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North take their flour and corn, and would desire to furnish them with salt in exchange. Both are necessaries, for rich and poor, and the exchange might be mutually beneficial. It has been carried on to some extent, and was particularly beneficial during the late war. It has been urged, with great spirit, that certain monopolists have charged an extravagant price for salt, and oppressed the people. I am as hostile to monopolies and monopolists as any man. But one case of the kind, I believe, is known. Where is that f Far in the interior, where a duty of five or ten cents could not in the smallest degree affect the price. Monopolies in this free and enterprisin country, can never exist to any considerable extent, an they will be of short duration. A high price will have the effect to call forth the efforts of the enterprising—new salt springs will be discovered, and transportation will be facili: tated—the price will be reduced—good will come out of evil. Our legislation ought not, in the present case, to be influenced by these cases of complaint, because we are legislating for the nation; and if our laws are particularly prepared for the few exceptions named, they will be illy adapted to the wants and interests of the nation; and, beside, it is a perfect answer in the present case, that our legislation could not afford the relief so much desired. The gentleman from Georgia, [Mr. WAYNE] who has just taken his seat, is greatly displeased with the proposition to reconsider the vote of yesterday. He speaks in harsh language, and calls it bargain and sale. , Sir, I trust gentlemen will not be deterred from doing their duty by any censure of denunciation from any quarter. Our whole Government, from its commencement to this time, has been a system of concession and compromise. We could not exist if it were otherwise. By compromise, I mean honorable and just compromise—I mean that mutual forbear: ance and regard to the interests of others which should induce each to yield something of what might seem most for the interest of his constituents. We are legislating for all. The South have called upon us loudly to afford them relief. They complain of great distress. They ask us to yield, to compromise. Distress is comparative, and the relief called for may be questionable—but that the North, the majority, are bound to examine and investigate the subject, I have no doubt. We are bound to examine, because it may be the duty of the North to yield something of their own interest by way of compromise. The various interests of the country are a subject of compromise, and so are the various manufactures of the country. One part of the
country produces one article of manufacture, and another part of the country another article. If a reduction of duties be proposed, the whole subject ought to be thoroughly
and candidly examined. The subject ought not to be touched i. the influence of local or political feelings. The true spirit of an honorable compromise, regarding the good of others as well as our own, ought to influence our conduct. Iron is produced in some parts of the country, sugar in others, lead in others, &c. Shall we repeal the duty at once, on one of the articles named, because our own part of the country may not happen to so the article, and, of course, are consumers? If that narrow principle should prevail, we should immediately repeal the tariff on every article. For in the production of what ar. ticle are one-third of the United States directly interested? We must act upon the principle of mutual compromise, and that liberal principle of political as well as moral duty which shall induce us to regard the good of others as well as our own. In application to the subject immediately before us, I do not object to considering the tariff; I #. it might be modified, amended, and partially repealed, much for the benefit of all. But this is not the proper course. We should not take one isolated article, and repeal it. By so doing, we should not act liberally, or as statesmen o ht to act. I hoped that the tariff would have been modified, ol. WL–122.
and I believe it might, but for the indiscriminate zeal and unwarrantable violence of a part, at least, of those who manifest great hostility against all manufactures. I think nothing is wanting to effect beneficial amendments, but a temper of moderation and forbearance which will result in mutual compromise. It has been urged with warmth by a number who have spoken upon the subject, that salt is a necessary of life, used by the poor as well as the rich, and that on that account the duty ought to be repealed. It has been the wisdom and policy of all civilized nations to produce, if possible, within their own country, the necessaries of life. Is such policy questionable? Our own wants and distresses, and especially the distress of the r for salt within the recollection of some gentlemen who now hear me, ought to be a conclusive answer upon this point. The duty paid upon salt for a number of years past, has not increased, although the number of inhabitants has doubled. The manufactories have increased as fast as the people. Destroy these manufactories, and the price of salt would not be diminished, even in time of friendly intercourse with foreign nations, because present prices would not more than pay a reasonable, freight, and, if twice the quantity were imported, it could not be brought in ballast, as at present, for little or no compensation; nor would merchants consent to do it, were it not for their manufacturing competitors. But suppose any interruption of our friendly relations should occur, what would then be our situation ? Rich and poor, but especially the poor, must suffer as they have done, for the want of . As an independent nation, we ought not to be subject to such casualties, but we ought to have the means of subsistence within ourselves. I am ready at any time to examine and revise the tariff. I have no doubt it can be improved; but I protest against taking a single article. No portion of the country has been (in my opinion) so severely taxed as that which I represent: and no interest so severely taxed as the navigating interest. Shall they have no relief ? Is salt the only article affecting manufactures worthy of our notice? I have always believed that we could easily ameliorate the political tariff of 1828, without injury to any interest. Salt is an essential of life. The importance of its manufacture cannot be questioned. The greater part used is now manufactured in this country. The manufactories are increasing and improving. The price of salt, owing to the competition of manufacturees and importers, is kept pretty steady and low, and will be gradually reduced. I trust, under such circumstancns, we shall not repeal the duty on salt, and that the vote of yesterday, which I think passed without mature consideration, will be reconsidered. The subjoined table shows the quantity imported into the country from the year 1801 to 1826 :
A statement exhibiting the tity of salt annually im. ported, with the duties which actually accrued after deducting the drawback payable, from the 1st of January, 1801, to the 81st of December, 1826.
