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tures? No; they are superabundant, and ruinously cheap. Is there any want of cotton or cotton manufactures in the United States ? No; they abound in every market, and so cheap that they will not remunerate the cost of the material and manufacture. Now, the evidence in this importaut fact is presented in every district and village in the United States. It is brought home to every man's door. Every man, woman, and child in the United States, who has had occasion to buy and wear a yard of cotton, and can understand the price, knows the truth of this fact. What then is the complaint : . It is not, and cannot be the rice of manufactures. Indeed, the gentleman's argument, in effect, admits this. He proposes to raise the price of the raw material equivalent to the reduction of the duty. Of course he does not expect to diminish the price of the manufacture to the consumer. But the consumption cannot be increased, without either diminishing the price or increasing the means of the purchase. But, while the gentleman proposes to augment the means of purchase of two millions, he will greatly diminish those of ten millions. It is manifest that, in the aggregate, he will destroy more value than he will create. How, then, will the gentleman enlarge his market for cotton I aver it is physically im: ible, in any other way than by the obvious and natural increase of the population, wealth, refinement, and civilization of the world. In no other way can he find a market in the wide world for another bale of cotton. The market of the world is open; the commerce of the world, in the article of cotton, is unrestricted; and the markets of the world are literally crammed with cotton and cotton manufactures, and the cheapness of both is a subject of universal complaint and universal admission. Greater cheapness, then, is not desirable, but would be deplorable.
Greater consumption is unattainable, but by increasing the
number and wealth of the consumers. And how does the gentleman propose to accomplish this? . By impoverishing ten millions of people to enrich two ; by depriving them of employment and the means of purchase, by annihilatin an annual income of more than fourfold the value of all the cotton, rice, and tobacco of the South, and by transferring this income to England and France, and not to the cotton-growing States ? But, however disastrous the depreciation of the value of cotton has been, I do assure the gentleman that it has not et attained its minimum. The history of the past proves, yond the power of refutation, that the tariff has had no influence whatever in accelerating this depreciation, nor can any tariff arrest it. The o was more rapid before the tariff of 1824, than it has been at any time since. The mania of 1825, which raised cotton to thirty cents the pound, will not, I presume, be imputed to the tariff. In five years, including 1819 and 23, the export of cotton was actually doubled; but the price of the whole was actually diminished. In 1819, thirty-seven million nine hun: dred and ninety-seven thousand and forty-five pounds sold for twenty-one million eighty-one thousand seven hun: dred and sixty-nine dollars; and, in 1823, one hundred and seventy-two million seven hundred and twenty-three thousand two hundred and seventy pounds sold only for twenty million four hundred and forty-five, thousand five hundred and twenty dollars, when it should have sold for at least forty-one millions, showing a depreciation of price corresponding precisely with the augmentation of quantity, the universal and inevitable law of trade; furnishing an obvious, full, and satisfactory explanation of all the distress of which South Carolina complains. In ten years the annual crop of the United States has more than trebled. The annual crop may now be safely estimated at three hundred millions of pounds, but the value is less than thirty millions of dollars. This increase is without a parallel is the history of agriculture; and though its consequences are natural and inevitable, they have by no means been what they would have been, but
for the opportune introduction of manufactures at the North, and the sugar culture at the South. The manufacture of cotton at the North has introduced it into more extensive and general use, and has substituted it for woollens and lineus, for household and domestic purposes. The sugar culture of the South has employed probably seventy millions of capital and many thousand slaves, which, but for the tariff, would have been retained in the production of cotton. Both these causes have administered an immense alleviation to the cotton culture, to the amount of at least four hundred thousand bales. But, under the present liberal and efficient protection of thirty to sixty per cent on sugars, the culture of it at the South is extendin so rapidly, that in less than ten years it will exclude the foreign sugars altogether. That interest will then begin to be depressed; the current of capital and labor to that employment will be less rapid, find in a few years more, it will cease entirely. In the mean time, the culture of cotton will be extended with the increase of population, and the progress of the settlements of Georgia. Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, and Arkansas; and, when fully peopled and fully cultivated, these States and territories are abundantly competent to produce cotton enough to supply the consumption of cotton not only for America, but for all Europe. If these States and territories have trebled the product of cotton in the last ten years, what shall prevent their trebling it in the next? Nothing but the depression of the price below the common level of prices. Low as cotton now is, it is still more profitable than any other agriculture, sugar excepted. It is better to grow cotton at six cents the pound, than corn at six cents the bushel; capital and labor will therefore still rush into the production of cotton, and the quantity will be still rapidly augmented, and the price still further depreciated. %. we consider that during all this time Mexico and South America will naturally turn their attention to the culture of this valuable staple, there can be no doubt but that the disparity between production and consumption will be still further increased, and the comparative price still further diminished. The gentleman |. that the special blessings of soil and climate, of which he boasts, and for which he thanks nobody but God and nature, are too diffusive to admit of monopoly, or to justify a boast. What, then, remains for the southern cotton-growing States? The inevitable consequences of an obstinate ad. hesion to their favorite maxims of policy, to the exclusive occupation of agriculture, comparative poverty and decay, a meagre and sparse population, deficient markets and languishing agriculture. These consequences are inevitable, and invariable. They never did fail, and they never will fail. A mere agricultural community was never yet a populous and wealthy community. They never will be wealthy and populous. It is morally and physically impossible that they ever should be. The West Indies are apt examples in illustration of my position. Producing the most valuable staples, of which they have enjoyed a monopoly for centuries, in comparison with England and France they are poor, and will ever remain so. Possessing a monopoly of five invaluable agricultural staples, cotton, rice, tobacco, indigo, and sugar, our southern brethren complain of overwhelming poverty and distress. I doubted not the reality of their distress. Their resources have sustained an immense and irreparable diminution. In their prosperity, they graduated their expenditures by the scale of their income; they contracted habits, which im eriously demanded continued indulgence; they have been indulged to the full extent of their means, and nothing was accumulated to meet the exigencies of a reverse of fortune: the reverse came like a remorseless and overwhelming flood, and intense suffering ensued. The gentleman's picture of distress, I have no doubt, has a melancholy original. I have myself witnessed the reality in another section of the Union, from the operation of similar causes. Time was,
when we could command two dollars per bushel for wheat, for every bushel the soil and labor of the country could produce, and every other agricultural production bore a corresponding price. But did our farmers grow wealthy did they accumulate capital? No! They lived out the whole, and fearlessly and improvidently ran into debt; and poverty came upon them, and brought on a train of numerous miseries and distresses. The obvious cause in both cases, was and is an inadequate market, the privation of accustomed markets to the North, and the consequent diminution of accustomed prices. What is the remedy ? There is but one in nature. Multiply your occupations, diversify the application of labor and eapital, so that all your expen. ditures and disbursements may serve to reward, ii. and enrich productions. Like the skilful agriculturist, who returns to the earth as much as he draws from it, and preserves its fertility o liberal and repeated manurings, your expenditures must be bestowed upon those who sup. ly the means, or you will assuredly exhaust those means. #. gentleman has spoken of the importance and the value of the expenditure of public money. In my own opinion, he has not greatly overrated its importance. But w y did not the gentleman reflect that the expenditure of private capital, or the disbursement of individual wealth, was fully equivalent to the same amount of public money? Suppose the sixty millions now annually expended on foreign productions as the reward and stimulus of foreign capital and labor, converted into cash, and expended upon our own labor and capital in the purchase of our own productions and manufactures, it would be equivalent to the disbursement of so many millions of F. ic money, and the consequences would be immeasurable and inestimable. This sti. mulus would be felt in every vein and artery of this mighty republic. All varieties and grades and capacities of labor would find full employment and ample reward. Consumption would be abundantly supplied and fully satisfied; and, while labor would be liberally rewarded, capital would be accumulated. Our southern neighbors must, therefore, as the only possible remedy for the evils of which they complain, manufacture their own cotton as well as produce it; apply some of their capital and labor to the manufactur. ing, and not all to the growing of cotton. Takeyour share of the monopoly which you allege that the tariff has secured to the northern capitalist. It is certainly as accessible to you as to him. Your advantages are as great, if not greater. , You have the material on the spot, the labor at command, subsistence abundant and cheap, too cheap, water power and steam power; and skill and experience you must acquire, or you will never have it, and you can as well acquire it now as ever. And what hinders the adoption and enjoyment of the tariff policy, instead of this eternal and fanatie war against it? Nothing but your opinions, your abstract theories, and obstinate prejudices. 