Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

H. Op R.]
Commerce of the United States.

(JANUARY, 1794. ation. The spirit and manner in which the attack eat rice at the price of 10s., and the class who are had been made, and which could not have escaped willing to eat it at 17s. 4d., are prohibited the the attention of the Committee, would be left in consumption by the duty: Was this a circumthat silence which may best express the sentiment stance of no concern to the rice planters?, The they must have inspired. He should, indeed, have gentleman should have been reminded of his erthought it less necessary to take further notice ror by his own arguments. than he had already done of the matter of the As an apology for the duty imposed in Great gentleman's remarks, if attempts had not been Britain, he tells us it was meant to prevent the made, particularly by a friend of the gentleman, use of rice as a substitute for the bread-stuffs pro[Mr. AMEs,] to give a weight to his statements duced by Great Britain herself. Without the and inferences which it would be shown they did preventing duty, then, rice would have been subnot merit; and if the task did not afford an oppor-stituted in place of wheat, in the opinion of the tunity of elucidating some particular points relied British Parliament, and the demand for it in the on by the opponents of the resolutions.

British market so far increased. It was made a charge against the Secretary of As a merit in the British West India regulaState, that he takes no notice of the higher duty tions over those of France, it was stated by the imposed by Great Britain on other foreign tobac- gentleman that rice in the West Indies is a comco than is imposed on American, (the former be-mon food; that, in the British, the importation of 3s. 6d. sterling a pound, the latter is. 3d.,) whilst it is free; in the French, subject to a duty, though he takes care to mention the high duty imposed an inconsiderable one. In Britain, then, where on the American; although the discrimination is there is a high duty, rice is not an article of comin favor of the United States, and is against Por- mon food; in the Islands, where there is no duty, tugal, a country in particular connexion with Great it is a common food; and the advantage of the Britain; and although the high duty of 1s. 3d. is British West India market to us over the French immaterial to the United States, being paid by the is, that the duty in the latter favors cheaper subconsumer of the tobacco in Great Britain. stitutes.

It was unfortunate for the gentleman, that this Another proof of the disposition of Great Britain charge is fallacious, in every member of it: to favor the United States in the West India

1. The discrimination is not in favor of the market, is the prohibition of all foreign rice but United States, either in its intention or in its ope- the American. The same remark may be reration; not in its intention, because it was made peated here, which was applied to the discriminain reference to this country when it was a part of tion in favor of our tobacco. It is an old Colony the British Empire, and not in reference to us as regulation that has no effect whatever. What independent States; not in its operation, because, other foreign rice could be brought to the West if the discrimination were abolished, it would Indies? Is it the East India rice? That is probring no rival of our tobacco into the British mar- hibited by its distance. Is it the rice of Portugal ? ket. This is proved by the fact that in other mar- That is prohibited by the laws of Portugal, and kets, as that of France, where no such discrimina- probably also by the lower price of the Carolina rice. tion exists, the American tobacco is without a ri- The inference which the gentleman had drawn val. It was well known that this and the other from the comparative regulations of Great Britain apparent favors to this country were a remnant of and France, on the subject of rice, was so curious the old Colonial Code, which, having become a that it was worth a moment's attention. dead letter on the Statute Book, had not yet been The facts, Mr. Madison observed, stood thus: struck out of it.

In France, the duty is $ per cent. In Great Bri2. If the discrimination had no effect in favor tain, 7s. 4d. sterling a hundred. In the French of the United States, it could not, for the same islands, the duty is 1 per cent. In the British, reason, be a prejudice to Portugal.' If it were ne- free, with a prohibition of other foreign rice. cessary and proper to go into the inquiry, more As the duty of 1 per cent. is scarcely sensible, direct proofs could be given on this point. and the prohibition, as shown, is merely nominal,

3. High duties do affect the United States, which the inequality in the islands may be regarded as produce the article, though paid by the British too immaterial to affect the comparison. consumers. They have a double effect; they les- Passing to the two parent States, the duty in sen the quantity called for; and, by lessening the France is $ per cent.; the duty in Great Britain, competition, they lessen also the price. This was 50 or 60 per cent. a truth that could need no comment.

