網頁圖片
PDF

H. of R.] the same right to States south of that line! it be? Is it because they are free States, and ours are slave States? Is it because on one side there is free labor, and on the other it is slave labor? Is this to be the distinction that must mark the difference of right in the matter? I have heard much said on that subject in this House, and great reliance is placed upon the morality and justness of the distinction in reference to other matters, but gentlemen deceive themselves, grossly deceive themselves, if they think it will hold in this or any other case. Whenever you believe a law unconstitutional and oppressive, you have the right to resolve that you will not silently acquiesce in it; nay, more, and to carry that resolve into complete effect; and I assure you, we of the South will take the liberty to do the same thing, not only tacitly and quietly, but forcibly if we think proper. We exercise no rights that we are not entirely willing that you should, and we mean that you shall not, without allowing us the same privilege. There can be no mistake in the object of the resolution I have read, for its intention was too plainly indicated in the original draft of resolutions reported to the Legislature of Massachusetts. I happen, Mr. Speaker, to have had a sight of that report, and though what I am about to mention is not now found in the paper I hold in my hand, yet it was there when first submitted, and was to this effect, that the passage of the tariff bill now before this Congress would be derogatory to the national honor, and involving such a gross and palpable abuse of the power of the Government, as would justify the States and citizens aggrieved by it, in any measures they may think proper to adopt, for the purpose of obtaining redress. What do you call this, Mr. Speaker? A gentleman by my side says it is nullification! Yes, sir, it is pure, unadulterated nullification! And, what is still better, a Mr. Banks, I think a member of the Massachusetts Legislature, absolutely proposed an amendment to the report, the object of which was to prepare for the separation! Now, sir, only mark how that sign of the case being altered, alters the case: South Carolina shall not nullify, but Massachusetts may, as much and as often as she pleases. Sir, this is not the first time that State has determined she was not bound to acquiesce in the laws of the General Government. She resolved that the treaty between Great Britain and the United States, relative to the northeastern boundary, in which the State of Maine, and perhaps herself, were concerned, should not be binding. That the decision of the umpire on that occasion should not be carried into effect. I see the gentleman shakes his head; I say that she did resolve substantially it should not be carried into effect; and I say more, she was right in saying so, and I would have marched from Georgia, in principle, to have borne her out in her resolve; for the General Government had no right to cede away either the territory or jurisdiction of a State. This was prevented in the State of Georgia, and I hope I never shall be so inconsistent or unreasonable as to claim for my own State, whatever others may do, what I would not willingly yield to another. For these reasons I am constrained to vote against the motion of my colleague. w

Resolutions of Massachusetts.

“Resolved, That the adoption of the said line so recommended by the King of the Netherlands, as a part of the northeastern boundary of the United States, would deprive this commonwealth and the State of Maine of large tracts of territory, which, upon any imaginable result of such survey of the northern and eastern boundaries, as is authorized by the 5th article of the treaty of Ghent, belong, respectively, in sovereignty and property, to the said State and to the said Commonwealth.”

“Resolved, That the Government of the United States has no constitutional right to cede any portion of the territory [the oft repeated question may be asked, who is to

Massachusetts Resolutions.

Why should

[ocr errors]

judge of this matter, since the treaty-making power belongs to that Government? The Federal Court, to be sure, according to the modern doctrine!] of the States composing the Union, to any foreign power; or to deprive the State of any land, or other property, without the consent of such State, previously obtained, of the States of Massachusetts and Maine, would be a violation of the rights of jurisdiction and property, belonging respectively to the said States, and secured to them by the Federal constitution; and that any act purporting to have such effect, would be wholly null and void, and in no way obligatory upon the Government or people of either of the said States.”

