and reëxported in any quantity, however small. The bill is not so intended, nor do I think it can properly receive such a construction. If he will look at the twenty-ninth line, he will see that a compliance with the requirements of existing laws, in relation to the exportation of merchandise with the benefit of drawback, is necessary. It must, therefore, be exported in the original packages. But if there is any doubt on this subject, a verbal amendment will be all that is required to remove the objection.

5. With regard to the necessity of a bond to pay the duties, there is good ground for a difference of opinion. It is to be remembered that the goods are to be in the possession of the collector, or, in other words, in the possession of the government. They are a perfect security for the payment of the duties. Why, then, exact a bond ? If it be thought expedient, there certainly can be no valid objection. Under the British system no bond is required, if the goods are deposited in the public stores, and are in the possession of the Crown. When the goods are deposited in warehouses belonging to individuals or companies, a bond is required, not usually from the owner of the goods, but a general bond from the owner of the warehouse, stipulating that the goods deposited with him shall be exported, or the duties paid in full.

6. With regard to the danger of a clandestine removal of goods, — another objection urged against the bill, — the answer is, that the danger must be very slight, as the goods will be, as those now deposited in store are, in possession of the custom-house officers. There is, I believe, no provision by law now for the punishment of such offences. But if experience shall show the necessity of such a provision, it can at any time be made. Indeed, I will not object to such an amendment of the bill, if it be thought advisable.

7. With regard to the provision exonerating the master of a vessel from all claim of the owner of merchandise, which has been sold by the collector for the non-payment


of the duties, I will only say that it is copied verbatim from the tariff act of 1842, that it is in constant practice, and no difficulty is known to have resulted from it.

8: It is also objected that if goods are once withdrawn from the public stores, and the duties paid, they can never afterwards be reëxported, or, in other words, that foreign goods can only be reëxported from the stores. Sir, this is an entire misapprehension. All the laws relating to debentures will be left in full force. If an importer or owner of merchandise deposited in store withdraws it, and pays the duties, he may at any time, within the period allowed by law, reëxport it with the benefit of drawback. The existing provisions of law will, in this respect, remain untouched. But in case of reëxportation under such circumstances, a deduction of two and a half per cent. will be made on refunding the duties.

9. It is said, also, that goods may be withdrawn in the smallest quantity for home consumption, and that the public stores will become mere retail shops. It is certainly very unlikely that any such result will follow. No merchandise can be withdrawn without a permit from the collector, and this permit must be paid for. The inconvenience and expense will, in ordinary cases, constitute sufficient obstacles to the withdrawal of minute quantities of merchandise. But if gentlemen think it material, the objection can readily be removed by a proviso that no merchandise shall be withdrawn from store in less quantities than in an entire package, bale, box, or cask.

These, as I understand them, are the objections made to the details of the bill; and I am sure it will afford the Senator pleasure to find, on a more critical examination of the subject, that there is not one of them which is not either groundless, or which may not be removed by the most simple amendment

I will only say, in conclusion, in respect to the details of the bill, that it has been subjected to the rigid scrutiny of

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some of the most intelligent individuals in the revenue service, some now in commission, and others who have become familiar with the operations of the system, through long experience in prominent situations. All these gentlemen concur in the opinion that it will be adequate to the objects it has in view, and that it is sufficiently guarded against abuse. But should experience point out necessary changes, it will always be easy to make them.

I come now, Mr. President, to a portion of the Senator's remarks which will require a somewhat extended and critical examination. When this bill was first called up for consideration, I alluded incidentally, in my explanation of its provisions, to the British warehouse system, and to the influence it had exerted upon the commercial prosperity of Great Britain. I did not say, nor did I intend to intimate, that the plan proposed by the bill under consideration was copied, in any degree, from the British system. On the contrary, I had, throughout my remarks, kept steadily in view the idea that it was founded upon our own laws regulating the deposit of merchandise in the public stores, and that the objects it had in view were to be accomplished by an enlargement and more extended application of the provisions of those laws. In his reply, the Senator referred to the British system, comparing the plan proposed by the bill under consideration with it, and in his references to the operation of the former he came to conclusions to which I cannot yield my assent.