Here, then, is nearly an equality in one part, It was to be remarked, however, that the zeal of and a difference of 50 or 60 per cent. in the other the gentleman on this subject was such, that it part, of the two Dominions; and yet the gentlehad led him to extend the fallacy of his rea- man could say, it was not easy to pronounce soning to rice, the staple article of his own State. whether the article of rice stands on a better footThis article pays a duty of 7s. 4d. sterling per hun- ing in the system of the one than in the system of dred weight; but, like the duty on tobacco, being the other. paid by the consumer, was said to be of little con- Another charge against the Secretary of State cern to us.

is, that his Report calls the discriminating duties Call the price of rice 10s. sterling, the duty is in Great Britain in favor of American wood small, 7s. 4d. The whole class of people, then, in Great whereas they are considerable, and in several inBritain, between the class who cannot afford to Istances high.

JANUARY, 1794.]

Commerce of the United States.

[H. OF R.

Mr. Madison said, he had not found leisure to the attempt to draw away the Nantucket fishertrace this branch of our exports into all the details men. The fact was, that although the conduct of necessary to decide in what degree the duties, France was very different from what was to have were small or considerable, and in what proportion been wished, as well as from what was contemthe several dutied articles 'went to Great Britain. plated by the Marquis LAFAYETTE, who had paHe observed, in general, that the greater part of ironised the interest of the fishermen, yet that the our woods were exported to the West Indies, not project of tempting them to emigrate had originto Great Britain; that in the ship-woods, at least, ated in Great Britain, and was a counter project the Baltic nations were not rivals to the United on the part of France. How the gentleman hapStates. It was known that Sweden and Denmark pened to omit the antecedent attempt of Great were so deficient in oak, that their public navies Britain, and thereby exaggerate that of France, were supplied from Germany, and that the ship Mr. Madison did not undertake to explain ; but it timbers of Russia were transported a thousand or was the more extraordinary, as the whole account twelve hundred miles from her interior Dominions of the transaction was contained in the same page The fir, of which the Swedish and Danish mer- of the Report, nay, in the same paragraph, from chant ships were built, does not last more than which the gentleman had extracted his informseven or eight years, and could not, therefore, beation. a rival to the durable woods of the United States. Here he read the passage in that Report, and

He observed, also, that lumber, and particularly produced the British statute, inviting the whale the ship-woods of the country, were so precious, fishermen, by an offer of certain privileges, to emiand so sure of being in demand, that they never grate to Great Britain. could fear a rival or need a foreign bounty. This A further charge against the Secretary of State was an article very different from such as were an is, that, in his statement of the tonnage of the United annual product of the earth, and as could be raised States employed in the trade with the French wherever the climate and soil permitted, according, and British Dominions, he founds it, not on the to the occasional demand. The forests that were actual number of ships, but on the actual number to supply the ship yards were the growth of cen- of entries. This charge was as singular as it was turies; and where once destroyed, as they gene- uncandid. rally are in Europe, are rarely replaced at all, and The Report stated the fact, that the American never can become the rival' to America, which tonnage entering our ports, from the several naenjoys them as the spontaneous gift of nature. tions with which the United States traded, was so

To enhance the merit of the British regulations, and so; and in this statement it pursued the offithe gentleman had told us that wood was subject cial returns made on the subject. What more to a duty of 1 per cent. in the French Islands, and was to be required ? in the British free, with a prohibition of other In giving the fact, the Secretary imposed on no foreign wood. This was of little consequence. one, because he stated the tonnage to be entry The duty was a trifle, and, falling on a necessary tonnage, as it really was. article, to be got no where else, probably was paid He followed the best guide that existed-an by the French Islanders. And the prohibition official return from the proper offices. was ideal, the American wood being the only re- No return of the

actual tonnage, as distinguished source for the British market.

