Page images
PDF
EPUB

FEB. 23, 1830.)
Abolition of Duties, Taxes, &c.

[SENATE, trievably gone, to the generation at least, that saw and ne- mon, nutmegs, cassia, ginger, ivory, Turkey carpets, glected the golden opportunity. We have complained, Cashmere shawls." and justly, of the burthens upon our exports in foreign This section presents an exception to the principle of countries; a part of our tariff system rests upon the prin- the bill; it dispenses with the idea of obtaining equivalents ciple of retaliation for the injury thus done us. , Retalia- in the enumerated articles. The exception is the effect of tion, heretofore, has been our only resource: but. reci- necessity; the articles excepted being desirable to us, and procity of injuries is not the way to enrich nations any obtained from Powers with whom we have no treaties. more than individuals. It is an “unprofitable contest,” The exception is unavoidable, but it is not wholly disad under crery aspect. But the present conjuncture, pay- vantageous. We shall get the articles for one-third and ment of the public debt, in itself a rare and almost unprece-one-half less than we now pay for them; and if two or dented occurrence in the history of nations, enables us to three millions of revenue should be suddenly wanted, they enlarge our system; to present a choice of alternatives: present the ready means of raising it. The'abolition beone fraught with good, the other.charged with evil, to fo- ing by law alone, the duty may be laid again by law whenreign nations. The participation, or exclusion, from forty ever needed. millions of free trade, annually increasing, would not ad

Third Section. mit of a second thought, in the head of any nation with “ That, from and after the 31st day of December, in which we trade. To say nothing of her gains in the par- the year 1831, a duty of thirty-three and a third per cent. ticipation in such a commerce, what would be her loss in on the value, shall be levied on all furs and raw hides imthe exclusion from it? How would England, France, or ported into the United States, from countries which shall Germany, bear the loss of their linen, silk,,or wine trade, not have sccured their free admission by granting equivawith the United States? How could Cuba, St. Domingo, lentadvantages to tbe like productions of the United States." or Brazil, bear the loss of their coffee trade with us?

This section, to a superficial observer, may seem to miliThey could not bear it at all. Deep and essential injury, tate against the plan of the bill; but the inconsistency is in Fuin of industry, seditions, and bloodshed, and the over- appearance only. It barmonizes completely with the throw of administrations, would be the consequence of spirit of the bill. It provides for a future, eventual, and such loss. Yet such loss would be inevitable, (and not to contingent duty, upon two articles now introduced, free the few nations, or in the articles only which I have men- of duty, to a great amount. The terms in which the sectioned, for I have put a few instances only by way of ex- tion is drawn show that its object is to obtain equivalents ample) but to every nation with whom we trade, that for their future free importation; and the following table would not fall into our system, and throughout the whole of their annual imports, for the last nine years, will show list of essential articles to which our abolition extends. the great value of the argument which they will put into Our present heavy duties would continue in force against the hands of the Executive, in the negotiations to which such vations; they would be abolished in favor of their the section may give rise. rivals. We would say to them, in the language of Mr.

The Table. Jefferson, free trade and navigation is not to be given in confidence that it would not be necessary to use the lane Years ending Value of Furs. Raw Hides

Total Value. guage of menace or coercion. Amicable representations, 30th Sept.

and Skins. addressed to their sense of self-interest, would be more agreeable, and not less effectual. The plan cannot fail! It is scarcely within the limits of possibility that it should 1821

224,193 892,530 1,116,722 fail! And if it.did, what then? We have lost nothing. 1822

296,339 2,041,463 2,337,802 We remain as we were. Our present duties are still in 1823

273,088 2,084,082 2,357,170 force, and Congress can act upon them one or two years 1824

323,580 2,142,168 2,465,748 hence, in any way they please.