The foregoing declaration is distinctly repeated in another resolution immediately following the above. The State of Maine adopted the following resolves on the same subject :

f “Resolved, That the convention of September, 1827, tended to violate the constitution of the United States, and to impair the soyereign rights and powers of the State of Maine, and that Maine is not bound by the constitution to submit to the decision which is or shall be made under the convention. “Resolved. In the opinion of the Legislature that the decision of the King of the Netherlands cannot and ought not to be considered as obligatory upon the Government of the United States, either upon the principles of right, " justice, or honor. “Resolved, further, for the reasons before stated, that no division made by any umpire under any circumstances, if the decision dismembers a State, has, or can have, any constitutional force or obligation upon the State thus dismembered, unless the State adopt and sanction the decision.” Besides the purpese for which the resolutions are quoted, the following deductions clearly result: both States assert their sovereignty, and if their territory and jurisdiction cannot be parted with without their consent, by the General Government, then that Government is not a unit. If the States have sovereignty enough to prevent a dismemberment of their territory, because such act would be unconstitutional, then they have it for any other unconstitutional act, and the doctrine that the General Government acts not upon the States, but upon the people individually, will apply as strongly to the one case as the other; so that every citizen in a State (leaving not a man in it whereby it would be completely destroyed,) might be hung for treason, as well for attempting to prevent the dismemberment of his State as for any other unconstitutional cause. These two States have judged for themselves, and adopted their own mode of nullifying a law; and unless the doctrine in the celebrated case of the farmer and the lawyer, or rather, the ox and the bull, be applied to poor South Carolina alone, they at least ought to shut their mouths. Mr. WICKLIFFE was anxious to bring this debate to a close, and proposed that, by unanimous consent, the motion for reconsideration should be laid upon the table. Mr. ADAMS said that he should not have said a word on the subject, but from an imperious sense of duty. And though he had been desirous that a direct vote should be taken, he was willing, as a concession made in the spirit of harmony, to waive his call for the yeas and nays, and consent that the motion should be laid upon the table. The SPEAKER said that if no gentleman objected the motion would be laid upon the table. Mr. DAVIS, of Massachusetts, objected. And the hour allotted to resolutions having expired, the subject was laid over. The House then passed to the orders of the day, and went into Committee of the Whole, Mr. WAYNE in the

chair, on

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

per pound. Upon that estimate the duty would be twelve

cents per pound, or sixty per cent. The duty on woollen manufactures was fixed by the same act at fifty per cent. He proposed that the reduction of duty on the raw material, and the manufactured article, should be made now correspondent. When the duty on woollens was thirty per cent., the duty on wool should be forty per cent. The reason of this proportion was obvious. Wool was the produce of agriculture, of land and labor combined. The grand staple of this country was land, it was our cheapest and most abundant article, and instead of it, the dearestand scarcest article, labor, should be encouraged. It was the sound policy of all Governments to encourage their own, instead of exotic productions. In England, population was more abundant than land. Labor was, therefore, cheap, and their policy was to protect labor and to encourage the demand for the article of which they had the greatest supply. They encouraged the importation of raw materials in order to give employment to their surplus labor, which could not be directed to tilling the ground, because they had not ground to till. But the policy which would be wise for England was not adapted to our situation. Here labor was extravagantly high in proportion to the price of land. Why should we induce the importation of raw materials? Are there not vast tracts of vacant land for the employment of our population? Is it for the purpose of encouraging the emigration of foreigners to build up towns under our protecting policy, and to fill them with inhabitants who would rather raise the union flag of Great Britain, than the star spangled banner? If there was no adequate protection upon wool the boasted American system becomes an European system. When any attempt had been made to raise the duty on wool, the manufacturers had exclaimed that we were ruining their business. The truth is, they can import wool without duty cheaper than our farmers are willing to raise it, because the German farmers, to say nothing of Spanish wool, which is raised from flocks which roam almost entirely over that kingdom, are in the habit of being satisfied with more scanty earnings than our free and independent population. In this bill the agricultural interest of the nation has been overlooked for the benefit of the manufacturers. Our farmers are to be offered up as a sacrifice to allay the burning avarice of the manufacturers. Indigo and sumac, productions of our own soil, are to be imported free of duty, as an offering to the manufacturing interest. To avert their threats, even the duty of three cents per pound on cotton was to be given up. He would not move the restoration of that duty, as he was not the representative of cotton growers. But the principle of sacrificing the agricultural to the manufacturing interest went through the whole bill. Mr. R. then moved to amend the amendment by striking out thirty and inserting

