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Remission of Duties-Duty on Coal-Protection to Manufactures.
REMISSION OF DUTIES.
[Communicated to the House of Reps., Jan. 25, 1802.] Mr. S. SMITH, from the Committee of Commerce and Manufactures, to whom was referred the petition of Lyon Lehman, made the following report:
That it appears to your committee, that the said Lyon Lehman, being a citizen of the United States, residing in the city of New York, did, in the month of October, 1799 import into the United States, 3,500 rifles and carabines, without bayonets, and 287 pair of pistols.
Wherefore, your committee recommend to the House the following resolution:
said Lyon Lehman is reasonable, and that the Resolved, That the prayer of the petition of the said petitioner ought to be refunded the sum of one thousand six hundred and eighty-four dollars, being the amount of the duties be paid on the importation of 3,500 rifles and carabines, and 287 pair of pistols, into the United States, in the year 1799.
DUTY ON COAL.
That, at the time of the said importation, there existed in force an act of Congress, entitled "An act prohibiting, for a limited time, the exportation of arms and ammunition, and for encouraging the importation thereof," passed on the 14th of June, 1797, which was continued by a subsequent act, passed the 7th of April, 1798. That, by one of the provisions of the said act, "all muskets and firelocks, with bayonets suited to the same," imported into the United States, during the continuance of the said act, were to be admitted duty free. And that, by provision of the same act, it is declared "not to be lawful to export from the United States any cannon, muskets, pistols, bayonets, swords," &c., but the exportation of all the aforesaid articles is, thereby, expressly prohibited. It further appears to your committee that, by the construction given to the said act by the Col-ance with the prayer of the petition, granting lector of the port of New York, the petitioner was compelled to pay the full duties on the importation of the said 3,500 rifles and carabines to any port of the United States.
[Communicated to the House of Reps., Feb. 4, 1802.]
Mr. RANDOLPH, from the Committee of Ways and Means, to whom was referred the petition of John Graham, and others, praying that an additional duty may be laid on foreign coal imported into the United States, made the following report:
It further appears to your committee, that the petitioner, in the first instance, offered the said rifles and carabines to the Government at first cost and charges of importation, which, as appears from the letter of the then Secretary of War, was refused; that the petitioner afterwards made several attempts to dispose of his said rifles and carabines at private sale; and in one of the said attempts incurred a loss of the whole expense of freight and insurance from New York to Charleston, and back again, amounting to one thousand and forty dollars; and that, finally, heing distressed, and otherwise unable to make good the heavy expenses of the duties, freight, insurance, and storage of the said rifles and carabines, he was compelled to expose them to sale, at public vendue, in the city of New York, and thereby incurred an actual loss of fifty per cent. on the first cost of the said rifles and carabines, additional to his other losses thereupon.
Under a full view of all the circumstances, and considering the great loss and injury sustained by the petitioner, together with the doubtful construction of the term, muskets, by which, under the act of Congress aforesaid, he was refused permission to export the said rifles and carabines, your committee are of opinion that the prayer of the petitioner to be refunded the amount of duties which he paid on the importation of the said rifles and carabines .ught be granted.
That the object of the petitioners, as set forth in their petition, is not to enhance the price, but to increase the consumption of native coal, thereby enabling the petitioners, who are interested in the coal pits of Virginia, by enlarging their capital in trade, and by substituting machinery for manual labor, to afford an adequate, and, eventually, cheaper supply to the increasing demand, within the United States, for the article in question.
The committee are of opinion that a compli
that it should not have the effect of enhancing the price of coal at the shipping yards at Rich mond, would, by discouraging the importation from Europe, and the difficulty and price of freight coast wise, tend exorbitantly to increase the price of this necessary article, in the more distant parts of the United States, and, perhaps, entirely to deprive some portions of the Union of their accustomed supply.