8. your opinions, and change your pursuits, and barter your impoverishing theories for useful and substantial manufac. tures. This is your remedy, and your only remedy. But England will not buy our cotton, unless we receive her manufactures in payment. We shall lose the market of England and France—the market of Europe for our cotton. We must not manufacture cotton or anything else if we expect Europe to purchase our raw cotton. We are charged with seeking to destroy our commerce, especially the commerce of the South. This charge is urged with a seriousness, and gravity, and earnestness, that leave no doubt of the sincerity of the melancholy forebodings of those who prefer it. But why has it not occurred to those gentlemen that these forebodings have been discredited by uniform experience?. This charge is founded upon their theory, unsupported by one fact, and is as baseless as the theory itself. It is the old argument again repeated, to be again refuted. It was urged in 1824, repeated in 1828, and now again in 1880, and during these six years the export of cotton has actually been doubled, or nearly so.
The theory is, we must buy or we cannot sell. The praetice is, to buy what we desire, and what will be profitable to us, with such means as we can command, from whatever source they may be derived. So the northern States, of whom the English and French will buy comparatively nothing which they can directly produce, procure, as best they may, the cotton of the South, and the specie of Mexico and Peru, and, with these means, purchase the manufactures of England and France. We purchase also the teas, silks, and nankins of China. We shall continue to purchase them as long as we have the means. But does China buy our cotton, or any single agricultural production of the country? Not one. We purchase principally with specie or bullion. Then there is a practical refutation of the theory. The theory, then, is good for nothing. It is not true in practice, in the sense in which it is set forth. The interests and the wants of Europe constitute the market for our cotton. Those wants and interests will continue precisely the same after we have prohibited their manufactures, as they now are. The one cannot be satisfied, nor the other promoted, without our cotton. They must have our cotton; their interests and necessities demand our cotton, and will continue to demand it to the extent of their own consumption, and their ability to supply the consumption of others forever; for Europe cannot produce cotton. A man might live as long after severing the femoral artery, as England could prosper after excluding our cotton. They will always, therefore, buy our cotton so long as they can buy it of us cheaper and better than anywhere else, and as long as they have the means. And need we trouble ourselves about the means of England and France of the purchase of our cotton, when we know and feel the great difficulty to be to procure the means to purchase their manufactures—when we know that their comparative wealth is much greater than their comparative population? The gentleman says England has no specie—how can she buy our cotton unless we receive her manufactures? England has no specie! And yet be admits that we have sent to England and France seven millions of bullion and specie annually for many years past; probably ten years É. millions in ten years! But, while they have en drawing specie from us at this rate, notwithstanding our large export of cotton, &c. they have absorbed all the gold and silver of South America—all of Spain and Portugal. What has become of it? That portion of Europe which may be considered the natural and permanent market for the cotton of the South, contains at this moment more of the precious metals than all the world beside. And they are still rapidly accumulating it—still absorbing it, and sucking it up like a sponge from all the world beside. And do gentlemen seriously believe that the loss of a market of sixty millions' worth of manufactures in the United States would seriously influence the wealth and prosperity of Europe, so as to deprive them of the means of F.; forty millions annually of our cotton, riee, and tobacco # Admit that it would transfer some portion of their capital and wealth to the United States, it is what they can very well spare, and what we very much need— and it will consume as much cotton here as it can there. It is undoubtedly true that, of all the nations of the earth, we enjoy the greatest number of advantages for ensuring a favorable balance of trade, and accumulating wealth and capital; but, in proportion to our population and advantages, we have probably accumulated less capital than any enterprising, industrious nation. In any aspect of the subject, the apprehension of the loss of our commerce with Europe, in cotton, rice, and tobacco, is wholly ideal and imaginary. They could not dispense with our cotton, even should we entirely prohibit their manufactures. Euro could not consume any less cotton, and the United States would consume more. Every additional cotton factory in the United States may be justly considered a new cotton
