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SENATE.]

mon salt,” and decided in the negative, by yeas and nays, as follows: Yeas—Messrs. Buchanan, Calhoun, Clay, Clayton, Crittenden, Davis, Ewing of Ohio, Kent, Knight, Mc. Kean, Nicholas, Robbins, Robinson, Southard, Webster—15. NAxs–Messrs. Bayard, Benton, Brown, Cuthbert, Ewing of Illinois, Fulton, Hubbard, King of Alabama, King of Georgia, Linn, Lyon, Moore, Mouton, Niles, Norvell, Page, Parker, Prentiss, Rives, Ruggles, Sevier, Strange, Swift, Tallmadge, Tipton, Walker, White, Wright—28. Mr. BENTON moved to amend the bill by inserting a particular kind of blankets, (specified in his amendment,) used principally by the Indians; which amendment was agreed to: Ayes 23, noes 14. Mr. NILES offered the following amendment: “That from and after the 30th day of September, 1837, the duty on fossil coal, culm coal screenings, and coke, imported into the United States, shall be one dollar per ton of two thousand two hundred and forty pounds; and that after the 30th day of September, 1838, the duty shall be sixty cents per ton.” Mr. NILES addressed the Senate at considerable length in support of his amendment, and upon the principles of the bill. He remarked that it was known to the Senate that the subject of the duty on coal had been brought under the consideration of the Committee on Manufactures, of which he was a member, and that, in pursuance of the instruction of said committee, he had reported a bill for the entire repeal of the duty on foreign coal; but as it was not his intention to call up that bill, he had of. fered this amendment to the bill under consideration, which related to the same general subject of the reduction of duties. The Committee on Manufactures had also made a report, containing somewhat at length their views of the subject, and their reasons for the reduction or repeal of the duty on coal; and did he suppose that Senators had examined that report, he would forbear any remarks in support of the amendment he offered; but from the great pressure on the time and attention of every Senator, and as the subject was not one of general interest, he had reason to believe that few gentlemen had given much attention to the report to which he had referred. He should, therefore, as briefly as he could, submit some general considerations in favor of the amendment. The present law imposes a duty of six cents per heaped bushel on coal, in general terms; and, from the vague and indefinite nature of the language, several questions have arisen, and prosecutions have been instituted to recover the duty in cases of doubt, under the resent law. He believed a suit had been commenced in Pennsylvania in respect to coal screenings; and one had recently been decided in New York against the United States, the object of which was to recover the duty on imported coke. was not coal, and, therefore, not subject to duty by the existing law. Coke bears the same relation to fossil coal that charcoal does to wood. It is fossil coal charred, or burned, and loses fifty or sixty per cent. in weight by the process. The law is defective; and if the duty was to be maintained at its present rate, it ought to be amended. But his object was a reduction of the duty. A majority of the Committee on Manufactures had recommended a repeal, and he had concurred in that opinion; but being satisfied that a repeal of the duty could not be carried at this time, he now only sought to obtain a reduction. Alton of coal contained about twenty-seven or twenty-sight bushels; and, at the present rate of impost, pays a duty of about one dollar and seventy cents, or now something less, as by the operation of the act of 1833 the duty has been "educed from six cents to five and one third cen" Per bushel. The reduction proposed is about

Reduction of the Tariff.

