ePub 版

H. OF R.)

The Tariff

(May 8, 1830.

tobacco, has been, not thirty-seven millions, at which the sumption, and pay duties; and that, as the staple-growing gentleman estimates it, but thirty-two millions, (or, in ex. States export but thirty-two millions, the other States must act figures, thirty-two million sixteen thousand four hun export twenty-nine millions at least, and pay taxes on that dred and sixty-five dollars,) and the average annual export amount of the importa, on the principle of the gentleman of the single staple of cotton alone is not thirty millions, himself, and those who hold this new theory in common but less than twenty-five millions of dollars.

with him. The average amount of imports for consumption, for It is true, our products do not strike the imagination like the same period, I have not bad the means of estimating. those of the genial South. They are frequently named, For the last five years, however, I have done it, in the only to be derided. Another gentleman from South Caro following mapper: I have taken the entire import, and de- lina (Mr. BLAIR) speaks of our clocks and notions ; sod I ducted from it the amount of foreign mercbandise re-ex- ougbt, perhaps, to thank him for not adding wooden dutported. The remainder may be considered as giving, in megs to the list. But the products which we exchange for a series of years, the average amount of foreign merchan- our foreign merchandise represent the skill, the industry, dise imported for consumption. This annual average I the freedom of our lrborious fiee citizens. Do the exports find to be, for the last five years, just sixty-one millions of other States represent any thing better! ($61,002,658) of dollars.

We are told of the rich fruits wbich a Divine Providence The first remark, then, that I shall make, in reply to the has bestowed exclusively on the southern portion of the statement of the gentleman from South Carolina, is, that, country, aud are left to infer & somewhat painful contrast even on his own principles, he has greatly overstated the with its less favored regions. Sir, I will be led into no amount of duty paid by the staple-growing States. The such contrast. I admire, as much as any gentleman on average export of the staples is thirty-two millions, not this floor, the display of the bountiful provision which has thirty-seveo; and of the chief of them, cotton, twenty. been made for our southern bret bren; and I wish them five millions, not thirty. The average amount of imports, cordially the full enjoyment of it. I bave witnessed it, consumed in the country, is sixty.one millions. Of these, under circumstances to give it all its force, upon the senses the staples in the gentleman's own view of the subject, and the imagination, baviog, in the space of three weeks, pay but thirty-two inillions, very little more than a half

. in the course of last year, passed from a region cuivered On the other, twenty-nine millions, if it be only granted with ice and spow, to one where the orange tree and the to me that they are not given to the consumer, that they pomegranate were iu flower, add tbe sugar cane and cotare somehow or other bought and paid for, the planter of ion plant covered the soil. I feel and appreciate the richthe staples does not pay the duties. These twenty-nine Dess of these natural bounties; I rejoice in them as the millions, out of sixty-one, whatever they consist of, tea, gifts of a kind Providence to my native land. Haud equicoffee, silk, wide, cutlery, woollens, linens--whatever the dem invideo ; miror magis. Our lot is cast in a region lese articles are, must be paid for by the consumer; and paid favored in this respect, but not therefore to be disparaged. for by some articles produced by bim, or the fruits of his No, not in the amount of its products, which equals that labor, in one form or other. In a word, on the gentleman's of those rich staples. own view of the subject, (which, however, I shall strive Then, too, is to be considered, and this alone is an anto show is unfounded in principle,) the States that grow swer to much of the gentleman's argument, that these cotton, rice, and tobacco, pay but one-half instead of two southern staples represent no small amount of the fruits thirds of the duties. With respect to the remaining half, of the labor of the other States. But for this, it would be the rest of the Union may, with equal propriety, adopt absolutely unaccountable and incredible that three millions the language which the gentleman puts into the mouth of of the population should export to even one-half of the the southern planter. We pay the duties on them, for they amount of the foreigo merchandise consumed. Let any are paid for by our produce, or the fruits of our industry. man consider the distribution which the cotton planter

