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CLEVELAND'S SECOND ADMINISTRATION.
tion as territory to the United States had passed the CHAP.
LXXV. House and was in possession of the Senate, but that -body, for lack of time, had been unable to pass it before the Fifty-second Congress ended. Mr. Cleveland at once asked the Senate for the bill, which he kept in his own hands while in office. He did not believe in the measure, and the annexation was delayed four years.
The McKinley Bill had authorized the President, in order to remove misapprehensions that might arise, to make reciprocity treaties—with consent of the Senatewith other nations in relation to duties imposed upon merchandise passing from one to the other in the form of trade. When Mr. Cleveland entered upon his sec- 1893. ond term about twenty of these treaties were in exist- 24. ence—all the outcome of mutual concessions made in a friendly spirit. To these treaties the provisions of the Wilson-Gorman tariff law were more or less obstructive.
* An instance or two will illustrate the advantages secured to the American people by these treaties. We import an immense amount of rubber free of duty from Brazil as raw material to use in certain of our manufactures. By treaty for the first time this was counterbalanced by Brazil reducing the duties on a great number of our various exports to that country. A treaty was also made with Spain, of mutual benefit to both parties. By agreement we admitted Cuban sugar free of duty and in return Spain reduced the rate of duty on a great number of our exports to her territories. One item may illustrate: the tax on American flour was $4.62 a barrel, which was reduced to 90 cents, while in consequence of this treaty our trade with Cuba alone was increased seventy per cent. The new Congress, with. out consulting Spain, violated this treaty by reimposing a duty on sugar, while on account of similar legislation Brazil gave notice of withdrawal from the treaty. That free sugar was a boon to those of limited means in the
CHAP. Union is made clear by the increase of fifty per cent. in LXXV.
its importation. The rich and the well-to-do never stinted themselves in the use of sugar at their tables, but those of limited means were now compelled to deny themselves. In addition was introduced other legislation hostile to the production of sugar in some of the Southern States, and also to that obtained from sugar-beets. This sugar legislation was popularly interpreted as a favor to our great sugar-refining trust and was one of the reasons of President Cleveland's refusal to sign the Wilson-Gorman bill. This kind of legislation predominated in that bill, which in its effect prostrated more or less all our industries that came in competition with the low wages paid operatives in Europe.
(There seems to be a general difference of opinion between Congress and the men elected to administer the executive and diplomatic business of the country, for similar reciprocity treaties negotiated by President McKinley's administration have been refused confirmation by the Congress of 1900–1901.)
However, the new Democratic Congress was held responsible for all these blunders, and it was no wonder, as we have seen, that under a sense of wrong the majority of the people were indignant, and in the election of 1894 put their veto upon such incompetent statesmanship by changing the majority in both Houses of Congress. The change was remarkable in the case of the wage-earners, most of whom voted in 1892 in favor of the promised cheap goods under the proposed “Reformed Tariff.” They were also duped by the specious electioneering slogan, “Let us have a change, anyway,” which was proclaimed throughout the land. The cheap goods came, but the wage-earners had no money to buy —their wages were diminished, while for the most part they themselves were out of employment. In consequence they saw their error, and went back to the party