The jury decided that coke |

[FER. 24, 1837

forty per cent. on the 30th of September next; and in one year from that period about seventy per cent. The rate of duty at that time, should the amendment be adopted, would be about the same as what it will be reduced to in 1842, under the provisions of the act of 1833; that is, about twenty per cent., but probably rather above that rate. The duty on coal was imposed for revenue only, so far as respects all the former acts; and even as to the last act, that of 1824, it can hardly be claimed that the increase of duty was designed for protection. The act of 1789, which was the first imposing duties on imports, subjected coal to a duty of two cents per heaped bushel; the next year it was raised to three cents; in 1792, to four and a half cents; in 1816, when the whole system of revenue was revised at the close of the war, it was increased to five cents per bushel; and in 1824, to six cents. The act of 1824, which increased the duty one cent per bushel, is the only one that can be considered as having had any reference to protection; nor is it by any means clear that the addition to the duty made by that act had any ref. erence to the protection of the domestic interest, for the country was then oppressed with debt from the war expenditures, and the rates of duty of many articles were increased for the purpose of revenue, and which were in no way connected with any domestic interest. But there is another and stronger reason tending to prove that the object of the increase of duty by the act of 1824, was not protection. The home coal trade then could hardly be said to exist, and it can scarcely be supposed that Congress intended a prospective protection of an interest not then in existence, or not of sufficient importance to demand attention. The preceding season, that of 1823, the whole amount of anthracite coal mined and brought to market was less than six thousand tons. The first anthracite coal which was introduced as an article of fuel was in 1820, when a few hundred tons only were used. It has been increasing since that time to the present. For some years the increase was very slow, but of late it has been very rapid; and since 1831, the anthracite coal which has been brought into the market from Pennsylvania alone has increased about one hundred thousand tons per annum. During the year 1836, nearly 700,000 tons were mined and brought to market. Fossil coal has now become a common article of fuel in all the cities and towns on the Atlantic border of the Union, and its use is extending into the country; and it is extensively used in factories. The primitive forests have been destroyed, and what remain are wanted for timber. It appears to be the natural order and course of things, that during the early stages of the settlement of every country, the forests are the natural resource for supplying the inhabitants with fuel; but, in the progress of time, this resource must fail; the forests disappear before the industry and enterprise of man, and the lands are brought under cultivation. As every country becomes older and more populous, a greater portion of the lands are required for tillage, to supply the wants of the inhabitants; but when the forests are destroyed, and the lands generally brought into cultivation, some other resource must be discovered to supply fuel, one of the most indispensable articles of life; and a beneficient Providence has provided almost every country with an inexhaustible supply of fuel in its mountains, which are not susceptible of cultivation. This is eminently true in the United states. No country on the globe is more abundantly provided with fossil coal, or with better natural facilities of transporting it to the places where it may be wanted. West of the mountains coal abounds almost every where; east it is not so generally prevalent, yet there are large districts containing a supply for all time to come, most of which are in the State of Pennsylvania. In the older portions of the United States, we have

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FEB. 24, 1857. . Reduction of the Tariff. - [SENATE.

just arrived at a period when the inhabitants must depend on fossil coal for fuel, instead of the forests which have hitherto supplied their wants. The transition from one description of fuel to the other has been astonishingly rapid within the last five or six years. If the increase in the consumption of coal continues for ten years at the same ratio it has for the last five years, there will, at that time, be one million seven hundred thousand tons consumed yearly from the mines of Pennsylvania alone. This quantity, at four dollars per ton, delivered at tide water, would amount to nearly seven millions of dollars, Pennsylvania had been highly favored; in addition to a fertile soil, she possesses treasures of wealth in her mountains of coal, of which the imagination could not well conceive. Unless fossil coal which may come into competition with her trade shall be discovered elsewhere, the time was not remote when she would receive twenty millions of dollars annually as the proceeds of her coal trade. All the Middle and Eastern States will be tributary to her for one of the first and most important necessaries of life. Mr. N. said that he did not envy Pennsylvania these advantages; he rejoiced that she possessed them; it would always afford him pleasure to witness her advance in that career of wealth and greatness which seemed open to her. All that he desired was, that she should exhibit a just moderation in her prosperity; that she should be satisfied with reasonable rofits on her immense coal trade. But he was not wiling that, by means of an onerous duty of fifty per cent. on the foreign article, she should be enabled to obtain nearly two dollars per ton for her coal more than the fair minimum price. From the facts he had stated, it was, he thought, apparent that the question of the coal duty had now become one of great magnitude and importance, both to those engaged in the domestic coal trade and to the country generally. When the last act was passed, in 1824, the question was of but trifling consequence, and there was no reason to suppose that it had received much consideration. Even if he were to admit that the increase of the duty by the act of 1824 was designed to favor the domestic coal interest, the question then was of so little importance, it cannot reasonably be believed that the subject was then fully examined or discussed. But the time has now arrived when Congress is called on to decide whether it is just and proper to continue an onerous duty of nearly fifty per cent on one of the first necessaries of life, which was originally imposed and has been maintained for revenue only. Why shall this duty be continued? Is it wanted for revenue? This is not claimed. It is our purpose to reduce the revenue, and the bill before us has been introduced for that object. It reduces the revenue nearly two and a half millions. The duty on coal in 1835 was nearly one hundred and thirty thousand dollars; and, should this amendment prevail, it would reduce the duty about forty thousand doilars the first year, and something like eighty thousand afterwards. So far as the revenue was concerned, the measure was desirable, as our object is to reduce the revenue—to avoid a surplus, which is distracting Congress and the country. But the Committee on Manufactures had not recommended the repeal of the coal duty as a financial measure. The general subject of the reduction of duties had been intrusted to another committee, no doubt much more competent to so arduous a task. They had proposed the repeal of the coal duty, as a measure of relief to the country from what they believed to be an unnecessary and burdensome tax, which bore particularly hard on the poor; but, so far as the measure would have any effect on the finances, it was favorable; but that was altogether a secondary object. - - Is the present high rate of duty on imported coal me.

