« AnteriorContinuar »
MAY 10, 1830.)
[H. OF R.
tu' es? No; they are superabundant, and ruinously cheap. I for the opportune introduction of manufactures at the Is there any want of cotion or cotton manufactures in the North, and the sugar culture at the South. The manu. United States ? No; they abound in every market, and facture of cotton at the North has introduced it into more 80 cheap that they will not remunerate the cost of the ma-extensive and general use, and has substituted it for woolterial aod manufacture. Now, the evidence in this import- lens and linens, for household and domestic purposes. The aut fact is presented in every district and village in the sugar culture of the South bas employed probably seventy United States. It is brought home to every man's door. millions of capital and many thousand slaves, which, but Every man, woman, and child in the United States, who for the tariff, would bave been retained in the production has had occasion to buy and wear a yard of cotton, and of cotton. Both these causes bave administered an imcan understand the price, kvows the truth of this fact. mense alleviation to the cotton culture, to the amount of What then is the complaint? It is not, and cannot be the at least four hundred thougand bales. But, under the preprice of mapufactures. Indeed, the gentleman's argument, sent liberal and efficient protection of thirty to sixty per in effect, admits this. He proposes to raise the price of the cent. ou sugars, the culture of it at the South is extending raw material equivalent to the reduction of the duty. Of so rapidly, that in less than ten years it will exclude the course he does not expect to diminish the price of the foreign sugars altogether. That interest will then begin manufacture to the consumer. But the consumption can- to be depressed; the current of capital and labor to that not be increased, without either diminishing the price or employment will be less rapid, and in a few years more, it increasing the means of the purchase. But, while the will cease entirely. In the mean time, the culture of cotgentleman proposes to augment the means of purchase of ton will be extended with the increase of population, and two millions, he will greatly dimninish those of ten millions. the progress of the settlements of Georgia, Mississippi
, It is manifest that, in the aggregate, he will destroy more Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, and Arkansas; and, value than he will create. How, then, will the gentleman when fully peopled and fully cultivated, these States and enlarge his market for cotton ? 1 aver it is physically im. territories are abundantly competent to produce cotton possible, in any other way than by the obvious and natural enough to supply the consumption of cotton not only for increase of the population, wealth, refinement, and civiliza- America, but for all Europe. If these States and terri. tion of the world. lo vo other way can be find a market tories have trebled the product of cotton in the last ten in the wide world for another bale of cotton. The mar. years, what shall prevent their trebling it in the next! Noket of the world is open; the commerce of the world, in thing but the depression of the price below the common the article of cotton, is unrestricted; and the markets of level of prices. Low as cotton now is, it is still more prothe world are literally crammed with cotton and cottou filable than any other agriculture, sugar excepted. It is manufactures, and the cheapuess of both is a subject of uni- better to grow cotton at six cents the pound, than corn at versal complaint and universal admission. Greater cheap-six cents the bushel; capital and labor will therefore still ness, then, is not desirable, but would be deplorable. rush into the production of cotton, and the quantity will be Greater consumption is unattainable, but by increasing the still rapidly a ugmented, and the price still further deprenumber and wealth of the consumers. And how does the ciated. When we consider that during all this time Mexico gentleman propose to accomplish this ! By impoverishing and South America will naturally turn their attention to ten millions of people to enrich two; by depriving them the culture of this valuable staple, there can be no doubt of employment and the means of purchase, by annihilating but that the disparity between production and consumption an annual income of more than fourfold the value of all will be still further increased, and the comparative price the cotton, rice, and tobacco of the South, and by trans. still further diminished. The gentleman will find that the ferring this income to England and France, and not to the special blessings of soil and climate, of which be boasts, cotton-growing States ?
