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H. Or R.]
(Jan. 29, 1833.
never venture to assume. And yet, when the obligations average rate of the duty on the entire importation of foof this guaranty became oppressive, no one ever thought reign goods under the act of July 14, 1832, including free of disputing the authority by which the encumbrance was goods, taking the imports of 1831 as the basis of calculaassumed. In the correspondence between Jefferson tion. Applying this rule to the nett import of $66,200,000, (whilst Secretary of State) and Hammond, the former the amount of revenue will be $15,660,000, from which distinctly took the ground that foreign nations were sup- is to be deducted more than $1,000,000, for expenses of posed to have a knowledge of the powers of the Federal collection, and $300,000 for a reduction on wines after Government; and yet the same officer never thought of the 3d of March, 1834, the permanent nett revenue will questioning the authority under which the treaty of 1778 be $14,360,000; and even this is too high, according to the was made, although he was, in my opinion, more embar- average assumed by the Secretary of the Treasury, be. rassed in conducting the correspondence to which that cause the committee have founded their average rate at treaiy gave rise, than in any other period of his life. 23 2-3 per cent. upon the importations of 1831, which That the treaty-making power is more extensive under contained an amount altogether greater than the average the present constitution, than it was under the confederacy, of six years, of wool, woollens, and cottons, paying duties must be admitted by all; and yet, if the theory of nullifi- much above the average; and after taking into the estication be true, all the obligations incurred with nations mate about two millions of extra importation of worsted having commercial treaties of reciprocity with us, may be stuffs, the result will be a reduction of the average rate of rendered nugatory by the action of a single State. duty from 23.66 per cent. to 22.44; and thus rendering
But, Mr. Chairman, I will not suffer myself to stray the nett revenue $800,000 further, to $13,560,000. Then, into the discussion of matters foreign, in a great measure, sir, I try another process. So late as the 4th June last, to the subject now under deliberation. I think that it is the Secretary of the Treasury furnished us a table of the time to take the preliminary question upon the bill be- revenue which would accrue under the bill reported by fore the committee, and will no longer be an obstacle the chairman of the Committee on Manufactures, taking in the way of such a desirable event.
the import of 1830 as the basis of importation. That imMr. H. having concluded,
port was $70,876,000, or, deducting exports of foreign Mr. W. B. SHEPARD moved that the committee rise. goods, $14,387,000, gives $56,489,000 as the nett amount The motion was carried: Yeas 77, nays 71.
of foreign imports for that year, and the neti revenue on The committee rose accordingly at a quarter past 6 those imports was ascertained to be $12,763,000. The o'clock.
bill of the 14th of July reduced the duties on silks, linens, A motion being made for adjournment,
tea, and coffee, a million of dollars below those calculated Mr. WHITE, of New York, demanded the yeas and in that table, or, allowing for debentures, $800,000, leavnays. They were taken, and stood as follows: Yeas 85, ing the nett revenue, on the basis of the import of 1830, nays 75. So the House adjourned.
something below $12,000,000. Now, if $56,489,000, the
nett import of 1830, gives $12,000,000, $66,200,000, the TUESDAY, JANUARY 29.
nett average import of six years, will give $14,100,000
as the nett revenue arising from the basis assumed by the ESTIMATED REVENUE.
