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ourselves, at the commencement of the present hundred thousand dollars; boots, shoes, and session of Congress.
saddlery, five hundred thousand dollars; hats, "I will not now stop to dilate upon the bene- three hundred thousand dollars; cabinet, coach, fit which will result to every family from an and other wooden work, six hundred thousand abolition of duties which will enable them to get dollars ;-glass and iron, three hundred thousand all the articles enumerated in my bill for about dollars; and numerous smaller items. This one third, or one half less, than is now paid for large amount of manufactures pays their value, them. Let any one read over the list of articles, in some instances more, for the privilege of being and then look to the sum total which he now sold abroad; and, what is worse, they are totally pays out annually for them, and from that sum excluded from several countries from which we deduct near fifty per cent., which is about the buy largely: Such restrictions and impositions average of the duties and merchant's profit in- are highly injurious to our manufactures; and duded, with which they now come charged to it is incontestably true, the amount of exports him. This deduction will be his saving under prove it, that what most of them now need is not one branch of my plan—the abolition clause. more protection at home, but a better market To this must be added the gain under the clause abroad; and it is one of the objects of this bill to to secure equivalents in foreign markets, and obtain such a market for them. the two being added together, the saving in pur- "It appears to me (said Mr. B.] to be a fair chases at home being added to the gain in sales and practicable plan, combining the advantages abroad, will give the true measure of the advan- of legislation and negotiation, and avoiding the tages which my plan presents.
objections to each. It consults the sense of the * Let us now see whether the agriculture and people, in leaving it to their Representatives to manufactures of the United States do not require say on what articles duties shall be abolished for better markets abroad than they possess at this their relief; on what they shall be retained for time. What is the state of these markets ? Let protection and revenue; it then secures the adfacts reply. England imposes a duty of three vantage of obtaining equivalents, by referring it shillings sterling a pound upon our tobacco, to the Executive to extend the benefit of the abwhich is ten times its value. She imposes duties olition to such nations as shall reciprocate the equivalent to prohibition on our grain and pro- favor. To such as will not reciprocate, it leaves visions; and either totally excludes, or enormous- every thing as it now stands. The success of ly taxes, every article, except cotton, that we this plan can hardly be doubted. It addresses send to her ports. In France, our tobacco is itself to the two most powerful passions of the subject to a royal monopoly, which makes the human heart—interest and fear; it applies itself king the sole purchaser, and subjects the seller to the strongest principles of human actionto the necessity of taking the price which his profit and loss. For, there is no nation with agents will give. In Germany, our tobacco, and whom we trade but will be benefited by the inother articles, are heavily dutied, and liable to creased trade of her staple productions, which a transit duty, in addition, when they have to will result from a free trade in such productions; ascend the Rhine, or other rivers, to penetrate none that would not be crippled by the loss of the interior. In the West Indies, which is our such a trade, which loss would be the immediate great provision market, our beef, pork, and flour, effect of rejecting our system. Our position enusually pay from eight to ten dollars a barrel : ables us to command the commercial system of our bacon, from ten to twenty-five cents a the globe; to mould it to our own plan, for the pound; live hogs, eight dollars each ; corn, corn- benefit of the world and ourselves. The apmeal, lumber, whiskey, fruit, vegetables, and proaching extinction of the public debt puts it inevery thing else, in proportion; the duties in to our power to abolish twelve millions of duties, the different islands, on an average, equalling and to set free more than one-half of our entire or exceeding the value of the articles in the commerce. We should not forego, nor lose the United States. We export about forty-five advantages of such a position. It occurs but selmillions of domestic productions, exclusive of dom in the life of a nation, and once missed, is manufactures, annually; and it may be safely irretrievably gone, to the generation, at least, that assumed that we have to pay near that sum in saw and neglected the golden opportunity. We the shape of duties, for the privilege of selling have complained, and justly, of the burthens these exports in foreign markets. So much for upon our exports in foreign countries; a part of agriculture. Our manufactures are in the same our tariff system rests upon the principle of retacondition. In many branches they have met the liation for the injury thus done us. Retaliation, home leinand, and are going abroad in search of heretofore, has been our only resource : but reforeign markets. They meet with vexatious re- ciprocity of injuries is not the way to enrich nastrictions, peremptory exclusions, or oppressive tions any more than individuals. It is an ' unduties, wherever they go. The quantity already profitable contest,' under every aspect. But esported entitles them to national consideration, the present conjuncture, payment of the public in the list of exports. Their aggregate value for debt, in itself a rare and almost unprecedented 1828 was about five millions of dollars, compris- occurrence in the history of nations, enables us ing domestic cottons, to the amount of a million to enlarge our system; to present a choice of alof dollars; soap and candles, to the value of nine ternatives: one fraught with relief, the other