It is true we bave no great staples. The gentleman would make of the avails of his crop, if he brought it himfrom South Carolina said, we exported nothing but a few self to Charlestou or New Orleans, and exchanged it in the bundred thousand dollars worth of potash.

way of barter for his supplies, and he will find that a good (Mr. McDUFFIE said he spoke of exports to Europe.] portion represents the labor of the West and North. This

But if we send nothing but a few potashes to Europe, explains what would otherwise be inexplicable, that in a I should like to know what Europe gets for all her pro- couotry so large as this, and indulging in so large a conducts, which we consume. There may be but one link, sumption of imported merchandise, three millions of the or ten in the chain of communication; but, eventually, the population, confioed to one part of the Union, should exgreat amount of European produce, which the north- port even one-half of the returns, and the great and rich ern and middle States consume, must be paid for by the consuming States of Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, and exportation of the fruits of the labor of those States, and all New England, not the other balf. for this reason the duties on that merchandise must, on The solution is, that what, in its last form, is a southern the gentleman's principles, be paid for by those States. staple, is, iu reality, iu part, the produce of the other por But the truth is, our exports are not quite so insignificant, tions of the country. Of the European articles received as to be passed over without enumeration. The rice, in return, the plauting States pay tax on that portion which he thinks alone worthy, with two other squthern which they consume, aud no more. No more, on the genstaples, to be specified, was, last year, but about one. tleman's own principles ; for every consumer is a produequarter part of the vegetable food exported. The fishe- er. He pays for what he consumes by what he produces, ries, in their various branches, yielded over one million and can pay in no other manner. And what be consumes eight bundred thousand dollars for exportation. The pro- he takes with all its burdens. ductions of the forest fell but a little short of four millions ; But it is replied to this, although the southern States do and various articles of manufactures exported, amounted not directly consume the whole of wbat is brought from to nearly six millions. In addition to this was the great Europe in exchange for the staple products exported by item of tonnage, the value of which, in its total amount them, yet that the various articles of supply which they my colleague (Mr. GORHAM) has estimated at eleven mil. obtain from the manufacturing States (the indirect er lions per annum. These are the products by which we change of their staples) come charged bigher by all the pay for our imported merchandise. It matters not in what amount of the duty. Io reference to my present purpose, form the payment is made. It may be rice, cotton, and wbich is to refute the new doctrine, (that the exporter, tobacco. It may be fish, timber, or freight. The result and not the consumer of the article imported, pays the is, that sixty-one millions are annually imported for contax) it is a sufficient rejoinder to this, that, in this case,

MAY 8, 1830.]

The Tarif

(H. OF R.

the planter pays the tax as a consumer, not as a producer.cle. But this case can never exist longer than is required To this point, in fact, we return at the end of every illus- for the market to rectify itself, from an unnatural tempotration, and we see in it the entire fallacy of the novel pro- rary state. No act and no power can keep two articles positions advanced on this subject.

permanently in the market, which are produced at differAnother consideration will put this in a still clearer light. ent cost, and sell at the same price. Let the experiment The gentleman from South Carolina maintains that the be tried with coins of gold and silver, whose nominal value planter pays the tax on the imported articles received in is the same, and whose intrinsic value is different. It is exchange for his exported staples; and this tax he puts at imagined, I believe, that foreign imports, competing in our an average of forty-five per cent. Now, then, it is clear, market with our own manufactured articles, the former that, if this tax were removed, if the planter had formerly paying duties and the latter not, do precisely form a case paid it, he would now save this forty-five per cent.; he l of a taxed article coming in competitiou with an untaxed would put it in his pocket. South Carolina, for instance, one, in which the producer pays the tax. But not at all. supposing her now to be making no profit whatever from By an untaxed article, in this case, is meant one unbur. her agricultural staples, would, if the tariff were repealed, dened in any way; one produced as cheap as the taxed make forty-five per cent: on the yearly amount of the article, with the exception of the tax.

