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Adams Sentinel Newspaper Archive: January 24, 1832 - Page 1

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Publication: Adams Sentinel

Location: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

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   Adams Sentinel, The (Newspaper) - January 24, 1832, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania                                At -V3 per annum, m advance1, or 00. if not paid within the year. PUBLISHED BY ROBERT Q. HARPER. Advert is K'nUsiJil per square, for.') ets. pur y. for each_cout. "Resist tot tk care the spirit of innovation upon the principles of your Government, however spacious the Sjteeclt IN SKA'ATK OK Till; U. STATES, .IAN. 1 L. 1 S-1'2. The following resolution, submitted by Mr. CUYY on Monday Just, being' the special or- der of the day, was taken up for considera- tion Resolved, That the existing- duties upon articles imported from foreign countries, and into competition with similar ar- ticles made or produced within the U. States, i t pose, Congress can hardly believe, with the Secretary of the Treasury, that it would be wise to pay oil'a stock of thirteen millions, entitling its holders to but three per cent, with a capital of thirteen millions worth an interest of six per cent. In other words, to take from the pockets of the people two dol- lars to pay one, in the hands stock- holders. The moral value of the payment of a Na- tional Debt, consists in the demonstration which it affords of the ability of a country to meet, and its integrity in fulfillinir all its en- ough t to be forthwith abolished, except the I gugemenU-. That the resources of this Duties upon wines and silks, and that those country, increasing as it constantly is in pop- oiifht to be reduced. And that the Commit- j tee on Finance be instructed to report a bill accordingly. The resolution having been read, Mr. GLA.Y rose and addressed the Senate, in substance, as follows: i have a few observations, Mr. President, and only a few, to submit to the Senate, on the measure now before vou in doing which I have to all your indulgence. J am get- ting old I feel but too sensibly and unaffect- edly the effects of approaching age; and I hare been, for some years, very little in the habit of addressing deliberative assemblies. 1 am told that I have been the most unwilling cause, if J have been, of ex- citing expectations, the evidence of which is around us. I regret it: for however the sub- ject on which I am to speak, in other hands might be treated to gratify or to reward the presence and attention now given, in mine. I have nothing but a plain, unvarnished and unambitious exposition to make. It forms no part of my present purpose, said Mr. C. to enter into the consideration of the established policy of protection. Strong in the convictions, and deeply seated in the affections of a large majority of the People of the U. States, it stands self-vindicated, in the general prosperity, in the rich fruits which it has scattered over the land, in the experi- ence of all prosperous and powerful nations, present and past, and now, in that of on r own. !Nor do 1 think it necessarj' to discuss that policy on this resolution. Other gentlemen may think differently, and may choose to ar- gue and assail it. If they do, I have no doubt that, in all parts of the Senate, members more competent than I am, will be ready to defend and support it. My object now is to limit myself to a. presentation of certain views and principles connected with the present finan- cial condition of the country. A consideration of the state of the public revenue has become necessary in conse- quence of the near approach of the entire ex- tinction of the public debt; and I concur with you, sir, in believing that no season could be more appropriate than the present session of Congress to endeavor to make a satisfactory adjustment of the Tariff. The public debt chiefly arose out of the late war, justly de- nominated the second contest for National Independence. An act, commonly called the sinking fund act, was passed by Congress near fifteen years ago, providing for its re- imbursement. That act was prepared and proposed by a friend of yours and mine, whose premature death was not a loss merely to his native State, of which he was one of its bright- est ornaments, but to the whole nation. No man, with whom I ever had the honor to be associated in the legislative councils, combi- ned more extensive and useful information, with more firmness of judgment and bland- ness of manner, than did the lamented Mr. Lowndes. And when, in the prime of life, by the dispensation of an all-wise Providence, he was taken from us. his country hud rea- son to anticipate the greatest benefits from his