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other States. They turned our industry into new channels, and left the old ones deep and broad and dry. They drove us from the ocean, when “our march was on the mountain wave, and our home was on the deep.” And now, forsooth, they have found out that it was all unconstitutional, and that they are oppressed by their own doings, and require us to throw away our land gear, and into the water again. Let me ask the chairman, does justice to our constituents, who have committed their interests to our honor, to be by us defended and protected, who have invested their fortunes and estates under the faith of your laws, and following the lead of your laws, does justice to them require or permit that we should make this surrendry? that we should break down the barriers which have been constructed for their protection, and roll the tide of desolation over them? Or that we should permit one particle, even the smallest dust of the balance, to be taken from them, when it is taken avowedly for the purpose of prostrating them? Are we to be reproached by the honorable chairman, because, being a majority, we refuse to make this surrendry? Are we to be told that, having a giant's power, we make a tyrannous use of it? May not a giant, let me ask, use his power in self-defence? When the Philistines are upon him, may he not rise and shake himself? Or does justice require that he should give his head to the lap of the “Philistine Delilah,” to be shorn of its glory and its strength, that he may be bound in fetters, and made sport of until he shall pray God to avenge his wrongs in the common destruction of himself and his enemies? Sir, I trust the majority of this House will not be wooed nor won to this by any art, or argument, or blandishment. In my judgment, if we make the surrendry required, we do an act of traitorous and recreant and ruinous injustice to our constituents; and I must be permitted to add, as it seems to me, from fear, or something worse.
A man meets me in the street, and demands my purse. Its contents are not mine, but my constituents’, which they value above price, and which they have committed for a time to my custody. He looks fiercely at me and demands it of me. As farmer Ashfield says in the play, “I’ll argufy the topic a little”—I am not afraid, that’s clear, though I shakes some. It wont do for me to give up the purse from “personal fear,” for that, as an honorable chairman says, is a “miserable weakness;” nor will it do to refuse to give it up “from the fear of doing right,” because, although that is “an infirmity of a noble mind,” I do not perceive that it differs much from “personal fear” for if the “fear to do right” be an infirmity of a noble mind, it would seem to follow that the fear to do wrong is an infirmity of an ignoble one. So I asserts and counts and analyzes the different kinds of fear, and goes on until I comes to the real statesmanlike, patriotic fear— and that, I says, will do; for if U refuse to give up my purse, nothing is more likely than that this fierce looking fellow will commit “a breach of the public peace,” or he will do some other public mischief. At any rate there is great danger he will disturb the present subsisting tranquillity there is between me and him! So I gives up the purse upon the “patriotic fear.” Now, Mr. Chairman, I may talk about my statesmanlike fear as much as I please: my constituents will believe that I was frightened out of my purse. And when they come to be told that, after all, this fierce looking fellow was not armed, and showed nei. ther pistol nor dirk, they will almost swear, deacons and all, that I was an arrant coward. And let me tell my friend from Maryland [Mr. How Ann] it will be of no use for me to say to them that they are all cowards themselves, or they would not think any such thing of me. They will persist in it, that I was either frightened out of my purse, or was confederate with the fellow, and balanced an old account or opened a new one, by giving it up. And let me say, further, sir, that they will never trust me again; and further still, they never ought to. I
put this case, as the committee understand, of course, in illustration, and not as an identity. If there be any gentlemen here from any of the States who have “debts of political gratitude” to pay, and who feel authorized and are inclined to make a sacrifice of the interests of their constituents in order to do it, let then take for the purpose lambs from their own flock, and not from their neighbors; let them sacrifice the interests of their own States, and not of others. But, after all, Mr. Chairman, I have a firm conviction that these abused tariff laws, so far from being oppressive, are beneficial to the South, (I am not going into the subject, but only state generally,) in the new staple of sugar which they have given, and the consequently augmented demand and price for slaves and slave labor which they have created, and the immensely beneficial diversion, to the cotton region particularly, of the sugar lands from the cotton to the sugar culture, in the improved market they furnish for the staples and products of the South, and the reduced price at which they return to them many and most of the articles they have occasion to purchase. And there are physical indications of it, not to be mistaken, in the relative increase of their population, and the unrivalled thrift of many, and indeed most of the slave States, upon whom the tariff laws operate, as well as upon Eastern Virginia and South Carolina, and upon whom they would make and leave their impression, if they were “the withering curse” they have been said to be, and, above all, in this, that they continue to purchase many of the agricultural products of the other States, I speak now of South Carolina, paying