Newspaper of The New York Herald, March 27, 1844, Page 2

Newspaper of The New York Herald dated March 27, 1844 Page 2
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eal " free trade," the better it would be considered. It is, by no means, intended to be asserted that all the citizens of either of these sections of the country entertain opinions, or take positions, as extreme as those here stated. On the coutrary, it is believed that if any, in fact, do, a very small minority in either section, whether as a matter of unuciple or of expediency, would wish to see the legislation of Congress take either of these extreme forms; and this reference is made to the manner j of advocating these supposed claims and rights sometimes resorted to, lor the purpose of drawing the palpable infeience, that any degree of earnestness in pushing such extremes, even in debate, cannot be likely to liasteu an approach to that mean upon which alone wise and just legislation can be baaed, when interests really conflicting are to be affected. . . It is not to be deabted that the opinions entertained in every section of the country us to the form and policy of a proper tariff law, are honestly believed to be such as the true interests of" the section where they prevail naturally dictate, nor that those interests are intended to be faithfully maintained and de,endedby every reprrsentalive of theni. When, however, interests so extended, so various, so diversified,and so conflicting, as the interests of agriculture, commerce, and manufactures^ throughout this wide spread eoaniry, cannot tail to De, in reterence to the distribution of taxation between them,?when such interests must all be seriously affected by a 'single law, no advocate of either of these great interests, or of any branch of either, can reasonably expect, or should expect, that the peculiar interest which he represents shall be alone consulted; or its relief from burden, or its direct advancement, alone considered and provided for. Nor can it be matter of just disappointment or surprise, if a law so partial shall have passed, or shall hereafter pass, that it ia made the subject of constant agitation and change. Any legislation (and especially any such legislation as our tariff'laws) to he perinunent,must be just; and to be jus , it must have the nearest attainable approach to equality of action upon all the great leading interests of all sections of the country, so fai as those interests are affected by the law. These are principles which none will dispute.? It is their application to the details of a tarifl bill which will furnish the ground for disputation, as it has the ground of difficulty in the action of the committee, and must in the action of the House Still, when advocates equally confid-nt, and equally earnest and sincere, are ready to demand, on behalf of every interest, that it shall be peculiarly favored in the formation of any bill; and when each is seen to contend, not merely that his opponents do not understand and correctly comprehend the full and true bearings of a proposed law upon the particular interest he espouses, but that they are equally mistaken as to the proper manner of patronising the interests they themselves favor, it would seem to be at least possible that all who take these extremes may be partially in error; and it must show that much is to be yielded, on ull sides, in a spirit of generous concession and harmony, or that no legislation can be reached, which can give quiet and peace and satisfaction to the country, or permanency to the legislation itself. Under the full force of these impressions, the committee have entered itaon the difficult and resnonsi bin duty of revising the present tariff law, and recommending ex ensive modifications of it It has been their most earnest intention to avoid the extremes above alluded to, and at least to proceed safely, if they should be found not to have advanced as fur into the correction ol existing errors as the House may suppose justice and sound policy require. It is not the object of this report to attempt a discussion of the greai questions connected with political economy, the laws of trade, and the like, which surrounds this subject. These questions have been so frequently und so fully discussed in Congress, and ar-- now undergoing that discussion, so much more ably than this committee could hope to give it, and so much more fully than the reasonable limits of a report would permit, that they feel excused from entering upon it. The committee Slave endeavored, however, not to forget that the duty they are called upon to discharge, is to measure, from the best information they can obtain, and according to the best judgments they can form, the extent of taxation which it is necessary to continue upon the people ol the country, in order to secure a certain supply of money to the public treasury, to arrest the further accumulation of a public debt, and to provide the m ans for an early payment of the debt already contracted. They have already stated the grounds upon which they determine that additional revenue is necessary to secure these objects; and their examinations ol the present tariiriaw, and of the import tables, have demonstrated to them a proposition which they believe is not controverted in any quarter?that, to obtain increased revenue from the imports cnarged witlt duties under the existing law, the rates of duty established by that law must, in the general, he reduced. The same examinations have fully satisfied them?as they believe the fac s they present with this report will satisfy the House?that equal justice to the whole country, to the whole people, and toall the great interests of both, imperiously requires a reduction and equalization of these rates of duty. Still, the committee have proceeded upon the