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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 51

Foreign and Domestic Trade

Foreign and Domestic Trade.

Q. If we had perfect free trade, what amount and kind of foreign products would be imported?

A. 1. Not more than one pound's worth in one hundred of all our agricultural products could possibly be imported, if there were no duty on foreign products of like kind, and if there never had been any. 2. Not two pounds' worth in every hundred of all the manufactured goods, of every kind, which we produce, could be imported if there were no duties upon foreign goods of like kind, and if there never had been any.

Q. To what extent would labour in the United States be interfered with if all taxation on imports except for revenue, were abrogated?

A. It would be extremely difficult to show that as many as five persons out of every hundred, who are employed in gainful occupations in this country, could be injuriously affected by any competition of labourers in other countries, whose products page 21 could be sent here, even if there were no duties whatever on foreign imports; and if the changes were judiciously made new occupations would open for them faster than their old occupations would be affected.

Q. In 1883, the railroads of the United States carried more than 400 million (400,453,439) tons of freight. How many ships would it have required to have transported this amount of freight across the ocean?

A. One hundred thousand of one thousand tons each, making four trips each in a year.

Q. Are there as many ships of this size in all the world?

A. No.

Q. How many ships does Great Britain and her colonies control or own?

A. In 1884, about 30,000, of a total tonnage capacity of 8,500,000 tons, and an average tonnage each of 283 tons.

Q. Suppose all of these ships should be engaged in transporting goods from Europe to the United States, and make an average of four trips each year, how many tons could they convey?

A. 34,000,000; or less than one-tenth of what our railroads transport.

Q. If 30,000 British ships should undertake to flood the United States with the products of foreign labour, would their owners propose to give these products gratuitously to the American people?

A. They would propose to sell every particle of such products at the highest possible price.

Q. In what would they have to take their pay for such sales?

A. In equivalent products of American labour; and when a man obtains some result of another man's labour by giving an equivalent result of his own labour, as for example, when the farmer gives wheat to the shoemaker for a pair of boots—there would be no loss, but rather a great gain to both parties for such exchange of products and services, unless one party in some way cheated the other.

Q. Would the American be obliged to buy any of these 30,000 shiploads of foreign pauper labour?

A. They would not buy or exchange a single dollar's worth page 22 unless they felt that it would be an advantage for them to do so; and when the Yankees have forgotten how to make a good bargain it will be full time for their Government to undertake to teach and protect them.