« AnteriorContinuar »
Jan. 24, 1833.]
The Tariff Bill.
[H. OF R.
tingent expenses. This, truly, is an enormous profit! clined plane. Sir, it must, in the nature of things, be Out of thirteen millions and upwards, they have left to so. Any other course would be in direct conflict with themselves about half a million; and out of that, have all laws, moral and physical. I repeat, the idea that a to keep up all the machinery, and pay all other contin. business is so very profitable, is palpably contradicted by gent expenses. If these facts be true, and I have never the fact, that idle capital, or capital vested at a very small met with the man that dared question them, I think it is profit, lies thick around, and refuses to enter into this time for gentlemen to cease their slang about extrava- business. gant profits. I think the great profit consists in making The next branch of domestic industry to which I will our country independent of foreign Powers, and in giving call the attention of the committee, is the manufacture of employment to so many industrious citizens, and furnishing hats. And this, sir, brings to mind a part of the speech such a steady market for the produce of our farmers. I which the honorable gentleman from Georgia (Mr. might as well, while on this subject, make a remark in Wilde] made the other evening. Whenever the subject reply to the member from my State, (Mr. Polk,] who of hats or wool is mentioned for some time to come, I made sach a flourish the other day about profits. He shall think of that speech. The gentleman was quite disseems to have gotten hold of a few isolated scraps of tes- cursive, and full of variety. The manner in which he contimony which, to me, and nineteen-twentieths of my fel- nected the batting business or wool-dealing, with certain low-members upon this floor, have been locked in profound gentlemen on this floor, was not the least unaccountable secrecy. He, it seems, has been permitted to peep in, p:rt of this most unaccountable speech. and has made a selection of such scraps as he fancies will The gentleman commenced this part of his argument suit his own views. Yes, sir, out of a mass of testimony by telling us that there were certain anonymous letter which we are told the office of the public printer; ample writers from this place to various points of the compass; as it is, is not capable of printing for us, unless every thing that these letter writers, generally, were not to be relied else be laid aside, the member from my State has the on; but, nevertheless, they did sometimes, by accident or hardened effrontery to stand up bere, and read to us a design, hit upon the truth. He said, one of these letter few miserable, meagre, scraps of his own culling, from writers had 'stated it as a fact, that Governor Marcy had his huge bundle, while the balance is withheld; and in given orders to the friends of the Vice President elect, this vainglorious flourish he fancied he had made us "flut- more commonly known on this floor by the title of “The ter"-at least he said so. Now I confess I was “fluttered" Regency men,” that they must go against the present bill. into a laugh, to see a man so despicably weak, as to be- The gentleman said he did not believe one word of this, lieve that the scraps of testimony which he had pillaged, but in the very next breath he alluded to the fact that would have the least, weight with any member on this Governor Marcy was a family connexion of a gentleman floor. The member discoursed about “ profits," as if he in Albany who was an extensive dealer in wool: (I underknew either head or tail of the subject.
stand Governor Marcy's father-in-law is a hatter by trade, Sir, said Mr. Anxold, I have just two ideas on this and, I suppose, this is the way in which he becomes a subject of profit, which I wish to suggest to the com. wool dealer.) I am not acquainted with the gentleman mittee. The member talks about forty per cent., and from Georgia further than to know him when I see him. thirty-three per cent. &c., and argues that the business in passing we sometimes speak, and sometimes do not. ought to be put down and destroyed, because it yields But my friends had taught me to believe that he was a this enormous profit, as he calls it. Now, I am told by gentleman, a man of handsome acquirements, and posgentlemen who know all about this business of profit, sessed great frankness, a high sense of honor, and an amthat the member is totally mistaken in his facts; but, for ple stock of good feeling. Sir, he may be a gentleman. the sake of the argument, I am willing to admit his facts. I do not know myself very well what are the component In what attitude, then, will the member be placed? Why, parts of a gentleman; but, to say the least of it, I do not sir, in what I should consider a very unenviable attitude. think, on the occasion referred to, that he displayed an He will be exhibited as striving to put down an employ- overstock of candor. Let us analyze him a little on this ment which gives to those who pursue it a profit of forty subject, and see how he will look when taken to pieces. per cent. ; and the great profit is the reason which he as- He told us that these letter writers, with a very few exsigns for wishing to destroy it. This system of political ceptions, were not to be relied on; but he made a quotaethics is wholly inexplicable to me. The very reason tion from one of those letter writers. Now I ask, sir, if given by the member for desiring its destruction, is the a candid man would have made a quotation from that very reason that makes me desirous of building it up, and which he believed himself to be false? I think every canplacing it upon a permanent basis. Is this profitable em- did man must answer in the negative. But this the ployment confined to any section of the country, or to any honorable gentleman did do in the face of this House; he class of citizens? I take it upon myself to say here, in quoted from one of these letter writers, and told us that my place, that it is not; but that it is open to every sec. lie believed the quotation was a falsehood. But he imtion and to every class. Every man in the United States mediately goes on to state another fact in connexion, is perfectly at liberty to pursue this business, and every which shows that he himself either believed the letter man will receive exactly the very same protection by the writer, or wished to make others believe him. This, laws of the United States. How, then, sir, is this law un. then, is a specimen of the gentleman's candor, and I must equal and oppressive?
