« AnteriorContinuar »
Senate.] State of the Finances.--Imprisonment of American Citizens.-- Northeastern Boundary. (Dec. 7 to 14, 1831.
On Finance.--Messrs. Smith, Tyler, Marcy, Silsbee, ject; and he was of opinion that no additional information and Johnston.
would be elicited by the adoption of the resolution. On Commerce.--Messrs. Forsyth, Dudley, Silsbee, John- Mr. HOLMES said he was satisfied that the message of ston, and Wilkins.
the President did not embrace the information which the On Manufactures.--Messrs. Dickerson, Clay, Knight, resolution called for. The question was, whether the Miller, and Seymour.
decision by the King of the Netherlands was to settle the On Agriculture.- Messrs. Seymour, Brown, Moore, question of boundary. If not, the President would doubtHanna, and Waggaman.
less propose further negotiations on the subject, and the On Military Affairs.--Messrs. Benton, Barnard, Troup, object of the resolution was to obtain the information wheClay, and Kane.
ther further negotiations were or would be proposed. On the Militia.--Messrs. Barnard, Frelinghuysen, Clay- The President, in the exercise of his discretion, could ton, Prentiss, and Waggaman.
give the Senate such information on this important matter On Naval Affairs.--Messrs. Ilayne, Tazewell, Robbins, as they required, either confidentially or otherwise, as he Webster, and Bibb.
might judge proper. It was due to the public to require On Public Lands.--Messrs. King, Ellis, Holmes, Robin- such information: for there was no small anxiety in the son, and Hanna.
public mind to know whether or not the decision by the On Private Land Claims.Messrs. Kane, Naudain, King of the Netherlands was considered to be binding on Prentiss, Ruggles, and Hendricks.
the two Governments concerned, &c. On Indian Affairs.--Messrs. White, Troup, Poindex- Mr. HAYNE said he was generally in favor of motions ter, Benton, and Wilkins.
for inquiry; but, in this case, he would prefer a postponeOn Claims.--Messrs. Ruggles, Bell, Naudain, Brown, ment for a few days. He thought the resolution, at this and Moore.
time, premature. The President had informed Congress On the Judiciary.--Messrs. Marcy, Hayne, Webster, that he would, hereafter, fully communicate, by special Frelinghuysen, and Grundy.
message, all the papers in relation to the subjeci; and he On the Post Office and Post Roads.--Messrs. Grundy, (Mr. H.] was of opinion that the better course would be Ellis, Hill, Ewing, and Tomlinson.
to wait for that information, when, if necessary, a motion On Roads and Canals.--Messrs. Hendricks, Poindex- for inquiry could be properly shaped. ter, Hill, Mangum, and Sprague.
Mr. HOLMES regreited the suggestion for delay. On Pensions.--Messrs. Foot, Chambers, Mangum, Buck. There was a very strong feeling on the subject in the ner, and Sprague.
State of Maine; many of the citizens of which State On the District of Columbia.--Messrs. Chambers, Ty- thought they had been treated coolly, if not cavalierly. ler, Holmes, Clayton, and Miller.
He would not, however, object to the delay for a few days, On the Contingent Fund.--Messrs. Knight, Dudley, and but, taking example from his constituents, would be at Tomlinson.
least as indulgent in this matter as they liad already been. On Engrossed Bills.— Messrs. Robinson, Ewing, and He would, therefore, consent that the resolution should Buckner.
lay on the the table till next week. The Senate then adjourned.
On motion of Mr. HAYNE, the resolution was then laid
upon the table. WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7.
The Senate went into the consideration of executive STATE OF THE FINANCES.
business; and, after sitting with closed doors for a short
time, The President of the Senate communicated the annual Adjourned to Monday next. report of the Secretary of the Treasury on the state of the finances, the reading of which was dispensed with,
MONDAY, DECEMBER 12. and fifteen hundred additional copies ordered to be print- The Vice President of the United States attended toed for the use of the Senate.
day, and took the chair of the Senate. After the reception of sundry resolutions, and a short
On motion of Mr. CHAMBERS, it was ordered that time spent in the consideration of executive business, the several officers of the Senate, who are now officiating, The Senate adjourned to twelve o'clock to-morrow. shall continue to act in their respective stations until Mon
day next. THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8.
