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into this bill, which the President has once vetoed, and which it is known he will veto again, but would approve in a separate bill which is voted down by the friends of distribution? In the message of President Jackson, placing his veto upon this bill, that illustrious patriot and statesman declared: “l deceive myself greatly if the new States would find their interests promoted by such a system as this bill proposes. Their true policy consists in the rapid settling and improvement of the waste lands within their limits. As a means of hastening those events, they have long been looking to a reduction in the price of public lands, upon the final payment of the national debt. The effect of the proposed system would be to prevent that reduction. “I do not doubt that it is the real interest of each and all the States in the Union, and particularly of the new States, that the price of these lands shall be reduced and graduated; and that after they have been of. fered for a certain number of years, the refuse remaining unsold shall be abandoned to the States, and the machinery of our land system entirely withdrawn.” “While the burdens of the East are diminishing by the reduction of the duties upon imports, it seems but equal justice that the chief burden of the West should be lightened in an equal degree at least.” Such is the just and liberal policy recommended by the President of the United States; and can any citizen of any new State doubt or hesitate as to the two propositions? The one system will forever prevent a reduction of the price of the public lands, retard their settlement, restrain emigration to the West, destroy pre-emption laws, prevent donations to settlers, encourage sales to speculating monopolists, enhance the price, by introducing secret sealed bids, prevent the surrender of the refuse lands to the new States, support the State Governments of the old States from money extracted from the people of the new States, perpetuate the surplus system, and render an increase of the tariff inevitable. The other system, proposed by the President, and which will ultimately prevail if this distribution project can be defeated, will subdue the lands of the West, fill them with a race of farmers and cultivators, increase our wealth and population, develop our resources, and leave this unnecessary surplus in the hands of our citizens, to be used by each freeman to advance the welfare of himself and family. Reduction of the revenue to the wants of the Government is our true policy. Reduce the tariff, reduce the price of the public lands, and you will have no surplus for distribution; but establish the distribution system, and you will never reduce; on the contrary, you will soon inevitably augment the tariff and the price of the public lands. in sustaining distribution, I would oppose reduction, for they are opposing principles. In sustaining distribution, I would oppose pre-emptions and donations to settlers, encourage monopolies by speculators of the public lands, and introduce the system of secret sealed bids, by which we are threatened by the committee which reported this bill. And, finally, in supporting distribution, I would sustain the tariff, and render its augmentation inevitable, and a consequent depression of the price of our great staple. These are my views upon this important subject, and I thank the Senate for their indulgent attention to my remarks upon this question. When Mr. WALKER had concluded, The bill was, by general consent, laid on the table. Mr. LINN rose to move that the Senate adjourn. He had no disposition, he said, to delay the vote on the land bill, but he hoped it would not be taken before Tuesday. The state of the northwestern frontier was such, that he wished to know what Congress would do for its protection, before the vote on the land bill was taken,
Mr. L. then withdrew his motion to adjourn, at the request of Mr. MORRIS, who moved that, when the Senate adjourn, it adjourn to meet on Tuesday next; the House of Representatives having adjourned over to that day. Mr. HILL called for the yeas and nays on this motion, which were ordered; and the question was decided in the negative by the following vote: YEAs—Messrs. Clay, Clayton, Crittenden, Cuthbert, 2wing of Illinois, Fwing of Ohio, Goldsborough, Grundy, Leigh, McKean, Mangum, Morris, Niles, Preston, Robinson, Ruggles, Shepley, Swift, Tallmadge—19. Nays—Messrs. Benton, Black, Buchanan, Calhoun, Davis, Hendricks, Hill, Hubbard, Kent, King of Alabama, King of Georgia, Knight, Linn, Naudain, Nicholas, Porter, Prentiss, Robbins, Southard, Tomlinson, Walker, Webster, White, Wright—24. Mr. RUGGLES moved that when the Senate adjourn, it adjourn to meet on Monday next. Mr. BUCHANAN opposed the motion, and called for the yeas and nays. They had arrived, he said, at a stage of the session when they had but little time to spare. They ought to act speedy on the appropriation bills, for which the public service was suffering. Mr. Ruggles's motion was negatived: Yeas 13, nays 29, as follows: YEAs--Messrs. Benton, Crittenden, Cuthbert, Ewing of Illinois, Goldsborough, Hendricks, McKean, Morris, Niles, Preston, Robinson, Ruggles, Shepley-–13. NAys—Messrs. Black, Buchanan, Calhoun, Clay, Clayton, Davis, Ewing of Ohio, Grundy, Hill, Hubbard,
Kent, King of Alabama, King of Georgia, Knight, Leigh,
Linn, Naudain, Nicholas, Porter, Prentiss, Robbins, Southard, Swift, Tallmadge, Tomlinson, Walker, Webster, White, Wright-–29. Mr. EWING observed that, as several members would be absent on Saturday and Monday, he would not call up the land bill until Tuesday next. On motion of Mr. LINN, The Senate adjourned.