do him the justice to say that the supply of candor in his But one other view of this subject proves conclusively speech is about as ample as he imagines truth to be among to my mind that it is not so profitable as the member pre- the letter writers. tends to think. It is this: If it were so profitable, yield Now, sir, let us see how his honor will compare with ing to those engaged in it 40 per cent. we should not his candor. find capital so slow to enter it; but, sir, we should see The gentleman from Georgia seems to think he has a general rush into the business. I am told by several a claim upon the regency men, as they are called here, gentlemen, that plenty of money can be hired at five and demands their votes in favor of the present bill, upon per cent. Capital is like water; it will level itself. And the score of gratitude; but for fear, I suppose, that his it is idle to tell me, that, in a country where you can ob- claim of gratitude will not be sufficient, he holds out a tain capital at five per cent., any branch of business can menace, of which I will say more anon. What estimate go on long making 40 per cent. The capital invested the gentleman from Georgia puts upon the character of in the less profitable employment will as inevitably seek the members who were specially alluded to by him, I the more profitable, as that water will run down an in- will not pretend to determine; I will leave that to be set. Vol. IX.-83
H. OF R.]
The Tariff Bill.
[Jax. 24, 1833.
tled by him and them. But I will say that, before I could of the imposing fact, that American hats, regard being venture to make such an appeal, an appeal so direct, so had to their quality, are manufactured at a less price than personal, so gross, that every honorable man who heard mist be paid for them elsewhere. Such are the results it must have been shocked and disgusted; I say, sir, be- of protection extended to the hatters of the United States, fore I could venture to make such an appeal to any mem- that it directly employs eighteen thousand persons, who ber upon this foor, 1 must consider him a spaniel with a earn in wages four million two hundred thousand dollars, collar around his neck. Sir, what did the gentleman say? or, at an average of nearly two hundred and forty dollars I will not pretend to repeat his words, but his allusions for every person, per annum, and subsists, in the whole, were so direct and palpable that there was not a member from filly' to sixty thousand individuals, and all this, upon this floor that did not understand them. He ap- while the consumer receives a better article at a reduced pealed to gentlemen upon this floor expressly as partisans; price. he reminded them of services which had been rendered But, to guard against foreign speculators, and excesto their friends; he called to their recollection many votes, sive supplies of foreign hats, your committee consider it where, as a partisan, he had stood shoulder to shoulder essential to the interests of American consumers as well with them; he even went so far as to enumerate the mise. as manufacturers of hats, that the present duty should be rable and contemptible Wiscasset case, and declared that, fully maintained. Though not very high in its amount, As a partisan, even on that occasion he had voted with it is effective in its operation, and the consequences have them. Now, sir, we are to understand the honorable been as just stated; the principle of which your commitgentleman-he himself so intends we shall understand tee believe is equally applicable to other important him—that his vote was given, on all the occasions refer- branches of domestic industry. But do away that protecred to, as a mere partisan, without regard to principle. tion, and the irregularity of the home market would He now asks his reward; he now calls upon the regency throw thousands of hatters out of employment, who, with men here to vote for this bill as partisans, and thus, by their families, are now comfortably subsisted by the labor party votes, without regard to principle, to sacrifice the of their hands. dearest and most vital interests of their constituents; he “The committee would, in conclusion, remark, that tells them that they can pass this bill if they will, and he the duty on foreign wool (which is extensively used by holds them responsible for its failure; he broadly intimates them, certain kinds being much better fitted for the mato them that if they expect their friend (Mr. Van Buren) nufacture of hats than our own) is equal to sixty-five per to get any votes in the South for the Presidency, they cent. on its cost, while the duty on lats is only thirty per must join with the South in destroying the system of do- cent., and the excess duty on wool, so far as it goes, bas mestic industry. Sir, if these things had been reported an injurious effect; they, therefore, would suggest such to me, I should have been incredulons to them; but I saw increase of duty on hats, and especially hat bodies or hat with my own eyes the orator who spoke, and heard with felts, made in whole or in part of wool, as may meet the my own ears the words spoken. But enough of this un- duty imposed on the material used, which they believe pleasant subject for the present; I will commence the would be advantageous to the American people in genehat-making business again.
