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question, and I do not hesitate to say it is calculated to make an impression on the present state of things greater than is generally imagined. I have imparted my doubts on this subject freely to other gentlemen, many of whom seem to entertain the same sentiments. Nothing, sir, shall make me, for any partial interest, depart from the course which I have laid down for my conduct this session. The great question to my mind is, will this measure be a departure from this course or not ? I am in doubt. I hope for good consequences on the one hand, but fear for bad ones on the other. A very general impression has been produced on foreign Governments, and indeed on this people also, that our councils are so vibratory, so oscillating, that we are incapable of carrying into effect our own resolves. It is of the utmost importance to us that that impression should be done away, almost at any hazard. It is the interest of no party, but of the whole people, that our own character should be fixed; that we should no longer be the sport of foreigners, nor an object of distrust to our own citizens. How shall we effect this important, this desirable object 7 To my mind there appears but one course; and that course has been pursued with a consistency and determination which has given pleasure to my heart. I shall not now, sir, undertake to state to the House the reasons which induce me to believe the passage of this bill a measure of doubtful propriety. Everything I now propose is to request the House to pause before they adopt it. It is a most serious question. I doubt exceedingly whether any single act we could do, unless an open abandonment of our intention to go to war, could be so well calculated to mar the great object we have in view. For which reasons, sir, I move that the further consideration of this bill be postponed to Monday week. Mr. Lowndes said he had expected this motion to be supported on the grounds of its importance and the necessity of deliberate action; and he had therefore been surprised to find that it was argued on the inexpediency of the bill. Mr. L. said he should assent to the motion just made, and stated the reason why he should do so. He owed it to himself, he said, to state that his first opinion was unshaken. Without designing to trench on the rules of decorum properly observed in the House, he must say he was astonished at what appeared to him the blindness of the policy which required the rejection of this bill. Confirmed as he was in the opinion he yesterday expressed in favor of this measure, he was only induced to refrain from pressing its decision by the single consideration that, if decided without further opportunity for reflection, it might not be carried. If he believed that it would be carried through all the branches of the Legislature, he should urge its immediate adoption. Whatever might be its unpopularity elsewhere, he must, confiding in the good sense of the community, believe that feeling would be temporary. When the bill should be well understood, he had hopes it would meet a more favorable reception

than now greeted it; and with that view alone consented to the postponement. Mr. RhEA said, if he had not heard the observations made by the gentleman from South Carolina, who has last spoken, his voice would not have been heard on this subject; but having heard it intimated that they who would reject this bill are pursuing a blind policy, and that a number wish to retreat from this question, and understanding, from what the gentleman has said, that he still advocates the measures contained in the bill, he, Mr. R., was inclined to make a motion which would go to the principle of this bill, and also will give an opportunity to gentlemen who favor this bill to defend it. A retreat from this bill is not desired. It would, indeed, be a matter of the highest gratification, if a question could be raised on this bill at present which would go directly to its merits; that mode of meeting it would be preferred, rather than this side-wind way; but that, at present, cannot be obtained, and such motion as will meet it indirectly only can be had. They who desire to reject this bill are charged with pursuing a blind policy. If, said Mr. R., to reject this bill be blind policy, then to enact the non-intercourse law was blind policy, and every law made during the present session to maintain the rights of this nation are the effects of the same blind policy; and if this be correct, it will be proper at once to repeal the non-importation law, and all the laws made during this session, which go to the vindication of the rights of this nation, and then for Congress to adjourn and go home as soon as possible, and leave the nation to itself. But, sir, will this House agree to do this 2 Certainly not. That mode of proceeding would blast this nation with foul disgrace and infamy, and consign it to certain ruin, and subjugation to destruction. Prompt decision on this bill is necessary ; and the sooner it meets the disapprobating vote of the House, so much better will it be. If the bill is suffered to remain on the table, the question will remain in doubt; and more difficulties will arise. Mr. R. then moved that the order of the day, together with the bill, be postponed indefinitely. - This bill ought to be acted on promptly, and the motion to postpone indefinitely, ought to prevail. So that, when the information of the proceedings of yesterday does arrive in England, information of the proceedings of this day may also arrive at the same time; and thereby prevent a second loud laugh, and the scornful sneer of a foreign British Minister, whose pacific care has seldom. indeed, if ever, been extended to the United States. Mr. WRight—Mr. Speaker, I feel it my duty to oppose the bill now under consideration, therefore, I second the proposition for its indefinite postponement, whereby it will be dismissed for the present session. Sir, I ask the honorable gentleman from South Carolina, (Mr. Lowndes,) if it is not a direct violation of the faith of the United States plighted to France, “that no goods, wares, or merchandise, the growth, produce, or manufacture of Great Britain, should be imported