Secretary of the Treasury; subject, however, to the reThe resolution moved by Mr. APPLETON, and under duction of $300,000 for the reduced duty on wines after discussion yesterday, coming up to-day, and the question March, 1834, leaving $13,800,000 as the actual revenue, being taken on the motion of Mr. Clay, of Alabama, to instead of the $18,000,000 of the Secretary of the Treasury. lay the resolution on the table, it was negatived: Yeas 53, Mr. A. asked whether any gentleman could show a re
sult different from this. Mr. A. did not, indeed, see how Mr. APPLETON then said that it had been with ex- the amount could rise even so high as fifteen millions, adtreme surprise that he had discovered that any disposition mitting the basis taken by the Secretary to be a correct existed to lay these resolutions on the table. Nor could one. It was true, indeed, that the Committee of Ways this be the case, as it seemed to him, unless the nature and Means bad assumed as their basis that the imports and object of the resolution had been misunderstood. The would amount to 100 millions. But this was too monwhole object of the bill at present before Congress was to strous an assumption to need refutation. The year from reduce the revenue to the expenditures of Government. the 1st of April, 1831, to the 1st of April, 1833, was one That was the only ground on which the bill had been of monstrous overtrade, and swelled enormously the offi. brought forward. Now the first of the resolutions he had cial imports of 1831 and 1832. Mr. A. bad obtained from offered pursued the very words of the Secretary of the the treasury quarterly returns of the last two years, Treasury in his report, in wbich the Secretary declared (which were not before the House.) that, taking the average importations of the last six years, As to the second resolution, whoever would turn to the the revenue under the existing law of 14th July last might message of the President of the United States, and espebe estimated at eighteen millions of dollars. Now, Mr. cially to the report of the Secretary of the Treasury at A. said that there was no process of calculation by which the commencement of this session, would find the fact put he was able to make the average more than fifteen mil. forward, that the Secretary of the Treasury had at the last lions. His object was to ascertain by what process of cal session recommended a reduction of the duties to the culation the Secretary of the Treasury came to the result amount of the expenditures of the Government, and that of $18,000,000. When gentlemen voted against such an the failure of Congress to meet those recommendations inquiry, the natural inference would seem to be, that they furnished the ground and occasion for further reduction; feared the Secretary had been in the wrong, and were and yet, to my utter astonishment, as I stated on a former afraid to examine. He would in a few words present to occasion in Committee of the Whole, I find, by accurate the House the process of calculation by which he had ar- calculation, that the reductions on the articles of low rived at the conclusion he had stated.
woollens, stuffs, silks, linens, coffee, tea, and wines, The average gross amount of foreign imports for the amount to $3,377,026; whilst the additions on the articles last six years, including 1832, is $86,200,000, from which, of wool, woollens, including flannels and carpetings, sexdeducting $20,000,000, the average amount of foreign irg silks, indigo, and salt, amount to $2,322,289, leaving goods exported, $66,200,000, remains as the nett amount the actual reductions made by the bill of the 14th July, of foreign goods imported, on which the revenue is to be 1832, $1,054,737 greater than those proposed by the selevied. Now, the table annexed to the report of the Com- cretary of the Treasury in his bill communicated to this mittee of Ways and Means gives 23 2-3 per cent. as the House.
Jax. 29, 1833.]
The Tariff Bil.
[H. OF R
These two facts seem to me to lie at the very foundation of the gentleman; and he placed about as much reliance of the question of acting upon the tariff at all. If my upon them as upon the estimates from the Committee of statements are correct, there is not the slightest pretext Ways and Means, and no more. The gentleman would for reducing the revenue at all. If they are not correct, have the Mouse to believe that they had last year reduced I wish to be corrected. The refusal to apply to the pre- the revenue, not by three millions—nor five millions—but per quarter for information would seem to imply that the ten millions! Could any one want any data to discover friends of the administration have no confidence in the the folly and falsity of such a calculation? Such calculageneral statements of the Secretary of the Treasury, that tions showed a want of tact, a want of knowing how to the matter will not bear examining. These returns went arrive at just results. Should the gentleman obtain the to show a difference of nine millions in the last quarter, information he sought, still he must pardon Mr. C. if he ending the 30th of September last, compared with the cor- refused to believe that the revenue had been reduced nine responding quarter of 1831, and five millions in the pre- or ten millions. Without going into any details of calcuvious quarter; and every gentleman acquainted with the lation, he was disposed to believe that the estimates of actual state of the trade and commerce of the country, the Secretary were made with as much accuracy as any knows very well that a reduced importation continues, and estimates could be expected to be made. Mr. C. however, must continue for a long time to come; so that the average was for rejecting all their arithmetical calculations—he of $86,200,000 for several years to come must be consi- placed no reliance upon them. However, as a mere quesdered a full, if not a high estimate.