SATURDAY, APRIL 30. INCENDIARY PUBLICATIONS.
On motion of Mr. GRUNDY, the Senate took up the bill prohibiting deputy postmasters from receiving and transmitting by mail publications therein specified, in order to enable him to offer an amendment.
Mr. GRUNDY then moved to strike out all the original bill, after the enacting clause, and to insert a substitute, which he sent to the chair, and which was read.
On motion of Mr. GRUNDY, the amendment was ordered to be printed; and the bill was laid on the table.
On motion of Mr. PRESTON, the Senate took up the bill authorizing the President of the United States to appoint an agent or agents to prosecute and receive from the British court of chancery the legacy bequeathed to the United States by the late James Smithson of London, for the purpose of establishing at Washington city an institution for the increase of knowledge among men, to be called the Smithsonian University.
Mr. P. said that by this will it was intended that this Government should become the beneficiaries of this legacy, and contended that if they had not the competence to receive it by the constitution, the act of no individual could confer the power on them to do so. He claimed that they had not the power to receive the money for national objects, and, if so, the expending it for another object was a still higher power. He controverted the position that if they could not receive it as the beneficiary iegatee, they might receive it as the fiduciary agent. If SENATE.]
they had not the power to establish a university without the power conferred on them by a grant, they could not have it with the grant; or what they could not exercise directly, they could not exercise as trustee. He referred to a report made by Mr. Adams in the House of Representatives, in which the genealogy of Mr. Smithson was given and traced through the line of the illustrious Percys and Seymours of England. He thought this donation had been partly made with a view to immortalize the donor, and that it was too cheap a way of conferring immortality. There was danger of their imaginations being run away with by the associations of Chevy Chase ballads, &c.; and he had no idea of this District being used as a fulcrum to raise foreigners to immortality by getting Congress, as the parens patriae of the District of Columbia, to accept donations from them. The committee had misconceived the facts: the bequest was to the United States of America to found a university in the District of Columbia, under the title of the “Smithsonian University;” and the execution of the terms of the legacy was to redound to the purposes of the donation, which was for the benefit of all mankind. It was general in its terms, and not limited to the D'strict of Columbia; it was for the benefit of the United States, and could not be received by Congress. Mr. LEIGH said he would thank the gentleman to inform the Senate that the report he had referred to was made in the House of Representatives, and not by a committee of the Senate. The report of the Senate's committee was simply a statement of matters of fact. Mr. L. explained the provisions of the will, which were simply these: The testator, James Smithson, bequeathed to his nephew, James Henry Hungerford, a legacy of one hundred thousand pounds sterling; providing, that if Mr. Hungerford should die without children, the legacy should enure to the United States, for the purpose of founding, at the city of Washington, an institution for the increase of knowledge among men, to be called the Smithsonian University; and the Government had received information from the American consul at London that Mr. Hungerford had lately died without ever having been married, and without leaving any children. It now became necessary, Mr. L. said, for Congress to determine whether it was competent for the United States to receive this money; and if they should receive it, to take measures for carrying the intentions of the testator into effect. The committee to whom this subject had been referred were all of opinion, with the exception of the gentleman from South Carolina, [Mr. PREston,] that it was proper for the United States to receive this money. They had not considered the question at all, whether it was in the power of Congress to establish a national university; nor was it necessary they should do so. They looked upon this bequest as having been made simply for the benefit of one of the cities of the District of Columbia, of which Congress was the constitutional guardian, and could receive and apply the money in that form. Congress was the parens patriæ of the District of