In this case, of crop; and each planter would receive that clear income. course, it is plain that the producer, if he will bring his

Out of every one hundred bales which he sent to market, taxed article to the market, must pay the tax himself. #forty-five would be clear profit, supposing him now to be But if the untaxed article costs as much, for any reason, as

making absolutely nothing. This, I say, is the conse- the taxed article with the duty upon it, the two articles quence of the new doctrine, that the planter pays the tax. will sell for the same price, and the consumer must pay

But can any man seriously believe it, that such a state of the tnx; he cannot throw the burden on the producer, To things would last a day, or any longer than would be ne- because he cannot, by refusing to take the taxed article,

cessary for the adjustinent to take place, which is insepa- get the untaxed one cheaper. rable from every change in the condition of a branch of There is, then, no case where, in a regular and permaindustry. The planter would not, probably, pocket one Dent course of trade, the consumer throws the tax on the farthing of this forty-five per cent.; and why not? Be producer; or, what is the same thing, in which, if the tax cause those who were disposed to hold up their cotton at were repealed, the price would not fail. the old price, and make a profit of forty-five per cent, The idea, then, that the southern planter, and he alone, would find neighbors content with furty, and who would bears the tax on the imports purchased by his produce, sell at forty, and this would bring the narket price down that he alone cannot throw the burden on the consumer; to forty per cent. profit. But thirty-five per cent would or, the contrary, that on him alone the consumer throws content others

, and thirty per cent would content others, the burden, is as unfounded as it is paradoxical. The 8 till

, in the end, those, whose necessities obliged them to sixty millions of foreign articles introduced for consumpsell, would be ready to sell at the old rate, that is, forty. tion are purcbased by sixty millions worth of the produce five

per cent. cheaper than they sold while they paid the of the labor of the consumers. This consumption is scattax, now taken off. This would bring down the price of the tered most diffusively over the country. If it take place whole article in the market, and the planter would find that to a greater extent is one section than another, that section the only effect of producing bis staple forty-five per cent. was not the southern States. Now it is said, of all the cheaper, would be that he would have to sell it forty-five producers of the articles given in exchange for these sixty per cent cheaper; and how would this mend his condition? millions, the southern planters, who furnish about half,

I shall be told, perhaps, that if the price of the article cannot throw the tax on the consumer; and why not? But, were thus reduced, the demand for it would be propor: to support this proposition, no substantial reason appears tiupably increased, and so much the more would be raised to be given. Švery other branch of industry struggles and exported from the southern States. But this would with the like competition as cotton planting. The gentlenot remedy the evil now complained of, that of low prices. man says that the Carolina cotton planter comes in comIt would only increase the production at the present prices. petition with the Brazilian, in a market where the CaroliCotton lands now uncultivated would be brought into culti- vian pays a tax on the goods he receives in return of fortyvation. If the state of the cotton planters be such as is de- five per cent, and the Brazilian of only fifteen. In other scribed to us, this is an event rather to be deprecated than words, the Carolinian, selling at the same nominal price as wished for. No advantage, therefore, would accrue to the the Brazilian, takes pay, in coin containing forty-five per planters from the repeal of the tax, beyond that which he cut. alloy, and the Brazilian in coin containing only fifteen shares proportionably with every other member of the per cent, alloy. Such a state of thiugs is wholly impossicommunity, in the alleviation of the public burdens. ble, under the known laws of trade; {but, supposing it

The gentleman from South Carolina admitted, as a gede possible, it would prove that the American cotton planter ral rule, that the consumer paid the tax; but he said the could, and did defy all competition. Case of the southern planters was an exception to this There is no process, by which the northern consumer rule; they were a class of producers, who could not throw throws off the tax, which is not open to the southern the burden of the tax on the consumer, but must pay it planter, It is said that the porthern consumer can change themselves. My worthy colleague (Mr. Gorham] admit- his pursuit, can emigrate, but that the southern planter ted two cases where the producer did pay the tax levied must live and die on his plantation. Is this so? Certainly on the articles imported in exchange forbis produce: one pot. There is no form in which a large capital can exist, where the producer consumes all the return : the other in which more of it will be easily transferable, than an where the taxed article comes in competition with an un investment in a cotton plantation. The wbole Southwest taxed article of the same kind. But the first case is, of is open to the cotton planter. The part of it which is setcourse, only a nominal exception. The planter is taxed. tled, bas been mostly settled by him. He has found a on his consumption, as every other consumer is. If he new soil and cheap lands; and 'ready access to market. choose to consume the entire fruit of bis industry unpro. Unquestionably the cause why the staple is cheaper, is, that ductively, be pays, of course, the consumption tax op all for these and other reasons it can be produced cheaper ; he produces ; but he pays it as a consumer, not as producer. not (as is maintained) because the difference of price This, then, does not bear out the new theory in principle. comes out of the planter's pocket.

