Sidebilder
PDF

duction of foreign industry. It is, as if the planter were gifted with the power of necromancy, and could transmute his cotton into manufactures by the mere touch of his wand. In this case, no doubt, the planter would be denounced for dealing with the devil, precisely for the same reason that he is now denounced and proscribed for dealing with England; and that is, because manufactures could be, thereby, obtained and sold by the labor of the south cheaper than they could be obtained and sold by the labor of the north. Mr. Chairman, some ten or twenty years hence it will be a subject of astonishment that it ever had been necessary to labor so plain a proposition, as the one I am urging, in the American Congress; and yet, the cardinal measure of American policy, deeply affecting the vitalinterests of the country and the fundamental principles of the Government, is founded on the denial of it. For, admit the proposition, and the whole protecting system is left a baseless fabric, and topples into ruins. If there were no such products in the United States ascotton, tobacco, or rice, would not the protecting system be downright nonsense-à mere impotent monumentof human folly? How could the people of the United States obtain foreign manufactures, when they have nothing where with to pay for them? and what could be more absurd and stupid than to prohibit the importation of articles which could not possibly be imported, even if there were no prohibition?

taxes upon the productions of the planters, in-
posed for the purpose of giving bounties to the
manufacturers.
Let us suppose, then, that the gentleman
from Massachusetts, a gentleman from Connec.
ticut, and agentleman from Rhode Island, had
formed a manufacturing co-partnership for the

purpose of making and vending cotton and

woollen manufactures. Let it be also supposed that the gentleman from Virginia, before me, (Mn. Archen,) the gentleman from Georgia, (Mr. Wayne,) and myself, had formed a planting co-partnership for the purpose of rearing tobacco, rice, and cotton; and that, inorder to save the expense of numerous commer- agents, we had determined to ship our agriculturai staples to Liverpool, under the charge of a supercargo, to be exchanged for cotton and wollen manufactures, which were to be brought into the United States, and sold for the benefit of the co-partnership. It shall be assumed that the planting company annually send to Liverpool, cotton, tobacco, and rice, to the amount of $50,000, and convert them into cotton and wollen manufactures, and that the manufacturing company produce, annually, the same quantity and quality of cotton and wollen manufactures. Both these companies bring their respective goods into the markets of Richmond, Charleston, and Savannah, with a view to make sale of them. They are, inevery sense, competitors in the very same markets for the sale of the very same sort of manufac. tures.

[ocr errors]

If these views are not radically erroneous: It will not be denied that the planting com: we have now a distinct view of the real parties' pany have as sacred a title to their manufo. to this contest. They are not the foreign manu-ltures, as the manufacturing company to Po facturers and the domestic manufacturers, (for sibly have to theirs: Norcantheo these can come in conflict only in foreign mar-the manufactures of the planting compo kets,) but they are the planters of the south, as exclusively the productions of lo and the manufacturers of the north. dustry as those of their rivals. There is no

To all the purposes of thisargument, I am as single fibre in the whole mass that is not the truly a manufacturer of cotton and wollen goods production of American industry. Here, them. as the gentleman from Massachusetts, who o two American companies, each loing pro by my side. It is true, I do not manufacture!ductions of their own industry, to the amoun, them by the same process, but it is one equally of $50,000, equally entitled to he protection of joyful, decidedly cheaper, and certainly not the Government, and equally liable to be to -less honest. I cultivate the earth, and convert for its support. Indeed, if other cou!! becomits products into manufactures, by exchange, sidered as entitled to favor, it would be the

while the gentleman from Massachusetts oc-goods of the planting company. Fo complishes the same object by turning spin-they could be sold cheaper, and would thus add -dles and throwing shuttles. more to the wealth of the nation; and, second

