« PreviousContinue »
The Colonial Trade Bill.
[FEB. 21, 1827.
orders of the day, as he thought there was time for acting | Newfoundland, St. Johns, Cape Breton, and the dependon both. If that motion was made he should vote for it; encies of them, or any other Colony or possession, under but he could not vote for its immediate consideration, as the dominion of Great Britain, in the West Indies, or on he thought the bill advocated by the gentleman from New the Continent of America ; and any vessel, which sball Jersey one of great importance, and entitled to the priority. have cleared from any port or place in the Colonies or
Mr. HAYNE observed, that, in his opinion, in a ques. possessions above described, and afterwards taken in a tion of preference, the bill longest acted upon was enti- cargo at any port or place in any of the Colonies or postled to the priority. The West India Trade bill had lain sessions aforesaid, or which, having cleared from any for a long time on the table, while the Woollens bill came port or place in the Colonies or possessions aforesaid. within a short time from the other House. Therefore, if with a cargo, shall, afterwards, in the same voyage, have e the latter was now acted upon in preference to the former, touched at, or again cleared from, any other port or place, the order would be reversed. The Colonial Trade bill shall, nevertheless, be deemed to have come from a port must be passed and sent to the other House, there also to or place in the Colonies or possessions aforesaid, within be considered and concurred in ; while the Woollens bill the meaning of this act ; and every vessel, so excluded, had already been acted upon by the other House. If the as aforesaid, from the ports of the United States, that Senate refused to take up the West India bill, they would shall enter, or attempt to enter, the same, in violation of give the preference to a bill of minor importance, and this act, shall, with her tackle, apparel, and furniture, that which had come latest before thum-a course which, together with the cargo on board, be forfeited to the he trusted, they were not ready to adopt.
United States. Mr. HOLMES thought the discussions which had taken “Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That, from and after place within a few days, had been rery unprofitable, as the thirtieth day of September next, the owner, consignee, they had entirely turned upon the preference of different or agent, of every vessel, owned wholly, or in part, by a bills. In this way, time enough had been wasted to have subject or subjects of his Britannic Majesty, which shall passed both bills. He did not think it so important which have been duly entered in any port of the United States, bill was taken up, as that one or the other should be act and on board of which shall have been there laden, for ed upon without further delay.
exportation, any article or articles, of the growth, proMr. JOHNSTON, of Louisiana, said he felt it his duty duce, or manufacture, of the United States, other than to press the bill to regulate the Colonial Trade, as a charge provisions and sea stores necessary for the voyage, shall, of negligence would, with reason, be made against him, before such vessel shall be cleared outward, at the Cus. as Chairman of the Committee of Commerce, did he al tom-bouse, give bond, in a suin double the value of such low matters of minor importance to interpose and prevent articles, with one or more suretics, to the satisfaction of this bill from being brought up in time to be passed.. He the Collector, that the article or articles, so laden on had no intention to take any advantage over any other board such vessel for exportation, shall be landed in some measure, but urged the bill through a consideration of port or place other than any port or place in the aboveduty. He hoped the gentleman from New Jersey would inentioned Colonies or possessions ; and any such vessel acquiesce in the consideration of this bill, when he re- that shall sail, or attempt to sail, from any port of the flected on its great importance, and that his bill would United States, without having given bond as aforesaid, come up in its order.
shall, with her tackle, apparei, and furniture, together Mr. JOHNSON, of Kentucky, said, that his preclictions with the article or articles aforesaid, laden on board the were every moment verified; and he was now more con. same as aforesaid, be forfeited to the United States : Pro vinced than ever that the Woollens bill could not be act. vided, always, That nothing in this act contained shall be ed upon this year. It was plain that both could not be deemed, or so construed, as to violate any provision of the passed, and also that, of the two, the Colonial Trade bill Conventions to regulate Commerce between the Territowas entitled to the preference, from its importance. ries of the United States and of his Britannic Majesty, There were now but ten days remaining, and he hoped no which were concluded, respectively, on the third day of more time would be wasted in useless disputes, but that July, one thousand eight hundred and fifteen, and on the the gentleman from New Jersey would give way. twentieth day of October, one thousand eight hundred
The question was then taken on the motion to take up and eighteen. the Colonial Trade bill, and carried.
“Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the form of the The bill, as follows, was accordingly taken up in Com- bond aforesaid shall be prescribed by the Secretary of the mittee of the Whole.
Department of the Treasury; and the same shall and may "A BILL to rgulate the Commercial Intercourse between
| be discharged, and not otherwise, by producing, within the UnitedStates and the Colonies of Great Britain. 1
one year after the date thereof, a like certificate to that
required by, and under the regulations contained in, the « Be i: enated, Etc. That, from and after the thirtieth eighty-first section of the act « to regulate the collection day of September next, the ports of the United States of duties on imports," passed the second day of Marcb, shall be, and emain closed against any and every vessel seventeen hundred and ninety-nine, that the articles of coming, or ariving, by sea, from any port or place in the the growth, produce, and manufacture, of the United British Colores, or possessions, hereinafter mentioned, to States, laden as aforesaid, were unladen and landed con. wit.: The Btish possessions in the West Indies, and on formably to the provisions of this act, or in case of loss by the Continer of South America, the Bahama Islands, the sea, by capture, or other unavoidable accident, by the Islands calle Caicos, the Bermuda or Somer Islands; the production of such other proofs as the nature of the case British possesions on the coast of Africa, the Colony of will admit, according to the provisions of the eighty-first the Cape of food Hope, and the Islands, settlements, and section of the act aforesaid. territories, tlonging thereto, and dependent thereupon; “Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That all penalties the Islandsof Mauritius and Ceylon, and the several and forfeitures incurred by force of this act, shall be sued Islands andTerritories belonging to and dependent on for, recovered, distributed, and accounted for, and may each, respetively : the British settlements in the Island be initigated or remitted, in the manner, and according to of New Hdand, and the several Islands and Territories the provisions, of the revenue laws of the United States. belonging hereto, and dependent thereon ; the Island of “Sec. 5. Provided, nevertheless, and be it further enacted, Van Diena's Laid, and the several Islands belonging Chat this act shall not take effect, nor go into operation, thereto, ail depedent thereon ; Lower Canada, the Pro- if, before the said thirtieth day of September next, the vinces of stw Bruiswick and Nova Scotia, the Islands of President of the United States shall receive satisfactory
FEB. 21, 1827.)
The Colonial Trade Bil.
evidence that the said Colonies and possessions aforesaid, merchandise, imported from the same Colonies and posses. are open to the admission of the vessels of the United sions. And, from and after the date of such proclamation. States coming from the said United States; that neither the first and second sections of this act shall be suspended." such vessels, nor their cargoes, are subjected to any other 'The bill having been read or higher duties or charges than British vessels, and their Mr. JOHNSTON, of Louisiana, the Chairman of the cargoes, arriving from the Uuited States, in the said Colo- | Committee, said, he did not propose to take up the time nies and possessions, are subjected to; that the vessels of the Senate in making an opening speech. The report of the United States may import into said Colonies and contained as clear and succinct a view of the case as he possessions, from the United States, any article or articles could present. He should wait to see the amendments which a British vessel could, by law, import from the that might be proposed, upon which he would endeavor United States into the said Colonies or possessions, and to give all the information in his power, and all the ex. that the vessels of the United States may export, to any planations that might be required. He said the bill con. country whatever, other than to the dominions or posses cerned two great interests of the country-the Agricul. sions of Great Britain, any article or articles, from the said tural and the Navigating ; and it was natural that gentle. Colonies or possessions, which vessels of Great Britain men, representing those interests here, should entertain may export therefrom. And, if the President of the different views, with regard to the policy to be adopted. United States shall receive such satisfactory evidence as But these interests, although somewhat different, were. afuresaid. on or before the said thirtieth day of September | he thought, reconcilable with each other, and with the next, he is hereby authorized to issue his proclamation, great interest of the Government. They are both great declaring that the said Colonies or possessions are open to and vital interests—both must be sustained, and neither the admission of the vessels of the United States on the ought to be sacrificed. The committee in the House of conditions aforesaid ; and, thereupon, from the date of Representatives was composed of seven members, and of the said proclamation, the ports of the United States shall the Senate, of five members, from different parts of the be open to vessels of the United States and British vessels, United States, and representing all the concerns of the coming from said Colonies or possessions; and, also, to