The other case, in wbich the consumer, it is admitted, But the cotton, rice, and tobacco planters bave another would throw the tax on the producer, is that where the resource from the burdens of the tariff, created by the taxed article comes in competition with the untaxed arti. I tariff itself; a resource, I am well persuaded, thus far so

VOL. VI.-114.

H. OF R.)

The Tariff

[MAY 8, 1830

effectual, that it has been more beneficial to the planting the botany of the tropics, and find a species of the cotton States, than all the other provisions of the laws have to the plant which would thrive in Carolina. Our portbern mannmanufacturing States. It is my deliberate opinion, that facturers complained that a duty sbould be laid on the hitherto the States most benefited by the laws for protec- raw material required for their fabrics, not to protect, tion of manufactures, lie south of the Potomac. The south oot to encourage a branch of soutbern industry, but for ern States have a monopoly of a species of property, in what seemed the chimerical speculation of ereating a new creasing in numbers, and which would, under other circum- kind of culture. Geveral Hamilton said the duty ought stances, decrease in value: I mean their slaves. Their to be repealed; but it was kept on. It was then a protectDumbers are supposed to amount to two millions, and their ing duty. It protected southero agriculture, at the ex"average value at present, I am told, may be safely taken pense of northern manufactures. I believe our southern at two hundred dollars each; forming a money capital of brethren then did not deem it either unconstitutional or opfour bundred millions. Now, in the nature of things, and in pressive. It was not the only duty of the same character the present state of the cotton, rice, and tobacco market, in the first tariff, that of 1789, for indigo, hemp, and mathe value of the slaves to their masters would be constant. Dufactured tobacco were burdened with duties, for the ly declining. The sugar culture, which has grown up in same reason. But such was the state of the cotton marLouisiana, under the tariff laws, has created a new demand ket thirty years ago. Within the same period, the finest for labor, which is met principally from the old Atlantic of the sugar islands has, in a manner, been blotted from States. I know that this trade is regarded as discreditable the map of the world. Jo 1788, the value of the sugar to the South ; that the last thing the planter will part with, produced in St. Domingo was twenty millions of dollars ; is bis servants. But in the division of estates, in the execu- in 1822, the last year for which I have official information. tion of judgments, in the punisbment of misconduct

, cases it was but one hundred and thirty thousand dollars. Do * "arise, under the laws of the country, in which these sales gentlemen think the process is to stop here! I am do pro take place, and by them the demand for Louisiana is sup-phet

, sir; I pretend not to calcnlate the malignant aspect plied. I am told that the effect of this demand on the va of the stars for other regions. But I see nothing in the lue of slaves is equal to one hundred per cent.; that the fated islands of the West Indian archipelago, that looks whole mass of this property is enhanced or kept from fall- like stability. Thus far the plapting interest of the South ing to that extent; in other words, that the labor of the bas been more benefited by the tariff, in the way I have South, now amounting to a moneyed capital of four bun described, than any other interest; and taking history and dred millions, would not, but for this circumstance, be experience for the guide, be is a bold man, wbo will unworth more than two hundred millions at this moment dertake to fix the time when this state of things will cease and that rapidly declining. Here, then, is one operatiou of to exist. the tariff, creating to the southern planter a capital of two It is, I suppose, this view of the subject, which has bundred millions of dollars, or twelve millions annually. lately occasioned the adoption of the following resolutions