cessary to protect the home coal trade? This, it must be admitted, is the only ground on which the duty can be justified. He did not, however, believe that so high a rate of duty was necessary for that purpose; nor could he be satisfied, if it was, that it would be reasonable and just to continue it. Mr. N. said he doubted whether any duty was required to protect the domestic coal interest, and was quite sure that so high a rate of duty could not be demanded. He did not intend to go into a full discussion of this question, but would barely allude to some considerations which had led him to believe that the coal trade was not an interest requiring protection. Fossil coal is a raw material, a mineral existing in the bowels of the earth in a pure state, and fit for use. It did not have to be separated from other and grosser materials; it underwent no process of refining, or any preparation whatever, to fit it for use. It was not the product of human skill, art, or industry, of any kind; it was a valuable deposite in nature's storehouse, provided by a kind Providence, to supply the wants and administer to the comforts of man. All that remained to be done was for him to put forth his hand and remove it from its bed, where it had been deposited for his use. It was one of those indispensable necessaries of life which God had provided in a state fit for use, leaving nothing for man to do. The coal trade was wholly unlike those manufacturing interests that require a high degree of skill and experience, which can only be acquired by a long course of practice, aided by mechanical power and by a knowledge of the construction and use of complicated machinery. The protection to manufactures is defend. ed mainly on the ground that they cannot, in their infancy, stand against foreign competition, and that protection is necessary during the period which is required to enable the home manufacturer to acquire that skill and experience which exists in other countries. This argument, which is the strongest in support of the protection of manufactures, has no application to the coal trade. Another argument, scarcely less weighty in favor of protecting manufactures, is the necessity of guarding them against the depressions and fluctuations of foreign markets; which, were it not for protective duties, would at such periods glut our markets with foreign goods—imported, perhaps, at a sacrifice—and which would be ruinous to our own manufactures. This evil could never be experienced in the coal trade, as the value of foreign coal in our market depends princi. pally on the freight and charges of importation. There is another cogent reason why the home coal trade cannot require protection against foreign competition; which is, that it is sufficiently protected by the bulk and weight of the article, the almost entire value of which arises from the labor and expense of mining and getting it to market. In a business of this description, it was manifest that the home dealer must possess advantages over the foreign trader, who must be compelled to pay much larger freights, insurance, and charges. Coal is worth, in Liverpool, about thirteen cents per bushel, or between three and four dollars per ton, being nearly as high as the price at which American coal ought to be sold at tide water. Some years since, coal was sold at Philadelphia at $4.75 per ton, and he had no doubt that it could be sold at $4, and af. ford a fair remuneration for the labor and capital. It is valued at fifty cents, in the pit, and it costs fisty cents more to mine it, leaving three dollars for transporting it to tide water and for profits. If the importer has to ay for coal, nearly as much in Liverpool as it is worth in Philadelphia, how is it possible that any thing is to be feared from foreign competition? The expenses of importing, so heavy and bulky an article as coal must be an ample protection to the home trade. It is estimated SENATE.]