presenting a burthen to foreign nations. The ed the principle of Mr. Madison's resolutions, participation, or exclusion, from forty millions of but reversed their action. The discrimination free trade, annually increasing, would not admit of a second thought, in the head of any nation which he proposed was a levy of five or ten per with which we trade. To say nothing of her cent. more on the imports from countries which gains in the participation in such a commerce, did not enter into our propositions for reciprocity: what would be her loss in the exclusion from it? my plan, as being the same thing in substance, How would England, France, or Germany, bear and less invidious in form, was a levy of five or the loss of their linen, silk, or wine trade, with the United States? How could Cuba, St. Do- ten per cent. less on the commerce of the recipmingo, or Brazil, bear the loss of their coffee trade rocating nations--thereby holding out, an inwith us? They could not bear it at all. Deep ducement and a benefit, instead of a threat and and essential injury, ruin of industry seditions,
a penalty. and bloodshed, and the overthrow of administrations, would be the consequence of such loss. Yet such loss would be inevitable (and not to the few nations, or in the articles only which I have mentioned, for I have put a few instances only by way of example), but to every nation CHAPTER XLVIII. with whom we trade, that would not fall into our system, and throughout the whole list of es- ALUM SALT. THE ABOLITION OF THE DUTY UPON sential articles to which our abolition extends. IT, AND REPEAL OF THE FISHING BOUNTY AND Our present heavy duties would continue in force ALLOWANCES FOUNDED ON IT. against such nations; they would be abolished in favor of their rivals. We would say to them, I LOOK upon a salt tax as a curse-as somein the language of Mr. Jefferson, free trade and thing worse than a political blunder, great as navigation is not to be given in exchange for restrictions and vexations! But I feel entire
that is—as an impiety, in stinting the use, and confidence that it would not be necessary to use enhancing the cost by taxation, of an article the language of menace or coercion. Amicable which God has made necessary to the health and representations, addressed to their sense of self- comfort, and almost to the life, of every anímatinterest, would be more agreeable, and not less effectual. The plan cannot fail ! It is scarcely
ed being—the poor dumb animal which can only within the limits of possibility that it should manifest its wants in mute signs and frantic acfail!. And if it did, what then? We have lost tions, as well as the rational and speaking man nothing. We remain as we were. Our present who can thank the Creator for his goodness, and duties are still in force, and Congress can act upon them one or two years hence, in any way There is a mystery in salt. It was used in holy
curse the legislator that, mars its enjoyment. they please.
Here, then, is the peculiar recommendation sacrifice from the earliest day; and to this time, to my plan, that, while it secures a chance, little in the Oriental countries, the stranger lodging in short of absolute certainty, of procuring an abo- the house, cannot kill or rob while in it, after be lition of twelve millions of duties upon our exports in foreign countries, in return for an aboli- has tasted the master's salt. The disciples of tion of twelve millions of duties upon imports Christ were called by their master the salt of the from them, it exposes nothing to risk; the abo- earth. Sacred and profane history abound in inlition of duty upon the foreign article here being stances of people refusing to fight against the contingent upon the acquisition of the equivalent advantage abroad.
kings who had given them salt: and this myste“I close this exposition of the principles of rious deference for an article so essential to man my bill with the single remark, that these treaties and beast takes it out of the class of ordinary for the mutual abolition of duties should be for productions, and carries it up close to those vilimited terms, say for seven or ten years, to give room for the modifications which time, and the tal eleinents-bread, water, fire, air—which Provarying pursuits of industry, may show to be vidence has made essential to life, and spread necessary. Upon this idea, the bill is framed, every where, that craving nature may find its and the period of ten years inserted by way of supply without stint, and without tax The suggestion and exemplification of the plan. Another feature is too obvious to need a remark, that venerable Mr. Macon considered a salt tax in a the time for the commencement of the abolition sacrilegious point of view—as breaking a sacred of duties is left to the Executive, who can ac- law—and fought against ours as long as his commodate it to the state of the revenue and the public life lasted ; and I, his disciple, not disesextinction of the public debt."