tion of curiosity, he would not refuse the inquiry: but the As to the estimates of the Committee of Ways and Means, answer would come after the bill had been acted upon. as another proof of the incorrectness of those estimates, Mr. APPLETON replied, that he asked no vote from they had assumed the average of debentures, and expen- the gentleman from New York on courtesy; he desired ses of collection, at 20 per cent. on the gross amount of no gentleman's vote on any such ground. The gentleman duties, Mr. A. denied ibis to be the true average; and had said, he would place no reliance on his (Mr. A.'s] if it were, it was no rule on which to calculate for the fu- calculations. When the gentleman had said this, Mr. A. ture; for there was no necessary ratio between debentures thought the gentleman was coming out with a counter and imposts. The only case in which it had been applied statement-a counter calculation. But no such thing had under the existing rates of duties, was to be found in the appeared. Now it was said, and said truly, that "figures estimate of the 4th of June, (Doc. 264,) in which the could not lie.” And Mr. A. was willing to put his own gross revenue is stated to be $10,738,037; the debentures, calculations against the gentleman's. But since the genbounties, and expenses of collection, $3,975,000; being 24 tleman had chosen to put his own calculations in competiper cent. instead of 20, as asserted by the committee. tion with Mr. A.'s, he would say, that in all the calcula
Mr. CLAY said he had moved to lay the resolutions on tions which had come either from the Committee of Ways the table, because he thought that all the objects of the and Means, or the Secretary of the Treasury, he bad resolutions could be obtained from the Secretary's re- found nothing that would compare with the gentleman's port, and on looking into that report he found he was not assertion that the protected articles amounted to fifty milmistaken. He should send a portion of the report to the lions! Clerk's table to be read, which would show this. But he Mr. CAMBRELENG said, that if the gentleman would wished to know why the offering of these resolutions had take as much pains on the subject of tonnagebeen kept until now. The report of the Secretary had Here Mr. CLAY called to order. Gentlemen were re. been before the House since the 5th of December. Could ferring to matters which had no relation to the resolutions. not the gentleman have discovered the supposed error of Mr. CAMBRELENG resumed. The gentleman had the Secretary before this time?
said that figures never lied. But Mr. C. had put the lie The inquiry would have come with a much better grace on all those which contradicted the statements from the from the gentleman, if he had brought it forward before treasury. But it was not true that figures never lied. the present bill had been for weeks before the House. He It was an old adage, that in matters of finance figures did could conceive no motive for such a procedure, unless it not tell truth. When the gentleman undertook to correct was a desire to consume time and to delay action. Should his calculations, he hoped the gentleman would furnish a the call be agreed to, then the House would be told that little information on the subject of the domestic and foreign they must not act until it had been answered.
tonnage of this country: a subject far more important than Mr. C. was against every thing of this sort, and he pro- that involved in the gentleman's resolutions. tested against them. The Secretary had told the gentle. The question was now put on Mr. Clar's motion to man what his data were. If he should now send a new postpone, and decided by yeas and nays: Yeas 78, nays 82. calculation, some other gentleman would probably find So the House refused to postpone. some error in that; and then there must be a new call; and Mr. VERPLANCK now moved for the orders of the where is the business to end? Mr. C. concluded by mov- day. ing to postpone the consideration of the resolutions until Mr. E. EVERETT hoped the gentleman would defer the 2d day of March next.
this motion until the uestion should be taken on the matMr. APPLETON said that he might sooner have offer- ter which the House had just refused to postpone. ed the resolutions had he sooner made, most unexpected. Mr. VERPLANCK declining, ly, the discovery on which they were founded. As to Mr. DICKSON demanded the yeas and nays on prowbat the gentleinan had caused to be read at the Clerk's ceeding to the orders of the day. They were taken, and table, it was the very clause to which he had himself re- stood-yeas 94, nays 67. ferred; that clause gave the result to which the Secretary [The resolution was on a subsequent day agreed to came; but it gave no grounds on which the conclusion without further debate.} was founded. What Mr. A. wanted to know was, how So the House proceeded to the orders of the day, and the Secretary came to such a result.