Can any man point out any such benefit, accruing from by the Legislature of Louisiana, unanimously, I believe, in the same source, to the manufacturing States! The cul- the Senate of that State, and with a very small dissenting ture of sugar has already reached an average crop, prob- minority in the House of Representatives. ably, of seventy thousand hogsheads. The last season was “ Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representaa bad one, but the two preceding seasons averaged that tives of the State of Louisiana, in General Assembly conamount. This, with the molasses, is worth about eight vened, That the General Assembly of this state do not millions of dollars. Of these eight millions, the West, for concur in the views and sentiments expressed by the resofood and machinery, gets perhaps a million and a half. A lutions of the Legislature of the State of Mississippi, relasingle iron-master, op the Cumberland river, in Tennessee, tive to the tariff of 1828 ; and that the Legislature of this Bold last year to the sugar planters' fifty six thousand dol- State does not perceive any unconstitutionality in adopting lars of articles fabricated at his furnaces; and twenty-five such measures. steam engines, for sugar mills, were furnished by a house " Resolved, &c. That we highly approve of the resoloon the Ohio river. The North supplies the sugar planter tions of the Legislature of the State of Vermont, by which with a million of dollars in clothing, miscellaneous articles, they have declared the law of 1828, on the tariff, to be and tonnage. Three millions of dollars go to the planting constitutional, expedient, and harmless to the southern States for slaves; and I have the opinion in wriúng of States, or any other of our sister States. persons as well informed as any in the United States, that Resolved, &c. That our Sepators in Congress be in the effect of this demand is what I have stated it to be.

structed, and our Representatives requested, to accede to I shall be told, perhaps, that this state of things tem and support such measures as those that are contemplated porary, I answer, it exists now; and while it exists, and by the law of 1828 on the tariff.” as long as it exists, the most active benefits of the tariff It will be recollected that this is the expression of the are south of the Potomac. How long this state of things opinion of a State, by no means exclusively a sugar-plantwill last, I do not know; po man knows. I believe it will ing State; of a State of which cotton is still the great stabe a distant day, before the supply overtakes the demand, ple. I pretend not to assign the motives of the gentle and before Louisiana will cease to depend for her labor man from South Carolina, in leaving untouched the daty on other States. And before that day arrives, who shall on foreign sugars, while he proposes to remove almost foresee what explosion may take place in the tropics, (the every duty which protects the industry of the middle and volcanic region of the political as of the physical world,) northern States. I do not blame him for retaining a duty töbich will make Louisiana a much more important region which is of vital importance to the southern country. But, in the sugar market than it is now? Thirty years ago, the on the same principle on wbich he is willing to retain the West Indies were to the cotton market what they dow duty on sugar, he must allow me to vote against the re are to the sugar market. Thirty years ago, and our peal of those parts of the law which be desires to abro northern cotton mills, then just erected, and on a small gate, but which are important to my constituents. Shall scale, went to the West Indies for their cotton. A mem- be except from a sweeping repeal of the laws, the single ber of Congress, from South Carolina, 'expressed the feature of it, which is so signally beneficial to the planting opinion, that, if a good seed could be procured, cotton interest, that it has attached one entire planting State to would, with proper protection, grow in Carolina : add, ac- the protecting system and sball not I oppose the indiscordingly, a duty of three cents a pound was laid on the criminate repeal of that whole system, involving the ruin

oottob consumed by our infant manufacturing establish- of all the interests which bave grown up under it ? meuts, to enable our southern brethren to go and study And here I may observe, in reply to a remark made by

2 May 8, 1830.)

The Tariff

[H. OF R.