teemed by him, commenced fighting by his side The plan which I proposed in this speech adopt- I against the odious imposition; and have contin
ned it since his death, and shall continue it un- most bounty-whaling—because it is the best til the tax ceases, or my political life terminates. school for mariners; and the interests of navMany are my speeches, and reports, against it igation are their principal object in promoting
fishing. No part of our bounties and allowin my senatorial life of thirty years; and among ances go to our whale ships, because they do other speeches, one limited to a particular kind not consume foreign salt on which they have of salt not made in the United States, and indis- paid duty, and reclaim it as drawback. "I have pensable to dried or pickled provisions. This is also read the six dozen acts of Congress
, general the alum salt, made by solar evaporation out of from 1789 to 1829 inclusively-giving the boun
and particular, passed in the last forty years sea water ; and being a kind not produced at ties and allowances which it is my present purhome, indispensable and incapable of substitute, pose to abolish, with the alum" salt duty on it had a legitimate clairo to exemption from the which all this superstructure of legislative encapons of the American system. That system pecially the tax on alum salt (which is the kind
actment is built up. I say the salt tax, and esprotected homemade fire-boiled common salt, required for the fisheries), is the foundation of because it had a foreign rival: we had no sun- all these bounties and allowances; and that, as made crystallized salt at home; and therefore had they grew up together, it is fair and regular that nothing to protect in taxing the foreign article. they should sink and fall together. I recite a
dozen of the acts: thus : I had failed-we had all failed-in our attempts “1. Act of Congress, 1789, grants five cents to abolish the salt tax generally: I determined a barrel on pickled fish and salted provisions, to attempt the abolition of the alum salt duty se and five cents a quintal on dried fish, exported parately ; and with it, the fishing bounties and from the United States, in lieu of a drawback of
the duties imposed on the importation of the salt allowances founded upon it: and brought a used in curing such fish and provisions. bill into the Senate to accomplish that object. "N. B. Duty on salt, at that time, six cents a The fishing bounties and allowances being claim
bushel. ed by some, as a bounty to navigation (in which drawback to ten cents a barrel on pickled fish
“2. Act of 1790 increases the bounty in lieu of point of view they would be as unconstitutional and salted provisions, and ten cents a quintal on as unjust), I was under the necessity of tracing dried fish. The duty on salt being then raised their origin, as being founded on the idea of a to twelve cents a bushel. drawback of the duty paid on the salt put upon drawback on dried fish, and in lieu of that, and
“3. Act of 1792 repeals the bounty in lieu of the exported dried or pickled fish-commencing
as a commutation and equivalent therefor, auwith the salt tax, and adjusted to the amount of thorizes an allowance to be paid to vessels in the the tax-rising with its increase and falling with cod fishery (dried fish) at the rate of one dollar its fall—and that, in the beginning allowed to the and fifty cents a ton on vessels of twenty to exportation of pickled beef and pork, to the and seventy dollars for the highest allowance to
thirty tons; with a limitation of one hundred same degree, and upon the same principle that
vessel. the bounties and allowances were extended to * 4. A supplementary act, of the same year, the fisheries. In the bill introduced for this adds twenty per cent. to each head of these al
lowances. purpose, I spoke as follows:
“5. Act of 1797 increases the bounty on salt
ed provisions to eighteen cents a barrel; on “ To spare any senator the supposed necessity pickled fish to twenty-two cents a barrel; and of rehearsing me a lecture upon the importance adds thirty-three and a third per cent. to the alof the fisheries, I will premise that I have some lowance in favor of the cod-fishing vessels. Duacquaintance with the subject—that I know the ty on salt, at the same time, being raised to twenfisheries to be valuable, for the food they pro- ty cents a bushel. duce, the commerce they create, the mariners “6. Act of 1799 increases the bounty on they perfect, the employment they give to arti- pickled fish to thirty cents a barrel, on salted sans in the building of vessels; and the consump- provisions to twenty-five. tion they make of wood, hemp and iron. I also “7. Act of 1800 continues all previous acts know that the fishermen applied for the boun- (for bounties and allowances) for ten years, and ties, at the commencement of our present form makes this proviso : That these allowances shall of government, which the British give to their not be understood to be continued for a longer fisheries, for the encouragement of navigation ; time than the correspondent duties on salt, reand that they were denied them upon the re- spectively, for which the said additional allowport of the then Secretary of State (Mr. Jef- ances were granted, shall be payable. ferson). I also know that our fishing boun- “8. Act of 1807 repeals all laws laying a duties and allowances go, in no part, to that ty on imported salt, and for paying bounties on branch of fishing to which the British give the exportation of pickled fish and salted pro
visions, and making allowances to fishing vessels which had to be cured in this kind of salt, for -Mr. Jefferson being then President.
