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they must take advantage of this action of America and Germany. It is the ironmasters and the home-labour class that suffer. How far a change in our fiscal system will check dumping is not clear, for it is evidently a temporary and exceptional proceeding, but that all manufactured articles of iron and steel imported here should contribute something to the revenue of the country must, I think, be evident to the business man who carefully considers the facts.
The South African war showed that there was a true ring of patriotism in the British Empire, but the parochial squabbles of British statesmen in party warfare, "must give us pause." Cecil Rhodes, the broadest minded man I ever met, had visions of a great empire. He wrote: "The whole thing lies in the question, can we invent some tie with our mother country that will prevent separation? must be a practical one. The curse is that English politicians cannot see the future."
Mr. Chamberlain is desirous to restore preferential tariffs with our colonies, to knit together more solidly by commercial links the patriotism of our race. A firm fiscal system means the unification of the British Empire. What would Greece have been if all her colonies had been connected together by such ties as even now bind the British Empire? or what would it have been if it had anticipated the dream of Cobden of co-operation in business, and of amity in trade? She failed because she committed upon herself an unhappy despatch. Her existence was meteoric. Having all the elements of a magnificent Empirenumbers, valour, strength, physique, climate, brains, knowledge, undying literature, inimitable art; her states, her colonies, and her heroes destroyed each other, and she was obliterated as a nation by Rome. Had Pericles been allowed to have his way there would have been a great Grecian Empire.
Spain lost her colonies, and where is she? Our colonies are coming to our help and there is sunshine through clouds. Several colonial congresses have been held where this important question has been discussed. The first took place in London in 1887, when the feasibility of promoting closer union between the various parts of the Empire by means of an imperial customs tariff was the main subject considered The next congress took place in Ottawa in 1894. The expressed desire of the colonies was to secure reciprocity
of treatment, and open markets for their products. Preferential rates within the Empire were favourably considered. The next congress was held in London in 1896 under the presidency of Mr. Chamberlain. The principal subjects discussed were the closer union of the Empire through commercial co-operation, and the exclusion of the idea of taxing food and goods with any view of raising prices. In 1897 Canada passed an Act giving the United Kingdom a 25 per cent. preference on all imported goods; it is now 33 per cent. New Zealand has followed suit. In 1901 a meeting of Colonial Premiers took place in London, again under the presidency of Mr. Chamberlain, and the present great fiscal political turmoil is a consequence of the discussions that then took place.
What will be the end of it? Let us hope a more scientific fiscal policy at home, an elastic revenue, greater credit, continuous employment for our working men, reduction of poor rates, a united, self-supporting, self-contained, impregnable Empire, which, with the aid of the United States, will eventually make the Anglo-Celtic race the dominant and controlling power of the world, fulfilling the first object of the great mission -"Peace on Earth."
Sir GUILFORD MOLESWORTH, K.C.I.E., said that he thought that the chief objection to the proposed fiscal policy lay in the fallacious assumption that the duties would involve an increased price to the consumer. Experience showed the contrary. Prices, especially those of corn, were determined by the world's level of prices, and that level was determined by all sorts of conditions, such as currency, production, and transport. It might be laid down as a grand axiom that when an article was of home production a duty which was not prohibitive would not raise the price. It stimulated home production, and as a rule the burden of the duty fell upon the foreigner. When the article could not be produced at home, the burden of the duty fell upon the consumer. To unthinking persons or shallow thinkers this appeared very paradoxical; but many facts influenced the question. The duty on wheat in France in 1884 was Is. In 1885 it was raised to 5s. 3d., but the price of wheat did not rise. When, however, the duty was raised to the prohibitive rate of 12s. 24d., the price rose. The same thing was true as to Germany and Italy. A committee of the Belgian House of Representatives reported in 1891 that when duties were imposed on wheat the price fell. In the Colony of Victoria, where there was an export duty of 9s. 8d. a quarter on wheat, bread was cheaper than in New
South Wales, where wheat was admitted duty free. The reason was that the Victorian farmer, being protected against foreign wheat, was able to grow corn with confidence, and he went in for growing it more than he would have done under other circumstances. The history of the Corn Laws in the latter part of the 18th century showed similar results. The abolition of the Corn Laws in 1765 was followed by a rise in wheat from an average of 33s. 3d., to an average of 425. 2d. In 1801 or 1802, when there were practically free imports, the price rose to 119s. 6d. a quarter. Select committees reported, in 1813 and 1814, that the high prices which then existed, when there was virtually free trade, were due to undue dependence on foreign supplies, and they advised that the Cor Laws should be re-enacted. In 1835, the price fell to 395. 4d. under a strict Corn Law. It was generally supposed that Corn Laws kept up prices to the limits of free imports, but that was not the case. Free import into England naturally caused a demand of the foreign supplies, and there was a tendency for the foreign supplies to rise. The paper stated that Adam Smith was the father of free trade, and he was; but the free trade of Adam Smith was very different from the free trade of the present day. Adam Smith argued against monopolies, prohibitions, and high prices, which amounted to a prohibition. It was absolutely against his principles that we should have manufactured articles free; and he said that, if there was free import for manufactured articles, English manufacturers would, to a certain extent, be ruined. Adam Smith never contemplated such changes as had now taken place, and he would never have advocated the free import of corn if he had known that it would have amounted to 1,800 times the amount which he had fixed as the extent to which corn might be imported without damaging the farmer.