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that the expense of the importation of goods, including freight, commissions, insurance, and all charges, together with the difference in exchange, amounts to at least twenty per cent. ; and the expenses of the importation of iron are said to be thirty per cent. It can hardly be supposed, therefore, that coal can be imported at less than fifty per cent. ; and he believed that one hundred would probably be found nearer the truth. Without going into other considerations, Mr. N. said he thought it was clear that the domestic coal trade was not exposed to suffer from foreign competition, even if the entire duty were repealed. And if this were the case, then the only effect of the duty was to raise the price of the American coal something like two dollars per ton above its minimum value. This must be the effect of the duty on foreign coal, unless there is sufficient domestic competition to keep down the price, without the aid of the foreign trade, which he did not believe was the case. Mr. N. said that he had thrown out some suggestions, intended to show that the coal duty was not required for the protection of the home trade; but, even if he was incorrect in this, he believed that there were objections to this duty so serious and weighty that, in any view which can be taken of the subject, a high rate of duty could not be defended as consistent with the principles of justice or humanity. He would barely allude to some of these objections: The duty on foreign coal is necessarily a partial tax: and, as it operates unequally and partially, it is unjust. The duty on foreign coal tends to raise the price of the domestic article, so far as they come in competition with each other, and no farther. This competition is wholly confined to the cities and towns on the Atlantic border. Imported coal never has been, and never can be, conveyed west of the mountains, or any considerable distance into the interior. That section of the Union has an inexhaustible supply of native coal, abounding in all directions, so that foreign coal, if there were no duty, could never intersere. It is only the inhabitants on the seaboard who have any interest in this question; and the tax, both on the foreign and domestic article, is paid by them alone. This tax, therefore, is too limited and partial in its operation to be just. Another and more serious objection to the coal duty is, that it is a tax on one of the prime necessaries for upholding life, and is extremely burdensome and oppressive to the poor. In a country where the winters are so long and severe as in a considerable portion of the United States, fuel is one of the first necessaries of life. During the last year, not less than nine months a fire was required for comfort, and at all times is indispen. sable for cooking and family purposes. Coal is the cheapest kind of fuel; and a tax on it is peculiarly burdensome to the poorer classes, especially in our cities. Next to rent, fuel is one of the most expensive articles; the very poorest families cannot get along with less than three tons of coal yearly. Considering the tax as two dollars per ton, it will amount to six dollars per annum to the poorest families. This would be a heavy tax; but it is not all nor the worst of the case. They are subjected to a still more oppressive tax, by the second-hand holders and regraters, as the gentleman from Missouri [Mr. BEN to N] called them the other day, in speaking against the salt duty. He exposed the foul practices and oppressions of the regraters, in relation to the article of common salt, in the most eloquent and forcible manner. Mr. N. said that he really wished he could have the benefit of the talents and influence of that Senator on this question. In his specch against the salt tax, it appeared to him the gentleman was actually inspired; his eloque” was too fervid and sublime to be confined to the **** *yle of prose, it broke directly into the more elevated and pathetic strains of poetry. He (Mr. N.)

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that question; yet still he believed that most of his remarks would apply with more force, justice, and truth, to the onerous tax on fuel. Salt, it is true, is one of the first neces. saries of life, more universal in its use than coal or fuel of any kind, as it is required for the subsistence of beasts as well as man. But the amount of the tax, especially that paid by the poorer classes, was trifling compared with the tax they pay upon fuel. The class of samilies to whom he had referred as consuming three tons of coal would not use probably three bushels of salt a year; so that they would pay a salt tax of thirty cents, and a fuel tax of six dollars. What the honorable Senator had said of the practices of the regraters in the salt trade would apply with more force to the regraters in the coal trade. And how far these practices were sustained and kept up by the duty, might be a question; but he verily believed that if the duty was repealed, and foreign competition let in, the extortionary and oppressive measures of the regraters would be at an end, or their enormity very much diminished. The selfishness and rapacity of second-hand deal. ers and regraters in the coal business were greatly favored by the condition of the trade: anthracite coal, which was the kind used in the Northern cities, came almost entirely from Philadelphia, an inland port, which was closed nearly three months in the year, and during that period when the demand for fuel was most pressing; the duty excluded foreign coal, and the ice shut out any additional supply from Philadelphia at the setting in of winter. This gave the holders the control of the market, who have nothing more to do but to combine, to enable them to regulate the price at their pleasure. This they have done the last three years, in all the cities north of Philadelphia. During the last long and severe winter, these merciless regraters in New York, as he was credibly informed, held their regular meetings, at which they consulted the thermometer, and the capacity of the citizens to endure freezing. As the cold increased, and the sufferings of the poor became more intense, they raised the price of coal from week to week, and even from day to day. So complete was this system of oppression, that the price of fuel formed a scale to deter. mine the continuance and degree of the cold. The result of this system was, that coal which was probably worth seven dollars per ton when the navigation closed, was raised to sixteen dollars per ton. The sufferings of the poor, under such a state of things, might be conceived, but could not be described. But (said Mr. N.) he would by no means assert that these regraters in coal were sinners above all other men: the evil, great as it was, ought to be ascribed to the condition of the coal trade. The retail dealers had only done what nearly all men will do; they had only taken advantage of circumstances to obtain the highest price for their commodity. This, however unjust and oppressive in many cases, is what the cupidity of the human heart will lead most men to do. It is the embarrassed state of the trade, the obstruction of the home trade, and the exclusion of foreign competition, which has occasioned these results—which has led to practices so oppressive, cruel, and inhuman to the poor. Who can contemplate evils like these, and sufferings such as he had feebly attempted to describe, and believing that they are in any degree the result of our legislation, withOut soling an emotion of indignation springing up in his heart? There is (said Mr. N.) another cause that has contribuled to the evils in the coal trade, which he had attempted to point out, and which, in his opinion, was a sufficient reason against continuing a high rate of duty on foreign coal, were there no other. He alluded to the fact that the coal trade was in the hands of a few large comFeb. 24, 1837.]