wisdom and discretion. By that act, an annual appropriation of ten millions of dollars was made towards the payment of the princi- pal and interest of the public debt: and also any excess which might yearly be in the Treasury, beyond two millions of dollars, which it was thought prudent to reserve for unforeseen exigencies. But this system of regular and periodical application of public revenue to the payment of the public debt, would have been unavail- ing, if Congress had neglected to provide the necessary ways and means. Congress did not however, neglect the performance of that duty. By various acts, and more especially by the tariifof abused lariff'of 1524 public coifers were amply replenished, and we have been enabled to reach our pre- sent proud eminence of financial prosperitv. After Congress had thus abundantly provided funds, and directed their systematical appli- cation, the duty remaining to be performed by the Executive was one simply i And no Executive and no Administration can justly claim for itself any other merit in the 1 discharge of the public debt, than thai of a iailhful execution of the laws. No other merit than that similar one to which it is enti- tled for directing a regular jKiynicnl of what as due from lime to time to the army and na- vy, or lo the officers of the Civil Government for their salaries. The operation of sinking fund menced withlhcorimiTjenccinciit of Mr. M'-n- Administration. During its nance of t-iij-ht years. to uKmts of the the ten not rfirularly to the payment of the debt: and, upon the termination of that ininislrati'ijj. the Treosurv in jirrtar to the sinking fund." Duriuir lh" sub- sequent Adujjui-traiion of four }v-ars. nut on- j 3y was the ten millions faithfully dn- j ring eich yffir.bnl -.WK- yp and nil naaije So that, when the jjan, a phin and pnth by directly bt-forf it. mea- sures wliicL bavr- been devi-r-d, in lhr- -Lori term of fjfTf-n the GovtTi'ni'ut ulation and wealth, are abundantly sufficient to meet any debt which it may ever prudent- ly contract, cannot be doubted. And its punc- tuality and probity, from the period of the as- sumption, in 1790. of the debt of the Revolu- tion down to the present time, rests upon a solid and uncontestable foundation. The dan- ger, that it willnotfairly meet its engagements, but that from an inordinate avidity, arising from temporary causes, it may bring discredit upon itself by improvident ar- rangements, which no prudent man, in the management of his private affairs, would e- ver think of adopting. Of the residue of that twenty-four millions of debt, after deducting the thirteen mil- lions of three per cent., less than two millions are due, and of right payable within the pre- sent year. ]f to that sum be added the moie- ty which becomes due on the 31st of Decem- ber next, of the crea ted by the act of 26th May, 1824, we have but a sum ofa- bout four millions which the public creditor can lawfully demand, or which the Govern- ment is bound to pay in the course of this year. If more is paid, it can only be done by antici- pating the periods of its payment, and going into the public market to purchase the stock. Can it be doubted that if you do so, the vigi- lant holder of the stock, taking advantage of your anxiety, will demand a greater price than its Already we perceive that the three per cents, have risen to the extra- ordinary height of 96 per cent. The differ- ence between a payment of the inconsidera- ble portion remaining of the public debt, in one. two, or three years, is certainly not so important as to justify a resort to highly dis- advantageous terms. Whoever may be entitled to the credit of the payment of the Public debt, J congratu- late you, sir, and the country, most cordially, that it is so'near at hand. It is so near being totally extinguished, that we may now safe- ly inquire whether, without prejudice to any established policy, we may not relieve the consumption of the country, by the repeal or reduction of duties, and curtail considerably the Public revenue. In making this inquiry, the first question which presents itself is, whether it is expedient to preserve the exist- ing duties in order to accumulate a surplus in theTreasury forthe purpose ofsubsequentdis- tribution among the several States i I think not. If the collection, for the purpose of such a surplus, is to be made from the pockets of one portion of the people, to be ultimately re- turned to the same pockets, the process would be attended with the certain loss arising from the charges of collection, and with the loss also of interest whilst the money is perform- ing the unnecessary circuit: and it would therefore be unwise. If it is to be collected from one portion of the people and given to another, it would be unjust. Jf it is to be given to the States, in