The only material difference between the two ly, because the planting company would be in operations, is, that mine adds most to the wealth their own peculiar markets. of the nation, precisely in the degree that I can Yet, how would these two compo be resell my manufactures cheaper than he can sell spectively treated, when they should come to his out he has had the art to persuade the the southern custom houses won theiro Government that this circumstance, which five productions? The manufacturing to should make me the favored producer, is area-ny would be permitted to pastone ** son why I should be heavily taxed with a view of Virginia, South Carolino, And Georgia, with to excludemy cheap productions from the mar-their northern productions, witho trouble ket, and give a preference to his, at higher or expense, les, or hindrance, who out, prices: - the planting &mpany, (the genuo from I will now state a plain case, by way of prac-lvirginia, the gentleman from Geo. and mytical illustration, which I never have known to self) would be arrested in their poo by be presented to a popular audience without the colors, who would into o, . producing the most perfect conviction, that the doubt not on ceremous courtoo protecting duties are oppressive and unequal they could not be permitted to enjoy to -

[ocr errors]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]

==
valuable privilege of bringing their own produc-
tions into their own markets—a privilege for
which they were entirely indebted to the pa-
ternal indulgence of the Federal Government,
without paying a duty (I will suppose) of fort
per cent, -
The whole of the duty would amount to the
* sum of twenty thousand dollars As
the goods of the manufacturing company would
have just passed in free of all duty, the ri-
val company of planters would very naturally
ask the cause of this odious discrimination, and
icularly, why they were required to pay
#. per cent, when less than half that duty
would supply an ample revenue to the Govern-
ment? The collectors would, no doubt, reply,
in the true spirit of their vocation, “you are
mistaken, gentlemen, if you suppose these high
duties are levied upon your productions merely
for the sake of revenue. This is quite a se-
condary consideration. The great and patri-
'otic ground upon which they are levied, is, that
it is deemed quite injurious to the wealth and
prosperity of the free States of the north, that
you should undersell their manufacturers, even
in your own markets, with the productions of
your own industry; and these duties are there-
fore levied, by a provident and paternal Go-
vernment, for the very purpose of excluding
your productions, which would be ruinously
cheap without the duties, in order that your
more patriotic rivals may increase the national
wealth, and ‘provide for the common defence,’
by selling the same sort of goods at much high-
er prices!!”
Suppressing, for a moment, the indignant
feelings which this characteristic colloquy is
o: excite, by the bare imagination of
it, I will command patience to go through with
the illustration, and suppose that the company
of planters submit to the outrage, both of the
law and the commentary, and pay the twenty
thousand dollars demanded as a tribute—what
will be the respective conditions of the two
companies, when they come with their respec-
tive productions into the southern market?
Their relative conditions may be briefly stated.
And mark the result which follows with a ma-
, thematical certainty, which no ingenuity can
evade or deny. Both of the companies offer-
ing goods in the same common markets, will, as
a matter of course, obtain the very same price
for them. It follows as a corollary, that the
Planting company will realize from the produc-
tions of their honest and lawful industry, in
their own peculiar markets,twenty thousand dol-
lars less than the manufacturing company will
receive for the same quantity of their produc-
tions, of the same quality!! And this ineqali-
ty, Sir, is produced exclusively by the unright-
cousand oppressive interference of this Govern-
ment, claiming for this very outrage upon the
Principles of eternal justice, the sacred title o
* Protecting and paternal Government!, Can
ony man deny this? will any man, admitting i.
date to stand up and justify or defend it. |
If Sir, I have been successful in proving that
the imported manufactures obtained in ex-

change for the staple productions of the south-
ern States, are the exclusive productions of the
industry of these States, another obvious illus-
tration presents itself to elucidate the palapable
injustice of this system. .
Let it be supposed that the people of the
south made these goods by the use of machine-
ry, in the same manner as they are made at the
north, would they have a title to them any more
sacred than they now have to the imports ac-
quired by purchase? This will hardly be pre-
tended. Would they not be as lawful a subject
of taxation as our imports are now? Would
you not have precisely the same right to con-
tend that free manufacturing labor, at a dollar a
day, could not compete with slave labor at one-
fourth of the price, ,and, upon this ground,
claim a protecting and discriminating excise
duty of forty or fifty per cent.” There is not an
iota of difference, in the two cases, except in
the mode of producing the southern manufac-
ture, and the name of the duty levied upon it. ...
How, then, would stand the comparison? A
duty of forty or fifty per cent, would be im.
posed upon the productions of the south, while