country. The bill presents several points of consider. the vessels of other nations, coming therefrom, which, by ble difficulty, all of which were fully discussed by that treaty, or according to the navigation act of the United committee. Unanimity was not to be expected; but States, may be entitled to bring merchandise from said opinions have been compared and reconciled ; and a bill. Colonies and possessions into the United States ; and Bri- consistent in all its parts, has been forined. The first tisb vessels, arriving in the United States therefrom, shall question was-As Great Britain has, bv her interdict, ex. be subject, neither on their tonnage nor on their cargoes, cluded us from her Colonial trade, shall we acquiesce in to any other or higher duties, or charges of any kind, it, or shall we resist it? In fact, must we submit or legis. than vessels of the United States. And, from the date of late ? All concurred in the necessity of legislation. The the said proclamation of the President, the act passed on next wag--Shall we propose to open the trade ; and the first day of March, eighteen hundred and twenty-three, what the terms shall be? There was no difference of entitled "i An act to regulate the commercial intercourse | opinion as to the terms—they were to be the most liberal between the United States and certain British ports ;” the -all that Great Britain had ever required ; and it was act passed on the fifteenth day of May, eighteen hundred concluded, if she rejected these terms, there must be a and twents, entitled “An act supplementary to an act, non-intercourse. The extent of the interdict, when it entitled 'An act concerning navigation ;'” and the act, should take effect, were subjects which gave rise to con. entitled “An act concerning navigation,” passed on the siderable difference of opinion. Some were in favor of eighteenth of April, eighteen hundred and eighteen, shall imposing the interdict at once ; some on the 30th Sep. be, and are bereby, declared, severally, to be repealed. tember, and some for postponing until the 31st December Or, provided further, That if, on or before the said thirti- next. The committee adopted the middle time, because eth day of September next, the President of the United it corresponded with the time of the British act; because States shall receive satisfactory evidence that the Colo- it gave full time to consider the subjects; and, because. Ries and possessions aforesaid are open to the admission of by postponing to the 31st December, we virtually lost the vesels of the United States, coming from the said United trade for two years ; and because we could not make States ; that neither such vessels nor their cargoes are them feel the interdicts, so as to produce any relaxation. subjected to any other or higher duties or charges, than Some were for limiting the interdict to vessels by sea ; are levied or exacted on British vessels and their cargoes, some for making it entire. The committee of the House arriving from the United States, in the said Colonies and of Representatives discussed this subject fully, and agreed possessions; and that the vessels of the United States to make the interdict complete ; but they returned me may import, into sarl Colonies and possessions, from the the bill, with the words “by sea" retained, and I re. United States, any article or articles, the produce or man. | ported it to the House, against my own opinion--from a ufacture of the United States, which a British vessel respect to their opinion--and with a desire to have them could. by law, import from the United States into the said uniform. But, Mr. J. said, he knew that, as to the time Colonies or possessions, it shall and may be lawful for of the interdict, and as to the extent of it, these were the President of the United States to issue his proclama. I points which must be discussed in the House. All seem. tion. declaring that the ports of the United States are opened to agree that the terms were liberal, and ought to be to sessels of the United States, and to British vessels, accepted by Great Britain. If they were not, the intercoming directly from said Colonies and possessions ; and, | dict ought to follow : and the time when, and the extent also, to vessels of other nations, coming therefrom, which, of it, must be ascertained by a majority of both Houses. by treaty, or according to the navigation act of the Unit. He was himself in favor of the interdict to take effect in ed States, may be entitled to bring merchandise from said the shortest time, and to the greatest extent. But he Colonies and possessions into the United States, on the was not tenacious. It might be well to give her terms
me terms as vessels of the United States ; and that Bri- that ought to be acceptable, to give her full time to act, tist vessels, arriving in the ports of the United States, and impose the interdict if she refuses. The time when from the Colonies or possessions aforesaid, shall not, after the interdict shall take effect, and the extent of it, are the date of the proclamation last mentioned, be subject-open for discussion and amendment, and the committee ed, either on their tonnage or their cargoes, to any other are not committed on those points. or higher duties, or charges of any kind, than are levied on Mr. SMITII, of Maryland, then addressed the Senate Fessets of the United States, and their cargoes, of similar | as follows :
The Colonial Trade Bill.
