Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

H. OF R.]
The Tarif Bill.

[Jan. 31, 1833. I now say, that no evidence has been furnished me, which the least possible expense; the supply of the market is has the slightest tendency to establish this charge; nor greatly increased; this always operates on the price; the have I heard any argument advanced, from which its result is, that the article being produced at the least postruth could rationally be inferred: but, on the contrary, sible expense, and the increased supply of the market, the evidence proves, in the most clear, definite, and dis- compels both the domestic and foreign manufacturer to tinct manner, that the charge is wholly unfounded. The sell at the least possible profit, and the price is certainly charge has been often made, and as often refuted. This less to the consumer. This, sir, is the operation of this policy not only does not impose those burdens, but, sir, system. Under the acts of 1824 and 1828, the prices confers blessings and advantages even upon this much were not increased, but, on the contrary, were diminishcomplaining portion of our fellow-citizens, as I think can ed: of the truth of this, we have the most clear and conbe most clearly shown. I will select the article of cotton vincing proof. In the cases put, it does not follow that for illustration. I believe those who are engaged in the loss falls upon any one; but it is most clear that it does culture of this article are most loud and clamorous in not fall upon the consumer. If loss is sustained, it must their complaints against this policy. How does it operate necessarily be borne by the domestic or foreign manufacon the cotton planter? Does it lessen the demand for turer, and most likely is borne in part by each. I therethis article? Does it diminish the use or consumption of fore think it is perfectly clear, and well settled, that cotton? No, sir: I answer that it does not. The demand this protecting policy does not impose unjust, unequal, for cotton is increased, the consumption of it is increased. or oppressive burdens upon any portion of the people. This policy has created an extensive and rich market for That it does, is a proposition which I utterly deny; it cotton in our own country. Nor does this market for it is a doctrine against which I enter my most solemn at home injure its sale abroad. While the market at protest. I, therefore, cannot consent to abandon this home has been rapidly increasing, the sales of it abroad policy, at the bidding, much less at the threat, of any porhave been as rapidly increasing. This is a fact which is tion of my countrymen. undeniable. So far as this policy has a tendency to in But, Mr. Chairman, I have objections to any legislation crease the demand for this article, and the consumption on this subject at this time, which, with the indulgence of it, the cotton planter must be benefited. This is a con- of the committee, I will proceed to submit. Sir, at the clusion which is irresistible, and that it has this direct last session of Congress, this subject was submitted to us tendency, has been most clearly proved; in fact, it is a for our consideration, and then received our action. It conceded point. Nor is this the only way in which this was then fully examined by two committees of this policy operates beneficially to the cotton planter; while House, and elaborate reports were made. The people it increases the demand for the article, it returns to the sent on their memorials from every part of the country. planter the cotton fabric at a reduced price, and of a much All the various interests of the country were then fully superior quality, and of every variety suited to all his and patiently heard. The wants and wishes of the peowants; and this has a strong tendency to increase the de- ple were then made known to us, in the most ample and mand for the raw material. If I am correct in my pre- decided manner. Every congressional district in the mises, that this policy increases the demand for cotton, Union was heard from. Probably on no occasion, since and returns the fabric at a reduced price, of superior the organization of the Government, was the will of the quality, and of every possible variety, it must, in the na- people so fully made known to their representatives here, ture of things, benefit the cotton planter. That it does as on that occasion. We had all the light then that we so operate, I do not entertain a doubt; it appears to me to have now. The subject was then discussed fully, and at be so perfectly obvious as not to require comment. great length. The claims of our Southern brethren

