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Jax. 31, 1833.]
The Tariff Bill.
[H. OF R.
State which he in part represented, hostile, as the honor- point it will stand under the act passed at last session, able gentleman seemed to consider, to the protective poli- which made large reductions. Before I consent to with: cy-a policy which, in my judgment, said Mr. E., the draw still further duties imposed for protection, I wish to bill under consideration is eminently calculated to subvert. see the effect upon the labor, industry, and manufactures Another member of the committee (Mr. Polk] has adduc- of the country, of the diminution already made. I wish ed certain evidence, collected by the Secretary of the to guide my steps by the sure lig! of experience-the Treasury in the same State, tending, as he supposes, to safest teacher in all human affairs. prove that the existing rates of duty will admit of con The discussion, so far, I am aware, has proceded upon siderable reduction, and still afford sufficient protection the general questions connected with the policy of the to agricultural and manufacturing labor and capital. As country. Of this the Committee of Ways and Means seem these references are designed, perhaps calculated, to have disposed to complain, and they urge us with great eara favorable influence upon the passage of this bill
, I deem nestness to forbear this wide range, and to proceed to an it my duty to examine somewhat more minutely than did examination of the details of their bill
. With great reeither of the honorable gentlemen, both the opinion and spect to the honorable committee, I beg leave to say, sir, the evidence, to see how far they can be relied upon in that I consider this rather an unreasonable request. i support of its provisions; and I shall be much mistaken if submit, sir, that to those of us who consider that no legisit do not turn out that both utterly fail of the end for lation whatever is at this time either necessary or expewhich they have been cited. While this is my chief dient, nothing remains but a discussion upon general prininducement in requesting the attention of the commit- ciples. We are satisfied with the law as it is, for the tee, already well nigh exhausted, I am sensible, I shall, present, at least. We wish no change. And while we nevertheless, avail myself of the occasion to submit a few are endeavoring to maintain these positions, what have remarks upon the general topics involved in the dis- we to do with the details of the bill? We plead to your cussion.
jurisdiction; we pray “to be hence dismissed,” and I shall not say, sir, that this bill was rashly, unadvisedly, you gravely ask us to go to trial upon the facts. While precipitately brought to the consideration of the House; we are denying the expediency of legislating at all, you because the honorable chairman has assured us that, al- require us to limit our objections to the particular details though it was reported in eighteen days after the subject which you propose. I think, sir, we should be permitted was referred to the committee, it was yet the fruits of to deny your right to pass any act whatever at the preeighteen months of labor, reflection, and preparation. I sent time, may, however, be allowed to remark, that, considered as The bill which we are now considering is avowedly a the result of so much study and intelligence, it has met financial measure. It respects the revenue exclusively. with a most ungracious reception. It seems to satisfy no- It emanates from a committee charged with exclusive jubody. Recognising, as we are told by the committee it risdiction of whatever regards the public receipts and does, the principle of protection, and framed with a view disbursements. As such, I am not disposed to deny that to preserve it in several important particulars, it cannot it will answer all the ends it professes to reach; that it of course be satisfactory to those portions of the country will produce just so much, and no more, revenue than the where the constitutionality and the expediency of the po- wants of the Government require; although I think it licy is so resolutely denied; and especially to those which more than probable that it will yield quite as much, if not have resolved that a protecting tariff shall be no longer more, than the bill of last year would produce. But as a enforced” within their limits; a resolve which they de- financial scheme merely, where is the great and urgent clare is “fixed and unalterable.” As a measure, there necessity for its speedy adoption? Do we know, with any fore, of “concession" and peace, it falls short of the de- degree of certainty, what will be the amount of revenue