11 the gentleman from New York, [Mr. CAMBRELENG) ouing the annual income of the people of the United States,

the subject of voting for protecting duties from motives I mean, seriously, that if any gentleman thinks I take it of personal interest, that no such motive operates on me, too high at one thousand millious, I will let him reduce it I reside, it is true, in 4 manufacturing country, but have one-hall, to five-hundred millions. A protecting tax of po interest in manufacturing establishments, nor any which eight millions is, at that rate, one and three-fifths per is beneficially affected by them; por, if every factory were cent. upon the income of the country. This is the burden burned down to-morrow, would it concern me in any other which is laid by the protecting system on our industry. way than such a waste of property would concern every In reply to the suggestion that the southern planter

other citizen in the community. But to return to the ar- bad the option to take specie in returu for his exports, it #guments

was argued by the gentleman from South Carolina, that I have endeavored thus far, io reply to the gentleman England, having no mines, had no specie to give; and that from South Carolina, to re-establish the doctrine that the if she had, we had no use for it, as it is not an article to be tax falls on the consumer. I shall now offer a considera consumed. It was justly urged by my colleague, [Mr. tion to prove that this tax is not so oppressive as has been GORHAM) that though Ergland had no mines, she was represented. The tax falls not on the immediate, but on nevertheless the great specie market of the world. In the ultimate consumer : that is, on the individual by whom, reply to the second objection of the gentleman, that we in its last form, it is unproductively consumed, either as a could not take specie to advantage, because we do not necessary of life, or as an article to which habit and cus- wish to consume it, I observe, that, though not consumatom have given the character of a necessary of life. The ble itself, it is the representative of all consumable things, tax on such articles, in a country like this, where there is. If the manufactured articles to be imported, are, as the a perfect equality of rights, a great similarity of condition, gentleman says, taxed forty-five per cent, he cannot supunusual facility in change of situation and pursuit

, and a pose that, in the great emporium of the world, the English boundless region of new land, is, in reality, levied on the market, there is no article of commerce, and no course of entire consumption, or, what is the same thing, the entire trade in which the southern planter could not make a more income of the country. The moment any one pursuit is advantageous return investment taxed above the average of the other, capital is driven But if the exporter paid the tax, as the gentleman says, from it, till the equilibrium is brought about The bur- when he takes goods thus burdened, it would be not den laid on imported articles is, therefore, equally diffused merely bis interest to take specie--the Liverpool trader over the entire income of the country. What is that in- would compel bim to take it. On the supposition that come!

the producer of the staples consents to receive in pay The gentleman from South Carolina bas estimated it at goods really worth to him forty-five per cent. less than three hundred and fifty millions per annum-I am inclined their pominal value, and less than their cost to the manu. to thiuk this much too small. I would rate it at not less facturer in England, the English manufacturer would than one thousand millions. Let us consider a few items choose to pay him in specie. For one bundred pounds

' that must enter into the estimate. The population is at worth of cotton he would offer him a cash price a little in least twelve millions; the federal numbers have ever been advance of the fifty-five pounds, which is all (on this supestimated to amount to twelve millions.

position) that the planter is to get in goods. The goods, The food of 12,000,000 of persons, at 40

as a consequence, would not be exported to this country. cents per week, which is but 5.7 cents per

The demand for them would increase, and with it the price day, or $20 76 per annum, would amount to 249,000,000 which they would command. Specie, meantime, would Clothing for 12,000,000, at $17 per 40

rise in England, and in the result, as the want of the goods, ,

204,000,000 was felt in America, the planter would be enabled to The food of all the animals, estimated as

throw the tax on the consumer: it would, of course, cease equivalent to three millions of horses, at $25

to be his interest to take payment in specie instead of each per annum,

75,000,000 goods; and trade would return to its natural channel. This

is the process which constantly goes on; and specie is the

$528,000,000 chief vehicle by which those transfers of capital are efThis is the amount of the estimated cost of the food and fected, which prevent burdens from accumulating upon clothing of the population, and the food of the domestic any one branch. animals. I do not think it extravagant to assume that, I will but mention one other consequence which

over and above the necessary annual consumption for food would flow from the new doctrine, and then leave that mand.clothing, the entire annual expenditure for houses, part of the subject to the candid judgment of the House. ships, and every other kind of building; for roads, canals