The committee are likewise of an opinion, that it is not consonant with the principles of a wise policy to lay duties, (not for the purpose of raising revenue to the Government,) but to operate as a bounty on any particular species of labor, at the expense of the community in general, on whom the tax is levied. They, therefore, submit the following resolution:
Resolved, That the prayer of the petition ought not to be granted.
Remission of Forfeitures-The Mint.
promoted by the aid of Government. Two modes of administering this aid have presented themselves to your committee: The one, to permit, free of duty, the importation of such gross articles as are essential to those manufactures. The other, to impose higher duties on such articles (on importation) as can be supplied by our own citizens to advantage. That, at the present juncture, our infant manufactures peculiarly demand and merit the protection of Government. Exempt as the foreign manufactures will now be, from the charges of war freight and war insurance, the manufacturing interest of the United States will not be capable of entering into a competition with them on equal terms, without, the friendly interposition of Government. The committee, therefore, recommend the following resolutions:
Resolved, That the following articles (in addition to those already free) be admitted free of duty, on importation, viz: burr stones, unwrought, bristles, regulus of antimony, saltpetre, sulphur, and rags.
Resolved, That it is expedient to impose a duty, in future, of twenty per cent. ad valorem on fur hats, brushes, stoneware, printing types, saddles, cannon, ball, glass bottles and glassware of all kinds; on gunpowder, five cents per pound; on glue, three cents per pound; on tarred cordage, two cents per pound; on untarred cordage, or yarns, two and a half cents per pound; on soap, three cents per pound; on candles of tallow, three cents per pound; on window glass, ten by twelve, or under, two dollars per hundred feet; on all above that size, three dollars per hundred feet; on anchors, two cents per pound; on spikes and bolts of iron, two cents per pound; on cut, slit, or rolled iron, one cent per pound.
Resolved, That in future there be imposed a duty, on importation from any foreign nation, of one dollar per barrel on all pickled fish, and one dollar per quintal on all dried fish.
REMISSION OF FORFEITURE.
[Communicated to the House of Reps., Feb. 12, 1802.] Mr. S. SMITH, from the Committee on Commerce and Manufactures, to whom was referred the petition of Ebenezer Stevens, made the following report:
That your committee have carefully examined the papers submitted by the petitioner, and others, furnished from the Treasury Department, and find that the petitioner became possessed of an American ship called the Bellona, by a purchase made by his agent at Saint Jago de Cuba; that, on her arrival at New York, she was known to have belonged to certain merchants of that city; that the officers of the customs had just grounds to suspect that the said ship had been employed, by her former owner, in contravening the "Act to suspend the commercial intercourse between the United States and France, and the dependencies thereof;" that they had commenced their
inquiry, and were fully satisfied of the fact, when the petitioner offered his aid and assistance in procuring the necessary proof.
That the said ship was libelled and condemned in the district court of New York; that she was sold by the marshal of the said district, for the sum of five thousand dollars, and that the half, due to the officers, had been distributed, and the other half paid into the Treasury. The petitioner states that he was in nowise concerned in the act which contravened the law; that he was an innocent purchaser of a ship that had been fraudulently employed, and of which fraud his agent. could have had no knowledge; that he had given every assistance in his power to prove the fraud had been committed; and, therefore, prays that the half of the proceeds paid into the Treasury may be refunded to him.
The committee are of opinion, that a sale abroad, of a vessel abroad, which had incurred a forfeiture, ought not to release her from the penalty; and, therefore, recommend that the prayer of the petitioner ought not to be granted; and that he have leave to withdraw his papers.
Additional Protecting Duties.
Amount of gold coinage
Amount of silver coinage
Amount of copper coinage
In dls. & cts.
$422,570 00 74,758 00 13,628 37 Aggregate amount of coinage in 1801 $510,956 37
The Director deems it his duty to mention that the greatest part of the gold bullion was received in ingots and lumps imported from foreign ports, which, had it not been for the Mint, would have been exported as remittances to Europe, but has now become an addition to the current coin of the United States.