Columbia, in the sense laid down by Blackstone; a power which necessarily belonged to every Government, and could therefore very properly receive this trust for a charitable purpose in the District of Columbia. Congress had in fact exercised this power of parens patriæ of the loistrict in the establishment of an orphans’ court, in the erection and support of a penitentiary, and could create an establishment to take care of lunatics; and, indeed, if it did not possess this power, in what a deplorable condition would this District be. The States of Maryland and Virginia undoubtedly possessed this power, and of course Congress derived it, as to the District, from their deeds of cession. He did not look upon this legacy to be for the benefit of the United States, but for the benefit of one of the cities of the
District over which Congress was guardian; and he had therefore no difficulty in voting for the bill. Mr. PRESTON was aware of the decision of the Supreme Court cited by the Senator from Virginia, [Mr. LEigh, that the people of this District might be taxed without representation; and he had no doubt that these corporations could exercise a trust. But this was not a trust to the city of Washington. The United States was the cestuy que trust, and not the city of Washington. The corporation of the city of Washington could not enforce this claim in a court of chancery in England. If an institution of the kind was desired, he would prefer it to be established out of our own funds, and not have Congress pander to the paltry vanity of any individual. If they accepted this donation, every whippersnapper vagabond that had been traducing our country might think proper to have his name distinguished in the same way. It was not consistent with the dignity of the country to accept even the grant of a man of noble birth or lineage. Mr. Ci,AYTON said, the Senator from South Carolina [Mr. Calhoun] had considered this as a donation to the United States. It was not so. The United States was merely named in the will as the trustee, and was to receive no benefit whatever. It was merely a charitable object to establish a university in the District of Columbia. They had established similar institutions within the District of Columbia, by acts of Congress, and no one doubted the power to permit persons from other places to be educated in them. Mr. CALHOUN said, if his memory served him, there was opposition made to the passage of those acts. Mr. CLAYTON said he believed there was some objection made to the policy, but not to the power, of making the donation. It was to be located in the city of Washington, and persons in this city would be more benefited by it than any others. Mr. ÖALHOUN was of opinion that this donation was made expressly to the United States. By reading the terms in which the bequest was made, it was impossible to conceive otherwise. The bequest was “to the United States of America, for the purpose of establishing, at the city of Washington, an institution for the increase of knowiedge among men.” Now, take out the words “the city of Washington,” and the donation was clearly to the United States. The words “the city of Washington,” were only used to designate the place where the university was to be established, and not by any stretch of the meaning of language to be considered as making the donation to the city. He understood the Senators, on all hands, to agree that it was not in the power of Con: gress to establish a national university, and they all agreed that they could establish a university in the District of Columbia. Now, on this principle, they could not receive the bequest; for the District of Columbia was not even named in it; the city of Washington being only designated as the place where the university was to be established, and the bequest being expressly made to the United States. He thought that acting under this legacy would be as much the establishment of a national university, as if they appropriated money for the purpose; and he would indeed much rather appropriate the money, for he thought it was beneath the dignity of the United States to receive presents of this kind from any one. He could never pass through the rotundo of the Capitol without having his feelings outraged by seeing that statue of Mr. Jefferson, which had been placed there contrary to their consent. Mr. ŠOUTHARD said that the Senator from South Carolina was mistaken in saying that every Senator agreed that it was not in the power of Congress to estab: lish a national university. He, for one, believed that Congress had the unquestionable right to do so. This,
MAY 2, 1836.]
