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APRIL 15, 1830.]
Collection of the Imposts, &c.
[H. OF R.
not actually cost him more than the price at which it had The Committee of Ways and Means, from the same con. passed the custom-bouse, and on which the duty was paid ? viction, have reported the present bill, which does not tax This fact does not need further explanation."
public sales, but only restores those responsibilities and * Messrs.
- merchants, in Pearl-street, called on usages which formed the common practice of importers ! a commission merchant here to buy bombasins. He of in those prosperous times when smuggling was unknown
fered to sell them at cost and charges, which he supposed | - before auctions bad destroyed regular trade. If these would be sixty-five per cent. advance on the sterling cost. usages had never been interrupted, mady millions would The goods were shown, and the sterling invoice exhibited have been saved to the Treasury of the United States. by the salesman. The merchants, seeing that the article Formerly, smuggling, like other great crimes
, was of rare was charged low, offered to buy three cases, at sixty per occurrence, and perpetrated under accidental temptations. cent. advance. This offer was accepted, and the goods Now, by means of auctions, it has become a system, mawere to be delivered. The buyers asked and obtained tured in all its parts, with a mechanism as carefully adaptthe privilege of taking the balance of the invoice, (about ed to its purposes, as in the most regular and lawful ocnine cases,) if, on examination of the article at their own cupation. store, their impressions of the goods being low charged * The officers of the customs in this city, whose experishould be confirmed. About an hour after the purchase ence has been on the largest scale, and who bave devoted was made, the salesman waited on the buyers, to say that much attention to this subject, concur in the opinions and the goods could not be delivered, as he bad made a mis- facts which we have now stated." take in selling them by the wrong invoice. The buyers I shall remark on auctions hereafter. replied that they would take the goods by the prices at I now appeal to every gentleman in the least acquaintwhich they had been entered at the custom-bouse ; but the ed with public opinion in New York. Is it not generally commission merchant refused this, saying that his instruc- understood that our laws are evaded! Is it not the pretions were to sell them at an advance upon the prices put vailing impression of the community that the revenue is down on what had the form of an invoice, but was called defrauded that the laws of the country are violated, and a 'statement of twelve cases of bombasins, consigned this in the most flagrant manner ? to
&c. &c. 'in which the prices were charged Again, sir: The President in his message clearly intione huodred per cent. above the invoice entered at the cus- mates that our revenue laws are evaded. I know that he tom-house; that is, goods charged in the custom-house is anxious that provision should be made to carry them invoice at sixty shillings per piece, were put down in the into execution. From the Secretary of the Treasury we invoice called a statement,' at one bundred and twenty are informed that the laws are evaded, and that the attenshillings.
tion of the Government is required. The collector of " When the purchasers remonstrated, upon bis refusal the port of New York, I know, is perfectly satisfied that to deliver the three cases already bought, he replied that it continued violations of our laws take place. As a faithwas ungenerous and unjust to desire a confirmation of a ful, vigilant, indefatigable officer, he has no superior uisale made by mistake; and, to convince them that the pur der the Government. He fearlessly executes the laws to chase would be a good one at the bighest prices, stated the extent of his power. Give me such men, whatever
that a retailer, who does the largest business in this city, political power controls the affairs of the nation. But his in and is presumed to be a good judge, bad offered to buy authority is deficient. He has not the means.
one case at sixty per cent advance on the statement We have now seen how affairs are conducted at the | prices, but he wanted six months' credit, which was too custom-house, how invoices are made; let us notice what long to be given on a single case.