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into the United States, on her revocation of her Berlin and Milan decrees, or so modifying them, that they should cease to violate the neutral commerce of the United States;” which fact has been verified by the President's proclama. tion, who has a right, on France violating her compact, by proclamation, to declare the same, whereby the manufactures of France, also, will be interdicted from being imported into the United States? Mr. Speaker, can we suppose the President has not all the information relative to the conduct of France that we have 2 Or do we want confidence in his honestly discharging his duty in this case ? I, for my part, have the fullest confidence ; why, then, usurp his Executive functions? But, sir, if France had violated her compact, whereby we should be discharged from it, would that justify us in good faith to ourselves to pass this law 3 No, sir, I think not; two wrongs never made a right; we ought to impose the same restrictions on the commerce of both, and not because we ought to punish France, cease to punish Great Britain ; this, sir, is a groundless pretext for authorizing our merchants to import British goods, whereby Great Britain would be greatly relieved from the distress of her manufacturers, and our restrictive system repealed as to her for a time. Sir, would merchants be benefitted? No, sir, they would be paid their debts in British goods; their accounts thus settled and their goods captured, I have no doubt. But, sir, why feel so sensitively for the merchant, when the agriculturist is sacrificing so much by an embargo law, for which I voted as a precursor to a speedy war? But this, sir, is a peace measure, a retracing our steps, a perfect submission, in my judgment. Sir, if this bill passes, I hope we shall strike the American flag, now flying on the top of the Capitol, and hoist a white one—take off all restrictions, adjourn and go home, and inform our people that they are taken off, and that our merchants may arm and shift for themselves, that we are unable to protect them. Mr. SEYBERT said, if, as he apprehended, the rules of the House would preclude, during the present session, the further consideration of the subject now before the House, he should vote against the motion made by the gentleman from Tennessee, (Mr. RhEA.) and in favor of that of the gentlemen from Virginia, (Mr. PLEAs ANts.) With the latter gentleman, he considered this question all-important; with him, he admitted it had two sides, both of which were well worthy of investigation. He did not hesitate to declare, that, originally, he was in favor of the principle contained in the bill; but that, on further reflection, he had many doubts to satisfy, and for this purpose, wished a temporary postponement. He did not desire to precipitate the House into a premature decision; he had been informed this morning, that the Hornet had arrived in the Chesapeake bay; many reports were prevalent as to the conduct of France; he wished to satisfy himself on this point. He was considerably moved on this question when he brought to recollection the declarations of Mr. Whitbread, and other mem