1825

347,163 2,221,868 2,569,031 Here, then, is the peculiar recommendation to my plan, 1826

S38,955 2,825,526 3,164,481 that, while it secures a chance, little short of absolute 1827

347,347 1,480,349 1,827,696 certainty, of procuring an abolition of twelve millions of 1828

488,536 1,804,202 2,292,738 duties upon our exports in foreign countries, in return for 1829

330,633 2,251,809 2,582,442 an abolition of twelve millions of duties upon imports from

| 2,989,833 | 17,153,997 | 20,693,730 them, it exposes nothing to risk; the abolition of duty upon the foreign article here being contingent upon the ac The aggregate exceeds twenty millions of dollars for quisition of the equivalent advantage abroad.

the short period of the last nine years. And these free I close this exposition of the principles of the first sec- importations, so injurious to the fur trader, and the farmtion of my bill with the single remark, that these treaties ers who raise cattle and want, a market for their skins, for the mutual abolition of duties should be for limited are derived from countries who exclude, or heavily tax, terms, say for seven or ten years, to give room for the our furs and raw hides, and the articles manufactured modifications which time, and the varying pursuits of in- out of them. They come, chiefly, from the Southernfredustry, may show to be necessary. Upon this idea, the publics and Great Britain. If such large importations are bill is framed, and the period of ten years inserted by way to continue free, let those who enjoy the benefit recipro xvf suggestion and exemplification of the plan. Another cate the favor. Let them abolish duties on American furs

ature is too obvious to need a remark, that the time for and American hats. Let them abolish duties on our raw tre commencement of the abolition of duties is left to the hides; and where the privilege of sending hides would not Esecutive, who can accommodate it to the state of the be beneficial to us, as in the Southern republics, let somerevenue and the extinction of the public debt.

thing else be substituted for the abolition; as distilled spirSecond Section.

its, manufactures of leather, cotton, glass, wood, &c. If

they do not reciprocate advantages, thus offered, the pen“ That, from and after the 31st day of December, in alty of their own election falls upon them. They incur the the year 1831, the duties now payable on the following ar- consequence denounced by Mr. Jefferson in the patriotic ticles, imported from countries with which the United declaration, that free trade is not to be given in exchange States have no diplomatic relations, shall be reduced one. for restrictions and vexations. half; and, after the 31st of December, 1833, shall cease Here, sir, I make a single remark to illustrate the neand determine entirely, to wit: teas, mace, cloves, cinna- glect with which the West has been treated in the progress

SENATE.]

Abolition of Duties, Taxes, &c.

(FEB. 23, 1830.

the year

the year

of the tariff policy. The West procluces furs and raw 1. PROTECTION; 2. RETALIATION. hides; they are leading articles of Western industry; yet Under the first principle we sought a home supply of no protection has been extended to them; the protective articles essential to our general independence, and to our policy has never reached them; the country has been fil. safety in time of war. led with foreign hides and foreign furs, free of duty, while Jnder the second principle we etaliate upon other the furs and hides of the United States, and the articles nations the evils of their own policy in piling duties upon manufactured from them, are met by prohibitions, or hea- our productions. vy duties, in all quarters of the globe.

It is not to be dissembled that the tariff policy, on both Fourth Section.

principles, has powerfully appealed to the sympathies and “That, from and after the 31st day of December, in the patriotism of the American people, and while kept

the amount levied on foreign tonnage for within reasonable limits had the general approbation of all light money,' shall cease and determine, in favor of the quarters of the Union; North, South, West, and Centre. ships of such nations as shall grant the like or an equiva- The tariff policy has been in force in these States forty lent favor to the merchant ships of the United States.years, and has only excited discontent within the last ten

The object of this section is to gain some little relief for or fifteen years, and since it has been pushed beyond its our navigating interest in foreign ports. The amount now own principles. The results are, increased duties at home paid by foreigners for “ligl.: money,” that is to say, as a and abroad; imports burthened, and exports burthenedtribute to our light houses, is about fifteen thousand dol- the candle lit at both ends. lars per annum. Such a sum is no object to the treasury

Under the plan which I propose, the tariff question will of the United States, yet it is something to our ship own- present itself to the people in this point of view: ers, for whose benefit the abolition of this small tax is in 1. Protection to every essential branch of industry. tended. Nominally, it is a relief to foreigners; in reality, 2. Retaliation, as an alternative, where equivalents are to our own navigators. The foreigners cannot be relieved refused. here until the corresponding relief is secured abroad; and, 3. Reciprocity of benefits instead of reciprocity of inas our shipping is most numerous, we may gain much more juries. than we relinquish.