takes place in tbe appraisers' office. The office of apI will state another case, for wbich I have the most un- praiser was created by the act of 1818, for the purpose of į questionable authority. An Englishman, who has resided aiding the collectors of the revenue in the prevention of
in New York for a number of years, and was a very large frauds. The office was provided for by the act of 1823, # receiver of woollen goods, principally cloths, all of which and has continued to the present time. I have already
were sold at auction, had, some time last spring, a serious stated the proportion of ad valorem goods sent by the 3 misunderstanding between himself and his chief clerk, collector to their charge, that is one package out of eve
wbich resulted in some disclosures being made by the ry invoice at least, and, if more are contained in the inclerk to the custom-house, and he fled to Canada. voice, at least one package in twenty. The appraisers. 28
In the second, third, and fourth quarters of the year has been stated, require the invoice to be produced before 1829, there were imported in New York about five thou- they decide on the value. I am informed by one of the sand dollars worth of woollens above the four dollars mini- appraisers, that the invoice is used as evidence of the value mum. I have reason to believe that one person alone of the goods which it contains. It is well known that, in bought and sold a greater amount during the same time. common practice, it is the only standard of valuation. Again, sir, I bere exhibit samples of broadcloths, wbich Not more than seven or nine thousand dollars of woollen (and I have the best authority for stating it) passed the goods have been found by the appraisers undervalued in custom-bouse in New York under the dollar minimum, and the invoice for the year past, although millions bave passed sold in the Boston market at five dollars the running yard, through the custom-house. A part, if not all, of the unor three dollars and thirty-four cents the square yard. I dervaluations were discovered by an open examination of leave every person to judge if euch goods were fairly va- the goods imported in the ship Silas Richards, to which I lued in the invoice, and paid the legal duty. Again: I have before referred. It may therefore be considered as shall now refer to more evidence. I offer it to show what the general practice of the appraisers to take the invoice is the impression that prevails amongst the most intelligent value as the real value on which duties are to be assessed citizens of New York on this subject. I will read an ex- I have already shown bow invoices for the custom-house tract from a paper placed in our hands, to which is attach- are prepared, and every one can judge how much credit
ed a responsible pame-Jeromus Jobison, formerly a mem- should be given them. There is too much intelligence !
ber of this House. He, as the chairman of a most respect in this committee to require any further explanation, able and intelligent body of the citizens of New York, and Under the existing state of things, what is the security for by them sanctioned, made the following public declaration : the revenue? What for the protection intended to be
* The revenue is largely and systematically defrauded given to the domestic industry of the country? There is by means of the concealment afforded by auctions. The no check, no barrier, to the unprincipled adventurer.
proofs of this alarming truth are so abundant, that it has The door is thrown wide open. A mammoth might pass i long been a settled point among the intelligent merchants without touching his sides. It has already been decided
H. OF R.]
Collection of the Imposts, &c.
(APRIL 15, 1830.
by a large majority in the House, that Senators and mem-, all, it tends to destroy all confidence in commercial repubers of Congress cannot be trusted to compute their own tation. But suppose that sales at auctiou are abolished, mileage—that we cannot trust the presiding officer of that honest and bouorable merchants take their former the House of Representatives with the appointment of a station. Under the existing law, and the practice of the draughtsman. If so, wbat are we to think of a Liverpool custom-house, what could they do? Could they measure invoice?
