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lated to do justice to all concerned. But having been over-ruled in this, contrary to expectation, by a majority of the committee, they feel themselves called upon, however reluctantly, to state their opinion of the effect of the evidence which was before them; which opinion is: That Samuel Houston did attempt wrongfully to obtain the contract referred to in the rest lution of the House, for the supply of rations to the emigrating Indians. That the late Secretary of War did attempt wrongfully to give said contract to said Samuel Houston ; and that this was known to the President. As an official transaction, they view it as extraordinary and unjustifiable throughout. - - , The course of inquiry as well as the evidence will appear from the journal of the committee, here with submitted, to which the undersigned, at this late period of the session, have only time to Refer, in support of the opinion which they have thus summarily expressed. - . WILLIAM STANBERY, - * , . I. C. BATES, . . . Opinion of Mr. J. L. Kerr.
. The undersigned, as a member of the Select
Committee appointed to inquire “whether an
-presents the subject of inquiry, are well under-|
attempt was made by the late Secretary of War, John H. Eaton, fraudulently to give to Samuel
Houston, or to any other person or persons
concerned with Samuel Houston, a contract for supplying rations to such Indians as might emigrate to their lands west of Arkansas and Missouri; and whether said Houstom made a frandulent attempt to obtain said contract; and that the said committee be further instructod to inquire whether the President of the United States had any knowledge of such attempted fraud; and whether he disapproved or approved of the same,”being unable, upon a due consideration of the whole evidence in the case, to concur in the report of the majority of the committee, which presents an absolute and entire exculpation of all the parties named; but, having not been afforded an opportunity of either preparing a full view of that evidence, or any argument upon it, begs leave thus briefly to offer his opinion, in order that it may accompany the evidence and the report of the majority. • The strong terms in which the resolution
stood by the House as those specially employ•ed by the mover as expressive of his own existing view of the facts, and the majority of the committee have given a literal negative to the allegations implied by the terms as to every person concerned. - It is a question of the intention of persons in high official stations, in respect to acts contemplated—not done; and, therefore, the inference of such imputed designs, or of the degree of impropriety in their official conduct, can only be drawn from facts and circumstances. What should be deemed “fraudulent” conduct in men, invested with the power to confer public offices and contracts upon individuals coming in competition for them, admit, perhaps, of some difference of opinion, and, how far it is politically just, in suc case, to prefer -
favorites and friends is a topic of frequent controversy amongst political partisans; but, in any case, to prefer a favorite or a friend, to the obvious or to the slightest detriment of the * public, certainly cannot be justified by any mode of reasoning. Either to obtain or to give an office or contract, by any means of artifice or deception, is highly censurable in the public
of such means or connives at them. Being called upon, in this case, by a vote of the majority
the report determined on by them, I have felt myself gompelled to dissent from its absolute and ...i. and to express some other opinion. As no argumentative report has been prepared or offered by the Chairman, or any other.
clare his mere opinion that the evidence reported to the House establishes the fact that strong endeavors were used by Samuel Houston, to obtain from the late Secretary of War the contract for supplying rations mentioned in the resolution of the House, and that he was concerned with other persons, at divers times, in attempts to obtain such a contract upon terms disadvantageous to the government. . How far those endeavors were exerted by seeking any undue advantages, will be for the opinion of every member, to be formed from the
mony; though, as Samuel Houston is still a
!contract, he can be no further affected by the decision. - That the late Secretary of War, John H. Eaton, did manifest a strong and partial desire to prefer Samuel liouston in his application for the * contract proposed, is, in the opinion of the undersigned, clearly made out by the whole train of facts and circumstances, as is the inference that he was prevented from completing a contract at a price far above that which the state of things warranted, by the remonstrance and interference of others, by the glaring difference in the lower terms offer. ed and pressed upon the Departments, and, it is but just and charitable to add, by a final conviction of error in calculations assumed. The President certainly knew of the proposals of Samuel Houston, and at one-time approved of his having the contract on the ii. est terms proposed by him; but the undersigncd will not undertake to impute to him a consciousness of the existence of “fraudulent” practices, and an approbation of them, The evidence does not conclusively show that the *resident was from time to time acquainted" with the gradation of bids and estimates, and, on one occasion, he expressly said that the lowest bidder must have the contract, and, finally, he resolved on repudiating the plan of contracts altogether, except through the Commissary General's Department. For the support of these views the undersigned refers to the evidence reported. J0, N LEEDS KERR,
House of Representatives, July 5, 1832,
functionary who either participates in the use
of the committee either to agree or disagree to :
member, the undersigned takes leave to de
facts and circumstances presented by the testi- *
private individual, not having obtained the .