forty per cent. in the first part of the amendment. The
motion was lost: Yeas 61, nays 60, the Chain voting in
the negative.
The question recurring on Mr. White's amendment,
After some remarks from Mr. STEWART, in which he
insisted that twenty-five or twenty per cent, on wool was
no protection, and that as the duty was merely for reve-
nue, he preferred twenty to twenty-five per cent:
Mr. BURGES followed, and further illustrated the same
view.
Mr. ROOT then moved another amendment, so as to
insert forty-five per cent., instead of forty, as he had be-
fore proposed for the year 1834, and intimated, in answer
to an inquiry of Mr. Polk, that he intended to follow
this motion, if it prevailed, by moving correspondent
amendments to the other rates of duty proposed in Mr.
WHITE's amendment.
Mr. J. DAvis inquired whether the gentleman from
New York, [Mr. Roor,) intended to follow up his amend-
ments by an increase of the duty on woollens?
Mr. ROOT replied in the negative.
Mr. DAVIS said the bill proposed to reduce the duty
on woollens to twenty per cent.; he proposes to increase
the duty on wool to forty-five per cent.
Mr. iroo T said, it was his intention to fix the same re-
lative duty on wool and on woollens as was settled by the
act of July last. The duty on wool by this bill was sixty
per cent. and on woollens fifty per cent.
Mr. J. DAVIS did not understand on what authority the
gentleman assumed the duty on wool, under the act of the
last session, to be sixty per ccnt. During the debate upon
that bill, the duty was stated to amount to little more than
forty per cent.
Mr. HOFFMAN thought his colleague was mistaken as
to the average cost of imported wool. He held in his hand
a document from the Treasury, showing the importations
for several years. Mr. H. stated the cost of three and a
quarter millions of pounds imported in 1831, at the vari-
ous places whence it was imported, and said the average
was thirty-three and four-tenths cents per pound.
After some further remarks from Mr. Root, the ques-
tion was taken on his amendment to the amendment, and
was lost; Yeas 18, nays not counted. -
Mr. EVERETT, of Vermont, then moved to amend the
amendment of Mr. WRITE, so as to restore the protective
duty of the act of last year on wool, viz. four cents per
pound, and forty per cent. ad valorem; which was agreed
to: Yeas 87, nays 67. -
The question then recurring on Mr. White's amend-
ment, as thus amended by Mr. H. EveRETT,
Mr. POLK warmly remonstrated against its adoption,
as going, in substance, to declare that the House would do
nothing in the way of compromise, but would insist on
retaining the protecting duties as they were at present in
force.
Mr. INGERSOLL contended that the wool interest had
suffered most in the bill of last session, and ought now not
to be forsaken.
Mr. CAMBRELENG referred to great speculations
which had taken place in wool, and to competition be-
tween the wool growers and the manufacturers, in conse-
quence of the duty being raised by a former act. If the
amendment should be adopted, he should consideritas an
indication that no bill was to pass, and that we were to
have war between the North and South.
Mr. BEARDSLEY, of New York, now moved to amend
the amendment of Mr. Even Ett, so as to limit it to the
first year, and then to decrease the duty successively by
one cent each year, in the specific duty, and five per cent.
in the ad volorem duty, as follows:
4 cents specific, and 40 per cent
of March, - - - - "
3 cents, and 35 per cent. " - - -

ad valorem, until 2d - 1834 1835

-

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

2 cents, and 30 per cent. - - - - 1836 1 cent, and 25 per cent, thereafter, (as permanent duty. #. amendment was carried: Yeas 86, nays 69. The question being put on Mr. EveRETT's amendment, as amended by Mr. BEARDsley, it was rejected: Yeas 72, nays 73. Mr. White's first amendment was then adopted without alteration; leaving the duty on wool at 35 per cent. until 2d of March, 1834. 30 do. do. 1835. 25 do. do. 1836. 20 thereafter, (permanent.)

The question was next put on Mr. White's second amendment, which was to the third section of the bill, and made the reduction more gradual, as follows: 30 dollars until 2d of March, 1834. 25 do. do. 1835. 20 do. do. 1836. And then 15 permanent.

The amendment was agreed to, yeas 66, nays 64. The question next came up on the third amendment, which is in the fourth section of the bill, as follows: 40 per cent. until 2d of March, 1834. 35 do. do. 1835. 30 do. do. 1836. 25 thereafter (permanent.)

