- Project Runeberg -  Finland : its public and private economy /

(1902) [MARC] Author: Niels Christian Frederiksen
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While a tariff union with Russia under the present
protective and prohibitive system would injure the
sound natural portion of Finnish manufactures, it would,
as already said, be entirely destructive of commerce,
trade, and navigation. It would increase the price of
all present imports, — coal, iron and other metals,
machines, and the most common necessaries of life,
such as sugar, coffee, and salt. By destroying the
import trade it would also hinder export, first by
rendering life and production more difficult and costly;
then by diminishing the already small freights which
ships can take home to the country; finally, by
decreasing the value of the means of payment in foreign
countries — its bills of exchange on these countries. If
we consider its influence on commerce, that most useful
aid to civilisation, we shall understand still better the
extent to which this measure would be destructive of
the whole national development. We have no need
to speak here of its influence on the situation in
Russia, on its commerce, agriculture, and business in
general. We have already spoken of the effect of the
high Russian duties on the most important Finnish
manufacturing interests. In reality, all who produce
goods are consumers by the necessities of their life and
their industrial activity. It is calculated that a simple
fisher family consisting of four persons, which is rather
below the general number, would have to pay
eighty-five marks more per annum, fifty-five marks fifty penni
as increased duty on the salt needed for forty barrels
of Baltic herrings prepared for sale, and thirty marks
for such simple necessities as coffee, chickory, iron, &c.
A Finnish cottier who keeps four cows and a horse
would have to pay fifty marks extra for iron, nails,
woollens, coffee, chickory, &c. A common peasant
proprietor with forty cows and five horses would have to pay

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