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The Effects of Protection.

When Mr W. C. Buchanan, M.H.R. for Wairarapa, took his last trip to England, he went by way of San Francisco, andpaid particular attention to the cost of living when passing through the States. He told his constituents at Groytown the other day that he paid sdol (20a lOd) for a hat in Chicago, which would have cost 12s 6d In New Zealand. He also bought a suit of clothes at Chicago which the tailor told him could not be made under 40dol or SOdol or somewhere about LlO that can be made in this colony for from L 4 108 to L 6. And he had to pay it, for the Natives at Samoa somehow managed to steal his clothes, and he had to renew his wardrobe. He went to a bootmaker and paid 16dol for a pair of boots which were valued by a Wellington bootmaker at 32s 6d. This is what Protection has done for America in 100 years. But someone may ask : " What about wages ? Are they not very high ? Platelayers earn in New Zealand 6s 6d per day, wet and dry, for a day of eight hours. In America they receive from Idol to Idol 75c for a day of ten hours. Comparing rates of wages, men in New Zealand earn Id per hour more than ttie highest rate paid in America. To the poor man Protection has nothing to recommend it. It means dear living, low wages, and keen competition amongst factory hands to secure work. Only the thin end of the wedge of Protection has been introduced in New Zealand, but already the baneful effects of the false policy have shown themselves in the poverty of the poor workgirls in Dunedin, Christchurch, and Auckland. Some people talk about the advantages of Fairtrade as opposed to Protection and to Freetrade; but Fairtrade means the protection of industries that can be fostered in a country, and free admission of all goods that cannot be manufactured or grown. But the result to the people is the same as under Protection. Under Fairtrade it would be said that New Zealand can manufacture nearly everything she wants in the way of clothing ond machinery, and therefore all these things would be protected by prohibitive duties on the imported articles, while tea and such like that can neither be made nor grown would be free. The consequence would be that manufactured articles would be excessively dear, as in America, or wages would be excessively low. In either case nothing would be gained. .

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Bibliographic details

The Effects of Protection., Evening Star, Issue 7968, 25 July 1889

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The Effects of Protection. Evening Star, Issue 7968, 25 July 1889