however, did not involve the constitutionality of the question before them; as, in his opinion, the most rigid construction of the constitution would not be adverse to the bill. Congress had the same right to establish this university that they had to charter a college in Georgetown or Alexandria. Mr. BUCHANAN believed that Congress had the power to receive and apply this money to the purposes intended by the testator, without involving the question whether they had the power to establish a national university or not. There was no question but that James Smithson, in his lifetime, had a right to establish a university at the city of Washington, and call it the Smithsonian University; or a national university, if he pleased; and Congress, by receiving and applying this bequest, would only act as the trustee of the city of Washington, for whose benefit it was made. Mr. WALKER would not discuss the question whether this was a national university, because he believed that question was not involved. But he should vote for the bill, on the ground that Congress would be doing manifest injustice to the citizens of the city of Washington by refusing to accept the donation. It was true that it operated for the benefit of all mankind, but not more so than a university established at Princeton or any other place. The Senator from South Carolina [Mr. Calhous] had said they ought to read the will as if the words “at Washington” were left out. He (Mr. W.) did not think so; they ought to read it just as it was, in connexion with the whole, and give it its true construction, which was, that the United States was only designated as the trustee, and the people of the city of Washington had a right to call upon Congress, as the representatives of the United States, to execute the trust. Mr. DAVIS said this man, Smithson, it was said, had devised one hundred thousand pounds sterling for the establishment of a university in the city of Washington to diffuse knowledge among men. It seemed to be taken for granted that it was for the establishment of a university, although he believed the word university was not to be found in the will. He could not infer why it was so construed, as there were other means of diffusing knowledge among men besides doing it through the medium of universities, and he therefore thought the discussion, as to the particular design of the gift, premature. He did not regard it as a gift or bequest to the Government. If he did, he would have all the feelings evinced by the Senator from South Carolina, [Mr. PnestoN.] The testator had not specified what special purpose it was to be applied to, nor when the fund was to be used; and Congress might defer using it until it became large enough to be used advantageously to the purposes of diffusing knowledge among mankind. If they denied the right to establish a university, they denied the right to establish all institutions of charity. The same question involved in this was also involved in the incorporation of institutions which had been incorporated by them in this District. The only question now under consideration was, whether they should receive this money. He would vote for it, and, if they could not devise some appropriate disposition of it after it was received, he would be willing to send it back by the first return packet. Mr. CALHOUN asked the Senator from Massachusetts [Mr. Davis] what construction he would put upon the will, if the words “at Washington” had been left out of it. Mr. DAVIS replied that he would put the same construction on it then as he did now. His first inquiry would be whether it was for a charitable purpose; and, if there was no power to establish the institution in any of the States, he would establish it in the District of Columbia; and if the power to establish it there was doubt
ed, he would establish it in one of the Territories. He deemed the establishment of institutions for the diffusion of knowledge a vital principle of a republican Government. They might as well say that delivering lectures in any of the sciences was a national institution, as to call this one. Mr. PRESTON said the declaration of the Senator from New Jersey [Mr. South ARD] had satisfied him that this was a national university. There was no difference between a university in the District of Columbia for the benefit of all mankind and a national university. That Senator had not distinguished between the power of erecting buildings and the use to which they were appropriated. They had the power to erect buildings in loco parentis patria for the benefit of the District of Columbia; they might erect buildings for the maintenance of paupers of the District; but if the people of the District, in this case, were to have any benefit peculiar to the place, it was in the erection of the buildings alone. He asked if the buildings of the Post Office Department were erected by Congress as the parens patriae of the District of Columbia? Had they the right, as parens patriae of the District of Columbia, to erect this building for the benefit humani generis of this District, when in fact it was a general charity to mankind, including the confederacy, and not confined to the District of Columbia? He was against the power, and would be against the policy, if they had the power. After some further remarks from Messrs. LEIGH and PRESTON, the question was taken on ordering the bill to be engrossed for a third reading, and decided in the affirmative: Yeas 31, nays 7, as follows: YEAs—Messrs. Benton, Black, Buchanan, Clay, Clayton, Crittenden, Cuthbert, Davis, Fwing of Ohio, Goldsborough, Grundy, Hendricks, Hubbard, Kent, King of Alabama, Knight, Leigh, Linn, Mangum, Moore, Naudain, Nicholas, Porter, Prentiss, Rives, Robbins, Southard, Swift, Tallmadge, Tomlinson, Walker—31. NAys—Messrs. Calhoun, Ewing of Illinois, Hill, King of Georgia, Preston, Robinson, White-–7. The Senate then adjourned.