Mr. STEWART proposed to amend this amendment so as to restore the provisions of the act of last year, leaving the duty fifty per cent. This was negatived: yeas 75, nays 89. Mr. WHITE's amendment was then agreed to: yeas 76, nays 73. Mr. WHITE's next amendment was in the eighth and ninth sections of the bill. Mr. WHITE proposed to strike out both these sections, and insert a provision laying a duty on cotton goods of 30 per cent. till 2d March 1834. 25 do 1835. 20 thereafter (permanent.) Mr. SEMMES, of Maryland, moved to amend this amendment so as to leave the duty permanent at 30 per cent. After some remarks from the mover, this amendment was rejected without a count. Mr. PEARCE, of Rhode Island, then offered an amendment to the amendment of Mr. White, so as to make the duty On undyed cottons 73 cents the square yard; Dyed cottons 83 cents; except twist, yarn, and thread, (which were to be left as by the Tariff of 1824;) On nankeens direct from China, 20 per cent. ad valorem; Stamped floor cloth 43 cents the aquare yard; Other floor cloth 12% cents; Matting 5 per cent. ad valorem. [The effect of this amendment would be to restore the above duties as by the act of last year.] On motion of Mr. HOWARD, of Maryland, this amendment was divided; and the question taken first on the cottons. Mr. WINTON moved to rise. nays 75. The first part of Mr. PEARcE's amendment was then rejected: yeas 68, nays 73. The second part followed without a count. Mr. STEWART moved to amend Mr. White's amendment so as to leave the duty on cottons permanent at 30 per cent. ; and to strike out “silk,” as a material. The motion was negatived: yeas 63, nays 78. The committee then rose, and The House adjourned.

Negatived: yeas 72,

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2.

MASSACHUSETTS RESOLUTIONS.

The motion of Mr. Wrope, of Georgia, to reconsider the vote of the House, by which certain resolutions of the Legislature of Massachusetts were referred to a Committee of the Whole House, and ordered to be printed, coming up for consideration, Mr. WICKLIFFE observed that the motion had answered all its purposes, and there could be no good in continuing longer to discuss it. He did not believe there were five members in the House who would vote for it, and he therefore renewed his motion to lay the motion upon the table. Mr. W. however, though with great reluctance, withdrew the motion at the request of Mr. DAVIS, of Massachusetts, on condition that he would renew the motion; which Mr. D. promised to do. Mr. D. then said that some of the remarks which had fallen from gentlemen were of a nature to demand some animadversion. Several of those who had addressd the House seemed to suppose, and indeed had expressly said, that Massachusetts had spoken in an improper and unbecoming manner, and had used language of a violent character. Mr. D. denied the justice of both these charges. He knew, indeed, that that ancient Commonwealth was accustomed, at all times, and on all occasions, to speak her opinions openly, plainly, and fearlessly, without regard to what might or might not be the opinions of others. This had been her habit long before she had become a member of the American confederacy; and it would continue to be her practice, so long as the free, liberal, and enlightened character of her institutions should remain. She would, he trusted, at all times, express her sentiments fearlessly, and without disguise, whether her language were put on the records of this House or not. She cared not much whether, like the official language of other States of the Union, it was admitted upon the journals of Congress, or refused a place there. If any invidious distinction was to be introduced, in this respect, he should like to see the ground on which it was to rest. The States had all, at one time or other, spoken with great freedom, without any regard to what might be the opinions of that House, or of committees of that House; and the journals would bear him out in the assertion. He insisted that the paper, so far from being intemperate and violent, was in language quite the reverse: the I.egislature had expressed its views with great propriety, and in a very temperate manner; its tone was firm, indeed, but perfectly temperate, insomuch that the gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. Polk] might have saved himself all the trouble of “hurling” it back, and might, at the same time, have saved the Legislature of Massachusetts from all the dismay occasioned by such a procedure on his part. He would say to the worthy gentleman from Georgia, [Mr. CLAxton, j that the paper did not sustain the opinions which that gentleman had expressed to the House. It was not Mr. D's intention to interfere with those doctrines of nullification to which the gentlemen seemed so friendly; on that subject the gentleman could think and act as he pleased, but Mr. D. must protest against Massachusetts being charged with the expression of any such sentiments, or anything that sanctioned them. [He here quoted the words of the resolutions, and inquired:] Did this intimate any intention of nullifying the acts of thb Government? Nothing was further from the scope of the passage. All it declared was that Massachusetts was not bound to sit silently, with her mouth shut, while a policy was proposed which went to destroy her, as though she approved of what was about to be done: that was the meaning, and the, whole meaning. . And how the gentleman from Georgia could so entirely misconceive,