went into Committee of the Whole on the state of the Mr. CAMBRELENG said he had voted to lay the reso- Union, Mr. Wayne in the chair, and resumed the consilutions upon the table; but it was not from any want of deration of tlie courtesy towards the gentleman from Massachusetts, but
TARIFF BILL. the House was passing resolution after resolution, to call upon the Secretary for information, which every member Mr. WILLIAM B. SHEPARD being entitled to the had as much in his own power as the Secretary. iloor, rose to address the committee. He said he had
Mr. C. had listened to the very ingenious calculations moved last night that the committee should rise, not be
H. OF R.]
The Tarif Bill.
[Jan. 29, 1833.
cause he had any thing to say, that could not be as well pressed. And unless the fickle legislation of Congress is said then as now, or that he had not as lief say then as to be the reproach of our institutions, and the curse of now, but because he had not the physical ability, after a the people of this country, we ought to place this matter session of six hours, to give coherency to the few ideas on such a basis, that, hereafter, every man may rest sewith which it was his intention to trouble the committee. cure, himself and his property, of being under the pro. I am well aware, said Mr. S., that every gentleman heretection of equal, just, and permanent laws. For, if there is desirous of disposing of this tedious subject, without is a tyranny more peculiarly hard to bear, more harassmore debate; none can be more tired of it than I am. ing to the spirit, it is that of fluctuating legislation. Its
Man has been denominated by some enthusiastic ad- oppression is more severe from being unexpected; no inmirers of political economy, an animal that makes ex- dustry can obviate it, no sagacity can foresee it. changes; he has here been called a plundering animal;
When the tariff laws of 1824 and 1828 were under were I permitted to add one to the many definitions which discussion, it was contended, with great force and justice have been given by philosophers of that singular creature, by the anti-tariff party, that all free Governments should I should say he is an animal that makes tariff speeches. interfere as little as possible with the domestic arrangeThe definition would undoubtedly characterize him, as he ments and industry of its citizens; that all material changes is known in the United States, more particularly on this in the policy of a nation, the object of which was the foor-here “ docti indoctique,” we all speak on this sub- transferring capital from one occupation to another, ject; I shall, therefore, make no apology to the House should be made with great caution, and only on great for indulging a national propensity--"'tis no sin for a emergencies. If these propositions are true of such Goman to labor in his vocation." I am not, however, one vernments generally, they are still more worthy of attenof those gentlemen who believe that all knowledge on tion in a Government like ours, which is of strictly enuthis subject is derived, like Falstaff's knowledge of the merated powers, and dependent for its stability on public true prince, from instinct; it is to me, viewed in any way opinion--in a Government where the fashion of to-day I am capable of viewing it, a subject of great difficulty. may be reprobated by to-morrow; and an investment of It is peculiarly at this time a subject of fearful interest, capital, made under the sanction of the National Legislaand requiring for its adjustment all this House possesses ture, may be prostrated by a fickle legislation, infiuof intelligence, integrity, and patriotism. Sir, I most enced by the whim and caprice of the moment, or the solemnly believe the times require each man should speak varying policy and interest of rival political parties. It out, candidly and freely, his real sentiments upon the was upon such principles of general reasoning that I am subject of this protective policy; that a great responsibi- now, and always have been, opposed to the policy of the lity rests upon the members of this House, a responsibility tariff laws. which, if we fail now to meet, we basely abandon the I thought such a system ought not to be forced on the high trust committed to our care.