freight, insurance, commission, and profit, for which their own soil and climate, and labor, are well fitted, finding the cultivation of their own staples so much more profitable than the agriculture of the other States, as to enable them to do it. Nevertheless, sir, if I could yield to the South what they deem to be oppressive in these laws, nothing would give me, personally, more pleasure than to make the concession. But I value the good opinion of honorable men too highly to expose myself to the contempt to which a surrendry of the rights of my constituents, and the great agricultural interests of the free States, would consign me, and the condemnation that would and ought, as a consequence, to follow and be stamped upon me. It is, therefore, sir, not to name a higher motive, out of the question. Mr. PEARCE, of Rhode Island, obtained the floor, and commenced a speech against the bill, which lasted until eight o'clock. At half past five a motion was made for the committee to rise, but it was negatived: at seven another shared the same fate; yeas 35, nays 76. He was twice called to order by Mr. JENIFER, who quoted Jes. ferson's Manual to show that a member might not read extracts, or even his own speech, to a committee without its leave. Mr. P. denied that he was doing either, and was permitted by the Chair to proceed. The following is the speech of Mr. P. entire: Mr. PEARCE said that his venerable friend from Massachusetts [Mr. An Axis] had intimated to the committee that when he should give his views of this bill, he would move to strike out the enacting clause, that the strength of parties might be tested in regard to it. I have, said Mr. P., the consent of that gentleman for now doing what he had informed us he would do on a future day, and therefore move to strike out the enacting clause of this bill. The remarks I shall make will be in reference to the motion I have submitted—a motion which gives me the liberty, with great propriety, of stating my objections to every part, and all the provisions of the bill. I have not yet learnt, from the remarks of any one who has addressed the committee, that the bill, without essential amendments, is to be supported by any portion of those
who reported it. Is it agreeable to the honorable gentle
man, the chairman of the committee which reported it? Certainly not; for he has already moved one or two amendments to it, and has, as I understand, intimated a willing. ness to agree to or accept other amendments hereafter to be moved. Does it meet the views of his colleague, [Mr. White,) coming from the same great emporium? We have on our tables the proof that it does not, for he has offered sundry amendments which have been printed, and on which, at the proper time, we shall be required to express our opinions. Is it, Mr. Chairman, agreeable to the views of another honorable member from the State of New York, [Mr. CAMH RELENG,) emphatically called the commercial representative, and I will not say incorrectly? No, sir; for in the remarks he made but a few days ago, he told his colleague, the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, that he differed from him, and was opposed to the protection which the bill would give to the article of iron. A gentleman from Connectiticut, [Mr. You Ng, quoting the language of another gentleman from New York, informed the committee but two days ago that the Secretary of the Treasury would be sa. tisfied with this bill with some important amendments. Then, sir, the head of the Treasury Department is not satisfied with it, as it was reported, nor have we any evidence of his being satisfied with it as it now is. I shall be able fully to show that it does not meet the views of the Executive, by a recurrence to his message sent to both Houses at the commencement of the session. The great difficulty is to ascertain how such a bill was ever submit. ted to our consideration. It may be a child of thirty fathers, but a natural child, with all its fathers unnaturai, for not one of them has shown a disposition to foster or protect it. All who were of the committee which sanctioned the report of the bill, and from whom we have heard any thing since the commencement of the debate, have declined altogether its general defence; and some of them have refrained from even a notice of any of its provisions. The gentleman from Georgia [Mr. Wild Ej addressed us in many languages, some of them living, but most of them dead; he spoke about nullification and South Carolina, but he did not say one word about any of the provisions of this bill, nor did he at all examine its provisions. Another gentleman [Mr. Polk] has condescended to read some documents from the Treasury Department, the testimony of some manufacturers in Vermont and New Hampshire, taken to show that the manufacturers could live and grow rich with no more protection than this bill would afford them. A gentleman from Vermont has informed the committee that all these swift witnesses, if not bankrupts at the time they testified, were found to be so soon afterward, perhaps before the papers to which they subscribed their names reached the Treasury Department. Looking into the debates of the other House, I found that an honorable Senator, referring to this bill, declared it a peace-offering to South Carolina; but unfortunately for us, Mr. Chairman, the dominant party in South Carolina are not satisfied with it, for it does not al. together abandon the idea of protection, and does not consequentiy remove their constitutional objections. Turning to another party in that State, the Union party, it will be found that they do not want this bill, for, in the language of one of its distinguished members, it will entail nullification on them forever, and make those triumphant there, who have arraigned the supremacy of the laws. I agaia ask, under whose auspices does this bill come before us, and where shall we look for its paternity? The chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, referring to the manner in which the bill had been assailed on all sides of the House, tells us gentlemen are hard to please, and, in illustration of his views, tells the story of a man who was continually finding fault with the weather— it was always either too hot or too coll, too wet or too dry. Sir, no blame should be attached to us because we
