28 DECEMBER 1878, Page 1

Switzerland seems to be contemplating legislation as retrograde as Prince

Bismarck's. A project of law is before the Federal Parliament which will not only raise the import. duties on a vast number of articles not manufactured in Switzerland, but also put a protective duty on a great number of Swiss manu- factures; thus, heavy duties are to be put on tin, to stimulate Swiss

tin-mines ; unbleached cotton, unbleached linen, and silk ribbons, it is also proposed to protect by a high duty ; while the producers of hats, gloves, and ready-made clothes are to be compensated for the new taxes on their raw material, by an exorbitant increase of duty. It is to be hoped that this most mischievous proposal will be defeated, but on one point,—the power to wage a ruinous war against the Protectionists of foreign countries, —the Protectionists of the United States are the offenders chiefly thought of,—the Protectionist proposal has already become law. The Federal Council can already, at its discretion, meet protective duties specially injurious to Switzerland by vindictive equivalents. This curious willingness to strangle yourself, on condition only that you can throttle your neighbour with the same rope, is a kind of testimony to the heroism of malevolence still inherent in human nature, at once melancholy and grotesque.