HIGH PROTECTION [To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.] Szn,—The obscurity
of Sir John Simon's speech in the House of Commons in reply to Sir Herbert Samuel's inquiry as to the Government's proceeding on the June Conference, was typical of the method adopted by the Government to conceal from the 'Country their evident intention of using the Conference to establish the high protection policy repudiated by the Conservatives at the General Election, but since, having obtained their majority by misdirecting the electors, have used every opportunity to fix on the country the curse of
From a very long experience of the import and export trade to all parts of the world I can assert and challenge proof to the contrary, that in all countries where- protection exists the sole purpose is to enable financial groups and Government supporters by the removal of competitive supplies of essential raw material, to combine and charge exorbitant prices to the home consumers and manufacturers. For years we bought raw material from Germany at some 20 per cent. cheaper than the protected syndicates sold to their manufacturers, and which enabled- us to cut out Germany in her own export market with manufactured goods made from material she had supplied us with. - This is how pre-War we had a bigger export trade of manufactured goods than any other three countries put together.
But what is happening now ? We are taking the place Of protection countries.- -After crippling and in some instanees destroying our export -trade of manufactured goods and in every -case increasing the cost to consumers by prohibitive prices of raw material, protected suppliers are now shipping their surplus material to other countries at lower -prices, giving these countries the opportunity of taking over Hie export trade of manufactured goods. which we have lost. However much this monopoly may serve the purpose of boosting the shares of the protected combines supplying raw material-people have to face the fact that every penny of it conies out of their pockets for the benefit of protected indus- tries.—I am, Sir, &c., • JAMEB H. WEAG-ER. 1 Leaden/all Street, London, E.C.3.