Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER IV: EXPORT OF MANUFACTURES - The Comedy of Protection
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CHAPTER IV: EXPORT OF MANUFACTURES - Yves Guyot, The Comedy of Protection 
The Comedy of Protection, trans. M.A. Hamilton (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1906).
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EXPORT OF MANUFACTURES
I. Proportion to total export for the six great nations—II. Mr. Chamberlain’s pessimistic prophecies and the facts.
A great many foreigners, and even a considerable number of English people, seem to believe that the magnitude of England’s exports is due to coal; and pessimists say that the export of coal enriches the present at the expense of the future by exhausting natural resources; some go so far as to urge that its export should be prevented by raising the export duty 1s. a ton, since the use of English coal by foreign merchant service and factories helps them to compete against the English merchant service and English factories. A comparison of three tables shows how baseless such apprehensions are. The average export of coal, coke, and other fuel was £30,000,000 between 1900 and 1904; the total export, £289,000,000; and the export of manufactures, £232,000,000. Therefore, for every £100-worth of coal exported, England exports £773-worth of manufactured stuff—a total of £1,000.
Turning now to the proportion borne by the export of manufactures in England to that of other great nations—
Russia only exports 5 per cent. of manufactures, Holland less than 3 per cent. Thus the proportion borne by manufactured goods to total export in the United Kingdom exceeds that of Germany by 15 per cent., that of France by 25 per cent., and that of America by more than 50 per cent.; thus adding one more argument to those already given in the examination of protected and tributary industries to prove to any impartial mind that the Chamberlainists’ attempt to discover in the English export statistics any argument for a change in our fiscal system is very foolhardy, when England stands far above Germany, France, and the United States in absolute and relative exportation of manufactured goods.
In the last column English ships amounting to some 5 or 6 millions per annum are included.
The Protectionists have made great use of the argument from percentages. The increase in exports has certainly been greater in the United States than in the United Kingdom; and when one is added to one the result is 100 per cent. Very fine results can be deduced, as Mr. Chamberlain has shown, especially when he starts his German figures before 1890, that is, before the Free Towns came into the Zollverein.
The result of the German protective tariff has thus been to reduce the relative proportion of imports of manufactures to the total import rather more than 4 per cent. below that of the United Kingdom. M. Méline has succeeded in reducing it 7 per cent. for France—a wonderful result.
It must not be forgotten that England is the richest country in the world; its people are fond of luxury and comfort, and buy what they want whereever they find it. Yet the greater part of the manufactures which they buy are implements; structural iron and steel account for £8,000,000 (Mr. Arthur Chamberlain, a weldless tube manufacturer, said that Swedish steel bars were necessary in his trade); plates of copper and other metals, £20,000,000; implements, £4,000,000; machinery, £4,000,000; cotton (for the most part representing payment for debts, or raw materials), £6,000,000; more or less finished woollen goods, £12,000,000; leather and boots and shoes, £11,000,000. This last item makes the Chamberlainists furious; yet many of their countrymen are ill shod.
Mr. Chamberlain has never had a chance. He declared that England was ruined; her trade and industry in a galloping consumption; if imports were increasing, exports were diminishing. The foreign trade returns for 1903 gave him the lie in the most striking manner; the total had never been so high; it was £903,353,641—£26,000,000 above the record years 1900 and 1902. It represented £24 19s. per head; whereas, even in the annus mirabilis 1873, when prices were much higher, it was only £21 4s. Comparing this total with those of the other six great nations, and subtracting £25,000,000 to allow for the fact that their returns are for 1902, not 1903, we find that the English total compared with Germany, the highest of them, is as 170 to 100.
At Greenock Mr. Chamberlain said, “Sugar is gone: silk is gone: iron is threatened: wool is threatened: cotton will go. How long are you going to stand it? At the present moment these industries, and the working men who depend upon them, are like sheep in a field. One by one they allow themselves to be led to slaughter, and there is no combination, no apparent prevision of what is in store for the rest of them.”
First: “Sugar is gone.”
“Silk is gone.”
“Iron is threatened.”
“Wool is threatened.”
“Cotton will go.”
And this in spite of the 1904 cotton crisis, which deprived Lancashire of its raw material.
At Newcastle Mr. Chamberlain mourned over the disappearance of glass and earthenware.
The importation of raw materials is a sign of a country’s industrial activity.
These are not signs of ruin, and if they were Mr. Chamberlain has never shown how taxes on foreign foodstuffs and manufactures will assist the expansion of British foreign trade.