CONGRESSIONAL RECORD--SENATE (P. 3962, April 23, 1894)
Relevant section in BLUE BOLD FACE

    The amendment was ordered to be engrossed, and the bill to be read a third time.
    The bill was read the third time, and passed.
    Mr. CAREY.  I move that the Senate ask for a conference with the House of Representatives on the bill and amendments.
    The motion was agreed to.
    By unanimous consent, the Vice-President was authorized to appoint the conferees on the part of the Senate.


    The VICE-PRESIDENT.  The hour of 1 o'clock having arrived, the Chair lays before the Senate the unfinished business.
    The Senate, as in Committee of the Whole, resumed the consideration of the bill (H. R. 4684) to reduce taxation, to provide revenue for the Government, and for other purposes.
    Mr. QUAY.  With the consent of the Senate, I have agreed to yield the floor to-day upon the pending bill to the Senator from Minnesota [Mr. WASHBURN].
    Mr. WASHBURN.  Mr. President, in all the legislation that has come before Congress in the history of the Government, there has been none probably that has created so general an interest and so profoundly stirred the public mind of the country, carrying apprehension and alarm, as the measure now under consideration in the Senate, unless perhaps we except the legislation between 1850 and the breaking out of war in 1861, including the repeal of the Missouri compromise in 1854, and that soon followed it.  The questions considered during that period, however, were more of sentiment and morals than such as relate to the material or economic interests of the country.
    Measures looking to substantial changes in methods of raising revenue, and the application of economic principles, have at all times attracted more or less attention with those whose interests are more directly and immediately involved.  Such was the case as far back as the consideration of the so-called Walker tariff law in 1846, as the debates in Congress at that time clearly show.  This was an ad valorem tariff, the handmaid and near relation of free trade, and as nearly as possible an ideal Democratic tariff, but one that paralyzed industries, discouraged business, and impoverished the country and led up to the panic and crash of 1857, leaving the Government with a bankrupt Treasury, and an impaired credit, and a prelude to the disgraceful condition of things which existed when the Democratic party surrendered power in 1861.
    The so-called Morrill tariff law, and those following later, largely increasing duties demanded by the exigencies of the war situation, were discussed with great interest in both Houses of Congress. Such, also, was the case with the Morrison bill, of horizontal structure, and the Mills bill, not without elements of fairness and justice, both of which, though not enacted into law, created a widespread interest through the country.  The tariff revision of 1883, where duties were reduced, also excited much attention and created great interest throughout the country, as was also the case with the tariff law of 1890, or the so-called McKinley bill.
    But, Mr. President, there has been no instance in the history of tariff legislation where the whole population of the country has been so deeply interested, excited, and alarmed as at the present time.  And how could it be otherwise?  There is scarcely an interest in any State of the Union, and certainly in no Northern State, which is not imperiled and threatened under the provisions of this bill--a bill not for protection and creation, but for destruction.
    Mr. President, the effect of this bill, so far as the New England and other Eastern States are concerned, can not fail to be most disastrous, for I can see no possible escape from the closing of their great mills and factories, rendering valueless millions invested in plant; or else largely reducing the price of labor employed to substantially the bases of foreign labor, either of which must prove unfortunate and disastrous to those great industrial communities.  And all this will be true, to a less extent perhaps, in my own State and the other States of the Northwest, engaged so largely in agricultural pursuits.
    The people of Minnesota, prior to the enactment of the law of 1890, have been to a limited extent only, direct beneficiaries of protective tariff legislation.  The interests of our people have been in the productions of the soul and in the creation of real wealth: yet in all the years since the settlement of the State, and during its development, intelligent observation and experience have taught them to believe in the policy of protection, and that too on its broadest lines and basic principles.  They have learned to know by practical experience that the prosperity of  each portion of the country can only be coincident of that of the whole.  In other words, that the producing sections of the country could prosper only as the manufacturing and industrial sections prosper.  They have learned that the best market for their products was the home market, furnished by the development and maintenance of home industries.