After the reception of petitions and resolutions, and IMPRISONMENT OF AMERICAN CITIZENS. spending a short time in executive business,
The Senate adjourned.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13.
The Senate spent a short time in receiving petitions tible with the public interest, all the information in his and resolutions; and then power, relative to the capture, abduction, and imprison
Adjourned. ment of American citizens by the provincial authorities
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14. of New Brunswick, and the measures which, in consequence thereof, have been adopted by the Executive of States was received, and read, and ordered to be printed:
The following message from the President of the United the United States."
WASHINGTON, December 13, 1831. NORTHEASTERN BOUNDARY.
To the Senate of the United States: The following resolution, yesterday submitted by Mr. I transmit herewith, in obedience to a resolution of the Holmes, was taken up:
Senate of the 8th December, 1831, all the information in Resolved, That the President be requested to inform the possession of the Executive, relative to the capture, the Senate whether any further negotiation is commenc-abduction, and imprisonment of American citizens by the ed, proposed, or intended, in regard to the Northeastern provincial authorities of New Brunswick; and the meaboundary of the United States."
sures which, in consequence thereof, have been adopted Mr. POINDEXTER said the general message of the by the Executive of the United States. President of the United States treated fully on the sub
Dec. 15 to 19, 1831.) Duty on Tea.-- The Militia.—Northeastern Boundary.--Election of Officers. [SENATE.
The remainder of the sitting was spent in the reception were upwards of one million and sixty thousand, but some of petitions and other minor business.
States had not made returns of their strength since 1820.
At the present time, it would be absurd to suppose that THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15.
the militia, according to their new organization, would The President's message was taken up, and its various amount to two millions. The service of a militiaman, untopics distributed to appropriate committees; and then, der the existing regulation, is twenty-seven years. Under after a short time spent in executive business,
that which he proposed, the term of service would be only Adjourned to Monday.
fourteen years. Then, if Congress should think proper
to organize the militia according to the above proposed Monday, DECEMBER 19.
plan, and the appropriation be raised to four, instead of
two hundred thousand dollars, we might reasonably hope DUTY ON TEA.
for an efficient militia in a reasonable time, besides the Mr. SMITH, from the Committee on Finance, to whom great saving of time which that organization would afford had been referred memorials from sundry merchants of the to those left out of the new enrolment. cities of New York, Philadelphia, and Pittsburg, in favor Mr. FOOT withdrew his motion to amend, and the reof a further reduction of the duties on teas, made a re- solution was adopted. port, accompanied by a resolution, that it is inexpedient
NORTHEASTERN BOUNDARY. to act on the subject of the memorials at this time. Mr. CLAY rose to inquire of the chairman of the com
Mr. HOLMES called up his resolution which was laid mittee, whether it was intended that the report should on the table last week, inquiring of the President of the remain on the table or be acted on. Entertaining very
United States whether any negotiation was commenced, different views from those which he understood to be proposed, or intended, in regard to the Northeast boundary. expressed in the report, he was desirous that the question the suggestion of a Senator from South Carolina, (Mr.
He stated that it was laid on the table in accordance with of the repeal of the duty on tea should be fully and early Harve, that the documents expected from the President to the consumer, and to the important interests of the might convey the information required by the resolution. country. He would, therefore, ask whether it was in- But he had examined the documents since transmitted by tended that the report should, by reference to a Commit- the Executive, none of which conveyed the information tee of the whole, or in any other manner, be brought be required. fore the consideration of the Senate, so that there may be
Mr. POINDEXTER moved to amend the resolution by some general espression of the sentiments of the whole striking out the words “proposed or inte d,” as he body on the subject.
thought it improper to inquire of the President what neMr. SMITH, chairman of the committee, replied that gotiations hie intended to institute. the usual course was not to act on reports on the day
Mr. HOLMES remarked that he was not disposed to be they were presented to the Senate; they laid on the table very fastidious, even in regard to asking the President's one day of course, and were taken up and disposed of intentions; but still he could not perceive why he had not on the day following:
on this subject a right to know what the President did in
tend. But as the words “commenced or proposed" would THE MILITIA.
embrace his whole object, he had no objection to modify The following resolution, submitted on Thursday last the resolution by omitting the word “intended,” but obby Mr. Harxs, was taken up:
jected to expunging the word “proposed.” Resolved, that the Committee on the Militia be instruct.