mands of those whom you desire to appease. Nor, sir, is under the existing law? Are we quite sure, sir, that it it much more satisfactory to those who uniformly have re- will require diminution? Is there any serious evil to be sisted protecting duties, upon other considerations than apprehended from a redundant treasury for a single year? prevail in the disaffected portions of the country. The Not at all, sir. As a financial measure simply, it may well honorable member from New York [Mr. CAMBRELENG] be postponed to another Congress. It is because it is declares, very emphatically, “ that the fate of the bill de something more and something different from a mere pends upon the amendments which it may undergo;" and question of finance, that it is now urged with so much his honorable colleague (Mr. Write] has signified bis zeal and earnestness. . Will it be denied that the chief, views by a series of proposed amendments, which he some almost the exclusive interest which is felt in the fate of the days ago laid upon the table, materially changing the pro- bill, grows out of the consideration that it is aimed more visions of the bill. Various other modifications have been at the destruction of the policy of protection than at any offered from different quarters, and many remain to be other object? Sir, we know that this is the end to be oboffered. Now, sir, if the intelligent committee, with all tained by it, and the country knows it also; and it is prethe lights which they have been able to call to their aid, cisely for this reason that i am opposed to its passage after much and laborious examination, have not found it now, or hereafter. I am not prepared to abandon this practicable to devise a scheme for the diminution of the policy; nor do I believe the country either demands it at revenue satisfactory to those who agree with them in the our hands, or would sanction it, if we should be so rash as general object, ought we not to be admonished with what to make the experiment. prudence, and caution, and deliberation, we should adopt The bill has been defended by the honorable commitmeasures equally affecting the interests and the prosperity tee from which it proceeded, upon three grounds. The of this great nation? Is it unreasonable that we should chairman (Mr. VERPLANCK] contented himself with provdesire a longer period for the consideration of this sub-ing, or attempting to prove, that the revenue of the counject than can now be devoted to it; that we should at least try should not exceed the sum of fifteen millions of dolwait for the experience of the operations of the law of lars, and that this bill, with the other sources of income, last year? Above all, that we should be permitted to would yield that amount. I am not aware that the honorlook into the voluminous mass of testimony collected by able gentleman placed the bill upon any other ground the Secretary of the Treasury, under the direction of the whatever. Another member of the committee, the genHouse, directly bearing upon the great questions we are tleman from Georgia, (Mr. WILDE,] advocates the passage about to decide? Why, sir, are we called upon to pro- of the bill upon the ground of your inability to enforce ceed so hastily, and in the dark? Before I can vote to re- the existing revenue law without a resort to force, and, as duce the revenue still lower, I wish to know at what he supposes, a consequent severance of the Union. The
H. or R.]
The Tariff Bill.
[Jan. 31, 1833.
honorable member from Tennessee, [Mr. Polk,] also one the country than at present exists;” and he inquires what of the committee, sustains the bill upon the assumption answer we shall give to our constituents when they dethat it affords a sufficient protection to existing establish mand of us, “wherefore did you not pass the bill? why ments, and would be as really beneficial to the manufac- did you not relieve our burdens?" If these interrogatoturing and agricultural interests, as higher rates of duty ries should be put to me, sir, I will inform the honorable upon foreign importations would be. This opinion he member of the answer I should give. I should reply that endeavored to maintain by reference to testimony collect the bill was designed to reduce the revenue of the coun ed by the Secretary of the Treasury. Mr. E. said he had try to the wants of the Government. This was its avowa few remarks only to submit upon these various posi- ed object: that having passed a law last year after much tions. As to the reduction of the revenue to the wants of time and careful deliberation for this same purpose, of the the Government, I believe, sir, all concur in the expe- effect of which we were wholly ignorant, we