Imagens das páginas

H. of R.]

Duties on Imports.

[April, 1789.

Jamaica spirits, is about one-third part of its val- dred and eighty-three thousand and some odd ue; now eight cents on molasses is considerably gallons, the principal part of which was sent to more: the former is an article of luxury, as was different parts of the United States : now, if a observed when it was under consideration, there considerable difference was made in the duties fore that duty might not be improper; but the between West India rum and that of our own latter cannot be said to partake of that quality in manufacture, the consequence would be, that an the substance, and when manufactured into rum inferior liquor would overspread the country, and it is no more a luxury than Jamaica spirits. I the revenue become un productive; but he did not cannot see, therefore, why molasses ought to be wish, objectionable as the manufacture of this artaxed forty or fifty per cent. when the other pays ticle was, that it should have no encouragement but thirty-three: Surely the substance ought not If gentlemen would be satisfied with a small reto pay at this rate—then what good reason can duction, he would withdraw his motion for eight be offered for the measure ?

cents; but he believed six cents would be too low, Mr. LAWRENCE adverted to the price of the he therefore moved to tax it with seven cents. molasses, which at the place of importation was Mr. Boudinot wished the gentleman to conworth one shilling and nine pence. West India sider the difference in the price; if he did that, he rum he stated to be worth three shillings and four would allow it to be reduced to six cents; if this pence or three shillings and sixpence—the duties principle could now be fixed, it would carry them were not in the same proportion. He thought through the whole. the labor of distillation ought not to be taxed-a Mr. Partridge allowed, if all the molasses was gallon of molasses gave a gallon of rum: but it distilled into rum, that a small duty might be ought not to be charged, even upon the principles proper; but when it was considered as an article of the advocates for high duties, at more than six of sustenance to the poor, and as a requisite to the cents.

support of the fisheries and navigation, he hoped Mr. Boudinot had attended to the arguments the committee would allow but a very small one of the gentlemen on both sides of the question, indeed. He wished it was possible to discrimiand was led to believe the proportion was not pro- nate between what was manufactured into rum, perly observed. By the resolution of Congress in and what was consumed in the raw state, because 1783, the molasses was fixed upon due considera- higher duty might be collected in the former tion at one penny, and West India rum at four case than in the latter. pence. The proposed proportion was two-thirds Mr. Fitzsimons stated, that there were 327,000 of what is charged on West India rum. He gallons of rum imported into Pennsylvania in thought this too high, as it would be an incum- 1785, which would iend to show how great a part brance on a considerable manufacture; six cents was consumed by the citizens of the Union; a dewere therefore a more equitable rate than eight mand in one State so great as this, proved how cents were: he believed also, that it was as much likely it was for New England rum to rival the as the article would bear, especially if it was con- West India. He thought the prices of the two sidered that the whole of the article was not man- articles gave the country rum a very considerable ufactured into rum, but a large proportion con- advantage, and therefore a duty of seven cents sumed in substance. This might also be near could not be very injurious to the manufacture. what is intended to be charged on sugar; by fixing The question was put on seven cents and lost. it at this rate, the necessity of lowering the duty And it was agreed to fill the blank with six at some future day would be avoided, while he cents. thought an object worthy of the committee's con- On filling up the blank on Madeira wine, sideration.

Mr. SHERMAN moved fifteen cents. Mr. GOODHUE observed, that even six cents Mr. Gilman moved twenty cents, and bore no kind of proportion to the tax laid in Mas- Mr. Hartley moved thirty cents, in order (as sachusetts upon this article; it was much too high, he observed) to make it correspond with the rate and could not fail of giving great dissatisfaction per cent. on the value; as the principle of proporamong the people.