consciences with the maker of a Liverpool invoice? Must I will now call the attention of the committee to ap- they not yield to circumstances, or again be ruined ! other important point. It is as to the namber of the regu- Something else must be done, or the foreign adventurer lar American importing merchants engaged in the woollen will command our trade. The subject of auctions is 10 trade as their principal business. The story is a short able hands. It is a great cause it is a good cause. I ope. It is the result of an anxious inquiry. Previous to have no doubt but it will be well sustained by the honorthe war, the woollen trade was almost exclusively in the able gentlemen who have it in charge. hands of our own merebants. The pumber was about Now, sir, we will consider how the woollen trade is one hundred and sixty in Boston, New-York, Philadel. carried on. With this subject all are familiar. Io New pbia, and Baltimore. Of the same class of importers, at York, as well as in most of our cities, woollen goods are this time, about twenty. As I am informed by a most in- generally sold on foreign account, As Dear us I can ascertelligent merchant, there was in New-York, at the period tain, four-fifths; many suppose pine-tenths. Part is conto which I have alluded, forty-three, whom he recollects ; signed to American merchants, a great proportion is in the now ovly five. One of the appraisers recently informed care of foreign agents. They come here to superintend the me that there were, at least, six! Such is the mysterious sale-have no interest in the country-take the place of change of trade in the great emporium. These remarks the American merchant-mapy, it is said, live in garrets, are in a great degree applicable to all American merchaots make out invoices for the custom-house-publish essays engaged in other branches of European trade. If they on free trade-gather up the spoils and profits of business have not yet suffered as much, they clearly see before them -abuse the Government, and-go home. After all, they the secret, silevt, fatal approach of annihilation. The strong are not so much to blame, if we continue to nod assent. But, arm of Government must be extended to their rescue. under this state of things, we all see that our own mer
Again, sir: What is the condition of the American mer- chants are compelled to perform a miserable part. They chant? No better illustration can be given, than what is have to wait the motion of their masters at the auction contained in their repeated memorials to Congress. To room. They are active, intelligent, enterprising; why are one at least I will refer. It is signed by thousands of our they driven from trade? They cannot, will not, dare not, fellow-citizens of New York. It now remains on the files resort to meats which those who reside abroad are ready of this House. It was presented in 1820, when the evils and willing to do. of wbich they complain were far less withering to com Now, sir, shall we suffer such a state of things as has mercial enterprise iban at the present day. I will read and will continue, unless checked, to produce such conthe conclusion,
sequences? Is it sound policy to allow transient, wanderYour memorialists will no longer detain your honor-ing foreigners to usurp that employment which belongs to able bodies with a detail of the evils flowing from public the American merchant! Is it patriotic? Is it consistent sales—from which we can never be relieved, until our with just national feelings to permit the great commercial merchants share equally in our importations, uutil every interests of this country to be controlled by foreigners! trader is held accountable for the quality as well as the Wben I allude to foreigners, I mean those whose bome is quantity of bis goods, and integrity in dealing is properly abroad; whose allegiance still chains them to another rewarded by being considered a sufficient guaranty ; that, country. In short, sir, I wish to see American merchants under a sound, equal, and permanent system, your memo- transacting American business. I hope to see the day rialists most sincerely believe that fabrics, from whatever when this will be accomplished; when our merchants will source they may come, will be improved, corruption in occupy their former standing in the estimation of this trade will be diminished, the consumers throughout the country and the world. We bave of late heard much of the land will, on an average, buy cheaper, the farmer will be transcendent importance of navigation-of shipbuilding. better paid for his produce, bankruptcies will be less fre- I respect its value as much as any one should. But I had quent, and our commercial character consequently re- rather see all we receive from abroad introduced by for stored."
reigo navigation than see the internal trade of the counThis is language common to all the memorials on the try conducted by foreign agents. I had rather have for great and interesting subject of auctions. They all speak the country a good, substantial, upright, Pearl-street merof corruption in trade, and suggest means to produce a chant, than the best Liverpool packet that ever sailed. restoration of commercial character. All know, when We can bave both. American trade was conducted by American mercbants, It is constantly alleged by many, that the evasions of their characters stood before the world untarnished by the our revenue laws are caused by the high protecting dususpicion of corruption. At home, and abroad, it com- ties imposed by the tariffs of 1824 and 1828. To this manded the most perfect confidence and respect. Prices subject I would call the attention of the committee. The were steady, profits uniform, deception unknown. In the charge is erroneous. Evasion of our revenue laws expresent confusion of business, in the untiring efforts of isted to a greater extent previous to the passage of those foreigners to supplant our own merchants, and to drive acts. Under the mild and moderate tariff of 1816--a tarthem out of employment in our own country, it is not riff lower than bas been proposed by the warmest opposer surprising that commercial character should have suffered of the protecting system during the present session, the in public estimation. The present state of trade must most flagrant evasions were known to exist. They canproduce this effect, however pure may be individual in- not be better explained, than by a reference to the report tegrity and honor. I am well aware that the alarming of Mr. Crawford in 1818, while Secretary of the Treasuevils which exist, are supposed, by the mercantile com- ry. He says, alter alluding to the course of trade, “there munity generally, to be produced by the auction system. is abundant reason to believe that it is customary, in imI have no doubt but it has been one of the principal causes portations of this nature, to send with the merchandise an of ruin and desolation to a bigh and elevated class of our invoice considerably below the actual cost, by which the merebants. It keeps trade in perpetual change. It io- entry is made and the duties secured. Another invoice vites to the most ruinous speculation. It affords the most at or above the actual cost, is forwarded to a different perready facilities for violating our revenue laws; and, abovel sop, with instructions to take and sell the goods by such
APRIL 15, 1830.)