bers of the British Parliament, relative to the bill to permit the importation of British manufactures into the United States. Again : The conduct of our merchants seems to be irreconcilable. When the news arrived in our seaport towns that an embargo was about to be laid, every nerve was exerted to get off our vessels with full cargoes. How inconsistent is this conduct, when they say they have already so much at hazard in Europe. Surely this was adding to their difficulties. He concluded, by hoping the resolution of the gentleman from Virginia would prevail. Mr. CALHoun thought the motion to postpone, for a few days, ought to prevail. This, he said, was a mere difference of opinion between those who had the same object in view; and, whatever might be the zeal of the gentlemen from Maryland and Tennessee on the great question of war, he could assure the gentlemen that they were not a whit before his honorable colleague, (Mr. LowNDEs,) who was as determined as any gentleman on this floor or in the nation. Mr. C. expressed his hope that the motion for indefinite postponement would not be pressed. He, for one, entertained doubts on the question, which was one that certainly admitted of doubt. It is certainly proper that our property abroad should be drawn in, in the event of war. The state of public sentiment here and in England ought also to be regarded. The question was a difficult one. He hoped more respect would be shown to his colleague’s sentiments than to postpone the bill indefinitely; it was proper always to yield a little to each other. w Mr. Blackledge.—Mr. Speaker: From the silence which had been observed both in this House and such circles as I have been in out of its walls, upon the subject of the bill under discussion, ever since it was first reported, I had hoped, and I believe the public were of opinion, that it would not be again stirred. I confess I had almost forgotten it, and was not a little surprised, when, on yesterday morning, I found many of my most intimate political friends expressing a determination on that day to take up the bill; and giving it as their opinion, that it ought to be passed. Conscious that the motives of the gentlemen who expressed this opinion were as pure as my own; that our views in all the great and leading measures of the session, calculated to place our country in a situation to vindicate its violated rights and honor, had been the same, I suspected that my views of this subject might not have been correct, and therefore paid the strictest attention to the arguments of its two able advocates while they were delivering, and have given them since all the attention which the time would allow. The result of the most attentive examination I have been able to give the subject and the arguments advanced in favor of it is, that the measure is calculated to afford our enemy advantages infinitely greater than ourselves, and, therefore, as both the gentlemen admit, I, at least, ought not to vote in favor of it. And believing that if it is to be passed at all it should be done with as little delay as possible, in order that those whom it is intended

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to serve may have time to get home their property; that, in fact, the public interest requires we should put the question at rest withous further delay, I am in favor of the motion for an indefinite postponement of the bill, and will proceed at once to assign to the House the reasons which influence me to vote against it. The bill, as it at present stands, proposes to admit of the importation of such goods only as had been purchased or ordered prior to the first day of February, 1811; but a conviction of the impossibility of limiting the quantity to be imported to those described by the long string of oaths which the bill contains, has induced the gentleman who spoke first (Mr. Lowndes) to declare his determination to propose an amendment which shall admit of the importation of goods from England and her dominions which may become American property and be imported into any of our ports by the first of August. I agree with the gentleman, if the bill must pass at all, it should pass in the way he proposes to amend it; for pass it in whatever shape we may, the effect will be the same, that is, it will open the door for an outlet from Great Britain, and an inlet to this country for any quantity of merchandise which the merchants of the two countries may feel a wish to ship from Great Britain. As thus to be modified, I have considered both the gentlemen arguing in favor of the bill, and given it and their arguments all the attention in my power. The object of the bill thus amended is to enable our citizens to get home from Great Britain the amount due them from British subjects before the commencement of the war into which we are about to enter. As an inducement for us to pass the bill, we are told, by one of the gentlemen, Mr. L. that the sum thus due our citizens from British subjects is from twenty to thirty millions of dollars; by the other, Mr. C. from thirty to fifty millions; that it must be of vast importance to the nation to let our citizens get payment for so enormous a sum, before we commence hostilities; that unless we permit them to receive and bring home their payments in British manufactures, it will be impossible for them to get their pay at all, owing to the scarcity of specie in England; that these goods imported, under the operation of double duties upon them, would have the excellent effect of placing in our Treasury from seven to ten or twelve millions of dollars; that our merchants, said one of the gentlemen, Mr. C., enriched by being thus permitted to get home their capital, would have it in their power, during the embarrassments to trade occasioned by the war, to establish manufactories upon a large scale, and add vastly in other respects to the embellishments and improvement of the country; to prove that their capital would be thus employed, he instanced the improvements of this kind made in the City of Philadelphia during our late embargo ; to prove the scarcity of specie in England, and the impossibility of getting paid but in British merchandise, one of the gentlemen, Mr. L. informed us, that the failure of the expedition to Spain, under Sir John Moore, and of that to the Island of Walcheren, was attributed by the