did not diency of such a measure. But there is a wide differ. know that the revenue would admit further reduction at ence of opinion as to what the wants of Government are, present; that the act alluded to was then highly satisfactoand a wider still as to the manner in which the reduction ry to the country generally, and no evidence had been shall be made, assuming that it is necessary to make fur- afforded of a change of sentiment; that in the opinion of ther reduction at this time. If fifteen millions are suffi- well informed persons, the present bill would yield as cient for the support of Government, are we certain that much revenue to the treasury, or nearly so, as the exist. the bill of last year will yield more than that amount? I ing laws would yield, and thus the great purpose of it lay out of view the proceeds of the public lands, which I wouid be defeated. I should reply further, that the bill hope will no longer contribute to the public treasury. 'If contemplated a reliance upon the public lands as a source your purpose-your great purpose-be really to diminish of revenue, in preference to a distribution of their prothe revenue, let us first strike off the three millions deriv- ceeds among the States for important objects; and, above ed from this source, agreeably to the bill now upon the all, that the enactments of the bill would be utterly subtable, which I trust will be matured into a law at the pre- versive of the policy of protecting American industry, sent session. Having done this, give us one year's expe- and expose the manufacturing and agricultural interests rience under the act passed last year, and if it be then to inevitable loss and distress, and in some particulars to found that the revenue is still excessive, undoubtedly total ruin. For these reasons, I should tell them the law measures can be devised, will be devised, further to di- did not have my approval, and I misjudge my constituents minish it. Not, however, by increasing duties upon tea, exceedingly, if these reasons failed to be satisfactory If coffee, silks, &c., but by such an arrangement of duties I should be further interrogated in the language of the upon imports, as shall attain the object without impairing gentleman “Why did you not relieve our burdens?” I essentially the protection afforded by existing laws. I ob- should say, I was not aware that you labored under any ject to the bill under consideration, therefore, as a finan-burdens.” I heard no complaints. No petitions were cial measure, because it proposes to raise a revenue upon forwarded setting forth your grievances. On the contrathe basis that the public lands are still to be relied upon ry, I thought I perceived every where evident marks of to contribute to the common treasury of the country; be- prosperity and success, growing out of the operations of cause it proposes to diminish the rate of duties when we the protecting policy. The results of it have been, in bave no satisfactory evidence that the existing tariff will my judgment, beneficial and not burdensome, and the yield more than the wants of the Government will require. change recommended would be to impose burdens rather Sir, give us experience; give us that light and informa- than to relieve them. These, sir, would be my answers, tion which can be derived from this source alone, for I am very briefly expressed, if í should be interrogated sure, without regarding other and extrinsic considerations, “Wherefore did you not pass the bill?" But let us supand considering this simply as a measure of finance, no pose that the bill should be enacted, and I should be alarming evil can happen, no great danger exist, even if inquired of, “Wherefore did you pass it?” What reply your treasury should be redundant for one year. I do not, should. I make? In the first place, I should deny (all the therefore, perceive the exigency of the crisis, upon the gentlemen say so) that we are at all influenced by our grounds which the honorable chairman has taken in de- - fears.” No, we are not intimidated, we are only doing fence of the bill.
now “what we would do under any other condition of But, sir, the honorable gentleman from Georgia [Mr. the country.” Well: then I proceed to say that we WILDE] has urged the passage of this bill, upon the found the revenue excessive, and it became necessary to ground that the existing revenue laws of the country will reduce it; that we regarded the present a proper measure not be submitted to in one of these States, and can only for that purpose; that it does not impair essentially protecbe enforced by an appeal to physical strength and the tion to our industry, or manufactures, or agriculture; and, power of arms.