Mr. J. W. WILLANS said that they had in the paper a political discussion, and he did not know whether the meeting could return to scientific lines. In 1872 and 1873, the whole course of prices was inflated by the Franco-German war, and Scotch pig iron, which had been generally from 50s. to 60s, a ton, went up to 105s. or 106s. Cotton, which in 1900 was as low as 4 d., stood at 103d. in 1873. In the same year, a recognised quality of English wool rose from the normal price of 9d. or 10d. a pound to about 2s. 2d. These high prices were due to the war, and when the war was over there was a great collapse of prices. In 1885 and 1886 there was a Royal Commission on the Depression of Trade; but when that Commission reported they did not say that the depression was due to foreign tariffs, and the great disadvantage which England suffered in allowing foreign productions to have a free market, while foreign markets were protected against English goods. On the contrary, the Commission said that England had better go on as it was, and keep its markets free, whether other countries kept theirs free or not. Mr. Gladstone,
quoting in part from the words of Scripture, and adapting them to meet the case, said, "If a nation smites you on one cheek by a protective policy, and you imitate them, and have a protective policy because they have one, you will smite yourself upon the other cheek." That is just what would happen. If we kept our own markets open we should be open to compete with all the world in every market of the world. It was a mistake to suppose that the price of corn was not increased by an import duty. Of course, in the main, the price went up and down according to the yearly production, independently of the amount of duty. The great controlling influence in price was the amount of production and the demand for the produce. The duty was a percentage added to the market price. Another element in the reduction of the prices of foreign wheat was the reduced cost of transport from the other end of the world. In 1849, when the abolition of the corn duty took effect, there was a fall in the price of wheat equivalent to the exact amount of the duty which was then taken off, namely, 6s. a quarter. In 1850, the price fell further, and, in 1851, it was lower still. Then came the Crimean War, and the price immediately went up. In 1855, it reached 74s. 8d. But that rise was independent of any question of duty. The differences between the prices of corn in England, and the prices in France and in Germany were as nearly as possible in correspondence with the amount of the duty of the latter countries. This fact was shown by official figures. Duty was an increase in cost price. It was all nonsense to say that the duty was paid by the foreign importer and not by the consumer. Duties of 5 or 6 or 10 per cent. could not be imposed without the consumer paying them. There were cross currents which tended to affect the exact degree in which the consumer seemed to bear the impost, but fact was that the cost of the duty was borne by consumers living in the country which imposed it.
Mr. L. GASTER, without wishing to discuss the fiscal side of the question, emphasised the fact that in order to enhance the welfare of the working classes and the industrial development of this country, it was very essential that more encouragement should be given to the free development of the individual effort of the workmen, and not to hamper them by the limitation of the day's work or the restriction of output, &c. In order to reduce the cost of labour more liberal employment should be made of automatic machinery and the adaptation of more perfect and newer methods of production, and where possible a greater use should be made of the now unutilised byproducts, as, for instance, the blast furnace gases, &c., which would contribute to reduce the cost of many manufactures. If in some of the trades a home demand were created, bigger than we are prepared to supply at present, advantage should be taken of the experience gained by the other nations in
these trades, and he believed that a harmonious co-operation of the foreign experience in these trades, with British capital and labour, would be beneficial to the development of these industries in this country, avoiding to a large extent the importation of those goods at present manufactured abroad.