Collection of the Imposts, go
(H. OF R.
invoice." The practice, as I have fully shown, still con- ; illicit trade in that quarter makes any impression on the tinues; and if it has increased, it arises only from improved revenue or market. There may be along the lines a little skill and experience. Constant practice makes the trade petty dealing, that would always exist whether duties were more perfect. If the tariff of 1816 had remained un- high or low. Efforts have been made on a large scale. .ebanged, foreigners would have gained the advantages They have been, and will be, unsuccessful. The reason they now possess. We also see in all the inemorials is obvious. The great marts for the northern merchants agninst auctions from commercial cities, as early as 1820, are New York and Boston. When they go into market, the most frightful frauds on the revenue are described. they obtain a full assortment for the season. A few pieces It makes little or no difference whether the duties are of woollen goods is all that each merchant may want. twenty or fifty per cent., the same relative advantages ex. There can be no motive for smuggling. It certainly can ist in favor of the foreigner
. That is, he dare verify an be no great object to the foreigner to smuggle cloths to a iproice in Liverpool, that an honest American merchant small extent. If to a large amount of course he must dare pot do in New York. If the invoice is made out in send his goods to the seaboard market. His goods are this country by an agent, he can swear as to his belief of exposed to the weather, to damage, to expense and seithe cost abroad--the American mercbant, who purchases, zure. Besides, in the country any movement out of the does know the actual cost, and honesty will require him usual way is observed. Curiosity is excited. If mischief to declare truly--if he does not possess honesty, danger is on foot, it will be discovered. Again, sir, the people in will compel him. He is within the reach of our own laws, that part of the Union are friendly to our domestic policy. where perjury is sometimes noticed. But you cannot rench The farmer and manufacturer are awake. Here is a great the person who awears falsely to an invoice in a foreign security. You might as well smuggle straw as broadcountry. There be is perfectiy safe. The truth is, sir, cloths. In great ports, like New York, where all is bustle that the foreign valuation is the rotten part of our system. and confusion, illicit trade is comparatively safe. You But so it is, and we must make the best of it.