Mon DAY, MAY 2. FOREIGN PAUPERS.
Mr. DAVIS presented the following resolution, adopted by the Legislature of Massachusetts: Resolved, That it is expedient to instruct our Senators and request our Representatives in Congress to use their endeavors to obtain the passage of a law to prevent the introduction of foreign paupers into this country, and to favor any other measures which Congress may be disposed to adopt to effect this object. Mr. DAVIS said he feared that the resolve would not be fully understood in all parts of the country, and would therefore take leave to offer some explanation of the reasons which had probably induced the Legislature to act upon the subject. He need not say it was important, as, otherwise, it would not be presented here in this form. If he did not mistake the signs of the times, the wrongs which had been inflicted on Massachusetts would soon reach other places, and the country would participate in her sentiments. - It is well known (said Mr. D.) that pauperism in Europe has become a great and oppressive burden. In England, especially, it has become so powerful in numbers and physical power as to be, in some districts, almost uncontrollabie. The number had not, to his knowledge, been accurately ascertained; but the means were at and to prove that the aggregate and power were great and oppressive. It appeared, from parliamentary documents, that, in 1818, the sums expended by the parishes in England and Wales alone, where SENATE.]
[May 2, 1836.
these corporations provide for the poor, amounted to about thirty-eight millions of dollars; a sum greater than the whole revenue of this country for public purposes. The burdens, as well as other evils, were so severely felt, that public attention had been drawn to the subject, with a hope of obtaining relief. Much had been written and much said, but no efficient action had taken place up to 1833, when the King appointed a commission, with large powers, to collect evidence and report to the Parliament. The commissioners appointed a large number of sub-commissioners, assigning to each a district, and authorizing them to collect evidence, and report to the general board. They proceeded in the execution of their duty, and their reports, with the evidence, went with the report of the general board into Parliament, when all were published, and fill a large number of closely printed folio volumes, which are in the posses. sion of the United States. These volumes shed light upon this subject, which may well fill the mind with astonishment. The evidence shows that the paupers of England and Wales are debased, demoralized, and depraved to a degree that surpasses belief; and the commissioners impute much of this to the mode of granting relief. This deserves to be much considered; for the mode did not essentially differ from that pursued in many places in this country. It was founded on an equitable arrangement, by which they attempted to measure out relief in proportion to the necessity of the pauper. It appeared that the relief was furnished by a scale, as it is called, and the pauper usually received it at his place of abode. To a married person the allowance was more liberal than to one single; to one with children more liberal than to one without. Consequences of the most disgusting character had resulted from this arrangement. Marriages, such as could never have been anticipated, had been solemnized. Women advanced in life had led minors to the altar, and nuptials of the most thoughtless, revolting character had been consecrated, and followed by domestic relations, such as may be easily imagined where there is no motive to union beyond the sordid one of obtaining larger allowances. As children give to the parent enlarged claims to public bounty, females abandoned themselves to shameless debauchery, and thus, and for such causes, seduction and open profligacy were encouraged. These were not matters of occasional occurrence, but, as the commissioners state, common—every day's practice. So shameless and lost are they to all moral decency and propriety, that they treat with scorn and contempt those who endeavor, by honest labor, to sustain themselves; they sneer at them as slaves to their own necessities, as in a condition less independent and more to be deplored than their own, holding themselves to be a privileged body, an aristocracy living upon what they extort from others. Thus they seduce the industrious from their principles and habits, and convert them into associates in their own idleness and vice. In this manner the tide of pauperism has swelled and swept with a fearful current over some portions of England, bidding defiance to the laws, and almost prostrating the civil authority. In one parish the numbers increased, and the demands with them, until the taxes exceeded the rents and income of the whole landed territory; and landlords and tenants, being thus made paupers, abandoned the soil. In many parishes the officers have declared that they dare not withhold relief, even when demanded by persons well able to support themselves, for fear of personal injury or malicious mischief to their property; and it is said that the burning of many ricks of hay and grain, of which we have heard, has come from this cause. Such is a faint outline of the picture of idleness and moral depravity disclosed by this evidence; and it is but