The CHAIRMAN moved a vote of thanks to Sir William Preece for his paper, coupling with it an expression of sympathy with Sir William in the illness which prevented his being present at the meeting. He did not think that he could agree generally with Sir William in what he had written, but it would not become him as the chairman to criticise the paper. But he believed, emphatically that, as the writer had said, they must not ascribe the prosperity or adversity of a country entirely to its fiscal policy. Nothing could be more ridiculous then to take such a view. Prosperity was due to industry, to inventions of all kinds, and to the diminution in the cost of production and other matters of the same class, for which we were indebted to men of science. The scientific man was the enemy of the protectionist by helping to reduce the cost of production, and, when the people were deriving benefit from that cause, the politician came along and said, "You shall not enjoy this benefit, and you shall be charged so much more for the goods you buy." There was an impression that the trade of this country had been injured by the tariffs of foreign countries. It was true that those tariffs had done our trade some harm, but they had done more harm to the countries which had imposed them. No protectionist country was out and out protectionist, and no tariff that had ever been devised could keep English goods altogether out, for every country must admit those goods for its own purposes. It would be found, for instance, that half the goods which went into the United States, the leading protectionist nation, went in free of duty. It was very im portant to remember this fact. In other cases where foreign countries imposed duties, the duties were often not protective but were analogous to such duties as we ourselves had on tea-revenue duties. It was not the case, therefore, that the trade of this country was being destroyed by the tariff walls which other countries set up against them. If foreign countries chose to establish a tariff to tax articles which their people must have, that was their affair. The goods must go in. The tariffs might, perhaps, be inconvenient, but they were no worse than the duty which England imposed upon tea for the purpose of the revenue. That duty was practically 100 per cent., but it did not -exclude the article. England had a much better prospect for its foreign trade than some people led us to suppose. With regard to what Sir Guilford Molesworth had said, he would remark that the country which put on a duty could not expect that the consumers would escape from paying it. Suppose that a 2s. duty was put on wheat to-morrow, the
home buyer would go down to the docks to meet the foreign merchant, and would put to him this plain question, "What is the price of your wheat with the duty, and what is the price without the duty?" He was sure that the price, without the duty, would be exactly 2s. less than the price with the duty. Of course the dealer would not pay the duty out of his own pocket, but would get it back ultimately from the That seemed to be the common sense of the question, and there was no necessity to reason the matter out at great length. Some of the discussions to the possible incidence of the duty upon the foreign taxpayer, really involved most diffiof cult questions statistical and economical reasoning, and they belonged to the category of history. If we wanted to study not merely the immediate effect, but the ultimate effect, of any particular economic measures which we adopted, whether for increasing the cost of production or for diminishing it, and to trace the various indirect effects of the action which we took, the investigation in which we engaged for the purpose would be a very interesting one, but it would be no part of practical business. The practical business man certainly tried to get the duty out of the person to whom he sold the articles on which the duty was imposed.
The vote of thanks was carried unanimously.
