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tion of them,-as France her wines and brandies. A tax here on lumber would fall on the West Indies, and punish their restrictions on our trade. The same is true of live stock, and in some degree of flour. In case of a dearth in the West Indies, we may extort what we please. Taxes on exports are a necessary source of revenue. For a long time the people of America will not have money to pay direct taxes. Seize and sell their effects, and you push them into revolts.
Mr. MERCER was strenuous against giving Congress power to tax exports. Such taxes are impolitic, as encouraging the raising of articles not meant for exportation. The States had now a right where their situation permitted, to tax both the imports and the exports of their uncommercial neighbours. It was enough for them to sacrifice one half of it. It had been said the Southern States had most need of naval protection. The reverse was the case. Were it not for promoting the carrying trade of the Northern States, the Southern States could let the trade go into foreign bottoms, where it would not need our protection. Virginia, by taxing her tobacco, had given an advantage to that of Maryland.
Mr. SHERMAN. To examine and compare the States in relation to imports and exports, will be opening a boundless field. He thought the matter had been adjusted, and that imports were to be subject, and exports not, to be taxed. He thought it wrong to tax exports, except it might be such articles as ought not to be exported. The complexity of the business in America would render an equal tax
on exports impracticable. The oppression of the uncommercial States was guarded against by the power to regulate trade between the States. As to compelling foreigners, that might be done by regulating trade in general. The Government would not be trusted with such a power. Objections are most likely to be excited by considerations relating to taxes and money. A power to tax exports would shipwreck the whole.
Mr. CARROLL was surprised that any objection should be made to an exception of exports from the power of taxation.
It was finally agreed, that the question concerning exports should lie over for the place in which the exception stood in the Report,—Maryland alone voting against it.
Article 7, Section 1, clause first, was then agreed to, Mr GERRY alone answering, no.
The clause for regulating commerce with foreign nations, &c., was agreed to, nem. con.
The several clauses,-for coining money-for regulating foreign coin-for fixing the standard of weights and measures,-were agreed to, nem. con.
On the clause, " To establish post offices," Mr. GERRY moved to add, "and post-roads." Mr. MERCER seconded; and on the question,Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, aye-6; New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, no-5.
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS Moved to strike out, "and emit bills on the credit of the United States." If the United States had credit, such bills would
be unnecessary; if they had not, unjust and useless.
Mr. BUTLER seconds the motion.
Mr. MADISON. Will it not be sufficient to prohibit the making them a tender? This will remove the temptation to emit them with unjust views. And promissory notes, in that shape, may in some emergencies be best.
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. Striking out the words will leave room still for notes of a responsible minister, which will do all the good without the mischief. The moneyed interest will oppose the plan of government, if paper emissions be not prohibited.
Mr. GORHAM was for striking out without inserting any prohibition. If the words stand, they may suggest and lead to the measure.
Mr. MASON had doubts on the subject. Congress, he thought, would not have the power, unless it were expressed. Though he had a mortal hatred to paper-money, yet as he could not foresee all emergencies, he was unwilling to tie the hands of the Legislature. He observed that the late war could not have been carried on, had such a prohibition existed.
Mr. GORHAM. The power, as far as it will be necessary, or safe, is involved in that of borrowing.
Mr. MERCER was a friend to paper-money, though in the present state and temper of America, he should neither propose nor approve of such a measure. He was consequently opposed to a prohibition of it altogether. It will stamp suspicion on the Government, to deny it a discretion on this point. It was impolitic, also, to excite the opposition of all
those who were friends to paper-money. The people of property would be sure to be on the side of the plan, and it was impolitic to purchase their further attachment with the loss of the opposite class of citizens.
Mr. ELLSWORTH thought this a favorable moment, to shut and bar the door against paper-money. The mischiefs of the various experiments which had been made were now fresh in the public mind, and had excited the disgust of all the respectable part of America. By withholding the power from the new Government, more friends of influence would be gained to it than by almost any thing else. Papermoney can in no case be necessary. Give the Government credit, and other resources will offer. The power may do harm, never good.
Mr. RANDOLPH, notwithstanding his antipathy to paper-money, could not agree to strike out the words, as he could not foresee all the occasions that might arise.
Mr. WILSON. It will have a most salutary influence on the credit of the United States, to remove the possibility of paper-money. This expedient can never succeed whilst its mischiefs are remembered. And as long as it can be resorted to, it will be a bar to other resources.
Mr. BUTLER remarked, that paper was a legal tender in no country in Europe. He was urgent for disarming the government of such a power.
Mr. MASON was still averse to tying the hands of the Legislature altogether. If there was no example in Europe, as just remarked, it might be observVOL. I.-85
ed, on the other side, that there was none in which the Government was restrained on this head.
Mr. READ thought the words, if not struck out, would be as alarming as the mark of the Beast in Revelation.
Mr. LANGDON had rather reject the whole plan, than retain the three words, "and emit bills."
On the motion for striking out,—
New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia,* North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye-9; New Jersey, Maryland, no-2.
The clause for borrowing money was agreed to, nem. con. 312
FRIDAY, AUGUst 17th.
In Convention,-Article 7, Sect. 1, was resumed. On the clause, "to appoint a Treasurer by ballot,"
Mr. GORHAM moved to insert "joint" before ballot, as more convenient, as well as reasonable, than to require the separate concurrence of the Senate.
Mr. PINCKNEY seconds the motion.
Mr. SHERMAN opposed it, as favoring the larger States.
*This vote in the affirmative by Virginia was occasioned by the acquiescence of Mr. MADISON, who became satisfied that striking out the words would not disable the Government from the use of public notes, as far as they could be safe and proper; and would only cut off the pretext for a paper-currency and particularly for making the bills a tender, either for public or private debts.