Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER X: BARGAIN BETWEEN LANDLORDS AND MANUFACTURERS - The Comedy of Protection
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CHAPTER X: BARGAIN BETWEEN LANDLORDS AND MANUFACTURERS - Yves Guyot, The Comedy of Protection 
The Comedy of Protection, trans. M.A. Hamilton (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1906).
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BARGAIN BETWEEN LANDLORDS AND MANUFACTURERS
Timidity of the agrarians—“Marquis of Dear Bread”—Agricultural products left out of the agreements—Trichina.
The problem remains: How had the great manufacturers, a weak minority, succeeded in forcing the Republican majority to endorse their claims? The majority of the population was rural, according to the 1876 census, 19,000,000 being employed in agriculture; how could members representing this majority consent to duties of 20 to 40 per cent. on iron and steel; 40 to 300 per cent. on cotton thread, and textiles; to taxes which weighed so heavily on the labourer’s plough and threshing machine, on the shoes, coats, smock-frocks, dresses, and linen of the whole population? The tax on wheat, indeed, remained at 31/2d. a hundredweight; but the tax on cattle had been raised to 12s. on an ox worth £16 to £24—that is, about 3 per cent. protection. This protection was much less than that given to the manufacturers; how did the agriculturists allow themselves to be fleeced to support the claims of the manufacturers? Although M. Pouyer-Quertier was called the “Marquis of Dear Bread,” he did not dare to raise the tax on corn; the agrarians were afraid of rousing a violent change of opinion; they modestly contented themselves with a 12s. duty on live stock. But the manufacturers said to them, “Support us, vote for our duties. In the name of Free Trade we will get agricultural products off the conventional tariff. If you support us, we will support you in our turn.” The bargain was struck. When the 1881 tariff was put in operation the landlords recalled the promise, but the manufacturers were not very anxious to carry it out. They waited till the eve of the 1885 elections. May 28th the 3d. duty per hundredweight on wheat was raised to 1s. 21/2d.
Since 1881, one class, the pig breeders, had been satisfied—not by any rise of duties framed in Parliament, but by an administrative prohibition based on sanitary regulations. A doctor declared before the Hygienic Society that American hams caused trichina. No case of it had ever been known in France, but what matter! A governmental decree of 1881 laid down regulations regarding the importation of American bacon and hams that practically amounted to prohibition, operative until 1890. These hygienic pretexts are a disgrace to the men who prostituted science to Protectionist interests.