I shall not repeat a sentiment already on the whole, that it is a wise and prudent measure. So advanced in this debate, “that the committee have taken far, sir, I might proceed pretty well; but a new set of counsel of their fears,” because they repudiate it with questions would then arise. If these things be so, they some degree of warmth; but I must, nevertheless, sir, be would say, when did you first discover them? Had you allowed to say that they address themselves to us, as any new light? any information which you did not have at if our fears are to be excited, and we are to be inti- the last session? Not any. Did you not know as well midated into the passage of the bill. What, sir, re-then as you do now, the amount of revenue which the peal the laws of the land, enacted upon great delibera- law then passed would yield? We did. Did you nut tion, in pursuance of a long established policy, satis- know then as well as you do now, the amount necessary factory to a great majority of the country, because, in- for the wants of the Government? We did. Did you deed, a portion, the larger portion at present, I admit, of not know then as certainly as you do now, the rate of one of the States threaten to resist their execution! If duty requisite to afford reasonable and proper protection? the laws are unjust, unwise, and oppressive, modify them We did. Did you not refuse at the last session to pass a by all means, because they are thus unwise and ill-found- bill like the present, or in any degree approaching it? ed, but for no other reason. The gentleman from Ten- We did. They will naturally inquire, why did you not nessee (Mr. Polk) pursued this appeal to our fears, and enact the law then which you approve now? Why did he says “if we refuse to pass this bill, consequences will you not then settle this vexed and agitating question? If ensue, in contributing to which he is not ambitious to par: it be wise and just now, was it less so then? Why do ticipate.” To be sure, sir, he also says, " that he would you so incessantly disturb the whole business of the coundo now what would be right under any other condition of try by your vacillating policy, your unstable, Auctuating
legislation? Sir, what reply should I make to these the transactions of the times in which we live. South interrogatories? Suppose I should be questioned still Carolina, sir, will judge for herself whether she will further: Did you see the constitution, the laws, the sove- continue in her sphere, mingling her rays with ours, or reignty of the Union, which you were sworn to defend, sink into darkness and oblivion, become “ lost”-lost inopenly derided and threatened? and did you therefore deed-lost to the future, lost to the past, lost now, lost abandon the convictions of your own judgment, and con- forever. sent to a measure which you had before resisted? Did Mr. Chairman, the honorable gentleman from Georgia, the termination of the recent presidential election pro- quitting the region of the stars, has drawn a parallel beduce any change in the posture of this subject? To be tween the oppressions inflicted by Great Britain prior to sure, I should answer, something was said openly and in the American revolution, upon these then colonies, which debate, as to the necessity of appeasing South Carolina, led to the independence of this nation, and the sufferings and submitting to her ordinance; something also about endured by the southern portions of this Union, under "a debt of gratitude” due from New York to the State our own paternal Government. The learned gentleman of Georgia, for the support given by that State to a dis- has discovered a very exact similitude, and he admonishes tinguished citizen of the former; some mysterious hints us, from the lessons of history drawn from that conflict, to also as to the interest which New York might have in beware how we imitate the fatal policy of the mother conciliating the South to the future advancement of the country. Sir, I do not myself perceive the resemblance. gentleman alluded to; and a significant warning, that if Against what did the colonies remonstrate? What was he did not step in now “while the waters were troubled," the great cardinal principle they maintained? That taxasome other person would: but notwithstanding all this, I tion and representation should go together. They denied should answer (should I not, sir?) that we have done the right of the Legislature of Great Britain to levy taxes only what we would have done in any other condition of upon them, because they were not represented in that the country.” No unworthy consideration, no improper Legislature. Is it so with the South, sir? Let us supinfluences, were allowed to operate. I confess, sir, 1 pose that the colonies had been represented in both should hesitate to practise so far upon the credulity Houses of the British Parliament, in proportion to their of any man, as to assign any other reason for my support population: nay, sir, in a greater degree than their relaof this measure, if I were to support it, than such as are tive numbers would justly entitle them to claim; that the indicated in tliese questions. Other gentlemen must an- executive administration of that Government had been swer for themselves.