their corporate capa- citv. to be used by them in their public ex- penditure, I know of no principle in the Con- stitution which authorizes the Federal Gov- ernment to become such a collector for the States, nor of any principle of safety or pro- priety which admits, of the States becoming such recipients of gratuity from the General Government. The Public Revenue, then, should be re- gulated and adapted to the proper service of The General Government It should be am- ple for a deficit in the public income, al- ways to be deprecated, is sometimes attend- ed, as we know well from history, and from what has happened in our own time, with fatal consequences. Jn a country so rapidly grow- ing as this is. with diversified interests, new wants and unexpected calls upon the public treasury must frequently occur. Take some examples from this session. The State of Virginia lias presented a claim, for an amount but little short of a million, which she presses with an earnestness demonstrating' her con- viction of its justice. The Slate of South Carolina lias also a claim for no inconsidera- ble sum. being of which she urges with equal -earnestness. The- gen- tleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Wiuu.vV) ha.- brought forward a claim. arising out of French Spoliations pievious to the Conven- tion of l-t'O, which is perhaps not short of live millions, and lo sorm: extent 3 have no doubt it has a jus-l foundation, hi any provi- sion of a Public lo fix it as to ndiuit payment of honest and proper which injustice reject evade. ss- public Tevenu-r. or. woold be p in the appropriation of thr- public lands, etfeolual and ion will he for such internal nients ;is luav be sanctioned by TJjH is due lothc American pljuticnlly due to the !s of Ihc it urovi.-- of the whole and that they ever sympathise in the distresses and rejoice in the happiness of the most distant quarter of the And to demonstrate that they are not care- less or indifferent to interests not directly their own, they may triumphantly and proud- ly appeal to the gallant part which they bore in the late war, and point to the bloody fields on which some of their most patriotic sons nobly fell fighting in the common But they will also b-ay that these fraternal and just sentiments ought to be reciprocated by their Atlantic brethren. That these ought not to be indifferent to the welfare of the west, and that they have the same collat- eral or indirect interests in its success and advancement that the west has in That it does not ask internal improvements to be exclusively confined to itself, but that it may receive, in common with the rest of the Union, a practical benefit in the only form compatible with its interior condition. The appropriation of the proceeds of the public lands, or a considerable portion of them, to that object, would be a most natural and suitable disposition. And t do hope, Sir, that that great resource will be cherished, and dedicated to some national purpose worthy of the Republic. Utterly opposed, as L trust Congress will show itself to be. to all the wild to that latest, but maddest and wildest of all; recommended by the Secretary of the squandering the public domain. I hope it will be preserved for the present generation and for posterity, as it lias been received from our ancestors, a rich and bountiful inheritance. In these halcyon days of peace and plenty, and an overflowing trea- sury, we appear to embarrass ourselves in de- vising visionary schemes for casting away the bounties with which the goodness of Provi- dence has blessed us. But, Sir, the storm of war will come, when we know not; the day of trial and difficulty will assuredly come, now is the time, by a prudent forecast, to hus- band our resources, and this the greatest of them Let them not be hoarded and hug- ged with a miser's embrace, but liberally u- sed. Let the public lands be used with a gen- erous spirit, and especially towards the States within which they are situated. Let the pro- ceeds of tiie sales of the public lands be ap- plied in a season of peace to some great ob- ject; and when war does corne. by suspend- ing that application of them during its contin- uance, you will be at once pnc in possession of means for its vigorous prosecution. More than twenty-five years ago, when first took a seat in this body, I was told, by the fathers of the government, that, if we had any thing perfect in our institutions, it was the system for disposing of the public lands, and I was cautioned against rash innovations in Subsequent experience fully satisfied me of the wisdom of their counsels, and that ail vi- tal changes in it ought to be resisted. Although it may be impracticable to say what the exact amount of the public revenue should be. for the future, and what would be the precise produce of any given system of imposts, we may safely assume, that the re- venue may now be reduced, and considera- bly reduced. This reduction may be effect- ed in various ways, and on different princi- ples. Only three modes shall now be noti- ced. 1st To reduce duties on all articles in the same ratio, without regard to the principle of protection. 