from the entry tonnage, had at the time ever been The article of fish was admitted by the gentle made from any office or called for by any act of man himself to be more favored by the French Congress. than the British system, though he admits it with The first return ever made in the latter form, reluctance, and diminishes the difference as much was called for since the resolutions on the table as possible. The case, however, is so clear, and were proposed. the facts so palpable, that they speak for them- These considerations might have restrained the selves. Under the French regulations, this im- gentlemen from this unwarranted attack on the portant article of our commerce is subject to du- accuracy of the Report. ties only in Europe and the West Indies. Under But he ought at least to have been sure that, the British, it is under prohibition in both. The whilst he was charging the Secretary with folamount of the whole export is 382,237 quintals of lowing an erroneous guide, he was himself followdry, and 57,424 barrels of pickled fish. Of this, ing one that was not erroneous. The examination the French consumption is 252,171 quintals, and of this point involved facts which merited the 45,164 barrels; that is, nearly two-thirds of the particular attention of the Committee. dry and four-fifths of the pickled fish.

The statement of the entry tonnage of the Here Mr. Madison, proceeding to the subject United States in foreign trade for, 1792, lately of whale oil, called the attention of the Committee called for and reported, is 415,331 tons. The particularly to the representation and language of statement of the actual tonnage for the same year, Mr. Smith as to the conduct of France, in inviting is 239,394 tons. the fishermen of Nantucket to remove and settle On comparing these two quantities, it was eviat Dunkirk. Mr. Smith, he said, had not only dent that both could not be right. If the entry undervalued the monopoly of the French market tonnage was no more than was stated, it was ingranted to the United States, but had, by a muti-conceivable that the actual tonnage could be as lated quotation of a Report of the Secretary of much as was stated. It would allow the vessels State on the fisheries, changed the true aspect of in the European and West India trades, together,

H. OF. R.]
Commerce of the United States.

[JANUARY, 1794. but somewhat more than one voyage and a third Madison reminded the Committee, related to a year. It could never be supposed that this cor- Great Britain, without comprehending the West responded with the fact. How, then, was the in- India Islands, which formed a distinct branch in consistency in the two statements to be explained? the Secretary's Report. How far it was liable to Mr. Madison said, as he did not know by what the exceptions taken against it, would appear from rule the actual tonnage was made up, he would an examination of facts. form no conjecture on the subject. He hoped and To obviate criticisms, Mr. MADISON said he wished that some gentleman more conversant would take for the basis of his calculations the with it would solve the phenomenon. He did not statement, given in detail by the gentleman himcall on the gentleman from South Carolina, be self, of the exports for 1790 to the French and cause he, most of all

, must be puzzled to account British Dominions; which, though not extended for it; having stated that our vessels in the trade to every item, approached so near to a full view to Europe make two voyages, and in the West of the trade as to be adequate to the purpose. India trade four voyages, a year.

In the statement, the exports to Great Britain Besides the evidence contained in this compari- stand at $6,651,429; from which must be subson of the aggregate tonnage in the two different tracted, for the comparison, the amount of the forms in which it had been reported, the existence several re-exportations, as far as they can be liof error somewhere, and probably in the account quidated. of the actual tonnage, resulted from a comparative Tobacco.-It appears, from an official docuview of our exports to the British Dominions, for ment, that the tobacco exported to Great Britain the two years of 1790 and 1792, and of the whole in 1791 was 67,286 hogsheads. A return for tonnage, American and British, employed in con- another year states the quantity to be 52,505 hogsveying them.

heads. It appeared from the revenue returns of In the former year, the exports were $9,363,416. Great Britain, that the consumption of this article In the latter, $8,269,495; the excess for 1790, amounted to 9,600 hogsheads. The proportion $1,093,921.

re-exported might then be reasonably set down at The entry tonnage, British and American, for four-lifths of the quantity imported. 1790, was 273,580 tons.