might smuggle a ship load there more easily than you Now, wir, I will allude to the effects which fraud and could send a wagon load from Canada to the same place. evasion must have had on the revenue. The amount of After the passage of the tariff in 1828, in England smugad valorem goods imported into the port of New York, gling was practised on a large scale across the lines. The
for each of the last ten years, at the invoice price, will attention of Government was called to that subject. Among i pot vary much from twenty-five millions of dollars; the other precautions, a confidential and most intelligent agent i whole amount, two hundred and fifty millions of dollars. was appointed to observe the operations of trade on the
The average rate of duty may be estimated at twenty-five northern frontier. From bim, sir, I have a statement, 1 per cent. The amount of duty for ten years would be which fully and amply sustains what I have mentioned be
sixty-two million five hundred thousand dollars. We fore. He bas ascertained that our exports to the Canada have already seen how goods are valued in the invoice market, for the year 1829, amount to two million forty the low price at which they pass the custom-house. The four thousand dollars. That near two millions of this bas Average cannot be more than two-thirds of the real cost or been paid for in specie, or drafts, in favor of our ex value in the foreign market. Goods which cost abroad porters, on our seaboard cities, mostly on New York. If three hundred and seventy-five millions of dollars, have required, a full detail could be given. I well recollect, been invoiced at one third less than the cost. This would on a former occasion, the same charge was made. It was amount to the two hundred and fifty millions as I have stat said on this floor that we exported annually about two ed, op which duties have been paid. Duties should have millions to Canada, we paid duties on a small amount of been paid on the three hundred and seventy-five millions of importations, and smuggled the balance in returns. It so dollars, which would have produced ninety-three million bappened, that, when the charge was made, I had in my seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars, iustead of sixty- possession evidence that one house alone in New York two million five hundred thousand dollars, a difference of had, annually, for three years, accepted and paid drafts to thirty-one million two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. the amount of one million two hundred and fifty thousand This in the port of New York alone. I nm ready to ad- dollars, the proceeds of the Canada trade. Then, I hope mit, that if the laws had been fully enforced, the impor the fears of smugglers on the frontiers may be quieted, for tation of many articles would have diminished, yet the the present at least. treasury would bave gained millions, and the doméstic in- I will now advert to another point. The people in the dustry of the nation would have been secured. I will pass interior of the country have never been aware of the mis to another topic-smugling.
chiefs that have been practised at the custom-house. The When any charge is made that our laws are evaded Government has not been fully apprised of them until through the custom-house, the cry of smuggling is raised lately. Darkness had enveloped them. Strong reasons from a certain quarter. If a foreign agent presents his exist. Let us look at them plainly. Twenty-five milwell made invoice--good looking invoice to the collec- lions a year of ad valorem goods imported into New York; tor, and the collector has some doubts whether all is right, in the market, worth thirty-five to forty millions; threeyou might well suppose he would say, sir, can you think fourths, perbaps nine-tenths, owned by foreigners, hostile, I would do any thing wrong! Will I cheat, sirSmug. I repeat, to our policy, intent on gain, and using every gling, you may depend, sir, is carried on only on the exertion to save the last furthing. Here is a cordon around northeru frontier. There is the place to look for rogues; the custom-house. If any power on earth can overawe a I am honest. Mischief is on the northern frontiers; that department of the Government, here it is. You can see is the place. If he presents an invoice that would make it, if you have the least koowledge of human nature. If the spirit of mischief blush, he declares that he is honest ; its officers perform their duty, they are assailed; they are smuggling is only found on the northern froptier. So his represented as barsh and tyrannical. I will give an ininvoice passes. Newspapers opposed, all opposed to the stance. The present collector of New York-I wish all protecting policy, testify that no evasions take place, ex officers of the Government were as faithful-knowing that cept on the northern frontier; every where else, all per goods were dispersed in all directions before the appraisfectly honest! This is a capital way to escape. ers had made their report on the sample package, required
Now, (said Mr. Mj I have taken much pains to learn of the importer the following simple obligation : the truth of this matter. I have resorted to every source * I,
do promise that all or any part of the merof information; to the officers of the customs, to our merchandise' mentioned in the annexed entry sball, at the re chante, to all who are best acquainted with the course of quest of the collector, be immediately delivered up for ex the Canada trade. The charge is wholly incorrect, that lamination by the public appraisers."
H. OF R.)
Collection of the Imposts, fc.
(APRIL 15, 1830.