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Reduction of the Tariff.

[SENATE.

panies, and to all intents and purposes was a monopoly in fact. Whether a monopoly is created by legal enactments, or arises from other causes, it is not the less a monopoly, nor the less subject to the evils which attend all monopolies. It is a well-known fact that the coal business is in the hands of a very few large companies, who manage it in their own way, and, as they believe, for their own interest. One variety of coal (that called Lackawana) was got to market by one company only. How many companies were concerned in all he could not say, but there were but few. The coal lands had been bought up by these monopolizing companies, who had constructed canals and railroads into the coal region, of which they had an exclusive control; and by these means they had obtained a complete and entire monopoly of the business. They have attempted to regulate the supply according to their estimate of the demand, and with a view to keep up the price. It will be found, by examining the statements in the remonstrance they have sent here, that when an unusual quantity of coal, brought to market, has remained over the year unsold, there has been a corresponding reduction in the supply got to market the following year. This fact alone proves that the coal business is in so few hands, that those who supply the market can regulate the quantity according to their pleasure and their estimate of the demand. It is also a remarkable fact, and inconsistent with what is found to be true in almost every kind of business, that whilst the demand for coal has been rapidly increasing, the price for several years has been advancing. This shows that there is something wrong; for an increased demand, which is calculated to give stability and activity to business, is usually and naturally attended with a reduction of prices. It has been so in every department of the manufacturing business. The price of coal in Philadelphia, from 1820 to 1828, was from $7 to $8 a ton; from 1828 to 1832, it was $6 to $650 per ton; during the years 1834 and 1835, it was from $475 to $525 per ton; and during the year 1836, and the present year, coal has sold in Philadelphia at from $6 to $950 per ton. For two years, those of 1834 and 1835, the price of coal was reduced; but even then the regraters managed to raise the price enormously high, during the winter, in the cities north of Philadelphia. Sir, said Mr. N., it deserves our serious consideration whether there is not something wrong, radically wrong, in our whole revenue system. On what articles and on what portion of our population is the burden of taxes thrown? Look into your statute book, and see the long list of free articles! You will find among them tea, coffee, fruits, silks, linens, worsted stuff goods, and many others, which, if not, strictly speaking, luxuries, are articles most of which are consumed by the more wealthy classes. The bill now before us reduces the duty on wine to a mere nominal rate, the highest duty being but twelve and a half cents per gallon, and the lowest only three fourths of a cent. Is it the policy of this Govern. ment to throw the whole burden of taxation on the necessaries of life? If it is, and if this is a consequence of the protective principle, it deserves very serious consideration how far that principle, in its application, requires to be modified and restricted. He could not approve of that policy which throws the whole burden of taxation on the necessaries of life. It is unsound in theory, unjust and oppressive in practice. The wisdom and justice of all laws must be determined by their practical operation. Is there not great injustice in the operation of our revenue laws? Let any one during the late severe winter have visited one of our large cities, say New York; let him have entered the mansions of some of the wealthy citizens, the bankers and brokers of Wall street, who amass their thousands and ten thousands in a day, and live in the magnificent style of princes; let him have wit