market, and furnishes to all its dependents and connexions the means of purchasing and consuming its fabrics. The best illustration of my position would be for every gentleman to imagine a factory erected in his own neighborhood, capable of employing five hundred or a thousand persons, men, women, and children. Every member of this House could collect that number of poor destitute persons, who could in this way acquire the means of a comfortable subsistence, and who are now wholly unoccupied, or nearly so. Take the city of Washington: I aver, what I verily believe, and what I think no one will deny, that there are more than a thousand persons of this description in this city, who would be glad to find employment and earn their subsistence in such an establishment, and who, if they could command the means that this employment would give them, would wear out fourfold the quantity of cotton manufactures they now do. This, to a certain extent, has already been accomplished, as all know, where manufactures have been established. It is capable of vastly greater extension and diffusion. The gentleman has indulged in a long and violent invective against monopolists, in all which I most heartily concur, except its application. But what is a monopoly? An exclusive privilege—a right secured to an individual, from the enjoyment of which all others are excluded. Is the term applicable to any condition of things in our country Certainly not to any sort of manufactures. Is the gentleman restrained from manufacturing Are any of his constituents, except by an estimate of their own interests Not one. In a population of twelve millions of people, there is the most unlimited, unrestricted freedom of pursuit and competition. Unlimited freedom of competition, I had always thought directly the reverse of mo. nopoly. And yet the gentleman has applied this term monopolist to the northern manufacturer, and at the same time boasted of the manufacturing capacities of his own State; the materials, minerals, soil, abundance and cheapness of provisions, and unbounded water power. And why do they not avail themselves of these advantages? Simply because they do not choose to do so—and because they #. their present occupation more profitable. And yet the gentleman talks of monopolies, with the same sin. cerity and earnestness with which he complains of the extravagant duty on the exportation of cotton. It is manifestly an abuse of language calculated to deceive himself, and inflame the ignorant. There is certainly no manufac. turing monopoly in this country, nor anything bearing the remotest resemblance to one. But there is another aspect of this subject, which the gentleman has presented in the most odious and repulsive colors. He has represented the South as the tributary colonies of the North. They are not only colonies, but tributaries—a condition far worse than that from which this country emerged by the war of the revolution. It is a legitimate deduction from his argument. We compel them to pay a tax of sixteen millions upon cotton, and then expend it, in the form of bounties, upon the northern monopolist. The southern democracy is made tributary to the northern aristocracy. The condition is degrading, debasing, intolerable, and ought not to be endured. It cannot be endured. This error is the more dangerous, in as much as it is addressed to the pride, honor, self-respect, and every worthy and elevated Fo of our natures, and outrages them all. Coming, too, from such high authority, it will be received on the credit of that authority, .# will be, if it be not already, received on trust, as a maxim not to be questioned, but to be acted on. It be: hooves the public man who avails himself of his official station, to give weight and currency to such opinions aud declarations, to know for certainty that they are true, or he, incurs a degree of criminality, little, short of treason. Whoever proclaims to one portion of his fellow-citizens that the established policy of his Government renders
them tributary to another portion, assumes the responsibility of declaring that their condition must be changed, by changing their policy, or by changing their political relations, in other words, by dissolving the Union, for all will allow that such a condition is intolerable to free men, and ought not to be endured. No one will pretend, for one moment, that this inequality is supportable, or that it can, by any possibility, be continued. It ought not to be endured. It is stated, to make it apparent, and to make it felt, that it ought not to be endured. It is urged to effect a change, or to stimulate resistance, because it is admitted that it cannot be submitted to, and ought not to be submitted to. What is the inference Is not the man who assumes this responsibility bound to know that the position which he has taken is a tenable one : Is he not bound to be right? Is he not bound to make good the charge of imposing tribute to prove it by argument incontrovertible, and by facts which are indisputable? Let us examine the gentleman's positions for a short time. If I have not greatly deceived myself, the gentleman's fortress may be demolished by his own battery. In the course of his reinarks, the gentleman took occasion to refer to some out-door conversation, in which a gentleman from New York undertook to predict that in ten years we should cease to import woollen, cotton, iron, hemp, or linen manufactures, or any of the materials of which . are composed. Without waiting to discuss the probable truth of this prediction, and protesting at the same time against the injnrious consequences which the gentleman attempted to deduce from its fulfilment, I presume that the