The object of this was, to have imported goods, in some be discharged. If the duty cannot be performed, the of degree, under bis control, in case fraud should be disco- fice should be abolished. With skill
, attention, integrity, vered in the sample package. This made such uproar the Government would be safe ; without these qualifica that he was compelled to abandon it. This was too much tions, their employment would be useless. for free trade to endure. Foreigners declared that the The greatest objections I have beard urged against the collector was unfit for the office, be gave such unneces- bill have arisen from the penalties to be incurred in cases sary trouble. Under existing laws and established prac- of appraisement above the invoice price. I do not think tice, Liverpool has repealed our revenue laws in New they are indispensable, and sball, at a proper time, submit York. Vigilant and bonest officers cannot prevent it. a motion to strike them out. My desire is to remove all They have not the force, the aid that is required. Go-the objections that may exist, provided the main object is vernment alone can afford a remedy. The bill under con accomplished. sideration is intended to accomplish à part at least. I The fourth section contains but one alteration of the exhope something may be done. The interior of the country isting law, that I consider material. By the revenue laws have a deep interest in this matter. The custom-bouse be- now in force, when the importer, bis agent, or consignee is longs to the nation. It belongs to Ohio, to Kentucky, as dissatisfied with an appraisement, he may require a re-apmuch as the city of New York. We have the power to praisement. In such cases be may." employ two respectcorrect abuses. Let it be used.
able resident merchants," who, with the appraisers, shall I will now proceed to consider the provisions of the bill re-examine and re-appraise the goods in question. The conbefore the committee. It is confined to woollens. The sequence is obvious. The importer will employ the person committee did not wish to propose any measures, except most favorable to his interests. Now, sir, ihe change prowhen required by clear and palpable nécessity. One of posed by the bill is, that the collector shall appoint the the great objects of the tariff of ‘1828 was to protect the merchants to be associated with the appraisers in cases of woollen manufacture. At the time, it was feared and be re-appraisement. The collector is bound to do justice to lieved by many that the dollar minimum would destroy all to the Government as well as to individuals. He acts all intended benefit
. As it passed this House, the duty was impartial. It is kpown, it is expected, that, when the imspecific. In the Senate, the duty was changed to ad va- porter employs persons to join the appraisers, be will selorem. Yet, by a most erroneous decision of Mr. Secre- lect those the most partial to his interests. At any rate, tary Rush, the ad valorem principle was not allowed to he has the power to do 80; human naturé prompts it; it is apply. The ten per cent. in addition to invoice cost was not forbidden by the law or the doctrines of free trade. disallowed, which must materially diminished the intended The fifth section is but a consequence of the one pre protection. This affected the fabrics composed of the raw ceding. material which is produced by our farmers in the greatest The sixth section provides penalties for counterfeiting abundance. They have been made to suffer, even more and changing marks. If goods are marked, as is provided than the manufacturer. All that is now asked, all that is in the third section, this provision is necessary. humbly required, is to give really, honestly, in good faith, The seventh section is important. It provides that the what the Government has promised, pledged itself to give Secretary of the Treasury sball assign one of the apprais. That is all
ers, now appointed, to take charge of the goods deposited The first section provides for having a copy of the in- in the public store, according to the third section of this voice delivered to the collector. This is indispensable bill; and that the Secretary shall appoint assistants to the for the correct estimate of duties, as well as a guard against appraisers, for the purpose of securing a full and faithful frauds. The value of this is admitted by the custom- execution of the laws. It is considered by all, it is well house and Treasury Department.