iion seemed to be admitted by the committee. Mr. AMES.- If the committee pass a resolution Mr. SHERMAN said, it appeared to him to be that shall have a tendency to injure the sale of pretty well proportioned; because those who accountry rum, the fact is, that being unable any customed themselves to drink wine, consumed longer to export it, we shall have such a quantity two or three times as much as those who used on hand as to occasion the ruin of those concern-spirits, and consequently paid a due proportion. ed in the manufacture; for unless it is exported, Mr. FitzsimONS.I shall move you, sir, that they have no means of disposing of it. The the blank be filled with fifty cents.' I 'observed quantity annually exported is very considerable, some gentlemen, in their arguments on the last and it gives employ to several thousand tons of article, laid great stress upon the impropriety of shipping; if therefore the trade is stopped by our taxing the necessaries of lite that were principalrestrictions, it will have a fatal effect upon our ly consumed by the poorer class of citizens. I do navigation, the encouragement of which is admit- not think any of the members of this committee ted to be of high importance to every part of the consider the article of Madeira wine a necessary Union.

of life, at least to those whose incomes are ly Mr. Madison stated, that the rum exported in sufficient for a temperate subsistence; therefore one year since the peace, amounted to six hun-I no objection of this kind can be made on the APRIL, 1789.]

Duties on Imports.

[H. OF R,

present occasion. The propriety of a high tax on tleman from New York estimates it at. Comwines, I apprehend, is self-evident, whether we paring, therefore, the duty with the value of the consider the price of the article, or the ability of article, I believe it will be found that fifty cents is the people to pay who consume it

. The value of not much too high; if therefore the committee a pipe of Madeira wine, I believe, is about two will not grant that sum, they certainly will be for hundred dollars; a hogshead of rum is worth something near it. about forty dollars. The ability of those who Mr. BOUDINOT.--I agree entirely with the princonsume the one and the other are, I suppose, in ciple of laying duties according to their relative nearly the same ratio. I do not pretend to know value, and hope the committee will keep up the what are the intentions of gentlemen on this sub- line of proportion as near as possible. It is only ject, but my wish is, to raise so considerable a re- in the application of this principle on the present venue from imposts as to render it unnecessary to occasion, that I differ with the honorable gentleapply to any other mode. If this be the wish of man from Pennsylvania, for whose opinions I the committee also, they will be inclined to raise have the highest respect. I confess, too, that he a great part of it from the consumption of those is much better able to ascertain the price of forpeople who are best able to pay, among whom we eign articles than I am; but I believe, with regard may, with great propriety, reckon the consumers to this one of Madeira wine, I have it in my power of Madeira wine.

to ascertain it pretty well. I take it, that a pipe Mr. P. MUHLENBERG thought his colleague's of wine usually costs at Madeira from twenty-five observations were very judicious, and said they to thirty pounds sterling; but then I would wish met exactly his ideas; he therefore seconded the the committee to take into consideration that this motion for fifty certs.

wine is paid for there in our own produce at a Mr. BLAND.-I am not against laying any sum very advantageous rate, which reduces the nomion this article which there is a probability of col- nal sterling sum down in value to a like sum of lecting; but I am afraid we are running wild in our currency. I therefore look upon it, that we the business, and although we appear to be in may calculate the cost of a gallon of Madeira search of revenue, we are pursuing a track that wine at one dollar; for I cannot conceive that any will lead us wide of our mark. I am really sus gentleman entertains an idea of taking the risk picious, if we lay a duty of fifty cents upon Ma- the merchant runs in importing the wine, or the deira wine, we shall not have a single gallon en- increased value it obtains during the time it takes tered in any port of the United States, and we to ripen for sale. In laying our duties we ought shall fully verify to the world the truth of an old to apportion it to the value of the article at the maxim, that two and two, in finance, do not make time and place of importation, without taking adfour. I would therefore suggest to the committee, vantage of such adventitious circumstances. Bethe propriety of considering well, whether they side, a considerable loss attends in keeping can or cannot collect the high duty proposed. If Madeira. The storage is no inconsiderable exthey are well convinced that it can be done, and pense, and the evaporation is an actual loss in will satisfy me only that there is a probability of quantity, which the merchant is obliged to replace its being the case, I shall cheerfully concur in the by filling up the cask. Under these consideramotion; but at present, I am of opinion we shall tions, I think it may be admitted, that twenty or not be able to obtain any revenue whatsoever if twenty-five cents per gallon is a sufficient tax. the tax is laid so high.