It becomes necessary for the Director again to mention that the amount of cents issued from the Mint has long since exceeded the sum of $50,000, amounting now in the whole to $93,019 19. The law requires that, after the expiration of six calendar months from the time when there shall have been paid into the Treasury, by the Director, in cents and half cents, a sum not less than $50,000, (which time shall forthwith be announced by the Treasurer of the United States, in at least two newspapers published at the seat of Government,) no copper coin whatever, except the cents and half cents, shall pass current in the United States. If this has been heretofore done, it has not come to the Director's knowledge.
tecting duty heretofore laid by law, or now reeommended by your committee. The committee are apprehensive that the laying of higher duties on those articles would have a tendency to induce our ship-owners to equip their ships in foreign countries, to the great injury of the petitioners, and such other citizens of the United States as may have engaged in the culture of hemp, or its manufacture into cordage or sail-duck.
The committee are therefore of opinion that it would not be expedient to impose further duties on hemp or sail-duck.
To the honorable the Speaker and the other members of the House of Representatives in the Congress of the United States:
The petition of the subscribers, inhabitants of the State of Kentucky, humbly showeth that, in consequence of the termination of the war in Europe, (an event at which, however injurious to their interests, they can but rejoice,) those articles which have hitherto been most usually exported from this State, (flour and tobacco,) have experienced the common fall in price which has attended them throughout the continent; but this decrease is, perhaps, nowhere so sensibly felt in America as in the Western country. While other parts of the Union are so situated as to be able to command the earliest information of the state of the market, and the best prevailing prices for their commodities, the people of the West are compelled to descend two of the longest, and one, for navigation, the most difficult, rivers in the universe. And when they have overcome these natural obstacles, they have only gained, in point of commercial advantage, that position from which their Eastern brethren set out. But the expense, and other obvious disadvantages, the consequences of their remote situation, burden their flour and tobacco so much that, when at length they reach the market, the net sum produced, if a loss (but too often the case) is not sustained, illy rewards the toil of the husbandman, and the enterprise of the merchant. It becomes therefore necessary to abandon these unprofitable articles, and to resort to some other, more likely to give encouragement to industry and commerce. In doing this, your petitioners acknowledge the kindness of Nature, which, [Communicated to the House of Reps., Feb. 18, 1802.] though she has thought fit to remove us far from Mr. S. SMITH, from the Committee of Commerce the ocean, has nevertheless bestowed other blessand Manufactures, to whom was referred the pe- ings upon us, which, under a wise Government, tition of Thomas Wallace and others, citizens of fully counterbalance this disadvantage. Hemp Kentucky, praying that additional protecting du- has, therefore, formed a considerable object, of ties may be laid on hemp, cordage, and sail-duck, attention to the cultivator. That article, howeimported from foreign nations, made the follow-ver, neither in its raw nor manufactured state, has ing report:
All which is respectfully submitted to the President by his very obedient humble servant, ELIAS BOUDINOT, Director of the Mint. The PRESIDENT of the United States.
been exempted from the general effects of peace. That your committee have, in a former report. And the citizens of this State, who have hitherto recommended additional duties on tarred and un- derived from the sales of it great aid in enabling tarred cordage and yarns, so that the duty payable them to meet the demands of their Governments, hereafter may be two cents per pound on tarred, will henceforth lose this valuable resource, without and two and a half cents per pound on untarred, the interposition of Congress. Your petitioners cordage. That the present duty on hemp is twenty-beg leave to state, that their country, both as to two dollars and forty cents per ton; on sail-duck, twelve and a half per cent. ad valorem. That the duty on hemp is about twenty per cent. on its prime cost in Europe, which is equal to any pro
soil and climate, is well adapted to the raising of hemp; sufficiently so, not only to supply the con sumption of America, but to yield a surplus for foreign markets. But, whether from the effects
will be discerned, that New Orleans being in the Spanish province of Louisiana, which immediately adjoins the United States, was clearly within the prohibiting words of the law, and that of course, no drawback was to be allowed on any exportation to that port. For the purpose of giving time for a full understanding of this law, by a clause within it, it was not to go into operation till the first of July next following its passage, which was March 2d, leaving nearly four months for its promulgation.