THE AUSTRIAN COTTON INDUSTRY. Owing to the prevailing uncertainty and apprehensions of a tariff separation between Austria and Hungary, the Hungarian market, upon which the Austrian cotton mills greatly depend, continues in a very bad condition. Hungary had, up to a few years ago, no textile industry of its own, and it has been supplied almost entirely by the Austrian manufacturers. The bulk of the cotton used in Austria is imported from the United States, while only a small percentage of East Indian and Egyptian cotton finds a way to the Austrian market. During 1902 the total consumption of cotton in Austria amounted to 318,644,000 pounds, of which fully 220,460,000 pounds were American. The cotton is shipped from the United States to Bremen or Hamburg, and thence forwarded by rail, or on the River Elbe, to its destination. No cotton is grown in Austria, all attempts to cultivate it, including recent experiments in Hungary, having signally failed. As regards the cotton mills, Bohemia, according to Consul Watts, counts the greatest number of spindles, so that the largest portion of cotton imported remains in Bohemia. The mills manufacture chiefly the coarser number of yarns. The official returns for 1902 give the following number of spindles in operation :-Bohemia, 1,750,000; total
for Austria-Hungary, 3,128,000. The import and export of yarns is comparatively of little importance, excepting of the finest numbers, which are regularly imported. The weaving establishments turn out ordinary calicoes, jacquard, and fancy tissues, and other coloured goods, which are fully up to the modern standard. The number of looms is about 110,000, of which about one-half are in Bohemia. Respecting the finishing industry, the bleaching and laundry establishments, and in connection therewith the shirt and collar factories, are in a state of great efficiency, and the last-named industry is extending its trade into all parts of the world. Dyeing and printing works are also fitted up with modern appliances, and if the export of their goods is not of any importance it is due to the unfavourable tariffs, which increase the cost of dyeing material, &c. The number of printing machines in operation is estimated at about 150, of which about one-half are in Bohemfa. The daily working hours vary between ten and a-half and eleven and a half. Some of the printing establishments in Eastern Bohemia run their works day and night. Wages paid to regular hands in the cotton mills vary from 2s. 6d. to 45. 3d. per day. The wages of weavers are comparatively less; even in districts where the highest wages are paid they will hardly earn 2s. 6d. per day, while in the calico establishments in Eastern Bohemia they get scarcely more than 1s. 8d. per day. Of course, in cases where a weaver serves four looms, or where particularly skilled hands are required as for instance for Jacquard looms, &c.—the pay is considerably higher.
The following is the official list of charts issued by the Hydrographic Department of the Admiralty, in September and October last :
New Charts.-No. 2167-Scotland, north coast; Firth of Cromarty. 1596-Harbours and anchorages on the coast of Italy; Salerno bay; Port Salerno; Port Torre del Greco; Port of Naples. 1687-Sicily; Messina harbour. 3351-Greece, south coast; Port Skutari. 3379-Mexico, south-west coast; Pichilinque harbour. 3380-Persian gulf; Bahrein barbour. 3349-China sea; approach to Kwang chau wan. 3280-China, east coast; Hongkong waters, west. 3294-China; Yang tse Kiang. Hupeh province :-Hankau. 3378-China, north coast; Rocky point to Temple head. 3352-Tasmania, west coast. Port Davey :-Bramble and schooner coves. 3322-South America, north-east coast; Orinoco river; plan added:-Cano Imataca (Rio Corosimo).
Charts that have received additions or corrections too large to be conveniently inserted by hand, and in most cases other than those referred to in the Admiralty Notices to Mariners:
Nos. 2793-England, south coast; Cowes harbour. 2076- Scotland, north coast; Loch Eriboll. 3158Norway; Nevlunghavn to Torbiornskier. 3159Norway; Torbiornskier to Jælöen. 3160-Norway, Torbiornskier to Rauö. 2298-Baltic sea, Gulf of Bothnia; Nystad light to Stor fiärd, 2299-Baltic, Gulf of Bothnia; Hornslandet to Stiernö point. 2368 Germany, north coast; Jershöft light to Rixhöft light. 201-Adriatic sea; the coasts of the Gulfs of Venice and Trieste. 1986-Gulf and River St. Lawrence; Buctouche river. 2892-East coast of United States; Narragansett Bay. 1325Chile; Gulf of Penas to the Guaytecas Islands. 2248-British Columbia; Haro Strait and Middle channel. 584-British Columbia; Clayoquot and Barkley Sounds. 20-Persian Gulf; Bahrein Harbour. 1750-Australia, south coast; Port Adelaide. 1070-Australia, east coast; Port Stephens. 214Solomon Islands.
These charts are issued by Mr. J. D. Potter, 145, Minories.
THE GERMAN TOY INDUSTRY.