Rice.- To obtain the proportion of rice reerThe British entry tonnage, for 1792, was 206,384 ported, we may take the medium quantity imtons. The actual American tonnage for 1792, ported for three years immediately preceding the was, according to the official statement, 66,582 Revolution, which, according to a table in Andertons; which, turned into entry tonnage, according son's History of Commerce, was 486,543 cwt. By to the proportion of the whole actual to the whole another table for the same period, the medium entry tonnage for that year, makes the American quantity exported was 349,653 cwt. The differentry tonnaðe, in the trade to Great Britain, about ence marks the consumption, and is 136,890 cwt. 95,000 tons. Adding this to the British entry The quantity exported to Great Britain from the tonnage of 206,384 tons, the British and Ameri- United States in 1792 was 58,978 barrels-equal can, together, for 1792, amounts to 301,384 tons; to 294,890 cwt. Comparing the quantity conwhích exceeds the tonnage of 1790 no less than sumed with this quantity, it appears that more 27,804 tons.

than half, though less than two-thirds, is re-exAccording to this calculation, which embraces ported—call the re-exportation one-half only of the actual tonnage as stated to the House, there the present importation. would be 27,804 tons more enıployed in transport- Indigo.-According to a statement in Anderson, ing $1,093,921 less; making our tonnage to in the medium importations into Great Britain, for crease in that proportion as the employment of it three years immediately preceding the Revolution, decreased.

were about thrice the medium quantity exported. There was a possibility, Mr. Madison observed, Call the proportion re-exported now, however, that the course of trade in the two years might be one-fifth only, which is probably below the fact. such, that more of the vessels employed in the ex- From these proportions, and the data furnished portations to Great Britain might be entered in by the gentleman's own statement, result the fol1790 as coming from some other country than in lowing justification of the Report of the Secretary 1792; but, as there was no known circumstance on the point: which authorized this solution, and as it seemed Exports to Great Britain

- $6,651,429 demonstrable, in general, that error existed some Tobacco

$2,754,493 where in the statements, and most probably in Consumed, one-fifth 550,898 those of the actual tonnage, he concluded that it ought to be referred to that source; and, conse- Re-exported

$2,203,595 quently, that the guide followed by the Secretary Rice

773,852 of State (to wit: the entry tonnage, the only one Consumed, one-half 386,926 he had to follow) was not more inaccurate than the actual tonnage would have been, which guided

Re-exported

386,926 the member from South Carolina.

Indigo

473,830 Another position of the Secretary of State on Consumed, fourwhich a charge is founded is, “ that the greater fifths

379,064 part of what Great Britain receives from the United States is re-exported." This position, Mr. Re-exported

94,766

JANUARY, 1794.]

Commerce of the United States.

[H. OF R.

one

Wheat and flour,

By deducting the $3,501,067 re-exported, from perhaps the whole

the $6,651,429 imported into Great Britain, he rere-exported; and

duced her actual consumption to $3,150,362; to more was carried

which, adding the $1,805,744 exported to the West to Great Britain in the two succeeding

India market, the whole British consumption

stands at no more than $4,956,106. On comparing, years, though the

this with the exports to the French Dominions, aggregate exports thither were less

(which re-export none of any consequence,) to than in the year

wit: $4,424,336, the subject took a very different here taken : say,

aspect from that which had been given to it. however, that one

But there was, Mr. Madison observed, a cirfourth was con

cumstance of the utmost importance to a fair view sumed, and let the

of this question, which had been wholly overamount stand ac

looked by the gentleman from South Carolina, cording to the gen

and which cut up his calculations by the roots. tleman's state

The re-exportations from Great Britain were not ment, at 1,087,840

only to be subtracted from the consumption of Consumed,

Great Britain, but, in a great degree being made fourth 271,960

to France, were to be added to the value of her

market to the agriculture and commerce of the Re-exported.