ral. “ The home consumption of hats made in
"All which is respectfully submitted. the United States is, per annum, equal to $10,000,000
"CLARKSON CROLIUS, Chairman. Exported,
500,000 “ The manufacture of caps is also a very extensive and
important interest in the United States. There is one
$ 10,500,000 factory at Albany, which, in dressing and preparing furg Say ten million five hundred thousand dollars, as the an- and skins, and in the making of caps, employs about six nual value of the manufacture of hats.
hundred persons, on an average, throughout the year, “And, on the information of practical men, extensively and pays out two thousand dollars in weekly wages, or engaged in this business, they have reached the conclu- one hundred thousand dollars per annum, for labor only. sion that eighteen thousand persons are directly employed There are two or three other factories of such articles at in this business, yiz.
Albany, and several in other places. The whole value 15,000 men and boys,
of the manufacture of hats and caps in the United States 3,000 women.
(for men's wear) may be put down as equal to about
$15,000,000, fifteen millions of dollars, a year. (Perma. 18,000
nent committee.]" “Who receive, in money paid for their labor, the sum The next subject, sir, to which I will invite the comof four million two hundred thousand dollars a year; mittee is that of salt. I have heard some demagogues $4,200,000.
make a great outcry about the oppressive duty on salt. I "The materials used in the manufacture of hats con- have had occasion before now to examine this question of sist of wool of various qualities, and of furs, which are of cluty on this article of universal consumption, and have domestic and foreign production; also gums shellac and come to the conclusion that the amount of duty has very seedlac, glue, sulphuric and nitric acids, copperas, ver- little to do with the price to the consumer. If it makes digris, and dye-woods; with trimmings of leatlier, cloth, any difference, it is in favor of the consumer. and silk, of foreign or domestic manufacture.
In confirmation of what I here state, I submit the fol“It is now about thirty years since the first duty was lowing well authenticated facts, which have not, and I laid on imported hats; and, since that time, (that the do- presume cannot, be controverted or denied. By these mestic manufacture might be encouraged, and thereby statements, it is shown most clearly, that if the duty on established) the original duty has been considerably in. salt has any effect, it is to reduce the price to the con. creased, by which American hatters were first enabled to sumer. Gentlemen ask, how is this possible? I say, make a stand against foreign manufacturers, and finally to the fact is so; and, with me, an ounce of fact is worth a drive them out of the market, by furnishing better and pound of theory. But I think the reason why the fact is cheaper hats than the people of the United States had so, is very palpable. When you take the duty entirely been supplied with, before an adequate protection was off, or so reduce it as to let in the foreign article, the fó. afforded in the duty levied on hats; the exports of which reign importers make an effort, and throw into our market now make a handsome item in the treasury statements. vasi quantities of salt, even sometimes at a great sacrifice, A foreign hat is rarely seen in our country, except in the for the purpose of breaking our salt factories down. When use of persons just arrived from foreign places, because the duty is light, this they are certain to do; but as soon
Jax. 24, 1833. ]
The Tarif Bill.