and for which he thanks pobody but God and nature, are But, however disastrous the depreciation of the value of too diffusive to admit of monopoly, or to justify a boast. cotton bas been, I do assure the gentleman that it has not W bat, then, remains for the southern cotton-growing yet attained its minimum. The bistory of the past proves, States? The inevitable consequences of an obstinate adbeyond the power of refutation, that the tariff has had no hesion to their favorite maxims of policy, to the exclusive influence whatever in accelerating this depreciation, nor occupation of agriculture, comparative poverty and decay, can any tariff arrest it. The depreciation was more rapid a meagre and sparse population, deficient markets and before the tariff of 1824, tban it has been at any time since. languishing agriculture. These covsequences are inevitaThe magia of 1825, which raised cotton to thirty cents the ble and invariable. They never did fail
, and they never pound, will not, I presume, be imputed to the tariff. In will fail A mere agricultural community was never yet five years, including 1819 and 23, the export of cotton a populous and wealthy community. They never will be was actually doubled ; but the price of the whole was ac- wealthy and populous. It is morally and physically impostually diminished. lu 1819, thirty-seven million pine huo sible that they ever should be. The West Indies are apt dred and pinety-seven thousand and forty-five pounds sold examples in illustration of my position. Producing the for twenty-one million eighty-one thousand seven bun most valuable staples, of wbich they have enjoyed a monodred and sixty-nine dollars ; aod, in 1823, one hundred and poly for centuries, in comparison with England and France seventy-two million seven bundred and twenty-three thou. they are poor, and will ever remain 80. Possessing a mosand two hundred and seventy pounds sold only for popoly of five invaluable agricultural staples, cotton, rice, twenty million four hundred and forty-five thousand five tobacco, ipdigo, and sugar, our southern brethren comhundred and twenty dollars, when it should have sold for plain of overwhelming poverty and distress. I doubted at least forty-one millions, showing a depreciation of price not the reality of their distress. Their resources have sugcorresponding precisely with the augmentation of quan- tained an immense and irreparable diminution. In their tity, the universal and inevitable law of trade ; furnishing prosperity, they graduated their expenditures by the scale an obvious, full, and satisfactory explanation of all the of their income;
they. contracted habits, which imperiously distress of which South Carolina complains.
demanded contioued indulgence; they have been indulged In ten years the annual crop of the United States bas to the full extent of their means, and nothing was accumumore than trebled. The annual crop may now be safely lated to meet the exigencies of a reverse of fortune : the estimated at three bundred millions of pounds, but the reverse came like a remorseless and overwhelming flood, value is less than thirty millions of dollars. This increase and intense suffering ensued. The geotleman's picture of is without a parallel is the history of agriculture; and distress, I have no doubt, has a melancholy original. I though its consequences are natural and inevitable, they have myself witnessed the reality in another section of the have by no means been what they would have been, but | Union, from the operation of similar causes. Time was,
H. OF R.]
(May 10, 1830
when we could command two dollars per bushel for wheat, The theory is, we must buy or we cavnot sell. The pracfor every bushel the soil and labor of the country could tice is, to buy what we desire, and wbat will be profitable produce, and every other agricultural production' bore a to us, with such means as we can command, from whatever corresponding price. But did our farmers grow wealthy source they may be derived. So the northern States, of did they accumulate capital ? No! They lived out the wbole, whom the English and French will buy comparatively and fearlessly and improvidently ran into debt; and pover. nothing wbich they can directly produce, procure, as best ty came upon them, and brought on a train of numerous they may, the cotton of the South, and the specie of Meximiseries and distresses. The obvious cause in both cases, co and Peru, and, with these means, purchase the manuwas and is an inadequate market, the privation of accus- factures of England and France. We purchase also the tomed markets to the North, and the consequent diminu teas, silks, and napkins of China. We shall continue to tion of accustomed prices. What is the remedy! There is purchase them as long as we have the means. But does but one in nature. Multiply your occupations, diversify China buy our cotton, or any single agricultural producthe application of labor and capital, so that all your expen. tion of the country? Not one. We purchase principally ditures and disbursements may serve to reward, stimulate, with specie or bullion. Then there is a practical refutation and enrich productions. Like the skilful agriculturist, of the theory. The theory, then, is good for nothing. It who returns to the earth as much as he draws from it, and is not true in practice, in the sense in which it is set forth. preserves its fertility by liberal and repeated manurings, The interests and the wants of Europe constitute the maryour expenditures must be bestowed upon those who sup- ket for our cotton. Those wants and interests will conply the means, or you will assuredly exhaust those means
