The Candlemakers’ Petition. by Frédéric Bastiat (). A Petition from the Manufacturers of Candles, Wax-Lights, Lamps, Chandeliers, Reflectors, Snuffers, . 09/19/Claude Frédéric Bastiat. Petition of the Manufacturers of Candles, Waxlights, Lamps, Candlelights, Street Lamps, Snuffers, Extinguishers, and the. I’ve taken the liberty of channeling my “inner Bastiat” to revise and modernize “ The Candlemakers’ Petition” for today’s protectionist climate that.

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If more tallow be consumed, there will arise a necessity for an increase of cattle and sheep. The consumer is interested in the free introduction of iron, coal, corn, wheat, cloths, etc. But what shall we say of the candlemakerx of articles de Paris? Thousands of vessels will proceed to the whale fishery; and in a short time, we shall possess a navy capable of maintaining the honor of France, and gratifying the patriotic aspirations of your petitioners, the undersigned candlemakers and others.

Once more, when products pwtition as coal, iron, corn, or textile fabrics are sent us from abroad, and we can acquire them with less labor than if we made them ourselves, the difference is a free gift conferred upon us.

The Candlemakers’ Petition | Mises Institute

The gift is more or less considerable in proportion as the difference is more or less great. Only have the goodness to reflect, gentlemen, and you will be convinced that there is perhaps no Frenchman, from the wealthy coalmaster to the humblest vendor of lucifer matches, whose lot will not be ameliorated by the success of this our petition. If then the demi-gratuity can determine you to check competition, on what principle petigion the entire gratuity be alleged as a reason for admitting it?

This rival, who is no other than candlemakerz sun, carries on so bitter a war against us, that we have every reason to believe that he has been excited to this course by our perfidious neighbor England. But, again, you may say that the producer and petifion are identical. Thus, when an orange reaches us from Portugal, one can say that it is given to us half free of charge, or, in other words, at half price as compared with those from Paris.

Numerous swarms of bees will gather upon our mountains the perfumed treasures, peittion are now cast upon the winds, useless as the blossoms from which they emanate.


We trust, gentlemen, that you will not regard this our request as a satire, or refuse it without at least first hearing the reasons which we have to urge in its support. First, if candlfmakers shut off as much as possible all access to natural light, and thereby create a need for artificial light, what industry in France will not ultimately be encouraged?

If you were consistent, you would, while excluding as hurtful to native industry what is half gratuitous, exclude a fortiori and with double zeal that which is altogether gratuitous. The moment he shows himself, our trade leaves us — all consumers apply to him; and a branch of native industry, having countless ramifications, is all at once rendered completely stagnant.

Our moors will be covered with resinous trees. You have done so in order to encourage industry and to increase employment.

Again, when any article, as coal, iron, cheese, or cloth, comes to us from foreign countries with less labor than if we produced it ourselves, the difference in price is a gratuitous gift conferred upon us; and the gift is more or less considerable, according as the difference is greater or less.

Our petition prtition, that it would please your honorable body to pass a law whereby shall be directed the shutting up of all windows, bastiqt, sky-lights, shutters, curtains, vasistas, oeil-de-boeufs, in a word, all openings, holes, chinks and fissures through which the light of the sun is used to penetrate basyiat our dwellings, to the prejudice of the profitable manufactures which we flatter ourselves we have been enabled to bestow candlrmakers the country; which country cannot, therefore, without ingratitude, leave us now to struggle unprotected through so unequal a contest.

We ask you to be so good as to pass a law requiring the closing of all windows, dormers, skylights, inside and outside shutters, curtains, casements, bull’s-eyes, deadlights, and blinds — in short, all openings, holes, chinks, and fissures through which the light of the sun is wont to enter houses, to the detriment of the basriat industries with which, we are proud to say, we have endowed the country, a country that cannot, without betraying ingratitude, abandon us today to so unequal a combat.

If an orange from Lisbon sells for half the price of an orange from Paris, it is because the natural heat of the sun, which is, of course, canxlemakers of charge, does for the former what the latter owes to artificial heating, which necessarily has to be paid for in the market.


Now it is precisely on account of this demi-gratuity excuse the word that you argue in favor of exclusion. To take another example: This plant, luxuriant and exhausting to the soil, will come in good time to profit by the increased fertility candlemakres the raising of cattle will have communicated to our fields.

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Navigation would equally profit. To repulse us, precisely for the reason that our case is a more complete one than any which have preceded it, would be to lay down the following equation: You have done this to encourage laborto increase the demand for labor.

Now, it is precisely on the basis of its being semigratuitous pardon the word that you maintain it should be barred. The question, and we pose it formally, is whether what you desire for France is the benefit of consumption free of charge or the alleged advantages candlemakera onerous production. No, nothing is more deceptive than theory.

The portion of Nature is always gratuitous; that of labor alone regulates the price.

The Candlemakers’ Petition, by Frederic Bastiat

You are on the right track. If the manufacturer gains by protection, he will cause the agriculturist to gain also; if agriculture prospers, it opens a market for manufactured goods.

Numerous swarms of bees will, on the mountains, gather perfumed treasures, now wasting their fragrance on the desert air, like the flowers from which they emanate.

Thus we, if you confer bastiqt us petktion monopoly of furnishing light during the day, will as a first consequence buy large quantities of tallow, coals, oil, resin, wax, alcohol, silver, iron, bronze, crystal, for the supply of our business; and then we and our numerous contractors having become rich, our consumption will be great, and will become a means of contributing to the comfort and competency of the workers in every branch of national labor.

We shall say, then, your practice — your practice without theory and without principle. If France consumes more tallow, there will have to be more cattle and sheep, and, consequently, we shall see an increase in cleared fields, meat, wool, leather, and especially manure, the basis of all agricultural wealth.