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H. OF R.]
The Tariff Bill.
[Jan. 31, 1833.
of the system? Does it not enlarge the grounds of com- ed. A part of this rum is reshipped to the North of plaint? 'Is not this bill in direct hostility with the de- Europe, takes the drawback, employs American vesclared sentiment of Maine? Does it meet her request in sels in the transportation and in the return cargo. All any degree? Certainly, sir, it will not be pretended. this is well and advantageous. Admit the British West
The views I have presented will be found in accord. India rum, and the distilleries must stop; the importation ance with those exhibited in the evidence referred to by of molasses to supply them must stop; the exportation of the gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. Polk.) From page lumber, to pay for the molasses, must stop; the naviga1 of document 308, I read these extracts of a letter from tion must suffer. Under your colonial arrangement " of Asa Clapp, Esq. of Portland, under date April 21, 1832, blessed and glorious memory,” British vessels will be to the Secretary of the Treasury. Let it be remembered, freely admitted, bringing British rum. They will not that the then existing tariff is not the now existing tariff. take your lumber in return, because they can supply
“ That portion of the tariff which bears most heavily themselves cheaper from British colonies. They will upon Maine comes within the resolutions, namely, on take your money, and with that purchase the lumber of iron, hemp, and sail cloth.”
New Brunswick, or the cotton of the South, to be trans“ It will be seen by the abstracts, that all other branches ported to Liverpool in their own ships. Cuba cannot of manufactures are small in Maine to that of shipbuild- buy our lumber, unless we buy ber molasses. Who does ing," &c.
not perceive, sir, how destructive to the course of trade “* Although the people of Maine have complained less which I have described, the reduction of duties on spirits than their Southern friends, they have far greater cause must prove! This bill, in my judgment, is not framed for complaint, being obliged to pay about twenty per with any reference to the interests of Maine, which I cent. for duties, not only on all materials for building, but think will be very essentially impaired by its passage. for repairing their vessels."
But, sir, to the evidence which has been cited to prove “ Among the many duties which have been oppressive, that it affords sufficient protection. The gentleman from · were reckoned salt, coffee, and tea, being all used by the Tennessee read from the letter of James L. Child, pages poorer classes. As the Government has rendered itself 1 and 2 of the printed document, this extract: popular in the reduction of the two first articles, it is “ It is well known that Maine has not many large mahoped they will in the latter also.
nufacturing establishments of any kind. In that portion is Whether a heavy duty upon spirits, and little or none of the State which I visited or examined, I found but two upon wines, would contribute to eradicate the evils of in- cotton factories, one at Winthrop, in the county of Kentemperance, ought to be justly considered,” &c. nebeck, and the other at Gardiner, in the same county.
“Cotton factories, at the present time, are very profit-The agent of the former very readily answered all the able, but it is expected, from the great number building, inquiries put to him, within his power to answer; the that much competition will ensue, and profits will be les- rseult of which will be found in sheet marked No. 1, sened.”
accompanying this; but the directors of the Gardiner fac“ In the manufacture of wool we have made less ad- tory declined answering any of them, although twice vance, but it is thought a considerable reduction may take called upon by me, and once written to on the subject. place, and the business still continue profitable.” I, however, found by inquiry that their operations are
What is there, sir, in all this to sustain the present bill? about one-third more than at Winthrop; and, owing to a Is it in leaving the duties upon iron, hemp, and sail cloth favorable location, and other facilities for carrying on at high rates? Is it in restoring the duties upon tea and their business, their profits must have been, during the coffee, the removal of which made your administration so year ending September last, fully 25 per cent.