known, that more aid is required at the custom-house in The second section requires that woollen goods should New York. Considering the immense business done in be placed in the public store. The object is apparent that port, the appraising department is totally unable to It is for the purpose of giving power to the officers of the perform the duties by law required to be performed. FurGovernment to keep them safe until the legal duties are ther force. must be ullowed, or the laws, even as they at ascertained. Our revenue laws now require it, in my present exist, cannot be executed. The Secretary of the opinion. The practice is otherwise, as I have shown. Treasury bas earnestly recommended this in his report. There will be no difficulty; the delay trifling. It will The collector of New York considers it indispensably de operate equally, no advantage will be given in the market cessary.. The Committee on Manufactures were fully conby any. The rights of the Government will be safe. vinced that further assistance sbould be given. Since the
The third section provides for the examination of the bill was reported, as an individual member, I bave become goods by the appraisers. It requires that they should be satisfied a more efficient arrangement may be made, than marked with the evidence of the mininum class to which that contained in the bill. It is, that the President of the they belong, and on which duties should be paid. In this United States, by the consent of the Senate, shall appoint there will be no difficulty. Every cask of wine and spirits an additional appraiser for the port of New York. That is examined and marked. Every chest and box of tea is the Secretary of the Treasury shall distribute among the examined, whether it contains tive ponude, or two hun, appraisers the classes of business to be by each performed. dred. Every bar of iron is weigbed; every bushel of One can be assigned to the examination and appraisement balt measured. Every piece of cloth can as well be ex. of woollen goods; one to bardware and other articles; one amined, valued, and marked. It can be done with the to silks, linens ; indeed, the distribution may be made in greatest expedition. It will be a great security to the such way as that there may be a full superintendence over Honest mercbant, and to purchasers. Each will be able all ad valorem goods. This can be arranged as the oceato compare qualities and prices. Fraud will be exposed sion may require. Also, that the Secretary of the Treato public observation—the surest -clieck.. will pass on sury shall appoint such pumber of assistant appraisers as as rapidly as possible; will give more explicit explanation the public service may demand. It is my intention to subwhen desired. As to measuring goods, po more is re- mit
, on a proper occasion, an amendment for this purpose. quired, perbaps not as much as is required by the law of I am confident it is the
better plan, and will
better ineet 1828. The next provision of importance is that which the views of the Treasury Department as contained in the declares
that the appraisement shall be made without the report on this subject, and more effectually accomplish the invoice. Their value, their correctness, I have described. object which all must desire. If appraisers understand their duty, a fair valuation can I will now explain the ninth section of the bill. By be made without the iovoice; if they do not, they should the eleventh section of the act of 1828, a part owner re
APRIL 15, 1830.)
Tea and Coffee:
(H. OF R. siding in the Voited States may verify the invoice. Let to tens imported from “any place east of the Cape of bis interest be ever so small, he possesses this right. It Good Hope," instead of “from China” alone. may be created for this purpose. The great object of the
Mr. CAMBRELENG moved to amend the bill so as to foreign resident is to pass his goods through the custom- put coffee on the same footing, as to the privilege of being house as low as possible. He sends his goods to a deposited in the public stores, as tea. part owner, with such representations us to cost as be This motion brought on. some discussion between the pleases, with a blank invoice. The part owner in this mover and Messrs. McDUFFIE and O. P. WHITE, in the country very honestly swears to his belief of the value in course of wbich, the last named gentleman, in illustrathe foreign market. That value may be as low as the tion of the subject, read the following statement : standard of his conscience, very low, as low as will pass Coffee imported in 1827
50,051,986 lbs. the custom house. Very low. Now, if invoices are worth : Exported
21,697,789 lbs. any thing--and it seems to be admitted that when made by foreigners, they are not worth much the buying part- Consumed
28,364,197 lbs. Der should do the swearing, and not the selling partner. The buyer may be supposed to know the price better than Coffee imported in 1828
55,194,697 lbs. tbe seller.
16,037,964 lbs. The remainder of the bill relates to the disposition of the penalties, and the authority of the Secretary of the Consumed
39,156,733 lbs. Treasury to provide regulations for the full execution of the act. They are the usual provisions in our revenue The amendment was ultimately agreed to. laws.
Mr, PEARCE made an unsuccessful motion to insert a Now, sir, I hasten to a conclusion. I have stated clause, to allow, after a certain period, a drawback of nine that our revenue and protecting laws are evaded. I cents a gallon on rum ; when have given the evidence. The measure proposed con- The bill having been gone through, the committee rose, tains po new principle. The object is to enforce what and reported the bills to the House. the Government bas decreed. I am not tenacious of form.