an outline, for the details of disgusting particulars would more than sustain and fill up the picture. The proof shows that their lives are stained with guilt and crime. It is greatly to be deplored that such a state of things exists; but such is the character of these proofs, that it may well be doubted if there is among civilized man to be found another class so reckless and depraved. It is not singular that the body politic should seek relief from such a disease preying upon its vitals, and threatening it with abiding infirmity. This (said Mr. D.) brings me to a point where I will show the interest which the American people have in this matter. In the course of the inquiries made by the commissioners, they discovered that some of the parishes had, of their own accord, and without any authority in law, as it seems, adopted the plan of ridding themselves of the evil by persuading the paupers to emigrate to this side of the Atlantic. And whom, Mr. President, did they send? The most idle and vicious; furnishing them with money, besides paying their passage, and then leaving them on this continent, either to reform or to rely on the people here for support. The commissioners, forcibly impressed with the efficiency of this plan, as a complete remedy, strongly recommended to Parliament to adopt it, and to authorize the parishes to raise money by taxes for this purpose. They proposed, too, that the most idle, debauched, and corrupt—the incurable portion—should be selected for this purpose; while the better portion should be left, to be reclaimed when detached from the force of evil counsel and evil example. They do not, it is true, propose to send them to the United States: this would be too bold a proposition; but it seems they have no objection to their finding their way hither. True to their own sentiments and unconquerable idleness, these paupers no sooner reach here than they cast themselves upon the public for support. Those acknowledging themselves to be pauper emigrants have been repeatedly found in the House of Industry in Boston, with the very money received from the parish concealed about them, and, in some instances, to prevent detection, sewed into their clothes. Out of 866 persons received into that place during the last year, 516 were foreigners; not all, by any means, of this class, nor is it possible to ascertain how many. In this way, Massachusetts disburses from her public treasury over fifty thousand dollars annually to relieve foreign paupers; and this but imperfectly meets the expense. She has attempted to modify the evil by countervailing legislation, by requiring bonds from the masters of vessels bringing foreign passengers, conditioned that for a given period they shall not become chargeable to the public. This, however, proves inadequate; for while her laws on this subject are more humane than some of the adjoining States, the emigrants will find their way into the Commonwealth. Many, doubtless, are sent out to the neighboring provinces, and thence come to us coastwise; others, perhaps, have or will enter by the Canada frontier, and penetrate to places where they can find the best provision for them. They have been detected in New York, as in Massachusetts. Now, sir, is it just? Is it morally right for Great Britain to attempt to throw upon us this oppressive burden of sustaining her poor? Shall she be permitted to legislate them out of the kingdom, and to impose on us a tax for their support, without an effort on our part to countervail such a policy? Would it not be wronging our own virtuous poor to divide their bread with those who have no just or natural claims upon us? And above all, sir, shall we fold our arms and see this moral pestilence sent among us to poison the public mind and do irremediable mischief? Sir, I hope this country will always afford an asylum to the worthy and the oppressed of all classes and conditions; but humanity makes no MAY 2, 1836.]
appeal to us to receive and cherish those who have no respect for virtue, morality, or themselves; those who are forced among us because they are too corrupt, debauched, and indolent to be tolerated in a country not over scrupulous in its morals." The subject, sir, merits consideration and further examination; and I move the printing of the resolution, and its reference to the Committee on Commerce. The motion was agreed to.