Moreover, it may be easily demonstrated, that Mr. LAWRENCE apprehended the gentleman such a duty would be more productive than fifty from Pennsylvania (Mr. Fitzsimons) was mis-cents; because it would be with greater certainty taken in the price of Madeira wine ; he had stated collected. There is another reason that induces it to be worth two hundred dollars a pipe; it me to think twenty cents more proper; fifty cents might be so when sold for consumption, but it for a gallon of wine is a large sum for a merchant was not worth more than half that sum at the to lay down in duties; it must abridge his mertime of importation; wherefore, on the principle cantile operations, and consequently tend to disof proportioning the impost to the value, he would courage the Madeira trade, which, in my humble propose twenty cents.

opinion, is one of the most advantageous America Mr. FITZSIMONS.-I mentioned two hundred has left to her, from the selfish policy that actudollars as the value of a pipe of Madeira wine ates some foreign Powers; therefore we ought when sold for consumption, and, so far as my ex- not to burden it to so great a degree as the properience goes, I believe it to be the case. Madei- posed duty seems to have in contemplation. ra wine is not only regulated by the first cost and Mr. LAWRENCE thought that a pipe of Madeira charges on transportation, but also by the time it was not worth more than he had before intimated is kept to prepare it for consumption; and I know, at the time it was imported. It was true, that as sir, there are Madeira wines at a less price im- the wine increased in age it became more valuaported, which are not consumed; but I believe ble, and, on an average, might be valued at the what is actually consumed sells for little less than time of consumption at about two hundred dolthe sum I mentioned. No wine can be bought in lars; now, if he was right, and from the observathe island of Madeira for less than twenty-four tions that were already made, he concluded that pounds sterling the pipe. This, with the expense laying a duty of fifty cents would be fifty per cent. and charges of shipping, freight, &c. will bring on the value, or rather more, because a pipe of the lowest kind of wine far beyond what the gen-1 Madeira generally held more than one hundred H. of R.]

Duties on Imports.

[April, 1789.


gallons, and its value seldom on the importation blended together on enumerated articles, it would exceeded one hundred dollars. He thought it be difficult to fix a scale of duties that would be would operate as a premium to encourage smug- satisfactory. He wished, therefore, to keep the gling, and therefore was not inclined to vote for first object distinct, lest some extraordinary troumore than twenty cents.

ble should be given the committee in distinguishMr. Fitzsimons withdrew his motion for fifty ing the degree of encouragement proper to be cents, and moved thirty-three and one-third cents. allowed. When the article of tonnage on foreign

The question was put upon thirty-three and and domestic vessels came to be ascertained, the one-third cents as the highest sum, and agreed point the worthy member from Pennsylvania to, being twenty-one votes for it, and nineteen (Mr. Fitzsimons) meditated, might be properly against it.

considered. The next article, “ on all other wines,” present- Mr. Parker thought the proposition, hinted by ed itself in order for the consideration of the com- the gentleman from Pennsylvania, required time mittee.

for consideration, especially as it was novel, no Mr. HEISTER observed there was a great vari-indication having before been given on the busiety of wines included in that general expression, ness. He moved, therefore, the rising of the comthe prices of which were very different; some mittee. worth even more than Madeira, and others less:

Mr. Fitzsimons did not think the argument he submitted, therefore, to the committee the pro- just used for the committee's rising was sufficient priety of discriminating and taxing them accord- to warrant them in agreeing to the motion. The ing to their value.

part of the proposition under consideration, which Mr. BoudinoT acquiesced in the remark. he wished to alter, might stand postponed, in Mr. Fitzsimons did not think it worth while, order to give gentlemen time to turn their attenat this time, to engage the committee in making tion and inquiries to such an important subject. such a discrimination. The rich wines were im-He did not think, by any means, that a combinaported in no very considerable quantities, and if tion of the objects of revenue and protection of the duty was laid pretty high, it would tend to trade was so difficult as had just been represented; exclude the most inferior and low wines from be- however, for the present, he waived an inquiry ing introduced.