find fault with the bill: the gentleman will not condescend to cnlighten us; we have to grope our way in the dark. By one view of the bill it may well be said it is too hot; by another it may with equal propriety be said to be too cold. A gentleman from Connecticut has with great ability shown, and his arguments have not yet been answered, that by following out the reasoning of the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means in his report, if this bill should become a Jaw, in less than eighteen months we shall have an empty treasury; that, to make out the estimate necessary to meet the actual wants of the Government, three millions, it is assumed, are to be derived from the proceeds of the sales of the public lands, and this too when a bill had passed the other House, and was on its way here to distribute those proceeds for a considerable time to come. A further assumption is found necessary, in setting down as money on hand the amount of two millions or more which has already been appropriated for specific purposes, and is liable to be called for at any moment, and when called for must be paid out. It has been also shown that the committee, in making their estimate of expenses, have fallen short of what will be found the real expenses for at least a few years, by nearly a million of dollars; and I refer, said Mr. P., to the sum which will be required to pay the pensions of the surviving officers and soldiers of the revolution. Another gentleman, [Mr. APPLETox,] in an unanswerable argument, has taken another and a different view of the probable, if not certain operations of this bill. He has shown that, although its professed object is to reduce the revenue six millions, the data surnished by the committee lead to the inevitable conclusion that it will increase it one or more millions; that as you decrease imposts, you increase imports; and when you destroy your manufactures at home, you furnish a market for manufactures from abroad. I am indebted, said Mr. P., for a very plain illustration, in connexion with this argument, to what I read, a day or two ago, in a Rhode Island newspaper. A ropedancer anxious to “raise the wind,” and that too suddenly, put his tickets at a dollar each; his visiters were consequently few. He was afterwards advised to fix his price of admittance at fifty cents, and his profits were found to be more than twice as large as before; and when his doors were thrown open to all who could pay him twenty-five cents, he himself was astonished at his profits. Sir, who is prepared to say that if our imposts are reduced three-fourths, our revenue will not be increased? I will then say to the committee that this bill which satisfies no one, is advocated by no one, meets the views of no one, and promotes not one of the interests of the country, is urged upon our consideration under very singular and peculiar circumstances. . In the whole history of our legislation, has there been hitherto anything like it? We have been required to vote before we could hear from our constituents. We are called upon to adopt this bill at this short session, when at the last we spent six months in adjusting the tariff in a way, as I at the time thought, satisfactory to all the interests of the country except the manufacturers themselves. We are called upon for action when we have not received a single petition or memorial from those we represent, to repeal an act which has not yet gone into operation, and will not until the 3d of March next, and this under circumstances which entirely preclude the possibility of any light from home. Sir, when the people called, I have always been led to believe it would be time enough for us to act, and not until then. I appeal to those who were members, in 1826-7, and in 1828–29, and who were here. At the last session, to refer to those times, to show the difference in our situations, to legislate correctly then and "?". we had then not only all the light and all the information which could reach us in the form of memorials and petitions from men and conventions, composed of the most
annual message of the President of the United states, that
this bill would not have received his sanction. There is but little which that able State paper contains on the subject of the tariff, but what must inect with a hearty response from every patriotic American. Perhaps some thorough-going bigoted tariff men may file their exceptions to most of what the President says on this subject. I do not know any such in the State from which I come; if there be any, they will not find in me a faithful representative of what they may call their interest. Our national debt, as we have been repeatedly told, is paid, and the revenue must be brought down, as all reasonable men will concede, to the pressing and necessary wants of the Government. As to what those wants are, and what our expenditures should be, honest men may fairly differ, but few, if any, I think, can have the hardihood to question the correctness of the abstract proposition. The Presi dent, I contend, recommends no course calculated to destroy the institutions of our country; to violate the faith of the nation to individuals; to bankrupt thousands, if not millions of the people of this country. If the revenue is more than the wants of the