Years. Bushels. Duties. 1801 2,881,803 576,360 60 1802 3,244,309 648,846 80 1803 2,760,648 552,129 60 1804 2,439,241 487,848 20 1805 2,816,455 563,291 00 1806 3,184,099 686,819 80 1807 3,542,672 515,920 24 ; There being no duty on salt after 1810 the 31st December, 1807, the re1811 cords of the treasury will not iši; exhibit the quantity imported in isis these years. 1814 379,112 75,822 40 1815 4,268,185 853,637 00
H. of R.] The Tariff. [May 12, 1830 1816 4,923,469 984,693 80 State at seven or eight hundred thousand bushels. In the 1817 2,309,209 461,841 80 tabular statement of the return from Ohio, I notice a mis1818 2,752,396 550,479 20 take has been committed of sixty or eighty thousand bush: 1819 2,975,862 595,172 40 els; the return of the manufacture in one neighborhood * 1820 4,019,569 803,913 80 being eighteen or twenty thousand barrels, which in the 1821 3,121,847 624,369 40 table is erroneously set down at that number of bushel, 1822 3,538,323 707,664 60 only. There are in the district that I represent several 1823 4,449,740 889,948 00 manufactories not noticed, which must produce some forty 1824 3,092,052 618,410 80 or fifty thousand bushels in all. The Treasury Department 1825 3,537,378 707,475 60 I presume, were not apprised of their existence; and there 1826 3,140,616 620,923 20 are doubtless many other small establishments in different t - - sections of the country, of which they have no knowledge Total, 63,376,985 12,525,568 24 at that department. The amount of capital invested in this
The act of the 10th of August, 1790, laid a duty of twelve cents per bushel on this article. The act of 8th of July, 1797, laid an additional duty of eight cents, making twenty cents per bushel. The act of 7th of May, 1800, continues in force for ten years from the 3d of March, 1800. The act of the 3d of March, 1807, re July, 1797, and declares salt impor December, 1807, to be free of duty. The act of the 29th of July, 1813, lays a duty on saltimported of 20 cents per bushel, which duty it is now subject to under the act of 27th of April, 1816. TREASURY DEPARTMENT, Register’s Office, Dec. 11, 1827. JOSEPH NOURSE, Register.