That the imposition of duty upon articles imported were then presented in the most imposing form; our acdoes, in some instances, increase the price, is doubtless tion was then demanded as a matter of concession and true. I think it will be found to be so as to tea and cof- compromise. It was asked of us as brethren of the same fee. On those articles it will be, in strictness, a tax on community. Permit me to say that this had great weight the consumer. Those articles are not the growth of this in our deliberations. In the absence of this spirit of har. country; our labor is not in any degree connected with mony and compromise, which was thus invoked, that bill them. Our supply is altogether from abroad. We have could never have found its way through this House with no competition, as to them, at home. The duty laid upon the vote it then obtained. It was most unequivocally a them is a burden upon the people; and, sir, I am oppos- bill of compromise and concession. It was asked as such, ed to this bill for that reason. These articles are used in urged upon us as such, passed as such, and was acquiesced every family in my district, by the rich and poor alike. in by the people as such. This feeling was not exhausted Go into the country, and you will find tea or coffee once, in our House; it accompanied the bill until its consummaif not twice a day, on the tables of the poor, as well as tion. Follow this bill in its progress before the committee on those of the rich. Why, then, I ask, impose this duty of conference, and you will find, sir, that this same spirit on those articles? It is a tax on the poor, without confer- found entrance and utterance there. Yes, sir, it was the ring a benefit on any portion of our people. No duty all-controlling spirit there. What interest yielded there? should be laid on these articles. Let the poor have them Was it that of the South? It was not. It was the agrias well as the rich. The duty will tend to keep the best cultural and manufacturing interest. The woollen inquality from our market. i want the best quality im- terest, which is of the first importance to the people of ported and placed within the means of the poor who labor, this country, whether in peace or in war, was there yield- as well as the rich, who do not.

ed up as an offering to quiet the murmurs and discontents When the raw material is raised to advantage in our of the South. We were then promised harmony. We country; when our soil and climate are congenial to the were then told that permanency would be given to the growth and production of the raw material; and when we system of protection, and that the public should have can manufacture this raw material to advantage, then I some repose. contend the imposition of a duty does not necessarily in The law then passed provides for large reduction in crease the price to the consumer, and this for the most the revenues. It gives that quality of the clothing used obvious reasons. By the imposition of duty, protection by slaves almost entirely free from duty. That article is afforded, which invites to the employment of capital was put in the bill upon their own terms, for the benefit and skill, which devises means to improve machinery, of our Southern friends. Southern staples by that law and save labor; genius is employed in the cause of ex. have a decided advantage in consumption over that of the cited competition; and thus the article is manufactured at State from which I come; and how'has this law been re

JAN. 31, 1833.]

The Tariff Biu.

[H. or R.

ceived by them? Have the pledges given been redeemed to undo what it took us half of the last session to do. in good faith? Has the promised harmony been restored! And this, sir, in the absence of any good or plausible reaHave we been permitted to enjoy that peace, repose, and sons being either shown or alleged. permanency, which we had a right to expect? No, sir, This part of the subject may be presented in another far, very far from it. This boon, thus tendered by us in view, which is of no little importance. The law of last sesthe best spirit of our nature, has been indignantly reject- sion has been received by all whose interests were affect. ed. They have viewed what was given in friendship and ed by it, as the rule to which their interests were to be compromise, as a victory, from which they have taken conformed. Their arrangements have been made so as encouragement; their energies are redoubled, and they to meet its provisions. Their contracts were made in renow press upon us with increased violence, and even liance upon its terms. It would be unjust to them now, threatened force, for a total abandonment of the protec- without notice, to change that law. To do so would lead tive policy.

to inevitable loss. It would counteract all their arrangeThis law was passed on their solicitation. It was in- ments, which have been made with prudence and in good tended for their benefit. It provides for large reductions. faith. It would produce embarrassment, and even bankAccording to their own theory, it must necessarily re- ruptcy, with thousands who were faultless, except in move, in no inconsiderable degree, their fancied oppres- placing confidence in our legislation. If this law is now, sions. Why, then, not let this law go into operation thus suddenly and unexpectedly, departed from, it will It might be found, on trial, that their conceived burdens destroy all faith or confidence in our legislation. No pruwould be totally removed. If there is any truth in their dent man would in future invest money in reliance upon theory, they would be partially removed at least. If the our laws. Our citizens could have no love, affection, or law is permitted to go into operation, we will then be attachment to a Government that would be thus unstable enabled to judge of its effects. We will then see and and treacherous in legislation. Every honest feeling of know what degree of relief it gives, if any; and will be the human heart revolts at such a course of conduct on the better enabled to form an opinion as to whether any the part of this Government. We would not only lose more is required or needed. If the law, on trial, fail of the confidence of our people at home, but also our chaits designed effects, that deficiency can then be pointed racter abroad, by the passage of this bill. If it is importout. The defects can then be clearly and definitely ant to an individual to sustain a character for punctuality shown; and the same spirit which framed the law will with those with whom he transacts business, it is equally not fail to amend it, so as fully to attain its ultimate important that a great and powerful nation should sustain objects.