4. The abolition of twelve millions of duties, at home, Fifth Section

on imports. “That, from and after the 31st day of December, in 5. The abolition of an equal amount of duties, abroad,

the duties now payable on tonnage, pass-on exports. ports, and clearances, and on the re-exportation of im

6. Discrimination between the articles which a wise ported articles, shall cease and determine.”

policy requires, or does not require, to be made at home, The amount of these little taxes and duties is about

and between the nations which grant or refuse us equiva

lents, two hundred and fifty thousand dollars per annum. The treasury will have no occasion for that sum after the extin

7. Increased importations of gold and silver. guishment of the public debt; and being left in the pockets

8. Increased value of the internal trade with Mexico. of the ship owners and merchants, will be felt as an advan The results of the new plan, according to this view of tage by them, and not missed as a loss by the Government. its advantages, would be overwhelming in its favor. Let Sixth Section.

us verify these results, and justify these vicws. “That, from and after the 31st day of December next, In the first place, under the protecting principle which the duty now payable on the importation of alum salt, coarse it contains, duties will remain on foreign articles, rivals of or ground, shall cease and determine; and from and after our own industry, to the amount of about ten millions of the same day, all laws authorizing allowances to fishing dollars. The support of the Government will require this vessels, and bounties on the exportation of pickled fish, sum, and the raising of this sum will give protection to our shall be, and the same hereby are, repealed."

domestic industry; it will give it as an incident to the colThis section stands out as a clear exception to the pe- lection of revenue, and to this there will be no objection culiar policy of the bill—that of obtaining equivalents by in any part of the Union. treaty stipulation. The section proposes a speedy repcal In the second place, we shall terminate the unprofitable of the duty on this description of salt, and by operation of contest which we are now carrying on with foreign nations law alone. The reasons for this exception, are-first, in a contest in which the only question is, which shall do the prime necessity and universality of the use of the most harm to the commerce of the other--and substitute for article; secondly, in the small object it would present for it a beneficial rivalry in the walks of free trade, based upon negotiation, the number of Powers from which we get salt the unfettered exchange of surplus productions, to the being above a dozen, which would render abolition by amount of forty millions at the start, to increase annually negotiation tedious and dilatory, and the amount of duty with the rapid growth and expansion of these young athrelinquished to each, too inconsiderable to affect her letic States. policy, while the aggregate to us is great; thirdly, in the In the third place, the abolition of twelve millions of necessity of repealing the fishing bounties and allowances, duties will be the repeal of sixteen millions of taxes, countwhich are dependent upon the duty on this description of ing the merchant's profit at 33 per cent; and this reptal foreign salt, and must stand or fall with that duty. will be felt in every family in the purchase of its necessa

I have now finished the exposition of the features and ries, its comforts, and its luxuries. Linen for the person, principles of my bill; but justice to my plan and to myself the table, and the bed, would be one-third cheaper. Coffee will not permit me to stop here. The plan is new; and would be seven cents cheaper in the pound; tea, one-third; whatever is new has the prejudices of time and age to wines and silks, one-third; and so of all the articles enuencounter, and the fears of timidity and caution to over-merated in the bill. Every family would save one-third, come. Its novelty will excite many enemies; the reasons or upwards, of its annual store account; every State would which I may give, and which are the fruit of much re- retain, within its limits, its proportion of these sixteen search and meditation, may satisfy some and convert them millions; and all the shame and mischief of plotting and into friends.

combining, and wrangling, here, about the division of so It certainly presents the tariff question under a new much spoil, would be avoided. point of view to the American people.