confided to the hands of the colonists in the ratio of Sir, as to the late movements in South Carolina, to thirty-six years to eight years; that the places of the which reference has been made by the honorable gentle- Norths and Hillsboroughs, and their colleagues in the man from Georgia, (Mr. Wilde,] no one can regret them ministry, had been filled by the Adamses, the Hancocks, more than I do. It may be, as he assures us, that the the Henrys, of America; that the Speaker of the House 'Union is in danger. It
may be that the character and of Commons and “the noble lord upon the Woolsack” strength of our Government is about to be put to the test. had both been citizens of these “oppressed” colonies, But what then? Shall we meet the crisis firmly, calmly, exerting the influence of their stations upon the leading fearlessly? Or, shall we abandon the support of the policy of the kingdom. Nay, sir, let us suppose that the constitution and the laws, and engraft into our system of very measures complained of had their inception and government the absurd, dangerous, fatal doctrines put their origin on this side of the Atlantic, and in a measure forth by South Carolina? It is the lot of all human Go- were forced by the colonies upon a reluctant nationvernments, and all human institutions, to be tried. We what declaration of grievances, I ask, would " a decent cannot hope to be exempt, more than others, from the respect for the opinions of mankind” have enabled the universal law. Our Government has been tried, in vari- sages of the revolution, the founders of our republic, to ous ways, before: it is tried now, it will be tried here- promulgate to the world in justification of the necessity after, or all the lessons of history are read to us in vain. "which impelled them to the separation?" Far, very far Let us prepare it for these conflicts. Let us build up different, I am sure, from that glorious instrument which and strengthen its fortifications. Let us not expose it they did hold up to the gaze of an admiring world; but and ourselves to the derision of the world. The honora- not from such as the “oppressed South” would now proble gentleman has said that the bill now pending in the mulgate, if she chooses to unfurl the banner of rebellion, other branch of the Legislature, if enacted into a law, and to justify it by an appeal to the sympathies of man“is not consistent with the continuance of the Union,” kind, for the oppressions she has endured. and his argument seemed mainly directed against that Sir, I think it extremely to be deplored that we have measure. I shall not now discuss it. “Sufficient unto become accustomed to speak so familiarly of “revoluthe day is the evil thereof." But, sir, as to the sentiment tion,” “disunion,” “secession;" of the blood which may which the gentleman advances, that if this policy be per. How, shed by our hands; of the throwing off the oppressisted in, one of the glorious stars of our constellation will sions of our Government, by force. I am not of those be obliterated, and sink to night and darkness, and be- who can either look upon or contemplate “scenes of come “the lost pleiad” of the sisterbood, I have to say blood and carnage with composure;" and I do not wonder that I hope not, i believe not. Of that South Carolina that gentlemen occasionally feel an involuntary shock at will judge, and determine for herself. But if it must be references so appalling. Yet, sir, would it not have been so, sir-if it must be so-it must; and what then? Does well if the sensibilities of gentlemen had been somewhat not that beautiful constellation still traverse its patlı way earlier excited if they had perceived the revolting in the heavens as high, and shed its beams as beneficent, character of a strife of blood before my honorable friend and as bright to our eyes, as it did 4,000 years ago, to from Obio [Mr. Vinton] had so wrought upon their those early astronomers who “watched their flocks by " involuntary” emotions? "Let us see, sir, who has talked night" on the hills of Judea? “Canst thou bind the most familiarly of “ blood." sweet influence of the pleiades?" If South Carolina In the address to the people of the United States, by choose to become “the lost pleiad,” it may be, sir, that the late convention of the people of South Carolina, is some centuries hence, perhaps not many, it will rest only this sentence : “But if, notwithstanding, such a course in poetic imagining or uncertain tradition, that she was of madness should be pursued, we here solemnly declare ever clustered within this sisterhood of stars. Her light, that this system of oppression shall never prevail in South "dimmed and gone,” may be beyond the reach of any Carolina, until none but slaves are left to submit to it. telescope wlich history can furnish, to bring to those days We would infinitely prefer that the territory of the State
H. OF R.]
The Tarif Bill.
[Jan. 31, 1833.