(H. OF R.
as they get clear of the rivalship of our works, they then of July, 1789, to pass an act imposing a duty of six cents immediately raise the price to the consumer; and thus in per bushel on salt imported into these United States. At a short time repair their losses, in breaking our establish- the next session, 1790, it was increased to twelve cents ments down. We, in all such instances, in the end, pay per bushel. the price of destroying our own citizens. But if, by a These enactments operated as a bounty for individual heavy duty on foreign salt, we even raise the price for a enterprise, not, however, in the estimation of Congress, time, the profit of the business induces men of capital to equal to the hazard of investment. In 1797, the duty on embark in it. The more profitable, the more will go into foreign salt was augmented to twenty cents per bushel. the business; and thus, by an active home competition, This proved insufficient to call forth the capital and enterthe article is furnished to the consumer at as low a price prise of our citizens: necessity seemed to require that as it possibly can be manufactured for; and, in the long Congress should act on every article that appeared to lanrun, we find we can always get it cheaper than we can guish under what was then called a protecting duty. Defrom the foreign importer after our salt works are bro- spairing of its ultimate success, on the 3d March, 1807, ken down. Mr. Jefferson said that we ought to encou- salt was declared free of duty from and after the 1st of rage our own citizens against foreigners, without regard to January, 1808. This continued until the 1st of Januaprice. I think every true American would be willing to ry, 1814. During these years, salt ranged from fifty make a small sacrifice for the purpose of building up a to one hundred cents per bushel, higher than at any other great and permanent system, which would make his coun- period from or since the formation of the Governiry independent at all times, and under all circumstances, ment, (the period of the war excepted.) of foreign Powers; and particularly when he sees and worthy of remark, that the same act which renewed the knows that that system, if not at once, will, in a short duty for the encouragement of our own manufactories of salt time, give him a better and a cheaper article than he gets gave the bounty or drawback on the fisheries. The war from the foreigner.
of a second independence brought forth the energies of From 1807 until 1813, there was no duty on salt at all. the country, and, from the close of that struggle down to During this period, the price varied from fifty to fifty-five the repeal of the last act laying a duty on salt, it ranged cents. In 1813, a duty of twenty cents was levied. This lower than at any other period since the adoption of the duty remained until 1830, at which time, such was the constitution. domestic competition, it sold from forty-five to forty-seven The Permanent Committee believe that some additional cents, considerably lower than when there was no duty at statements concerning the manufacture of salt may be all. In 1831, the duty was reduced to fifteen cents, and useful. the price of the article was immediately raised to the con A petition to Congress, on behalf of the manufacturers bumer to fifty cents; making to the consumer a clear loss of salt, in the county of Kanawha, Virginia, signed Lewis of five cents per bushel, and to the British importer a Summers, Joel Shrewsbury, sen., Lewis Ruffner, Jaines clear gain of ten. Facts are stubborn things; and these Bream, Joseph Lovell, A. Donnally, and Isaac Noyes, are facts that no man can or dare dispute.
dated 9th of January, 1828, and published by order of During the late war, salt sold in Baltimore as high as six the Senate, January 21, 1828, stated, among others, the dollars per bushel. Our suffering during the late war for following facts, which are briefly condensed for common this most essential article taught us the folly of depending reference. upon foreigners for this essential necessary of life; and all In the early settlements of the Western country, salt hands said then, we have an abundance of materials with- was as high as five dollars per bushel, and for several in ourselves, and we will manufacture for ourselves; for, years it fuctuated from two to three dollars; but the said they, we never have an assurance how long peace works at Kanawha being commenced, it fell to one dollar. will last, and whenever war comes, why then this foreign And even during the last war with Great Britain, such supply of salt, as well as of every thing else, is complete was the domestic competition, that it averaged less than ly cut off, and we are left perfectly destitute. But it eighty-seven and a half cents, though selling at five or sis seerns, Mr. Chairman, that we have very nearly forgotten dollars on the seaboard. In some instances it rose to one the salutary lessons of the late war, and, like the sow, we dollar, (at the works,) because of the great demand for are ready to return to the wallow.
the Northwestern army, and the operations of speculators; I beg leave to read to the committee some most inte. but increased production enabled the manufacturers to resting details on the manufacture of salt.