Mr. BIBB, suggesting that the resolution might involve ed to inquire into the expediency of an organization of a discussion which would not be proper in public session, the militia, such as will embrace those only between the hoped the gentleman would consent to transfer it to the ages of twenty-one and thirty-five; and also of increasing executive journal. the annual appropriation for arming the militia of the Mr. H. consented to transfer the resolution to the execuUnited States.
tive journal, and accordingly moved that it be so, transMr. FOOT moved to amend the resolution by striking ferred. out the word an, and inserting the words "a reorgani- Mr. KING objected, stating that it was not the practice, zation.
and was improper. The gentleman could reach the obMr. HANNA replied that his object was not to limitject by withdrawing it now, and offering it in secret session. the inquiry of the committee, but rather to impart to it Mr. HOLMES said resolutions had been transferred both all possible light and information on the subject. His sole ways. Legislative resolutions to the executive, and exeobject in submitting the resolution was to reduce the en- cutive to the legislative journals. It might, however, occur rolment of the militia, and raise the appropriation to pro- that our legislative proceedings might bring into discussion vide arms in such a mann as at once to afford an effect- matter exclusively executive, and the proper course was ire militia force. He would, however, accept the amend to transfer the subject and discuss it with closed doors. ment of the Senator from Connecticut.
On the other hand, a subject might be presented as an exMr. POINDEXTER observed that he was not apprised ecutive subject, which might become of a legislative chaof any organization of the militia by Congress. He, there-racter, or which did not require secrecy, and it would be fore, thought the word reorganization would be improper. proper to make it public by placing it on the legislative
Mr. HANNA would state to the Senator from Missis, journal. These changes often become necessary, and the sippi, that there was an act of Congress which purported practice had been such as he suggested. to be an act organizing the militia of the United States, and
The question being taken, the motion to transfer the referred to the act of 1806. It was on account of the requi- resolution to the confidential sitting was agreed to by a sitions of that act, he had offered the resolution in question. large majority. That act was in itself a nullity, because it required of the militia of the United States an impossibility. It required
ELECTION OF OFFICERS. them to provide their own arms, and to appear on days of The Chair announced the order of the day, for protraining with proper equipment. Now, if all the arms in ceeding to the election of the officers of the Senate, and the United States, both public and private, were put into desired the members to prepare their ballots for Secretary. the hands of the militia, they would not all be supplied. Mr. CHAMBERS rose, and said that, before the ballot According to the last return of the militia, their numbers for Secretary be taken, he desired to obtain information in
Election of Officers.
(Dec. 19, 1831.
Was it pro
relation to a grave charge, of such current circulation as perceive the injustice to ourselves. He hoped the Se. to make it probable that every Senator present was ac- cretary was able to give a satisfactory explanation. Was quainted with it: he alluded to a letter lately published in it proper to refuse him the opportunity to do so?. The many of the newspapers, purporting to be from William Senate and the public might be disabused. B. Lewis (Second Auditor) to Stephen Simpson. The per to prohibit it? Senators had the means of correct language of the letter imported that the President had information; was it just to deny their application of these expected the nomination of Mr. Simpson, then pending in means? He thought not. The Senator from North Ca. the Senate, to be confirmed, until the morning of the day rolina had alluded to the charge as the work of a partisan on which the Senate finally acted on that nomination; editor-a common newspaper slander. The Senator was when he learnt, from the Secretary of the Senate, for the mistaken in point of fact. The charge emanated from an first time, that Mr. Simpson was in danger. The extent officer holding a conspicuous position in the Government. of the assertion is, said Mr. C., that, before a final decision The newspaper contained the letter in which the assertion in this body upon a nomination, the President receives was made, and he believed the printed copy was exact. intelligence from our Secretary of the opinions of Sena- The original letter, however, could be produced if its tors on that nomination. The rules of the Senate, from authenticity were doubted, and would be found to corits earliest organization, Mr. C. said, had required that the respond. The charge, then, was a grave one.