into the subject, and hoped the committee uld It was thereupon agreed to lay twenty cents on pass it over for the present, and go on to the folall other wines.

lowing articles. The next article on the list was “bohea tea," The articles of tea and pepper were passed over on which

for the present. Mr. FitzSIMONS observed that he meant this Mr. BoUdinoT proposed one cent per pound on article not only as a revenue, but as a regulation sugar. of a commerce highly advantageous to the United Two cents were afterwards proposed, when States. The merchants of this country have, Mr. Fitzsimons remarked, that one gallon of from a variety of circumstances, and finding their molasses weighed eight pounds; that at six cents trade restrained and embarrassed, been under the it did not pay a cent per pound; could it, therenecessity of exploring channels to which they fore, be called anywise equal to such a tax on were heretofore unaccustomed. At length they sugar? Moreover, sugar is an article of as genehave succeeded in discovering one that bids fair ral consumption as molasses, and when it is of to increase our national importance and prosperi- this inferior quality, it enters as much or more ty, while at the same time it is lucrative to the into the consumption of the poor as the other, persons engaged in its prosecution. I mean, sir, while, at the same time, molasses will sweeten the trade to China and the East Indies. I have more, according to its weight, than even the best no doubt but what it will receive the encourage- sugar; from which considerations, I think gentlement of the Federal Government for some time men will be satisfied by putting it on an equality to come. There is scarcely any direct intercourse with molasses; therefore I do not oppose the one of this nature, but what requires some assistance cent. in the beginning; it is peculiarly necessary in our On the question, the committee agreed to tax case, from the jealousy subsisting in Europe of it but one cent per pound, and loaf sugar three this infant branch of commerce. It has been cents per pound. All other sugars one and a half thought proper, under some of the State Govern- cent per pound. On coffee two and a half cents ments, to foster and protect a direct communica- per pound. tion with India. I hope the Government of the On motion of Mr. BLAND, the committee rose United States has an equal disposition to give this and reported progress. Adjourned. trade their encouragement.

I wish, therefore, the committee would pass over the article for the present, and permit it to

Wednesday, April 15. come in at another place in the list, where I mean Mr. TUCKER presented the petition of David to move a discrimination in the duty on teas, ac- Ramsay, of the State of South Carolina, setting cording as they are imported, directly from China forth that he had, at a great expense of time and in ir own ships, or in any ships from Europe. money, published a book, entitled " The History

Mr. Madison expressed an apprehension that of the Revolution of South Carolina, from a if the two objects of revenue and commerce were British Province to an independent State ;" that

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he had also prepared, and purposes shortly to pub- ate, and three members from the House of Representalish, another book under the title of the "History tives, to be appointed by the Houses respectively, wait of the American Revolution,” and praying that a

on the President of the United States, as soon as he law may pass for securing to the petitioner, his shall come to this city, and, in the name of the Conheirs and assigns, for a certain term of years, the gress of the United States, congratulate him on his sole and exclusive right of vending and disposing

arrival.” of the said books within the United States.

And a committee of five was balloted for and Also, a petition of John Churchman, setting chosen accordingly, for the purpose of waiting on forth that, by several years' labor, close applica- the President. tion, and at great expense, he hath invented sev- Another committee of three was appointed to eral different methods by which the principles of wait on the Vice President. magnetic variation are so explained, that the latitude of a place being given, its longitude may be

DUTIES ON IMPORTS. easily determined; and praying that a law may The House again resolved itself into a Compass for vesting in the petitioner, his heirs and mittee of the Whole on the state of the Union, assigns, an exclusive right of vending spheres, Mr. Page in the Chair; the question being on inhemispheres, maps, charts, and tables, on his serting, in the list of dutiable articles, beer, ale, principles of magnetism, throughout the United and porterStates; as, also, that he may receive the patron- Mr. FITZSIMONS meant to make an alteration age of Congress to enable him to perform a voy in this article, by distinguishing beer, ale, and age to Baffin's Bay, for the purpose of making porter, imported in casks, from what was importmagnetical experiments to ascertain the causes of ed in bottles. He thought this manufacture one the variation of the needle, and how near the highly deserving of encouragement. If the molongitude may be thereby ascertained.

