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of the Treasury at that time, I agree it is matter of opinion and estimate; but we know what sum is on hand now, and we are drawing the session to a close, when appropriations will cease; and the year itself is already half expired. It would seem, then, that we ought to be able to judge of the state of the Treasury six months hence, without risk of great and wide mistake. I proceed on the following general estimate and calculation:

January 1, 1836. Amount of money in the Treas

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Estimate for the three last quarters of 1836,


Stock in late Bank of the United States, including

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Deduct what will remain as unexpend-
ed balance at the end of the year, 14,000,000



This estimate, Sir, does not rest solely on my own judgment. I find others acquainted with the subject, and competent to judge, coming to conclusions not far different from my own. It is true this rests in opinion. It cannot be mathematically proved that we shall have a surplus in the Treasury at the end of the year; but the practical question is, whether that result is not so highly probable that it is our duty to make some provision for it, and to make that provision now. I propose only to divide the surplus. If it shall happen, after all, that there shall be no surplus, then the measure will have done no harm. But if the surplus shall not be forty millions, but only thirty-five, thirty, twenty-five, or even twenty, still, if it be now probable that it will reach even the lowest of these sums, is it not our duty to provide for it?

This is a contingent measure, not a positive one. It is intended to apply to a case, in my judgment, very likely to arise; indeed, I may say a case which, in all probability, will arise; but if it should not, then the proposed measure will have no operation.

I have already observed that, in my opinion, the measure should be limited to one single division one distribution of the surplus money in the Treasury. In that respect, my proposition differs




from the bill of the honorable member from Carolina, and it differs, too, from the amendment proposed by the member from New York. I think it safest to treat the present state of things as extraordinary, as being the result of accidental causes, or causes, the recurrence of which, hereafter, we cannot calculate upon with certainty.

There would be insuperable objections, in my opinion, to a settled practice of distributing revenue among the States. It would be a strange operation of things, and its effects on our system of government might well be feared. I cannot reconcile myself to the spectacle of the States receiving their revenues, their means even of supporting their own Governments, from the Treasury of the United States. If, indeed, the land bill could If, indeed, the land bill could pass, and we could act on the policy, which I think the true policy, of regarding the public lands as a fund, belonging to the People of all the States, I should cheerfully concur in that policy, and be willing to make an annual distribution of the proceeds of the lands, for some years at least. But if we cannot separate the proceeds of the lands from other revenue, if all must go into the Treasury together, and there remain together, then I have no hesitation in declaring, now, that the income from customs must be reduced. It must be reduced, even at the hazard of injury to some branches of manufacturing industry; because this, in my opinion, would be a less evil than that extraordinary and dangerous state of things, in which the United States should be found laying and collecting taxes, for the purpose of distributing them, when collected, among the States of the Union. I do not think it difficult to account for the present overflowing condition of the Treasury. The Treasury enjoys two sources of income the custom-house and the public lands. The income from the customs has been large, because the commerce of the country has been greatly extended, and its prosperity has been remarkable. The exports of the country have continued to increase. While the cotton crop has grown larger and larger from year to year, the price of cotton has still kept up. Notwithstanding all the apprehensions entertained by prudent and sagacious men to the contrary, the world has not become overstocked with this article. The increase of consumption seems to keep pace with the increase of supply. The consequence is, a vast and increasing export by us, and an import corresponding with this export, and with the amount of earnings in the carrying trade; since the general rule undoubtedly is, taking a number of years together, that the amount of imports, and the earnings of freights, are about equal to the amount of exports. The cotton-fields of the South most unquestionably form a great part of the basis of our commerce, and the earnings of our navigation another.

The honorable member from South Carolina has referred to the tariff act of 1828, as the true cause of the swollen state of the Treas

ury. I agree that there were many things in the act of 1828 unnecessarily put there. But we know they were not put there by the friends of the act. That act is a remarkable instance, I hope never to be repeated, of unnatural, violent, angry legislation. Those who introduced it designed, originally, nothing more than to meet the new condition of things which had been brought about by the altered policy of Great Britain in relation to taxes on wool. A bill with the same end in view had passed the House of Representatives in 1827, but was lost in the Senate. The act of 1828, however, objectionable though it certainly was in many respects, has not been, in my opinion, the chief cause of the over-product of the customs. I think the act of 1832, confirmed by the act of 1833, commonly called the compromise act, has had much more to do in producing that result. Up to the time of the passing of the act of 1832, the minimum principle had been preserved in laying duties on certain manufactures, especially woollen cloths. This illunderstood and much-reviled principle appears to me, nevertheless, and always has appeared to me, to be a just, proper, effectual, and strictly philosophical mode of laying protecting duties. It is exactly conformable, as I think, with the soundest and most accurate principles of political economy. It is, in the most rigid sense, what all such enactments, so far as practicable, should be; that is to say, a mode of laying specific duty. It lays the impost exactly where it will do good, and leaves the rest free. It is an intelligent, discerning, discriminating principle; not a blind, headlong, generalizing, uncalculating operation. Simplicity, undoubtedly, is a great beauty in acts of legislation, as well as in the works of art; but in both it must be a simplicity, the result of congruity of parts, and adaptation to the end designed; not a rude generalization, which either leaves the particular object unaccomplished, or, in accomplishing it, accomplishes a dozen others also, which were not desired. It is a simplicity which is wrought out by knowledge and skill; not the rough product of an undistinguishing, sweeping, general principle.