extend their supplies to new customers, and considerably The importations of 1831 are estimated at about five checked a general increase in price. At that time twelve and a half millions of bushels. By comparing the present thousand bushels were made weekly at Kanawha. price of salt with a duty of ten cents per bushel, it will Since this period the salt works in the Western coun. clearly be seen that the consumer was supplied with this try have been much increased; and so great was the comimportant and necessary article of consumption, taking petition, and large the supply, that salt was sold as low as the years 1828 to 1830, at fifty cents, when the duty was fifteen or twenty cents per bushel, in casks ready for shiptwenty cents per bushel. By the prices current of the ping, in 1825; and in 1826, even at twelve and a half present year, at a duty of ten cents, the consumer will pay cents. This necessarily caused a stoppage of many of the an advance of twenty per cent. This establishes one works. There were sixty-one wells of a capacity to supplain fact, that, instead of the reduction of the duty on salt ply one hundred furnaces, but only fifty-six were in opesupplying the citizens of the United States at a lower rate, ration. The average price of 1827 is stated to have been it has bad the effect, from the vacillating policy of the twenty-four and a quarter cents; and the actual cost of Government, to discourage the necessary exertions of manufacturing, including barrelling, &c. nineteen and a those who are concerned in this important branch of half cents. The salt made was 787,000 bushels, employ. American industry, which, of course, has produced the ing four hundred and seventy-one regular laborers, using difference in price. Your committee think they hazard 1,695,000 bushels of coal in the evaporation of 64,000,000 nothing in saying, that if the duty on salt were entirely gallons of water. The capital employed was estimated at taken off, the price would increase, in the ratio of the pre- 548,000 dollars, and the agricultural products annually sent year, to at least seventy-four cents per bushe), as in consumed by the working people valued at, 47,600 dol. foriner years, when no duty existed.
lars, using 24} tons of wrought iron and 1001 tons of cast As a source of revenue, and as an encouragement to the iron, paying for mechanics' bills 7,950 dollars a year. domestic manufacture, the first Congress which assembled We recite these particulars to show how one branch of under our present constitution were induced, on the 20th industry interlocks itself with others. And further should
H of R.]
The Tariff Bill.
[Jan. 24, 1833.
be added the labor and cost of transportation, in making ocean; and the vats are covered, to avoid the effect of barrels, * and building wagons, boats, &c. employing many rains, or of dews at night. In Barnstable county, only, and various other persons. In this petition, the whole there were then 15,000,000 feet of such vats, worth products of the salt works of the United States, for 1827, 1,300,000 dollars, and having more than 1,000 owners. were estimated at 4,113,000 bushels, one-half of which The price of salt, which had been as high as sixty cents, were in the Western country. By the returns of the mar. having faller to thirty-three cents at the works, the comshals in 1810, the quantity of home made salt reported petition between the domestic and the foreign supply, in was 1,238,365 bushels, worth 1,149,725 dollars, or almost the language of the memorialists, became “ severe," and one collar a bushel in that year, when there was no duty they asked Congress " what good reason there could be on salt; and it will appear that the duty has not had any for destroying their only manufacture." apparent effect on prices, nor do we believe that it has had any real one; for a brisk domestic competition acts against the foreign supply, and reduces cost to consum. In the year ending November, 1828, 1,160,000 bushels ers; and so it has been in respect to every class of pro- of salt were made at Salina, Syracuse, Geddes, and Livertected articles.
pool, in the State of New York. This paid a revenue to of the 4,564,720 bushels imported in 1826, no less than the State of twelve and a balf cents per bushel, and left 3,533,796 bushels were from Great Britain and her de a clear profit for the year of $138,620. pendencies, 2,354,549 from England direct.
From March, 1827, to June, 1829, the monthly product The petition above referred to contains some powerful of salt at Kanawha was 75,000 bushels, inspected. reasoning against the then apprehended reduction of the In 1829, the Kiskiminetas salt works, in Pennsylvania, duty on salt; but the Permanent Committee believe that employed two hundrerl road wagons. their present business is confined to the facts as stated, At the beginning of the year 1831, there were 17,545,and do not wish to pass from them into argument just now. 760 square feet of salt works in Massachusetts.