In the fourth and fifth places, the principle of equivaThat question bas heretofore rested upon two great lents would gain an abolition of duties on our productions principles:

in foreign ports, equal to the abolition made here upon

FEB. 23, 1830.]

Abolition of Duties, Taxes, &c.

(SESATE.

foreign productions. We would buy cheaper, and sell United States; and nothing can facilitate this exchange so higher. Instead of paying the value, and, in some in- much as reductions of duty upon the articles which comstances, ten times the value of our products, for the pri- pose it. The cotton plantations and tobacco fields of the vilege of selling them in a foreign market, we would get South and West are thus the gold and silver mines of the these foreign duties reduced to a reasonable amount. Our United States; and blind, stupid, and suicidal is the policy productions are chieny dutied in foreign countries, not which would destroy these fields and plantations! for protection, but for revenue; and the experience of all Eighthly: In promoting the internal trade with Mexico. nations, and especially of Great Britain, proves that reve. This trade is carried on partly in domestic, partly in Eunue is productive in proportion to its moderation and fair- ropean goods. Its present returns are about a quarter of ness; smuggling and non-consumption always disappoint- a million of dollars. So far as forcign goods enter into its ing the calculations of short sighted cupidity in the impo- amount, there is a loss to the trader of the whole amount sition of enormous duties. But these will be arguments for of the duty paid; the want of custom houses on the fronour ministers abroad, which they will handle with more tiers rendering the application of the drawback system difability than I can pretend to.

ficult and objectionable. The abolition of duties on the in the sixth place, the principle of discrimination which foreign articles used in that trade, chiefly fine goods, my plan, for the first time in the progress of the tariff would put the inland trader on a footing with the shipper policy, introduces and establishes, will admit of a salutirry from the sea-port, and probably enhance the returns of

distinction in the selection of articles for protection, and the trade, in a brief period, from a quarter of a million, to in the application of retaliatory measures to impracticable one or two millions of dollars. nations. Thus far there has been no discrimination, either These are the results of my plan, verified, as fully as es. in articles at liome or nations abroad, in our tariff policy. tablished facts, fair inductions, and probabilities approachTo protect articles which can, and ought to be, made at ing to certainty, can verify any untried experiment. They home, we have dutied, and that most heavily, not only the are the results of free trade, qualified by the policy of cherished article, but all others belonging to the same protection and the necessities of revenue; two qualificaBranch, though of kinds not made, nor necessary to be tions which, in my view, reduce themselves to one: for made, in the United States. Blankets and strouds for the they are convertible propositions—the revenue resulting Indian trade, fine cottons, aluun salt--I mention a few arti- from the protection, and the protection from the revenue. cles by way of example-are evidences of this want of Anti-tariff citizens can have no objection to it, for they addiscrimination. Among nations, this want of discrimination mit the protection which springs from a fair exercise of has been equally palpable. Great Britain has been severe the revenue raising power; the supporters of the tariff po: upon our tobacco, grain, and provisions; to retaliate upon licy, and especially the real manufacturers--not the politihier we have been severe, not only upon her productions, cal ones--but the actual owners and workers, can have no but upon the productions of France, Germany, and all the objection to it, for it leaves them all their present protec. nations with whom we trade. This want of discrimination tion, procures them better markets abroad, gives them among nations may be the necessary effect of regulating comforts and necessaries, as tea, coffee, &c. cheaper than our tariff by law alone. If so, the argument becomes still they now get them, and facilitates the acquisition of the stronger in favor of my plan by law and negotiation com- material to several branches of manufacture, as the umbined, which admits of discrimination; which offers the brella, the hat, the lady's shoc, bonnet, &c. in which silk same advantageons terms to all nations, and leaves retali- is an essential part; and which will be got one-third cheapatory duties in force against those only which justly incur er when the duty on that article is abolished. our resentment, by refusiig to receive our productions This being the case, the “crowning mercy” of my plan upon the terms that we offer to receive theirs. To them would be the speedy death and burial of the tariff ques1 say, in the thrice repeated language of the great Jeffer- tion, and, with its interment, a restoration of that harmony son, "Free trade is not be given in exchange for vexations of the Union which all true patriots desire, and which the and restrictions!”

