FREE trade does not mean the absence of customs duties or the official control of shipping. These may be necessary for purely revenue reasons. It means that the domestic merchant is neither hindered nor helped by his government in the home or export markets. It means that every customs duty has a countervailing excise duty, supported by a system of surtaxes and allowances, to make up any differences in the costs incurred through the official supervision of imports and local manufactures. Logically, free trade would mean that any bounties or subsidies should apply to imports as well as home produce; and that quotas should not be confined to imports, but should be allocated proportionately to all goods for home consumption. This bare mention of bounties and similar devices is enough to show that they have no place in a system of free trade. Protection means that by some method, not necessarily tariffs, the government of a country is assisting its nationals in their competition with foreign merchants.