On the 22d of October, 1830, the salt manufacturers of The following brief notices of the salines on the KanaKanawha again petitioned Congress for a restoration of wha, as generally applicable to those west of the mounthe duty on salt.† They estimated the capital vested in tains, are interesting: this manufacture at 6,964,988 dollars, and showed the At the point where the salt factories are established, capacity of the United States to increase domestic sup- the Kenawha river is about one hundred and fifty yards plies; they computed that 3,653 persons were directly wide. The "salt region” estends fifteen miles along the employed in the business, who, among a multitude of river, and the quantity of salt manufactured may be exsupplies from the farmer, required about 600 tons of iron tended to an indefinite amount. annually. They state a fact of ordinary occurrence,
The salt water is obtained by boring through a great though seldom sufficiently noticed by political economists rock, to the depth of from 300 to 500 feet. Copper or and statesmen, that, on a failure of supplies from Kana- tin tubes are introduced to keep out the fresh water wha, (which had kept down the prices at from forty-five which lies above the salt; and the latter rises as biglı as to fifty cents,) foreign salt, at Cincinnati and Louisville, the surface of the adjoining river, though, all communicaimmediately advanced to seventy-five cents. But the ex- tion with it is cut off. The salt water is then raised to the traordinary exertions of the Virginia manufacturers, sti- top of the bank of the river, about forty feet, by forcing mulated by the high price, soon brought it down again. pumps, and conveyed to the furnaces as required. BituThey say that the protection given to domestic salt has ininous coal abounds on the spot, and is used for the pur. not diminished the foreign trade in the article, as the pose of evaporating the water. Some of the salt watcr tables show. Its chief effect has been to reduce the thus obtained is so strong that it will hold very little more price of salt, the diminished price being the loss or salt in solution. profit to foreign manufacturers. A large part of the These works, at present, employ about cigbt hundred salt brought to the United States is imported in lieu of men, as salt-makers, coopers, boat builders, &c. The ballast. The price of iron, salt, or molasses, for ex. average price of salt las bardly exceeded 30 or 35 cents ample, has never risen, unless for a moment, because per bushel, at them. By means of the Baltimore and of higher duties imposed; nor the price of molasses, şalt, Ohio railroad, and other channels of cheap transportaor coffee, permanently declined, because that the duties tion, supplies of salt may be obtained from the West in have been lessened. Practical results are decidedly against future emergencies, such as happened in the last war. the theory that duties must needs be "taxes.” It is the The Kanawha salt is purer than the Liverpool. force of the domestic competition which settles that ques. tion, as is fully shown in the report of the committee on the manufactures of iron; and other facts known to every
March 27, 1830. April 19, 1831. Dec. 9, 1831. man of business who has examined the subject.
Duty 20 cents. Duty 15 cents. Duty 15 cts. A memorial to Congress, from sundry inbabitants of Turk's Island, 45 to 47
53 Massachusetts, published by order of the House of Re- St. Ubes, 44 to 45
53 presentatives, January 23, 1827, presents the following Cadiz, 40 to 41
42 to 43 facts:
Lisbon, 43 to 44
4 That, during the revolutionary war, salt was sold for Liverpool (57.) 40 not quoted 40 three or four silver dollars per bushel; that, after the war, " (sack) 205 to 212 200 to 215 200 the manufacture increased until the duty was taken off,
The fishing business in the waters of the Chesapeake but the State of Massachusetts, (recollecting “revolu- failed last year, and there was some excitement, because tionary sufferings,”') to aid the manufacturers, exempted of the stock of salt on band, and its anticipated fall in the salt factories from taxation. In 1813, the duty of price, on account of the reduced duty to take place on twenty cents per bushel being laid, the manufacture re. the 1st January last; but the salt in the hands of ine fishivived, and became extensive; great improvements being ermen rather made a profit than a loss, when the duty made in it, to save labor as well as advance the quality of retired five cents a busbe!! And now, (Dec. 9,) we see, the article. The water is pumped into vats from the that though the duty will be only ten cents on the 1st of
next month, the price of Turk's Island salt is six cents 130,000 bawels, coating 832,000, w cre required.
higlier than it was in March, 1830, when the duty was 20 + A law with a prospective ifti ollaving passed to reduce it. 1 They and their families were estimated at 14,012 persons, subise cents, and three cents higher than when the duty was 15 ing hy ill manufacture of salt.
cents, which duty will be only 10 cents three weeks hence.
PRICES OF SALT AT BALTIMORE.