The consideration of the commercial, if not the political relations which it will become, the interest of the West to hold to the Southern Confederacy is one which cannot be long defer[r]ed in view of the rapid progress made in the organization of the seceded States into a separate Government and of the probable commercial policy which the Government of the Southern Confederacy will find it to be [to] its interest to adopt.

The policy of the adhering States of the Union under the new regime will be enunciated in the Tariff Bill now before Congress, and which in all probability will become a law. This policy will impose onerous restrictions upon commerce, and burdens in the shape of indirect taxation upon many of the necessaries of life and implements used by husbandmen and mechanics, in their respective avocations, under the pretext of encouraging and protecting home industry, while the Government of the Southern Confederation will either open the ports of the seceded States free to the commerce of the world, or at most impose no greater burdens on it than to raise a sufficient revenue to pay the expenses of the Government of the new Confederation. It is estimated that an average duty of ten per cent. upon imports will be sufficient for revenue purposes in the Southern Confederacy, while the tariff upon similar commodities imported into the adhering States will average not less than fifty per cent.

The question which will soon present itself to the West for its consideration is, whether it prefers to pay a dollar and a half for a commodity at Boston, New York, Philadelphia, or other ports in the adhering States of the Union to purchasing similar goods at New Orleans or one of the Ports of the seceded States at a dollar, should these ports be open to free trade, or at a dollar and ten cents, should a revenue duty be imposed upon foreign commodities.

This question is not simply a speculative one; it will soon become practical in its operations, and as such, the West must soon consider it, and determine what relations this section of the country will hold towards the North and South.

The imposition of restrictions upon commerce is a favorite theory of New England and Pennsylvania politicians and political economists, for the very good reason that by means of duties upon imports all the rest of the country is made tributary to the manufacturing interests of these States; but the moment that the advantages, either of free trade, or of a tariff imposed for the mere purpose of raising revenue, becomes manifest to the West, as it will should the seceded States persist in their apparent determination to establish an independent Government, is it to be presumed that the States of the Mississippi valley will consent to remain tributary to the interests of New England and Pennsylvania at the enormous expense and disadvantage to which a political connection with those interests would subject these Western States[?]

The President elect having suggested in his tour to the Capital the interrogative form of eliciting information, we follow his illustrious example in putting questions to our readers and through them to the people of the whole West.

The world seems to have reached that stage of enlightenment in political affairs which recognizes both the right and propriety of political communities in taking the best care they can of their own interests, provided they do so without infringing upon the rights of others. It is in pursuance of this principle that Northern sentiment in these United States, disregarding and ignoring the constitutional compact made in other times and under different circumstances, arrays itself in hostility to the exercise of rights which it regards as inimical to its interests and well-being; and it is in accordance with the same principle that those communities in the South which have seceded from the United States, have taken a course which to them seems best for the promotion of their own interests and the protection of their rights.

This disruption of the United States changes the relations of the West materially to its late confederates, and there are but few alternatives left it to choose from in the new relation it may think it best for its interests to adopt. Will it for the sake of a mere Political connection with eastern Manufacturing States, consent to pay forty or fifty per cent more for commodities, the manufacture of these States, than it can purchase similar commodities for by forming a Political alliance with those States through whose Ports commerce will be comparatively unrestricted, and where western productions will find a better market than they will at Ports where commerce will be practically inhibited[?] In the language of Mr. Lincoln “we are only asking questions” but we confess that they are questions which embrace considerations for Western thought which will soon have to be determined on, and on the decision of which will depend in a large degree the future happiness and prosperity of the West.

We are not unaware of the effect it may have upon certain minds to put these questions at the present time. There are still left many of a class of persons who perceive evil intent in every foreshadowing of future events which may be repugnant to their wishes. The business of a journalist, to be worth anything beyond the mere publication of transpiring events, is to anticipate, if it can, what is likely to be the effect of certain causes, and to warn the reader in advance of what it thinks likely to occur. Such has been, under our direction, the course of the HERALD, and although the conclusions we have drawn from time to time from transpiring events have not been such as was the most desirable to be experienced, and which in several instances it would have been much more desirable to avoid, yet it was not for us to lull into a false security those who depended upon us for a candid opinion, or to remain an indifferent spectator of popular movements which we plainly perceived would revolutionize the country and lead to the establishment of new political relations among the States of the Union. All this was foreseen and anticipated, yet there are those among the community, perhaps among the readers of the HERALD, to whom it is a mortal offense to draw legitimate conclusions from causes which inevitably produce anticipated results. To such persons especially we commend the consideration of the questions suggested by the dismemberment of the Union and the establishment by some of its fragments of a new Confederacy.

The time for mere Partisanship is past, and it is not in the light of Party Politics, nor by means of Party organizations that the future course of the West must be guided. Democrats, Republicans or whatever else we may have been in politics, concerns our future relations to the existing and probable future condition of the rest of the country but little. The PEOPLE Of the West must act for themselves as other sections of the Union act for their own peculiar advantage, and in doing so, it is not as partisans but as Patriots and Statesmen that conscience should approve our course.