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answerable refutation of that idea; it is known to be higher with us than in any other civilized state, and this is the greatest of all proofs of general happiness. Labor in this country is independent and proud. It has not to ask the patronage of capital, but capital solicits the aid of labor. This is the general truth, in regard to the condition of our whole population, although in the large cities there are, doubtless, many exceptions. The mere capacity to labor in common agricultural employments, gives to our young men the assurance of independence. We have been asked, sir, by the chairman of the committee, in a tone of some pathos, whether we will allow to the serfs of Russia and Sweden the benefit of making iron for us? Let me inform the gentleman, sir, that those same serís do not earn more than seven cents a day, and that they work in these mines, for that compensation, because they are serfs. And let me ask the gentleman further, whether we have any labor in this country that cannot be better employed than in a business which does not yield the laborer more than seven cents a day? This, it appears to me, is the true question for our consideration. There is no reason for saying that we will work iron because we have mountains that contain the ore. We might for the same reason dig among our rocks for the scattered grains of gold and silver which might be found there. The true inquiry is, can we produce the article in a useful state at the same cost, or nearly at the same cost, or at any reasonable approximation towards the same cost, at which we can import it.

Some general estimates of the price and profits of labor, in those countries from which we import our iron, might be formed by comparing the reputed products of different mines, and their prices, with the number of hands employed. The mines of Danemora are said to yield about 4000 tons, and to employ in the mines twelve hundred workmen. Suppose this to be worth 50 dollars per ton; any one will find by computation that the whole product would not pay in this country, for one quarter part of the necessary labor. The whole export of Sweden was estimated, a few years ago, at 400,000 ship-pounds, or about 54,000 tons. Comparing this product with the number of workmen usually supposed to be employed in the mines which produce iron for exportation, the result will not greatly differ from the foregoing. These estimates are general, and might not conduct us to a precise result; but we know, from intelligent travellers, and eye-witnesses, that the price of labor in the Swedish mines, does not exceed seven cents a day.*

The true reason, sir, why it is not our policy to compel our citizens to manufacture our own iron, is, that they are far better em

* The price of labor in Russia may be pretty well collected from Tooke's "View of the Russian Empire." "The workmen in the mines and the founderies are, indeed, all called master-people; but they distinguish themselves into masters, undermasters, apprentices, delvers, servants, carriers, washers, and separators. In proportion to their ability their wages are regulated, which proceed from 15 to upwards of 30 roubles per annum. The provisions which they receive from the magazines are deducted from this pay." The value of the rouble at that time (1799) was about 24 pence sterling, or 45 cents of our money. "By the edict of 1799," it is added, "a laborer with a horse shall receive, daily, in summer, 20, and in winter 12 copecks; a laborer, without a horse, in summer, 10, in winter, 8, copecks."

A copeck is the hundredth part of a rouble, or about half a cent of our money. The price of labor may have risen, in some degree, since that period, but probably not much.

ployed. It is an unproductive business, and they are not poor enough to be obliged to follow it. If we had more of poverty, more of misery, and something of servitude, if we had an ignorant, idle, starving population, we might set up for iron makers against the world.

The committee will take notice, Mr. Chairman, that, under our present duty, together with the expense of transportation, our manufacturers are able to supply their own immediate neighbourhood; and this proves the magnitude of that substantial encouragement which these two causes concur to give. There is little or no foreign iron, I presume, used in the county of Lancaster. This is owing to the heavy expense of land carriage; and, as we recede farther from the coast, the manufacturers are still more completely secured, as to their own immediate market, against the competition of the imported article. But what they ask is to be allowed to supply the seacoast, at such a price as shall be formed by adding to the cost at the mines the expense of land carriage to the sea; and this appears to me most unreasonable. The effect of it would be to compel the consumer to pay the cost of two land transportations; for, in the first place, the price of iron, at the inland furnaces, will always be found to be at, or not much below, the price of the imported article in the seaport, and the cost of transportation to the neighbourhood of the furnace; and to enable the home product to hold a competition with the imported in the seaport, the cost of another transportation downward, from the furnace to the coast, must be added. Until our means of inland commerce be improved, and the charges of transportation by that means lessened, it appears to me wholly impracticable, with such duties as any one would think of proposing, to meet the wishes of the manufacturers of this article. Suppose we were to add the duty proposed by this bill, although it would benefit the capital invested in works near the sea, and the navigable rivers, yet the benefit would not extend far in the interior. Where, then, are we to stop, or what limit is proposed to us?