The executive duties of the body should be conducted with source whence it originated was calculated to demand closed doors, and imposed on Senators and their officers credit for its correctness, and the means for determining its an injunction not to disclose debates or opinions; reposing truth perfectly accessible. No other mode had been sugfor the faithful and sacred observance of this injunction gested; and unless something more practicable should be upon the honor of each individual. When, therefore, it proposed, he would submit a motion which the presiding was suggested, or rather asserted, that the most confiden- officer had said would be in order-to permit the Secretial officer of the Senate had violated the confidence and tary to make such explanations as he may desire to submit. proved treacherous to the faith reposed in him, the duty Mr. BROWN disclaimed any intention of throwing any seemed to be imperative on the Senate to ascertain whe-obstacles in the way of investigation; but expressed himther the assertion be sustained by facts. We have now self decidedly adverse to the introduction of a practice before the world the written assertion of an officer filling which did not exist in any deliberative assembly, to ask an important station in the Government, (the Second Au- officers to declare whether they were guilty or not of any ditor,] professing to speak in the name and by the autho- allegation. The question was, he admitted, a grave one, rity of the Chief Magistrate, which, if true, affects the but his object was to prevent the introduction of a pracofficial fidelity of the Secretary of the Senate. Mr. C. tice subversive of the dignity of this body. The proper said he had felt some difficulty as to the most proper mode test would be, in his opinion, the ballot box when the of bringing this subject to the notice of the Senate; but Senators should come to vote. after reflection it had appeared to him proper to mention Mr. HAYNE rose, and addressed himself to a point of it in his place, in the hope that it might receive the expla- misconception which it appeared to him existed in respect nation which, if untrue, could at once be furnished." It to the question. No Senator had, he conceived, a right was due to the intelligence and respect we owe to the to call on the Secretary to make explanations. Although, community, that a charge so publicly made, affecting the if the motion were in order, he would rather he should do character of an officer of this body, should be publicly so; and that it was in order, he was inclined to believe, as known to be without truth, if such were the case. Mr. the Secretary had already, on more cccasions than one, c. had, therefore, taken this means to inquire whether by permission, addressed the Senate in explanation. He any Senator was charged by the Secretary with the histo- hopes the Secretary's explanation would be satisfactory, ry of this matter, and authorized by him to present such and, if it was his wish to make one, hoped he would be explanations as the subject seemed to demand. Such an permitted. explanation, he hoped, could and would be given, as The Secretary then intimating, through the President, should do justice to the officer himself, and relieve the a wish to address the Senate, and the wish being accorded Senate from further difficulty. Should it be that this by the general consent of the members, authority had not been given to any Senator on the floor, Mr. LOWRIE rose, and said that, strictly speaking, le he supposed it would be in order for the Secretary him- had no explanation to give. That to the charge, as he unself to make the explanation asked for, and which he derstood it, he had nothing to give but a decided, and, le [Mr. C.) hoped would be entirely satisfactory. must add, an indignant denial. The miserable publica
Mr. BROWN was opposed to an explanation on the part tions on this subject he had not seen; he had heard of them, of the Secretary of the Senate, suggested by the Senator but he paid no attention to any thing from that source. from Maryland. If the Senate permitted such a course He would say, however, since he had acted as the Secreto be pursued, it would grow into a precedent, and be tary of the Senate, neither President Adams nor President claimed as a right in cases of a similar nature, by every Jackson had ever asked him a single question in relation to officer of the House, from the highest to the lowest, on the actings of the Senate on nominations. He (Mr. L.] any imputation, either on anonymous newspaper authority, made this statement without qualification, and he could or from a partisan editor. He had listened in vain for with confidence appeal to both those gentlemen for its any specific allegations against the Secretary.
