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United States account, same year, to Canada alone were 8,814 tons, value, $38,942, being more than half the value ($67,700) above stated to have been the exports of Nova Scotia of coals, same year, to all of her sister provinces; and according to the official Canada returns of its imports of coals in 1852 (vide Statement A, No. 1), it appears there were but £1,127, or $4,508 in value of coals imported into Canada that year from all the colonies, whilst the United States sent to Canada £13,005, or $52,020 in value the same year.
These facts show that the Nova Scotia coals have not been able to compete with ours in foreign markets where they were on equal terms, or in the Canada markets, where the Nova Scotia coals had the advantage of the Canada import duty of 2 per cent against us. Surely they afford no warrant for the prediction that a release of the duty now exacted will enable the Nova Scotia coals to compete with our coals in our own markets.
9. The uses to which mineral coals are applied in the United States are chiefly:
1. In the manufacture of pig iron, puddling iron, etc.
9. For steamships, and steam lake, river, ferry, and harbor boats or tugs, and other craft propelled by steam power.
10. For fuel for all kinds of vessels.
15. For black and white smiths, gunsmiths, tinsmiths, coppersmiths, armorers, brass and composition makers, instrument and tool makers, saw makers, cutlery makers, boiler makers, engine makers, and machinists, file cutters, nail manufacturers, plumbers, etc.
16. For every kind of steam power mills-sawmills, flour mills, plaster mills, oil mills, and in whatsoever business steam machinery is used.
Many of the manufactories of the United States are in proximity to the collieries from which the coals used are procured, and this is the case especially with respect to the iron manufactories of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois, most of which are also contiguous to the deposits from which their iron ores are obtained.
So, too, with reference to the immense steam navigation on the Great Lakes and on our Western rivers, it is in the vicinity of the coal beds from which its supplies of fuel are received.
The expense of transportation by land or water, if for any considerable distance, is the most material item in estimating the cost of coals.1
NotE.-Some years since two French metallurgists were sent to Great Britain from France to examine and report as to the British mines, etc. In reporting as to the iron furnaces near Glasgow, Scotland, these gentlemen (M. Dufrenay and M. De Beaumont say: “The establishments in the environs of Glasgow have the inappreciable advantage of being placed in the center of a coal basin, in which are found united the coal, the mineral of iron, the flux, and almost always the refactory clay necessary for the construction of furnaces. Where all the material is taken from the same mine any number of furnaces and rolling mills can be included in one gigantic establishment, and the costs of superintendence and administration, which are borne by coal, in inany of the works required in this country to produce the same quantity of iron, are there united to one. Favored by these facilities, the Scotch furnaces are able to make iron at a cost of only £2 0s. 3d. per ton."
10. The idea of Nova Scotia coals that must pay a rent charge of 2 shillings per ton before leaving the pits, that must encounter the expense of transportation by sea of 700 miles to Boston, or 900 miles to New York, or 1,200 miles to Philadelphia, and then be transshipped and sent overland, either through canals or by railroads or up rivers, to the places of consumption in the interior, and there undersell our coals raised in the vicinity, is utterly preposterous. Our coal fields and mines are as rich and productive as any in the world, and, as heretofore observed, the kinds and qualities of our coals in the different sections of this Union embrace nearly every known variety, though it is conceded that the Nova Scotia coals are different in one or two particulars from any description of our coals usually found in the markets of the Atlantic cities of the Middle and Eastern States. So far as that difference constitutes any superiority of the Nova Scotia coals for any specific use or purpose, they will find a market in those cities, but no farther, as it is undeniable that for general utility they are decidedly inferior to our coals.
11. Another important advantage possessed by the domestic coal interests of the United States over foreign coals is that purchases of our coals can ordinarily be made by consumers on easier terms and with greater convenience than can purchases of foreign coals, and so as to save the expense of the intervention of the numerous “middlemen” between the coal producer and the consumer, which can not well be avoided in purchasing foreign coals. In the neighborhood of our collieries, and in the vicinity of our primary coal marts, other domestic products or manufactures are often bartered for coals, and with mutual advantage to both parties. Arrangements for credits upon purchases can ordinarily be more readily made between the vendor and home purchaser of domestic coals than in respect of purchases of foreign coals. In many cases, except in the large cities, sales of domestic coals are not regulated by the strict rules of commercial usage controlling those of foreign coals. The practice in the United States, pursued more perhaps than in any other country, by all who raise products, of dispensing with mercantile agents and interchanging with one another their domestic commodities for home use and consumption, has grown up from relations and associations originating in different ways-sectional, State, neighborhood, social, and personal in their character—but the custom is so deeply rooted that it can not be changed. As to the domestic coal trade in this regard it will require something more than the release of the duty on provincial coals to unsettle it and change the established channels through which it has been conducted. Our people have become accustomed to this mode of doing business. Many different, important, and influential interests are combined to preserve the present course of trade, and it can not easily be subverted or disturbed.
