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TO THE STEREOTYPED EDITION
COMPLETE TARIFF HAND-BOOK.
Parliamentary Session of 1879, renders necessary a new edition of the present work, which is now issued under the title of “THE COMPLETE TARIFF HAND-BOOK.” The new tariff is given in full ; with the old duties, the new duties, and the American duties on corresponding articles in parallel columns. Official interpretations of the new tariff, as given in a Customs circular of recent date, are added. In the first edition was a table of the principal American imports for one year, 1876—with columns giving quantities, values, duties and actual percentages of duties on values, which is now replaced by a more extended table for 1878, giving all the above-mentioned items, and, in addition, the average value per unit of quantity. With a view to possible changes in details of the new Canadian tariff, the portion of the book relating thereto is interleaved with writing paper, left blank, on which future changes may be recorded. By this means, it is believed, the new book may be made useful for a number of years yet to come. It has besides a permanent value as a record of Canadian tariff changes during thirty years, and of what the American tariff stood at when the last great change in Canadian policy took place.
It has been suggested to the compiler that extracts from European customs tariffs, more extended than those given in the first edition, might be desirable. But as many European commercial treaties are about to
expire, and as the coming year will almost certainly witness important changes in several countries, it was not deemed worth while to extend the record of old tariffs, destined soon to be replaced by new ones.
In all probability the new tariff just adopted by Germany, and the new French tariff now being framed, but not expected to be completed until near the close of the present year, will powerfully influence the action that other European countries will shortly take. Under these circumstances the brief extracts given from several Continental tariffs are simply repeated, with the intention chiefly of showing European systems of classification.
The enlarged stereotyped edition is offered to the public as being really and truly what it professes to be—a Complete Tariff Hand-Book for Canada and the United States. It is this to begin with, having much other interesting matter thrown in. The American and Canadian tariffs, as now in force, are given in full, with several pages of sections of Acts and official interpretations; and a special value attaches to the record of former tariff changes in Canada. It is hoped that the complete work will be found of interest, not only to the Canadian public, but also to commercial men in Britain and the United States, and even in distant British Colonies. No other tariff book embracing both Canada and the United States has been published ; and no other is so likely to prove of permanent value.
On the question of Protection and National Policy for Canada the recent generaj election was decided, with a change of Government as the immediate result. The reconstruction of the tariff is the single problem that more than any other now occupies the public mind, and that must for some time to come continue to engage a principal share of public attention. Under these circumstances, it is certainly desirable that precise information regarding the customs tariffs of our own and other countries should be placed before the Canadian people in convenient and accessible form, and at a price compatible with a considerable degree of popular diffusion. It is not enough that two or three dozen leading statesmen of both parties, and a few hundred members of Parliament and other public men, should be able to make exact comparison between our own and foreign tariffs, and between our own as it now is and as it has been in years past. For the general public to form anything like an intelligent judgment of what our statesmen may propose and oppose respectively, a fair measure of information as to actual facts is absolutely necessary. Nothing to serve the purpose of conveying such information to the Canadian people generally has ever yet been placed within their reach, and it may confidently be affirmed that it is a real want which this little volume is intended to supply, and a very pressing want, too, at the present time,
The compiler has endeavoured to present, in the first place, a view of the Canadian tariff as it is, also of the changes it has undergone during the last thirty years. This takes us back to Old Canada, then consisting of the Provinces of Quebec and Ontario only, and to a period a few years anterior to the Confederation movement. Throo different tariffs are given in full—that of 1859, of Old Canada, because it and the tariff of 1858, of which it was an enlargement and expansion, were the first ever framed in this country for the avowed purpose of developing home manufactures, and in obedience to a popular demand; that of 1868, because it put the finishing touches to the tariff of 1867, which was the first enacted under Confederation ; and the present tariff, for the very obvious reason that it is the one now in force. These are given in schedule form, as in the original Acts; and the latter also in the form of alphabetical arrangement. A summary of the various changes in excise duties during thirty years is also given. Under the proper heads will be found a concise statement of all the
* The old alphabetical list is not given in this edition ; the more elaborate details of the official text of the new tariff rendering it unnecessary.
changes in the Canadian sugar duties during the past thirty years; and an account of the tea duties as affected by the legislation of 1872 and subsequent years. A specially interesting part of the book is that wherein the Canadian and American duties on a number of leading articles of commerce are given in parallel columns, for the purpose of ready comparison.
The American tariff, in schedule form, is taken from the fourth edition of Morgan's United States Tarif, 1875, since which time few alterations of any account have been made. But, in order to insure accuracy up to the present time, the revised proofs have been corrected by Heyl's large United States Tariff Book of latest date, the use of which was kindly furnished for the occasion by Hon. W. C. Howells, American Consul at Toronto.
The subject of reciprocity with the United States is naturally connected with that of the trade policy of Canada. For this reason there are given in these pages the Draft Treaty of 1874 ; the official Memorandum of that year's negotia tions, by Sir Edward Thornton and Hon. George Brown; and Mr. Brown's speech in the Senate the year following, in explanation. These documents are of permanent value, not merely as a record of the negotiations of 1874, but also as constituting a magazine of facts and figures relative to the operation of the old Treaty, and to the course of trade between the two countries during a long period of years. Whether we think Reciprocity with the Great Republic a good thing for Canada, or whether, as do some, we believe it to mean in effect com mercial annexation, with the political extinction of the Dominion as the inevitable consequence, and that the separate existence of our new nationality” is best assured without it matters not. Thirteen years of Reciprocity, and the effort of 1874 for its restoration, are upon the record, and cannot properly be omitted in the present connection. The principal object of the book being to do something never done before, viz., to publish to the Canadian people what the figures of the American Tariff actually are, and to put plainly before them the hard facts of American commercial policy-some ninety pages, or more than half the space, are devoted to this and the subject of Reciprocity together.
The extracts from the French tariff (general), are translated from a copy kindly lent for the purpose by Mr. C. O. Perrault, French Vice-Consul at Montreal.
The extracts from the French tarifi on British goods, under the Anglo-French Treaiy, and the portions given of the tariff's of Germany, Holland, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland, are taken from an official Returu made to the British House of Co mons in 1876, being therefore up to a comparatively recent date. In this Return the equivalents of the foreign import duties are given in English money, weights and measures, by which the English or Canadian reader, looking over the figures, is saved much troublesome calculation. Without this important convenience, indeed, the tariff figures of Continental Europe would be of little practical use to the general public, either in England or Canada.