The popular? Is it in striking down to the lowest point the gentleman, in reading this, dwelt with much emphasis duties upon cottons, when you are told that “competi- upon the statement that the directors of the Gardiner faction" or will lessen prices?" As to woollen manufactures, tory declined to answer; and he drew from this the same the opinion is very cautiously expressed, that they will strong inference, as to the amount of profits, as did the bear reduction. “It is thought,” says the letter. Un- writer of the letter. How the fact was, sir, I have no doubtedly “it is thought” so by some, and by others, knowledge whatever. If, however, it were so, I have no many others, “it is thought” quite otherwise. But my doubt the directors had very sufficient reasons, other than answer to that is, that we have since then made the re- an unwillingness to disclose their enormous profits, which duction, and " it is thought,” by me at least, that we seems to be the reason attributed to them. With those should wait a little to witness the effect of it, both upon gentlemen I have the pleasure to be acquainted, and I the revenue and upon manufactures.
can assure you, sir, that they are as far above any unworIn relation to foreign spirits, how is it, sir? By the thy motive as any member who is, or ever has been, upon existing laws they are subject to a duty, according to the this floor, could be. So far from being desirous to uphold report of the committee, upon an average of about 145 the tariff system, a majority of them, I believe, are the per cent. on their cost. The bill proposes to reduce it to friends of free trade. But how stands the fact? I find about 60 per cent. upon an average. The opinion ex. in this document, page 11, mirute answers from the Garpressed in the letter I have read, favors the continuance diner factory to all the interrogatories proposed. of “heavy duties," upon the ground of checking intem- clined to answer!" Where did these answers come from? perance; yet I can well conceive that “ heavy duties” Be that as it may, here they are, and what do they show? upon foreign spirits would be very satisfactory, even to in the first place, they show the accuracy of the informathe “free trade" party in Maine, and to Mr. Clapp himself, tion which the agent of the agent of the treasury proupon other considerations. The city represented by cured by his " inquiry.” Fully 25 per cent., says he. my honorable friend and colleague (Mr. Anderson) will He found the operations about one-third more than at hardly be satisfied with this part of the bill. At present, Winthrop. Now here are both returns, and let us see sir, a very profitable course of business is carried on be- how they compare. tween that place and Cuba, and perhaps some other of
Gardiner. Winthrop. the West India islands. The lumber of the country finds Number of looms,
59 a ready market in Havana, in exchange for molasses, and
1,660 2,000 the navigation is profitably employed in transporting
27 these commodities to and from their respective places. Persons employed,
95 The distillation of the molasses into rum gives employ. Cotton used (value of) $157,500 184,000 ment to capital and industry, and is extensively prosecut. Manufactures, do
Jan. 31, 1833.]
The Tariff Bill.
[H. OF R.
How does this comport with the statement? Although in it, of any in the country; and it comes, I must say, the operations at Winthrop are so much greater, yet the with an ill grace from those who have enjoyed, are enexpenses of labor are less than at Gardiner.
The eighty-joying, and ought to enjoy, the benefits of protecting and seven persons employed in the latter are paid two hun-discriminating duties, to complain of protection afforded dred and ten dollars and seventy-five cents per week; to other interests. The protective policy has been the while the ninety-five at the former are paid but one best friend to the navigation of this country which it has one hundred and ninety-eight dollars and seventy-five ever had. What has built up and sustains your immense cents. That the factory at Winthrop may have been pro.coasting trade but this same policy? Your free trade sysfitable to the present proprietors, is not improbable. They tems, and your colonial arrangements, if carried into exeare few in number, and it is under very skilful and judi- cution, will convince that interest where its true policy cious management. It fell into their hands, reluctantly, lies. I believe, at far less than the original cost, and may have Sir, other gentleman have so fully and so ably exposed divided considerable profits upon that sum, but not, I am the inequalities of this bill, that I shall forbear to follow quite confident, more than a moderate and reasonable the same track; I wish, however, to show you how it is rerate upon the original cost. Of that at Gardiner, I can garded elsewhere, and by those opposed to the protective speak with more assurance; and I confess, sir, I was system. I read from the Virginia Times, an able opponever more astonished in the course of my life, than to nent of the policy, an extract of a letter, undet date hear the flourishing condition of that establishment cited, “Washington, January 13, 1833;" by whom written I do upon this floor, to prove that cotton manufactures re- not know, but evidently by one who knows something of quired no further protection.