[Feb. 21, 1827.
MR. PRESIDENT : I believe that every member of the thing that can effect their navigation, were alarmed at Senate desires that the Colonial Trade of Great Britain its operation. They saw the great advantages wbich with the United States shall be open on terms of mutual must necessarily arise from the law to our navigation, and interest, and fair reciprocity. We require no particular the consequent injury to theirs. A large Committee of advantage. We had it in our power to have had that Parliament was raised and they made a report, which I trade on those terms, had we met with frankness the saw. It concluded with recommending forbearance for liberal terms offered by Great Britain in her act of the 5th the present; and presumed that some favorable opportu. July, 1825. We did not ; and, in consequence, an Order nity might offer that would enable them to party the of Council, dated the 27th day of July last, issued, de. blow, or to remedy the injury in some peaceable manner. priving us of the trade to any of the colonies or posses. An opportunity did offer, when Mr. Jay made his treaty. sions abroad, except the East Indies, which was secured They embraced it. That treaty concédes to Great Bri. to us by the Convention of London. The President tain the right of retaliation; and, it was agreed, that our submitted the whole subject to Congress, and, I had vessels should, on entering the ports of Great Britain, hoped, that a bill, formed in a spirit of conciliation, pay a duty equal to 94 cents per ton, on our vessels, and would have been presented for our consideration. I on the goods imported in them an additional duty of ten
think the bill before us is not of that character. On my per cent. on the duties imposed by her laws-all, except - first reading of it, I thought rather favorably of it. 1 tobacco, which was subjected to a duty of 18 pence ster
thought some amendments might be made to it, which lling the 100 pounds. The consequence was, that it se. mentioned to the Chairman, (Mr. JOHNSTON) and I meant cured to them the carrying of all the tobacco and cotton to have contented myself with them. But, on a more of the United States, so far as was necessary for the conclose and critical examination, I found that it would not sumption of Great Britain or her foreign commerce, and answer the object professed--that of conciliation. That, gave her a decided advantage in the carrying of all the if presented in its present form to the British ministry, it other exports of the United States, necessary to her would probably be instantly rejected, and the trade consumption. If Mr. Jay had understood the subject, it would be lost, perhaps forever. At least I thought it would have been much better to have agreed to the probable that would be its fate. I, therefore, determined repeal of our discriminating duties in favor of Great to present a substitute, which would be an easier mode Britain : for, at that time, we could have entered into a to obtain my object than attempting a variety of amend fair competition, on equal terms, in the carrying trade. ments; and I now move to strike out all the bill after the England being then engaged in war, and for some years enacting clause, and to insert two sections, which I now after, the operation of her retaliation was not felt by us, submit, as follows:
But, Mr. President, I was aware of the consequence, « That, from and after the 31st day of December next, whenever Great Britain should be at peace ; and I made no other or higher duties of impost or tonnage, and no a detailed report, to the House of Representatives, in other or higher duty or charge of any kind, upon any 1801 or 1802, and proposed a repeal of our discriminatgouds, wares, or merchandise, imported from the following duties to all nations who would admit our vessels in. ing free ports, or such as may hereafter be declared free to their ports on equal terms with their own. I failed ports, of the British Colonies, viz : (Here followed a list that time, because of the opposition of Philadelphia, of the ports and places.] in Eritish vessels, shall be levi. New York, and all the East. The treaty of Amiens open. ed or exacted in any of the ports of the United States, ed the eyes of the Eastern merchants. British ships ob. (excepting the ports in Florida,) than upon the vessels tained freight of cotton at Charleston, when American of the United States, and upon the like goods, wares, or ships could not get a bag on freight. The fact was, that merchandise, imported into ports of the United States in it was nearly as good for the planter to pay the freight in the same ; any thing in the third section of the act, to a British ship, as to have it carried in an Amercan vessel which this is supplementary, dated the first of March, for nothing. The consequence was, that, when I inuo. olie thousand cight hundred and twenty-three, to the duced the bill relative to the discriminating duties in contrary notwithstanding.