assumption that it is the settled and unquestioned determination of the country, as they believe it to be its wisest and soundest policy, that so much revenue as cannot be derived from other present existing sources, and as shall from time to time be found necessary to defray the expenses of the government, and pay ott every public debt constitutionally contracted, shall be raised bv duties upon foreign imports This has been the policy and the practice of the government in time of peace, and when our foreign trade is exempt from the hazard and embarrassments of a state of war, from its institution to the present time ; and so successfully has this course sustained us against the crushing influence of enduring debt, and oppressive and odious internal taxation, that a change of the policy is not, in thejudg ment of the committee, to be contemplated. They have seen no evidence to satisfy them that any considerable portion of the people would even submit to a change from this mode of levying the necessary federal revenues, to that of internal taxation, of any description, or in any form; much b'ss that they have formed so strong an attachment lor perfect protection upon the one side, or perfectly tree trade upon the other, as to desire to adopt either, at the expense of this rich and otherwise exhaustless source of revenue, and the transfer of millions of dollars of annual taxes to their manufactories, their workshops, or their farms. To obtain revenue " to pay the debts, and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States," was ttie object for which the constitution conferred upon Congress the sower " to lay arid collect taxes, duties, imposts, anu excises;" and while a neglect to lay the taxes necessary to accomplish these objects would be the omission of a duty, on the one hand, the imposition of such rates of duty as should! prove to defeat revenue, would be an equally clear abuse of the power, upon the other. The committee hasendeavored to govern its action l>y a constant reference to the object of this grant of power, and so to measure its recommendations us not intentionally to fall into either of tnesc errors. Still, its members are well aware of tiie delects in their information, and in tht-irpractical acquaintance with the great interests involved in their action, and they do not pretend to believe, or even hope, that they have avoided all errors.? On the contrary, they consider it more than probable that experience in iv slinw that uiieli n tiirill'l.ill as th'-y recommend wifl, in practice, in some particulars, violate the rules by which they have intended to be governed ; that some duties, reduced as tliey propose, m ly still be too lygh for revenue duties, ami that others would bear raising with advantage to the revenue. It is so difficult to tell what will be the effect of any tariff law upon the trade of the country, until experience has developed its practical effect, that the committee have not expected to accomplish more than an approach to a standard, which, improved and perfected by the lessons of experience, may finally be seen to he just and eouitahle to all interests, and may, therefore, meet the auprsb itioii of an intelligent and patriotic people, ana thus become some what permanent. No complaint has been more universal, or, as the committee believe, better founded in fact, thanlhut wh ch conies from the manufacturers,the merchants, and all other classes of business-men interested in the m itter, and relates to the frequent and extreme changes anil fluctuations so constantly experienced in the legislation of Congress upon the sidy I of the tariff. The causes of these changes, and ol their extreme character, appear to the committee to he most appirent ; as it does also that those who most c?mp!a;?. of the changes, and are the most deeply affected by them, are themselves, to a very great extent, the authors of their own misfortunes from this source. Those interested in having high rates ol duty imposed upon what are known as "theprot< led articles," take the extreme position upon that side of the question ; anil whenever they find a Congress, the m ijority of which is willing to favor their peculiar interests, or whenever combinations of circumstances present the opportunity, urge the establishment of r it" iot duty manifestly prohibitory, to an extent destructive of revenue, injurious to trade, and burdensome to th" country ; and which rncnot, therefore, in the nature of things, remain long without exciting discontent, remonslr ince, an I change. lTpon the other side of the question, those who believe themselves to he peculiarly injured by high duties, whenever a dimunition >>r an increase ot revenue calls for a reduction of the tariff, or the discontents against extreme and prohibimry duties have become predominant i i the public tnind, and govern the action of a put i! u Congress, are equally liable to take the nth r e\. tr -m , an 1 to > f ibfish rates of duly ? > low a- r...m to bring an empty treasury, a necessity for m increase of th- r iriff, an I a consequent 111 :tn ' i to the opposite extreme. A gl anec at o ir more modern legislation i.p n ! ihis subject will illustrate these positions. Th'. 