, The produce of the staple pays the duty on the importand every other kind of public and private improvement; ed article, says the new theory. This duty, in the ave* for public institutions of all kinds, together with the rage, is said by the gentleman to be forty-five per cent. I $ Amount of income annually saved and added, in these, or believe it to be much less; but the amount, at present, is

aoy other forms, to the accumulating wealth of the coun- immaterial. Whatever the aggregate be, the separate dutry, ought to be taken at an amount at least equal. I ties vary in amount. Cottons are said, by the chairman of therefore set down the whole appual income of the country the Committee on Commerce, to range from twenty-seven at one thousand millions of dollars.

to one hundred and twenty-five per cent.: woollens from On this annual income there are charged, say twenty- forty-five to one hundred and sixty-eight: and iron from one four millions of dollars. This is a tax of two and four- hundred and twenty-five to one hundred and eighty. All tenths per cent, which cannot be called a very heavy bur these articles, with all their duties, are imported in ex. den. But it must be remembered that a part only of the change for southern staples, and the southern planter pays, tax on the articles imported is to be set down to the pro- the duty, says the theory. Of course, the first planter tecting system. A very considerable part of the duties who gets to market, will take the article least burdened.

would, at all events, be assessed for revenue. If I should The next comer will take the next most favorable article ; I admit, however, (what is very far above the truth, that while the unfortunate individual who comes last, and who

eight millions out of the twenty-four are a protecting tax, has (by the supposed iniquitous operation of these laws) to. and that to this extent the manufacturing system is a tax furnish to the customer, out of his one hundred pounds' op the income of the couotry, it would amount to one worth of cotton, one hundred pounds' worth of iron, will eighth part of one per cent. on this income! And now, have, in addition to all his cotton, to pay out of his pocket sir, I will not cavil at a few hundred millions in estimat eighty pounds sterling. And the new theory, supposes


H. OF R.]

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(MAY 8, 1830.


that this kind of trade has been carried on for years The gentleman from New York [Mr. CAMBRELENG] re between the United States and Great Britain.

minds me that, by a subsequent law, it is now admitted. The gentleman from South Carolina made a remark or But the abstract of that law, given in the aunual report two upon the English: corn laws, denying that they fur- from the Treasury Department, shows that the duty is nished any just ground for the protecting system in still so high as to leave the prohibition in fact upaffected; America, or that the American manufacturers wished their and it was declared by Mr. Huskisson " to be the object repeal. It certainly, however, is an opinion resting on of the bill to give protection up to a certain point, and to unsuspicious authority, that the existence of the British exclude the introduction of foreign corn as much as poslaws restricting the importation of foreign grain was an sible." efficient cause of the adoption of the system of protecting A moment's reflection will show us that no administraduties in this country. On this subject, Mr. Addington, tion of that Government could break down the system of the British charge d'affaires at Washington, (whose corres- the corn laws, if its extent is at all what it is described to pondence with his Government shows him to have been a be. Twenty-four millions sterling is the interest, at three very attentive observer of the passage of the law of 1824, per cent., of a capital of four thousand millions of dol. through Congress,) thus writes to Mr. Canding, in a letter lars. To repeal the corn laws would be to make that bearing date 30th May, 1824: “I have only to add that, capital change hands : enough of itself to cause a revoluhad no restrictions on the importation of foreigo grain ex- tion. The burden of the corn laws is said to equal that isted in Europe generally, and especially in Great Britain, of the national debt. To pay the national debt, (that is, I have little doubt that the tariff would never have passed to reproduce the capital which has been consumed, of through either House of Congress, since the great agricul- which the debt is the representative,) would do doubt be tural States, and Pennsylvania especially, the main mover a great public' benefit. But to sponge it out, by Ad act of the question, would have been indifferent, if not opposed of bankruptcy, would be assessing it on the creditors of to its enactment."