815,880

United States. 3,501,067 The re-exportation from Great Britain to France

could not be accurately fixed by any documents to Here, then, it appears that their exportations of be had here. In general, they were known to be the four articles alone, of tobacco, rice, indigo, and great.. He would, he said, confine himself to the wheat, are greater than the whole consumption in two articles of tobacco and flour, of which he estiGreat Britain of the articles imported from the mated the amount as follows: United States, although the most unfavorable

The tobacco exported from the United States year has been taken for the inquiry; and, conse- appears to be about 100,000 hogsheads. It is quently, that the position of the Secretary of State valued in the return of our exports at $4,349,567. was well founded.

It is known that France consumes about oneIf it were necessary to investigate the full fourth of the whole quantity exported; that is, amount of re-exportations, several articles might $1,087,392. It appears, by the return of our exhave been added to the list, such as whale oil, ports

, that the direct 'exports of this article to ginseng, flaxseed, &c.

France stand at $384,642. The indirect supplies, Nor would it be unfair, perhaps, to include the then, to France, not appearing in the returns of primitive value of the articles re-exported in the our exports, and to be added to them, are $702,750. new forms given to them by art. A great propor- Of the flour and grain sent to Great Britain, altion of what is sent from the United States to lowing, as above stated, one-fourth to have been Great Britain, in a rude state, is worked into arti- there consumed, which is probably beyond the cles of merchandise, and exported in the course of truth, the re-exportation amounted to $815,880. trade. Take, for example, the two articles of pot It is well understood that France was the market and pearl ashes and indigo.

where these articles were finally consumed. The The amount of the export of the former to account may now be stated : Great Britain is stated at $747,078; of which, if To the French market, directly exported for conno part is re-exported in its unaltered state, the sumption

$4,424,336 whole enters into British manufactures. Sup- Tobacco indirectly exported for conposing one-third of these particular manufactures sumption

702,705 to be exported, which appears to be nearly the Weat and flour indirectly exported for general proportion, the value of pot and pearl consumption

815,880 ashes re-exported is $249,026. The indigo used in Great Britain has appeared to be $379,064, one- Total of French consumption 5,942,921 third of which, re-exported as an ingredient in Total of British consumption - 4,956,106 manufactures, 'is $126,3544. These two items alone amount to $375,280]; and, with many others, Excess of French consumption

986,815 might be added to the mass of re-exportations. But they are stated rather to throw light on the Thus it appears, without taking into the acgeneral character of our trade with Great Britain count the other articles re-exported to France, than to be relied on in the present case, which that the market of that country for our exports has been sufficiently elucidated by more direct was worth to the United States nearly a million and simple views of it.

more than the market of Great Britain; and yet Mr. Madison proceeded to apply the calcula- the gentleman from South Carolina had repretions he had made to the question discussed by sented the British markets as exceeding the French Mr. Smith, in relation to the comparative im- in the annual amount of between three and four portance of the French and

British markets to the millions; and had pronounced, without hesitation, productions of the United States.

that Great Britain, in reference to our productions,

[ocr errors]

H. OF R.)

Commerce of the United States.

FJANUARY, 1794.

was a more important customer than France, al- spoliations of our neutral commerce; on the unmost in the ratio of two to one.

lawfulness of which, our Executive had grounded Mr. Madison, returning to the Secretary's Re- the remonstrance and demand of indemnification port, said he hoped, after what had been shown, it lying on the table. would be needless to trouble the Committee with In addition to this, he stated the inconsistency further remarks on the subject. In dismissing it, between those who maintained and those who rehowever, he could not do justice to his own im-jected the theory of leaving commerce perfectly pressions, without declaring his entire confidence free; the inconsistency of rejecting this theory, that the Report would be regarded by all discerning and yet refusing to meet restrictions on one side and unprejudiced judges as one of the many mon- with restrictions on the other; the inconsistency uments which its author had left behind him, of of condemning a commercial discrimination bethe zeal, the talents, and the patriotism with which tween nations, as contrary to the wise example of he had discharged the duties of his station; and Great Britain, and claiming for Great Britain the that he had carried with him into retirement a credit of making such discriminations in favor of purity, both in his public and private name, which the United States. The inconsistency of predictnothing that could be said within or without the ing that the measure would destroy the revenue, walls of Congress could tarnish.