speech of MR. McDUFFIE,
"On the third reading of the Tariff Bill. Deli-
on Manufactures, the reduction would have been only $4,177,000, even if it should be o: sumed that no increase of importations would result from the diminution of the duties. Since the bill was reported, however, several alterations have been made inits provisions, some increasing and some diminishing the rates of duty. The effect of these I have minutely investigated, and find the result to be, that the bill, **now stands, will effect a reduction some thing larger than that estimated by the Sec*:::: the prose amount being $4,624,000. rew t, o: will be the annual mount of the *nue after this act shall have gone fully into
• And this, Sir, is the olive branch of conciliation
: relief, Sir, will be of the most substantial and
unequivocal nature. For at least three millions of it will result from admitting, almost entirely free of duty; foreign articles which are exclu-sively imported in exchange for the productions of the northern States, and a large portion of which is exclusively consumed in those states. * The existing duties on the articles made en-tirely free by this bill, amount to $939,000; those on tea, which will come in with a mere tioninal duty of one cent a pound, amount to -about $1,400,000; those on coffee, which will pay, only one-half cent a pound, amount to $257,000; those on silks, which will come in under a -duty of ten per centum, amount to about $800,000; and those on wines to $84,000, In addition to these articles of the unprotect-ed class, there is one of the protected articles
wial increase of the burthens of the south.|have become wealthy by having the earnings of
the poor transferred to them through the en-
considered in reference cither to the different
classes of the community, or to the different sections of the Union? How does it respond to . the just claims of the south, at this great crisis
of our history, when the extinguishment of the
public debt has put it in the power, and made
which is almost exclusively purchased with the
It is a matter of curiosity, Sir, as well of useful illustration, to look a little more minutely into the detail of those articles which are to be admitted free of duty, or at a mere nominal duty, by this bill. Among the free articles, final
of the planting States, for the various kinds of
cocoa, almonds, raisins, figs, currants, dates, all our imports the most appropriate objects of
filberts, nutmegs, cinnamon, ginger, olives, grapes, pine apples, and all those foreign luxuries which supply the tables and finish the feasts of the wealthy, intended, no doubt, for. the special benefit of the aristocracy which this
system is calculated to create and maintain. to entire exemption.
articles which have the most indispu
taxation, whether we regard the producers or consumers, are, with some trifling exceptions, admitted frce of duty, while the entire bur. thens of federal taxation are thrown upon those le claim, Upon what principle and
We have also in the same category, marble, for what, purpose, are the former class of arts.
paintings and drawings, to ornament—not the palaces of the poor to which reference was
'cles admitted free of duty?
I have frequently
made by the gentleman from Massachusetts, so much o taxation, complain that we in his report—but the palaces of those who take off the dates from tea, coffee, wines * - * * -- "
* maintaining still heavier duties on the produciprovides, ab
-vented from going to the best market with their which are obtainedobroad
594 UNITED STATES WEEKLY TELEGRAPH. -" -- - - - o
silks, and other luxuries.” Yes, Sir, we doldomestic productions. In this ope: complain of this—not because it reduces duties, of the o: I regard this one of the most but because, in proportion as you diminish the lingeniously contrived schemes of protection revenue derived from the northern exchanges, has ever been presented to Congress. you superinduce a necessity of impositig and loof the reduction of does for which this oil . half is as dirot a pro. tions and exchanges of southern industry. Doition to the manufactures as if it had consist: gentlemen suppose I am such a dupe as to be in an increase of duties on the articles to persuaded that this is nothing to me? Do they make in proportion as you reduce to imagine that the people of the south are a peo-loften and coffee, you diminish the wo ple of one idea, and that they are so utterly the operatives and, in propotoooooo. stupid as to be incapable of perceiving that a minish the cost of the morals used by to proposition to take off the duties from the ex-manufacturers, you dominion the cost of wo changes of the manufacturing States, is equiva-doing their manufactures lent to a proposition to put on the same amount And here, sir, Lwill cutthé onto of duties upon the exchanges of the planting House to another view of this subjeo States? A certain amount of revenue is neces-salong been the source of complio onto. sary for the support of Government; and the isso planting so toothopolo you raise of this amount from the exchanges of two-thirds of the exports, they o the north, the more you must necessarily raise sustained two-thirds of the burlons of o from those of the south, - taxation. It has been assumed, in using o And here I cannot but remark with what a complaint, as the facts of the case ho keen sagacity the gentlemen of the north can fore warranted, that the northopo o: perceive the benefits and blessings of free trade, been subject to very nearly to so o o when the productions of their own industry of duties with those of the south. The go constitute the basis of it. When they send of the complaint has been not that the no
unclouded apprehension of the advantage uneqo distribution of the bo o
which will resist to them from being permitted otion. And how is this o
to import, free-of-duty, articles which they re-By removing or diminishing the solo ceive in exchange. They would regard him as No, Siri but by increasing beyono all o
a madman who would doubt the policy of free sportion. The domestic exports of o trade in this particular branch of commerce: fasturing states amount to shooto an But the moment we attempt to apply the same against $49,999,999; belong." o principles to the productions and exchanges o It is obvious, that in o authe southern States, their perceptions and rea: things, even on equal ad valoreno sosoning faculties undergo total change, and imports, would throw on to o, .. wonder that the planters of the south are more than double their duo o so blinded by their prejudices as not to per-public burthens. But o o ceive the very great advantage of being pre-ovide? That, abo o o o
in the House verify what I have said in the done me the honor to notice my argument, had most deciswe manner. I will propose to them, 'not taken the very trifling pains which it would successively, to strike out every article topons have cost them, to understand what it reall which a duty is lovicd. - Will any one be strick-was. Two years ago, when I discussed this en out? Would a majority of this House, as a question hore, and every time I have discussed mere matter of pecuniary calculation, agree to it since, I disclaimed the idea that our duties reduce any one of the duties in this bill, with could materially diminish the price of American, the possible exception of some small articles of, or of any other cotton,in Liverpool or Manchester, no snoment? Every body knows that they in as strong and emphatic language as I could
would not; will they have the fron" to assert, command. I distinctly stated that the value of .