1815, it passed without opposition. My opinion has “ Sec. 2. Sind be it further enacted, That the act, been, that we have never gained much by our negotiapassed on the first day of March, cighteen hundred and tion with Great Britain ; and, as one proof, I have sub. twenty three, entitled “An act to regulate the commer- mitted the preceding observations. cial intercourse between the United States and certain I remember well that our New England friends were Britisb ports ;" the act passed the fifteenth day of May, wroth, very wroth, indeed, because, when independent ciglateen hundred and twenty, entitled “ An act supple- of Great Britain, she would not permit us to have all the mentary to an act, entited 'An act concerning naviga advantages in her commerce, that we had enjoyed when tion: and the act, entitled "An act concerning navi. her subjects. Although I was a merchant, and should gation ;” passed on the eighteenth of April, cighteen have been glad to have had them, yet I could not per. hundred and eighteen, shall be, and are hereby, suspend.ceive that I had any right to be angry on the subject. I ed until the thirty-first day of December next; except so knew that all nations, with very few exceptions, held it much thereof as imposdi discriminating duties on the right to monopolize the trade of their colonies, and I tonnage of foreign vessels and their cargoes.”
could not perceive that those nations who had no colo. Before I take a more particular view of the bill and nics had any right to complain. They paid no part report, sir, Ssaid Mr. S.) I ask leave to present a brief his of the expense of their support or their defence, I tory of this important branch of commerce. Early, I asked myself the question--if the United States had think, in the first or second Congress, a duty was imposed, colonies, would they grant a free trade to all nations? I by law, on foreign vessels entering the ports of the Unit. thought it very doubtful , nay, sir, I sometimes believed ed States, of 94 cents per ton more than was imposed on we would not. There is a case somewhat analogous. We our own vessels, and ten per cent. additional, on the duties prohibit the British from all commerce with our Indians. on gonds imported in them : and those are what are de. Would we consent to their participation ? I believe not. nominated discriminating duties. The consequence was, When Mr. Jay made his treaty, he obtained a right to a most rapid increase of our navigation. So much so, trade with the West Indies on fair terms; limited, howev. that in the short term of two or three years, our vessels ever, to vessels of sevenly tons burthen. The Senate were thought sufficient for the transportation of our own rejected that article, because of the limitation. I thought produce, and the importation of all we required from then, that the Senate were wrong: for vessels of that abroad. The British Government, always aliye to every tonnage would have carried at least 500 barrels of four ;
Fps. 21, 1827.)
The Colonial Trade Bill.
