the natural outgrowths of the tariff, and I further believe that while the good trusts should be continued and their interests safeguarded for the benefit, not of the trusts themselves, or their thousands of stockholders, but for the interests of the millions of consumers, the "bad trusts" should be shorn of the power to rob those millions of consumers, which power is now largely theirs through the protection which the present tariff gives.
To arrive at this desirable end and as well to protect his own interests is the aim of the reputable importer, and because of the reasons given above, the necessity of producing the required evidence which will prove where the evil conditions now exist, and of submitting such evidence to the Congress, devolves upon the importer.
In the parlance of the day "it is up to him" to present to those engaged in the revision of the tariff all the data required to establish the injustice of any of the present duty rates and to urge the correction of the same.
The subject is the most important which has been before the Congress in the past decade. The prosperity of the country and its people, our commercial supremacy, our national credit, all largely depend upon the result of the present tariff revision. If the new bill, which may become a law by July 1, 1909, and which surely will become a law before January 1, 1910, is just and equitable in its provisions, we may look with assurance for many years of prosperity; if on the contrary the new act retains many of the evils which have grown up under the present one, if it is so drawn as to protect favorites and to slur over or fail to eliminate the wrongs now existing within its provisions, we may anticipate commercial unrest, if not disaster, and all the attendant train of calamities.
Tariff revision, therefore, from the importer's standpoint, is of the first importance. Greater than the Canal question—for our country will go on in its magnificent career whether the Panama Canal be completed in seven years or fifteen—greater than any political issue—for experience has taught us that the people right political wrongs in the long run—greater than any questions affecting our army and navy, our insular possessions, or even the future of our ex-presidents—the question of tariff revision goes to the very vitals of national life. And this being so, the importer finds himself suddenly thrown into the lime light as the spokesman for—not alone his own interests—but as well the interests and further welfare of all the people, the great body of the nation, the consumers, and as the champion for them and to protect and ensure them in their rights for years to come, he accepts the responsibility and seeks to supply our law makers with the enormous mass of facts, and the needed evidence which they require in order to produce a finished tariff act, one that shall be grounded in "favoritism toward none and justice to all."