then, that, duties which they would not couscot; cotton in the United States was diminished by to repeal or reduce, impose a barthen-upon the duties levied on the imports received for it, them or their constituents? I cannot believe because the price of it in #o could not be any man would have so much cirrouwery, and, enhanced in consequence of these duties. I if any one should, his words would have very, complained, that whether I sold my cotton for little weight, who put into the scale against his money or for manufactures in Liverpool, I coulddeeds. I have felt it to be my duty to present not get any more money or more manufactures this brief exposition of the practical operation for it in consequênce of the duty, than I could of this bill. I have endeavored to show tion:ve obtained if no such duty existed. That, in it diminishes the revenue very little, and the case 1 exchanged it directly for manufactures in burthens of the country still less; and that, Liverpool, it was obvious that if the Government whole it does reduce the aggregate burthen of should take one third of them, or, which is the the whole country, it greatly increases that inc-same thing, fifty per cent. on their value, I quality of which the southern States have o be deprived of just that much of my
song awd so ineffectually complained. property, and the exchangeable value of m * . It is brought forward, Sir, as a measure of cotton would be, to that extent, diminished compromise, and whatever other gentlemen. This, Sir, was my argument. It referred, exmay think, there is no public act which I would clusively, to the real price or exchangeable yanot sooner perform, than to give my sanction to slue of American cotton, and assumed that it directly or indirectly. I take it for granted, this exchangeable value, was fifty per cent, the it shoo! pass with the overwhelming greater in Europe than it was in the United
sanction of the votes by which it was last night ordered to a third reading, so far as the Congress of the U. States is concerned, the door of hope will be forever closed upon the south, Yes, Sir, I shall regard the passage of this bill by such a vote, and under such auspices, as it. rovocably fixing the destinies of the southern 8tates, so far as this Government cant fix their destinics, - - of will now ask the indulgence of the House while I notice, very briefly, some of the arguments which have been advanced in the course of this proceeding against the positions which 1 laid down in opening this discussion. I have said, Sir, that the effect of this bill will be to throw the whole of the fiscal burthens of this Government on the loanting States; and, 1 will add, and that the manufacturing States will hail it, with one accord, as a blessing, instead of regarding it as a burthen. The principles which have conducted me to this conclusion, have been controverted by various gentlemen, and, among others, by a worthy colleague of mine, (Colonel Di Artox,) who could not comprehead the process by which the exchangeable value of cotton is reduced by protecting dustics levied upon the manufactures received in exchange for it. A gentleman from Massachusetts, (Mr. Davis,) repeating the argument ..which he used two years ago, and iny col"league repeating it after him, maintain that if the value of our cotton could be reduced by -- our protecting duties, it would follow that the wrice of American cotton must be lower in the
markets of Europe, than that of East India or Brazilian cotton of the same qualuty. Now, it is to be regretted, that gentlemen who have
* * - *
States, in purchasing manufactures, in conseuence of a fifty per cent. duty imposed upou hose manufactures. ...if for example, the cotton planter of Brazil is permitted to import British manufactures without paying any duty to his Government, is it not self-evident that the exchangeable value of his cotton would be fifty per cent. ef than that of the American cotton planter, though each of them should receive the same price or the same quantity of manufactures in Liverpool? The Brazilian would be permitted: to import and retain the whole of his manufactures, while the American would be permitted to retain only two-thirds of his. if South Carolina should enjoy a perfectly free trade, and Georgia should continue to be subject to this protecting system, is it not apparent that the South Carolina cotton would be. worth from two to four cents more in the pound to the South Carolina planters and people, than the Georgia cotton would be worth to the Georgia planters and people, though both would still receive the same price in Europe? Cotton would command just so much more of the conforts and enjoyments of life in South Carolina than it would in Georgia; and, assuming fifty per cent, as the average duties paid in Georgia, South Carolina would be just as wealthy with one hundred thousand bales of cotton as Georgia would be with one hundred and fifty thousand. If any thing can be plainer than this, I should like to know what it is. But in case a planter should exchange his cotton for money in I.iverpool, and bring this into the United States, I maintained that the ef. fect of the duties conla rot be evaded in usis