common salt will not cure it. The Western “9. Act of 1813 gives a bounty of twenty country is the great producer of provisions; and cents a barrel on pickled fish exported, and al- there is scarcely a farmer in the whole extent of lows to the cod-fishing vessels at the rate of that vast region whose interest does not require two dollars and forty cents the ton for vessels a prompt repeal of the duty on this description between twenty and thirty tons, four dollars a of salt. ton for vessels above thirty, with a limitation of 62. Because no salt of this kind is made in the two hundred and seventy-two dollars for the United States, nor any rival to it, or substitute highest allowance; and a proviso, that no boun- for it. It is a foreign importation, brought from ty or allowance should be paid unless it was various islands in the West Indies, belonging to proved to the satisfaction of the collector that England, France, Spain, and Denmark; and from the fish was wholly cured with foreign salt, and Lisbon, St. Ubes, Gibraltar, the Bay of Biscay, the duty on it secured or paid. The salt duty, and Liverpool. The principles of the protecting at the rate of twenty cents a bushel, was re- system do not extend to it: for no quantity of vived as a war tax at the same time. Bounties protection can produce a home supply. The on salted provisions were omitted.
present duty, which is far beyond the rational :“10. Act of 1816 continued the act of 1813 limit of protection, has been in force near thirty in force, which, being for the war only, would years, and has not produced a pound. We are otherwise have expired.
still thrown exclusively upon the foreign supply. “11. Act of 1819 increases the allowance to The principles of the protecting system can only vessels in the cod fishery to three dollars and apply to common salt, the product of which is fifty cents a ton on vessels from five to thirty ; considerable in the United States; and upon that to four dollars a ton on vessels above thirty tons; kind, the present duty is proposed to be left in with a limitation of three hundred and sixty dol- full force. lars for the maximum allowance.
“ 3. Because the duty is enormous, and quad12. Act of 1828 authorizes the mackerel ruples the price of the salt to the farmer. The fishing vessels to take out licenses like the cod original value of salt is about fifteen cents the fishing vessels, under which it is reported by measured bushel of eighty-four pounds. But the vigilant Secretary of the Treasury that mo- the tariff substitutes weight for measure, and ney is illegally drawn by the mackerel vessels, fixes that weight at fifty-six pounds, instead of the newspapers say to the amount of thirty to eighty-four. Upon that fifty-six pounds, a duty fifty thousand dollars per annum.
of twenty cents is laid. Upon this duty, the re“ These recitals of legislative enactments are tail merchant has his profit of eight or ten cents, sufficient to prove that the fishing bounties and and then reduces his bushel from fifty-six to fifty allowances are bottomed upon the salt duty, and pounds. The consequence of all these operations must stand or fall with that duty. I will now is, that the farmer pays about three times as give my reasons for proposing to abolish the du- much for a weighed bushel of fifty pounds, as ty on alum salt, and will do it in the simplest he would have paid for a measured bushel of form of narrative statement; the reasons them- eighty-four pounds, if this duty had never been selves being of a nature too weighty and obvi- imposed. ous to need, or even to admit, of coloring or ex
* 4. Because the duty is unequal in its operaaggeration from arts of speech.
tion, and falls heavily on some parts of the com“1. Because it is an article of indispensable munity, and produces profit to others. It is a necessity in the provision trade of the United heavy tax on the farmers of the West, who exStates. No beef or pork for the army or navy, port provisions; and no tax at all, but rather a or for consumption in the South, or for exporta- source of profit, to that branch of the fisheries to tion abroad, can be put up except in this kind of which the allowances of the vessels apply. Exsalt. If put up in common salt it is rejected porters of provisions have the same claim to these absolutely by the commissaries of the army and allowances that exporters of fish have. Both navy, and if taken to the South must be repacked claims rest upon the same principle, and upon in alum salt, at an expense of one dollar and the principle of all drawbacks, that of refunding twelve and a half cents a barrel, before it is ex- the duty paid on the imported salt, which is reported, or sold for domestic consumption. The exported on salted fish and provisions. The same quantity of provisions which require this salt, and principle covers the beef and pork of the farmer must have it, is prodigious, and annually increas- which covers the fish of the fisherman ; and such ing. The exports of 1828 were, of beef sixty-six was the law, as I have shown, for the first eighthousand barrels, of pork fifty-four thousand teen years that these bounties and allowances barrels, of bacon one million nine hundred thou- were authorized. Fish and provisions fared alike sand pounds weight, butter and cheese two mil- from 1789 to 1807. Bounties and allowances lion pounds weight. The value of these articles began upon them together, and fell together, on was two millions and a quarter of dollars. To the repeal of the salt tax, in the second term of this amount must be added the supply for the Mr. Jefferson's administration. At the renewal army and navy, and all that was sent to the of the salt tax, in 1813, at the commencement of South for home consumption, every pound of the late war, they parted company, and the law,
in the exact sense of the proverb, has made fish which declares that duties, taxes, and excises, of one and flesh of the other ever since. The shall be uniform throughout the Union. There fishing interest is now drawing about two hun- is no uniformity in the operation of this tax. dred and fifty thousand dollars annually from Far from it. It empties the pockets of some, the treasury; the provision raisers draw not a and fills the pockets of others. It returns to cent, while they export more than double as some five times as much as they pay, and to much, and ought, upon the same principle, to others it returns not a cent. It gives to the draw more than double as much money from the fishing interest two hundred and fifty thousand treasury.