. tioue precisely the same after we have probibited their The gentleman has spoken of the importance and the value manufactures, as they now are. The one cannot be satisof the expenditure of public money. In my own opinion, fied, nor the other promoted, without our cotton. They he bas pot greatly overrated its importance. But why did must have our cotton; their interests and necessities de pot the gentleman reflect that the expenditure of private mand our cotton, and will continue to demand it to the capital, or the disbursement of individual wealth, was fully extent of their own consumption, and their ability to supequivalent to the same amount of public money Suppose ply the consumption of others forever; for Europe can. the sixty millions now appunlly expended on foreigu pro- pot produce cotton. A man might live as long after severductions as the reward and stimulus of foreign capital and ing the femoral artery, as England could prosper after exlabor, converted into cash, and expended upon our own cluding our cotton. They will always, therefore, buy our labor and capital in the purchase of our own productions cotton so long as they can buy it of us cheaper and better and manufactures, it would be equivalent to the disburse. tbanı anywhere else, and as long as they bave the means. ment of so many millions of public money, and the couse- And peed we trouble ourselves about the means of England quences would be immeasurable and inestimable. This sti- and France of the purchase of our cotton, when we know mulus vould be felt in every vein and artery of this mighty and feel the great difficulty to be to procure the means to republic. All varieties and grades and capacities of labor purchase their manufactures--when we know that their would tiod full employment and ample reward. Consump- comparative wealth is much greater than their comparation would be abundantly supplied and fully satisfied; and, tive population ? wbíle labor would be liberally rewarded, capital would be The gentleman says England has no specie-how can accumulated. Our southern neighbors must, therefore, as sbe buy our cotton unless we receive ber manufactures 1 the only possible remedy for the evils of which they com- Englaod bas no specie! And yet be admits that we have plain, manufacture their own cotton as well as produce it; sent to England and France seven millions of bullion and apply some of their capital and labor to the manufactur- specie apnually for many years past ; probably ten years ing, and not all to the growing of cotton. Take your share past_seventy millions in ten years ! But, while they have of the monopoly which you allege that the tariff has secur- been drawing specie from us at this rate, notwithstanding ed to the northern capitalist. It is certainly as accessible our large export of cotton, &c. they have absorbed all the to you as to him. Your advantages are as great, if not gold and silver of South America-all of Spain and Portugreater. You have the material on the spot, the labor at gal. What has become of it? That portion of Europe command, subsistence abuodant and cheap, too cheap, wa- which may be considered the natural and permaneat marter power and steam power; and skill and experience you ket for the cotton of the South, contnips at this moment must acquire, or you will never have it, and you cau as more of the precious metals than all the world beside. well acquire it now as ever. And wbat binders the adop. And they are still rapidly accumulating it-still absorbing tion and enjoyment of the tariff policy, instead of this eter- it, and sucking it up like a sponge from all the world benal and fanatic war against it ? Nothing but your opinions, side. And do gentlemen seriously believe that the loss of your abstract theories, and obstinate prejudices
. Change a market of sixty millions' worth of manufactures in the your opinions, and change your pursuits, and barter your United States would seriously influence the wealth and impoverishing theories for useful and substantial manufac- prosperity of Europe, so as to deprive them of the means tures. This is your remedy, and your only remedy. of purchasing forty millions annually of our cotton, rice,
But England will not buy our cotton, uvless we receive and tobacco Admit that it would transfer some portion ber manufactures in payment. We shall lose the market of their capital and wealth to the United States, it is what I of England and France-the market of Europe for our they can very well spare, and what we very much deed cotton. We must not manufacture cotton or any thing else and it will consume as much cotton here as it can there. if we expect Europe to purchase our raw cotton. We are It is undoubtedly true that, of all the pations of the earth, charged with seeking to destroy our commerce, especially we enjoy the greatest pumber of advantages for ensuring the commerce of the South. This charge is urged with a favorable balance of trade, and accumulating wealth and a seriousness, and gravity, and earnestness, that leave do capital; but, in proportion to our population and advandoubt of the sincerity of the melancholy forebodings of tages, we have probably accumulated less capital than any those who prefer it. "But why has it not occurred to those enterprising, industrious nation. In any aspect of the sub gentlemen that these forebodings bave been discredited by ject, the apprehension of the loss of our commerce with uniform experience! This charge is founded upon their Europe, in cotton, rice, and tobacco, is wholly ideal and theory, upsupported by one fact, and is as baseless as the imaginary. They could not dispense with our cotton, even theory itself
. It is the old argument again repeated, to be should we entirely prohibit their manufactures. Europe again refuted. It was urged in 1824, repeated in 1828, could not consume any less cotton, and the United States and now agaiv in 1830, and during these six years the would consume more. Every additional cotton factory in export of cotton bas actually been doubled, or nearly 80. the United States may be justly considered a new cotton
May 10, 1830.)
