# A Challenge to Free Traders

## A Challenge to Free Traders.

The following letter, written by Mr Thomas H. Dudley, late American consul at Liverpool, to Mr Charles Edward Rawlins, of Liverpool, has found its way into print, and merits careful perusal:— Camden, N. J.,

To Charles Edward Rawlings, Esq.,

Liverpool.

### Agricultural Products of this Country.

The Agricultural Department at Washington has just published an estimate of, some of the agricultural products of our page 4 country for the year 1870. Their value is put down at 1,904,480,659doL I suppose this to be a great under-valuation; but, taking it as stated, let us examine it, and make an estimate as to what we consume at home and what we sell abroad:—
 Dol. Grain or corn, all kinds, is valued at 1,247,112,000 The hay crop at 326,851,280 Cotton at 231,000,000 Potatoes at 78,971,000 Tobacco at 21,545,591

In 1878 the corn which you imported from all countries amounted in value to £58,064,875. This, I suppose, is its computed value when landed in England, and not the value at the place from whence it was imported. Of this quantity only a fraction more than one-half was from the United States—say what we received for it in value in our money, 142,936,995 dol.—and if other foreign countries took 60,000,000dol. more in value, then, as compared with our crop for 1879, you would leave at home for domestic consumption an amount valued at 1,044,178, 005dol. The hay crop is nearly all consumed at home, and so is the potato crop. The one is valued at 325,851,280 dol, the other at 78,97l,000dol. The value of cotton imported by you is stated to be £33,519,549. Supposing that two thirds of this was from the United States, the value of what you imported from our country would then amount in our money to 108,156,41 Idol; and if we shipped to other foreign ports 10,000,000dol in value, there would be left for home consumption an amount worth 112,843,589dol. The value of manufactured tobacco imported into England is stated at about £2,500,000. Now, if two-thirds of this came from the United States—say 8,066,666dol.—there was left over 13,000,000dol worth for home consumption. The result in respect to the article named is this:—We, in our manufactures at home, used or consumed, as the figures stand, over 1,575,000,000 dol in value. While I have given you, as I think, full credit for all if not more than you took of what we exported, 1 am satisfied the amount we consumed at home was at least one-fifth more than is stated, owing to under-valuation of our production, and that our consumption of these five agricultural products amounted in value to over 1,900,000,000dol, as against less than 330,000,000 which we exported or sold abroad. Now this estimate of the agricultural products of our country is limited to the five named articles, and does not include meat, hogs, cattle, sheep, or horses; or the vegetable crop (excepting potatoes), which in this country, both in variety and quantity, is enormous, and constitutes a large item in the food of our people; or the fruit crop, including the apple, peach, pear, and grape, and the smaller fruits that are raised by the ton; or the fish, poultry, eggs, rice, butter, or cheese. None of these are included, and when taken together they amount in value to many millions of dollars. Now of the agricultural products which we raise I do not suppose one-fifteenth part is exported abroad, certainly not more than this quantity, while the remainder remains at home, and is consumed or used by our people who are engaged in manufacturing and commercial pursuits, &c.

### A Radical Difference between England and America.

In the discussion of the question of Protection and Free Trade, your people do not take into consideration the difference between our country and yours with regard to land and population. You have a scarcity of land and a redundancy of population, and in consequence cannot raise sufficient food to feed your people. We in the United States have a redundancy of land and a scarcity of population, and in consequence can not only raise sufficient food to feed our own people, but a very large surplus for export. There is scarcely one article of food that you can raise or produce in sufficient quantity to supply or feed you own people, while with us there is not one of the staples which we cannot raise in abundance, and with a large surplus. Of course I do not mean to include in this category articles of foreign production, such as tea and coffee, but domestic articles, and in most instances those common to both countries. It is admitted that your agricultural production varies in quantity in different years; a good harvest yields more than a bad; but there is no year when your produce is sufficient to feed your people. You do not and cannot raise enough. Now let us look at this for a moment, and see to what extent; this deficiency exists, and we will take as an example the year 1878, which is not an exceptional one. You paid during this year as follows for the following articles:—
 Cattle, calves, sheep, and lambs alive £7,252,606 Meat, including beef and pork, &c. 12,838,898 Butter 9,954,053 Cheese 4,946,686 Breadstuffs, including corn, flour, wheat, &c: 59,064,875 Eggs 2,511,09 6 Fish 1,541,830 Lard 1,787,874 Potatoes 2,386,143 Rice 3,200,843 Total £105,484,905

This table shows for the ten articles above-named, in our money, over 510,000,000dol. Now, this being your condition, and since you have every year to buy these staples and indispensable articles of food, it is your interest to get them as cheaply as possible; hence your policy is to induce other nations, including the United States, to devote themselves to agricultural pursuits; for the more foreign nations you can persuade to engage in this industry the cheaper the food will be which you are compelled to buy, and to this extent you are, or will be, the gainers by the operation.