duced in the very same mode, would be absolutely exempted from all duty. I put it to the

the form in which these discriminating duties of protection were levied, there could be found a freeman upon the face of the earth who would not cry out “cravens' dastards! base and degenerate slaves” to the people who would patiently submit to such a system? Sir, this scheme of artfully disguised oppression would not have been borne for two years, if it had been originally presented without the disguise, by which its true character and operation are concealed from its suffering victims. .

nature of this unjust and oppressive system?
Am I laboring under some strange delusion?
If I am, I sincerely hope some gentleman will
be able to disenchant me. But, if I have any
reasoning faculties at all, a discriminating ex-
cise duty, levied exclusively upon the manufac-
tures of the south, exempting those of the north
entirely, would, in no solitary respect, be more
injurious or oppressive to the southern produ-
cers, than the existing system of protecting du-
ties is to the southern planters.
There is another aspect in which the gross
inequality of this system has been frequently
presented, which carries, to my mind, the force
and clearness of mathematical demonstration.
No one would deny the monstrous and revolting
inequality and injustice of the system, if more
than one-half of the federal revenue were di-
rectly and palpably raised by export duties on
cotton and rice, the exclusive productions of
much less than one-fifth part of thc federal po-
pulation; and yet it is a fact, incontestibly veri-
fied by the annual statements from the treasury,
that this proportion of the revenue is raised by

rotecting duties levied upon the very manuÉ. or which our cotton and rice are exchanged abroad.

the very same productions of the north, pro

Is there any error in this mode of stating the

candor of this committee whether, if this were

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

the exporting mero exportation with which they are, in point of

cannot and will not give the planters a farthing more for their staples than the planters could have themselves made out of them, by going through the whole process of the exchange, In a word, the value of cotton is the value of the foreign manufactures it will purchase. These are, strictly speaking, equivalent yalues, and convertible terms? In whatever degree, therefore, an import duty upon these manufactures will diminish their excheageable value, in the same degree, precisely, will such duty di. minish the exchangeable value of the staples of

fact, purchased. The controversy, then, disguise it as you may, resolves itself into a competition between the southern planters and the northern manufactures, for supplying the market of the United States with certain descriptions of manufactures. And I take it to be the very clearest of all propositions in political economy, that the protecting duties must, in the very nature of things inflict an injury upon the southern planters at least equal to the benefit they confer upon the northern manufacturers. In truth the injury inflicted in the one case, must be greater than the benefit conferred in the other. The very ground upon which the protecting duties are demanded, is, that the cotton planters can import and sell manufactures cheaper , than the domestic manufacturers can make and sell them. So far, therefore, as these duties operate as a protection,they take away the employment of a more productive class, and give it to one that is the less productive. If, with a protection of forty per cent, the manufacturers can only make their ordinary profits, and if the planters can maintain the competition even under this enormous discriminating duty, it is evident that with mere revenue duties of 124 per cent, the planters could sell at much lower prices than thc manufacturers, and at the same time realize much higher profits. It follows, that the benefit which protecting restrictions can confer upon the domestic manufacturers may be much less, but cannot possibly be greater than the injury inflicted on their rivals, the southern planters. When I advanced these opinions on this floor more than two years ago, they were supposed by many to inwolve a novel and visionary theory, which had not been put forth by any book of authority. Butit is a curious fact, tending to illustrate the cotemporaneous development of these views in this country and in England, that almost at the very time they were first publicly advanced here, they were published there by two authors, who may be justly regarded as ornaments to this branch of political philosophy. Professor Senior, of Oxford, in a course of lectures on litical economy, published in 1830, distinctly ys it down, “that it is impossible to encourage the industry of one class of produccrs, by means of commercial restrictions without discourageing to an equal degree, the exertions others. That every prohibition of importation is a prohibition of exportation. That every