11 riff of 1816, though intended by many of its supportera to be a revenue measure, was strongly protective upon many articles, as a reference to its provisions will show. Yet ihe manufacturing interests were not content with the protection it afforded.? Those who were established desired larger profits ; and those who wished to establish new branches of manufacture, desired an extension of the benefits, or fancied benefits, to their interests ; and the tariff of 1H24 followed, apparently designed to accomplish these objects. Still, satisfaction on the part of some of the manufacturing interests was not manifested: and in three years "the woollens bill," so called, providing almost exclusively for the benefit of the manufacturers of wool, to the exclusion of the agricultural and other great interests, was brought before Congress, The agitation of tbm measure roused the attention of the country, and produced the suspicion that the manufacturers were seeking to protect themselves at the expense, and to the prejudice of the farming and planting interests : ano the result win. the tariff law of 1H2H?a law which has ever been considered as a " protective" as contradistinguished from a " revenue" tariff, and which, upon its passage, received from one of the prominent advocates of the manufacturing interests the severe appellation of the " bill of abominations." 1 Hiring all this period a heavy debt was pressing upon the couutry, and its extinguishment would absorb any sg^lus of revenue beyond meeting the ordinary expenses of the government ; though it is believ -d, from what the committee can learn of the history of that time, that considerations of revenue had very little to do with the formation or passage of the tariH bill of 18*28, and that the extreme of protection to nil interests constituted the governing principle in that legislation. Combinations of circumstances in this country and in Europe made thislaw productive of revenue beyond the anticipations of any who speculated upon that subject at the time of its passage ; and the tariff of 18:12 was the result. The law was evidently intended as an adjustment of the duties upon a permanent basis, but the impulses which had been given by the previous legislation were too powerful to be sufficient-, ly controlled by it. Surpluses of revenue continued to accumulate in the public treasury ; the debt disappeared, or meuns for its final extinguishment were possessed; and the discontents against the high duties were rather increased than.abated by what was considered an imperfect and insufficient remedy for the evils complained of. This state of things produced the " compromise act," so called; which, acting gradually and silently, left the public mind in a state of apparent nuiet in reference to legislation upon the tariff,while that action was producing consequences not less important to all interests, public and privute, than the changing legislation of Congress has produced at other periods. The first evil?and a fearful one it was?was the vust annual surpluses of revenue, occasioned by the very gradual reduction of the high duties upon imports, and the enormous sales of lands which characterized that period. It will be a long time before the country win lurgei ine expansions ui currency, iiic monstrous abuses of credit, the speculations, corruptions and frauds growing out of that period. Jt is not pretended or believed that our legislation upon the subject of the tarill produced th i state of things here referred to ; but merely that its action, at that period of pecuniary excesses, happened to he such as to favor and promote them. No safe arrangement of the previous high rates of duty could, perhaps, have avoided this injurious result; and the denosite with the States of more than twenty eight millions of the surplus revenue, was the strongest declaration on the part of Congress of its conviction of the existence of the disease, and of the agency of its legislation to give it strengtli and expansion, as it was an effort on its part to change the direction of that agency, and to provide the appearance of security for the public treasure against the crash which it was seen must soon follow the wild excesses. The crash did come and its blighting effects equalled the picture which the most vived imagination had drawn of prostration, distress, ruin and bankruptcy. The influence of this sweeping reaction was less sudden, though not less certain, upon foreign commerce, than upon domestic interests; and, as the high duties were hut gradually reducing, and were not reduced to the established limit under the operation of the compromise act, the public treasury was not absolutely closed, though it has been seen that annual deficiencies of the accruing revenue were experienced from the time of the revulsion in 1837 These have necessarily increased, as the reduction of duties under the compromise act have proceeded, until the final fall ol every rate of duty to 20 per cent, or nn fh#? of Tunc IS1*2. Tin* Kiirirlen titui heavy reductions of duty on the 31st of December 1841, and the 30th of June 18-12, (being the last under that act,) were well calculated to alarm the fears of the manufacturing interests, if not to press severely upon their business ; and in the face of an uiisupplied treasury, and a rapidly increasing public debt, it was to have been expected that they would make a further effort for renewed protection. It was to have been hoped, however, as the committee think, that the sad experience of the past, if not to their peculiar interests, certainly to their ' country und alius other great interests, would have | induced them to moderate iheir wishes, and only to ask such duties as the wants of the treasury should promise to make permanent, ami which would therefore be reasonably satisfactoiy to the whole country. This eflort was made on the part of the manufacturing interests, at the annual session of Congress ! of 1841, '42, and resulted in the tarill'law now under 1 the consideration of the committee. If the duties 1 established by tilts law lie tlm duties prayed for by the manufacturers, (of which the committee know 1 nothing, beyond theirappearance in the law,) one of ! two conclusions must certainly follow: either that 1 they have mistaken the practical effect and measure of value of the specific duties imposed, and of the minimums used, when this mode of enactment is adopted to regulate the duty; or, that