Mr. VINTON said: After the repeated decisions of the House, during the present session, against the reduction of the duty on salt, P. confess I did not anticipate the vote of yesterday, on that branch of the amendment of the gentleman from South Carolina [Mr. McDUFFIE] to the bill then under consideration. It was my intention to have given a silent vote on that bill; but considering that proposition to be a blow struck at the whole system of domes. tic industry, dependent as that system is, and ever must be, upon all its parts for support, I cannot refrain from saying that that vote did not merely surprise me, but filled me with alarm for the safety of the manufacturing interest in general. Could I have at all anticipated the result of the vote then about to be given, I should not have permitted it to pass in silence. The only apology I shall now offer for throwing myself upon the attention of the House, is, that some of my constituents have a direct, and all of them an indirect, interest in this question, and they all would, in my opinion, be materially injured by the proposed reduction of duty. , I cannot think the extent of the domestic manufacture of salt, and the importance of that interest, were generally understood, or had been attentively considered by the House, before the vote of yesterday. In the scale of importance, I think the manufacture of salt stands decidedly next after the great fabrics of cotton, wool, iron, and leather. The annual consumption of salt in the United States does not vary very far from eight millions of bushels. Of this amount about five-eighths are of domestic production. It appears from the last financial report, that the importation of salt during the year A. D. 1828, which went into the consumption of the country, amounted to two million nine hundred and ninety-three thousand four hundred and eighty-six bushels of fifty-six pounds each. The home manufacture may be set down at about five millions of bushels. The report of the Secretary of the Treasury, made at the present session, on the subject of the manufacture of, salt, gives the returns of the home manufacture at three million eight hundred and four thousand two hundred and twenty-nine bushels. It will be recollected that, for want of precise information, the amount manufactured in the State of Pennsylvania is omitted. He has, however, collected such data as to justify us in estimating the amount manufactured in different parts of that
s the act of 8th after the 31st of
branch of manufacture may be put down at five millions of dollars, all of which, I o to: to show, will be pu: in jeopardy by the reduction of duty. The domestie is now rapidly gaining #". upon the imported article. The consumption of salt imported into the United States in the year 1796, when the population of the country was only about one third its present number, exceeded the eonsumption for the year 1828, that year being the last trea. sury return. The importation for the three years preceding 1828 considerably diminished, till, in that year, it fell down to the amount before stated. How is this fact to be accounted for 7 Has the consumption of the country diminished in this necessary of life, while its population has been increasing? The true solution is, that the domestic production has been rapidly increasing, and by its competition pressing the foreign salt into narrower limits, or driving it out of market. The effect of this competition is to cheapen the price of the foreign article. It is a consideration of much importance. that the manufacture of salt is more generally diffused through the country than any one of the great interests, the protection of which has engrossed the attention of Congress. Nature has so distributed her bounties in the diffusion of the sources of this branch of manufacture, that no considerable section of the country ueeds be de eu! upon another for the supply of this necessary article of hu. man subsistence. Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Ohio are the States that take the lead in its manufacture. But there is scarcely a State in any section of the Union, that does not manufacture it to a greater or less extent On the whole line of our seashore, and especially along the coast of the southern States and Florida, great na tural facilities must every where exist for its production, while the interior is supplied with inexhaustible subter. ranean springs of salt water. Permit me, sir, to direct your attention to the state of this manufacture in the dif: ferent districts of country where it is carried on, and see whether it can be sustained under the proposed reduc. tion of duty. Among the New England States, Massachusetts is the most deeply interested, having near two millions of dollars invested in that braneh of business. The
document before mentioned shows that it is there barely a
living business, the profits being reduced, at least, to a level with labor in other employments. The proposed reduction, must, therefore, inevitaby ruin the manufacture in that section of country. How will it be in New York, where the manufacture is carried on more extensively than in any other part of the Union The same document also shows that it is with difficulty the manufacturer can sustain himself. I understand the domestir salt finds its way into the city of New York, and is struggling with the foreign production for that great market. The domestic competition has so reduced the price, that imported salt will not bear the expense of freight, and comes in almost wholly as ballast; and, coming in this way, it pays little or no freight. Suppose, sir, you reduce the duty to ten cents, how would the matter stand between the domestic manufacturer and
the importer 3
May 12, 1830.] The Tariff. |H. of R.