a character for wisdom, stability, and good faith in legisAs this law is as yet untried, what its effects may be lation, with all the world. upon the revenue of the country are wholly unknown. In the absence of all other pleas for the passage of this It may turn out, on trial, that we have already proceeded bill, it is urged upon us that South Carolina has proin the work of reduction below the revenue standard. ceeded to nullify our tariff laws; and that, to save the The national debt is not yet actually paid off, though pro- Union, it is necessary that this bill should be enacted into vision is made finally to discharge it. There are many a law speedily: This is, in my opinion, the sole reason large claims against the Government which are unliqui- why this bill is now urged upon us. In the absence of dated; we should take care lest we so reduce our availa- this fact, I feel assured we should not have been troubled ble means as to be unable to meet those demands. We with this bill at this session. This, sir, is delicate ground. do not know what may be the operation of that law upon We should approach it with caution. To repeal a law, the labor of the country, or the manufacturing interests pot because it is unjust, inexpedient, or unconstitutional, of the country, which have grown up under that system but because a certain portion of the people of this counof policy from which it is proposed by this bill to depart. try have threatened to resist it, would be setting a very These are matters well worthy of our most serious consi- dangerous precedent. It is a precedent which I am not deration. We may already have gone as far as they can prepared to establish. And whenever this Government bear. To go further may totally destroy them. I want shall set this precedent, that moment this Union will be the light of experience on these points. In that guide virtually destroyed. What else is it, sir, than giving a there is certainty. It never leads' statesmen astray. It bounty to the most palpable and dangerous infractions of would be dangerous in the extreme to proceed at random. the constitution? inviting and rewarding resistance to Prudence counsels us to stop. To proceed further now the laws and institutions of the country? This would be would be rash and inconsiderate, and might prove ruinous at once to surrender up the constitution, which we are to the best interests of the country: I am, therefore, de- sworn to support, to its most open and lawless violators. cidedly opposed to any further legislation on this subject, This, sir, is the last mode which I shall adopt to preserve until the virtues of the law of last session have been first our constitution and this Union. This disquieted people tested.

tell us they have planted themselves upon their soveWhy repeal that law before the period fixed for it to reignty and their reserved rights. They have thus taken go into operation? It is not known that it will be injuri- their position. I will, under these circumstances, plant ous in its effects. It has not been so said by any one. The myself upon the interests of the people, and the laws and South admits that it will remove their burdens in part. constitution of the country. This, sir, is my position; it What was our excuse with the people for the protracted is one in which I feel strong, and from which I cannot period of the last session? This question was often and be easily driven. This is the time that we should be firm, anxiously put by them. Our reply was, that we were en- and act like statesmen, in legislating according to the gaged in adjusting the tariff. This was our only excuse. dictates of our sober judgments, so as to promote the It was deemed a sufficient justification. A large portion good of the people, and support the supremacy of the of our last session was spent on this subject, and in pass- laws and constitution of the country. ing the law which it is now proposed we should repeal. In passing this bill, we will not only reward resistance How will we appear if we now repeal that law without to the laws, but we will punish fidelity to them. It ought any other light than we then had? It will be a direct ad- to be remembered, that in South Carolina there is a large mission that that time was uselessly, and worse than use portion of the people who are opposed to this resistance, lessly wasted.. It appears to me that we would very just- and who are found in obedience to the laws. These men ly be liable to the imputation that we had legislated last are now proscribed by the laws of that State. It is session purely for the purpose of creating a necessity to declared by a law of that state that they shall hold legislate this session; and that it took us all this session no office that they shall not even sit as jurors, unless

1

H. OF R.)

The Tariff Bill

[Jan. 31, 1833.

they will take an oath to observe the laws of nullifica- Government, and which will not operate with undue setion. Then, I say, pass this bill, and you give the nul-verity upon any portion of the people of this country. lifiers the entire ascendancy. They will claim the victory And, further, that it can be made so clear and obvious as theirs. They will proclaim themselves as the libera- that all those purposes are answered, that no one will distors of the South from their oppression; and thus those pute it. This is certainly desirable. It is at least worth men, who, from principles of patriotism, from love of a trial. This would quiet discontents in all quarters, and country, and fidelity to the laws, have refrained from re- give permanency to our legislation and national policy. sistance, will be altogether subjected to those friendly to These are objects of great importance, and devoutly to nullification. Justice to those worthy citizens, in my judg- be wished for by every lover of his country. I do not ment, most peremptorily forbids our action at this time. despair of accomplishing these ends. I entertain no fears