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

or misrepresent it, as in the remotest degree authorizing nullification, was to him perfectly incomprehensible. He had felt it due to j. and to his State to make these remarks, in reply to what had been said by the gentlemen from Georgia and Tennessee. He then moved, according to promise, to lay the motion on the table; but withdrew the motion at the request of Mr. WILDE, who said he hoped the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Davis] would withdraw his motion, to enable him, Mr. W., to make a disposition of this matter which would relieve the House from all further trouble respecting it. Mr. DAVIS assenting: Mr. WILDE proceeded: Nothing had been farther from his expectation when he introduced this resolution, than the debate to which it had given rise, unless indeed it was the new-born zeal for State rights which it had awakened in a certain quarter of the House. He was at first puzzled to conjecture how it happened, that a sentiment which had slept so long and so soundly, had so suddenly awakened; but, on further reflection, it occurred to him, that the uniform advocates of power were consistent with themselves. As they held that States had no rights in a conflict with the General Government, so individuals had no rights in a collision with the States. Nor was the logic of the gentlemen, in his humble judgment, less remarkable than their zeal. Because it was proper that the most unlimited freedom of petition should be allowed— which he admitted—because it was proper that every legislative body should express their opinions of public men and measures, in whatever language they might think becoming to themselves, which he did not deny, therefore, it was right that an individual whose conduct was reflected on in common with his associates, and who, not knowing the fact, had voted for the reference, should not be permitted to reconsider and recal his vote. Gentlemen seemed to have prejudged his course. They appeared, somewhat too hastily, to have inferred that, if the vote were reconsidered, he would attempt to prevail upon the House not to refer and print the preamble. He had intimated no such thing. He had hinted, on the contrary, that it might be proper for the House to refer and print, but that he could not be expected to vote for the reference of that part of it which, in his opinion, did injustice to the Committee of Ways and Means. The memorials of other States, on other occasions, had been cited. In these memorials, it was true, the character of laws passed, and the motives of majorities who passed them, had been canvassed with great freedom. Against this he had not objected, and should never object. Nor did he deny that great license in debate was, and ought to be allowed on that floor. In point of precedent, however, the cases did not fit. He had examined a great number of memorials, and he had not found one in which a State Legislature had permitted themselves to indulge in reflecting on the motives of a committee which had reported a measure still pending. But the question was not even whether this was perfectly usual and parliamentary. It was not whether the committees of the House, performing, under the order of the House, such duties as had been assigned to them, were to be exempted from censure, but whether they should be held to vote a ceasure on themselves, and in asking to be relieved from such a necessity, they were told, gravely told, that their motion was an insult on Massachusetts. . Mr. AbAMS explained. If the gentleman from Georgia, had not unfortunately been absent yesterday—he said unfortunately, because he understood it was from sewere indisposition—he would have known that he [Mr. ADAMs) had begged leave to correct that expression. He would not be understood as saying that the motion to reconsider was an insult to the Legislature of Massachusetts, because, from his knowledge of the gentleman from

e

Georgia, he knew he was incapable of intentionally offer.

|ing an insult to any public body or any individual.