Government require, it must be reduced; but, sir, does he recommend the destruction of discriminating duties, or intimate a wish to withhold incidental protection? Far from it. [Here Mr. P. read the following cztracts from the President’s annual message:] “The final removal of this great burden (public debt) from our resources, affords the means of further provision for all the objects of general welfare and public defence, which the constitution authorizes, and presents the occasion for such further reduction in the revenue as may not be required for them. From the report of the Secretary of the Treasury, it will be seen that, after the present year, such a reduction may be made to a considerable extent; and the subject is earnestly recommended to the consideration of Congress, in the hope that the combined wisdom of the representatives of the people will devise such means of effecting that salutary object as may remove those burdens which shall be found to fall unequally upon any, and as may promote all the great interests of the community. “Long and patient reflection has strengthened the opinions I have heretofore expressed to Congress on this subject; and I deem it my duty, on the present occasion, again to urge them on the attention of the Legislature. The soundest maxims of public policy, and the principles upon which our republican institutions are founded, recommend a proper adaptation of the revenue to the expenditure, and they also require that the expenditures shall be limited to what, by an economical administration, shall be consistent with the simplicity of the Government, and necessary to an efficient public service. In effecting this adjustment, it is due, in jūstice, to the interests of the different States, and even to the preservation of the Union itself, that the protection afforded by existing laws to any branches of the national industry should not exceed what may be necessary to counteract the regulations of foreign nations, and to secure a supply of those articles of manufacture essential to the national independence and safety in time of war. If, upon investigation, it shall be found, as it is believed it will be, that the legislative protection granted to any particular interest is greater thin
is indispensably requisite for these objects, I recommend that it be gradually diminished, and that, as far as may be consistent with these objects, the whole scheme of duties be reduced to the revenue standard as soon as a just regard to the faith of the Government, and to the preservation of the large capital invested in establishments of domestic industry, will admit. “That manufactures adequate to the supply of our domestic consumption would, in the abstract, be bencficial to our country, there is no reason to doubt; and to effect their establishment, there is, perhaps, no American citizen who would not, for a while, be willing to pay a higher price for them. But, for this purpose, it is presumed that a tariff of high duties, designed for perpetual protection, has entered into the minds of but few of our statesmen. The most they have anticipated is a temporary, and, generally, incidental protection, which they maintain has the effect to reduce the price by domestic competition below that of the foreign article. Experence, however, our best guide on this as on other subjects, makes it doubtful whether the advantages of this system are not counterbalanced by many evils, and whether it does not tend to beget, in the minds of a large portion of our country men, a spirit of discontent and jeaiousy dangerous to the stability of the Union. “What then shall be done? Large intercsts have grown up under the implied pledge of our national legislation, which it would seem a violation of public faith suddenly to abandon. Nothing could justify it but the public safety, which is the supreme law. . But those who have vestūd their capital in manufacturing establishments cannot expect that the people will continue permanently to pay high taxes for their benefit, when the money is not required for any legitimate purpose in the administration of the Government. Is it not enough that the high duties have been paid as long as the money arising from them could be applied to the common bencfit in the extinguishment of the public debt?” ‘We have here, Mr. Chairman, as the President thought proper to recommend to us at the commencement of the session. High and unreasonable tariff men may not be disposed to subscribe to all he has said, but in my opinion he has said but a little which is not, at this crisis in the affairs of our country, substantially correct. 1 c inanifests no disposition to destroy existing institutions, or withdraw from then all necessary protection; no disposition to see violated the plighted faith of the Goverument; no deterimination to be instrumental to the destruction of discriminating duties or incidental protection. He has not, I would add, lent his aid to the introduction of this bill. What man who knows the hero of New Orleans can for a moment entertain the belief that he would, by any action on his part, entail misery upon millions, bankrupt thousands, turn a sound and industrious portion of our population segår, upon the world, and thus change the laurels which now decorate his brows for “the ivy which delights to flourisly upon the ruins it has made.” I have once referred to one of the most important bearings of this bill, the necessary result of frequent legislation, and legislating twice upon the same subject within a very few month s—its effect upon contracts made by individuals, as well as investments made by them. On the
14th of July last, after many months' discussion, and after, having the subject before us the whole of last session, one of the longest sessions for many years, we passed an JAN. 30, 1833.]