truth. I understand, said Mr. L., that there is a letter Mr. CHAMBERS said he was altogether unconvinced said to be from Mr. Lewis, stating that, on the 2d of March, by what had been said by the Senator from North Caro- I told liim that S. Simpson's nomination would not be lina. If he could suggest any mode of proceeding more confirmed. On this point my recollection is this: On the likely to result in giving the Senate more accurate infor- 2d of March I was not at the President's till I took up the mation of the truth or falsehood of the assertion now pro- rejection of the nomination. But some time near the posed to be inquired into, that Senator should receive his close of the ression, I met Mr. Lewis just inside of the acknowledgments. In such event, the course now pro- door, in the President's house. He asked me some quesposed would be abandoned, and the better course of the tions about the proceedings of the Senate. What he ask. Senator cheerfully substituted. But be offers no substi- ed me, or what I answered, I have not the most remote tute, he protests against the one pursued, and would recollection of. If he asked me whether I thought S. leave us to act on the charge and deny the means of ascer-Simpson's nomination would be confirmed, I certainly told taining its truth. This is injustice to the individual offi- him I thought it would not. I would have told him so the cer and the Senators. Candor and intelligence must day it was made, or a month before it was made. Such Dec. 20, 1831.]
West India Trade.
was my opinion, not derived, as these contemptible charges is hoped will not be interrupted. One of these arrangeinsinulate, from the members of the Senate. I appeal to ments is that relating to the colonial trade, which was erery Senator who was here last session, whether I men- communicated to Congress at the last session; and altioned his name, or whether they mentioned his name in though the short period during which it has been in force my hearing: but my opinion was derived from my own will not enable me to form an accurate judgment of its knowledge of his worthlessness and unfitness. In a word, operation, there is every reason to believe that it will standing here in the presence of the Senate, I say the prove highly beneficial. The trade thereby authorized charge is untrue. I have too much self-respect to com- has employed to the 30th September last upwards of municate the proceedings of the Senate to any one; I am thirty thousand tons of American, and fifteen thousand not yet thus prepared to disregard my oath of office, and tons of foreign shipping in the outward voyages, and in every honorable sentiment, in the discharge of my public the inward nearly an equal amount of American, and duty here. I rest the subject with these remarks. twenty thousand only of foreign tonnage. Advantages,
The ballot was then taken for Secretary, when there too, have resulted to our agricultural interests from the appeared
state of the trade between Canada and our territories and For Walter Lowrie,
40 votes. ‘States bordering on the St. Lawrence and the lakes, Scattering,
1 • which may prove more than equivalent to the loss susThe Senate then balloted for a principal doorkeeper,tained by the discrimination made to favor the trade of when Mountjoy Bayly was re-elected without opposition. the Northern colonies with the West Indies.”
The Senate next proceeded to the election of an assist- It seems then to be admitted, said Mr. H., that we on ant doorkeeper, which occupied six different ballotings, the Atlantic have sustained a loss, which it is supposed as follows:
is to be made up to the agricultural interests on our in1st. 2d. 3d. 4th. 5th. 6th, terior waters. The amount of this loss, and particularly For Mr. Shackford, 6
11 16 21 24 its proportion to the State of Maine, which I have the W. W. Watkins,
5 7 7
10 honor, in part, to represent, is one subject of my inquiry. S. P. Walker, 5 7 7 7 6 5 Thirty thousand tons of American shipping is but a pitJ. H. Waggaman,
5 3 2 tance of what has hitherto been concerned annually in A. R. Dowson, 4
this trade. The President's proclamation opening the Jas. Young,
1 1 trade to the British, was of the 5th October, 1830, and Jas. Tims, 3 3 1 2 1 1
about two months after, I believe, (for in this I speak J. F. Caldwell, 2 2 2 2 2 1 from recollection,) the trade was open to us.
Up to the Mr. Burdick, 1 1 1
30th September, this trade had been open to the British Thos. Fillebrown, 2 1
a year minus five days, and to us ten months; and during Geo. Gilliss, 1
these periods the American outward tonnage had been E. W. Clarke, 1 1
thirty thousand, and the British fifteen thousand, and the Wm. Hebb, 1
inward had been American something less, and British H. V. Hill, 1
twenty thousand only. Now, what can the President C. Bestor,
mean? Before Mr. McLane's arrangement, this trade had D. Butler, 1
formed a regular channel; our products had been transJ. Coburn, 1
ported in our own vessels to St. Bartholomew, a Swedish Mr. Fitzpatrick,
2 2 1 island, and St. Thomas, a Danish island, where they were So Mr. Shackford, of Missouri, was elected assistant deposited, and where they were taken by British transdoorkeeper; and
portation to their islands for consumption. In the year endThe several officers were sworn in by the President of ing 30th September, 1830, this transportation stood thusthe Senate.