As to nullification, I had not intended to say any thing, on this point. Let us be prudent and patient. I have nor will I now say much. But I cannot forbear saying full confidence in the intelligence and justice of the peothat I view nullification as a remedy, for I do not call it a ple. This perplexing question will be settled-wisely right, which is unknown to the constitution-a remedy and beneficially settled. But let us now abstain from which does not flow from the constitution, but is at vari- rashly passing a law which must and will destroy all hope ance with all the provisions of that instrument, and against of its future adjustment. both its letter and spirit. It is a remedy, sir, which is This bill proposes a total change of the long and well not only against, but above the constitution. It is a re-established policy of the country—a policy which has medy which never can be applied until the constitution often been decided on by the nation, and most happily is uprooted and entirely overthrown. This remedy, sir, acquiesced in by the people. This policy has been lewhenever applied, will lay low the liberties of our coun- nient in its operations. The people have never complaintry. I have thus given, very briefly, my reasons for be- ed of it as å burden. They do not know, or feel, in lieving that we should not legislate at all on this subject their business, that they pay any part of the duties. So at this time.

great are the countervailing benefits, that it inflicts not Mr. Chairman, I have objections to the bill itself, which injury, but confers benefits. It builds up the interests of I will present in a few words. The bill, as I understand ali; its salutary influence reaches all classes of society, its provisions, and the principles upon which it is based, but more especially the laboring class. Their incomes is for revenue merely, and not for protection. Although are increased by it, their reward is more ample and ade. in form it retains protective features, yet in substance it quate, and a demand for their labor is created. It confers is but a mockery of that system. I am no advocate for blessings upon all, and imposes burdens upon none. extravagant expenditures of the public money in the ad We should not suddenly, and without deliberation, ministration of this Government, nor would I be disposed change a policy which is so well established, and has been to raise a greater amount of revenue than is necessary to so long practised under; particularly a policy which has answer and meet the various wants of the Government. contributed so largely to our individual and national prosLet us only agree as to what constitutes these wants, and perity. It gives labor and sustenance to the poor, and I will be perfectly satisfied that the revenues of the coun- augments the means of all. The Committee of Ways try should be limited to that point. I, no doubt, differ and Means urge but one reason for this departure at this widely in opinion with many gentlemen on this floor, as time; and that reason is, that the national debt is now paid to what are legitimately the wants of the Government. off. This, as the committee very justly observe, will be I would embrace all objects of internal improvement, a “happy and memorable event in the history of our such as are purely of a national character, of national country. It will be a period to which every patriot will importance, and promising national benefits and advan- look with pride and satisfaction. This event will inspire tages. These objects should be provided for and con- a confidence in the excellence of our institutions, both at structed at the national expense, and out of the national home and abroad. It is calculated to awaken our most treasury.

ardent hopes that our Union may long endure, and our I also think that a proper protection to the industry people still continue to prosper.' Those wise statesmen and labor of our own citizens, and to the various interests who devised the means which have proved effectual to which have grown up under the tariff laws, is among the produce this happy result, will secure a rich reward in most urgent wants of the Government. These, sir, the gratitude of the people. They will have lasting should be provided for. Whatever duties are laid, and claims upon their thanks, for having done much for their revenue collected, so impose the duties as to afford the good, and for their country's honor. But, while we view greatest possible degree of protection that the sum raised this result with the noblest feelings of our nature, and will afford. This bill is not framed with a view to this award a just degree of gratitude to those who have con. object. It does not appear to have entered into the con- tributed to produce this happy and memorable event,” templation of the committee when framing the bill. Why let us not forget the means by which we are enabled to increase the duty on tea and coffee? It could not be present to the world “this great moral spectacle” of a for protection. It could only be to withdraw the sum great nation entirely free

from debt. While we rejoice, thus raised from the protection of our own interests. It i say, let us inquire what it is, that has enabled us to excould be laid with no other view. It can be accounted tinguish our national debt. It is admitted that the profor on no other principle. I repeat, then, whatever sum tective system has furnished us the means. It is to that is raised, let it be so laid as to protect our own industry, our now much despised, and still more abused system that agriculture, and manufactures. To those branches which we are indebted for our ability to pay the debts of the are of the greatest importance to the country, and stand nation. In the absence of this system, our debt would most in need of our aid, grant the greatest degree of pro- not now be paid off. It would have been much increased, tection. To those branches which are not so important