British Ministry, to their inability to procure the specie necessary to purchase supplies for their at in W. Mr. Speaker—I am as much surprised that the gentlemen are not convinced by their own arguments of the impolicy of passing the law, as they can possibly be that their arguments have not produced convictions on my mind in favor of it. This difference of opinion between us, I am satisfied, is principally to be ascribed to our differing in opinion as to the practical effect the measure will have upon Great Britain and ourselves. That our motives are equally pure, and our views the same, I am convinced, from our having acted together on all the strong and leading measures proposed during the session, having for their object the placing our country in a situation to vindcate its violated rights and honor. We are equally resolved on war the moment the country can be placed in a situation to warrant it; and this measure is proposed as one of the last which is to precede the actual declaration of war. Now, sir, when from the gentlemau's own arguments we learn, that the expedition to Spain under Sir John Moore, and that to the Island of Walcheren, both failed from the inability of the British to procure the specie to purchase supplies necessary for the army—thus proving by incontestable facts, the truth of the maxim, that money is the main sinew of war—l feel confident they were not aware of one of the effects which the bill under consideration, if passed into a law, will inevitably produce, or they would not advocate it. Sir, I venture to pronounce, that there is not a man who hears me, acquainted with the subject, who does not agree with me in the opinion, that if the law is passed, every dollar which can be drawn from J. vaults of our banks, raked from the strong boxes of our merchants, or borrowed from other individuals, will instantly be shipped from this country to Britain, to be laid out in British manufactures. Those who have sums due them for bills purchased on Great Britain or balances on cargoes heretofore sold will no doubt send out and receive their pay. But when it is known to every one what advantage the man has who goes into market with specie to make purchases of any thing, over him who goes to the same market to purchase with bills or bonds—who is there, acquainted with mercantile enterprise and cupidity, that can believe it possible the temptation to ship specie to a market where it is so much needed. and where it will give the holder of it such an obvious advantage in making his purchases, can either be arrested or suppressed ? It will be needless to attempt to prevent it by laws prohibiting its exportation. In defiance of all the penal laws which human invention has been able to devise, neither Spain nor Great Britain has ever been able to prevent specie being carried out of the country. One of the severest injuries which our non-importation law has inflicted upon Great Britain, has been the withdrawing from her, in payment for our produce, every shilling of specie which mercantile ingenuity could devise the means of getting away either from the mother

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country or her colonies. Hence, in no small deee, the complaints on the floor of the British arliament, and the inquiries of that body upon this subject ; hence the complaints in the Legislature of the Island of Jamaica on the same subject, and the miserable shifts proposed by a committee of that body to remedy the evil, one of which I recollect was as to this effect: to take out a plug from each piece of coin; make what remained pass in its full value, and have the plugs taken out coined over, and thus multiply the quantity of circulating medium. Surely, then, Mr. Speaker, at the moment we are about to declare war against a nation thus straitened for money— a war, the end of which no one can foretell; but which all who have given any opinion on the subject, admit is to last from four to seven years —when we are ourselves obliged to borrow to the amount of eleven millions of dollars to enable us to carry on the first year's operations of that war, I should think it one of the most injudicious, if not the most ruinous, measures to pass an act which is to transfer all, or certainly a large proportion, of the specie of the country from our own hands into those of our enemy. But to do this before even the loan we have authorized for the first year of the war has been effected, would certainly not add to, whatever it might diminish from, our characters as statesmen. In attempting, as is expected from this bill, to draw into our Treasury from seven to ten millions of dollars, to aid us in the second year of the war; we should almost to a certainty deprive ourselves of all the precious metals, destroy the credit of our own banks, whose paper rests entirely for its currency upon the speeie in their vaults; put it out of our power to borrow even the sum needed for the first year of the war; and what in effect against us would be still more injurious, we should, by transferring these very precious metals into the hands of our immediate enemy, restore the declining credit of his paper; and by the export duties upon the very merchandise we are to receive from him, in exchange for our specie, place in his Exchequer nearly or quite as large a sum as we should, by the duties on importation, draw into our own Treasury. This would be effectually to give the staff out of our own hands into those of our adversary. That there are large sums due our merchants from the British Government and subjects, is no doubt true; for we know that a great proportion of the provisions which have been shipped to Spain and Portugal since the adoption of the nonimportation system, has been paid for either in British Government bills, or from the proceeds of the sales of bills sent into this country to be sold for what they would bring; besides these, there are no doubt considerable sums due our merchants, to whom cargoes have been sold in England. Be the amount what it may, unfortunately the greatest proportion, if not the whole of it, is no doubt well secured, and a considerable part of it has, in all probability, been purchased up by our citizens at a discount which would average three years' interest. But, sir, before we determine that it is