RECONSIDERATION OF THE ROAD BILL. What the Government has promised, let it be fulfilled. If a better mode can be devised, it shall have my hearty Mr. SPENCER, of New York, rose and moved that concorrence. The question I propose is, shall the laws the vote of yesterday, by which the Buffalo and New Orof the country, be executed ? Every gentleman of this leans road bill was rejected, be reconsidered. Mr. S. committee will consult his own heart. Let it come home stated that he did not make this motion because his opinion to his own bosom. Let his honest conscience give an in regard to the bill had undergone any change, but be answer.
made it in compliance with the request of a gentleman TEA AND COFFEE.
who desired to revive the bill, not again to discuss or ex.
amine it, but merely to lay it on the table, with the declared When Mr. M. bad concluded his speech, Mr. McDUF- intention of not calling it up again during the session. In FIE moved that the committee lay by the above bill for courtesy to that gentleman, Mr. S. made the motion for rethe present, and proceed to the bill to reduce the du- consideration. ties on tea and coffee;" which motion was agreed to, aod Mr. CAMBRELENG-Have not several bills just been the bill was taken up.
reported to the House from the Committee of the Whole On motion of Mr. MeDUFFIE, the bill was amended, by House ? substituting a specific duty of two and a half cents a pound The SPEAKER-There bave. on coffee, instead of the ad valorem duty, and the period Mr. CAMBRELENG-Is not their consideration now in for the commencement of the reduction changed from June order 30, to December 31, 1831.
The SPEAKER—Certainly. On motion of Mr. McDUFFIE, the bill was further Mr. CAMBRELENG-Then, sir, is the motion to reconamended, by substituting a specific duty, on the various sider the vote of yesterday in order i teas, (amounting generally to about half of the present The SPEAKER- Perfectly in order.
duty,) instead of an ad valorem duty, and the period for Mr. BUCHANAN, understanding that the object was its operation made the same as that on coffee.
merely to get the bill laid on the table, and not to revive Mr. CONNER, of North Carolina, then moved to insert the discussion of it, would vote for the motion, not that be a clause to reduce the duty on salt to len cents a busbel. was friendly to the bill, and especially to authorizing such
Mr. McDUFFIE besought his friend from North Ca- a road as was proposed by the bill. The decision of the roliga to withdraw this amendnient. The merchants had | House on this bill, he understood, was claimed as a victory been suffering for years from this bill; vessels were now by the opponents of internal improvements. It was not coming in, and insolvencies must be the consequence of so. He himself was a friend of internal improvements, further delay. The amendment would bring up a tarift although he had voted against this bill; but he was in favor discussion, and, although as much opposed to that whole of encouraging them by distributing among the several system as any ope, he deprecated bringing up the question States the surplus revenue. The bill had been rejected, on this bill. He, therefore, begged the gentleman to with because many members friendly to the principle of interdraw it.
dal improvement thought the scheme wild and inexpe Mr. CONNER, not apprehending that his amendment dient. He repeated that he was willing, for the reason alwould embarrass the bill, and deeming it a proper oppor-ready slated, to vote for the reconsideration, although he tunity for trying the question, declined withdrawing his was opposed to the passage of the bill. motion.
Mr. POLK was opposed to the reconsideration. After Mr BARRINGER, of North Caroliva, then moved 80 the long discussion of the bill
, and the decision of it by a to amend the amendment of his colleague, as to make the full House, he bad thought the matter would be allowed to reduction of the duty on salt gradual—first to be fifteen rest. It was said by gentlemen that the decision of this cents till December 31, 1832, and after that time, ten cents. bill involved only the question of expediency, and not the
The question being put on the propositions successively, constitutional principle. He presumed that the decision they were both negatived by large majorities.
resulted from the combined motives of inexpediency and On the suggestion of Mr. GORHAM, and after some unconstitutionality, and not from the simple objection of explanation from him, the bill was so modified as to apply l inexpediency. However that might be, as the subject had