I have no printed report of the Senator's remarks, and, speaking from very hasty and brief notes of his topics, I may inadvertently misstate him. I trust I shall not ; but if I do, I beg him to be assured that no one will regret it so much as myself.

I understood one of his first remarks, in relation to the British warehouse system, to be, that it was designed to extend the commerce of Great Britain, and to depress the trade and shipping of other countries. I cannot concur with him in all respects, though not differing with him entirely as to its design; and I shall endeavor to show that its effect has not been to exclude foreign shipping from a participation in the commerce of the British empire.

Its design, as I have always understood, was chiefly to remove great commercial inconveniences, arising from the necessity of paying duties in cash on the entry of merchandise.

These inconveniences are stated by McCulloch to have been:

“1. That the merchant, in order to raise funds to pay the duties, was frequently reduced to the necessity of selling his goods immediately on their arrival, when, perhaps, the market was glutted.

“2. That the duties baving to be paid all at once, and not by degrees, as the goods were sold for consumption, their price was raised by the amount of the profit on the capital advanced in payment of the duties.

"3. That competition was diminished in consequence of the greater command of funds required to carry on trade under such disadvantages; and a few rich individuals were enabled to monopolize the importation of those commodities on which duties were payable.

“4. That the system of paying cash on the entry of merchandise had an obvious tendency to discourage the carrying trade.

“5. That it prevented the country from becoming an entrepôt for foreign products; and hindered the importation of such as were not immediately wanted for home consumption, and thus tended to lessen the resort of foreigners to the markets of Great Britain, inasmuch as it became difficult, or rather impossible, for them to complete an assorted


These are the reasons assigned by McCulloch for establishing the system; and it is curious to observe how closely this enumeration of inconveniences describes those under which our own commerce labors. In the “ Yearly Journal of Trade” for 1845, – a work

a which has been published for twenty-three years, and which, I believe, may be safely referred to as authority in matters touching the commercial system of Great Britain, — I find the following passages in some preliminary remarks in relation to warehousing :

“ Antecedently to the present century, a system of restraint and probibition pervaded the administration of our maritime and revenue affairs, producing inconvenience to the merchant and detriment to commerce. Much of such inconvenience arose from the circumstance of the import duties being required to be paid on the landing of goods, amounting frequently to many thousand pounds. Such was more particularly the case during the late war, when the usual regularity of commercial transactions was much interrupted, and the merchant, at times, called upon on the unexpected arrival of a ship for a large advance of duties. This gave rise to a system of deferring payment, by allowing goods to be secured in warehouses or other approved places under the locks of the crown, and to be taken out as might suit the convenience of parties, the payment not being called for until the goods were taken out. Hence, in 1803, the establishment of the general warehousing system."

“The principle upon which the warehousing act was founded was, that goods, upon being taken out, either for home consumption, for exportation, or removal coastwise, should be subject to the like conditions as when first imported. This was then deemed a prodigious boon; such it unquestionably was."

Such was the design of the system. It had no direct connection with any consideration of policy in respect to the trade or shipping of foreigners. It was a matter purely of domestic interest, framed exclusively for the benefit of the commerce of Great Britain, — not to depress the commerce

of other countries.

Indeed, by referring to her statutes, it will be seen that foreign vessels are permitted to carry into her ports, and to warehouse for exportation, articles prohibited to be introduced into the kingdom for home use.

Its effect has not been to discourage the participation of foreign shipping in the commercial intercourse of Great Britain with other nations. On the contrary, foreign tonnage enters to a very remarkable extent into her foreign trade.

In connection with this subject I will proceed to state some of the principal modifications and relaxations of her ancient anti-commercial system, which have taken place within the last half-century. For this purpose I will again refer to the last-named work, in which the changes are better and much more briefly stated than they would be if given in my own words:

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