progress of this question has so greatly impaired. Seventhly: in obtaining increased importations of gold The last section of my bill still remains to be considered. and silver.' The United States have no silver or gold It is the one which proposes to abolish the duty upon alum mines, except those in my native State, (North Carolina.) salt, and to repeal the laws which authorize the fishing They are dependient upon foreign countries for their sup. bounties and allowances. ply of these metals. To the amount of one or two mil

To spare to any gentleman (said Mr. B.) the supposed lions they are obtained from the West Indies, and other necessity of rehearsing to me a lecture upon the importneighboring countries, in return for domestic productions, ance of the fisheries, I will premise that I have some acchiefly provisions. But the main supply is obtained by quaintance with the subject; that I know the fisheries to the circuitous operation of sending our tobacco, cotton, be valuable, for the food they produce, the commerce and rice, to Europe, exchanging them for fine goods, and they create, the mariners they perfect, the employment selling these goods in the Southern republics. Our trade they give to artisans in the building of vessels, and the with Mexico is a complete illustration of this process. We consumption of wood, hemp, and iron. I also know that obtained from her, in 1828-taking the last year to which the fishermen applied for the bounties, at the commencethe returns are made up and printed-four millions of ment of our present form of Government, which the Bridollars in gold and silver, and seven hundred thousand tishı give to their fisheries, and that it was denied them upon dollars' worth of other products; we exported to her about the report of the Secretary of State, (Mr. Jefferson;) and seven bundred thousand dollars' worth of our domestic I have lately read the six dozen acts of Congress, general products, just enough to balance hers, leaving the whole and particular, passed in the last forty years, from 1789 to amount of gold and silver to have been acquired by other 1829, inclusive, giving the bounties and allowances, which exchanges. What were these exchanges? They were the it is my present purpose to abolish, with the duty on alum fine cloths and cassimeres, the linens, silks, cambrics, salt, which is the foundation upon which all this supermuslins, rich carpets, wines, and porcelain, which our structure of legislative enactments has been reared. cotton and tobacco had bought in Europe, and which I say the salt tax, and especially the tax on alum salt, were either carried direct to Mexico, or re-exported from which is the kind required for the fisheries, is the foundathis country under the system of drawbacks. This makes tion of all these bounties and allowances; and that, as they it clear that whatever will facilitate the exchange of our grew up together, it is fair and regular that they should cotton and tobacco for the fine goods of Europe, will sink and fall together, enhance the importation of the precious metals into the To prove this, let the laws speak.

VOL. VI.--23

SENATE.)

Aiolition of Duties, Taxes, &c.

(FEB. 23, 1830.

The Laws.

1. Because it is an article of indispensable necessity in 1. Act of Congress, 1789, grants five cents a barrel on the provision trade of the United States. No beef or pork pickled fish and salted provisions, and five cents a quintal for the army or navy, or for consumption in the South, or on dried fish, exported from the United States, in lieu of for exportation abroad, can be put up except in this kind a drawback of the duties imposed on the importation of of salt. If put up in common salt, it is rejected absolutely the salt used in curing such fish and provisions.

by the commissaries of the army and navy, and if taken to N. B. Duty on salt, at that time, six cents a bushel. the South must be repacked in alum salt, at an expense of

2. Act of 1790 increases the bounty in lieu of draw- one dollar and twelve and a half cents a barrel, before it back to ten cents a barrel on pickled fish and salted pro- is exported, or sold for domestic consumption. The quanvisions, and ten cents a quintal on dried fish. The duty tity of provisions which require this salt, and must have it, on salt being then raised to twelve cents a bushel. is prodigious, and annually increasing. The exports of