TOBACCO TRADE. The Senate having resumed the consideration of the following resolution, submitted some days ago by Mr. KENT, of Maryland: Resolved, That the President of the United States be requested to open negotiations with the Government of France, as soon as the diplomatic intercourse between the two countries shall be renewed, for the purpose of placing our trade in tobacco with that country upon a more liberal footing than the existing system of administration “en regie” admits of, and corresponding better with the generous spirit exhibited heretofore, as well as at this time, by the United States, in reducing the duties on various products from that country. And the question being on agreeing to the resolution, Mr. KENT said he had been induced to offer the resotion just read, under the persuasion that the renewal of diplomatic intercourse between the two countries would be an auspicious moment to attempt to place our trade with France upon a footing of greater reciprocity than existed at present, in his estimation, especially as re
* Since making the above remarks, the following table has been furnished by a friend.—Note by Mr. D.
gards the article of tobacco, which, in amount shipped to foreign countries, exceeds that of any other agricultural product except cotton. We (said Mr. K.) are importing very freely, indeed, the silks, wines, and brandies from France at this time almost free of duty. Our trade in those articles is every day increasing; and, low as the duties are at present, they will, under our existing laws regulating our tariff, be made still lower during the next four years. Under these favorable circumstances, all the productions of that country, at the head of which are the articles I have mentioned, are rapidly finding their way to us, and entering freely into our daily consumption; whilst the products of the United States, sent to France in exchange, increase but in a small degree, except the article of cotton. Tobacco, the growth of this country, is of a superior quality to that they are forced to grow in France, in consequence of the high duties imposed upon it; and . the Government of that country be induced to reciprocate the liberal spirit evinced on the part of the Government of the United States in our commercial regulations with her, and remove the restraints existing under her laws upon our tobacco trade, which are truly embarrassing and injurious to it, it would prove mutually beneficial. France could then advantageously discontinue its cultivation, and more of her products suitable to our consumption would be produced, and those much more congenial to her soil and the habits of her people than the culture of an inferior description of tobacco; whilst our citizens would be encouraged in their use by finding that, in doing so, they were extending their market for an article the growth of which had been long familiar to them, and which continued to employ a large capital in its production. I presume, Mr. President, more capital is engaged at this time in the cultivation of tobacco than is employed in producing sugar and rice together. In Austria the system of monopoly also exists, similar to that which prevails in France at this time. Under our existing commercial regulations with that country, liberal in every respect but as regards the article of tobacco, we rarely find a hogshead of tobacco from our country finding its way into an Austrian port; and it has
only been latterly that the enterprising tobacco dealers
of Bremen have been able to extend the quantity introduced into that country to a few thousand hogsheads. In England, also, the duty is excessive. I have submitted the resolution before you, Mr. President, and made these few remarks, that the attention of the executive department of the Government may be forcibly drawn to an important branch of our trade, at a moment when it appears we are about to introduce in the freest manner all foreign productions into our country. Commerce consists of an exchange of commodities; and, unless those exchanges are reciprocal, it cannot continue long, or to any extent, beneficially. During the last three years, so far as our custom-house returns are a safe guide, our imports have exceeded our exports between sixty-eight and sixty-nine millions of dollars. I am aware that a large portion of this apparent balance, during a prosperous condition of our commerce, is absorbed by freights, commissions, and profits; but let a reverse occur, and our produce be sent to a declining market, and this balance against our exports is no longer nominal--it is real, and can only be discharged by exporting our specie to pay it. The resolution I have submitted refers to a lucrative portion of our trade; one valuable from its amount as well as its importance to our shipping interest. From its bulky character, it requires a large portion of tonnage to transport it to market. Under these considerations, I hope it will receive the sanction of the Senate. The resolution was then agreed to.