a restriction on the exportation of those articles with which those silks would have been pur

manufacturer, it injuries, to at least an equal amount, in the whole, though the injury is less perceptible, because more widely diffused, the cotton spinner, the cutler, or the clothier.” Again: “A restriction or prohibition of the importation of any foreign commodity, occasions a loss to those persons who would have produced the English commodity with which the ereluded foreign commodity would have been purchased; it occasions, also, a loss to those who are forced to purchase the dearer or inferior English commodity.” I will now quote a few passages from an article in the Westminister Review for 1830; an article in which the doctrine I am maintaining are illustrated by a combination of wit and phi: losophy very rarely united in the discussion of so abstruse a subject. “Gloves may be had, it shall be supposed, from a French maker, for the value of two shillings a pair. An Englishman stands up, and says that he can make gloves of the same kind for three shillings and, therefore, for the encouragement of English commerce, it is expedient to pass a law to prohibit the introduction of French gloves at two shillings, in order that those who chose to wear gloves may be obliged to take them from the Englishman at three.” “When you buy a pair of French gloves, it is clear they are paid for in something.” “They are paid for, to the Frenchman, it may be, in Sheffield goods. But if the glove maker procures a law that gloves shall not be brought from France, it is plain that Sheffield goods must stop The glove maker may so employment, and trade, to the amount of two shillings, but it is equally plain that the Sheffield man must lose it.” “The whole amounts to a plan for robbing a Sheffield man or a Birmingham, who can make what people will voluntarily buy, for the benefit of the glover who cannot; for clipping the com

and skill enough to command a market, to add
to him who is without.” -
Here, it will be seen, that the author dis-
tinctly assumes, that the principle injury pro-
duced by a restrictive law, is to those domes-
tic producers “who would have produced the
English commodity with which the foreign
commodity would have been purchased,” while
the injury to the consumer is comparatively
small. --
I will now read a short extract, which ad-
mirably ridicules that bewildering confusion of
ideas which induces many to believe that there
is some magic in a foreign exchange, which re-
lieves the domestic producer from the burthen
of a protective duty or restriction.
“if a saving is to be made by the introduc-
tion of steam coaches, no effectual opposition
can be made by the dealers in horses, because
the public are sufficiently informed to know
that all they expend less in coach hire, will be
expended upon something else instead; and,

restriction on the importation of French silks is

therefore, the loss of business to horse dealers * *

chased. That if it benefit the English silk

[ocr errors]

merce of some individual who has ingenuity .

490 - UNITED STATES WEEKLY TELEGRAPH.