absolutely proper to admit the sum thus due us to be imported into this country in British manufactures, we should examine into the causes which have produced this unnatural state of things; see the effects which these causes have produced upon both countries; and endeavor to see the effects which the measure under consideration, if adopted, is like to produce upon both countries. The cause of this unnatural state of things is simply this: Great Britain, a nation more dependent upon commerce and manufactures for national prosperity than ourselves, or, perhaps, any other nation, had endeavored for five years to confine our commerce, both of exports and imports, to her own dominions, and deprive us of all advantages from a commerce with her enemy. This obliged us also to resort to commercial restrictions, whereby, although we admitted her to obtain from us the produce of our country necessary for her armies and manufactories, we absolutely forbade the importation of her manufactures into our country. This state of commercial arrangements, it seems, has resulted, in about two years, in Great Britain and British merchants becoming indebted to our citizens in a sum equal to upwards of twenty millions of dollars, which cannot be paid for, owing to the scarcity of specie, in any thing but British manufactures. Thus they have their goods—we have their bonds. Then the question is, will their goods, without a market for them. be of more use to them than their bonds to us 2 Is it likely they would have been indebted to such an amount to us, if it had been possible for them to have obtained a market for their goods 7 I think not. Will not time and the moth be likely to do as much or more injury to their goods, as time and the accumulation of interest upon their bonds or bills in our hands, will do to our citizens ? I think it will. Another of the effects of the interruption to commerce by the injustice of Great Britain and our non-importation law, has been to cause a great many of our more prudent merchants, particularly those of moderate capitals, to suspend their mercantile concerns, wind up their business, and vest their capitals in manufacturing establishments in our own country. These establishments, particularly in the Middle and Eastern States, are daily increasing in numbers, and enlarging in their operations, in a manner which promises, ere long, to render us independent of foreign supplies; and scarce a ship arrives from Europe which does not bring us some of the most valuable artists of Great Britain in the various branches of manufacture, who from the want of employment at home are obliged to seek for that and bread in some other country. In Great Britain the effect has been directly the reverse. There it has caused the discontinuance of a great number of her factories, from the want of that market for those manufactures we were accustomed to furnish them. The discontinuance of these factories has turned out of employment a great number of her manufacturers, whose distresses, for the want of employment and bread, we are informed have recently driven them in some places into a state