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nessed their splendid rooms, their superb and costly furniture, perhaps imported from London or Paris—sofas, ottomans, mirrors, carpets, all of the most expensive kind--and if he dined with them he would have seen the “purple and fine linen” in which their families are ar. rayed, the plate and rich furniture of their tables, and have tasted of their sherry and champagne. After wit. nessing all this, let him have inquired what was the amount of taxes which this wealthy citizen paid to his Government for all the princely exhibition of magnifi. cence he had seen, designed to display his wealth or gratify his pride. He would find that the taxes on all he had seen were nothing, or next to nothing. But let the same individual, on leaving these scenes of luxury, visit the cellars and garrets of the poor, see their half-clothed and half-sed families, shivering around an old stove, warmed by a handful of coals, which have been purchased at a price one hundred per cent. higher than that paid by the wealthy citizen, and on which he has paid a tax of fifty per cent., and whatever else he found in these wretched abodes of the poor, he will learn that it has all been heavily taxed, because it belongs to the necessaries of life. Such is the operation of our revenue laws. Mr. N. said he was aware that the proposed reduction of the duty on coal was inconsistent with the provisions of the act of 1833, commonly called the compromise act. It might, therefore, be proper for him to say a few words on that subject; and he was the more inclined to do so, from the remarks of the honorable Senator from South Carolina, [Mr. GALhou N,) who declared, that if gentlemen from the manufacturing States remained silent, after the explanation he had given of his own course in relation to that act, he should consider them as bound to respect it, and to adhere to and carry out its provisions in good faith. Several gentlemen had expressed their opinions of the act of 1833, and he did not exactly concur with any of them; his own opinion was of no importance, except to his own constituents; yet, as representing a manufacturing State, and as a member of the Committee on Manufactures, it might be proper for him to express his sentiments in relation to that law. His State was as extensively interested in manufactures as any in the Union, with perhaps two exceptions, and he was not sure that it was behind Massachusetts or Rhode Island. It had no large manufacturing towns, no Wares or Lowells, for the reason, he supposed, that it had no Boston, no large commercial town, where the great capitals accumulated from commerce had sought employment in manufactures. He would not say that he rejoiced that his State had neither Lowells nor Bostons, but he would say that he preferred the manufacturing interests as they existed in his own State, consisting of small establishments, with moderate capitals, carried on by private companies and individual enterprise, spread all over the State, in almost every town and village, and embracing every department of manufacturing industry, and every description of mechanical employment. He much preferred this state of business to large establishments in the hands of wealthy corporations, which erected and owned entire villages. It was individual interests and personal rights which he regarded as the highest duty of Government to cherish and sustain. In respect to the act of 1833, the Senator from Kentucky and some others considered it as a compromise of the interests of the tariff and anti-tariff States; and that it possessed the binding force of an actual compact, the national faith being pledged to maintain it. Other Senators considered that law as having no higher character, and as entitled to no more respect, than any ordinary act of legislation. Mr. N. said he did not concur in either of these opin

ions. Considering the circumstances under which that

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Reduction of the Tariff.

[Fen, 24, 1837.

act was passed, the pledges upon the face of it, the acquiescence of the nation in it, and the impression which has prevailed very extensively, although by no means universally, that it had adjusted and settled the tariff question for ten years, he did not think it would be just or reasonable to regard that act as entitled to no more respect than an ordinary law of Congress. If the law itself was entitled to no more regard, something at least was due to public opinion, which had assigned to it a higher character. So far as that act has been considered as having settled the tariff question for ten years, to the same extent individual interests may have been influenced and regulated by it, as a supposed compromise which was not to be disturbed. Mr. N. said that he would respect and maintain the object and the general principles of that act, but he could go no further. He could not regard it in the light of a compact, which was binding on Congress or the country, according to its precise terms, and in the same sense that a contract is binding. Are gentlemen aware of the consequences of assuming the position that the act of 1833 is to have the binding sorce of a contract? The provisions of the act are not limited in their operation to the year 1842; but some of them are to take effect after that time only, and are unlimited. If they cannot be disturbed or intersered with, then a law of Congress will have all the operation and effect of an amendment of the constitution, circumscribing within narrow limits the powers of this Government, on one of the most im. Portant subjects of legislation; one which, perhaps more than any other, will require the frcquent action of the legislative authority. By the provisions of that act, after 1842, no higher rate of duties than 20 per cent. can be imposed on imPorts, under any circumstances; it also provides that all credits are to be abolished, and all duties to be paid in casb, and the valuation is to be according to the price at the port of entry. The act also specifies a list of articles which are to be imported free of duty, after 1842; and which, according to the terms of the law, can never be subject to a duty. These are important principles, which **ke away a large share of the power of Congress over the subject of raising a revenue by duties on imports. Some of these principles may be found inconsistent with the interests of the country or those of his own constitu. ints; and if so, he should not consider himself bound by