Mr. WILDE resumed. He was happy that the gentleman from Massachusetts did him justice. Nothing was, or could be further from his mind than an intention to . the legislative body of any State with the slightest isrespect. What motive could he have to insult the Legislature of Massachusetts? Men were usually influenced either by the hope of glory or the love of ease. Prudent and thriving statesmen—which he was not—animated by the first, could hardly fail to remember that the very respectable State of Massachusetts had thirteen votes; and he, who had all his life found the last “the sin that most easily besets,” could scarcely avoid reflecting that the peace which he loved would be little promoted by bringing down upon his head the displeasure of the zealous and talented delegation from Massachusetts. So far from intending any disrespect to the Legislature of Massachusetts, he had not imagined that Legislature could believe he respected them less because he had this much respect for himself; that he could not acquiesce in an unjust censure which they had been induced to cast on him. Since the representatives of that State, however, had not considered it consistent with her dignity to allow him an opportunity of denying the justice of that censure by his vote, he would prove his respect for the Legislature of the State of Massachusetts, by relieving them from the unpleasant predicament of appearing to introduce a grave question of State rights for the purpose of obtaining a petty triumph over an obscure individual. He would withdraw his motion for reconsideration, and in doing so, he hoped he was actuated by no worse a motive than that of returning good for evil. The motion was accordingly withdrawn. Mr. CLAYTON requested his colleague to allow him first an opportunity of replying to Mr. Davis, but Mr. W. said he could not consent to do so.

GENERAL LAND OFFICE.

The House then proceeded to the consideration of the motion made by Mr. PLUMMER, on the 18th January, ultimo, that the House do reconsider the vote taken on the 17th of January, ultimo, agreeing to the resolution reported by Mr. WILDE, from the Committee of Ways and Means, by which that committee was discharged from the consideration of the estimates, documents, and correspondence, transmitted to said committee by the Commissioner of the General Land Office, in explanation of the increased appropriations asked for the service of the present year in that department, and by which the same were referred to the Committee on the Public Lands, with instructions to make certain inquiries therein set forth. Mr. PLUMMER stated, at length, his reasons in support of his motion to reconsider; insisting that the course proposed was unusual, and that it would be best for the committee to prefer an accusation against the Commissioner, and then call for téstimony to support it. Mr. WICKLIFFE declined going into the subject at this time, or making a Wiscasset business of this matter. The committee wished further information, and could not get it without the power asked for. The House had granted it to them with great promptitude, and they should have exercised it before now, had not their proceedings been suspended by a pending motion to reconsider. The General Land office had expended $20,000 within the last two years for extra clerk hire, besides an increased compensation to the standing clerks. Mr. X. concluded by demanding the previous question. He withdrew the motion at the request of - Mr. CLAY, of Alabama, who, though entertaining no doubt that the Commissioner would be perfectly prepared to meet the investigation, was in favor of granting the

power.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

The previous question was seconded, put, and carried; and, on the main question of reconsidering, the House voted unanimously in the negative.

So the power to send for persons and papers was granted.

The House passed to the orders of the day, and once more resolved itself into Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union, Mr. WAYNE in the chair, and resumed the consideration of

THE TARIFF BILL.

Mr. APPLETON, of Massachusetts, moved to amend the amendment offered by Mr. White, of New York, to the original bill in its eighth and ninth sections. [The bill proposed on cottons costing twenty-five cents the square yard an ad valorem duty of 30 per cent. until March, 1834, and then a permanent duty of 20 per cent. ; and on all other cottons 25 per cent. ad valorem until March, 1834, and then 20 per cent. permanent. Mr. White's amendment proposed to make the reduction more gradual, as follows: 30 per cent. till March, 1834, 25 per cent. till March, 1835, and then 20 per cent. permanent. Mr. Appleton’s amendment put the duty at 20 per cent. permanent, and added a proviso that on plains there should be a square yard duty of 73 cents till March, 1834, and then 6 cents permanent; and on calicoes a square yard duty of 83 cents till March, 1834, and then 8 cents permanent.] Mr. A. supported his amendment by a speech, in which he contended that removing the specific duty must operate to destroy the cotton manufacture, especially that of printed cotton; insomuch that the calico business must be immediately ruined. He believed that this country was supplied with all the cotton goods required for general consumption by our own manufacturers intrinsically cheaper than any other nation whatever. The capital, however, required was so great, that a factory turned out yearly goods only to the amount of half the capital invested. He admitted that this protection was not needed on that particular class of cottons which we now exported; but as the duty was laid on all, he thought it unwise to take it off. The slight difference as to time, proposed by the amendment of the gentleman from New York, was of no value. Ten years was the shortest period that would be any effectual relief. Mr. WHITE said that there would be no need of heavy protection for an article we were exporting with success, and which was able to meet the British article in the fo. reign markets. Mr. WICKLIFFE inquired of Mr. Appleton as to the existing rate of profit in the cotton manufacture. Mr. APPLETON replied that the Merrimac company, with a capital of a million and a half of dollars, had manufactured cottons to the amount of 6,000,000 yards per annum; but the proportion of goods manufactured per annum, was not more than 50 or 60 per cent. on the capital, on which business they had found a balance in their favor of but $57,000. Their profits were four per cent. for the last six months; this, however, was a season of peculiar depression. In 1831, when their business had been most prosperous, their profits for six months had gone as high as 10 per cent, being at the rate of 20 per cent. per annum. But nothing was more fluctuating. The only company now at Lowell whose stock was at par, were engaged in manufacturing for foreign markets. In fine goods, the caprice of fashion was such that prices could not be calculated upon. Mr. CAMBRELENG thought that the statement just made presented one of the strongest arguments that could be adduced against the gentleman's own proposition. The only successful company, it seemed, were

