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The New York Times/Carl Schurz on the Tariff

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CARL SCHURZ ON THE TARIFF.


He Says a Democratic House Would
Have a Wholesome Effect.

Carl Schurz, in an interview yesterday, opposed the opinion expressed by Senator Morgan of Alabama that it would be better if the Democrats did not control the lower house of Congress, because under present conditions they could only act as obstructionists.

“Such a majority will have a wholesome effect in more than one direction,” Mr. Schurz said. “It will furnish proof that the people are dissatisfied with the dominant party and command a halt. The Republicans claim that the country owes its prosperity and, indeed, the whole magnificence of its industrial development to the high tariff. This is a fairy tale. A country like ours — of such limitless natural resources of wealth and an equally limitless productive energy of its population — was bound to prosper and become great and rich with, or in spite of, any economic policy. I believe, however, that the development of this prosperity and greatness under a policy of high protection has matured a crop of social contrasts, of corruption, and of political and social demoralization which would have been spared to us under a policy of natural and free development, if not altogether, at least in great part.

“There is much talk about trusts, some of which develop into oppressive and blood-sucking monopolies. This is not their worst side. A much worse feature is the political power they exert and of which we already have had a few abhorent examples.

“Of course, where the industry of a country has been built up on a protective basis, it would not do to jump it with a big and sudden bound from the extreme of one policy into the extreme of the opposite policy. The transition must be effected with moderation and circumspection, and also with decision. The Republicans are guilty of plain sophistry when they claim that the protective tariff should only be revised by its friends — that is to say, the Republicans. Whenever Republicans, who are completely dominated by the powers favored by high protection, go to revise the tariff, rates will rather be raised than reduced. The Republican monopoly of power must be broken.”


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