3. Act of 1792 repeals the bounty in lieu of drawback 1828 were, of beef sixty-six thousand barrels, of pork fifon dried fish, and in lieu of that, and as a commutation and ty-four thousand barrels, of bacon one million nine hunequivalent therefur, authorizes an allowance to be paid to dred thousand pounds weight, butter and cheese two milvessels in the cod fishery (dried fish) at the rate of one lion pounds weight. The value of these articles was dollar and fifty cents a ton on vessels of twenty to thirty two millions and a quarter of dollars. To this amount must tons; two dollars and fifty cents on tonnage of vessels above be added the supply for the army and navy, and all that thirty tons; with a limitation of one hundred and seventy was sent to the South for home consumption, every pound dollars for the highest allowance to any vessel.

of which had to be cured in this kind of sal, for common 4. A supplementary act, of the same year, adds twenty salt will not cure it. The Western country is the great per cent. to each head of these allowances.

producer of provisions; and there is scarcely a farmer in 5. Act of 1797 increases the bounty on salted provi- the whole extent of that vast region whose interest does sions to eighteen cents a barrel; on pickled fish to twen- not require a prompt repeal of the duty on this description ty-two cents a barrel; and adds thirty-three and a third per of salt. cent. to the allowance in favor of the cod fishing vessels. 2. Because no salt of this kind is made in the United Duty on salt, at the same time, being raised to twenty States, nor any rival to it, or substitute for it. It is a forcents a bushel.

eign importation, brought from various islands in the West 6. Act of 1799 increases the bounty on pickled fish to Indies, belonging to England, France, Spain, and Denthirty cents a barrel, on salter provisions to twenty-five. mark; and from Lisbon, St. Ubes, Gibraltar, the Bay of

7. Act of 1800 continues all previous acts (for bounties Biscay, and Liverpool. The principles of the protecting and allowances) for ten years, and makes this proviso: system do not extend to it: for no quantity of protection That these allowances shall not be understood to be con- can produce a home supply. The present duty, which is tinued for a longer time than the correspondent duties on far beyond the rational limit of protection, has been in salt, respectively, for which the said additional allowances force near thirty years, and has not produced a pound. were granted, shall be payable.

We are still thrown exclusively upon the foreign supply. 8. Act of 1807 repeats all laws laying a duty on im- The principles of the protecting system can only apply to ported salt, and for paying bounties on the exportation of common salt, the product of which is considerable in the pickled fish and salted provisions, and making allowances United States; and upon that kind, the present duty is to fishing vessels- Mr. Jefferson being then President. proposed to be left in full force. • 9. Act of 1813 gives a bounty of twenty cents a barrel 3. Because the duty is enormous, and quadruples the on pickled fish exported, and allows to the cod fishing price of the salt to the farmer. The original value of vessels at the rate of two dollars and forty cents the ton for salt is about fifteen cents the measured bushel of eighty. vessels between twenty and thirty tons, four dollars a ton four pounds. But the tariff substitutes weight for meafor vessels above thirty, with a limitation of two hundred sure, and fixes that weight at fifty-six pounds, instead of and seventy-two dollars for the highest allowance; and a eighty-four. Upon that fifty-six pounds, a duty of twenty proviso, that no bounty or allowance should be paid unless cents is laid. Upon this duty, the retail merchant has it was proved to the satisfaction of the collector that the his profit of eight or ten cents, and then reduces his fish was wholly cured with foreign salt, and the duty on it bushel from fifty-six to fifty pounds. The consequence secured or paid. The salt duty, at the rate of twenty of all these operations is, that the farmer pays about three cents a bushel, was revived as a war tax, at the same time. times as much for a weighed bushel of 'fifty pounds, as Bounties on salted provisions were omitted.

he would have paid for a measured bushel of eighty-four 10. Act of 1816 continued the act of 1813 in force, pounds, if this duty had never been imposeci. which, being for the war only, would otherwise have ex 4. Because the duty is unequal in its operation, and pired.

falls heavily on some parts of the community, and produ11. Act of 1819 increases the allowance to vessels in ces profit to others. It is a heavy tax on the farmers of the cod fishery to three dollars and fifty cents a ton on ves- the West, who export provisions; and no tax at all, but sels from five to thirty; to four dollars a ton vessels above rather a source of profit, to that branch of the fisheries to thirty tons; with a limitation of three hundred and sixty which the allowances of the vessels apply. Exporters of dollars for the maximum allowance.

