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increase the price in the loaf, none of them have condescended to refute the evidence I submitted in support of that opinion. I took the prices of corn at Mark Lane for two years, and showed that an increase of 5s. per quarter did not raise the cost of bread ; in fact, it was only when the increase reached ios. that a halfpenny was added to the four-pound loaf. I have not seen any refutation of the clear and concise statements of Lord Dunraven on this question in this Review for March, 1891. He said:
“The duty on wheat in France in 1882 was only 2:8d. per cwt. ; in 1885 it was raised to 15d. per cwt., or 536 per cent. According to some economists, the price of wheat should have gone up in like proportion, and the masses have had to pay dearer for their bread. But what are the facts ? The price of wheat actually fell from an average of 10'08s. per cwt. in 1883, the year following the low duty, to 9:29. in 1886, the year following the increased duty, or 8 per cent. Instead of the poor man in France having to pay dearer for his bread, he paid less in 1886 than in 1883, as the following table shows : Bread
1883 1884 1885 1886 d.
d. d. d. First quality
1.57 1.49 1.39 I.39 Second quality
I.22 Third quality.
I.17 I.13 1.04 1.09 “In Germany, too, I find the same results follow from increased duties. Wheat went down from 10-305. per cwt. in 1882, when the duty was 6d. per cwt., to 9.39s. per cwt. in 1889, or 9 per cent., when the duty was 2s. 6d. per cwt., or 500 per
cent. higher, while bread remained at about the same price. Internal development appears in both these cases to have more than compensated for any restriction of foreign imports, and it is only fair to remember that the resources of the British Empire in respect of food supply are immeasurably greater than those of France or Germany."
Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, I am aware, said a short time ago in the House of Commons : posing a duty is imposed upon these articles coming from foreign countries here, what would be the natural effect? The price would be raised by something more than the duty. If the price was not raised, what good would it be to the colonies ? " I do not despair of convincing the President of the Board of Trade that the price would not be increased, and that the result would be an immense advantage to both Great Britain and her colonies. I respectfully submit that the price of corn is controlled not by the cost of production, of freight or insurance, or of the duty, but by the question of demand and supply. I have already given the testimony of a gentleman well acquainted with both Canada and the United States, Sir Lyon Playfair, that in a few years the United States will have no corn for export, and that Canada will be able to supply all that now comes from that country. Mr. Staveley Hill, M.P., who has an intimate personal knowledge of the great Canadian North-West, said at a conference of the Midland Union of Conservative Associations last July :
“He knew Canada and Manitoba well, and he believed that during the next ten years they would be able to supply all that amount of grain which
the population of England required, and which could not be supplied by England itself. If that was so supplemented by grain from other colonies, we should see ourselves absolutely independent of any grain coming from Russia, the United States, France, or any other countries that put on prohibitive duty.”
The New York Sun in a recent issue went into a series of calculations which show that in about seven years the surplus corn of the United States will be required for the consumption of its own population. All this points to the necessity of stimulating the production of corn in India, Canada, and Australasia in such a way as fully to meet the demand in this country. The imposition of a small duty in the meantime will not stop the supply from the United States, for the best of reasons, that they have no other market so good, even if they had to add 55. a quarter to the freight and insurance they now pay. It does not matter to the buyer whether the wheat pays ten cents freight, as it may do if grown near the sea-coast, or forty cents if grown in Manitoba. The cost of getting it to market is paid by the seller, whether freight or duty. In 1887, wheat in London brought 78. 3d., in 1890 45. per bushel, a difference of 45 per cent., yet this fall in price did not lessen production. I will now endeavour to show Sir Michael Hicks Beach how both England and the colonies may be benefited without an increase in the price. The State of Dakota, in the United States, and the Province of Manitoba lie side by side, and are both famous for the production of the finest wheat in the world. Where will the hundreds of thousands of agricul
turists seeking homes annually in the New World go if the wheat raised in the Canadian North-West comes into this great mart free, while that grown in Dakota pays 55. a quarter before it can compete with it? In a short time a large number of men would, under these circumstances, take their capital and industry to build up Canada, who would otherwise go under a foreign flag instead of becoming a source of wealth and strength to the Empire. But what will be the effect upon the artisans of this country? Let me answer that question in the words of Sir William Leng at a recent meeting of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce. He said :
“In other words, one Australian settler, with a wife and three children, is about as good a customer as sixty Americans, seventy-five Germans, or seventy Frenchmen. One million such families would be worth as much to British labour as the whole American nation. Twenty shillings' worth of Colonial produce secures a demand for nineteen shillings' worth of British labour products. Every quarter of wheat imported from Australia secures from fifteen to twenty times the trade and employment a quarter of American wheat does; and every quarter from Canada thirty-five times as much as one from Russia.”
I think I have shown that the price would not be increased by the imposition of the duty, but even if it were it would be to an insignificant extent, and the consumer could be relieved in other ways. Mr. Chaplin, the Minister of Agriculture, laid a return upon the table of the House of Commons in April, 1891, which showed that the duty of is. per quarter remitted in 1869 had caused no decrease in
the price of bread, and that if it had been continued it would have produced over £2,000,000 of revenue in 1890. It is therefore obvious that the proposed duty would furnish the Chancellor of the Exchequer with the means of reducing the duty on foreign teas and coffee to a much greater extent than would meet any possible enhanced cost of bread.
One objection has been raised to which I am almost ashamed to allude, and that is, that the United States would resent such a policy and retaliate.
I am not surprised that Mr. Carnegie, whose great desire is to see Canada forced to become part of the United States, should attack any policy calculated to consolidate the Empire. How could they retaliate ? Would they refuse to send their wheat to the best market they could still find in the world? They would cease to be Americans if they did. Can they adopt a tariff more prohibitory, either to Canada or England, than the McKinley Act? I am glad to see that the Chancellor of the Exchequer repudiates this humiliating doctrine. On February 17, 1891, he used the following language in the House of Commons :
“I think it possible that the advantages of the consolidation of the Empire may be so great that, if the increase in the price of the loaf is extremely small, the producers, with whom the power now lies far more than with the consumers, may not object.
“I differ from the right honourable Member for Leeds, who supposed that if we had any customs union or arrangement by which favour was shown to the colonies, that the United States would have a right to interfere. I do not think the United