the Government, instead of the wbole people, and would It is said that, if the British duties op foreign corn convulse society. Similar effects would attend the aboliwere repealed, we could not export it—that we should tion of the corn laws, if their effect is what it is described be undersold by the corn of the North of Europe. But, to be. in point of fact, whenever the British ports have been But if this repeal could take place, and every thing else opened, we have exported it to that country, and we do go on in England as before, it is very doubtful whether constantly export it to markets where the corn of the it would operate to the ruin of our manufacturers, as the North of Europe meets ours. When the canal is com- gentleman from South Carolina supposes. The sum of pleted from the Obio river to Lake Erie, and other chan- twenty-four millions a year probably does not amount to nels of communication now in progress are open, so that eight per cent. on the annual product of the industry of corn from the interior shall come to be transported, by a Great Britain. If the whole of the relief produced by canal or a railroad, to the seaboard, I cannot be induced the repeal were applied to the reduction of the price of to believe that corn, which can be and is raised for twelve all the products of labor, it would amount to a reduction and a half cents the bushel, will be undersold by any thing of only eight per cent—an injurious reduction, no doubt which grows in Poland or the Crimea, in any market in to our manufacturers, but not a third as formidable as the Europe.

frauds daily practised under the revenue laws, against The gentleman from South Carolina says that the manu- which it is the object of the bill before us to guard. facturers would deprecate the repeal of the corn laws, The gentleman from South Carolina, baving endeavored because, by enabling, the British "manufacturer to work to show that the revenue of the country is unequally colcheaper, and export his fabrics clieaper, our establishments lected, attempted to establish the fact that it was as unewould be undermined and ruined.' If this be 80, we cer- qually distributed; that, being mostly collected in the tainly ought to deprecate the repeal. If the grain-grow- South, it was mostly disbursed in the North ; and, in this ing States, as Mr. Addington says, have caused the pas. connexion, he enlarged on a topic, which he thought bad sage of laws, under which a great amount of property has not been duly considered in national politics—the effect of been invested in the manufacturing States, it would be a Government expenditure on the industry of a country, very strange if these last States (which are not grain. I am inclined to think this effect greatly overrated, at growing) did not deprecate the repeal of the corn laws, least in a country like ours, where appual expenditure which was to ruin their manufactures, without affording must be met by annual taxation. Any State in the Union, them any equivalent

said the gentleman, would be willing to tax its citizens one It is not my province to comment on the British corn million, for the sake of having the Government expend laws; but as it is frequently stated that Great Britain bas two millions within its limits. The State that should do set the example of repealing her protecting system, I this, would, in my opinion, act very unwisely. Goverothink it proper to observe that she has repealed those ment expenditure is not Government donation : for the parts of it which protected nothing, and she retains those two millions expended within the State, two millions of parts that exclude foreign articles, and, above all, the corn its property are consumed or carried away, and, if you laws. And this is described to be more burdensome than please, advantageously; but it is only the profit on two all the other taxes of the kingdom-equal to the whole millions that is gained by the State or its citizens; and the burden of the national debt. The gentleman from South State that would tax its citizens one million of dollars, to Carolina estimates the appual burden of the corn laws at enable its citizens to receive the ordinary commercial twenty-four millions of pounds sterling.. A popular profit on two, would act a very unwise part. writer on political economy, (Mr. M'Culloch) in one aspect As to the alleged inequality of the distribution, I beof the subject, is disposed to estimate it at thirty-six mil. lieve a careful examination would show it to be much lions of pounds sterling: It is plain that no ministry could smaller than the gentleman represents it. I admit that break down a system that involved a capital of thirty-six there is an inequality in the distribution of the payment, or twenty-four millions sterling. Mr. Canning introduced, on account of the public debt: a larger proportion of this and passed through the House of Commons, a bill, ad- payment is made borth of the Potomac, than south of it. mitting foreign corn on a graduated duty, which was But this is because more was lent to the Government north abandoned, on the adoption in the House of Lords of an of the Potomac, than south of it. A part of the patioval amendment proposed by the Duke of Wellington ; and debt was created by this assumption of the revolutionary Lie law was left where it stood in 1822, a prohibition till State debts, and this assumption was the result of a come price rose to seventy shillings sterling the quarter. promise, of which the condition was, that the seat of the

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