and, having high waists, would have taken deck loads of " discriminating duties, so far as they operate to the dislumber, or live stock, and we would soon have built ves- “ advantage of the United States, have been abolished.” sels of that tonnage to carry more articles. Mr. Jay was Abolish what? Mr. President. Abolish that which never right, and the Senate were, in my humble opinion, had an existence. There never had been, never could wrong; and we lost the entering wedge to the trade at have been, any discriminating duty imposed in the that time. Prior to that treaty, we traded to India, and, British colonies prior to the opening of the ports by the I believe, traded from port to port. I know that our ves. / act of Parliament of June, 1822. There never could sels carried the cotton of Bombay to China, on freight have been. It was wholly impossible. There was no which was profitable. The treaty put a stop to that ad-nation on which such duties could operate : for the ships' vantage. Another loss by a treaty. It, however, secur- of no foreign nation were admitted into the colonies, and ed to our commerce an entry into all the ports of the any duties levied on them could only be paid by British British Past Indies ; not as a right, but as a favor-a boon, subjects ; they could not be of a discriminating characif you please—which word has given such offence. What ter. Nor did I ever hear, nor do I believe, that any is the language held in the treaty, and admitted by us ' such duty was ever charged on an American, when any ** His Majesty consents to the admission of the vessels of of the ports were opened by the Governors. They could the United States into all the ports of India.” What is not be, without an authority by law; and we all know the meaning of the word consents? Does it not mean a that no such law ever had an existence. But the favor granted ? In the Convention of London, when Mr. report says—"that Mr. Stratford Canning declined Adams, Mr. Clay, and Mr. Gallatin were Commissioners, “pledging himself, or his Government, to any declarathe same word is not used--but one of similar import. In “tion on the subject.” We all know his answer. It was, that, it is said : “ His Majesty admits the vessels of the " I know of no discriminating duties in the colonies. Í United States into four ports in the East Indies, specifi. “ do not believe there are any. I never heard of any. But ed”-still considering it a favor. Here, again, we gain “ I will not pledge myself or my Government.” Now, Mr. nothing by treaty : for, by the Convention of London, President, if application had been made to any merchant we were confined to four ports in India, when, hy Jay's engaged in the trade, the answer would have been, that treaty, all the ports were open to us. Yet, Sir, I com no discriminating duties existed in the colonies. But the plain not of the Convention. It was, substantially, a good report furnishes an irresistible reason why our ports were one ; and our Commissioners did all they could. No not opened to meet the act of Parliament of 1822. It is censure can or ought to be imputed to them--although true, that Mr. Adams had not discovered it-nor, indeed, ve lost thereby the trade of their islands in the Indian had any other person. It treads no little on my toes. Seas, Cape of Good Hope, St. Helena, and Africa. By It contradicts a view which I had taken on the same point, that Convention, the Colonial, or West India trade, was and, therefore, the Chairman, (Mr. Jourston] will parleft as it had been each nation reserving its own rights. don me for the notice I am bound, in my own defence, The trade to the West Indies was considered as closed to to take of it. The report says, (page 4,) “ That rules us ; but the Governors had discretionary powers to open "and restrictions presented by the President, correspond. them when necessity required the measure-and they “cd in effect with the terms of the act of Parliament ; were frequently opened to our vessels. In fact, Mr. “but there were discriminations created by this act, unPresident, the trade is mutually beneficial. The colonies “ favorable to American productions. Such as a duty on want our produce, and we want a good customer for it ; “importation averaging ten per cent., and on exportaand, I will still hope, that, if we adopt a mild, conciliating “tions to the United States of four per cent. not pre. course, that we may arrive at a proper understanding on “existing, but created by the same act that opened the the subject. I think our ports continued open to British “ ports, which he could not countervail or counteract ships, not for seven years, as stated in the report, but “by any rcciprocal rules.” I confess that I was no little from the peace until the passage of the act of 1818; when alarmed when I read that part of the report relating to the their vessels were excluded. They had opened some exports. If correct, it placed me in a most ports-Bermuda was one-which made it necessary to situation. It contradicted, on that point, all I had said pass our act of 1320, to prevent the subterfuge intended. at the last session. I turned to the act of Parliament,