country, but that every man should be permitted to folThe United States exhibit, at this time, a spectacle bi- low such pursuits as were most congenial to his habits and therto unseen and unknown upon earth; one that, for the disposition. That if by this policy the people advanced credit of humanity, it is to be hoped will never occur more slowly in the accumulation of property, they would again--a people endowed with all that heaven or earth be more virtuous, less exposed to the temptations of ex. can bestow to make them happy and contented, abound-traordinary wealth-a state of things but little congenial ing in every thing essential to prosperity, and even gran- with plain republican institutions. I thought likewise, deur, among the nations of the world, (if the term is not that if the policy of protective laws was less doubtful, offensive to some around me;) and yet, amidst all these the tariff of 1828 was ill-judged and inexpedient. It blessings, we daily hear it proclaimed, in high places, we attempted too much; it embraced subjects of opposite are on the eve of revolution. A revolution to put down characters: while with one hand it gave a bounty, with what? Some usurper living on the vitals of the communi- the other it imposed a tax upon the same thing, showing, ty? Some conqueror revelling in the spoils of vanquish, as has been correctly observed by the anti-tariff'memorial, ed provinces, snatching from wealth its abundance, from that there was “an avowed want of information on the penury its pittance, to swell the pride, the pomp, and subject; it would have been a wiser course to wait until power of an individual? No, sir! A revolution to put thai information was obtained.” In fact, sir, the tariff of down the power of the majority of the people themselves 1828 was not intended by many of those who assisted in -a revolution which I can compare to nothing in the his. making it, to aid peculiarly any species of manufacture tory of the madness and folly of ma.kind, but the infidel except that of a President; and we are now reaping the fury of the anarchists of France, who desecrated the tem- bitter fruits of such legislation. ple of the only true God, to erect what they called the The act, however, has passed; it was imposed on the statue of reason in its stead. The nations of Europe are country for weal or for wo; it has disappointed in some how contending for self-government: we seem to be ge!- measure the hopes of its friends and the predictions of ting tired of it: they are contending against the will and its enemies; it is recorded among your laws, and no hudominion of one man; some here complain of the domi- man power can place the country in the same situation it nion of the many. What, on the other side of the Atlan- was in prior to its passage. tic, is called by an admiring world the beau ideal of liberty, The question now, however, is not one of laying on, I have heard on this floor pronounced the perfection of but one of taking off duties; we are inquiring how we despotism. Such, alas, is the unhappy, the miserable shall provide for the present posture of affairs. Our nacondition of poor human nature!
tional debt is about to be paid off; we shall have upon our Whatever may be the final action of Congress upon the hands a large surplus revenue; how shall we relieve the subject of the revenue, nothing should be done without country from the anticipated danger of this alarming plecaution and deliberation, and after a careful inspection of thora?' We are told by some of our statesmen, (1 beg our commercial, agricultural, and manufacturing situation. pardon of the shades of the illustrious men who once Upon our decision of this question rests the prosperity of bore that name, I meant some of our politicians,) that the every man in the community. I look, sir, opon the man, National Legislature cannot be trusted with one dollar who would dissever these three great interests, indissolu- more than the bare necessities the stern exigencies of the ble in their natural affinities, and essential to the prospe. Government require. Bargain, intrigue, and corruption, rity of every great nation, as a mere empiric, a political we are told, will stalk barefaced and uncovered throughquack whose nostrums may momentarily infuse vigor into out this ball, unless speedily prevented. I have not yet, the body politic, but eventually leave it haggard and desir, lost all confidence in republican institutions; I do not
Jax. 29, 1833.]
The Tariff Bill.
(H. or R.