    Under the inspiration of this protective policy, they have seen industrial development throughout the entire land that has no parallel in history.  They have seen the furnaces lighted on both sides of the Alleghenies; they have seen the iron rails span the continent upon a half dozen different lines, and a railroad system developed reaching every State, county; and hamlet almost in the land, with transportation of their products reduced by one-half or more.  In the past few years they have seen industries of every kind and description, and in all localities, spring into existence as if by magic, until the country has become one great workshop, and millions of intelligent laborers employed on a basis never known under other conditions or in other countries, and coincident with all this development they have had furnished them a home market for their products.
    They have learned that the well-paid, intelligent wage-workers of our own country are larger and better consumers of their products than the poorly paid and half-starved laborers of other countries; they have come to know that the laborer in New England, receiving from $1.50 to $2 per day for a day's work, is a better consumer for their flour, corn, their pork and their beef, and all their great productions, than the pinched and poverty-stricken laborer of other countries, receiving but 40 and 50 cents a day for the same service, and able to maintain an existence little above the animal, consuming food scant in quantity and poor in quality.
    With scarcely an exception in a period of thirty years, the best market in the world for all this production has been found at home, and so upon general principles it has followed that the theories of doctrinaires and the clamor and appeals of demagogues have been disregarded and Minnesota, from the day of its admission as a State into the Union in 1858, has remained strong and sturdy in its adherence to the policy of protection of American industries and American labor.
    I have said that people of Minnesota have been only to a limited extent direct beneficiaries of protective tariff legislation.  This is true.  Until the tariff act of 1890, their products have received no just or adequate protection against the competition of other countries.
    In the enactment of the law of 1890 the farmers of the West for the first time in the history of tariff legislation received that to which they were entitled.  It is the first instance that duties have been levied sufficiently large to operate as a barrier to the competition of the farm products of the Canadian Provinces.
    In 1889, we imported from Canada 11,365,881 bushels of barley, valued at $7,721,475; in 1890 substantially the same amount, and this was done under a duty of 10 cents a bushel.  In 1893, with a duty of 30 cents per bushel, we imported 1,969,761 bushels only at a valuation of $921,301, a falling off of over 9,000,000 bushels.  The production of this 9,000,000 bushels was transferred from Canada to States of the Northwest, including Wisconsin, Minnesota, the two Dakotas, and Montana.
    The present bill reduces the duty on barley to 30 per cent ad valorem, which, with the valuation probably put upon it in Canada, will make the duty less even than prior to 1890, so that there would seem to be no good reason, with this reduction of duty, why the same or even larger amounts will not be imported from Canada than prior to 1890.
    This is one practical object lesson as to the effect of this bill on the productions of the West.  I could go on with other productions, as potatoes, hay, flax, hops, eggs, pease, cheese, and other food and agricultural products, and show the same results would apply to them, but will not do so at this time, but shall take occasion when the bill is considered by paragraphs to treat the subject more in detail.
    But, Mr. President, there is another provision in this bill which will affect the farmers of the Northwest more disastrously than even the reduction of duties to which I have referred, and that is the repeal of the reciprocity provisions in the law of 1890.  there is probably no section of the country where the effect of reciprocity treaties with foreign nations consummated by the wisdom and persistent efforts of Mr. Blaine, under the late Administration, have so marked and favorable as the States of the Northwest.
    No legislation has been so favorably received and hailed with so much delight in the Northwester States as the reciprocity legislation in the act of 1890.  In these treaties no interests were more carefully guarded and advanced than the agricultural interests, and more especially those of the Northwestern States.  No one appreciated more fully the importance of furnishing new markets to our agricultural products than Mr. Blaine, and he seemed to have had this constantly in view in the preparation of these treaties, not only with Spain and the South American Republics, but also with Germany. Go to the next page

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