12. The Statement A in the appendix shows that the Mining Association of the British provinces have had the management of the coal fields upward of a quarter of a century, and commenced working the Pictou and Sidney mines as long ago as 1827; and yet not 200,000 tons of coal have been raised from the mines in any one year. It would be a deplorable confession of our lack of enterprise and industry, and of our inferiority to the Nova Scotians, for us to apprehend (even if a change of the control of the mines favorable to their increased production should take place) any injurious competition from them in coals, either in our own or foreign markets. If it were possible that the entire laboring male population of Nova Scotia could engage in coal mining, they could not produce 2,000,000 tons of coal annually. If they bought all their food and drink and raiment, all their necessaries and luxuries, abandoned fishing, shipbuilding, and agriculture, and other employments of manual labor, and devoted themselves exclusively to raising, shipping, and selling coals to the United States, they could not materially affect the domestic coal interests of this country.
The stimulant to increased production given by the abrogation of the United States duty of 30 per cent can not provide them the means
It will not change the tide of European emigration from the United States to Nova Scotia. The exoneration of their coals from this duty will not have the talismanic power of creating additional labor to raise, transport, and ship their coals, or to give the population of Nova Scotia and the other colonies the ability to consume or otherwise advantageously dispose of the additional stores of our manufactures and products which they must receive in payment for any augmented shipments of coals to us. In truth, its effects in any way will be limited as to both countries.
13. There is another consideration that should not be wholly lost sight of. The Statement A shows the character of the gigantic monopoly controlling the Nova Scotia and Cape Breton coal mines, compiled from unimpeachable authorities. An American author of high intelligence, Mr. R. C. Taylor, of Pennsylvania, in his Statistics of Coal, in writing on this very subject,' ridicules the apprehension of competition from these mines, managed under what he styles "the deplorable system,” which must continue to be so long as the monopoly is continued.
But even if the effect of the proposed arrangement should be contrary to the opinions now advanced; if the prices of domestic coals to New England and other consumers of the United States are cheapened by the proposed reciprocal arrangement, the result should not be deprecated by this country. The advocates of the doctrine of protection to our domestic manufactures-our iron, cotton, and woolen establishments, whose aggregate capitals now exceed $200,000,000, surely ought not to object; for all those manufactures will be immediately and directly benefited. So will our immense steam navigating interests on the seas, and in our rivers and lakes; and so will every branch of “home industry” that employs steam power and uses coals for fuel. It does not follow that a reduction of the price of coals involves the substitution of foreign coals for domestic coals. The Eastern manufacturer wants the domestic markets of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland, and the markets in their vicinity, west and south, wherein to dispose of his manufactures. If New England abandons the coals of those States, she is certain to lose (to some extent at least) their markets. Trade will regulate itself as to prices,
NOTE.- Mr. Taylor, at page 189 of his valuable work, says: “In reciting these details, we, as well as our readers, can not omit to remark the injurious magnitude o such gigantic monopolies as the one before us. In this case it covers an extent of more than twelve millions of acres, or three times the size of Wales. It is scarcely necessary to say that its tendency is to impoverish the people, to destroy all energy in cultivating the abundant natural resources of a fine country, to prevent all fair and wholesome competition, to narrow the scope of active and productive industry, and to discourage all individual and general enterprise. On the continuance of such a deplorable system, the rival coal proprietors of the United States may well found their calculations of a remunerative internal trade in coal at home with even greater safety and certainty than on the influence of tariffs and the restrictions of international regulations."
and as to buyer and seller. It languishes when it ceases to be an interchange of commodities, at fair prices, to both. If domestic coals are reduced in price to the New England manufacturer by allowing the introduction of Nova Scotia coals free, he is enabled of course to manufacture cheaper, so that, in fact, the same quantity of Pennsylvania, Virginia, or Maryland coals will buy a like quantity and quality of manufactures as at this time. If the prices of the manufactures are lessened in a corresponding ratio to the diminution of the present price of coals, the coal producers and the manufacturer mutually realize the same profits as now.
A careful and impartial consideration of all the premises, it is submitted, will result in the conviction that any alarm lest the exoneration of Nova Scotia, or other provincial coals, from the duty of 30 per cent now levied in the United States, or from all duties, may be fraught with ruin to our domestic coal interests, is causeless. Pictou, or Sydney, or any other provincial coals can not thereby be enabled to supplant Pennsylvania, Maryland, or Virginia coals in the New England markets, or even to affect, injuriously, our domestic coal interests, whether of capital or labor, there or elsewhere. In truth the fear that our domestic coal trade, now amounting to more than 9,000,000 tons annually, and increasing at least half a million of tons every year, and the supply not then keeping up with the increasing home demand, can possibly receive detriment from the competition of the comparatively insignificant product of the provincial coal fields, that yield less than 200,000 tons per annum-from which, too, shipments can not be made but about half the year, and the coals also being all of one kind-and, if all the available aid in labor, shipping, and capital that can possibly be obtained to increase their production be estimated, and supposing that the colonies can consume or dispose of our products or manufactures, adequate to pay for the apprehended increase of the quantity of their coals sent to the United States will, it is conceived, be regarded as absurd by practical men of an ordinary degree of commercial intelligence. Instead of arguments of this character against the onerous tax, the people of the United States are compelled to pay for the privilege of using foreign coals, the possessors of coal fields, who entertain any such apprehensions, ought to use more economy, and superadded energy and industry in working their mines and transporting their coals to market. And such means may be safely and fully relied upon as all-sufficient to prevent Nova Scotia coals, and in fact all foreign coals, from injuriously affecting their just interests.