gentleman will admit that the verifien. tion of that prediction would not alleviate the burden of the southern tribute. If they pay tribute now, they would ay tribute then; and he would probably intend that the tri[. would be augmented, although I do not anticipate any perceptible advance in the price of manufactures; on the contrary, I think it would be diminished. But, for the sake of the argument, suppose the prediction fulfilled. In the course of ten years, a rigid enforcement of our present tariff works, a prohibition of the importation of the manufactures and materials in question; and the South, continuing to prefer their present occupation of cotton planting alone, should be constrained to receive in exchange for their cotton the manufactures of the North, to the same extent in which they now receive those of England, that is, all they desire or can afford to consume: let us see who would have the advantage in exchange, then—who, then, would be the tributaries. It will be admitted, I suppose, that when the roducts of a given quantity of labor and capital can be exchanged for the j of the same quantity of labor and capital, the exchange is equal. If equality be attainable, this would accomplish it. If there be such a thing as equality in our commercial intercourse and political relations, this would be equality. There would be no tribute on either side when this equality was achieved. Now, sir, measured by this rule, where are products the dearest now—where would they be dearest then The price of the products of the manufacturing industry of the North is measured by the price of capital and labor there. It is so now—it would be so then. The same rule holds true of the South, and will continue to hold true. Now, what are the facts 1 Every thing is dearer at the South than at the North, measured by the only standard by which values can be compared. What is theo: ! It is furnished by the comparative price of naval and army supplies; of governmental contracts for the transportation of the mail; by the price of bread and subsistence generally; by this strong fact, which, as I have been assured by southern gentlemen themselves, is a common occurrence, that a Georgia cotton planter has procured the buildings on his plantation, constructed of the timber, brick, and lime of the State of Maine, built by the mechanics of Maine, and fed on the provisions of Maine. Who construct the public works of
the South? Who, at this moment, having finished their own, are digging the canals and building the railroads of the South These facts are worth a volume of argument. They stand by their own strength; and not only defend themselves, but the whole North, from the preposterous charge of imposing tribute upon the South, and prove who, if any, are the tributaries, and who, from the very composition of southern population, must ever remain tributaries. I need not inform gentlemen that free labor would render cotton more abundant and still cheaper at the South. Cheap as it is, it is not so cheap as northern manufactures now are, and not so cheap as it will become when northern labor shall be more extensively employed in its production. Cheap as it is, it is not so cheap as other products of the South, sugar excepted: it is not so cheap as corn, or any thing subsisted upon it or made by it. The proof is, that all these products are equally the fruit of the capital and labor of ū. South, and they still find the cotton culture the most profitable, and, therefore, are still rushing into it. Is it not manifest that the gentleman has raised the cry of tribute—tribute—as the thief joins in the hue and cry to evade pursuit and avoid suspicion Is it the payment of tribute which has aroused the gentleman's indignation or is it the loss of tribute which has alarmed his fears ? If to this it should be answered, that the commerce in cotton is an absolute, indefeasible, unconditional, underived, and independent right—it is admitted. And so is our market for wool, for iron, for hemp, and whatever else we can produce. . Its comparative value has already been stated. And this is the great contest after all—the enlargement of our market. This is what the cotton planter desires—an enlarged market. We do not seek to restrict his market, we only desire to retain our own. He demands of us to substitute his cotton for our wool and woollens—for our hemp, and flax, and iron—for every thing we produce and manufacture: or, which is the same thing, to buy all these various commodities with his cotton. “Buy foreign manufactures, that I may sell more cotton.” And because we say we have not the means, we cannot afford it—we must live on our own resources—gentlemen cry out tribute, tyranny, oppression, injustice, plunder, robbery—when they themselves are the tyrants and oppressors, if there be any in this country. . It thus appears how utterly baseless, and imaginary, and fictitious are all these menacing and boisterous complaints from South Carolina. Let the gentlemen who have stimulated them, and fomented and inflamed them, take care that they do not kindle a fire which they would be glad to extinguish, when it has become too intense to be subdued. Nothing is so ungovernable as infu. riated ignorance; and nothing is more readily credited by it than the story of fictitious and ideal wrongs. Mr. McDUFFIE then took the floor, for the purpose of replying to those who had opposed his amendment; but it being nearly six o'clock, he movéd that the committee rise. The committee rose accordingly.