(H. OF R.
market, and furnishes to all its dependents and connexions them tributary to another portion, assumes the responsithe means of purchasing and consuming its fabrics. The bility of declaring that their condition must be changed, best illustration of my position would be for every gentle by changing their policy, or by changing their political man to imagine a factory erected in his own neighborhood, relations, in other words, by dissolving the Union, for all capable of employing five hundred or a thousand persons, will allow that such a condition is intolerable to free men, men, women, and children. Every member of this House and ought not to be endured. No one will pretend, for one could collect that number of poor destitute persons, who moment, that this inequality is supportable, or that it can, could in this way acquire the means of a comfortable sub- by any possibility, be continued." It ought not to be ensistence, and who are now wholly unoccupied, or nearly dured. It is stated, to make it apparent, and to make it
Take the city of Washington : I aver, what I verily felt, that it ought not to be endured. It is urged to effect believe, and what I think no one will deny, that there are a change, or to stimulate resistance, because it is admitted more than a thousand persons of this description in this that it cannot be submitted to, and ought not to be subcity, who would be glad to find employment and earn their mitted to. What is the inference! Is not the man wbo subsistence in such an establishment, and who, if they could assumes this responsibility bound to know that the position command the means that this employment would give them, wbich he has taken is a tenable one? Is he not bound to would wear out fourfold the quantity of cotton manufactures be right? Is he not bound to make good the charge of they now do. This, to a certain extent, has already been imposing tribute to prove it by argument incontroveraccomplished, as all know, where manufactures bave been tible, and by facts which are indisputable ? established. It is capable of vastly greater extension and Let us examine the gentleman's positions for a short diffusion.
time. If I have not greatly deceived myself, the gentleThe gentleman bas indulged in a long and violent in- man's fortress may be demolished by his own battery. vective against monopolists, in all which I most heartily In the course of bis remarks, the gentleman took occaconcur, except its application. But what is a monopoly? sion to refer to some out-door conversation, in which a Ad exclusive privilege a right secured to an individual, gentleman from New York undertook to predict that in from the enjoyment of which all others are excluded. Is ten years we should cease to import woollen, cotton, iron, the term applicable to any condition of things in our coun. hemp, or linen manufactures, or any of the materials of try? Certainly not to any sort of manufactures. Is the which they are composed. Without waiting to discuss gentleman restrained from manufacturing? Are any of the probable truth of this prediction, and protesting at bis constituents, except by an estimate of their own inte the same time against the injnrious consequences which rests ! Not one. In a population of twelve millions of the gentleman attempted to deduce from its fulfilment, I people, there is the most unlimited, unrestricted freedom presume that the gentleman will admit that the verifica of pursuit and competition. Unlimited freedom of com- tion of that prediction would not alleviate the burden of petition, I had always thought directly the reverse of mo. the southern tribute. If they pay tribute now, they would nopoly. And yet the gentleman has applied this term pay tribute then ; aud he would probably intend that the trimonopolist to the northern manufacturer, and at the same bute would be augmented, although I do not anticipate any time boasted of the manufacturing capacities of his own perceptible advance in the price of manufactures; on the conState ; the materials, minerals, soil, abundance and cheap- trary, I think it would be diminished. But, for the sake of the ness of provisions, and unbounded water power. And argument, suppose the prediction fulfilled. In the course of why do they not avail themselves of these advantages ? ten years, a rigid enforcement of our present tariff works, Simply because they do not choose to do so—and because a probibition of the importation of the manufactures and they think their present occupation more profitable. And inaterials in question; and the South, continuing to prefer yet the gentleman talks of monopolies, with the same sin their present occupation of cotton planting alone, should cerity and earnestpess with which he complaius of the ex- be constrained to receive iu exchange for their cotton the travagant duty on the exportation of cotton. It is mani- manufactures of the North, to the same extent in which festly an abuse of language calculated to deceive himself, they now receive those of England, that is, all they desire and inflame the ignorant. There is certainly no manufac or can afford to consume: let us see who would have the turing monopoly in this country, nor anything bearing the advantage in exchange, then-who, then, would be the remotest resemblance to one.