of this bill, when it was passed into a law, to every citizen of the United States? That the policy of the Government
was for a period settled; that no further agitation of the
tarist would take place during the present Congress, more especially as the act did not go into operation until the expiration of the Congress itself. This was inferable also as well from the length of time spent in acting upon the provisions of that act, as from the satisfaction which the act seemed to give to an interest in the country which has lately manifested a decided hostility to all protecting duties. Sir, with these views in relation to this act, what was the natural supposition as to the course which would be pursued by manufacturers and others, whose interests would be affected by its operations? They would trim their sheets to the approaching gale, (go on they must;) to scud under bare poles, to borrow a phrase as well as an idea from seamanship, to lay tr, would be as bad as sinking, and would inevitably lead to it. Sir, they have gone on; they have made their contracts and investments, and all their arrangements, under the law of last session, and under the faith of the Government. Pass this bill, sir, and what will be the effect upon these contracts and investments? Ruin; yes, sir, utter ruin; brought upon them by a breach of faith on the part of their Government. Hereafter they must not only insure against fire and flood, assailing thieves and robbers, but against the capricious legislation of their country, and the mutability of an American Congress. Take, for illustration, one of the interests of the State from which I come, and, if I may be excused for a little Latin, “ab uno disce omnes.” The citizens of lèhode Island have invested in cottons ten millions of capital. To use it advantageously, they are compelled to make contracts daily and every day in the year, many of them not consummated in a year aster they are made. All these contracts were made in reserence to the law of last session, but by the passage of this bill they will be directed and governed by a new law af. fecting and bringing ruin on this interest to the amount of millions. Who would say that, for all losses occasioned by this frequent legislation, every man who suffered would not have an equitable claim upon the Government for indemnity? And no Government disposed to do justice to the governed, would withhold the indemnity. No one which would thus violate its faith to its citizens could long command their affections, or preserve their attachments; and let me add, that none ought to, in my humble judgment. Where property is held by such a brittle tenure, love of country cannot exist there. The whole history of the legislation of the country shows that Congress has hitherto sedulously watched and carefully provided against any violation of contracts or hostility to investments made under the faith of the Government. The act of 1789, approved July 4, went into operation on the 1st of August following. Hemp and cotton imported previous to December 1, 1790, were exempted from the operations of that act. The act of 1790, approved August 10, went into operation on the 1st of January following. The 6th section provides that all duties accruing under the act of 1789, “between the time specified in the said act for the commencement of the said duties, and the respective times when the collectors entered upon the duties of their respective offices in the several districts, be, and they are hereby, remitted and discharged, and that in any case in which they have been paid to the United States, restitution thereof be made.” The act of 1797, approved March 3, went into operation on the 1st of July following. The act of 1804, approved March 27, went ration on the 1st of July following. The act of 1816, approved April 27, went into opera. tion on the 1st of July following. In it there is a proviso
The Tariff Bill.
