SOPHISMS OF PROTECTION: CHAPTER XVI
OBSTRUCTED RIVERS PLEADING FOR THE PROHIBITIONISTS.
Some years since, being at Madrid,
I went to the meeting of the Cortes. The subject
in discussion was a proposed treaty with Portugal,
for improving the channel of the Douro. A member
rose and said: If the Douro is made navigable,
transportation must become cheaper, and Portuguese
grain will come into formidable competition with our
national labor. I vote against the project,
unless ministers will agree to increase our tariff
so as to re-establish the equilibrium.
Three months after, I was in Lisbon,
and the same question came before the Senate.
A noble Hidalgo said: Mr. President, the project
is absurd. You guard at great expense the banks
of the Douro, to prevent the influx into Portugal
of Spanish grain, and at the same time you now propose,
at great expense, to facilitate such an event.
There is in this a want of consistency in which I
can have no part. Let the Douro descend to our
Sons as we have received it from our Fathers.