In this state of mutual occlusion, the colonial trade re. and, to my great relief, I found that the whole was an mained until the year 1822. Congress being informed error : that there is no export duty levied by that act, that the British Parliament would probably pass an act either of a discriminating character or otherwise. That opening the colonial ports to our vessels, did pass their part relative to duties on importation, is correct, and was act of oth May, 1822, in anticipation ; in which act the made an obstacle at that time, but has since been rePresident vas authorized_" That, on receiving satisfac. linquished by the present Administration as untenable. “tory evidence that the ports in the islands or colonies of In fact, the act of Parliament gave us all we had asked. “Great Britain have been opened to the vessels of the It was truly a boon-it gave us that which Great Britain “United States, he may declare the ports of the United had not given to any other nation. In fine, it gave us a “ States opened to British vessels trading to and from the completo monopoly of the trade, and we wanted that "colonies; subject to such reciprocal rules and restric- good sense which would have induced us to accept a * tions as he may make and publish." The President issu- favor so every way desirable. ed his proclamation on the 24th August, 1822, and our ports Mr. President, I hope the Senate will indulge me, vere declared open to British vessels trading between whilst I give what I understood to be the real reason that the colonies and the United States. But, unfortunately, prevented the Administration of Mr. Monroc from accepta Cabinet Council was held, and it was determined to ing the act alluded to. I mean no offence, and I trust the subject British vessels arriving from the colonies to our gentlemen of the bar will take none. The cause was, aken duties, and a Treasury order issued, signed by the that all the Adininistration were lawyers. They held to Comptroller to that effect, dated 2-1th September. The the rigid letter of the law, such as would be held in a British Government retaliated by an Order of Council. 1 County Court. As statesmen, they ought, in my humble would here remark, and I pray the Senate to attend to opinion, to have acted in its spirit, and have given an it, that, prior to that act of retaliation, occasioned by equitable construction to our act of 1815. What does our imprudence, no discriminating duty had ever been that act say? “That our discriminating duty shall be recharged in the colonies of Great Britain. The report pealed to all nations who shall repeal theirs." I give only gives as one reason—"That no proof had been furnished, ing substance. I wish I may be able to explain myself * such as the law required, to establish the fact that the The act of 1815 repeals our discriminating laws to all nas
The Colonial Trade Bill.
Feb. 21, 1827.
tions who will repeal theirs. What was the construction stated. The Senate simply refused to consider it, be. given by the Administration of Mr. Monroc ? That a na. cause members had other bills which they were anxious son who had never had a law imposing discriminating to act on. I have made this statement, because I have duty, had none to repeal ; and, therefore, could not be been told that it has been said, out of doors, “ that, owing admitted to our ports without paying our alien duties. "to my indiscretion in pressing the subject at the last ses. The British colonies never had any discriininating duties. “sion, the negotiation had been declined.” It is rather too They had none to repeal; and, therefore, according to high a compliment for me to accept, to suppose that any this construction, were subject to our law, and, in conse- information I could give, would be new to the British quence, the alien duties were imposed on them-and Ministry ; or, that any thing I did, could have any influ. their retaliation took place. There was, however, anence with such men as Canning, Huskisson, and Robinother objection at that time : That the flour of Great Bri- son. If I committed an indiscretion, I did it with the tain and Canada was admitted, duty free, into the West approbation of the President, and concurrence of Mr. Indies, when our flour was subjected to a duty. That Clay. I impute no censure to myself. I did my duty to objection has, to the credit of the present Administration, my country, and am perfectly satisfied with my own conbeen relinquished, as I have alreadly said, in confidence, as duct. The British Ministry were, perhaps, dissatisfied no longer tenable. And thus we lost, a second time, the with our non-compliance with their offer, and, on the admission to the Colonial trade. Congress met, and near | 27th July last, they issued an Order in Council, closing all the close of the session, the act of 1823 passed, the 1st of their West India ports, and those of all their posssessions March, I think two days before the acijournment. It abroad, to our vessels, except the East Indies, and their passed, the report says, "advisedly, and with great una. North American Colonies. Those last are kept open, nimits." Wiih unanimity, I adinit ; but advisedly, I can- that from thence they may carry our produce to the West not assent to, so far as it relates to the House of Repre. Indies. And, following up that blow, they passed an act sentatives, where I then was a member. If there was a in May last, not noticed in either of the reports. I will discussion, it has escaped my recollection. As to myself, read two sections of that act, to wit : the 45th and 46th. I believe I took no part in it, and few of us understood | The first declares, that