The average value of foreign salt is set down in the commercial report at eight cents per bushel, which, from the best information I can get, is at least its full cost abroad; duty, ten cents; making the cost, independent of freight, eighteen cents. The cost of production at the New York works is eight and a half cents, duty to the State, twelve and a half cents; cost of barrels, five cents per bushel; making the cost twenty-six cents per bushel when ready for market; making a difference in cost, independent of freight, of eight cents per bushel in favor of the importer. The foreign salt comes in bulk as well as in ballast, thus saving the expense of barrels. But the domestic salt has not the advantage of going to market as ballast—it must pay freight and tolls on the canal, and freight down the Hudson to the city. Is it not apparent that, in this state of the trade, the foreign salt would drive the domestic out of the market of New York, and transfer the theatre of competition from the city to the very doors of the manufacturer, and, in any great revulsion of trade, break him down even there Permit me, sir, to present this operation in another aspect. The foreign and domestic salt meet and enter into competition in the city; the foreign would pay a duty of ten cents, and the latter of twelve and a half cents per bushel. I say he would pay it, because to the manufacturer it is precisely the same thing whether he pays that sum into the treasury of the State of New York, or into the treasury of the United States. He would pay, then, two and a half cents per bushel more duty than the im. porter. The cost of the foreign article being only eight cents, the difference is thirty-two per cent. on that cost, and is exactly the same thing as if a discriminating duty of thirty-two per cent. were imposed in favor of the importer of the foreign product. It is needless to say that this great and valuable concern must sink in that State, if such an advantage is given to the foreign over the domestic produet. The competition is now so closely contested, that the consumer of foreign salt is, in point of fact, relieved from the payment of freight. But suppose the duty reduced, and, the domestic manufacturer broken up, what then, would be the course of trade The importation would then become a regular business, and salt could afford to pay freight. l A part of the navigation of the country would go into the salt trade for the freight. The consumer would pay ten cents less duty than before; but he would pay ten cents more for the freight, and consequently would find himself precisely where he now is, with this important differ. once—he has annihilated a large amount of capital, and lost, a valuable domestic market. Complaints have been made here of the duty paid to the State of New York by the manufacturers, and they who make them would com. pel her to repeal it. I understand the duty is pledged by the constitution of the State to the payment .P the canal debt, and is therefore immutable, and not under the control of her Legislature... I do not think it a just subject of complaint, so as to justify us in enacting laws to bear upon that fund and upon the constitution of the State. It ought to be borne in mind that the New York canal was the first great enterprise of the kind undertaken in this country. It was important to give it stability to the credit of the State, and nothing could more effectually do that, than the | provision in the constitution. The rest of the country, urely, owes that State something for the experience we have all acquired at her expense, and for the moral influence she has spread over the Union by her example. Nor ought the Inultiplied benefits that almost every section of the country derives from her canals, to be wholl i forgotten here. Passing on from New York to Pennsylvania, we find her salt manufactories situated in the westeru district of that State, and directly on the line of the “anal now constructing over the Alleghany mountains, to unite the waters of the Atlantic with those of the Ohio
and Lake Erie. The cost of production is supposed to be about twenty cents, say twenty-five cents per bushel, including the barrel. There can be but little doubt that if the present duty is retained, the salt of western Pennsylvania will, so soon as this canal is opened, compete with the imported article for the market of Philadelphia, precisely as the salt of western New York now does for to: market of the city of New York. Should this be the case, the tolls and transportation arising from the business will be of no inconsiderable importance to that State. It is therefore the undoubted interest of Pennsylvania to sustain and foster its manufacture. Going still, further west, the principal seat of this description of manufacturing interest in that section of the United States, is on the banks of the Great Kenhawa, in western Virginia. Manufactories on a small scale are found on the Ohio, the Muskingum, and in many other parts of the western country. The manufacture on the Kenhawa amounts to about a million of bushels per annum. I believe the production has, under peculiar excitements, gone much higher than that amount, reaching a million and a half; but the result was a very general bankruptcy of all who were engaged in the business. Taking ...} the manufactories in the western country, in the aggregate, the average cost of production to the manufacturer may be set down at about twenty-five cents per bushel, when packed in barrels ready for market. Let the duty on salt be reduced to ten cents, cost of foreign salt eight cents, freight at half the cost, say four cents, and the cost of foreign salt, in New Orleans would be twenty-two cents per bushel. The cost of production at the door of the manufacturer, when ready for market, would be, at least, equal to the cost of the foreign salt in New Orleans to the importer. Now, sir, permit ine to inquire, how would this trade operate in that state of things? In the first place, the foreign salt is considered the better article, and, consequently, would take possession of the market at the same price. In the next place, it becomes material to look at the geographical position of these manufactories, their markets, and the means of transportation. These establishments are situated on the very margin of the navigable waters leading into the Mississippi. Their products descend the Ohio, and ascend its tributaries, penetrating into the heart of Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and I believe into the country bordering on the Mississippi, meeting the imported salt, and competing with it on that river. The transportation is now mainly by steam. The amount of