the proceedings of this House. It is thus: That factory has been in operation about twenty-four " It is understood that there will be but three votes years, and has been so very profitable as, in all that time, from Pennsylvania for the bill, although it is framed with to have made one small dividend only. Shares which ori- a view to promote the particular interests of that State. ginally, and by subsequent assessments, have cost four or A decided effort will be made to amend it, first, by takfive hundred dollars, can be now bought for one hundred. ing off the duty on tea and coffee; next, to increase the I think, sir, I speak within bounds. I perceive, by a pa- duty on wool, woollens, and cottons; and if these fail, per which I received to-day, that a meeting of tfre stock - then the New England members will unite in an effort to holders has been notified, with a view to make another reduce the duty on iron. If any of these propositions are assessment, for the purpose of paying the debts of the carried, it is believed that the bill will be lost, and they corporation. This does not look much like a highly pros- will all be urged with a view to defeat it. perous condition.
I heartily rejoice to learn that its “You ask what will be the effect of the bill if it passes? profits, last year, have been considerable; for no institu- So far as it relates to South Carolina, it seems to me that tion, within my knowledge, of no greater extent, has it will nullify her ordinance, at the same time that it will been hitherto so losing a concern. The gentleman from cut up the tariff by the roots. For although it fall short Pennsylvania (Mr. GILMORE) read another extract from of a satisfactory adjustment, yet the effect will be that, this letter of Mr. Childs, in these words: “The impres- next year, the New England members will unite with the sion among intelligent gentlemen with whom I have con- South in repealing the duty on iron. This will enable versed, is, that the duties on woollens and cottons might Mr. Van Buren to come forward as the special advocate be advantageously reduced, and the factories still be able of the particular interests of Pennsylvania and Ohio, and to carry on their business at a rate of profit considerably oppose this; and upon Mr. Ritchie and the junto rest his above what is realized in other branches,"
hopes of binding the four great States to his car. Now, sir, will any member of this House predicate his “ Thus you will see that Mr. Van Buren is resolved to course of action upon this great, important, vital ques- make every movement work for his benefit.” tion of protection, on evidence like this? “Impressions!" Now, sir, I do not say that it is so, but if this bill has “ Intelligent gentlemen!" Who are they? Let us judge been framed with a view to promote the particular inteof their intelligence, their means of knowledge, their in- rests of one State only, it is of necessity, unequal, unjust, terests, and the strength of their “impressions.". Of all | abominable. No law should be framed with any such this we are ignorant, and I confess, sir, the singular mis- view. The interest of the whole, and not of a part, is to fortune of the gentleman, in collecting his facts “upon be regarded; but it so happens, whether designed or not, inquiry," and giving his opinions in reference to the com- that the bill does especially regard the interests of Pennparative condition of the two cotton factories I have sylvania. There are some other facts here which I comnamed, has very much shaken my faith in evidence of mend to the attention of the House. “It will cut up the “ impressions." Sir, the “impressions” of “intelligent tariff by the roots.” Let the gentleman from Tennessee gentlemen' of this House, and the Senate also, at the (Mr. Polk) think of this, who has endeavored to demonlast session, was, that the reduction then made, was as strate that it affords sufficient protection. "It falls short great as a proper regard to the interest of the manufac- of a satisfactory adjustment.” Let the gentlemen think turing establishments would allow; and with these “im- of this who talk about a permanent” adjustment pressions” for the present, at least, I am content. As to now," and have so much at heart a "satisfactory” conthe profits being so much greater in these branches than ciliation. “The duty on iron” will be hereafter repealed. in other pursuits, my observation has been quite other. I commend this to the consideration of Pennsylvania; to wise. If it were so, why is it that manufactures are not those members, if there be such, who hope to save the more extensively prosecuted? Capital always seeks the interests of Pennsylvania at the expense of New England. most profitable investments. Yet you find that the navi Mr. Van Buren is “to come forward as the special adgating interest which, it is represented, has been so much vocate of the particular interests of Pennsylvania and depressed in Maine, has been remarkably successful. Ohio." I commend this to the candid consideration of
Mr. Clapp says, page 64, -“ Vessels have been in great those who think that this bill is in way connected with the demand during the year 1831, which has occasioned a party politics of the times, and has no reference to ultegreat increase. Upwards of forty thousand tons have rior movements. Let gentlemen consider it. The ho. been built.” On page 65, he says, again: “Twice the norable member from New York (Mr. CAMBRELENG) has number of vessels built this year than an average.” Sir, also told us, that this bill would not settle the great ques. this speaks any thing but a depression of the navigating tion; that the policy of the Government had been all interest. The truth is, I think, that it is at this day, and wrong for seventeen years, and could not be corrected in has been, the most profitable business to those engaged a day, that it would require the next year, and the fol