rals of the people were to be improved by what Ordered, That the said petitions be referred to entered into their diet, it would be prudent in the a committee of three, and that Messrs. TUCKER, National Legislature to encourage the manufacWHITE, and HUNTINGTON, be the said committee. ture of malt liquors. The small protecting du

A petition of David Ramsay, of the State of ties laid in Pennsylvania had a great effect toSouth Carolina, was presented to the House and wards the establishment of breweries; they no read, setting forth that Mr. William Smith, a longer imported this article, but, on the contrary, member returned to serve in this House as one of exported considerable quantities, and, in two or the representatives for the State of South Caro- three years, with the fostering aid of Governlina, was, at the time of his election, ineligible ment, would be able to furnish enough for the thereto, and came within the disqualification of whole consumption of the United States. He the third paragraph of the Constitution, which moved nine cents per gallon. declares " that no person shall be a representative Mr. LAWRENCE seconded the motion. He would who shall not have been seven years a citizen of have this duty so high as to give a decided prefethe United States," and praying that these allega-rence to American beer; it would tend also to tions may be inquired into by the House.

encourage agriculture, because the malt and hops Referred to the Committee on Elections.

consumed in the manufacture were the produce Mr. Benson, from the committee to whom it of our own grounds. was referred to consider of and report to the

Mr. SMITH (of Maryland) was opposed to such House respecting the ceremonial of receiving the high duties as seemed to be in the contemplation PRESIDENT, and to whom was also referred a let- of some members of the committee. He thought ter from the Chairman of a Committee of the enough might be raised if the tax was lowered. Senate to the SPEAKER, communicating an in- He formed this opinion from some calculations struction from that House to a committee thereof, he had made with respect to the imports at Balto report if any, and what, arrangements are timore. He stated them to amount for the last necessary for the reception of the President, year, at the rate now proposed, to £258,163; to made the following report:

this, if he added five other districts in Maryland, " That Mr. Osgood, the proprietor of the house the probable amount of which, on the same prinlately occupied by the President of Congress, be re- ciple, would be £185,537; then, these iwo sums quested to put the same, and the furniture therein, in multiplied by twelve, the supposed proportion proper condition for the residence and use of the Presi- that Maryland ought to bear of the national debt, dent of the United States, to provide for his temporary would produce £5,324,400, a sum exceeding very accommodation.

considerably what the wants of the Union re“ That it will be most eligible, in the first instance,

quired. that a committee of three members from the Senate, and five from the House of Representatives, to be ap

Mr. Gale thought a duty of nine cents would pointed by the Houses respectively, to attend to re-operate as a prohibition upon the importation of ceive the President at such place as he shall embark beer and porter. He remarked the advantages from New Jersey for this city, and conduct him with which America possessed in growing malt and out form to the house lately occupied by the President hops for the manufacture of these articles. In of Congress, and that at such time thereafter, as the addition to this, the risk and expense of bringing President shall signify it will be convenient for him, he it from Europe was to be considered. Upon the be formally received by both Houses.

whole, he concluded so high a duty as nine cents "That a committee of two members from the Sen-I would give the brewers here a monopoly, defeat

H. OF R.]

Duties on Imports.

[APRIL, 1789.

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the purposes of obtaining revenue, enhance the ing themselves with this meat, especially as the price of the consumer, and thereby establish the consumption was neither so great or general as to use of spirituous liquors. For these considera- effect the revenue, and therefore he judged it tions he was against that sum.

might be struck out. Mr. SINNICKSON declared himself a friend to Mr. Tucker thought with the gentleman from this manufacture, and thought if the duty was Virginia, that the regulation was unnecessary, laid high enough to effect a prohibition, the man- and that it would be better to throw it into the ufacture would increase, and, of consequence, the common mass, taxable at a certain rate per cent. price be lessened. He considered it of import- He therefore moved to have it struck out. ance, inasmuch as the materials were produced Upon these considerations, the articles of beer, in the country, and tended to advance the agricul- pork, and butter, were ail struck out. tural interest.