provisions have the same claim to these allowances that 12. Act of 1828 authorizes the mackerel fishing vessels exporters of fish have. Both claims rest upon the same to take out licences like the cod fishing vessels, under principle, and tipon the principle of all drawbacks, that which it is reported by the vigilant Secretary of the Trea- of refunding the duty paid on the imported salt, which is sury that money is illegally drawn by the mackerel ves- re-exported on salted fish and provisions. The same prinsels--the newspapers say to the amount of thirty to fifty ciple covers the beef and pork of the farmer which covers thousand dollars per annum.

the fish of the fisherman; and such was the law, as I have These recitals of legislative enactments are sufficient to shown, for the first eighteen years that these bounties and prove that the fishing bounties and allowances are bottom- allowances were authorized. Fish and provisions fared ed upon the salt ciuty, and must stand or fall with that alike from 1789 to 1807. Bounties and allowances began duty: I will now give my reasons for proposing to abolish upon them together, and fell together, on the repeal of the duty on alum salt, and will do it in the simplest form the salt tax, in the second term of Mr. Jefferson's adof narrative statement; the reasons themselves being of a ministration. At the renewal of the salt tax, in 1813, at nature too weighty and obvious to need, or even to admit, the commencement of the late war, they parted company, of coloring or exaggeration from arts of speech. and the law, in the exact sense of the proverb, has inade

FEB. 24, 1830.]

Mr. Foot's Resolution.

(SENATE.

fish of one and Alesh of the other ever since. The fishing diminish the revenue, nor delay the extinguislıment of the interest is now drawing

about two hundred and fifty thou- public debt. It is a tax carrying money out of the treasand dollars annually from the treasury; the provision sury, as well as bringing it in. The issue is two hundred raisers draw not a cent, while they export more than dou- and fifty thousand dollars, perhaps the full amount whiclı ble as much, and ought, upon the same principle, to draw accrues on the kind of salt to which the abolition extends. more than double as much money from the treasury. The duty, and the fishing allowances bottomed upon it,

5. Because it is the means of drawing an undue amount falling together as they did when Mr. Jefferson was Preof money from the public treasury, under the idea of an sident, would probably leave the amount of revenue unequivalent for the drawback of duty on the salts used in affected. the curing of fish. The amount of money actually drawn 9. Because it belongs to an unhappy period in the hisin that way is about four millions seven hundred and fifty tory of our Government, and came to us, in its present thousand dollars, and is now going on at the rate of two magnitude, in company with an odious and repudiated hundred and fifty thousand dollars per annum, and con- set of measures. The maximum of twenty cents a bushel stantly augmenting. That this amount is more than the on salt was fixed in the year '98, and was the fruit of the legal idea recognizes, or contemplates, is proved in various same system which produced the alien and sedition laws, Fays. 1. By comparing the quantity of salt supposed to have the eight per cent. loans, the stamp act, the black cockbeen used, with the quantity of fish known to have been ex. ade, and the standing army in time of peace. It was one ported, within a given year. This test, for the year 1828, of the contrivances of that disastrous period for extorting yould exhibit about seventy millions of pounds weight of money from the people, for the support of that strong and salt on about forty millions of pounds weight of fish. This splendid Government which was then the cherished vi. would suppose about a pound and three quarters of salt sion of so many exalted heads. The reforming hand of upon each pound of fish. 2. By comparing the value of Jefferson overthrew it, and all the superstructure of fishthe salt supposed to have been used, with the value of ing allowances which was erected upon it. The exigenthe fish known to have been exported. This test would cies of the late war caused it to be revived for the term of gire two hundred and forty-eight thousand dollars for the the war, and the interest of some, and the reglect of salt duty on about one million of dollars' worth of fish; others, have permitted it to continue ever since. It is making the duty one-fourth of its value. On this basis, now our duty to sink it a second time. We profess to the amount of the duty on the salt used on exported pro- be disciples of the Jeffersonian school; let us 'act up to visions would be near six hundred thousand dollars. our profession, and complete the task which our mas s. By comparing the increasing allowances for salt with ter set us. the decreasing exportation of fish. This test, for two This concludes what I have to say on the present ocgiven periods, the rate of allowance being the same, casion. I flatter myself that I have vindicated the title would produce this result: In the year 1820, three hun- of my bill; that I have shown it to be a bill to provide dred and twenty-one thousand four hundred and nineteen for the abolition of unnecessary duties; to relieve the peoquintals of dried fish exported, and one hundred and ple from sixteen millions of taxes; and to improve the ninety-eight thousand seven hundred and twenty-four dol- condition of the agriculture, manufactures, commerce, Lars paid for the commutation of the salt drawback: 1828, and navigation, of the United States. I now submit my txo hundred and sixty-five thousand two hundred and se- motion, in form, for leave to bring it in. venteen quintals of dried fisk exported, and two hundred (The leave was thereupon granted, and the bill read and thirty-nine thousand one hundred and forty-five dol- the first time.] Lars pail for the commutation. These comparisons esta

