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United States Department of State / Index to the executive documents of the House of Representatives for the second session of the fiftieth Congress, 1888-'90
(1888-1889)

Switzerland,   pp. 1496-1545 PDF (23.3 MB)


Page 1497


SWITZERLAND.
  Mr. Pollock's case presents the same damaging characteristics men-
tioned in that of Mr. Seligman, and largely prevailing in the same class
of cases. He emigrated to the United States in February, 1875; was
naturalized November 13, 1882; and left the United States November
15, 1882, since which date he has resided in Switzerland for the purpose
stated by him, and is unable to make any positive declaration of inten-
tion to retuin.
   Hoping the Department may find it possible to give this legation such
instructions as will dispose of the class of cases herein indicated,
       I am, etc.,
                                                BOYD WINCHESTER.
                                No. 1020.
                     Air. Winchester to Mr. Bayard.
No. 162.]                  LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
                     Blerne, October 10, 1887. (Received October 22.)
   SIR: The Swiss Federal Council and the diplomatic corps attended a
banquet given by the directors of the Swiss national agricultural expo-
sition, in progress at Neuchatel. The remarks of the President of the
Confederation attracted much attention, being devoted to a question
at the time receiving anxious consideration in Switzerland.   The delu-
sion of protective ideas, as furnishing any remedy for the depressed
condition of agricultural interests, formed the text of his speech. He
said:
  The political existence of Switzerland is at present not- threatened or
endangered
from any quarter, but it is different with her economical existence, which
makes us
more solicitous from day to day through the increase of unjust burdens imposed
at
all our neighboring frontiers. The first to feel this condition were our
manufactur-
ers, who demanded a, tariff of retaliation, and nowthe farmers complain that
they are
suffering from a denial of the same protection. Indeed, we are to-day the
witnesses
of an eager race in the parliaments of many countries to raise the duty on
importa-
tions from their neighboring states until the wall is so high that nothing
can pass.
Is this to-be the grand coronation of the labor and civilization of the nineteenth
century-the century of steam, electricity, the piercing of the St. Gothard,
the Suez
and Panama Canals ? No; such a condition can not endure. The commerce of
the
world is under a tension which the tariff system can not forever subject
it to, and
protection must become hateful as it tends to make dearer the necessities
of the peo-
ple. Let me express the hope that the time will come, if soon I do not venture
to
say, when from the excess of the evil good will result; that the people and
govern-
ment will recognize that the fictitious advance created by protective duties
leads to
general poverty, whilst the liberty of exchange is the surest foundation
of general
prosperity.
   The sentiments of the President, the above brief extract being given
 to show their tone, seem to meet with a very general and hearty ap-
 preciation. There were several other speeches made in the same line,
 and no one uttered a word, as far as I heard, except in perfect harmony
 with it. Some of the speakers with great force pointed to France,
 where, in deference to the demands of the agricultural party, the duty
 upon cereals, meats, and cattle was largely advanced in 1884-.85, and
 that these duties, from which the agricultural interest expected so much,
 had failed to produce the anticipated effect, resulting in no good to
 producers or consumers, and that the farms are going from bad to
 worse; that the experience of France in its protection to farmers shows
 that-
   First. The increase of protective duties on agricultural produce causes
 not only a decrease in the import but a decrease in the export as well.
1497


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