The freight of iron has been afforded from Sweden to the United States as low as eight dollars per ton. This is not more than the price of fifty miles land carriage. Stockholm, therefore, for the purpose of this argument, may be considered as within fifty miles of Philadelphia. Now, it is at once a just and a strong view of this case, to consider, that there are, within fifty miles of our market, vast multitudes of persons who are willing to labor in the production of this article for us, at the rate of seven cents per day, while we have no labor which will not command, upon the average, at least five or six times that amount. The question is, then, shall we buy this article of these manufacturers, and suffer our own labor to earn its greater reward, or shall we employ our own labor in a similar manufacture, and make up to it, by a tax on consumers, the loss which it must necessarily sustain.

I proceed, sir, to the article of hemp. Of this we imported last year, in round numbers, 6,000 tons, paying a duty of $30 a ton, or $180,000 on the whole amount; and this article, it is to be remembered, is consumed almost entirely in the uses of navigation. The whole burden may be said to fall on one interest. It is said we can

produce this article if we will raise the duties. But why is it not produced now; or why, at least, have we not seen some specimens? for the present is a very high duty, when expenses of importation are added. Hemp was purchased at St. Petersburg, last year, at $101 67 per ton. Charges attending shipment, &c. $14 25. Freight may be stated at $30 per ton, and our existing duty is $30 more. These three last sums, being the charges of transportation, amount to a protection of near 75 per cent. in favor of the home manufacturer, if there were any such. And we ought to consider, also, that the price of hemp at St. Petersburg is increased by all the expense of transportation from the place of growth to that port; so that probably the whole cost of transportation, from the place of growth to our market, including our duty, is equal to the first cost of the article; or, in other words, is a protection in favor of our own product of 100 per cent.

And since it is stated that we have great quantities of fine land for the production of hemp, of which I have no doubt, the question recurs, why is it not produced? I speak of the water rotted hemp, for it is admitted that that which is dew rotted is not sufficiently good for the requisite purposes. I cannot say whether the cause be in climate, in the process of rotting, or what else, but the fact is certain, that there is no American water rotted hemp in the market. We are acting, therefore, upon a hypothesis. Is it not reasonable that those who say that they can produce the article, shall at least prove the truth of that allegation before new taxes are lai on hose who use the foreign commodity? Suppose this bill passes: the price of hemp is immediately raised $14 80 per ton, and this burden falls immediately on the ship builder; and no part of it, for the present, will go for the benefit of the American grower, because he has none of the article that can be used, nor is it expected that much of it will be produced for a considerable time. Still the tax takes effect upon the imported article; and the ship owners, to enable the Kentucky farmer to receive an additional $ 14 on his ton of hemp, whenever he may be able to raise and manufacture it, pay, in the meantime, an equal sum per ton into the Treasury on all the imported hemp which they are still obliged to use; and this is called "protection!" Is this just or fair? A particular interest is here burdened, not only for the benefit of another particular interest, but burdened also beyond that, for the benefit of the Treasury. It is said to be important for the country that this article should be raised in it; then, let the country bear the expense, and pay the bounty. If it be for the good of the whole, let the sacrifice be made by the whole, and not by a part. If it be thought useful and necessary, from political considerations, to encourage the growth and manufacture of hemp, government has abundant means of doing it. It might give a direct bounty, and such a measure would, at least, distribute the burden equally; or, as government itself is a great consumer of this article, it might stipulate to confine its own purchases to the home product, so soon as it should be shown to be of the proper quality. I see no objection to this proceeding, if it be thought to be an object to encourage the production. It might easily, and perhaps properly, be provided, by law, that the Navy should be supplied with American hemp, the quality being

good, at any price not exceeding, by more than a given amount, the current price of foreign hemp in our market. Everything conspires to render some such course preferable to the one now proposed. The encouragement in that way would be ample, and, if the experiment should succeed, the whole object would be gained; and if it should fail, no considerable loss or evil would be felt by any one.