H. of R. of insurrection; the want of a market for their manufactures has also occasioned an unusual number of bankruptcies among their merchants, bankers, and owners of large manufacturing establishments. Petitions from all these classes of the distressed, we discover, are pouring in from all quarters to Parliament, stating as the great cause of their misfortunes the continuance in operation of the Orders in Council—the very injury complained of by us—the principal cause of our adopting the non-importation system; and for her refusing to repeal which, we are about to declare war against her. Thus circumstanced, we are urged by the advocates of this bill, as one of the very last acts to be done previous to the actual declaration of war, to pass an act which is to furnish our enemy a market for from fifty to one hundred millions of dollars' worth of their manufactures in exchange for our specie, British Government bonds and bills, due from British subjects to American citizens. The effect of this measure upon Great Britain will be, to liberate her merchants and manufacturers from their present embarrassments, find employment for her now idle and suffering poor mechanics and their families, restore the country to peace and tranquillity, replenish the British Exchequer with duties on the goods they sell us, restore the declining credit of British paper by throwing a large supply of specie into their country, and what is, if possible, a still greater injury to us, confirm, in their seats, a Ministry whose every act has been marked by the most deadly hostility to this country. Upon this country the effects will be, by overstocking the market with such an immense quantity of goods, to check, if not totally put a stop to, the numerous and thriving factories of our country; strip ourselves of nearly the whole of our specie, and thereby de. stroy the credit of our own banks, and render it difficult if not impossible to negotiate the loans necessary to enable us to carry on the war. Ought we, then, to do an act which is likely to render such essential service to our enemy, and to do ourselves so much injury, for the mere purpose of enabling our merchants to get home the sums due them in British manufactures, and of getting the duties they may be liable to pay on being imported ? I think not, particularly when the act must have the effect of stamping an indelible character of inconsistency and instability upon our own Government. “Nor can I agree in the 9pinion advanced by one of the gentlemen, (Mr. Lowndes,) that the limitation of the act to the first of August, will have the effect of rendering the relief to the now idle and suffering manufacturers, so partial as not to suppress, in any considerable degree, their murmurs; or, in another opinion advanced by the same gentleman, that the operation of double duties upon the goods to be imported will, by enabling our manufacturers to undersell the importers, hold out a sufficient encouragement for them to go on with their establishments. For, if the first of August be long enough to admit those who have debts due them in England, to go and receive their debts in goods

Importation of Brutish Goods.

APRIL, 1812.

and bring them home, it is also long enough for those who wish to lay their money out in goods, as well as for such British merchants as may choose to hazard shipments to our market to purchase and bring out what they may wish ; and the relief afforded will be proportioned to the extent of the purchases made of British manufactures, not to the length of time these purchases may be making. And, sir, on whatever terms the goods may be purchased, they must be sold, or they will be of no use to the merchant; and this the manufacturer knows, and will feel but little encouragement to attempt a competition in a glutted market against inen who must sell their goods whether they make a profit or not by their sales. The other gentleman (Mr. Calhoun) admitted that this bill, if passed, would afford very great relief to the manufacturing and mercantile interests of Great Britain; but the conclusion he drew from it was, that, so far from doing us an injury, it would be of service to us, as the relief given would be so obviously great, from the benefits of commerce with us, and so immediately preceding the war, that the calamities which the war would soon again bring upon them would tend to render the war much more unpopular in England than if this relief were not first given. I have always been taught to believe that it was bad policy to give up a certainty for an uncertainty. We know that they are now in distress; if we give them the relief this bill is calculated to afford them, we are not certain that we shall have it in our power to place them in greater if as great a state of embarrassment, for it is impossible to foresee what may happen in the course of the war to mitigate its oppressive effects upon them. Besides this, sir, we know from experience, that distresses occasioned by the injustice of their Government to other nations, do not always render unpopular the Ministry whose injustice has brought these distresses upon the people. It cannot be forgotten that our former embargo had occasioned much embarrassment and distress upon these same classes of British subjects; that the arrangement of differences made by Mr. Erskine had the effect of affording them relief from these embarrassments. Yet we see the same Ministry still in power, when it is known that all the embarrassments and distress which these same classes of people are suffering, so far as we have occasioned them, flow from measures we have felt ourselves bound to adopt in consequence of the shameful violation of that arrangement by their own Government. The people of that country, sir, or at least a very large proportion of them, provided they can find employment which will yield them the indispensable necessaries of life, do not interfere with their Government; they neither inquire nor care, who are the ins or who are the outs. But when those who administer their public concerns are so improvident as, by their measures, to put it out of the power of the people to obtain the employment necessary for their support, then their necessities drive them to extremities, which oblige the Government to attend to their situation. To this sit

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