3 DECEMBER 1904, Page 30

" It is well known that the policy of protection

has enhanced the plane of living in this country ; it is well known that owing to it, it costs more to build a ship in this country than it does abroad ; it is well known that owing to it, it costs more to operate a ship after it is built in this country than it does abroad; I could multiply this evidence a hundredfold from the state- ments of American shipbuilders and manufacturers, all strong Protectionists. The difficulty is to choose. Per contra, Mr. David MacIver tells you (Spectator, November 26th) that they are all wrong, and that their real difficulty (of which they are entirely ignorant) is their climate,—too hot in summer, too cold in winter, which makes it impossible for men to do as much work in the same time as here. The idea of the American mechanic being prevented by the American climate from doing as much work as his European competitor in a given time in any line of industry is too ludicrous.

I should be &nay for the Englishman who ventilated such an idea in America, even though the Chairman of the American Commission did reassure an absolute Free-trader who appeared at one of their sittings by a graceful remark to the effect that they (the Commission) "liked curiosities" ! Similar Protective conditions do not prevail in Germany and America, and no argument can be drawn from one cotmtry to the other. America does not, like Germany, admit all shipbuilding material duty free. I have already indicated the reservation which makes the importation of duty-free material inoperative in America, and as Mr. David MacIver clearly lacks knowledge on this point, I must refer him to the evidence given before the United States Com- mission. It is too long to quote here. Other concessions are made by Germany in a Free-trade direction for the particular benefit of shipping which Trust-ridden America cannot, and dare hot, make.—I am, Sir, &c., AUSTIN TAYLOR.