should be the cemetery of freemen, than the habitation and, therefore, I resist this bill. It is important, I admit, of slaves.” That is, sir, if the laws of the Union are to “ vitally important," to all classes of citizens, “to know" be maintained; if the Government of their choice is to the intentions of Government; and I resist this bill because be upheld, they would infinitely prefer”_"infinitely I wish them “to know" that protection will be preserved. prefer" that the soil of their State should be their ceme- The argument on the other side is, pass this bill in order tery. Why sir, upon this floor, have we not heard the that the people may know what the permanent policy is same sentiment more than once uttered, and yet gentle- to be. I answer, reject this bill, that they may know what men then repressed their “involuntary” emotions? A the policy is to be. I think, sir, they will know it, quite gentleman from Georgia (Mr. CLAYTON] last year said, as certainly in the one contingency as in the other. that sooner than submit to a decree of the Supreme Court But, sir, “the payment of the public debt," say the of the United States, “ Georgia would become a howling committee; that glorious epoch! Well, what then? I wilderness." Why, sir, is it only when laws are to be admit that, in consequence of the extinction of the public prostrated, when Government is to be overthrown, that it debt, less revenue will be wanted for the maintenance of becomes humane, patriotic, and praiseworthy, to brave the Government; and, therefore, we provided at the last these awful consequences? But when liberty itself is in session for a diminution of it. If experience shall demondanger, when the constitution which protects it is assail-strate that the reduction was not sufficient, a greater can ed, when the sovereignty of this Union is about to be be made hereafter. But what possible connexion has the stricken down, if in its defence these scenes may be dared, payment of the public debt with the abandonment of the gentlemen can scarcely find language to express their protective policy? The idea that it is to be abandoned abhorrence. Sir, I always regret such language, here or for this reason, proceeds altogether on the assumption that elsewhere. If, however, the scenes of a bloody revolu- the protecting duties were laid with a view to increase the tion are held up to our view, sickening-sickening as is revenue for the purpose of paying off the public debt. the prospect, must we not contemplate it? Sir, I will not Does not every body know that this assumption is utterly dwell upon these considerations. I will not trace further false? Does not every man here know that the duties the parallels which the honorable gentleman (Mr. WILDE] were laid for the express purpose of giving protection, run out into the future, quite as probable, I agree, as and not for revenue? Were not the laws passed in defi. any similitude which the past affords, but not more so. Iance of the argument, and I may say, in anticipation of the pass to other topics. I come to an examination of some fact that the revenue would thereby be diminished, and other reasons which have been assigned for the passage of the public debt retarded? Has not South Carolina atthis bill. It is said in the report of the Committee of tempted to try the constitutionality of the laws in the juWays and Means, that “the extinguishment of the debt, dicial forum, expressly on the ground that they were not and the commencement of the new presidential term, revenue measures? Does she not “nullify” them now for make this a fit season for permanent fiscal regulations. this reason solely? These laws were designed then, not It is vitally important, too, to all engaged in any of those to give revenue, not to pay the public debt, but to give numerous commercial, manufacturing, or agricultural en- protection. Will gentlemen tben explain why they should terprises, which are affected by changes in the rates of be withdrawn and abandoned, because an object, for impost, and are more exposed to suffer from uncertainty which they were not intended, has been accomplished? Is than even error in legislation, now to know the intention there any connexion betwcen the policy and principle of and policy of this Government in regard to their several protection, and the existence of a public debt? Does the interests.
justice and expediency of the former depend at all upon Now, sir, what legitimate effect, “the commencement the latter? Why, sir, so far as protecting duties are taxes of a new presidential term,” can have upon the fiscal regu- and burdens, as gentlemen contend they are, it would lations, or any other policy of the Government, I am ut- seem that the country could much better sustain them, terly at a loss to comprehend. In other countries, the ac. when relieved from the pressure of a public debt, than cession of a new monarch is often, if not generally, attend- when oppressed by it. Yet the argument is, that when ed with a change of ministry, and of measures, both do- the country was pressed down by the weight of its public mestic and foreign. This is quite consistent with the ideas debt, it was wise enough to impose burdens and taxes of the "right of Kings" to govern, as formerly maintained without reference to the purpose of discharging that debt; by the flatterers and advocates of