steam tonnage, now very great, is every year increasing, and has a constant tendency to overdo itself. What would be the operation on all that vast theatre that may be denominated the middle ground between the manufacturers of the "For country, and the importer of salt at New Orleans ? The descending cargo consists cliefly of bulky agricultural products, while the return freight is composed of manufactured articles, occupying much less space. It is therefore apparent, that, in the regular course of business, and in that state of things to which that navigation is fast approximating, the amount of tonnage required to perform the descending will far exceed that of the ascending navigation. To make up this deficiency of freight, salt would be carried up the river at almost a nominal price; (at least at a freight not exceeding the price of downward freight;) and, coming into New Orleans in the first place as ballast, and then up the Mississippi and Ohio from a similar necessity, there can be nothing plainer than that the manufacturers would be overwhelmed with a flood of foreign salt at their very doors, whenever the steam navigation went a little beyond the business of the country, which an active competition gives it a constant tendency to do. It is needless to add that the manufacturer must sink under this state of things, and, when once down, could never rise again. These manu
factories are indeed far in the interior; but, in the present
state of steam navigation, distance is almost annihilated, and the perfection to which that navigation will no doubt shortly arrive, will place them in almost the precise situation they would be, if a navigable arm of the sea put up to them from the Gulf of Mexico. I am fully convinced the §. reduction of duty would greatly endanger, if it id not destroy, the o now invested in that section of the country. While the farmer would lose the valuable market which these establishments create for his products, he would, at the same time, be compelled to pay more for his salt than he now does. To the manufacturer, the capital employed would become in a great degree valueless; he could not convert it to any other use, as some gentlemen seem to imagine. For o he has a well perforated into the bowels of the earth, through solid rock, three, four, five, and even six hundred feet, until he strikes the saline water. What could he do with this expensive hole in the earth? To what other business or use could he transfer it Certainly to none. While speaking of the salt manufacture in the West, I beg leave to direct your attention for a few moments to a topic of a local character, connected with this subject. The district of country along on the Ohio, and particularly at Cincinnati and its vicinity, is largely o the export of †. to New Orleans, and from thence to other ports. The salt manufactured in the interior does not answer the purpose of pickling for exportation as well as the coarse imported salt. On that account, pork goes to New Orleans imperfectly pickled, where it is repacked in foreign salt at a considerable charge. Now, sir, I noticed that my colleagues from that immediate neighborhood voted, yesterday, to reduce the duty on salt, thinking, no doubt, the reduction would have the effect of transferring the business of packing from New Orleans to Cincinnati. The object is certainly very desirable. But, if my col. leagues will pardon me for presenting a single consideration to them in particular, I think I can satisfy them that the proposed .. of duty would not effect their object. Let the duty be reduced ten cents, and we will sup: pose a corresponding reduction would take place in the rice of salt. You have changed the actual price both at K. Orleans and at Cincinnati; but the relative price remains unaltered. The packer, who pickled a barrel of pork in foreign salt, at Cincinnati, New Orleans, or Boston, would pay precisely the same amount of duty, whether that duty be ten or twenty cents. By the reduction, therefore, the packer at Cincinnati gains no advantage over the packer at New Orleans. The relative price must change in favor of Cincinnati, before the packer can have any inducement to transfer his business from New Orleans to that place. If you can practically annihilate the space between the two cities, or make an approach to it; in other words, if you can get rid of the burden and cost of transportation between New Orleans and Ohio, you will then change the relative price of salt, and effect your object. As things now are, the packer must pay the freight of his salt up the river, and then pay freight back again on the same salt after it is converted into pickle. To avoid the payment of these two freights, it is his interest to use the foreign salt at New Or. leans instead of Cincinnati. The proposed remedy most obviously does nst reach the evil. It is my belief that domestic competition reduces the price of salt, every where, below what it would be if it came into the country duty free, without that competition, From the close of 1807 to 1818, salt paid no duty, and I am informed that during that period #. price was higher than it has been since, and more fluctuating. I have but one consideration more to present, and that addresses itself to the good faith of the nation. It has been said the duty is a war duty, and ought to be repealed on that ac. count. Such is not the fact—the act of 1813 expired of its own limitation a year after the war, and was revived in
1816, a period when the revenue of the country was prosperous and abundant beyond any precedent. That was the year when the foundation was laid of the whole protective system, and this duty must have been imposed as a protective duty. The duty has existed now for seventeen years without interruption, and in the mean time a large capital, confiding in the faith of the Government, has gone into the manufacture. To force them to change their oc. cupation, is, in my opinion, not only impolitic, but cruel in the extreme. Mr. DODDRIDGE said, he must ask the attention of the House to a few remarks, by way of explanation. They will to brief, [said Mr. D.] as the state of my health at present would forbid an exertion, were I disposed to make one, and as the argument of my friend from Ohio [Mr. VINTox] has nearly exhausted the subject. I must confess that a want of that knowledge of financial detail which more experienced members of this body possess, led me to vote yesterday evening for the proposed reduction of duty on salt. I did this on account of the manifest urgency of southern members. My mistake is not to be wondered at, when it is considered that, though not a young man, I am a young member of this House,
[May 12, 1830.