moderation, which the committee would have hoped for, and which they think would have been so wise and salutary, as well to their interests as to all others, cannot have prevailed with those connected with several important branches of manufacture, to ' any very great extent. It cannot, certainly, be 1 claimed that permanency for this law was even to 1 be hoped, as the most solemn declarations of those f whose votes made it a law, proclaimed the exces- 1 sive duties it imposed, and gave assurance of the 1 earliest practicable modification. When it shall be ' seen, upon a comparison of the rates, that quite a number of the duties under this law are even high- ' er than were the duties unon the same urticles un der the tariff of 1828, neither these declarations of j those who gave reluctant votes for the law, nor a ' proposition thus early to modify it, can create either 1 surprise or disappointment. ' The committee have given.this brief and imper- 1 feet sketch of the history of our legislation upon * this important and difficult subject, to render intel- 1 ligible their regret at the commencement of ano- ' ther round of this extreme legislation. It is true 1 the circle which they have described, embracing J the period from 1816 to 1841, promises to be re- ' duced to u right line, and, instead of graduations 1 of ascent and descent, wc seem more likely to step, 1 directly, from extreme to extreme. This first step I is front a maximum rate of duty of 20 per cent., to ' above the elevation of the tariff of 1828: and it re- I ijuires nothing but the experience of the past to ' force the assurance noon all, that, if the execs ivc duties imposed by this law shall he adhered to, and all reasonable modifications resisted effectually in this Congress, a period of continual and increasing agitation will he endured until the assembling of another, only then to witness a retrograde movement, probably as extreme and as direct as this advance was sudden and complete. This agitation, and this repetition of fluctuations from extreme to extreme, the committee most profoundly deprecate. No interest can prosper, and every one must suffer, under them ; and it has beentheir earnest object and purpose, in the modifications they recommend, to avoid a necessity for either. I fence, instead of framing a new bill,they have preferred to propose action upon the existing law; and, instead of acting upan that, by a uniform and horizontal rule, after the manner of the compromise act, they have preferred to act, in detail, upon every .duty which ihry suppose require* increase or diminution, and upon every provision of the law which appears to them to require amendment. The inducements to this course of action have been various. The committee prefer to show specifically, upon the face of the law, the change which is made. Then, a very large propottion of the duties proposed to be reduced arc specific, some of which are changed to ad-valorem duties, and others are retained in a specific form. And a third inducement lias been, that the committee did not think it expedient to bring all the high duties to one level, hut to act themselves, and leave the House to act upon each important article, or class of articles, separately; and to determine the rate of duty proper to be imposed upon it or them, without an embarrassing connection with any other urticles, involving different interests. It may be objected to this course of action, that the reductions proposed are too sudden, and wo 'Id be better made more gradually. To this the committee reply, that this law, having been in operation only since the 2*?tli of August, 1812?now but one year and a half?if important and permanent modifications are to he made, in their judgment they should be made as promptly as safety to all the great interests involved will permit. Time has riot yet been allowed for new establishments to grow up. to any great extent, under the encourage, inent held out by these high duties. The law lias not been in operation sufficiently long, permanently to have changed the course of trade info a conformity with its policy And existing manufacturing establishments will be more benefited by a prompt reduction to a reasonable and stable standard, than by a continuance of the present raf< , I r i i yar or two, under constant agitation. By sm h change, too tt ide will he sooner left to accotnI j1""' " It*II t.i the n? W i if'- things, and v- ill I he saved the many years of suspense through which the graduul process would compel it to travel to reach the same point. It is prompt modification which the committee think moot expedient to prevent the accumulatgpn of those business diseases which, as in 1832, will resist mild and moderate remedies: and the strengthening of those discontents, which, reaching a point beyond resistance and restraint, will he almost certain to carry the work of reduction to the opposite extreme. It may also be objected, that me change from specific to ad-valorem duties is an impolitic change, as rendering the collection of the duties more difficult, und less certain. There io some strength in these suggestions; and, with an acquaintance with every branch of manufacture perfectly minute, it might be possible to impose specific duties which would be just and equitable. With the information in the possession, or within the reach of the committee, however, an arrangement of specific duties, whieh would not do wnat the present law does?tax the cheap and plain urticle, worn or used by the middling and poorer classes, just as much as the fine and costly article is taxed, which the rich only can purchase?would be entirely impossible. Such is the effect of the minimums in the Cresent law regulating the dutieB upon cotton farics, and upon some ether articles. Such is the effect of the specific duty of $2 CO