believe the people of this country are yet sufficiently than every act for reducing revenue, or raising revente, corrupted to send members to this House base enough, has done since the organization of the Government. The either to barter away their liberty or squander their mo- allegation, therefore, is merely gratuitous. As regards ney; when I do believe it, I shall think representative diminished credits and cash payments,” the impolicy of Governments a mere delusion. I have, however, no ob- the existing law was so satisfactorily shown by the memojection that gentlemen should estimate their power of rial of the anti-tariff convention, that I voted to repeal it, resisting temptation by whatever standard they please. in compliance with the unanimous wish, as expressed in
It is impossible at this period to discuss this matter of in the memorial of the Southern people. the tariff exclusively on its own merits; it has become so Another source of lamentation is the increased value intermingled with all the political questions of the times, of the pound sterling.” By the law of 1799, regulating has been the cause of so much excitement, that it is thrust the value of foreign coins, the pound sterling of England into every question and relation in society. In the few was estimated to be worth four dollars and forty-four discursive remarks which I intend making on this subject, cents of our currency; owing to the fluctuation in the reI hope the committee will pardon me, if, in following the lative value of gold and silver, its real value had become example of others, I talk about that subject most interest- four dollars and eighty cents. I voted to put it at its true ing to myself. It may very properly be asked, why this and real value, because I like to call things by their right inordinate desire, at this session of Congress, to hurry names; I had, however, a still better reason: when I vote through the House a bill of such vast importance as this for a bill laying a duty of 10, 15, or 25 per cent., when I evidently is! The bill of July, 1832, has not yet gone in- assist in publishing to the world that such a duty has been to operation; no man can tell its precise effect upon the laid, I am desirous of dealing candidly and fairly with the revenue of the country. Has that bill been found to de- public. I would not assist in granting a boon in the first ceive its friends in reducing the revenue? I will trouble part of an instrument, and insert a condition in the latter the committee with a few words in relation to that mea. part rendering the grant valueless. To have pursued a sure. I am more inclined to do so, because I perceive it different course might have evinced more political cunis about to be murdered in the womb; and before the final ning, but would not have added much to the reputation blow is struck, I will do it an act of passing justice. Hav- of the American Congress; as one of the humblest of its ing voted for that bill, in company with a large majority members, I am willing to share the odium of that measure. of my colleagues, and a majority of the Southern delega- The bill of July, however, it is said, makes discriminattion, as a bill to reduce the revenue of the Government, ing duties; it releases luxuries from taxation, and throws and to relieve the people from the pressure of the tariff the burden of supporting the Government upon the nesystem, I am surprised to find endeavors very industrious-cessaries of life; it oppresses the poor;
- this is pitiful, is made to circulate a belief, that, so far from alleviating 'tis wondrous pitiful," and, doubtless, has been the founthe burdens of the South, they are aggravated by that dation of many a moving address and eloquent harangue. bill. I saw an article in the Telegraph of this city, pub- It may have been said in the furioso language of the day, lished a few days ago, addressed to the people of Georgia, that a grinding, cruel, and unrelenting majority of Conand bearing, among others, the signature of a gentleman gress, insensible to the miseries and sufferings of an opon this floor
, (Mr. Clayton,] containing the following pressed people, have had the unprecedented, enormous, Words: “ The character of the act of 1832 is distinctly and daring effrontery to grant to a high-toned and
chivalmarked. Its diminished credits, its requisition of cash rous people their tea and coffee without tax. Horrible payments, its increase of the value of the pound sterling, as this charge seems to be, and alarming as it is to a conits discriminating duties, will show that the burdens im- scientious man, it is very easy to show that it comes with posed upon you are decidedly increased, yet you are told a very bad grace from the source it does, and, as applicathat this act is a concession, an effort to moderate the ble to the state of things in the South, has little or no burdens of the South;' that, like the travelled dove, it foundation. It is difficult, in a country so prosperous as comes with the olive branch to give you future security. every part of the United States is, to draw a distinction The treacherous kiss of Judas is not more deceptive. A between luxuries and necessaries; in every community, concession with the odious principle of protection retained they are merely correlative terms; in rude and savage as the permanent policy of the Government! No, it is no states of society, necessaries are such articles as sustain concession; its object is rather to lull you into false secu- existence; as society advances in refinement, what was rity.”. This paper, although addressed to the people of formerly a luxury becomes a necessary. I would here Georgia, is evidently intended for the whole South, and remark, that the argument of the honorable gentleman conveys an imputation upon the intelligence and integrity near me, (Mr. Choate,] that the Southern people, in proof every Southern anti-tariff gentleman who voted for the portion to their
