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North Carolina, aye-5; Massachusetts, New Jer sey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, South Carolina, Georgia, no-6.
Mr. L. MARTIN. The power of taxation is most likely to be criticised by the public. Direct taxation should not be used but in cases of absolute necessity; and then the States will be the best judges of the mode. He therefore moved the following addition to Article 7, Sect. 3: "and whenever the Legislature of the United States shall find it necessary that revenue should be raised by direct taxation, having apportioned the same according to the above rule on the several States, requisitions shall be made of the respective States to pay into the Continental Treasury their respective quotas, within a time in the said requisitions specified; and in case of any of the States failing to comply with such requisitions, then, and then only, to devise and pass acts directing the mode, and authorizing the collection of the same."
Mr. MCHENRY seconded the motion; there was no debate, and on the question,
New Jersey, aye-1; New Hampshire, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, no-8; Maryland, divided, (JENIFER and CARROLL, no.) 322
Article 7, Section 4, was then taken up.
Mr. LANGDON. By this section the States are left at liberty to tax exports. New Hampshire, therefore, with other non-exporting States, will be subject to be taxed by the States exporting its produce. This could not be admitted. It seems to be feared that the Northern States will oppress the trade of the Southern. This may be guarded against, by requiring the con
currence of two-thirds, or three-fourths of the Legislature, in such cases.
Mr. ELLSWORTH. It is best as it stands. The power of regulating trade between the states will protect them against each other. Should this not be the case, the attempts of one to tax the produce of another, passing through its hands, will force a direct exportation and defeat themselves. There are solid reasons against Congress taxing exports. First, it will discourage industry, as taxes on imports discourage luxury. Secondly, the produce of different States is such as to prevent uniformity in such taxes. There are indeed but a few articles that could be taxed at all; as tobacco, rice and indigo; and a tax on these alone would be partial and unjust. Thirdly, the taxing of exports would engender incurable jealousies.
Mr. WILLIAMSON. Though North Carolina has been taxed by Virginia by a duty on twelve thousand hogsheads of her tobacco through Virginia, yet he would never agree to this power. Should it take place, it would destroy the last hope of the adoption of the plan.
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. These local considerations ought not to impede the general interest. There is great weight in the argument, that the exporting States will tax the produce of their uncommercial neighbours. The power of regulating the trade between Pennsylvania and New Jersey will never prevent the former from taxing the latter. Nor will such a tax force a direct exportation from New Jersey. The advantages possessed by a large trading city outweigh the disadvantage of a mod
erate duty; and will retain the trade in that channel. If no tax can be laid on exports, an embargo cannot be laid, though in time of war such a measure may be of critical importance. Tobacco, lumber and live stock, are three objects belonging to different States of which great advantage might be made by a power to tax exports. To these may be added ginseng and masts for ships, by which a tax might be thrown on other nations. The idea of supplying the West Indies with lumber from Nova Scotia, is one of the many follies of Lord Sheffield's pamphlet. The state of the country, also, will change, and render duties on exports, as skins, beaver and other peculiar raw materials, politic in the view of encouraging American manufactures.
Mr. BUTLER was strenuously opposed to a power over exports, as unjust and alarming to the staple States.
Mr. LANGDON Suggested a prohibition on the States from taxing the produce of other States exported from their harbours.
Mr. DICKINSON. The power of taxing exports may be inconvenient at present; but it must be of dangerous consequence to prohibit it with respect to all articles, and for ever. He thought it would be better to except particular articles from the power. Mr. SHERMAN. It is best to prohibit the National Legislature in all cases. The States will never give up all power over trade. An enumeration of particular articles would be difficult, invidious, and improper
Mr. MADISON. As we ought to be governed by national and permanent views, it is a sufficient argu
ment for giving the power over exports, that a tax, though it may not be expedient at present, may be so hereafter. A proper regulation of exports may, and probably will, be necessary hereafter, and for the same purposes as the regulation of imports, viz, for revenue, domestic manufactures, and procuring equitable regulations from other nations. An embargo may be of absolute necessity, and can alone be effectuated by the general authority. The regulation of trade between State and State cannot effect more than indirectly to hinder a State from taxing its own exports, by authorizing its citizens to carry their commodities freely into a neighbouring State, which might decline taxing exports, in order to draw into its channel the trade of its neighbours. As to the fear of disproportionate burthens on the more exporting States, it might be remarked that it was agreed, on all hands, that the revenue would principally be drawn from trade, and as only a given revenue would be needed, it was not material whether all should be drawn wholly from imports, or half from those and half from exports. The imports and exports must be pretty nearly equal in every State, and, relatively, the same among the different States.
Mr. ELLSWORTH did not conceive an embargo by the Congress interdicted by this section.
Mr. MCHENRY conceived that power to be included in the power of war.
Mr. WILSON. Pennsylvania exports the produce of Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, and will by and by, when the river Delaware is opened, export for New York. In favoring the general power over exports, therefore, he opposed the particular interest VOL. I.-87*
of his State. He remarked that the power had been attacked by reasoning which could only have held good, in case the General Government had been compelled, instead of authorized, to lay duties on exports. To deny this power is to take from the common Government half the regulation of trade. It was his opinion, that a power over exports might be more effectual, than that over imports, in obtaining beneficial treaties of commerce.
Mr. GERRY was strenuously opposed to the power over exports. It might be made use of to compel the States to comply with the will of the General Government, and to grant it any new powers which might be demanded. We have given it more power already than we know how will be exercised. It will enable the General Government to oppress the States, as much as Ireland is oppressed by Great Britain.
Mr. FITZSIMONS would be against a tax on exports to be laid immediately; but was for giving a power of laying the tax when a proper time may call for it. This would certainly be the case when America should become a manufacturing country. He illustrated his argument by the duties in Great Britain on wool, &c.
Col. MASON. If he were for reducing the States to mere corporations, as seemed to be the tendency of some arguments, he should be for subjecting their exports as well as imports to a power of general taxation. He went on a principle often advanced and in which he concurred, that a majority, when interested, will oppress the minority. This maxim had been verified by our own Legislature [of Vir