that they are only so because they have not sufficiently studied it in all its bearings, that from the nature of their training and the calling they pursue, they have not been brought directly into contact with foreign competition. Of all pursuits that men follow, who are likely to advocate Free Trade: the mining class are, theirs is a business in which there can be no foreign competition, and the mistaken nations that if Protective duties were imposed, the articles they consume would be increased to them, hence they look after No I and cry out Free Trade, thus helping to bring about the general depression. Many of you may be perforced to follow raining for Jack of other industries which might be more congenial to your tastes, your families growing up are certainly entitled to a choice of work; mining, idling, or emigrating is all they have to choose from here Then let us join hands and be unanimous in determining that Protection shall be our policy; as a farmer I claim to have some knowledge of his requirements, and I say give us Protection, and make a home market for our produce; as a manufacturer I demand that the facilities afforded by State assistance to the commission agents for foreign labour shall be removed, and that cheap labour of foreign countries shall not be allowed to compote with us. Even the prison labour of other countries are brought into open competition with the honest workman here; is that a healthy state of things? No, as a tradesman I protest against it, and I appeal to you all, as men, to raise your voices in denunciation of this great wrong.
I have endeavoured to give you arguments in favor of Protection, I have backed up those arguments by facts, and the experience of other nations that have adopted it, I have not tried to be eloquent, but I am sincere, your welfare is my welfare. Let us be consistent, do not be selfish as individuals in their different interests, but as colonists, as members of one great family, strive for the common weal, self-preservation is the first law of nature With this motto before you I feel certain the verdict will be a Protective Policy for New Zealand.
Printed at the Advertiser Office, Grahamstown.