masts, spars, timber, and ashes, what was the real meaning of the word “ elsewhere.” arriving in Canada by land, or inland navigation, may be That act was, I beliere, dratied by the Administration. It exported to England, as if they were of Canada, paying contained provisions of which the British complained. It a less duty than the same would pav, if imported from prevented their vessels, coming from England, to proceed New York; thus repriving that ciiy of the exportation of to any one of her colonies, which was not, I believe, im- those articles. The same section allows pork and beei to posed on any other nation owning colonies. The trade be imported by land, and inland navigation, to be depocontinued open by a kind of common consent, each pay-sited in the public warehouses, free of duty, and thence, ing in the ports of the other the discriminating duties) exported to Newfoundland. The 46th section allows
In this state of the subject, Mr. Rush was charged with four to be imported into Canada by land, or inland navi. a negotiation in 1824, under instructions conformably with gation, to be deposited in the public warehouses, and our act of 1823. I think he sustaincs himself ably ; espe. thence, exported to the West Indies ; where, on its articially considering that he had the wrong side of the ques-val, it will be subjected to the payment of only one sbil tion. The British negotiator proposed what we are now ling sterling per barrel, when the flour from the United willing to receive ; but Mr. Rush was plot at liberty to States must pay five shillings sterling per barrel. accept. No newattempt to negotiate having been made, Mr. President, I will now notice the bill. It shuts our and Mr. King having arrived in England without being ports to all vessels arriving by sea from the colonies, and charged particularly on that point, the British Parliament leaves completely open the traile by land or inland navi. passed their acts of 27th June, and two acts of 5th July, I gation. The Order in Council keeps open the North 1825. I saw those acts some time before the meeting of American Colonies, and the bill contributes all it can to the last session of Congress, and having mentioned them effect its object. It allows (if I understand it) the trade to Mr. Clay, he said that they were in the Department, by land or inland navigation with those colonies, and then and he could let the Committee of Finance have them. Canada and Nova Scotia will be compl tely supplied with They were sent, and, by order of the Senate, were print. the produce of Maine, New llampshire, Vermont, and ed. I had frequent conversations with Mr. Clay on those New York ; and, indeed, with the four of other States, acts, and on the Colonial trade ; and I had the gratification which will find its way to East port, and thence be transto believe that there was no difference of opinion on the ported across the bay to New Brunswick. There is question. We each had our own opinion as to the manner. nothing in the bill, and I doubt whether you can make He preferred negotiation-I preferred the meeting of the any bill, that will prevent that inland trade. It creates a British acts by legislation. I had also the pleasure to be terror in my inind that I dare not express. I might again lieve that my views of the whole subject met the appro- be charged with indiscretion, if I gave vent to my feel. bation of the President, and that acting by law would not ings on the subject. The bill demands a right of trade be disagrecable, but the contrary, to him. I had the to all the ports of all the colonies specified. Mr. Tomlinstrongest reason to think so, and to believe that it would son's report to the other House is explicit on that point. not be disagreeable to Mr. Clay. A memorial from Bal. He says: “That we will not be satisfied with the free timore pressed me to act. I had pressed the President to “ ports designated by ihe act of Parliament ; that we must act by Proclamation, under the authority given him by the be admitted to all the ports of all the colonies.” This is act of 1824. Finding that he would decline the exercise more than we ourselves permit. Foreign vessels are exof that power, and, on reflection, presuming that he cluded by law from all other ports where there are no cusmigbt think it improper to act by Proclamation whilst | tom-houses, and from some of them where there are. They Congress was in session, I determined to pursue the course could not enter the port of Fairfield, (Covnecticut,) until I did. I think it was about the 31st day of January, that we passed an act a few days past, making it a port of entry I sent him the printed acts of Parliament, agreeably to his for foreign vessels. I am inclined to think that the free request. I took my own course, and moved that the reports are those where there are custom-houses establish. port of the Committee on Comincrce should be re-commit. cd. In our act of 1823, we accepted of the enumerated ted, with instructions, and I succceded by a large majori- ports, and never thought of more. I cannot believe that ty of the Senate. It was sent to the Committee on Fil it was the intention of either committee to prevent the nance, and I reported a bill, which would have passed, but possibility of conciliation ; but the bill, if passed with for want of time. It was not rejected, as Nr. Canning haslihat demand, may have that cfiect. It would, I apppro.