The manufacture of toys in Germany is an industry which gives employment to fully 50,000 people. The total value of the annual exports amounts to £2,640,000. The prosperity of the industry, like a great many other important branches of manufacture in the German Empire, is dependent upon the importation of certain raw materials, such as lead, coloured glass, rubber, nickel, porcelain, hair lace, tin, leather, &c., from abroad. Many of the articles used are produced in Germany, while others are imported in part or entirely from foreign countries. The manufacture of toys in Germany has been centred chiefly in the cities of Nuremberg and Sonneberg, while many domestic branches of manufacture which are mainly associated with the industry, have sprung up in the surrounding country hamlets. These two cities have become famed for the quantity of their products, and the important place which they hold in the commerce of the world to-day, is due chiefly to the fact that they supply fully 80 per cent. of all the toys exported from the Empire. According to Consul Harris, of Eibenstock, the manufacture of toys has become important as a domestic or house industry among the people in the little principality of Meiningen, and the small villages in the country about Sonneberg contain many skilled wood carvers and cabinetmakers. In the vilfage of Hämmern, toy ships, large and small, are carved by persons who have never seen a sea or a navigable river. Judenbach and Neuenbau furnish pictures, mirror frames, and fancy boxes. Eisfeld has two factories which make hobby horses. Schalkau and Ehnes produce wooden guns of every size and variety, while in Mengersgereuth, Schichbsböhn, Fichtoch, and Effeldere such playthings as rattles, waggons, trum
pets, whistles, and toy animals are manufactured in large quantities. The making of doll's clothing is confined chiefly to Sonneberg and is almost entirely the work of women and girls. Carnival masks are prepared in Heinersdorf, while animals and fowls are fitted up with furs and feathers in the little village of Neufang. These country villages are clustered about Sonneberg and form one of the chief supports to the more highly developed industries in that city. The Sonneberg toy industry consists in the main of papier maché goods, which are gradually pushing wax dolls out of the market. This is due in part to the difficulty of producing a wax doll which is not fragile in structure and sensitive to touch and climate. Sonneberg produces dolls of almost every imaginable variety. They cost from sixpence a dozen to fifteen shillings each. There are more than 30,000 people engaged in making toys in Sonneberg and in the villages of the Thuringian forest, while fully 75 per cent. of this number work in their own homes. The main difference between the industry of Sonneberg and that of Nuremberg lies in the fact that the former consists principally of the manufacture of hand-made toys supported by a highly developed house or domestic industry, while the latter manufactures toys with machinery, in factories equipped with all modern appliances. Another marked difference between the two industries is that the products of Nuremberg are principally of metal-tin soldiers, swords, railway trains, fleets, models of machinery and other toys intended for boys, while Sonneberg uses almost exclusively wood, porcelain, glass and paper in the production of toys best suited to girls. During the past seven years the home demand for German toys has been on the increase. The German trade generally speaking calls for toys of the cheaper sort, and the stores which have been established in many of the large cities during the past few years, buy large quantities of them for advertising purposes. The future prosperity of the industry will depend very largely upon the ability of German statesmen to secure favourable commercial treaties and foreign countries. In the present commercial treaty, negotiations with Switzerland and Russia, toys are playing an important part.
WILLIAM GILBERT'S AUTOGRAPH.
At a meeting of the Society of Electrical Engineers. on Thursday, 10th inst., in commemoration of the tercentenary of Dr. William Gilbert's death, a picture representing "the father of electricity" in the act of shewing his electrical experiments to Queen Elizabeth and her Court, was presented to the borough of Colchester, in which place Gilbert was born in 1544. At this meeting, Dr. Silvanus Thompson, F.R.S., exhibited the copy of the first edition of Gilbert's great work, entitled "De Magnete," 1600, which is in the possession of the Society of Arts. This is of peculiar
interest, as not only is it a presentation copy from the author to his friend Lancelot Browne, but it also contains a correction of one of the diagrams and a long note on the back of another diagram in the handwriting of the author. The inscription on the title page in Gilbert's autograph is rather difficult to decipher, but appears to be as follows:-"Sum Lanceloti Brunii Medici Reg mei ex dono authoris, 1600 Aprilis 6°." Dr. Browne, the latinised form of whose name appears in this inscription, succeeded Gilbert as President of the Royal College of Physicians in 1603; he was at the date of the publication Physician to Queen Elizabeth. A medical certificate, addressed to Sir Francis Walsingham by Dr. Gylberde (sic) and Lancelot Browne, discovered by Dr. Silvanus Thompson in the Public Record Office, is printed in the Journal for April 11th, 1902 (see vol. 1., p. 487). There is a presentation copy of the book to Thomas Langton, in the library of the Royal Institution, which is also dated April 6th.