and insisting that the dutied articles would conHaving gone through the particular observations tinue to be imported from the same source, through into which he had been led by the attack made on more expensive channels. The inconsistency of the Report of the Secretary of State before the exclaiming against topics and remarks which may Committee, he should proceed to a more general awaken the passions, and endeavoring themselves view of what had been urged by the opponents of to alarm our fears; of exhorting the Committee to the resolutions he had introduced.

consult its judgment alone, and substituting for Among other things, it had been alleged, in the argument continued addresses to the imagination. latter stages of the debate, that the friends of the Particular pains, he remarked, had been taken resolutions had involved themselves in inconsis- to exhibit a picture of our national prosperity tency, by shifting the ground of argument from which might flatter our wishes and forbid expericommercial to political considerations. In answerments. It was readily admitted, he said, that there to this charge, he remarked, that if in any instance were many features in the face of our affairs which of his public life he was free from the charge of were proper themes of mutual congratulation, inconsistency, it was on the subject of vindicating whether compared with the situation of other our national interest against the policy, of Great countries or with our own under other circumBritain towards us; that in all the public stations stances. And it gave him much pleasure to add, with which he had been honored since the peace, that the degree of prosperity we enjoyed, though and on every occasion which had occurred, his not to be exclusively credited to the change of our conduct had been marked by an adherence to this Federal Government, or to particular measures principle; that the resolutions he had last propos- under it, according to the exaggerations of some, ed were founded on this principle; that if, in the was yet so far and so evidently the fruit of that first arguments supporting them, he had dwelt change as to do honor to the people of America in chiefly on commercial topics, it would be recollect- adopting it. He mentioned two innovations, maked that he kept the door open for political ones, if ing part of the Constitution, which must alone the turn of the discussion should require them. have had a powerful effect in meliorating the conThat he had forborne to enlarge on the political dition of this country, to wit: the prohibition of sides of the question, because he thought it defen- paper money, or other violations of contracts, and sible on commercial grounds, and was willing to the abolition of incoherent and rival regulations of meet it on those grounds, because he did not wish trade among the several States. But notwithstandto mingle, unnecessarily, irritating ideas in the dis- ing the flourishing state of ouraffairs, when viewed cussion, and because he had supposed that every under certain aspects, it was equally certain that thing relating to the Treaty of Peace, the Indians, there were others which suggested very different Algerines, the spoliations, &c., were sufficiently reflections. imprinted on every mind, and would have all the He then went into a review of the actual state effects they ought to have, without being particu- of our commerce, particularly in relation to Great larly enforced.

Britain, and of the several injuries of another sort Whilst he could thus repel the charge of incon- which that nation had superadded to her commersistency brought against himself

, it must be evident, cial restrictions. he thought, how much room there was for retort- He repeated, what he had formerly maintained, ing the charge. In the early stages of the discus- that there was more of reciprocity in the footing sion, there seemed but one sentiment as to the of commerce between Great Britain and other conduct of Great Britain, at least in a political countries, and between other countries and the view. The difference turned on the question, United States, than between Great Britain and the whether we could or ought to counteract her con- United States. To prove the first point, he reduct. . In the latter stages of the discussion, pallia- marked that in some instances Great Britain had tions if not justifications had been multiplied and treaties with other countries which defined and labored, not only with respect to her commercial stipulated reciprocal privileges; in other instances, policy, but with respect to the detention of the her restrictions were countervailed by laws imposts, the Indians, the Algerines, and even the posing restrictions on her. To prove the second

« AnteriorContinuar »