of despotic governments, the cheapness of labor, a more improved cultivation, or a more bountiful soil, the Northern States in Europe are able to undersell us in the article of hemp. Your petitioners, therefore, pray that Congress will lay a duty on hemp, cordage, and sail-duck, imported from abroad, adequate to prevent or lessen the importation of them, and to give encouragement to the husbandmen and manufacturers of our own country, the present duty being insufficient for those purposes. Your petitioners need not remark, that it is has been the policy of all nations to give At this time, and until the peace in Europe of such a preference to the productions of their own 1801, there were extensive exportations from many countries, as might enable them to form a success- of the ports in the United States to New Orleans: ful competition with those of foreigners. But they and from the 10th of July, 1799, to the 5th of cannot omit declaring that, since the value of land February next following, there were about 240 depends upon the value of its produce, the lands debentures for drawbacks given by the collector both of Congress and individuals will be benefited of the port of New York, for duties paid or secured by the measure proposed, which will attract the to be paid on goods exported to New Orleans, attention and reward the industry of the cultiva-amounting to more than $60,000, of which sometor, and demonstrate that the General Government is not more unmindful of the interests of their citizens, than the Governments of other countries.
[Signed by Thomas Wallace and others.]
what more than $14,000 are paid, and the payment of the residue suspended by order of the Treasury Department.
The excuse of the collector for giving these debentures is, that, from pressure of business, he had not taken notice of the prohibitory clause of the new law, which began its operations on the first of July, and that his neglect is imputable to the removal of his principal and other clerks by the epidemic, which unhappily prevailed in New York the latter part of the summer and autumn of that year.
[Communicated to the Senate, Feb. 19, 1802.] Mr. TRACY, from the committee to whom was referred the bill passed by the House of Representatives, entitled "An act to allow a drawback of There were, likewise, similar debentures given duties on goods exported to New Orleans, and by the collector of Salem and Beverly, in Massatherein to amend the act, entitled 'An act to regu-chusetts, from October 29th, 1799, to February 3d late the collection of duties on imports and tonnage," made the following report:
That the original design of the laws of the United States for raising a revenue on importation, seems to be that of taxing consumption; and the system of drawbacks is, undoubtedly, meant to favor trade, by releasing from the payment of duties all goods exported for the want of consumers in this country.
In March, 1799, Congress revised the laws regulating the collection of duties on importation and tonnage; and as experience had taught that goods exported to ports or places within foreign dominions, which joined immediately to the United States, were easily returned into them, and consumed duty-free by our citizens, the law respecting drawbacks was altered so as to meet and remedy that evil.
next following, for the sum of about 2,500 dollars, nearly 1000 dollars of which is paid, and the payment of the residue suspended by order of the Treasury Department. Your committee are not informed of any particular causes for issuing these last mentioned debentures, but they suppose the officer had not paid attention to the alterations of the law.
This mistake, it is probable, has not occurred in any other ports, as the period of payment must have arrived before this time, and a discovery of them would have been made.
On the 5th of April, 1800, Congress passed an act allowing a drawback of duties on goods to be exported to New Orleans, after the 10th of said month of April, at the passage of which there was an attempt made to give the law a retrospective operation, to cover all.exportations to New OrThe 75th section of that law is in the words leans after the last day of June, 1799, but it was following: "And be it further enacted, That a refused by both Houses. Your committee have drawback of duties, as prescribed by law, shall be not been able to obtain correct information of the allowed and paid on all goods, wares, or merchan-amount of exports from the several poris in the dise, imported into the United States, in respect to all such goods, wares, and merchandise, whereupon the duties have been paid or secured to be paid, as, within twelve calendar months after payment made or security given, shall be exported to any foreign port or place, other than the dominions of any foreign State immediately adjoining to the United States," &c. The words in italics were added in this revisal; by which it
United States to New Orleans, during the time from July 1st, 1799, to April 10th, 1800; but it is well known it must be very considerable; none of the exporters of which, it is presumed, for the reasons mentioned above, received debentures for drawbacks, but those of New York, Salem, and Beverly. Your committee are unable to distinguish, in point of principle, between the claims of those who exported in obedience to existing laws,
Protecting Duties-Internal Duties.