American tonnage. Foreign. The Senate proceeded to the election of a chaplain, Swedish West Indies, 19,960
000 which occupied two ballotings, and resulted as follows:
000 For the Rev. Mr. Durbin, 19
000 Rev. Mr. Hatch, 10
British American colonies, 117,171 214,267 Br. Rev. Mr. Woolford, 6
4 Rev. Mr. Thomas
Tons, 193,584 The Rev. Mr. Durbin, of Kentucky, was accordingly
214,267 elected chaplain on the part of the Senate. The Senate then spent a short time in executive busi- ish West Indies for their consumption must have been
The tonnage employed to supply the Swedish and DanDESS; and then Adjourned.
trifling indeed. Nearly the whole of this one hundred and ninety-three thousand five hundred and eighty-four tons of
American, and two hundred and fourteen thousand two TUESDAY, DECEMBER 20.
hundred and sixty-seven tons of British shipping must WEST INDIA TRADE.
have been employed in furnishing the Britisli American Mr. HOLMES rose, and said that his attention had been colonies. Now, if, in twelve months for the British, directed to a paragraph in the President's message at the and ten for the American navigation, only thirty thousand commencement of this session, and, from its indefinite tons of the former, and fifteen thousand of the latter, have character, he should be compelled to make it the basis of been employed in the outward, and much less of the forsome resolutions of inquiry. The paragraph to which he mer, and about one-fourth more of the latter, in the inward alluded would be found on the fourth page of the message, trade, what a dismal falling off do we here witness? If which he would take the liberty to read, and which was as the Atlantic States have, by this "arrangement,” suffered follows:
such a diminution of their tonnage for more than an equi“Of the claims upon England, it is unnecessary to speak, valent to the inhabitants on the lakes and on the St. Law* further than to say that the state of things to which their rence, and it is right that our interests should be thus prosecution and denial gave rise, has been succeeded by sacrificed to theirs, it is but fair that we, the sufferers, should
arrangements productive of mutual good feelings and know what that equivalent is, whether it is commercial or 'amicable relations between the two countries, which it political.
The Tariff--Duties on Teas.
(Dec. 20, 1831.
Further, sir, in recurring to the negotiation in this af. custom-houses in those continental colonies, thus performfair, it seems that, on our part, every thing was yielded, ing voyages circuitous on paper, but in fact direci. and in the humblest terms of concession. The Earl of Resolved, That the President be requested to inform Aberdeen triumphantly quotes Mr. McLane upon liim- the Senate what are the duties paid on British American self, thus: “ It (the measure of the American Congress) vessels and their cargoes respectively in British ports in concedes in its terms all the power in the negotiation of the West Indies and the other British American colonies, the colonial trade, and authorizes the President to con- distinguishing between the West Indies and the other fer on British subjects all those privileges, as well in the colonies, and between American and British vessels, and circuitous as the direct voyage, which Great Britain has the produce of the United States and of the colonies. at any time demanded or desired.” So it seems we have On motion of Mr. SMITH, the resolutions were oryielded every thing, permitted, nay, solicited Great Britain dered to be printed. to prescribe the terms, and the consequence has been, as every one might have expected, a dead loss to our navi
THE TARIFF-DUTIES ON TEAS. gating interest I have, sir, another inquiry which I wish to propose. following report, made yesterday from the Committee on
The Senate then proceeded to the consideration of the It has been intimated that this trade has taken this course:
Finance: our productions are subjected to a much higher duty in the British West Indies than in their North American pro- The Committee on Finance, to which were referred the vinces. We are excluded from carrying from these pro. memorials of the importers and dealers in teas, of New vinces to their West Indies.. To avoid this duty charge- York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Pittsburg, report: able from our ports direct to the West Indies, the British That the memorialists pray, that in case Congress shall vessel obtains a clearance, say from Halifax or St. John's, contemplate any reduction in the duties on teas, that such and clears from a port in the United States to a British reduction may be made to take effect from and after the continental port, sails directly to the West Indies, enters 31st December of the present year; being the same time under this clearance from Halifax or St. John's, and thus at which the act of the 20th May, 1830, entitled “An act avoids the high duty on our products from our ports to to reduce the duties on coffee, tea, and cocoa,” will take tire West Indies direct. If such a practice is going on, it effect on teas: their object being that whenever reducat once, and totally, excludes our participation in the tion in the duties on teas may be made, that it may operate whole trade.