Mr. FOOT'S RESOLUTION. blish the fact that money is unlawfully drawn from the treasury by means of these fishing allowances, bottomed heretofore offered by Mr. FOOT.

The Senate resumed the consideration of the resolution on the salt duty, and that fact is expressly stated by the Secretary of the Treasury, [Mr. Ingham) in his report when he yielded to a motion to adjourn.

Mr.WOODBURY addressed the Senate till three o'clock, upon the finances, at the commencement of the present session of Congress. (See page eight of the report.] 6. Because it has become a practical violation of one

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 1830. of the most equitable clauses in the constitution of the Mr. WOODBURY resumed and concluded his remarks Cnited States--the clause which declares that duties, upon the great subjects of debate. They were to the foltaxes, and excises, shall be uniform throughout the Union. lowing effect: There is no uniformity in the operation of this tax. Far Perhaps (said Mr. W.) I could best repay the kind in. from it. It empties the pockets of some, and fills the Julgence of the Senate yesterday, in adjourning so early pockets of others. It returns to some five times as much to accommodate me, by an entire silence today. But it was as they pay, and to others it returns not a cent. It gives my lot, possibly my misfortune, to offer an amendment to to the fishing interest two hundred and fifty thousand dol- the resolution, which has occasioned such a long, and, in lars per annum, and not a cent to the farming interest, some respects, unpleasant debate. The amendment was which, upon the same principle, would be entiiled to six offered in that spirit of kindness towards the West, which hundred thousand dollars per annum.

I had rather practice, than merely profess; and, after opin. 7. Because this duty now rests upon a false basis--a ba- ions on the subject had become controverted, it was offersis which makes it the interest of one part of the Unioned with a view to elicit fully the real disposition felt in this to keep it up, while it is the interest of other parts to body concerning the surveys and sales of the public lands. get rid of it. It is the interest of the West to abolish this. The unexpected motion to postpone both the resolution duty; it is the interest of the Northeast to perpetuate it. and the amendment, evidently tends to defeat a distinct The former loses money by it; the latter makes money by expression of opinion upon either, and has opened the it; and a tax that becomes a money making business is a door to a course of argument, and a latitude of discussion, solecism of the highest order of absurdity. Yet such is I believe, somewhat unprecedented. It seems to have the fact. The treasury records prove it, and it will af: metamorphosed the Senate, not only into a committee of ford the Northeast a brilliant opportunity to manifest their the whole on the state of the Union, but on the state of disinterested affection to the West, by giving up their own the Union in all time past, present, and to come. So be profit in this tax, to relieve the West from the burthen it it, if gentlemen please. This is not alluded to in the imposes upon her.

spirit of rebuke against either side, as every Senator in 8. Because the repeal of the duty will not materially such cases is doubtless at liberty to pursue the dictates of

« PreviousContinue »