H. OF R.]
The Tariff Bill.
[Jan. 31, 1833.
lowing, and the third, to bring back the true policy of time. I read from a pamphlet entitled “A defence of a the Governinent. What a commentary is this upon “per- liberal construction of the powers of Congress,” and write manent legislation"--upon “ satisfactory adjustments!” ten by “One of the people," some years ago, in South
I said, sir, I would not go into the details of the bill, Carolina, in answer to certain writers in behalf of this but there is one item in which I feel some interest, and I“ reserved right," It says, cannot forbear to advert to it. The existing duty on “You assert that when any conflict shall occur between paper is specific, and is equivalent to an ad valorem duty the General and State Governments, as to the extent of of 108 per cent., according to the estimate of the com- their respective powers, each party has a right to judge mittee.' It is now proposed to reduce it to 30 per cent. for itself!' I confess I am at a loss to know how such a ad valorem, to take effect within 30 days from this time. proposition ought to be treated. No climax of political Is this, in the opinion of the committee, a gradual reduc- heresies can be imagined, in which this might not fairly tion? I should be gratified if the honorable committee claim a most prominent place. It resolves the Governwill deign to speak, to hear some reason for this reduc- ment at once into the elements of physical force, and intion? Is the manufacture not worth protection ? We troduces us directly into a scene of anarchy and blood. know it has attained a high degree of perfection, and that there is not a single power delegated to the General Gothe country is almost exclusively supplied by the domes- vernment, which it would not be in the power of every tic article. Is 30 per cent. a sufficient protection ? I am State Government to destroy, under the authority of this assured, sir, by those who know, that if this bill take ef- licentious principle. It would be only necessary for a fect, every paper manufactory in the Union must be pros- State Legislature to pass a law forbidding that which the trated. The very cheap paper of Italy will drive our own Federal Legislature enjoins, or enjoining what the Federal from the market. Is this duty oppressive to the South Legislature forbids, and the work is accomplished. peculiarly? I believe their population do not consume Perhaps you will require the State Judiciary to provery largely of the article, in proportion to other sections nounce the state law constitutional. I will illustrate your of the country. The tax, if it be one, falls upon the principle by a few examples. wealthier portions of the community--upon the commer 'Suppose Congress should pass a law to lay and cial, the professional, the literary classes; and I can con- collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises,' and that a ceive of no reason for the diminution of the duty, but a State Legisiature should pass another, declaring the obgeneral hostility to the use of every fabric made at home, jects for which the revenue was intended, unconstitutionwhich by possibility can be procured abroad. The same al, and therefore prohibiting the officers of the General observation applies also to " ready-made clothing.” Why Government, by severe penalties, from collecting the is it that the honorable committee, and other gentlemen taxes, duties, imposts, and excises.' Suppose Conon this floor, manifest such antipathy to the employment gress should pass a law to raise an army' for a national of our own labor? Do they desire to reduce the wages war, and a State Legislature pass another, declaring the of our own people to a level with that of other countries war wicked, unrighteous, and unconstitutional,' and Do they desire that all our clothing shall be made in the therefore prohibiting the officers of the General Governshops of London and Paris, and our industrious citizens ment, under heavy penalties, from recruiting soldiers thrown out of business? Sir, I shall say no more upon within the limits of the State. Suppose Congress should the details of the bill, and have but a word upon other and pass a law for the punishment of counterfeiting the semore general considerations.