despotic power. But but now that it is relieved from that weight, the same burhere we have not yet, not quite yet, considered the Pre. dens and taxes cannot be endured. Why, sir, if protectsident any other than the servant of the people--not their ing duties were burdens, which I deny, think they can arbitrary ruler. He is to administer the laws, which the be made easier borne now, than when the additional people, by their representatives, establish; and whenever weight was upon the country. If the policy was wise then, a change of policy is to be made, it seems to me much it is wiser now, independent of the consideration that the more consonant to our conceptions of Government, that capital, the business, the labor, the expectations of the the commencement of a new legislative term would be a country, have all conformed to it. more “fit season. .” Let the people speak through their Sir, I regret to perceive, in the report of the Secretary new representatives in another Congress, if they see any of the Treasury, sentiments so different from those upon occasion for a change of policy, and their voice will be which the protecting policy alone can be sustained. Alobeyed. “Permanent fiscal regulations," say the committee, low me to read a few extracts from it. "vitally important” “now to know." Sir, I thought it was “And although the exercise of the power, in either known in 1824, I thought it was known in 1828, and, again, case, must necessarily depend upon the cause which may in 1832, what was “the intention and policy of this Govern- call it forth, the power of taxation, imposing large and ment.” “Permanent!” Can we give permanence to our permanent burdens for the encouragement of particular legislation?,, Our predecessors thought in their day it was classes, cannot be exercised, and by slender majorities, time “ now" to settle the great policy of the Government consistently with a proper regard to the equal rights of permanently; and they did settle it. We are about to un- all; and it is not to be concealed, that a permanent system settle it, upon the ground of giving permanence and sta- of high protecting duties directly tends to build up favored bility to the laws. Will those who come after us be likely classes, ultimately prejudicial to the safety of the State.” to treat our “permanent” arrangements with any greater “ To perpetuate a system of encouragement growing respect than we show to those of our predecessors? It is out of a different state of things, would be to conter ad. a singular idea to me, sir, giving permanence to laws by vantages upon the manufacturing, which are not enjoyed incessant vacillations and changes. I am for permanence, I by any other branch of labor in the United States, and to
Jax. 31, 1833.]
The Tariff Bill.
[H. OF R.
convert the favor and bounty of the Government into per- themselves, without the “favor or bounty" of any supemanent obligations of right, acquiring strength in pro- rior human power. portion to their continuance."
I have delayed too long, sir, the purpose which I had “Such an appeal comes with force to all, but, in an chiefly in view when I rose to address the committee. We especial manner, may be made to those who have so long are told by the honorable member from Tennessee, (Mr. reaped the advantages of those burdens from which their Polk,] that this bill affords sufficient and reasonable probrethren throughout the Union, after having submitted tection; that the profits of manufacturers are much greatto them while the public obligations and the national er than of other classes of the community; and to maindefence and independence require it, now ask to be re- tain these positions, he referred to evidence collected in lieved.”
the State of Maine, as well as elsewhere. I purpose to What, sir! has this power been exercised only for the examine this evidence, and to notice also a remark of the encouragement of “particular classes," “ favored clas- honorable chairman, (Mr. VERPLANCK,] that Maine had ses?" Is it “the favor and bounty of Government,” ma-expressed its opinions upon the subject of the tariff. That nifested toward particular interests? Are these “bur- is true, sir. But does the honorable gentleman find any dens” imposed for the benefit of a few? If this were the thing in the opinions to which he has referred to support true character of the system, I would not sustain it a mo- this bill? In 1829, the Legislature of that State adopted a ment; I would abandon it instantly, I maintain it, because report of a select committee, accompanied by resolutions, I believe it essential to the general prosperity and happi- expressive of its sentiments in regard to the tariff enacted ness, to the national strength and defence, to the great, the preceding year. The grounds of complaint which wide-spread, public security and benefit." I maintain it, prevailed in Maine against that law as set forth by the Lebecause, instead of being a "favor and bounty from" Go- gislature, and I may add, also, which constrained the revernment, it is a prop, and support, and pillar to the Go- presentatives from that State in Congress to oppose its vernment and to the Union. I lay all the claims of the enactment, were, the increased duties upon “iron, hemp, manufacturers and of individuals out of the case. I sup- ravens duck, and molasses.” The duty upon the three port