, and still increasing; and would, at this moment, have been or which are more able to sustain themselves against fo- pressing with a millstone's weight upon the people and reign competition, grant a less degree of protection. I prosperity of this country. In the absence of this policy, desire to see a bill framed on this principle. The Com-sir, recourse must necessarily have been had to direct mittee of Ways and Means made no effort of this kind. taxation on the part of the Government. Then, sir, the I feel confident that a bill can be framed on this principle, people would have been oppressed in reality, and not, as which will afford all the protection to our interests which they are now, disturbed and distracted with their too we want, which will not raise a larger amount of reve-great prosperity. nue than is necessary for the legitimate purposes of thel Tho great excellence of this system has been, that

Jax. 31, 1833.]

The Tariff Bill.

(H. OF R.

while it raised funds to enable us to pay the debts of the and his family, in exchange for his commodities and labor. nation, no man could say that his means were limited in The only market the farmer now has will be destroyed. the smallest degree by its operation. The profits of the No man can for a moment doubt that the prosperity of laborer were not diminished, nor did his labor yield less. the country must rapidly decrease, under this depression

This system, then, not only furnished us the funds to pay of these great and vital interests. The truth of this reour debts, but, in the very operation of raising these funds, present tion appears to me as clear and indubitable as the enriched the people. This had been its greatest virtue. existence of matter itself. Much has been said about That this is so, I appeal directly to the people; I appeal monopolies. “Pass this bill, sir, and then we will have to my immediate constituents, and I put to them this ques- monopolies which are to be feared, which confer no betion, what were the years of your greatest prosperity? nefits, give no employments, but are enriched solely by To this question but one answer can be given; and that the distresses of the poor; granting them no relief, but will be, the years in which the highest duties were laid, by taking their property for less than one-tenth of its and the largest amount of revenue collected. Go, sir, to cost. I mean, sir, the men of capital, who never buy but every farmer, every mechanic, every manufacturer, and from him who is forced to sell. to every day laborer, and put this question to him, and The manufacturers are not now before us asking for you will receive this answer. Look, sir, over the face of further protection: they only desire that they may be this wide extended country. The enlarged improve- permitted to enjoy the benefits of the existing laws; of ments, the farm houses, villages, towns, and cities, which laws which brought their business into existence; of laws, have sprung up as if by enchantment, within the period in the faith of which their money was invested and labor of these years, which catch the eye at every point, stand employed. I have already said that their calculations as living and lasting monuments of the truth of this posi- have been made so as to conform to these laws. The nation. When, in the history of this country, has there tion stands pledged that they shall enjoy the promised been, in the same space of time, any thing like an equal protection. It - would be unjust now to withdraw it: increase in improvements and prosperity? °Look into the changes in legislation are always injurious; in this in, history of other nations, and no example can be found of stance they would be ruinous.

It is time that we should equal advance in the march of civilization and general liave arrived at something like stability in our actions. prosperity. I then ask, shall we be precipitate in chang Much has been said on the subject of free trade. We ing a system which has done so much for us? One to now import many millions more than we export. This which we are so largely indebted? One which has made is a constant drain upon us. It takes our specie out of ús rich and happy as individuals, and prosperous and in- the country. Our importations, under all the duties dependent as a nation? Above all, shall we exchange which have been imposed, are much too great. We now this system for that miserable one which sunk this country admit foreign goods into our ports, under moderate duinto that state of poverty and bankruptcy from which it is ties, while great Britain prohibits most of the valuable just now emerging?, I ask gentlemen to pause-I en productions of our country from entering into her ports. treat them to reflect before they proceed to this work of Many foreign Governments now impose heavier duties destruction; for, sure I am that they who do the deed upon our productions than we do upon theirs; and we will be held responsible by an injured people, and an of. are urged to reduce our duties still lower. To do this, fended community.