and that neither my private pursuits nor public duties ever before imposed on me the necessity of acquiring that inti- |
mate acquaintance with the operations of our commercial and fiscal systems, and their minute details, which are me. cessary to the merchant, the manufacturer, and the states. man, My attention heretofore has been turned to the ge. neral principles alone, on which our systems of revenue and protection are founded. Perceiving the great excitement of hope on one side, and alarm on the other, produced by the vote which I proposed to reconsider, I have availed myself of the short time that has elapsed, to consult some of the public tables and
official documents that have a bearing on the subject; and
I am now satisfied that a reductiou of the duty in question, at the present time, would be prejudicial to the pub. lic interests, and, in a peculiar manner, destructive of o: of my constituents.
I #. not know before now, that a capital of so many millions was vested in the home production of this article of first necessity, nor that, of the whole amount of salt imported from other nations, three-fourths parts come from the ports of Great Britain and her dependencies—from those very ports which are sealed against the introduction of our bread stuffs and other provisions. From all other nations we import into the whole United States a quantity but little exceeding the produce of the Kenhawa works.
I can recollect to have seen in my county twelve dollars given for a bushel of alum salt. I recollect when the price of that article was reduced to eight, and to five dollars, by the improvement of our mountain roads. To the best of my recollection, the price stood at about three dollars, until the Kenhawa and other works displaced the foreign article from our markets and consumption. I remember the time when twenty-four bushels of wheat would not pay for more than one bushel of alum salt; and I have seen the price of salt so reduced, that a barrel of it would not pay for a barrel of wheat flour. And this great and beneficial change is the result of improvements in the modes of conveyance, and of the protection afforded to home production by tariff laws—by the imposition of reasonable protecting duties on foreing importation. Were we to exclude foreign salt altogether, we could produce the quantity necessary for the whole consumption without inconvenience. In the western country, the exclusion of foreign salt has been so effectual, that, in more than half of my district, I do not suppose that one bushel of foreign salt has been consumed within the last fifteen years. The reduction in price would continue, except at a particular place, if foreign salt were entirely excluded. Home producers are so numerous, and so scattered over the country
- ing and other consuming classes have derived from the pro
as to create that competition which is the life and soul of all manufacturing and producing operations. Nor is this reduction of price the only benefit the farm
tection given to home producers. The home manufacture P. a constant supply, to be had in any quantities, arge or small; and as the produce of our farms and shops enters into the consumption of the manufacturers of salt, this indispensable article of daily use can be had at ev. ery village, at any time, and in any quantity, and can be purchased and paid for, at a reduced price, by our own produce or manufactures. Salt has thus beeome a constant article of trade and exchange in the interior commerce of the country. Nothing can be more obvious than the truth that these incalculable benefits are the fruits of our sys. tem of protecting duties, in modern times called the American system. And shall I be asked to surrender these advantages, in order to admit the productions of that country, which excludes ours, by a permanent system from which she never relaxes, except when compelled to it by necessity ? The principal staples in my district are bread stuffs, beef, pork, and manufactured articles. These are, by England, excluded from her West India ports in our neighborhood, while the friends of free itrade, as they style themselves, would import from those places at which our pork and beef are prohibited, the very salt with which the prohibited article is cured. Such a trade would not be reciprocal, and would be ruinous to western agriculture. I admit that the immediate effects of a reduction in the duty, on salt would be a diminution in the price of the article. This diminution in price would continue until our own establishments would be ruined and abandoned, and our dependence on the foreign English supply again restored, when the price would be increased, as formerly, at the pleasure of foreigners, and when cash would be de*i. in payment, and the supply rendered precarious by all those accidents and vexations attendant on foreign commerce. Those who now live by the manufacture of salt have their capitals vested in their wells and furnaces, their kettles, and other implements and fixtures, and in sums necessary to carry on their business. Reduce the duties on foreign salt, and that article will ascend the Ohio at such reduced F. as to fall below the actual cost of producing it at home. When this is done, the owners must abandon their works, and vest their capitals in other pursuits. For a short time, our supply from abroad