tributaries. It will be admitted, I suppose, that when the But there is another aspect of this subject, which the products of a given quantity of labor and capital can be ex; gentleman has presented in the most odious and repulsive changed for the products of the same quantity of labor and colors. He has represented the South as the tributary capital
, the exchange is equal. If equality be attainable, colonies of the North. They are not only colonies, but this would accomplish it. If there be such a thing as equatributaries—a condition far worse than that from which lity in our commercial intercourse and political relatious, this country emerged by the war of the revolution. It is this would be equality. There would be no tribute on either a legitimate deduction from his argument. We compel side when this equality was achieved. Now, sir, measured them to pay a tax of sixteen millions upon cotton, and then by this rule, where are products the dearest now-where expend it, in the form of bounties, upon the northern mo- would they be dearest thep? The price of the products nopolist. The southern democracy is made tributary to of the manufacturing industry of the North is measured by the northern aristocracy. The condition is degrading, the price of capital and labor there. It is so dow-it debasing, intolerable, and ought not to be endured. It would be so then. The same rule bolds true of the South, cannot be endured.' This error is the more dangerous, and will continue to hold true. Now, what are the facts ! in as much as it is addressed to the pride, honor, self-re. Every thing is dearer at the South than at the North, spect, and every worthy and elevated principle of our na- measured by the only standard by which values can be tures, and outrages them all. Coming, too, from such high compared. What is the proof? It is furnished by the authority, it will be received on the credit of that autho- comparative price of paval and army supplies ; of governrity, and will be, if it be not already, received on trust, as mental coutracts for the travsportation of the mail: by the a maxim not to be questioned, but to be acted ou. It be- price of bread and subsistence generally; by this strong hooves the public man who avails himself of his official fact, which, as I have been assured by southern gentlemen station, to give weight and currency to such opinions and themselves, is a common occurrence, that a Georgia cotdeclarations, to know for certainty that they are true, or tou planter has procured the buildings on his plantation he incurs a degree of criminality, little short of treason. constructed of the timber, brick, avd lime of the State of Whoever proclaims to one portion of his fellow.citizens Maine, built by the mechanics of Maine, and fed on the that the established policy of his Government redders I provisions of Maine. Who construct the public works of
H. OF R.)
Navigation and Imposts. The Tariff
(MAY 11, 1830.