would be injudicious and unwise on our part, while other If this bill passes, it will affect the labor and industry Governments retain their rigid rules of prohibition against of thousands of our citizens. It will reduce them to us. This has not the semblance of free trade in its chawant and poverty. They will be left destitute of employ-racter. It is free on our part, and prohibition on theirs. ment, and thrown into a state of idleness, one of the worst There is no reciprocity or equality in it Great Britain conditions of man. These people are now happy and never has adopted, towards us, the policy which we are prosperous. By their labor, from day to day, which is now urged to adopt in regard to the whole world. She their only capital, they are earning, by the strength of their very wisely makes her laws for herself, and for her peoarms, and skill of their hands, a comfortable subsistence. ple, and not for us or our people. She does not now, They are educating their children, and thus preparing and never has bought from us, because we bought from them to be useful and honorable members of society, to her. She never has, and, I hazard the assertion, she take their places when they are removed from this scene never will adopt that principle as the rule of her action of industry and action. Blot from existence all the ma- towards us. She takes our products when she can pronufacturing establishments of the country; scatter abroad fit by it, or when compelled by the necessities of her peothe many millions of capital now employed in them; com- ple. She ceases to take them as soon as she can do bet. pel that capital to seek other channels of employment; ter, or when the necessity ceases.

With what reason can throw the many thousands of people now employed in it now be urged upon us to open our ports to foreign manufacturing business upon the world, destitute alike of importations under these circumstances)' Our legislation means and employment, and I ask, how great will be the should be such as to meet the wants of our people. We shock? Why, sir, no just estimate can be formed-no should guard and protect the rights of the people and branch of business will be beyond its reach. No business interests of the nation against the influence and effects so high, perfect, and secure, as not to be affected by it; of foreign legislation. This I deem to be one of our highand none so low as not still to be pressed lower. Change est and most important duties. When other Governments of employment, both of capital and labor, is always at- open their ports to our products, it will then be time for tended with greater or less loss. In this case all employ- us to open ours to theirs. ments, even including that of the farmer, will be so The free trade policy is designed and well calculated paralyzed that neither capital nor labor will find profitable to mislead the people. It is addressed to a desire that is employment. It will sacrifice millions of money, and very prevalent in man—the desire of obtaining the largest blast the hopes and mar the prospects of thousands of our portion of goods he can in exchange for what he has to people. The manufacturers will no longer want the give. The friends of free trade say, let us buy where we wheat, the four, beef, bacon, and other products of the please, and where we can buy cheapest; and this is call. farmer. He will no longer want buildings erected, foun-ed free trade. Mr. Chairman, indulge me a short time, dations dug, or materials which give much employment, while I briefly examine this doctrine. I have already and furnish a valuable market; all of which are now paid shown that to destroy the manufacturing interests of the for at high prices. The farmer and laborer will no longer country, is to destroy the only market which our farmers be enabled to get those things which he needs for himself now bave. This being done, let us adopt the free trade

Vol. IX.--97

H. OF R.]

The Tariff Bill.

[Jan. 31, 1833.

system. Let the farmer take a cargo of his agricultural in society, down upon a level with the most degraded products to a foreign market, and go to the foreign mer- and enslaved population upon the face of the earth. chant and offer him his best wheat, whitest flour, best beef Who are these citizens that are thus to be handed over and bacon, in exchange for his goods, he will be told that to misery and degradation? Sir, permit me to say they he cannot obtain the exchange, much less sell them for are our farmers, manufacturers, mechanics, and laborers, money; and, in some instances, he would not be permit- many of whom are men of the highest moral and political ted to enter with his products into a British port, under worth; men of the finest intellectual attainments; men penalty of confiscation. This, sir, is the right, and also fitted for the highest stations in this Government. They the benefit of free trade; and what right does it give to may be emphatically called the “bone and sinew" of the the farmer? It, to be sure, gives him the right to buy country. They are the men who support the Governwhere he pleases; but, in giving him this right, it totally ment by their money in time of peace, and they are the destroys his ability to buy. It gives him a right, without men who stand forth as strong towers of defence to the any corresponding benefit. I feel well assured that no country in time of war. These are the men who, by this farmer who once tries this experiment will be much bill, are to be postponed to the pauper labor of England. pleased with free trade.