curities and current coin of the United States;' and a Mr. Chairman :. We live in very extraordinary times. State Government should pronounce it unconstitutional, How astonishing will it be to posterity, and how astonish- and provide a heavy penalty against all officers, judicial ing it ought to be to us, that now, " in the high and palmy or ministerial, who should attempt to enforce it. I need state” of the republic; prosperous at home in an un- not multiply cases ; for if you will duly consider these, paralleled degree-at peace with all the world; enjoying you will find enough to satiate your keenest relish for high distinction among the nations of the earth; with an anarchy and disorder. In all the above cases you would overflowing treasury; we are seriously talking about the say, each party has a right to judge for itself, and of cruel “oppressions of government; the “unjust exac- course to enforce its judgment. You might then behold tions;" the “ tyrannical despotism! To some gentle a revenue officer of the United States confined in a State men, all government seems an arbitrary usurpation of dungeon for obeying the revenue laws of Congress. You popular rights. If we may form any opinion, sir, of the might see a gallant officer of the army, covered with the character of human institutions by the effects they pro- glorious scars of many a hard-fought battle, bearing the duce, and the ends they accomplish, what encomiums does scourge of a State constable at a whipping post, for atnot the constitution of our country deserve for the un- tempting, under a law of Congress, to recruit soldiers to utterable blessings it has already bestowed, and the rich fight the battles of his country. You might even see a promises it holds out for the future. Yet, just at such a Federal Judge arraigned before a State tribunal for promoment, it is discovered that this admirable system of nouncing sentence against a counterfeiter of the current government is all wrong, arbitrary, oppressive--so de- coin of the United States! And all this would unavoidably fective as to require almost total remodelling. We have result in giving the State rulers the right to resist the now on the table thirteen distinct amendments proposed General Government, or in a civil war to establish its leby the State of Georgia, and how many from other quar-gitimate authority ; consequences, either of which is ters I cannot say.
incompatible with the very notion of Government. To Sir, if we are wise, we shall adhere to the path marked suppose that the General Government have a constituout by the wisdom of our ancestors, which has led this tional right to exercise certain powers, which must openation to happiness, prosperity, and greatness, their most rate upon the people of the States, and yet that the Gosanguine anticipations scarcely dared to hope. We shall vernment of each State has a right to fix and determine not venture rashly upon untried experiments. Why should its own relative powers, and, by necessary consequence, we despair of the Government? We are told that the to limit the powers of the General Government, is to supStates are “ sovereign," and that they have certain "re- pose the existence of two contradictory and inconsistent served rights," upon which they now rely to control the rights. In all Governments there must be some one supower exercised by the General Government. So far as preme power; in other words, every question that can South Carolina sets up these pretensions, I beg leave to arise as to the constitutional extent of the powers of difread a South Carolina answer, more conclusive and satis- ferent classes of functionaries, must be susceptible of a factory than any thing I could urge now or at any other legal and peaceable determination by some tribunal of
Jax. 31, 1833.]
The Tariff Bill.
(H. OF R.