the policy as a national policy, important to the whole. former, it was supposed would essentially injure the shipIt was founded in public necessity, and should be main building and fisheries, extensively prosecuted in that State; tained for the public good; for no individual interests, no and, upon the latter, accompanied also by withholding the favored classes. "Ultimately prejudicial to the safety of drawback upon the exportation of distilled spirits from the State!" What is “the State," sir? I know one of the foreign molasses, would seriously injure the navigation, - Kings of France said, “I am the State," and until lately lumber, and distilleries. In 1830, the duty upon molasses at least every monarch in Europe could have said the same. was reduced, and the drawback restored; and so far the This idea of “favor and bounty of the Government” shown grounds of complaint have been removed. to “particular classes,” becoming dangerous to the State, By the act of the last session, the duty on iron and hemp savors rather too much of a different form of Government had been considerably reduced, and upon ravens duck from that under which we yet live. Is not this the Go- very greatly diminished. Has the gentleman any evidence vernment of the people? Are not these classes the peo- that the State of Maine is not satisfied with that reduction? ple? Is not “the State" the people? Are you about to that she demands more? build up a partition between the Government and the In March, 1832, the Legislature passed a resolution to people? Are you about to organize a being called “the this effect: State,” or “the Government,” distinct from the people; “ Resolved, that the reduction of the duties on imports, capable of conferring " favors and bounties” upon the especially on those articles which are consumed by the people, and to whose safety the prosperity of the people laboring class of the community, would relieve the people may be prejudicial? “Favored classes!" Who are they, of the United States from the burdens imposed upon sir? For whom is protection designed? For all your me- them by the present unequal, unjust, and oppressive tariff chanics and artisans, scattered over the whole surface of system, and would tend to restore harmony to the Union.” the country, in every art and trade. For your agricultur I shall not stop to inquire how and wherefore these ists every where. For your laborers in the shops, in the resolutions were passed. I take them as they are, and I forge, in the mines, on the land, in the factories, every admit that the then present tariff is denominated unjust, where. I find, sir, that the Secretary recominends “to unequal, and oppressive. Well, sir, since that time we dispense with a great portion of the protection heretofore have modified it essentially. We have taken off some afforded to the growing of wool; in other words, to re-duties entirely, “especially upon those articles consumduce very considerably the duty on wool, for the reason, ed by the laboring classes,” tea, coffee, salt, and many among others, that the continuance of it increases the others. We have listened to the complaints as to iron, number of favored classes." I suppose, therefore, that hemp, duck, &c. articles essential to shipbuilding, and the wool growers, the farmers of the country, are to be set have also diminished those duties very considerably: Is down among those who have enjoyed “ the favor and not this enough? Can the gentleman say that we have bounty" of the Government, and that they are, therefore, not acceded to the wishes of Maine? The State has not likely to become “ultimately prejudicial to the safety of said so, to my knowledge. No petitions are received the State.” What, sir! the farmers, the great body of the here; no voice from the Legislature. So far as my inyeomanry of the country, they who sent us here, to be formation extends, the law of last year was very genetold they are " the favored classes?” That they are some- rally acceptable. All parties, I think, were satisfied with thing distinct from the State! That they may become it. But if it be not so, and the gentleman still wishes prejudicial to its safety? Sir, if you would build up “the to accommodate Maine, how does he propose to do it? State,” build up the farmers of the country, protect their By imposing duties and taxes upon “those articles esinterests, support them whose arm fights your battles, pecially which are consumed by the laboring classes," whose patriotism, virtue, and intelligence keeps this ma- tea and coffee particularly, in the first place; next, by chinery of Government steady amid the designs of dema- leaving almost at their present rate the duties on iron, gogues and the recklessness of ambitious adventurers. hemp, and duck, against which almost exclusively she These are " the State," and for these is the policy we ad. protested; and lastly, by striking down, at a blow, to the vocate designed. Away with this notion of "i favored lowest point, the daties on wool, woollen goods, cottons, classes” living on the "favor and bounty" of Government-paper, and other articles, against which no voice from Government which itself lives but upon their breath. Sir, that State has ever yet been heard. Will this, sir, be the people are the Government, and the people protect regarded there as removing the inequality, the injustice