Those who dare to produce this effect by their votes may For argument sake, let us suppose that this free trade do so; I must be permitted to say that I cannot go with system could secure the foreign market; how would it them. I would be treacherous to the trust reposed in operate on the farmer, mechanic, and laborer? When me if I did not resist this bill. It is the farmer and methe farmer sells his produce, he has always to deduct the chanic that I represent here. They are my neighbors. cost of transportation to market from the price. The It is with them, sir, that I have the pleasure to associate, merchant who gives him for it, in exchange, articles of when at home; and theirs are the interests which I shall foreign manufacture, always adds the cost of their trans- support, advocate, and defend, while I am honored with portation to the price which he charges for them; so that a seat here, or have the privilege of raising my voice in the farmer has to pay for carrying the produce of his farm this hall. to the foreign market, and also for bringing the foreign A few words more, and I have done. The prosperity article to his own door. Every farmer, in his own expe- of the people of this country depends almost entirely rience, knows this to be so. It is always so. We may add upon our agriculture. It is from that source that we draw to this the profit which each one must have, through the largest portion of those things which are necessary to whose hands the foreign goods pass. All this expense sustain life, as well as those which contribute to our highand charge is borne by the farmer who consumes the fo- est comforts and most substantial enjoyments. Let us reign article or fabric. I then submit to intelligent men then guard well the capital and labor that is employed in to say whether these costs and charges would not ope- the cultivation of the soil. Let us secure to this labor rate more heavily upon them than any duties which have and skill the most ample returns and rich rewards. Agever been laid by this Government. "I do insist, sir, that riculture may well be said to be the foundation of all they would be the heaviest tax ever paid by the people other pursuits: on this they mainly depend for support of this country. It would operate severely upon all, but and success. It is so now, and must necessarily continue particularly so upon those who live in the interior of the to be so. It is our duty to lay this foundation firmly: withcountry, far from market, and this distance altogether out this is done, manufactures, commerce, and the arts, land transportation. Many agricultural products are so never can flourish. Withdraw from agriculture that probulky as not to admit of transportation to a distant mar-tection which is necessary for its support, and they will ket. Destroy the home market, and the farmer would all languish and die; they will sink into one common find no sale for these articles. And, what is strange, grave. these free trade gentlemen all oppose every measure cal. This protective policy has a most auspicious influence culated to facilitate or cheapen transportation by means upon the morals of the people: it stimulates to habits of of roads or canals. How are the evils which I have stated industry. The practice of virtue is always in proportion to be avoided or removed? Adopt a policy which will to the industry of the people. An industrious people is erect in every neighborhood a manufacturing establish- always a healthy, peaceful, independent, and virtuous ment. This will furnish the farmer with a market. He people. In proportion to the prevalence of industry, incan take his produce there, and get, in exchange for it, telligence, and virtue among the people, will the commuthose articles which he needs. He then saves all cost of nity which they compose ever rise in wealth, influence, transportation, which, when paid, is a clear loss to him. dignity, and power: The history of every nation furIn saving this, he will save more than any duty ever laid nishes abundant evidence of the truth of this fact. It also by any of our laws would amount to on the articles he holds equally good to individuals as it does to communi

ties. And wherever you find the people contract habits The contest is really one between the labor of our citi- of idleness, you will find them dissipated, miserable, dezens and that of foreigners, particularly of Great Britain. graded, and enslaved, wholly unfit to discharge the apThe question which is presented is this: Shall we protect propriate duties of good citizens in a free Government; the labor of our own citizens, or shall we support that of fit subjects alone for the prey of ambition. In this point the people of Great Britain? She protects her own labor of view, I deem it of vast importance to this nation to by her laws. Her people are customers to none but their protect the labor of our citizens. This is one of the most own laborers. Our laborers find no market there. Shall valuable purposes of giving a wise encouragement to our we become customers to her labor also, or shall we be own industry. Its direct tendency, and natural and unacustomers to our own, and protect our own? Shall we, voidable consequence is, to make our people intelligent, by our legislation, force our hatters, tanners, shoemakers, happy, virtuous, free, and independent. Let us then, by tailors, cabinet makers, and the entire list of our mecha- a wise, prudent, and salutary system of legislation, secure nics, into a market, to compete with labor that costs but these objects to the people; and, having done this, the nine pence a day; I mean the pauper labor of England great end of civil Government will be attained. I thank This would, indeed, be a most unequal contest; a contest you, Mr. Chairman, and the committee, for the kind in. which would not be of long duration, or of doubtful cha- dulgence and attention which has been shown me, and racter. It would, indeed, be most disastrous to our la- shall trespass no longer on your patience. boring people. It would reduce this most valuable and Mr. EVANS, of Maine, followed. He commenced by very numerous class of our citizens from the present high observing that the chairman of the Committee of Ways and honorable place which they now so deservedly holdland Means had alluded to an opinion expressed by the

[ocr errors]

consumes.

« AnteriorContinuar »