the Sonth? Who, at this moment, having finished their , mittee, and its vital connexion with the rights and interests own, are digging the canals and building the railroads of of the Southern States, were duly considered, no apology the South These facts are worth a volume of argument. would be deemed necessary on bis part, for trespassing They stand by their own strength ; and not only defend again upon that patient and indulgent attention, for which themselves, but the whole North, from the preposterous he was already under so many obligations to the committee. charge of imposing tribute upon the South, and prove who, So far as I am concerned [said Mr. MeD.] what I am now if any, are the tributaries, and who, from the very compo about to utter will be the last appeal of an injured and op sition of southern population, must ever remaiu tributaries. pressed people to the reason and justice of their oppres. I need not inform gentlemen that free labor would render sors. For if, as I too confidently anticipate, the majority cotton more abundant and still cheaper at the South. of this House shall now refuse to mitigate the heavy and Cheap as it is, it is not so cheap as northern manufactures unrighteous burdens of which we complain, by even a now are, and not so cheap ng it will become when northern moderate relaxation of this system of taxation, confiscalabor shall be more extensively employed in its production. tion and prohibition, I have fixed my determination that, Cheap as it is, it is not so cheap as other products of the do what you may on this subject, I will never raise the South, sugar excepted: it is not so cheap as corn, or any voice of impotent remonstrance in this Hall, vainly urging thing subsisted upon it or made by it. The proof is, that a plea of reason and justice before an interested tribunal, all these products are equally the fruit of the capital and into the deliberations of which neither reason nor justice labor of the South, aod they still find the cotton culture can ever enter. the most profitable, and, therefore, are still rushing into it. In the opening argument by wbich I attempted to Is it not manifest that the gentleman has raised the cry of sustain the amendment I bad offer I laid down certain tribute-tribute as the thief joins in the hue and cry to practical propositions in political economy, intended to evade pursuit and avoid suspicion! Is it the payment of explain the real operation of indirect taxes, and demontribute which has aroused the gentleman's indignation ! or strate the extent and enormity of the burdens by which is it the loss of tribute wbich bas alarmed his fears? If the southern people are oppressed. I submitted these to this it should be answered, that the commerce in cotton propositions to the reason and judgment of the gentleis an absolute, indefeasible, unconditional, upderived, and men on the other side of the question, inviting the most independent right-it is admitted. And so is our market severe and rigid scrutiny, and having no other object in for wool, for iron, for hemp, and whatever else we can view than the development of truth. And I sincerely produce. Its comparative value has already been stated. declare, that nothing would bave afforded me more gratiAnd this is the great contest after all-the enlargement of fication than to bave been convinced that my opinions our market. This is what the cotton planter desires-an were erroneous, and that my constituents bad no just enlarged market. We do not seek to restrict his market, ground to complain of the unequal and oppressive burwe only desire to retain our own. He demands of us to dens imposed upon them by Congress. But, sir, I resubstitute his cotton for our wool and woollens-for our gret to find that the propositions which were offered in hemp, and flax, and iron-for every thing we produce and this spirit have not been inet with a corresponding temmanufacture; or, which is the same thing to buy all these per, por answered in a tone and manner at all appropriate various cominodities with his cotton. Buy foreign manu to the gravity of the subject or the solemnity of the occafactures, that I may sell more cotton." And because we sion. I put it to the candor of gentlemen, and their sense say we have not the means, we cannot afford it—we must of decorum, whether it becomes the dignity, even of live on our own resources-gentlemen cry out tribute, an interested majority, to add insult to injury, by telling tyranny, oppression, injustice, plunder, robbery-when they the representative of those who still claim a titie, at least, themselves are the tyrants and oppressors, if there be any to the forms of freedom, that he is himself & “maniac," in this country. It thus appears bow utterly baseless, and and his reasoning maduess. Such, sir, is the imputation, imaginary, and fictitious are all these menacing and boist- conveyed in no equivocal language, which the member erous complaints from South Carolina. Let the gentlemen from Rhode Island (Mr. BURGES] has thought it decorous who bave stimulated them, and fomented and inflamed to apply to the representative of an enlightened people, them, take care that they do not kindle a fire which they wheo urgiug their complaints before their “ very worthy would be glad to extinguish, when it has become too in- and approved good masters;" and to an argument which, tense to be subdued. Nothing is so ungovernable as infu. I must be permitted to say, be was neither capable of comriated ignorance; and nothing is more readily credited by prehending nor answering. Madness! No, sir, “it is not it than the story of fictitious and ideal wrongs.
madness that i buve uttered.” * For love of grace, lay Mr. McDUFFIE then took the floor, for the purpose of not the flattering unction to your soul, that not your tresreplying to those who had opposed bis amendment; but it pass, but my maduess speaks." Bring me to the test, being nearly six o'clock, he moved that the committee rise. and I the matter will re-word, and prove which' madness The committee rose accordingly.