them. And it would not be consistent with his ideas of

justice to take the advantages of the act, so far as it op£rates to keep on the high rates of duties, and deny its force afterwards. He could not regard the act as a comPact above the reach of legislation for ten years, and then deny its binding force afterwards, put he would respect the general object of the law, and the leading principles of it, intended to secure that object. What was the great object of that act, and the general principle of the adjustment of the tariff controves.” It wo, that{i. high rates of duties were to be gradually reduced down to a certain point. This was the substance of the ad. justment, and the rest is matter of detail, and of minor importance. To reduce the high duties at once, or very rapidly, would be a violation of the general principle of that act; but to increase the scale of reduction, or to reduce or repeal the duty on particular articles, which may not need protection, and where the duties operate unjusly or oppressively, would only interfere with its do. tails. This be believed to be the case of the duty on coal and other necessaries. His own opinion was, that the better course would have been to have increased the reduction of all the high duties, upon some general and uniform principle. Under the at of ...; or or

tenth of the excess above ‘wenty per cent it. ... off biennially; which was a Very slow reduction, amount

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every second year, or half a million annually. A much more rapid reduction than this might be made without injury to any interest. He could not believe that there was any manufacturing interest, or any other interest, that required the protection of a duty of fifty, or sixty per cent. at this time, which could be sustained by a duty of twenty per cent. after the year 1842. The duty was either higher than was required now, or it would be sound insufficient then. He was in favor of a reduction now, it being an object to avoid a surplus revenue; and should it be found in 1842 that twenty per cent, duty was not sufficient to sustain the woollen, or any other important manufacturing interest, he should not feel himself restrained by the act of 1833 from advocating a higher rate of duty. He regarded it as one of the highest ob: ligations of the Government to sustain and protect all the important interests of the country, so far as it could be done by a wise and discreet adjustment of the revenue, and a proper discrimination, calculated to favor the interests and industry of our own country. Mr. N. said tha', should the amendment be adopted, he felt confident it would not affect injuriously the cral trade of Pennsylvania; its only tendency would be to reduce the price of coal to something nearer its fair minimum value at tide water, and in some degree to check and counteract the evil practices of the monopolizers and regraters in our cities. Mr. BUCIHANAN said he would not impose upon himself the task of following the Senator from Connecticut [Mr. Niles] throughout his argument. If he were to pursue this course, we should not close our contest even at the rising of the stars, which was the time appointed for the termination of the ancient trials by battle. He should therefore content himself with some general observations on the subject. Mr. B. congratulated the Senator from Connecticut upon his rapid advance towards the true doctrine upon this question. Some weeks ago that Senator, as chairman of the committee on Manufactures, had reported a bill to repeal altogether the duties upon the importation of foreign coal. After reflection, he now merely proposed to hasten, by a few years, the operation of the compromise act in relation to this article, by reducing the duty to one dollar per ton after September nex, and to sixty cents per ton after September, 1838. Judging from this rapid change in his opinion, Mr. B. had good reason to hope that if the Senator could have a few weeks longer for further reflection, he would acknowledge himself to be wrong, and permit the re. duction of this duty to keep pace with the reduction of duties upon other p:otected articles. It was now, under his proposed amendment, only a question of two or three years, sooner or later; but it was one involving the important principle whether this great staple of Pennsylvania was entitled to the same protection with other articles of domestic production. Mr. B. said he would undertake to demonstrate that coal was an article as clearly embraced, both by the letter and the spirit of the compromise act of 1833, as the woollen manufactures of Connecticut, or any other domestic fabric. Here he would take occasion to make some general suggestions in relation to this act. He had stood, on a former occasion, that when this bill had passed he was in a foreign lard. When he received the information of its passage, and that it had caused all the angry elements of political strife to subside, and produced peace and tranquilli'y at home, he hailed the news with more heartfelt joy than any other political event which he had ever heard. He did not then wait to examine its provisions. He was surrounded by persons who were predić."5 that our Union was on the point of dissolution. T he tone of our public papers, as ... the debates in Congress at that period, had led

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