engaged in making cotton for exportation. Now, he

would ask, was there any protection where these cottons went? Were there any protecting laws for these cottons in Mexico? in Brazil? in Asia Minor? Here then, after forty years of protection, in which the farmers of this country had paid an increased price for all their cotton goods, the manufacturers came forward and avowed that their most profitable business was supplying, not the home market, but nations ten thousand miles off. Mr. C. was for removing the duty, and placing their cottons here in our own market just as they were placed in markets abroad. The Glasgow manufacturers had no protection against those of Manchester; yet they, and even the poor people of Switzerland, were able to compete with the Manchester skill and capital; and surely our people could do the same. Mr. C. referred to the personal wealth of the gentleman from Massachusetts, and the thriving state of the manufacturing towns, as proof that the business must be very profitable; deprecated the minimum system as deceptive; and preferred an ad valorem duty, as open and above board. Mr. APPLETON complained of the disingenuous character of Mr. CAM ankleNg's argument, which seemed to assume that the manufacturers, while supplying foreign countries with cheap cottons, did not furnish them to their own countrymen as cheap. He complained of the personality of the reference to his own circumstances, and offered to transfer to him all his profits, if he would give him ten per cent. per annum on his investments to cover loss. He spoke for his constituents, and if parting with all his own property would permanently settle the present question, he would willingly, give it up. The minimum system had been introduced by Southern gentlemen, and it was the unexampled success of that system in practice, which had rendered our cottons so cheap and so good. It was madness in the South to break down this interest, as it must destroy a valuable market for their own staples. Mr. BURGES said the question was, whether the cotton manufactures of this country should be preserved or destroyed. The 20 per cent. duty proposed by the bill was to be laid on the foreign cost of the article; and that would be put so low, that the duty would not amount to a o although, with all the costs upon it, a yard of that cotton would be worth eight cents. This would let in floods of British goods, and prostrate our own. It was true that the English had reduced their protecting duty to 10 per cent.; but such was the maturity of the manufacture, and the strictness of their revenue laws, that that duty was a perfect barrier against all foreign competition. Her surplus she sent here, and sacrificed at any price, because it would be a dead loss at home; and, besides this, the stock of bankrupts was purchased under the hammer in England for next to nothing, paid little duty, and was then poured into our auction stores. If the Government intended to secure the home market, the only way to do so was to render the duty prohibitory. Mr. BOULDIN, of Virginia, insisted that the manufacturers asked a protection which no government could grant. The evil of which they complained grew out of protection itself. The moment there was a diminution of foreign supply, the manufacturer pressed on the consumer: prices rose; high prices produced an over importation; this occasioned a glut; prices instantly fell, and both importer and manufacturer suffered together. If 20 per cent. protection, added to all the cost of importation, after two or three years to prepare for the change, was not enough to sustain the manufacture, then, in the name of God, let it go down. Mr. B. protested with vehemence against the square yard duty, as pressing upon the poor, and relieving the rich. Mr. E. EVERETT now sent to the Clerk’s table the remonstrance of the Lowell manufacturing company, which was read.

« 上一頁繼續 »