might be regular and cheap, and might continue so until the domestic manufacture would be every where abandoned; and then we would be inevitably compelled to purchase at higher prices, in an uncertain market, for ready cash, instead of articles of domestic growth and the fruits of our own labor. If we wish to secure our salt at low prices, we must discourage importation from abroad, and encourage that competition at home which has succeeded to the utmost of our wishes. The gentleman from Georgia [Mr. WAYNE] has spoken of our system (including, I suppose, the motion I have had the honor to submit) as one of “bargain and sale,” and having a necessary tendency to corruption. I understood him as having particular reference to the speech of the gentleman from Massachusetts; [Mr. GoahAM] but, whether to that gentleman or to myself, inasmuch as the gentleman from Georgia concluded by saying he meant no disrespect, I suppose I have no cause to complain. These words, therefore, of “bargain and sale,” are not understood as conveying any personal reproach, in the vocabulary of the day. But, whatever the gentleman from Georgia may think of my course here, or by whatever epithets describe it, that matters me but little, as neither the opinions or
According to the doetrine of some, all concessions and compromise in legislation are immoral; whereas it is a universal maxim, acknowledged by the wise in every country, that all wise and beneficial legislation must be the result of mutual concession, of mutual forbearance, and of compromise. Where a country is so large as to embrace a great variety of climate, of soil, and of pursuits, it is impossible to legislate wisely, without much consultation on the separate interests of ench. In seeking to render our agriculture and manufactures independent of foreign intermeddling, it was thought necessary, in the infancy of those interests, to foster and encourage them by the imposition of high duties on such articles imported from abroad as might come into advantageous competition with them in our consumption. To afford this universal protection has been the aim of this Government, from the year 1789 to the present time; and no portion of the United States pressed this policy sooner, or more earnestly, than the southern section. Yesterday evening, it was plainly discoverable, that, should we give up the protection of the great capital vested by New England and New York in the manufacture of salt, we would be in danger of losing the efforts of those States in furthering that protection which is indispensably necessary for our interests in the West; and in so far as, on that account, we may be more disposed to protect our easterm friends, we are to meet the censures of the South. Like the gentleman from Vermont, [Mr. MALLARx] I understood the gentleman from Georgia [Mr. WAYNE] as holding out a hope to some of the friends of the tariff, that, #. would persevere in the reduction of duties on salt, he might be induced to vote for the bill under consideration, the passage of which every real friend to domestic protection has so much at heart, and to which the gentleman from Georgia had appeared to be so much opposed. The gentleman from Georgia, however, says he was misunderstood in this respect, and I therefore do not press the remark further than to say, that, understanding the gentleman, when he was up, as throwing out this inducement, I did not censure him for that course. I thought it perfectly fair, but considered it as very inconsistent in him to censure in others the very course which I thought him openly pursuing himself. This opinion I cheerfully withdraw, because the gentleman's explanation removes the grounds of it, and convinces me of my mistake as to him. But, however censurable it may seem in the eyes of some of our opponents, that, in legislation, members should concede anything of their views, measures, and wishes to others, in return for mutual concession, on their part, it is evident to me that, some of our opponents do not concur in this opinion, but actually practise what others of them seem openly to condemn. This morning, a friend of mine, whose seat is fear me, [Gen. FINDLAY and who, in relation to the protecting system, differs wit me in nothing but the policy of reducing the duties on salt, informed me that one gentleman, (whom he named,) if not two or three among those opposed to us, would vote for our tariff law, if we would retain in it the clause reducing the duty in question; and that gentleman will so vote, and with that expectation. I did not inquire how my friend obtained this assurance. I suppose he had it from him, or those alone able to give it; and, if so, I looked upon it as fair play. It would be the result of a calculation of the choice between supposed evils. I feel compelled to take a respectful notice of the remarks of a gentleman from North Carolina, [Mr. BARRINGER) in relation to my vote yesterday evening, and my motion to-day, which has given rise to the present discussion. That gentleman has made an allusion to the kiss and trea. son of Judas. I am at a loss to know whether he meant to be witty or satirical. If wit was his object, he failed: for
o of others can “pick my pockets, or break my
I could not perceive that a single smile was elicited in the hall. Should I presume, as that gentleman did, to offer an