2d. To retain them on unprotected arti- cles, and augment thorn on the protected ar- ticles. And 3d. To abolish and reduce the duties on unprotected articles, retaining and enfor- cing the faithful collection of those on the protected articles. To the first mode there are insuperable objections. It would lead inevitably to the destruction of our home manufactures. It would establish a sort of bed of Procrustes, by which the duties on all articles should be blindly measured, without respect to their nature or the extent of their And it would be derogatory from prin- ciple of theory or practice on which the Gov- ernment has hitherto proceeded. The second would be still more objocliona- ble to the foes of the Tariff than either of ihe But it cannot be controverted that, bv ausrmentinrrconsiderably the duties on the protected class, so as to carry them to the point or near to the confines nfahf-olule pro- hibition, the object in view, nf effecting the necessary reduction of the public mav be accomplished without touching the duties on the unprotected class. The conse- quence of such nn aui'inenlation would he a HTCal diminution in she importation of the ioreiH'n article, and of Bourse in ibedutie-'np- on it TJnt entire prohibition, except perhaps in ,-j few instances. I have been rind still am. opposed. I'y lea van if the door open to forHirn rival ariiclf, the ?ecn- red of Ifil he hennct- 5rally closed, the danger is incurred of mon- opoly. The third mode is the equitable 'fid and it presents ;tn Ground, on which I bad could ill safely withoutdilTiciiltv. 3' ffi-f 'if tb" oppon'-ntofibe American Sv-lein it cotnpreheudK iiorK- 01; the of its friends. before yoi] It is simple, and nil coimilwil from th of arr iflh" jutbe It J- to of :rna] pi-. nw nt. as certain as you iM; in that or a.- the s-nu be if ijf A r'T thev au nv- V.lH TiOlb- of th" pohcj <-'j yon. not liul 13J 3t divides the 1f' Jt- ua- hat nnt to o Tirv, '.vhat maybe controvert r-il. part of the South In- hitherto that it va- -i a- Ule- 'it once d mid lo coinptaint rind 'he s nn eoifl '-f ,lja TSJttL JJ40-t 333 Of thfit remiri7jt. con-St of 3 per cent, r-vck. by IJK: of v. jjich the Governme.'ii doe-r- i.ot a'aud ftouiid Ttdeeni at lime, but wh.ch itm.n il suits it.- own coineuitMice ny prtrt of our common country. On thecon- it mtisi be done by the payment of doll.tr j trary, that every portion of the He-public is fur dollar. I cannot think, aut3, sup- indirectly, 21 Ics-at, iiucrcsied in the -Aohare jjftve direct iu expondi- turn.- tlie the fortifications. the army, those greatest of the public That they are not indiiibr- enU indeed, to the and rosperity of a- If bv iV-adoption it v. iL at OIK'-, a- -no.vn. from -it X'i-1 n fonrl'j of jS TjV- nyasUK' in tonforrnitv 1ho uni- form priclicfi of GoverriirjCnt, from its and with the professions of j all th': omiii'-nt politician? of the South, until of L'tte. It assmno- the rii'Ll of ihe Govern- i merit, in the assessment nfdulx-s, to discrirni- nate bf-r.veen those articles which sound pol- icy requires it to and those which it need not encourage. Tin? bus boc-n ibr- in- variable which the Government lift? proro'idfcd, from the actof of 4th of July, down to ilie present time. And has it not been admitted by almost eve- ry prominent Southern politician J J las it not been even acknowledged by the fathers of the Free trade Church, in their late address, pro- mulgated, from Philadelphia, to the people of the United States.1 If we never had a sys- tem of foreign imposts, and were now called upon fur the first time, to originate one, should we not discriminate between the objects of our own industry, and those produced by for- eigners And is there any difference in its the modification of an ex- isting system and the organization of a new one If the gentlemen of the South, opposed to the Tariff, were to obtain complete posses- sion of the powers of Government, would they hazard their exercise upon any other princi- ple "J If it be said that sonic of the articles which would, by this measure, be liberated from are luxuries, the remark is equal- ly true of some of the articles remaining sub- ject to duties. J n the present advanced stage of comfort and civilization, it. is not easy to draw the line between luxuries and necessa- ries. It would be difficult to make the peo- ple believe that bohca tea is a luxury, and the article offme broad cloths is a necessary of life. In stating that the duties