acknowledged authority, ‘or force must be the inevitable rolina will yet ponder upon her condition; that she will consequence; and where force begins government ends. weigh well the consequences of the step she is about to And it is the more astonishing that you have assumed posi-| take. This day bas been set apart by the authority of tions involving such tremendous consequences, when we that State, as a day of humiliation and prayer ; and even consider that they are in direct opposition to the strict now, while I speak, South Carolina is prostrate before the letter of the constitution, your favorite test of the extent Ruler of nations and men, seeking light and wisdom from the of delegated powers. It is therein provided, that the fountain of all light, to guide her footsteps. For one day, at constitution and the laws of the United States which shall least, we may hope she feels the loneliness of her condibe made in pursuance thereof, shall be the supreme law tion: she acknowledges that the strength of human power of the land ; and the Judges in every State shall be bound is but weakness. For one day, at least, the pride of her thereby, any thing in the constitution or laws of any State strength is humbled; the vaunting of her chivalry, the to the contrary notwithstanding.' And again, the judi- waving of her pennons, is hushed. May we not hope she cial power [of the United States) shall extend to all cases will rise from her suppliant attitude with subdued and in law and equity, arising under this constitution, the laws chastened feelings, and return again to the sphere of her of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be constitutional duties, and to the embraces of the Union? made, under their authority.' Nothing can be more plain But, sir, if it be not so; if she madly throw away the than that the strict letters of the constitution does make glorious inheritance for which our fathers freely gave their the laws of Congress supreme, enjoining obedience upon blood and treasure ; if the constitution and liberty of this the State functionaries, and making void the laws of a country must be subverted in our day, we shall yet not State, if contrary thereto. And to give this provision a have lived in vain; we shall have solved the great problem; sanction of a nature peculiarly impressive, the members we shall have taught the sad, the melancholy, and it of the several State Legislatures, all executive and judicial may be, the useful, lesson to all posterity, and to the officers, both of the United States and of the several friends of rational liberty every where, that mankind are States, shall be bound by oath or affirmation to support not capable of self-government, and that republican instithe constitution of the United States. It is not less evi- tutions are not susceptible of sufficient strength for their dent that it belongs to the national judiciary to pronounce own preservation. upon the constitutionality or unconstitutionality of the Mr. JARVIS, of Maine, said he should vote in favor of laws of the National Legislature. Its jurisdiction extends the amendment of the chairman of the Committee of to 'all cases' arising under them ; and it is hard to con- Ways and Means, reducing the rates of duties upon teas, ceive how, in any possible case, a Federal Judge can de- because in his opinion they were too high in the bill as cide a case, arising under a law, without pronouncing originally reported; and he should vote against the amendupon the constitutionality of that law. In fact, it would ment of the gentleman from Connecticut, (Mr. Huntingbe vain and idle to make the laws of Congress supreme, rox,] which proposed to strike out the duty upon teas if the national judiciary had not the power of enforcing and coffee, because he considered it as the test question them. For you can hardly be ignorant that a law is a whether the revenue should be raised indiscriminately dead letter without an organ to expound, and an instru- upon protected and unprotected articles, or whether an ment to enforce it. I should suppose, therefore, that no attempt should be made to raise it upon protected articles professional man could hesitate in saying, that a forcible alone. I shall vote against it, said Mr. J., in this view, opposition to the judgment of the Federal Court, founded because I have no inclination to endeavor to achieve imupon an act of Congress, by whatever State authority possibilities. Sir, you cannot raise a revenue from prothat opposition might be authorized, would be the very tected articles, for the very idea of protection is to give case which the convention had in view when they made the domestic manufacturer the possession of the home provision for calling forth the militia to execute the laws market. Nothing short of this is protection, and the of the Union.' But I sincerely hope that your licentious manufacturers themselves openly avow it. A gentleman doctrines will never have the effect of misleading the from Massachusetts, largely engaged in manufactures, State authorities so far as to render this terrible resort [Mr. APPLETON, ] has told us that we could manufacture unavoidable. I trust the Farewell Address of Washing. coarse cottons as cheap as the English; nay, more, that ton, admonishing his fellow citizens to 'frown indignantly' our cotton manufactures could enter into successful comupon those who preach up doctrines tending to disunion, petition with theirs in foreign markets, and yet he will is not yet forgotten."