Mr. Fitzsimons moved to lay a duty of two Mr. Madison moved to lay an impost of eight cents on all candles of tallow per pound. cents on all beer imported. He did not think this

Mr. TUCKER observed that some States were sum would give a monopoly, but hoped it would under the necessity of importing considerable be such encouragement as to induce the manufac- quantities of this article also, while others had ture to take deep root in every State in the enough, and more than enough, for their own Union; in this case it would produce the collate- consumption; therefore the burden would be parral good hinted at by the gentleman from New tially borne by such States. As the committee Jersey, which, in his opinion, was an object well had just rejected some articles upon this princiworthy of being attended to. He observed that, ple, he would move that this be struck out likein the State of New York, the article paid a duty wise. equal to six cents on importation, and if brought in foreign vessels, it amounted to eight cents; and

Mr. FitzsimONS.— I am not for striking out, yet quantities of it were still imported, which sir. Every article imported into the State that proved that eight cents would not amount to a be raised, he moves to have struck out; but I

gentleman represents, from which revenue is to prohibition.

The committee agreed hereupon to charge it at wish the committee to consider a moment before eight cents.

they join in sentiment with him. The manuOn all beer, ale, or porter, imported in bottles, facture of candles is an important manufacture, per dozen, twenty-five cents. Agreed to without and far advanced towards perfection. I have no debate.

doubt but in a few years we shall be able to furOn every barrel of beef it was moved to lay a

nish sufficient to supply the consumption of every duty of a dollar per barrel.

part of the Continent. In Pennsylvania we have Mr. Bland thought that very little revenue was

a duty of two pence per pound, and under the likely to be collected on this article, let the duty operation of this small encouragement the manube more or less; and as it was to be had in suffi- facture has gained considerable strength. We no cient quantities within the United States, perhaps longer import candles from Ireland or England, a tax amounting to a prohibition would be proper. of whom a few years ago we took considerable

Mr. Thatcher admitted that there was beef quantities; the necessity of continuing those enenough to be got in every part of the country, but couragements which the State Legislatures have it was fresh beef. Some States, from local cir- deemed proper, exist in a considerable degree; cumstances, were unable to salt and preserve it, therefore it will be politic in the Government of therefore a tax on this article would operate as a the United States to continue such duties till partial tax upon those States. If there is a suffi- their object is accomplished. cient quantity in the other States to answer their Mr. Tucker would be glad to know what artiown consumption, they will feel no part of the cle it was that South Carolina would not contribburden; but it appeared unnecessary to him to ute her full proportion of tax upon ? he saw none; lay this restriction, because he found some States on the contrary, so far as the enumeration went, capable of exporting beef on terms as reasonably the impost would bear unequally upon her, and low as any other country could, and it could not, he feared many others in the list would increase therefore, be contended for as a requisite encour- the imposition. He thought it the duty of the agement to this branch of the agricultural interest. committee to guard against an unequal distribu

Mr. Goodhue did not contend that it was ne- tion of the public burden in every case, and therecessary to lay a particular duty on beef, although fore wished the duty on this article to be a modit was among the enumerated articles admitted erate one; not because it affected the State he by the committee. He was satisfied of the fact, represented, for it did not do this to any degreethat meat could be put up here cheaper than in as wax candles were there principally consumed, Europe, and afforded at a less price, so there was the material for which was the production of the little to apprehend from rivalship.

Southern States—but because other States, not Mr. Madison thought that almost every State having this advantage, might be oppressed. in the Union had more of this article than was Mr. Boudinot apprehended most States imnecessary for its own consumption, and conse- ported considerable quantities of this article from quently there was no danger of its being imported, Russia and Ireland; he expected they would be unless the quality of the foreign beef was supe- made cheaper than they could be imported, if a rior. He would not object to gentlemen gratify- small encouragement was held out by the Gov

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