to live under it. What, sir, was the import and language
exempting from the operations of the act cotton piece goods imported-in the vessels of the United States which sailed thence before the passage of this act, and arrived between June 30, 1816, and June 1, 1817. The act of 1824, approved May 22, went into operation on the 1st of July following. It contains a proviso, that the provisions of the act should not apply to importations of goods from ports or places eastward of the Cape of Good Hope, or beyond Cape Horn, before the 1st day of January ensuing. The woollens bill, which passed this House in the winter of 1826–27, and was lost in the Senate by the casting vote of the Vice President, was made prospective in its operation. The bill of the last session was not to go into immediate operation. By the act of 1828, it was intendcd to provide against its operation upon voyages which had been commenced and could not be countermanded; and, because, in the hurry of legislation, that bill had not this provision in it, all those who were affected by it in their contracts and voyages, made or planned under the faith of the Government, have petitioned for relief; and last session a bill in their favor passed the Senate with but a few dissenting voices. We have now a bill for their relief upon our tables, which I hope to see pass before we adjourn. Sir, when that bill was under discussion the other day, a gentleman from North Carolina [Mr. Willi AM s] said he would give to the manufacturers the same relief for losses sustained by the operation of our laws passed in this way, that he would give to merchants; and with him, sir, I have no hesitation in saying that the claims of the one ought to be as favorably received as the claims of the other. As far as we have been able to hear from those we represent, there has reached us but one voice on this subject of frequent legislation and conscquent injury to individuals. The Legislature of my own State, in their resolutions, unanimously adopted, and which have been sent here, Resolved, That the effect of frequent alterations of the tariff laws is to distract and paralyze the enterprise of the merchant, to destroy the stability of the markets for the agriculturist, and bring ruin upon the manufacturer. That all branches of our national industry have been arranged, contracts made, voyages projected, and business commenced, under the belief and expectation that the tariff of the last session of Congress was framed and solemnly enacted after mature deliberation, and that, reliance could be placed upon the stability of these mcasures of the Government. That, without a countervailing policy in the regulation of trade with foreign nations, all branches of our industry will be paralyzed, as was the case before the adoption of the constitution of the United States. We have a similar voice, but one, perhaps, much louder, from the city of Albany. I have, said Mr. P., the proceedings of a meeting held at the city hall in Albany, the 24th of this month, relative to the tariff bill introduced into this House by the gentleman from New York, [Mr. VER PLAN cR.] It is said to have been the greatest meeting ever held in that city. The Chief Justice of the State was the presiding officer, and Mr. Knower the near connexion of Governor Marcy, whose name was brought into debate by the gentleman from Georgia, [Mr. W1 loz,] somewhat, as I thought, uncourteously, for the purpose of saying that he had not written a letter which it had been alleged he had written, and for no other purpose whatever. I can say to the gentleman from Georgia, that it is my good fortune to be also acquainted with Governor Miarcy, and that I know him too well, and have known him too long, to believe that he will disavow any letter he has written, or that he ever wrote one from considerations of his connexion's interest, This meeting in Albany, speaking of the act of last ses.
son, and the bill now before us, in their preamble and resolutions, use this language: “Whereas a bill is now pending before the Congress of the United States, having for its object a further reduction of the tariff than was effected by the law of the 14th July last; which law was matured and passed at the close of a protracted session, and after seven months' debate and deliberation. And whereas a majority of the representatives of the people of the non-manufacturing States gave their assent to that law, as will appear by al reference to the national journals. And whereas the said law was adopted as the compromise of a great national question, and was designed, by its supporters, in the spirit of mutual concession, to heal the animosities of local interests. And whereas business transactions to a vast amount have been entered into in good faith under the implied pledge of the Government, that a law, involving such a wide extent and complication of interests, would not be abandoned until its practical effects should be as
certained. “And whereas the unanticipated and premature abandonment of the existing law, by the same Congress that enacted it, and the unforeseen passage of the pending bill, will be a surprise upon all the manufacturing states, will throw their business and contracts into derangement and ruin, and will thereby produce incalculable mischief to all classes of citizens. “And whereas the passage of the pending bill by the present Congress, to go into immediate and not prospective operation, will justly be attributed to the menacing and hostile attitude of South Carolina, rather thran to a conviction produced by a dispassionate re-examination of ...the subject, and justice requires that no sudden and unexpected change should take place in the policy of a Government affecting the great interests of the community, and such we believe has been uniformly the provident legislation of Congress in regard to tariff laws heretofore