simultaneously with the said act of May, 1830. One other inquiry is embraced by the resolutions which
The committee deemed it proper to consult the SecreI intend to offer. It appears by Mr. McLane's despatches tary of the Treasury on the subject, and particularly as to to the Secretary of State, that Mr. Herries, President of the effect an immediate reduction of the duties would have the Board of Trade, had presented a proposition for a lon the finances of the nation. His answer, they ask permodification of the tariff on importation into those British mission to submit as part of their report. colonies, in which he had exhibited a schedule of the
The committee are fully aware of the inconvenience present and proposed duties. Mr. McLane, in his letter which must arise to commercial men, by frequent changes of the 224 November, 1830, indulges a hope of relaxation in the duties. They are constrained, however, to report of the proposed duties, and this is the last we hear on the that it is inexpedient to act on the subject of the mesubject. Part of iny purpose is to ascertain what are the morials at this time. duties now chargeable in the British colonies.
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, On the whole, sir, this subject is involved in too much mystery. Maine, it is feared, has lost a valuable portion
December 15, 1831. of her territory in exchange for Rouse's Point, in New Sir: I had the honor to receive yesterday your letter York. If, in addition to this, a large amount of her ton- of the 14th instant, accompanied by a memorial of sundry nage is to be dismantled to benefit this and other large merchants of New York, praying that any further conStates, let us know how, why, and wherefore; and for templated reduction in the duties on tea may take effect this purpose I offer the following resolutions:
on the 1st of January, 1832. Resolved, That the President be requested to cause to In answer to your request that I would state the effect be communicated to the Senate the number of vessels, upon the revenue of a reduction of the duties on teas and their tonnage and cargoes, which have cleared from to certain rates which have been proposed by persons enany ports in the United States to any port or place in gaged in the tea trade, to go into operation at the time the British American colonies since the President's pro- above mentioned, I beg leave to state, generally, that such clamation of 5th October, 1830; distinguishing those, if a reduction could not be made without materially disturbany, which cleared for such port and place, " and a mar-ing the estimates presented in the late annual report from kei,” or for a British port or place, or some other port or this department on the state of the finances, nor consistplace; distinguishing, also, American from foreign ton. ently with the views entertained as to the entire payment page, and also the entries of all vessels from any British of the debt on or before the 3d of March, 1853. colonial port, with their cargoes, since the above procla. Without more precise information than the department mation; distinguishing the tonnage as above, and designat possesses of the quantity of tea in store, it is difficult to ing the British port or place from whence the cargoes furnish the details you request. The quantity, however, were imported.
may be supposed to be greater than it otherwise would Resolved, That the President be requested to inform be, in consequence of the mutual desire, both of the imthe Senate what amount of American and foreign tonnage porter and the retail dealer, to preserve as much as pos(distinguishing them) has been cleared for, and entered sible of the importation for the benefit of the reduced from, the Swedish and Danish West Indies, since the Presi- duties which are to take effect on the 1st of January next. dent's proclamation of the 5th October, 1830, with the It will appear from the statement herewith transmitted, kind and amount of the cargoes.
that the proposed reduction would be attended with a proResolved, That the President be requested to inform bable diminution in the revenue, varying from half a milthe Senate whether, since his proclaination of the 5th lion downwards, according to the quantity of tea which October, 1850, British vessels have cleared from the United may be found actually in store on the 1st of January, States for any port in the British continental colonies in It is believed, moreover, that the principal benefits of America, and have sailed directly to the British West In- the proposed reduction would be conferred on the imdies, by virtue of clearances previously obtained from porter rather than the consumer. If, as is understood to