Monopolies created by legislation and upheld by legislation are partial and odious. Monopolies of energy, enterprise, and industry, not founded on invidious legislative protection, are the reverse. Experience has shown that in analogous cases the timidity and selfishness of property has imagined like evil results that never occurred.
NOTE.-A memorable example of this occurred in 1846, when the coal interests remonstrated gainst the reduction of the duty of $1.75 per ton on foreign coal, and predicted the destruction of the home coal interests. The intelligent Mr. R. C. Taylor, of Pennsylvania, in his work before cited, published in 1818, says:
“COAL TRADE BETWEEN BRITISH AMERICA AND THE UNITED STATES.
“During the discussion of the Un’ted States tariff bill of 1816 much anxiety was felt and expressed in the United States, but especially in Pennsylvania, as to the effect which a remission of so large an amount of the duty then imposed on the introduction of foreign coals might have on her home trade.
“It was shown, and may be confirmed by inspection of our own tables, that In this instance the objection is a mere scarecrow. Neither the coal proprietors, nor the coal laborers, nor the coal consumers of this country, nor any interest of consequence, can be jeoparded by the proposed exoneration.
And if the proposed arrangement should cause a large increase of the shipments of coal from Nova Scotia to the United States, it is presumed that the exports from the United States to Nova Scotia of the cotton, rice, tar, pitch and turpentine, tobacco, and other products of the Southern States, and of the flour, provisions, etc., of the Western States, and of the anthracite and semibituminous coals of the Middle States, and of the manufactures of the Middle and Eastern States, via our Atlantic ports, will be augmented pari passu with the increase of our imports of Nova Scotia coals. This must be the inevitable effect of the laws of trade unless we send the specie to Nova Scotia to pay for the coals. It is probable, also, that such augmentation of our exports, in return for any additional quantity of Nova Scotia coals we may buy, will not be limited to the increase of our imports of coals merely. The effect of opening the Nova Scotia coal trade, if such increase should take place, will reach every article of trade and commerce between the United States and Nova Scotia, and especially those proposed to be reciprocally exempted from duties. Commerce begets commerce. And it is not doubted that if the Nova
while with the 1842 tariff duty of $1.75 per ton, the increase of bituminous coal from the colonies into Boston, its principal market, was, in 1825, 65 per cent over the supply of 1844, the increase of Pennsylvania anthracite in the same market and at the same time was only 184 per cent. It might with good reason, therefore, be inferred that on reducing the duty to about one-third of the sum heretofore paid the consequences would be a diminished demand for anthracite and the almost total exclusion of American bituminous coal from the Eastern States.
“This has not proved to be the result, for while the foreign coal of Boston, for instance, has remained nearly stationary under a low tariff, the home trade in anthracite has trebled.
“ It seems to us that there is one view in relation to a reciprocal trade in coal which has heretofore been overlooked. Thus, Canada, although just now not a very important customer, is a purchaser of American coal to a certain extent. Thus, again, while the provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick obtain a limited number of customers from one or two American ports in their vicinity, the coal proprietors of Pennsylvania, of Ohio, and ultimately of Michigan, will, in their turn, supply the adjacent provinces of Canada with the fuel of which they are in need. The colonial government imposes no tariff on this importation, although the American duty is 30 per cent on what is received in the United States, a tax equivalent to 65 cents per ton. As there exists no coal formation in all Canada, along a frontier of more than a thousand miles, as the wants of the people increase, as manufactories occasion new demands, with an increasing population, as the recent requirements of smelting within the mining regions call for an adequate supply of inineral fuel, it does appear to us that the Canadian provinces are destined to become extensive recipients of American coal, and to an amount ultimately that will immeasurably exceed the amount of Nova Scotia coal which may reach the American Atlantic ports.
“In consequence of the reduced duty on coal imported into the United States, an additional impulse was given toward the close of 1846 to the trade in coal from the British colonies. Some cargoes, of from 300 to 400 tons burthen each, were, on the passing of the act of Congress of July, 1846, at once chartered in London for this trade. The deep waters of the Northeastern coast allow the largest class of vessels to take in and deliver cargoes of Nova Scotia and Sydney coals, and hence they could bring it at a lower rate than the small vessels, which convey the Pennsylvania and Virginia coals, independently of avoiding the heavy charges on the American coal by raiiroads and inland navigation.
For four years the admission of Nova Scotia coal had been increasing in the Eastern ports for the iron and other manufactures, for the supply of the Cunard steamers, and for various uses, in the face of a protective duty of $2.25 per chaldron. With a diminished duty, therefore, it is probable a considerable de mand for this description of coal will take place in these ports.”