passed: Therefore, “Itesolved, That the representatives of this State, in both branches of the National Legislature, be earnestly requested to shield their constituents, if possible, from such an act of injustice and instability.” I must now, said Mr. P., dismiss this part of my argument, perhaps, in the opinion of many, too long, but let it be understood it presents one of the strongest objections to the passage of the bill at this time. Phave but one request to make of gentlemen: If the Government is to indemnify all those who may suffer by this improper interference with their contracts, let them calculate the expense to the country. If indemnity is denied, let them reflect for a moment on the ruin to individuals. I will now, Mr. Chairman, examine this bill, for the purpose of showing its unequal bearing and operation upon the various interests of the country. It appears to me, that if the committee had labored night and day three or four weeks, for the purpose of presenting a bill whose passage would prove destructive to all the interests of Rhode Island, they could not have been more successful than they are found to have been in the bill they reported. How this should have happened, I know not; but true it is, without charging them with any hostile views in regard to the State 1 represent, the bill, if passed, may destroy all its interests, and inevitably must the most prominent ones. The protection given to cottons by the act of last session is reduced from seven cents a square yard, or, what is equivalent to it, to one and a quarter or one and two mills. What interest can live with such a protection, or survive such a change? Not this, as I expect to show. The duty on cordage, tarred twine, and cables is reduced from four to three cents per pound; untarred twine, from five to three cents; olive oil, from twenty to ten cents per gallon; on spirits from grain,
which now pay a duty from first to above fifth proof, fiftyseven to ninety cents a gallon, the duty is reduced to twenty and to forty cents a gallon. On spirits from other materials, which now pay a duty of fifty-three and eighty-five cents a gallon, the duty is reduced to eighteen and thirty-six cents a gallon. The duty on wool is fixed at fifteen per cent., on middling and fine cloths at twenty per cent., on the coarse cloths at five per cent. The duty on worsted yarn is reduced from twenty to fifteen per cent., and the duty on manufactures of woollen yarn, from fifty per cent. ad valorem, and five cents per pound, to fifteen per cent. But this is not all; exposed as these interests are by this reduction, and destroyed as many of them must be, some consolation might be derived from the reflection, if facts would warrant, that some benefit was to be derived from other parts of the bill. But this is not so. Iron, which we do not manufacture, and is of very general use, is protected by a duty of from twenty to forty-three, and, I might add, one hundred per cent. Sugar is protected by a duty of at least seventy-five per cent. ; molasses by as high a duty. Coffee by the bill is to pay a duty of one cent per pound, and tea from three to ten cents per pound. Hemp a duty of thirty dollars per ton, and sail cloth what it was charged with by the act of the last session; so that on every thing we lose, and gain in nothing. Why these inequalities? If, Mr. Chairman, the Committee of Ways and Means, the majority of whom are free trade men, had nothing in view but the destruction of the whole protective system, the course they have pursued, and the policy they have adopted, are unquestionably correct. Not having at present the adequate strength to effect their object, they must distract and divide those who are now opposed to their plans, that the conquest may hereafter be more readily made. Hence the necessity of conciliating the interest of Pennsylvania, by the heavy duties on iron and coal; Louisiana and a considerable part of the Southern and Western States, which in that State find a ready market for slaves and other live stock, and many of the products of agriculture. But let Pennsylvania recollect, that if she is misled by the temptations which are now thrown in her way, her evil day will come, and the siren which now allures, will be found to be a Cyclops ready to devout'. Sir, can that State expect that the Eastern States, cut off from all their existing resources, deprived of most of their wonted pursuits, affected, materially injured, in all their great interests, will, in their struggles for life, submit to pay the heavy duty which the bill proposes on iron, 20,000 tons of which, from Sweden and Russia, are annually manufactured into nails, hoops, and plates, the cost of which, at the place whence imported, is only about 50 dollars per ton? Sir, has not only the manufacturer, but the shipowner, a direct interest in lowering the duty on this article? Let the representatives of that State also recollect that our manufacturing establishments require large quantities of English iron, (rolled.) which is imported in various forms, and which costs, in Great Britain 35 dollars per ton, and with a revenue duty of 15 to 20 per cent, might be sold in this country for $50, whereas our manufacturers and others now pay 75 and 80 dollars per ton for it. The motives which influenced the committee to charge hemp with a duty of 39 dollars per ton, I am unable to discover. Certainly they did not intend with one blow to injure at the same time two interests, and perhaps destroy them. I refer to the shipping interest, and the interest of those engaged in the manufacture of cordage. This course, on the part of the committee, is more to be regretted, as this heavy duty promotes no interest in the country. Kentucky has not required it. The great champion of American industry, the father, if you please. of the American system, last session declared, both in