not be satisfied with any duty less than twenty-five per Sir, I ardently concur in the hope herein expressed, cent. My colleague [Mr. Evans) objects to the reducthat such "licentious doctrines” will never mislead any of tion of the duty on paper, which he says is one hundred " the State authorities,” so far as to render it necessary and eight per cent., though he tells us in the same breath " to call forth the militia to execute the laws of the that we export more than we import! What, sir, can we Union,” especially I hope that South Carolina, in the export cottons and paper? Can we rival the foreign manu, present juncture, will not be guilty of that “climax of facturer in the foreign market, unaided by duties, and political heresy,' “ which resolves the Government at burdened with shipping charges, with freight, insurance, once into the elements of physical force, and introduces and commission, and can we not contend with him in our us directly into a scene of anarchy and blood ;" nor do own market, where he alone is to bear the burden of I believe that she will. The latest intelligence from that these charges, unless, forsooth, we have the additional quarter indicates, I think, a more favorable disposition on advantage of protective duties ranging from twenty-five the part of South Carolina to abstain from revolutionary to one hundred and eight per cent. Sir, I place implicit measures, for the present at least. The ordinance, it confidence in the facts asserted by those gentlemen, and seems, has been practically postponed until the adjourn- the only conclusion to be drawn from them is, that nothing ment of Congress. We have hitherto been led to suppose less than the monopoly of the home market is intended that the ordinance was the fundamental law of the State, or will satisfy them; foreign manufactures must be exbeyond the control even of the legislative power, and that cluded. Now, sir, if gentlemen can, by any ingenuity, it must of necessity be enforced. It seems, however, devise a plan by which we may be enabled to raise a revethat the “ides of March” have been adjourned- the nue from articles which it is their design to esclude from eclipse is postponed.” Now, if there be authority any our market, I will cheerfully vote for it. It would indeed where to postpone this “ fundamental law of the land” for be the very Utopia of taxation to make goods which one month, or one day, there is authority to postpone it never came into the country pay all the expenses of our one year, or indefinitely; and I trust, sir, that South Ca-Government! But, sir, this cannot be done; if our pro.
H. of R.]
The Tariff Bill.
[Jan. 31, 1833.
tective system should succe
14,854 ed articles would be reduced to zero; and the necessity of Port and Lisbon, 50
198,279 raising a revenue requires us to tax unprotected articles Fayal,
188,212 as the only certain source of it.
In 1803, under the operation of the low duties, the It is not my intention to enter into an elaborate argu- amount of revenue upon these wines was $645,566; in ment in favor of the bill now under consideration, not. 1828, under the high duties, the amount of revenue was withstanding the complaints we hear from gentlemen on only $300,269. the other side, that the friends of the bill say nothing to But, sir, an examination of the importation of wines, support it. Sir, the bill speaks for itself. It is a bill, the not only shows the effects of heavy duties in checking object of which is to relieve the people from an oppressive consumption, but also the effect of light duties in increasand unnecessary load of taxes; to lay the troubled spirit ing it. In 1803, the duty on inferior qualities of wine of the South, and to restore that harmony to the confe- was twenty-three cents the gallon, and the consumption deracy which every well wisher to the republic must ar- was only 80,285 gallons; in 1828, the duty on these wines dently desire. It may not be perfect in its details; what had been reduced to fifteen cents, and the consumption bill have we ever framed that is so? But I will undertake had increased to 2,345,485 gallons; in 1831, the duty on to say, that it will compare advantageously with any reve- some of these inferior wines had been again reduced to nue act on the statute book, in the simplicity of its de- ten cents, and the consumption had increased to 2,856,472 tails, and in the equality of its operation. It may not suit gallons, being an increase of twenty-two per cent. in three any gentleman in every particular, and I am willing to years. allow that I think it might be improved in several particu Another objection made to the bill is, that it diminishes lars. But what then? If we are not to pass a bill until it the protection to home manufactures, to which we are told satisfies every member of this body, our laws will be but that we are pledged. Sir, 1 deny the pledge. The parafew. Though not entirely satisfied with the bill, I will mount duty of the Legislature is to protect the whole vote for it cheerfully in its present form; I will vote for it against any predominant portion; it has no right to enrich with more alacrity if any valuable amendment should be a portion at the expense of the whole, and we are in fact grafted on it; but I will not, at so late a period, delay under no other obligation than an agent, who had assignits progress by offering any. Permit me rather to meet ed, without authority, the property of his principal. But some objections to the bill, and to our legislation on the let us examine a little further this matter of pledges. We subject.