will be balanced by an increase of business, of
exactly the same amount, to somebody and
somewhere, and they (the public) will gain the
difference besides. They have a perfect.com-
prehension, that, to put down steam coaches
by act of Parliament, would only be enacting
that a quantity of employment and profit should
be taken from certain dealers, for the sake of
giving to horse-dealers the same quantity of
employment and profits, and no more, with a
further addition of the loss to the coach-riding
public of the whole difference of coach-hire be-
sides. They see, distinctly, that to propose
such a thing would be as great an absurdity and
injustice as to propose to enact that a carrier
should notogrease his wheels for the sake
of causing a greater quantity of horse flesh to
be charged to his customers. They are aware
that such a piece of legislative dullness as this,
would amount to setting up the principle that
it was for the interest of everybody that every
thing should be done in the most bungling and
roundaboutway possible; and that retence
to increase national wealth by such .
must be foolery, or worse. All this they
know, so long as none of the parties propose to
operate by the intervention of an exchange
abroad. Butlet a single exchange intervene,
and the question is too much for them. If the
machine in which men are to ride for two shil-
lings instead of three, can only be bought with
Sheffield cutlery from France, they are utterly
unable to see that the national profit of steam-
riding, the ultimate advantage of employing an
%. cutler to effect the productian of %. ap
machine, instead of an English horse dealer to
supply the dear one, is the same as ever. In
this case, they are ready to join the horse-
dealer in begging, first, that the employment
may be taken from the Sheffield cutlers; se-
condly, that it may be taken from the persons
employed in the expenditure of the shillings of
which it is proposed to rob the coach-riding
public; and thirdly, that they, the public, may
be robbed of a shilling in their coachiriding,
without any advantage, in the aggregate, to
anybody. They can see that it would be ab-
surd to put down the omnibus upon the ground
that men ride cheaper in it; but they cannot
see that, if the omnibus could only be got from
France in exchange for Sheffield goods, the
case would be unaltered. Was it rightly said,
that John Bull is a man of one idea or at most
oftwo? And is there any reason why he should
encourage himselfin being a fool for the bene-
fit of those who pat him on the back that they
may pick his pocket?” o -
Thus, you will perceive, sir, so far from re-
garding the consumers as the only persons
affected by restrictive laws, the very doctrine
or which I am contending is clearly and dis.
totly affirmed. It is only necessary to sub-
** southern cotton for Sheffield cutlery,
* northern manufactures for English hors:
dealers, and the argument of the author bo.
comes identical with my own. -
* Nothing, eyen à to mathematical science,

cise no creative powerin the way of producing
wealth. Nolegislator has yet discovered the
philosopher's stone, and magic is not one of the
powers conferred by the constitution. Hood
work, patientlabor—these are the only agents
under Providence, by which wealth can be
created. All the legislation in the world can:
not add a blade of grassor a grain of wheat to
the national wealth, except by securing overy
one in the enjoyment of his property, and there-
by stimulating his exertions. But though le.
gislation is impotent to create wealth, it is om-
nipotent to transferit. While, therefore, it is
the feeblest of all producers, it is the most
powerful of all plunderers. Andwhenever re.
strictions or taxes confer wealth and prosperoy
upon one portion of the Union, it necessarily
follows than an equal or greater amount of
wealth and prosperity must betaken from some
other portion,
What have we been told by the ado
of the protecting system on this floor and els:
where? Why, that if we repeal or materially
reduce the protecting duties, you sweep, with.
the besom of destruction, the entire face of the
manufacturing States, and leave that wholere:
gion a scene of desolation. Sir, is this so?
isit true that the reduction of the orthens of
taxation will desolate a portion of the States
of this confederacy? If the so, how eloqueño:
ly, how irresistibly, does it demonstrate the
proposition for which I am contending, and
how plainly does it fix the seal of condemo
tion upon that system of plunder agains which
I am now raising my voice whost. The
reduction of the taxes spread desolation Was
the like ever haerd before? How Willio:
lation be produced. It is utterly impossible-
remember, sir, shar necromancy—that the re.
peal or the reduction of taxes condesolate one
portion of the country, unless it be true that
they are drawn from the industry of ano
portion, and transferred by legislative injustice
to the favored region of protection. Who
therefore, gentlemen are eloquently prefigur:
ing their owndesolation, whichistoresulton
restoring to my constituents only apo of their
long lost rights, they do nothing motion
draw a picture of the desolution which the
protecting system has already produced through
out the southern Atlantic States.
I, therefore, solemnly invoke you by
principles of justice, the ties of honorand P.
triotism, the guaranties of the constitutio
by all the sanctities of socialise, no toupholo
any longer this gigantic system of injustice and
oppression! ---
Sir, I put it to the candothe justice, and the
prudence of gentlemen, if it be no to o
them to pause in their career. The on
presents itself in a practical wo, which the
dullest must comprehend; and no one who
not voluntarily blind, conful to perceive *-
the southern States are sinking unders o
of oppression that no free people on earth lo
ever endured so long.

[ocr errors]

is more certain than that le --

gislation can exer.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[graphic]
[graphic]
« ForrigeFortsett »