wealth and population, are non-consumbill of 1832. As one of those individuals, I am not dis-ers, is literally true. posed that the slightest taint of inconsistency shall be at- It is perfectly well known to every gentleman familiar tached to any vote of mine to gratify any man, any set of with the domestic
arrangements of the mass of the Southhen or any party whatever. Upon the subject of this ern people, that two-thirds of them are clad in their
own tariff I have acted upon but one set of principles, and up- domestic manufactures: I have known many planters, the on those same principles I intend to continue to act. owners of large families of slaves, who purchase nothing This is a repetition of a charge contained in an address from the stores but iron, salt, tea, coffee, sugar, and a the close of the last session, and circulated very generally Now, is it not more important to these men that they
These loving appeals should purchase such articles as tea and coffee cheaply, to one's constituents are not generally fair subjects of criti- which are of daily and constant usc, than the
broadcloths com; they are intended for the partial eye of friendship. of England The latter surely are not so essential to their However , so notorious in connexion with this tariff matter , an article upon which they set much value. They
prefer of the people south of the Potomac; it therefore becomes never will arrive when the loom and the spindle are to be Pecessary that even small errors, such as great minds inad-silent around the hearths of our fathers
. To me there is vertently make, should at once be corrected. It is very no idle to say that the tariff bill of 1832 recognised the prin- its own labor. It presents a spectacle of substantial com
cheering than of a family clad entirely by ciple of protection; it recognised it no more and no less fort and independence, not surpassed in any quar
throughout the Southern country.
H. OF R.
[Jan. 29, 1833. ter of the globe. I confess I never visit such scenes with exclusively, was $2,074,831. Is this no relief to this out returning from them elevated and purified in feeling; class of society? They must know otherwise if they I go back in imagination to other times, when the men of honestly believe they bear so large a share of the burden: homespun were legislating in your balls of Congress, and and if we take into consideration the small class of indivifighting the battles of the revolution. So long as the Fe- duals, even in the South, directly interested in the proderal Government's tax gatherer does not cross the doors duction of these articles, the relief to them under this of this worthy class of society, they are independent of view of their case, and by that bill, was of vast importance, its legislation: secure in the "noiseless tenor of their But, sir, what becomes of this oppression on the poor? way,” they are happy, unmolested by the visions of ava- Are the poor the growers of rice, cotton, and tobacco or rice, or the dreams of ambition. If this distinction be- was it intended as a mere figure of speech, a pathetic tween necessaries and luxuries were substantially true, appcal?-who has any right to complain? If luxuries tend to elerate
Spargere ambiguas voces
In vulgum. man in the scale of social existence; if they follow in the march of civilization, and make a part of it, why, in a Had I voted against the bill, believing this modern docGovernment of equals, should not every thing that tends to trine, I should have felt myself bound, as a consistent refine our natures, to smooth the asperities of life, and man, to bave gone home and told my constituents that a elevate man in the scale of animated beings, be placed proposition was made in Congress to relieve them from within the reach of the poorest individual in society? two millions of their burdens, which I had rejected with
Having disposed of the morality of this matter, let us scorn, but that I had brought them the glorious remedy now look to its logic. I will not take up the tariff bill of of nullification. I knew the temper of that people too 1832, and, comparing it with the act of 1828, ask gentle. well; I knew they were devotedly attached to the Union men if a reduction of the duties on iron, on cotton goods, of these States, as the last hope of liberty upon earth, on sugar, on woollen cloths, on negro clothing, on blan- and that they were not inclined to jeopard it upon a doubtkets, &c., was not a reduction of the duties on the neces- ful point of political economy. Whenever, sir, I persuade saries of life: this would be confuting them by the plain the people whom I represent, to resist the laws of this rule of subtraction, a species of argument utterly beneath Government, it will be such resistance as freemen should gentlemen who deal in the sublimities of metaphysics: I make, with arms in their hands, and not a pettifogging will take the rule they themselves bave furnished. chicanery through the courts.