without receiving debentures, and those who, by a mistake of the public officers, received debentures. If payment of the debentures is allowed, the equity of the case in favor of those who did not receive debentures is strong, as their competitors in the market were allowed by the public, from 5 to 15 per cent. advantage over them, without any merit to entitle them to it, and entirely owing to a mistake and violation of the law by the public officers.
Upon these facts, the committee report the following amendment, to be inserted at the close of the bill, in a new section, viz:
kinds. It would be extremely injurious to that useful branch, and inexpedient, to increase the duty on imported paper.
Your committee recommend that the duty, in future to be imposed on starch, may be three cents per pound; on hair powder, four cents per pound; and umbrellas, fifty cents each.
[Communicated to the House, March 8, 1802.] Mr. RANDOLPH, from the Committee of Ways and Means, who were instructed to inquire into the expediency of repealing the laws laying duties on stills and domestic distilled spirits, on refined sugars, licenses to retailers, sales at auction, pleas urable carriages, stamped vellum, parchment, and paper, and postage on newspapers, made the fol
• SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That all per-
of this act.
[Communicated to the House, March 8, 1802.] Mr. S. SMITH, from the Committee on Commerce and Manufactures, to whom were referred the memorials and petitions of sundry manufacturers of umbrellas, in the city of Philadelphia, and its vicinity, and of sundry manufacturers of paper, in the States of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, made the following report:
That your committee have already recommended that rags, being the gross article of which paper is made, should, in future, be imported free of duty; that this encouragement, added to the twelve and a half per cent. now imposed on the importation of foreign made paper, it is hoped and expected, will be sufficient for the manufacture of that article. The committee are of opinion that paper is the gross article made use of by our printers of al
That the whole amount of revenue arising from those duties, exclusive of postage on newspapers. as appears by the statements laid before the House by the Secretary of the Treasury, in the early stage of the session, did not exceed, for the 1800, $925,000, after deducting the amount of drawbacks, paid on the exportation of domestic distilled spirits and refined sugar, during that year, which suin is chargeable with an expense of collection, equal to $137.000, exclusive of the expenses of the officers of inspectors of survey, which have been abolished. The net revenue arising from those duties may, therefore, be estimated at $792,000; but if from this sum be deducted the duties accruing on stamps, which, as, under the existing laws, they will cease to be collected after the fourth of March next, cannot be enumerated among the permanent internal duties, the whole net revenue produced from those duties may be estimated at a sum not exceeding $710,000, chargeable with an expense of collection equal to $120000. To produce, therefore, into the Treasury, somewhat less than $600,000, an expense must be incurred more than equal to a fifth of that sum; and upwards of four hundred revenue officers, exclusive of the inspectors, must be maintained at the public charge. The continuance of a revenue drawn from the people on such terms, can, in the opinion of your committee, be justified only by an imperious necessity-a necessity which, in their estimation, does not at present, and is not, hereaf ter, likely to exist.
Of the proceeds of those duties, more than $500,000 arise from the tax on distillation; $372000 of which are paid by 22.000 country stills, scattered over the immense territory of the Uni ted States: 65,000 other dollars are the product of 13,000 retailers' licenses. These facts demonstrate the difficulty, and even the impossibility, of mate rially lessening the expenses of collection, so long as the subjects from which the revenue is to be drawn are so thinly dispersed over this widely extended country; and the annexed communication from the Commissioner of the Revenue will explain the deficiency which is likely to occur, on