TUEspay, MAY 11, 1830. NAVIGATION AND IMPOSTS.
The House resumed the consideration of the bill reported by Mr. CAMBRELENG, concerning navigation, &c. . Mr. STRONG continued the remarks which he commenced yesterday, until the expiration of the hour, without having concluded. THE TARIFF LAWS. The House again resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole, Mr. Polk in the chair, and took up the bill to amend the act in alteration of the several acts laying duties on imports, the question being on the amendment of Mr. McDUFFIE, proposing a gradual repeal of the acts of 1828 and 1824, laying duties on imports. Mr. McDUFFIE said, he indulged a hope, that when the very great importance of the question before the com
mittee, and its vital connexion with the rights and interests of the Southern States, were duly considered, no apology would be deemed necessary on his part, for trespassing again upon that patient and indulgent attention, for which he was already under so many obligations to the committee. So far as I am concerned [said Mr. McD] what I am now about to utter will be the last appeal of an injured and oppressed people to the reason and justice of their oppressors. . For if, as I too confidently anticipate, the majority of this House shall now refuse to mitigate the heavy and unrighteous burdens of which we complain, by even a moderate relaxation of this system of taxation, confiscation and prohibition, I have fixed my determination that, do what you may on this subject, I will never raise the voice of impotent remonstrance in this Hall, vainly urging a plea of reason and justice before an interested tribunal, into the deliberations of which neither reason nor justice Can ever enter. In the opening argument by which I attempted to sustain the amendment I had offered, I laid down certain practical propositions in political economy, intended to explain, the real operation of indirect taxes, and demonstrate the extent and enormity of the burdens by which the southern people are oppressed. I submitted these propositions to the reason and judgment of the gentlemen on the other side of the question, inviting the most severe and rigid scrutiny, and having no other object in view than the development of truth. And I sincerely declare, that nothing would have afforded me more grati. fication than to have been convinced that my opinions were erroneous, and that my constituents had no just ground to complain of the unequal and oppressive burdens imposed upon them by Congress. #. sir, I regret to find that the propositions which were offered in this spirit have not been met with a corresponding temper, nor answered in a tone and manner at all appropriate to the gravity of the subject or the solemnity of the oceasion, I put it to the candor of gentlemen, and their sense of decorum, whether it becomes, the dignity, even of an interested majority, to add insult to injury, by telling the representative of those who still claim a title, at least, to the forms of freedom, that he is himself a “maniac,” and his reasoning madness. Such, sir, is the imputation, conveyed in no equivocal language, which the member from Rhode Island [Mr. Bunges] has thought it decorous to apply to the representative of an enlightened people, when urging their complaints before their “very worthy and approved good masters;” and to an argument which, I must be permitted to say, he was neither capable of comprehending nor answering. Madness! No, sir, “it is not madness that, 1 have uttered.” “For love of grace, lay not the flattering unction to your soul, that not your tres. pass, but my madness speaks.” “Bring me to the test, and I the matter will re-word, and prove which madness would gambol from.” And now, sir, I will proceed to notice, as briefly as I may, the prominent arguments urged by several gentlemen, to show the fallacy of my propositions; and if I do not labor under some strange hallucination, I will satisfy every impartial man that “I speak forth the words of truth and soberness.” I cannot but remark at the outset, that the gentlemen opposed to the amendment have carried on the controversy with great dexterity and skill. Cautiously, and no doubt prudently, avoiding the main body of the argument, they have hung upon its outskirts, and seized upon straggling phrases and detached propositions, which they have on out by misapplication and perversion to some palpa. ble absurdity, and then triumphantly refuted it. "I feel strongly confirmed in the truth of the propositions I have advanced, by the eutire failure of the gentlemen of such distinguished ability as those from Massachusetts, who have addressed the committee to meet and refute them. The leading proposition which I laid down, affirmed that a