The theory which has produced such excitement in one But, sir, if the bill of 1832 was radically wrong, the portion of the South against the tariff, and which I pre- same objections apply to the bill on your table; it has also sume is believed by all those who condemn the act of the mark of the beast upon it. This bill does not restore 1832, if we include the ultra-tariff men, who, by their as the credit system; it does not restore the false valuation sociations in that vote, illustrate the truth of the proposi- of the pound sterling; ithas likewise discriminating duties; tion, " that the extremes are sometimes nearer together it only carries out the principle of the bill of 1832, and than the means,” is thus expounded by one of its ablest reduces the revenue nearer to the wants of the Governsupporters: (Report of Committee of Ways and Means by ment. Its discriminating duties are of a more partial Mr. McDuffie, February 8, 1832.) “ As the restrictions character than any bill ever presented to this House; it imposed upon the productions of Southern industry are protects some species of iron (the most oppressive part of affected by the agency of indirect taxes, the burdens im- the tariff) by a duty of 76 per cent.; while cotton goods, posed upon the planting States by the protecting system a manufacture nearly acclimated, are protected by a duty are not very inaccurately measured by the amount of taxes of 20 per cent. When, however, the contest is for prinlevied upon their productions. And when the inequality ciple, I will not do any one the injustice to suppose that of the Government disbursements are added to the ine-money will answer, should it amount to thousands; and quality of contributions exacted by import duties, it may unless that principle be yielded, nothing has been gained. be confidently affirmed that the burdens imposed upon I do not know how genilemen will vote on the final pasthe planting States by the taxation, prohibition, and dis-sage of this bill; all that I am anxious about is, that if bursements of the Federal Government are more than hereafter there should be any charge of inconsistency, it equal to the amount of taxes levied upon those imports may rest precisely where truth and justice demand. which are obtained in exchange for the three great agri- l'his act of 1832 was no favorite of mine: I was satiscultural staples of cotton, tobacco, and rice. That a fied it would not answer the purpose for which it was duty upon an import is equivalent to the same amount of intended, and that it did not extend its own principle duty upon the export which has been exchanged for it, is sufficient for the occasion. During all the discussion on but a self-evident proposition to all who correctly compre- this subject, I watched the scene with a great deal of hend its import. The planter is as injuriously affected by anxiety; I was desirous of seeing a deliberate expression the one duty as he would be by the other, without any of opinion between the two great antagonist principles reference whatever to his own consumption.".
in the country, “protection and no protection;" or if Here is a direct and unequivocal admission that the there were a third principle that would satisfy all parties. consumer of an article, as such, has no interest at all in I listened in vain for the latter principle; I heard, day the duty paid by that article; it is therefore of no import- after day, speeches upon crude and ill-digested theories, ance to him whether the duty is ten, fifteen, or thirty but heard nothing more practicable than the mode of per centum, nor from what article the revenue is collect concession proposed in the bill of 1832. ed. Now, if this proposition is true, and I admit its truth The principle of collecting the revenue of the Governfor the present occasion, the growers of rice, cotton, and ment from one set of articles in order to give incidental tobacco, which articles constitute two-thirds of the Ame protection to the manufactures of the country, establishes rican productions exchanged for foreign goods, pay two-nothing new in our legislation; it is a doctrine as old as thirds of the gross amount of duties charged on foreign the constitution; and in 1816, when this matter of the importations, or, as has been estimated, forty per cent., a tariff first began, it was distinctly admitted by the antiper cent. somewhat below the true amount. Let us apply tariff party. When the tariff of 1816 (the cause of all this rule to the reduction of duties by the tariff of 1832, our wo) was under discussion, Mr. Telfair, of Georgia, to ascertain the relief yielded to the rice, cotton, and to- a strenuous opposer of that bill, said he would not deny bacco men. If the reduction of the revenue by the bill of that, in the imposition of duties for the purpose of reveJuly, 1832, amounted to $5,187,078, as was estimated by nue, it is wise to select your objects; that while the ori. the Treasury Department, the relief to those individuals, Iginal intent is secured, the interest of the manufacturer