Let us suppose that the gradations in woollen cloths be represented by a line. At one end of this line are those of the highest price, and let the scale descend to the other end, where, of course, will be those of the lowest price. Now, with the two ends of this line our manufacturers have not much to do; that is to say, they have not much to do with the production of the very highest, or the very lowest, of these articles. Generally speaking, they work in the intermediate space. It was along this space, along this part of the line of work, that the minimum principle, as it has been usually called, operated. It struck just where the great object of protection required it to strike, and it struck nowhere else. All the rest it left free. It wasted no power. It accomplished its object by the least possible expenditure of means. Its aim was levelled at a distinct

and well-discerned object, and its aim was exact, and the object was reached.

But the minimum had become the subject of obloquy and reproach. It was railed at, even, in good set terms, by some who professed to be, and who doubtless were, friends of the protecting policy. It was declared to be deception. It was said that it cheated the People, inasmuch as under its operation they did not see what amount of taxes they really paid. For one, I did not admit the fact, nor yield to the argument. I had no doubt the People knew what taxes they paid under the operation of the laws, as well as we who passed the laws; and whether they stopped to make precise calculations or not, if they found the tax neither oppressive nor heavy, and the effect of the law decidedly salutary, I did not believe they would complain of it, unless it was made a part of some other controversy. The minimum principle, however, in its application to broadcloths, was overthrown by the law of 1832, and that law, as it came from the House of Representatives, and as it finally passed, substituted a general and universal ad valorem duty of fifty per cent. An effort was made in the Senate to resist this general ad valorem system, and to hold on to the specific duty. But it did not prevail. The Senate was nearly evenly divided. The casting or turning vote was held by a gentleman, a friend for whom I always entertain very high regard, a member from Maryland, not now in the Senate. After the discussion, he admitted himself almost satisfied that the law, in this particular, ought not to be altered; but his impression against, the minimum, nevertheless, finally prevailed, and he voted for the new mode, that is to say, the general ad valorem mode of laying the duty; and, to render this effectual, he himself proposed to carry that duty as high as sixty per cent. The Senate fixed it, indeed, at fifty-seven per cent.; but the House non-concurred, and the law finally passed, as all know, establishing an ad valorem duty of fifty per cent. on woollen cloths, &c.

Now, Mr. President, when we recollect that the duties on woollen fabrics, of all kinds, bring into the Treasury four, or five, or six millions a year, every man acquainted with our manufactures must see at once that a portion of this vast sum is perfectly useless as a protecting duty; because it is imposed on fabrics with which our own manufacturers maintain no competition, and in regard to which, therefore, they ask no protection. I have instituted sundry inquiries for the purpose of learning, and of showing, what is the amount of duties collected annually on woollens, which have no distinct bearing, as protecting duties, on any of the products of our manufactures. At present I will only say, and will say that with great confidence, that of the surplus money now in the Treasury, several millions are the proceeds of ad valorem duties, which have conferred

nó perceptible benefit whatever on our manufacturing establishments. It is, therefore, Sir, that I regard the law of 1832, and not the law of 1828, as the great error in our legislation. This law of 1832 was confirmed by the act of 1833, and is, of course, in actual operation at the present moment, except so far as it has become affected by the gradual reduction provided for by the last-mentioned act. I wish not to discuss the act of 1833. I do not propose, at present, to disturb its operation; but having alluded to it, I take the occasion of saying that I have not the least idea that that act can remain as the settled system of this country. When the honorable member from Kentucky introduced it, he called it a measure of conciliation, and expressed the hope that if the manufacturing interests should be found to suffer under it, it might be modified by general consent. Although never concurring in the act, I entertain the same hope. I pray most fervently that former strifes and controversies on the tariff question may never be revived; but at the same time it is my opinion that the principles established by the law of 1833 can never form the commercial system of this country. But, Mr. President, the most striking increase in the public revenue is in that branch of it which is derived from the sales of the public lands. How happens it that the proceeds from this quarter have sprung up, thus suddenly, to such a height? The Secretary's estimate of the proceeds of the sales of the public lands for this year was only four millions. The actual sales are likely to be twenty. What has occasioned this great and unexpected augmentation?

Sir, we are to remember that the growth and prosperity of the country, generally, are remarkable, and that, as these increase, the western tide, both of people and property, increases also. The reflow of this property is into the Treasury through the land-offices.

The well-sustained demand for cotton has, of course, augmented the demand for cotton lands; and we all know that good lands, for the production of that crop, are sought for with great eagerness. We are to include, too, the great expansion of the paper circulation among the causes tending to produce heavy purchases; and the amount of foreign capital that has found its way, through one channel or another, into the country, and is giving an additional stimulus, and additional facility to enterprises, both public and private. Many of the States have contracted large debts, for purposes of improvement, and these stocks have gone abroad. I suppose there may be fifty millions of State securities now owned in Europe. Foreign capital, also, has been introduced, to a great extent of late, as the basis of commercial enterprise-a thing ordinarily to be expected, when we look to the low rates of interest abroad, and the great demand for money at home. It would be hazardous to esti mate proportions and amounts on such a subject; but it is certain


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