are told that Massachusetts has been forced by our legisSir, it is denied that sufficient revenue will be raised by lation, to become a manufacturing State. Sir, it is not so. this bill, and it is objected that the sum of one hundred The facts are, that during the wars which desolated the millions, assumed by the Committee of Ways and Means old world for nearly a quarter of a century, the vessels as the amount of our imports, is excessive. Now, the of the United States were the carriers for the whole of composition of this committee is such as to render it more continental Europe. Upon the return of peace, each than probable, that in reporting this bill they did not act nation resumed its share of commerce, and we were unwithout due caution, and we have a right to presume that der the necessity of seeking other sources of employment every facility, and all the information of the Treasury De- for the capital which had been created by the carrying partment, were at their command. I will, therefore, at a trade, and which was now crowded out of it. Hence, venture, adopt the conclusions of the committee respect. our cities, from wood and brick, were turned into granite ing the amount of revenue to be produced by the bill, and marble; hence, the various stupendous works of inconclusions upon which their reputation for sagacity as ternal improvement, by individual enterprize, every financiers is at stake, rather than adopt the assertions of where visible; hence, too, the inception of manufactures those upon whom no responsibility rests, and for the cor- of all kinds. When these have been undertaken without rectness of which we have no guarantee. With regard competent skill and information, and have been proseto the correctness of the amount of imports assumed for cuted without due regard to economy, they have proved the basis of this bill every gentleman must judge for him- unsuccessful. To shield themselves from the ruinous self. For my own part, I am inclined to think that it is effects of their own miscalculation and improvidence, the not too large. In political economy two and two do not manufacturers assailed Congress with supplications to in. always make four. The reduction of duty is not neces- crease the tax on foreign manufactures, thereby giving a sarily attended with a corresponding reduction of revenue, forced and artificial value to their commodities, and every for the reduction of revenue will probably be checked in new and reluctant grant of a fresh drain upon the pockets some degree by increased importations. The operation of the people, thus extorted by their clamorous importuof high duties in decreasing importations, and also in nity, they call an additional pledge! Sir, it is the pledge diminishing revenue, has been very fully exemplified in you give the mendicants of alms to-morrow by the charity the history of our own legislation upon wines, an article you extend to him to-day. not produced in our country. In 1803 the duties upon If we look into our legislation before all other considevarious qualities of wines and the number of gallons con- rations were absorbed in president making, we shall find sumed, were as follows:
that the only pledge given to manufacturers was in the Madeira paid a duty of 50 to 58 cents, and the consump- year 1789, at the very beginning of our Government, by
236,544 gallons. the first act imposing duties. The preamble is in the fol. Sherry and St. Lucar, 40
639,960 lowing words: “ Whereas, it is necessary for the support Port and Lisbon, 30
275,234 of Government, for the discharge of the debts of the Fayal,
624,856 United States, and the encouragement and protection of In 1828, when our population had more than doubled, manufactures, that duties be laid on goods, wares, and when our wealth had increased in still greater proportion, merchandise imported: Be it enacted, &c.” For these and when the inroads of luxury had been in a proportion combined objects, when our empty treasury was to be as great as the two former combined, what was the state filled, and the redemption of a debt which, even in our of consumption of these wines? Had it kept pace with present prosperity, would be considered heavy, was to be our growth in population, in wealth, or luxury? No sir, provided for, the greatest ad valorem duty imposed was for the purposes of revenue we had increased the duties, one of fifteen per cent.; while on ready made clothing, and the consequence was as follows. In this year, bats, castings of iron, paper, paper-hangings, gloves,
Madeira paid a duty of 100 cents, and the consumption saddles, and cabinet wares, all of which were then grow. was,
116,584 gallons. ling manufactures in this country, the duty was only seven