would gambol from." And now, sir, I will proceed to no
tice, as briefly as I may, the prominent arguments urged TUESDAY, May 11, 1830.
by several gentlemen, to show the fallacy of my proposiNAVIGATION AND IMPOSTS.
tions; and if I do not labor under some strange hallucinaThe House resumed the consideration of the bill report- forth the words of truth and soberness."
tion, I will satisfy every impartial man that "I speak ed by Mr. CAMBRELENG, concerulog navigation, &c.
I cannot but remark at the outset, that the gentlemen Mr. STRONG continued the remarks wbich he commenced yesterday, until the expiration of the hour, without opposed to the amendment bave carried on the contro
persy with great dexterity and skill. Cautiously, and uo baving concluded.
doubt prudently, avoiding the main body of the argument, THE TARIFF LAWS.
they have hang upon its outskirts, and seized upon stragThe House again resolved itself into a Committee of gling phrases and detached propositions, which they have the Whole, Mr. Polk in the chair, and took up the bill run out by misapplication and perversion to some palpato amend the act in alteration of the several acts laying ble absurdity, and then triumphantly refuted it. I feel duties on imports, the question being on the amendment strongly coofirmed in the truth of the propositions I have of Mr. McDuffie, proposing a gradual repeal of the acts advanced, by the eutire failure of the gentlemen of such disof 1828 and 1824, laying duties ou imports.
tinguished ability as those from Massachusetts, who have Mr. McDUFFIE said, he indulged a hope, that when the addressed the comunittee to meet and refute ihem. The very great importance of the question before the com-/ leading proposition which I laid down, affirmed that a
May 11, 1830.]
[H. OF R.
duty of forty per cent. upon the amount of the exports of But, sir, even if the argument of the gentleman were true cotton, tobacco, and rice, might be safely assumed as the in principle-if we admit
, to the fullest extent, the power measure of the burdens imposed upon the planting States of the planter to import specie in exchange for bis proby this Government, taking into view the entire operation ductions, and to dispose of it, it does not touch the quesof the impost duties and public disbursements.
tion at issue. In point of fact, the planter does not import I intentionally placed the duty at a point considerably specie in exchange for his productions, but he imports cotlower than the average of the duties upon imports, to tou and woollen and other manufactures subject to bigh make allowance for the increased value of the imports rates of daty. This conclusively demonstrates that the beyond that of the exports. And now, sir, after hearing and option of importing specie is to the planter a barren priattentively considering all the arguments that have been vilege of which he cannot avail himself, to avoid paying urged agaiust my estimate of the burdens of the southern the duties on foreign manufactures. If it were not be States, I am fully satisfied that so far from being extrava- certainly would exercise it. In fact, the cotton plapter is gant, it does not come up to the reality.
virtually placed under the same necessity to import the I contended that impost duties, being indirect taxes manufactures you are so anxious to exclude, as if the laws laid upon production, could not, in the nature of things, imposing duties on those manufactures had contained a be ultimately and exclusively thrown upon consumption; provision that no other foreign production should be imand that, in the actual state of the productive industry of ported in exchange for the staples of the planting States. the southern States, and the foreign commerce of which a moral necessity, growing out of the apparent fact that it is the basis, at least ope-balf of the burden of the im- no other foreign articles can be imported as advantageouspost duties laid upon the exchanges of that industry was ly as manufactures charged with high duties, is, to all insustained by the planters, as producers, in addition to the tents and purposes, equal to a legal compulsion to import burden they sustained, in common with other classes, as them so long as that moral necessity exists. It has existed consumers. With a view to simplify the argument, I stated ever since the commencement of the system of the prohithat a duty on the import of a foreign manufacture was bitory duties, as is conclusively shown by the fact that the precisely equivalent, as it regards the southern planters, annual amount of the manufactures in question, imported io a corresponding duty upon the export given in exchange from the countries to which we export our staples, alfor that manufacture.