on the protected class ought to be retained, it has been far from my wish to preclude inquiry into their inad- equacy or propriety. If it can be shewn that, in any instance, they are excessive or dispro- portionately burthcnsome on any section of the Union, for one 1 am ready to vote for their reduction or modification. The system con- templates an protection; beyond that it is not necessary to go. Short of that, itso- pcration will be injurious to all parties. The people of this country, or a large ma- jority of them, expect that the system will be preserved. And its abandonment would pro- duce general surprise, special desolation over the land, and occasion as great a shock as a declaration of war forth with against the most powerful nation of Europe. "But if the system be preserved, it ought to be fairly, and faithfully That there do exist the most scandalous vio- lations of it, and the grossest frauds upon the public revenue, in regard to some of the most important articles, cannot be doubted. Astoi- ron, objects really belonging to one denomina- tion, to which a higher duty is attached, arc imported under another nnme, to which a lower duty is assigned, and the law thus eva- ded. False invoices are made as to woollens, and the classification into minimums is con- stantly eluded. The success of the Ameri- can manufacture of cotton bagging has been such as that, by furnishing a better and cheaper article, the bagging of Inverness and Dundee has been almost excluded from the consumption of the States bordering on the Mississippi and its tributaries. There has not yet been sufficient time to fabricate and transport the article in necessary quantities from the Western States to the Southern At- lantic Stales, which therefore have been al- most exclusively supplied from the Scottish manufactories. The payment of the duty is evaded by the introduction of the foreign fab- ric, under the name of burlaps, or some other mercantile phrase, and instead of paying five cents the square yard, it is entered with a duty of only fifteen per cent ad That this practice prevails, is demonstrated by the Treasury report of the duties accruing on cotton bagging for the yea rs 1828.1829, 1830. During tiie first year the amount was the second and the third it sunk down to The time has arrived when the inquiry ought lo be made, whether it be not practicable toarrebt this illegitimate course of trade, and secure the faithful execution of the laws. JN'o time could be more suitable than that at which it is contemplated to make a great reduction of the public revenue. Two radical changes have presented themselves to my rnind, and which J will now suggest for consideration and investigation. On such a subject, J would, however, seek from the mer- cantile community and practical men. all the light which they are capable of affording, and should be reluctant to act on my own convic- tions, however strong. The first is to make a total change in the place of valuation. Now the valuation is made in Foreign Countries. We fix the du- ties, and we leave to foreigners to assess the value on articles paying ad valorem That is, we prescribe the rule, and leave its execution to the foreigner. This is an anom- aly, I believe, peculiar to this, country. It is evident that the amount of duty payable on a given article subject to an ad valorem duty, iiKiy be affected as much by the fixation of the value, as by the specificatiosi of the duty. And, for all practical purpos.es, it would be just as .safe to retain lo our.-e2ves the ;iscer- lainment of the value, and leave to the for- eigner tu jire-f nbe the duty, as it ;s reserve to the <3uiy and allow tohim the privilege txja.'-.-ies'-.lhe The died of this vicious condition oi the law 3iab btcn to throw almost the whole import trade of the country, as, to some important articles, jjjto the hands of foreigner. I have been informed that of the im- portation of woollens into the port of New more is received than in alJ the other parts of the U. Stales together, arc in bis hands. This has not proceeded from any vaul of eijli-r- or capital, on ihe part of I'm- American for, in these purlifuLrs, he surpassed hy the merchant of no country. It has resulted from his probity, his charac- ter, and hisjespeci to the law sand in- sliujlions of his respect which does not influence the foreigner. 