dollars per annum, and not a cent to the farm“5. Because it is the means of drawing an un-ing interest, which, upon the same principle, due amount of money from the public treasury, would be entitled to six hundred thousand dolunder the idea of an equivalent for the drawback lars per annum. of duty on the salt used in the curing of fish. “7. Because this duty now rests upon a false The amount of money actually drawn in that basis—a basis which makes it the interest of way is about four millions seven hundred one part of the Union to keep it up, while it is and fifty thousand dollars, and is now going the interest of other parts to get rid of it. It is on at the rate of two hundred and fifty the interest of the West to abolish this duty: it thousand dollars per annum, and constantly is the interest of the Northeast to perpetuate it. augmenting. That this amount is more than The former loses money by it; the latter makes the legal idea recognizes, or contemplates, is money by it; and a tax that becomes a moneyproved in various ways. 1. By comparing the making business is a solecism of the highest quantity of salt supposed to have been used, order of absurdity. Yet such is the fact. The with the quantity of fish known to have been treasury records prove it, and it will afford the exported, within a given year. This test, for Northeast a brilliant opportunity to manifest the year 1828, would exhibit about seventy their disinterested affection to the West, by givmillions of pounds weight of salt on about forty ing up their own profit in this tax, to relieve the millions of pounds weight of fish. This would West from the burthen it imposes upon her. suppose about a pound and three quarters of “8. Because the repeal of the duty will not salt upon each pound of fish. 2. By comparing materially diminish the revenue, nor delay the the value of the salt supposed to have been used, extinguishment of the public debt. It is a tax with the value of the fish known to have been carrying money out of the treasury, as well as exported. This test would give two hundred bringing it in. The issue is two hundred and and forty-eight thousand dollars for the salt fifty thousand dollars, perhaps the full amount duty on about one million of dollars' worth of which accrues on the kind of salt to which the fish; making the duty one fourth of its value. abolition extends. The duty, and the fishing On this basis, the amount of the duty on the salt allowances bottomed upon it, falling together as used on exported provisions would be near six they did when Mr. Jefferson was President, hundred thousand dollars. 3. By comparing would probably leave the amount of revenue the increasing allowances for salt with the de- unaffected. creasing exportation of fish. This test, for two “9. Because it belongs to an unhappy period given periods, the rate of allowance being the in the history of our government, and came to same, would produce this result: In the year us, in its present magnitude, in company with 1820, three hundred and twenty-one thousand an odious and repudiated set of measures. The four hundred and nineteen quintals of dried fish maximum of twenty cents a bushel on salt was exported, and one hundred and ninety-eight fixed in the year '98, and was the fruit of the thousand seven hundred and twenty-four dollars same system which produced the alien and sedipaid for the commutation of the salt drawback; tion laws, the eight per cent. loans, the stamp in 1828, two hundred and sixty-five thousand act, the black cockade, and the standing army in two hundred and seventeen quintals of dried fish time of peace. It was one of the contrivances exported, and two hundred and thirty-nine thou- of that disastrous period for extorting money sand one hundred and forty-five dollars paid for from the people, for the support of that strong the commutation. These comparisons establish and splendid government which was then the the fact that money is unlawfully drawn from cherished vision of so many exalted heads. The the treasury by means of these fishing allow- reforming hand of Jefferson overthrew it, and all ances, bottomed on the salt duty, and that fact the superstructure of fishing allowances which is expressly stated by the Secretary of the was erected upon it. The exigencies of the late Treasury (Mr. Ingham), in his report upon the war caused it to be revived for the term of the finances, at the commencement of the present war, and the interest of some, and the neglect of session of Congress. [See page eight of the re- others, have permitted it to continue ever since. port.)
It is now our duty to sink it a second time. We 56. Because it has become a practical viola- profess to be disciples of the Jeffersonian school; tion of one of the most equitable clauses in the let us act up to our profession, and complete the constitution of the United States—the clause task which our master set us.'