most exactly corresponds with the amount of those staples And how, sir, have these propositious been met! The exported; while it has been a subject of constant comgentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. GORHAM) denies the plaint with the advocates of probibitory duties, that our equivalency of import and export duties, upon the solita- market is drained by those countries of the specie which ry ground that the planter is under no legal compulsion to it draws from others import manufacturer subject to high duties, in exchange The question is therefore reduced to this simple issue : for bis staples, but may import specie free of duty. I con- Is not a duty imposed upon the manufactures which the fess, sir, I was astonished to find a gentleman of so much planter actually does receive in exchange for bis agricul. intelligence and acuteness, picking up and endorsing one iural productions, and which are the only foreign articles of the most absurd of all the relics of the old mercantile bis interest will permit him to import, precisely as bursystem. Specíe las scarcely any use, but as the mere, densome to the planter, as the same amount of duty levied representative of value. Jo this respect, it stands pre- upon the export of bis cotton, tobacco, or rice? Stript of ciscly upon the footing of a foreign bill of exchange; and all complication and ambiguity, this seems to me too plain it would be just as reasonable to suppose that a commerce a question to be gravely argued. The gentleman from could be carried on between two vations, founded on the Massachusetts (Mr. GORHAM] fairly and distinctly admitexchange of cotton for those foreign bills, as suggested by ted-what his clearness and pride of intellect would not oue gentleman, as upon the exchange of cotton for specie. permit him to deny—that the planter could not relieve
In a mere individual transaction, it may be very advav- himself from any part of an export duty imposed upon tageous for a planter or merchant to receive a bill of ex. cotton, because that staple has to contend in foreigo change for cotton, tobacco, or rice. But does not every markets against the competition of the whole world. man know, who knows any thing about the nature of trade, Now, sir, this concession is a virtual abandonment of the that this bill of exchange must be the representative of fo- whole controversy. For if the cotton planter cannot rereigo merchandise actually sold in this country ? A greater lieve bimself from the burden of an export duty, neither absurdity cannot be suggested, than the notion of making can be relieve himself from that of an import duty, which bills of exchange articles of commerce between nations, is, in all respects, equivalent to it. He has precisely the to be set down at the custom-house as part of the national same means of relieving himself from the former that he imports; and yet it is very little greater than that of sup- has for relieving himself from the latter, and that is, by s posing specie can become a valuable article of commerce limiting the production of cotton. Almost every gentle.
between the manufacturing nations of Europe and the man who has engaged in this debate, has admitted that the staple-growing States of this Union. It is true that specie demand and supply of any article regulate its price. At has an intrinsic value, in use, which creates a demand for any given point of time, these are the sole and exclusive it to a limited extent, for the general purpose of consump- causes that regulate prices. The cost of production, 14 tion, independent of the demand for it as a circulating which, in the long run, undoubtedly controls and regumedium. To a certain extent it is an article of commerce ; lates the price of every article produced by human labor
, but, in this view, it has no advantage over any other article operates in no other way than by changing the quantity of commerce. To tell the cotton or tobacco planter, there- produced, and consequently the relation between the supfore, that a tax imposed upon the return cargo which he ply and the demand. While these remain unaltered, no receives for his staples, is not equal to a tax upon the ex-increase in the cost of production will produce any enport of those staples themselves, because he may obtain hancement of price whatever. Now, a tax or duty imspecie for them, and import it free of duty, is the same posed upon any article is analogous in its operation to a thing in principle, as to tell him he may avoid the duty upon sudden and general impoverishment of soil
, which of cotton and woollen fabrics, by importing South American course would increase the cost of production. The tax, skins and dye stuffs and other articles, not subject to duties, indeed, is for the producer the worst of the two evils; beiu exchange for bis staples ! It would be just as con- cause it does not, in the first instance, diminish the quantity venient for Great Britain to pay for our staples in these produced, while it necessarily increases the cost of prolatter articles, as in specie, and there would be very nearly duction to the full amount of the burden it imposes. The as great a demand for them in the United States. consequence is, that the whole burden of the tax must