1 am aware that it is made, by Jaw, the duty of the appraiser lo ascertain the val'ie of the goods in certain cases But whjU is his chief guide It 3s the foreign invoice, made by he knows not, certainly by no person res- to our laws. And, if its f.iir- J ness be contested, they will bring you i cartloads of certificates and affidavits i from unknown persons to verify its ex- actness, and the first cost of the article. Now, sir, it seems to me that this is a slate of things to which we should promptly apply an efficacious remedy, and no other appears to me, but that of taking into our own hands both parts of the operation, the ascertainment of the value as well as the duty to be paid on the goods. If it be said that we might have, in diflerent ports, different rules, the answer is, that there could be no diversity greater than that to which we are liable from the fact of the valuation being now made in all die ports of fo- reign countries from which we make our importations. And that it is bet- ter to have the valuations made by per- sons, responsible to our own Govern- ment, and regulated by one head, than by unknown foreigners, standing under no responsibility whatever to us. The other change to which I is to reduce the credits allowed forthe payment of duties and to render them uniform. It would be better, if not in- jurious to commerce, to abolish them altogether. Now we have various pe- riods of credit graduated according to the distance of the foreign the nature of the trade. These credits op- crate as so much capital on which the foreign merchant can sometimes make several adventures before the arrival of the day of payment. There is no re- ciprocal advantage afforded to the A- merican merchant, I believe, in any fo- reign port. As we shall probably a- bolish or reduce greatly the duties on all articles imported from beyond the Cape of Good Hope, on which the longest credits are moment would seem to be propitious for re- stricting the other credits in such man- ner, that whilst they afforded a reason- able facility to the merchant, they should not supply the foreigner at the instance of the public, with capital for his mercantile operations. If the laws can be strictly enforced, and some such alterations as have been sugested, can be carried into effect, it is quite probable that a satisfactory reduction may be made of the duties upon some of the articles falling within the sys- tem of protection. And, without im- pairing its principle, other modes of re- lief may possibly be devised to some of those interests upon which it is suppo- sed to press most heavily. There remains one view to present to the Senate in respect to the amount of reduction of the revenue which will be produced by the proposed measure if adopted, and its influence upon the payment of the public debt, within the time suggested by the Secretary of the Treasury. The estimate which I have made of that amount is founded upon Treasury returns prior to the late re- duction of duties on tea, coffee, and co- coa. Supposing the duties on wines and silks to be reduced as low as I think they may be, the total amount of reve- nue with which the proposed measure will dispense will be about The Secretary of the Treasury esti- mates the receipts of the present year from all sources at and he supposes those of the next year will be of anccjuai amount. He acknowledges that the past year has been one of ex- traordinary commercial activity but on what principles does-'he anticipate that the present will be I The history of our commerce demonstrates that it al- ternates, and that a year of intempe- rate speculation is usually followed by one of more guarded That the importations of ihe past year have been excessive 1 believe is gener- ally confessed, and is demonstrated by two unerring facts. The first is, that the imports have exceeded the exports hy about seventeen millions of dollars. Whatever may be the qualifications lo whirh the theory of the balance of trade may be liable, it may be safely affirmed, that when the of the impor- tations from all foreign countries ex- ceeds the ejjalc of the exporiations to al! foreign countries considerably, the unfavorable balance must be made up by a remittance of the precious met- als to some extent. Accordingly we find the existence of the other fact to which I allude, the high price of b5Hs of exchange on England. It is, there- fore, faiily to be anticipated that the duties accruiijtj this year will kssin amount than those of the pas? And 1 think it be unwise lo rely Mpou our present information as to the income of either of two years as furnishing a guide for the future. The yras 1829 and 3830 wiH supply a surer rnlrrion. Then: is aVeir.arkablc coincidence in She amount of the rc- cespu into the TicasHry during those two years, it having been the first from all sources .IS, and the vcond 16 Ail, difference only about The inodo recommended by the Se- cretary for the modification of the Tar- iiTis lo reduce no part of the duties on the unprotected and then 10 retain a considerable portion of them. And ns to the pre- lected class, he would make a gradual but prospective reduction of the duties. The effect of this would be lo destroy   

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