duty of forty per cent upon the amount of the exports of
But, sir, even if the argument of the gentleman were true in principle—if we admit, to the fullest extent, the power of the planter to import specie in exchange for his productions, and to dispose of it, it does not touch the ques: tion at issue. In point of fact, the planter does not import specie in exchange for his productions, but he imports cotton and woollen and other manufactures subject to high rates of dity. This conclusively demonstrates that the option of importing specie is to the planter a barren privilege of which he cannot avail himself to avoid paying the duties on foreign manufactures. If it were not, he certainly would exercise it. In fact, the cotton planter is virtually placed under the same necessity to import the manufactures you are so anxious to exclude, as if the laws imposing duties on those manufactures had contained a provision that no other foreign production should be im: ported in exchange for the staples of the planting States. A moral necessity, growing out of the apparent fact that no other foreign articles can be imported as advantageously as manufactures charged with high duties, is, to all in: tents and purposes, equal to a legal compulsion to import them so long as that moral necessity exists. It has existed ever since the commencement of the system of the prohibitory duties, as is conclusively shown by the fact that the annual amount of the manufactures in question, imported from the countries to which we export our staples, almost exactly corresponds with the amount of those staples exported; while it has been a subject of constant complaint with the advocates of prohibitory duties, that our market is drained by those countries of the specie which it draws from others: The question is therefore reduced to this simple issue: Is not a duty imposed upon the manufactures which the planter actually does receive in exchange for his agricultural productions, and which are the only foreign articles his interest will permit him to import, precisely as bur, densome to the planter, as the same amount of duty levied jo. the export of his cotton, tobacco, or rice? Stript of all complication and ambiguity, this seems to me too plain a question to be gravely argued. The gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. GoeriAM] fairly and distinctly admitted—what his clearness and pride of intellect would not H. him to deny—that the planter could not relieve imself from any part of an export duty imposed upon cotton, because that staple has to contend in foreign markets against the competition of the whole world. Now, sir, this concession is a virtual abandonment of the whole controversy. For if the cotton planter cannot relieve himself from the burden of an export duty, neither can he relieve himself from that of an import duty, which is, in all respects, equivalent to it. He has precisely the same means of relieving himself from the former that he has for relieving himself from the latter, and that is, by limiting the production of cotton. Almost every gentleman who has engaged in this debate, has admitted that the demand and supply of any article regulate its price. At any given point of time, these are the sole and exclusive causes that regulate prices. The cost of production, which, in the long run, undoubtedly controls and regulates the price of every article produced by human labor, operates in no other way than § changing the quantity produced, and consequently the relation between the suply and the demand. While these remain unaltered, no increase in the cost of production will produce any enhancement of price whatever. Now, a tax or duty imposed upon any article is analogous in its operation to a sudden and general impoverishment of soil, which of course would increase the cost of production. The tax, indeed, is for the producer the worst of the two evils; because it does not, in the first instance, diminish the quantity produced, while it necessarily increases the cost of production to the full amount of the burden it imposes. The
consequence is, that the whole burden of the tax must