I stated, some days ago, and I wish to renew the statement, what was the amount of the proposed augmentation of the duties on iron and hemp, in the cost of a vessel. Take the case of a common ship, of 300 tons, not coppered, nor copper fastened. It would stand thus, by the present duties:

14 Tons of iron, for hull, rigging, and anchors, at $15 per


10 Tons of hemp, at $30

40 Bolts Russia duck, at $2

20 Bolts Ravens duck, at $1 25

On articles of ship chandlery, cabin furniture, hardware, &c.

The bill proposes to add:

$7 40 per ton on iron, which will be

14 80 per ton on hemp, equal to And on duck, by the late amendment of the bill, say 25

per cent

$217 50 300 00 80 00

25 00

40 00

$662 50

$107 30 148 00

25 00

$280 30

We are

But, to the duties on iron and hemp, should be added those paid on copper, whenever that article is used. By the statement which I furnished the other day, it appeared that the duties received by government, on articles used in the construction of a vessel of 359 tons, with copper fastenings, amounted to $1056. With the augmentations of this Bill, they would be equal to $1400. Now, I cannot but flatter myself, Mr. Chairman, that, before the committee will consent to this new burden upon the shipping interest, it will very deliberately weigh the probable consequences. I would again urgently solicit its attention to the condition of that interest. told that Government has protected it, by discriminating duties, and by an exclusive right to the coasting trade. But it would retain the coasting trade, by its own natural efforts, in like manner, and with more certainty, than it now retains any portion of foreign trade. The discriminating duties are now abolished, and while they existed, they were nothing more than countervailing measures; not so much designed to give our navigation an advantage over that of other nations, as to put it upon an equality; and we have, accordingly, abolLook to ished ours, when they have been willing to abolish theirs. the rate of freights. Were they ever lower, or even so low? I ask gentlemen who know, whether the harbor of Charleston, and the river of Savannah, be not crowded with ships seeking employment, and finding none? I would ask the gentlemen from New Orleans,

if their magnificent Mississippi does not exhibit, for furlongs, a forest of masts? The condition, sir, of the shipping interest is not that of those who are insisting on high profits, or struggling for monopoly; but it is the condition of men content with the smallest earnings, and anxious for their bread. The freight of cotton has formerly been three pence sterling, from Charleston to Liverpool, in time of peace. It is now I know not what, or how many, fractions of a penny; I think, however, it is stated at five-eighths. The producers, then, of this great staple, are able, by means of this navigation, to send it, for a cent a pound, from their own doors to the best market in the world.

Mr. Chairman, I will now only remind the committee that, while we are proposing to add new burdens to the shipping interest, a very different line of policy is followed by our great commercial and maritime rival. It seems to be announced as the sentiment of the Government of England, and undoubtedly it is its real sentiment, that the first of all manufactures is the manufacture of ships. A constant and wakeful attention is paid to this interest, and very important regulations, favorable to it, have been adopted within the last year, some of which I will beg leave to refer to, with the hope of exciting the notice, not only of the committee, but of all others who may feel, as I do, a deep interest in this subject. In the first place, a general amendment has taken place in the register acts, introducing many new provisions, and, among others, the following:

A direct mortgage of the interest of a ship is allowed, without subjecting the mortgagee to the responsibility of an owner.

The proportion of interest held by each owner is exhibited in the register, thereby facilitating both sales and mortgages, and giving a new value to shipping among the moneyed classes.

Shares, in the ships of copartnerships, may be registered as joint property, and subject to the same rules as other partnership effects.

Ships may be registered in the name of trustees, for the benefit of joint stock companies; and many other regulations are adopted with the same general view of rendering the mode of holding the property as convenient and as favorable as possible.

By another act, British registered vessels, of every description, are allowed to enter into the general and the coasting trade in the India seas, and may now trade to and from India, with any part of the world, except China.

By a third, all limitations and restrictions, as to latitude and longitude, are removed from ships engaged in the Southern whale fishery. These regulations, I presume, have not been made without first obtaining the consent of the East India Company; so true is it found, that real encouragement of enterprise oftener consists, in our days, in restraining or buying off monopolies and prohibitions, than in imposing or extending them.

The trade with Ireland is turned into a free coasting trade; light duties have been reduced, and various other beneficial arrangements made, and still others proposed. I might add, that, in favor of general commerce, and as showing their confidence in the principles of liberal intercourse, the British government has perfected the warehouse system, and authorised a reciprocity of duties with foreign states, at the discretion of the Privy Council.

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