upon the pound of silk goods. Whether the fabric be firm and heavy, nud plain and strong, such as is worn in common life, and by all classes of society, or be the richest satins or the finest laces, every pound in wnirrhf nnaf wliut it nmv or ^ must iiav it* tax of $f2 50?in the former case, fifty per centum ad valorem; and in the latter, eight and a third per centum. Such is the effec of all the square yard duties upon flannels, baizes, carpets, and the like; and, tndesd, upon many articles named in the present low. This, as the committes think, is not a violation merely, but a perversion of one ol the principles which should govern this legislation. If discriminations are made between the various uuulities of goods of the same general description, tney should clearly be in favor of the cheaper and more common, and ugainst the liner and richer qualities; and most especially when the duty is imposed upon articles of clothing?because discriminations, when made, should be in favor of the poor us against the rich, and in favor of a necessary as against a luxury. The. coarser and cheaper woollens and cottons are necessaries; and so may be the silks, to some extent; while the finer and richer articles of all these fabrics partake much more of the churacter of luxuries than necessaries. 80 the poor must have the coarse and cheap articles ; while the rich may have them, or the liner und richer, at their pleasure. The committee have already made use of the terms " protection" and "free trade," without giving those definitions of them which have and will govern that use in thin report. And as the terms have become technical, as connected with legislation upon the tariff? without, as they think, being always very clearly defined in the minds of those who use them, ana certainly not in the minds of those who read and hear?they feel bound to give the sense in which they use them, und in which they wish them to he understood when found in this paper. This they find it the more necessary to do, because they believe the practical meaning given to the tetnts in the dillerent sections of the country, are very different; and because their definition of the term " protection" will show their understanding of what should he considered a revenue, and what a protective duty?a point upon which they wish to be clearly understood, whether or not the House shall consider their definition sound and correct. They begin, then, by stating that they consider the lowest possible duty necessarily protective, to its extent, though it may be imposed with the single view to revenue, and may be a revenue duty, in the strictest sense of those terms. Commencing at this point, they iltink that the duty upon any iriven article should be considered, and is nrouerlv culled, a revenue dutv, so long us an increase of the rate will increase tlie amount of revenue derived from the importation of the article. This conclusion is based upon the simple fact, that, up to this point, the way to increase tlie revenue from the given article is to raise the rate of duty : and, although the degree of protection afforded by the duty is increased with the increase of the rate, yet that is an incident, and an unavoidable incident, and cannot change the nature and character of the duty, as a duty to raise, to increase revenue. Pass that point, and raise the rate of duty so high that its prohibitory action diminishes the amount of revenue collected under it, and its character is changed. The protection afforded by it is increased, while the revenue it yields is diminished ; thus giving protection as its chief fruit; and revenue as the incident. Continue to raise the rate until the prohibitory action of the duty becomes perfect, ull importation of the article cease, and no revenue is realized from the duty. Then, certainly, it cannot be considered or called a revenue duty, and its exclusive object must he protection. "It must be, th-'ref. re, a protective duty, in the strict sense of the term ; and, in the opinion of the committee, it is clearly entiiled to that appellation from the point where its prohibitory became paramount to its revenue powers, and its increased rate ceases to increase the amount of revenue collected under it. This conclusion is founded upon the equally simple fact, that, at this elevation, the way to increase the revenue is to diminish the rate of duty. The power " to lay ami collect duties" has been carried beyond its object of obtaining revenue " to pay the debts, and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States;" and a reduction of the rate of the duty only will restore the exercise ol the power to that object. The understanding of this committee, therefore, is, that while every duty is necessarily protective to its extent. yet every duty is to be considered, and is properly lenominated, a revenue duty, the rate of which fields tlie la-Rest amount of revenue from the importation of the article upon which it is imposed, rr the rate of which is below that point, so that an increase of the rate would produce an increase of ihe revenue ; and that every duty is he considered, ind is properly denominated, a protective duty, the rate ot which is so high as to diminish the amount of revenue derived from the importations of the arlicle upon which it is imposed, and the rate of which requires to be reduced to increase the revenue. And when a given amount of revenue is dehred to be raised upon any given article of imporation, the committee regard the lowest rate of luty which will effect the result as the true and legitimate revenue duty. This will show what description of a law the committee would denominate a revenue, and what a protective tariff'; and to what extent they would give the one character or the other to any given law. The protection afforded under a revenue !uriff, thus defined, they would denominate incilental ; and, if the revenue be required, they ennlot see (hat the consequent protection can be a subject of grievance or complaint on the part of my interest. The protection ufibrded by a proteeive tariff", according to the same definition, is diect and positive; operates to diminish or destroy he revenue; and constitutes, as the committee relieve, an exercise of the power to lay and collect luties entirely indefensible iu principle and policy, ind often furnishing broad ground for just com'ru.. ii ;i Tlilti-e understand to be synonymous with perfect prohibition; and, therefore, entirely destructive of all revenue, because prohibitory of all inmortaiions The terms " free trade," in their broaa sense, tne committee understand to be equally inconsistent with the idea of a revenue Iront imports, because they suppose that trade, which is perfectly free, cannot be burdened with any duties not imposed to furnish facilities to itself. In this sense, they are assured the phrase is understood in some portions of the country, when used in connexion with legislation of this description ; and the advocates of a system of free trade arc supposed to he also advocates of a change of one system of revenue from duties on imports, to internal taxation, direct and indirect. The committee believe that, if any hold these views, much I he largest class of those who call themselves friends of free trade do not attach to the terms any such extent, and only intend to bs understood by the free trade they advocate, so much freedom of trade as may be enjoyed under a system of duties arranged with sole reference to u suaply of the public treasury, and the rates established as low as the economical wants of that treasury will nllow. In the same manner, the committee have reason to suppose the terms " protection," "friends of protection. and of the protective system," have attached to tnem a very different signification, ns used by diflerent persons, and especially in different sectionsof the country. One calls himself a friend of protection, and understands and intends only that incidental protection afforded by 11 revenue tariff, as the committee have defined such a tariff Another uses the same language, and intends by it an arrangement of duties with piimary reference to protection, leaving revenue as the incident?carry ing the rates of duty to partial or perfect prohibition, as the interest to be protected shall seem to require ; in short, intends a protective tariff, as the committee have defined sucfi a tariff. These widely different meanings given to the same language and the same phrases, in the same sections of country, by persons entertaining these different opinions, anil not inappropriately expressing themselves in the same general language, give rise to greatly mistaken impressions in other sections where the trims " protection" and "prohibition" nre li-ld to be nearly synonymous, nnd cause the friends of only that degree of protection as is consistent with a wise and fair arrangement of a revenue tariff to be as widely misunderstood as are those who call themselves friends of free trade, and yet only mean it in that modified sense which the committee have explained, and which is also consistent with a fiir revenue tariff. Ifthc committee are right in these remarks, it cannot fail to be seen thai tin- line which sepat ?tes the means upon this vexed question (the friends of incidents'protection under a revenue tatiff, and of

tree trade subject to a revenue tariff) is not so brond us'to cause differences whicli should be ir reconcilable, or to excite feelings which should , disturu the harmony of the Union. Both hold to the exertion of the taxing power only to obtain revenue "to pay the debts, and provide for the common defence and general welfare" of the country. ?Both consider duties imposed ujion imports us taxes imposed upon the people for the benefit of their treasury?not as a bonus conferred upon one class or interest in the community, at the expense of all the others. And both mast concede that these burdens should be imposed in a manner to be as little felt, and to do as little injury as possible to all the citizens and all ilia interests of the country. Their only dilierences, therefore, must arise as to the articles to be charged with duty, and as to the distributions of the rates of duty upon the articles to be madedutiuble; the necessities of the public treasury being always, with both, tho measure of taxation. The extremes in this controversy?the friends of perfectly fres trade, and of perfect protection?although ut an immeasurable and irreconcilable distance from each other, so far as traders concerned, ar? nearer than the means, as respects the revenue, as either system is alike perfect destruction to that. Certainly, if no duties lor revenue are imposed, to leave trade tree, no revenue can be realized; and it is equally eertain, if such rates of duty be established, to secure perlect protection, as to prohibit importations, the same result, as to revenue, must be ex|?enenced. A trade perfectly locked up by prohibitory duties, can no more yield revenue man a trade perfectly free from duties; and cither of these systems carried perfectly out, must equally produce the necessity for internal taxation i? supply the public treasury its loss of the revenue from the customs The committee have intended to propose modifications to the existing tariff law, wnicn. if adopted, would constitute it a revenue tariff within the rules they have before laid down. Still, finding a great proportion of the most important duties much above what they believe to be the revenue limit, and anxious not to fall into the opposite extreme. but to consult all the interests to )>? ufWi.P by a reduction of the duties, as far us that can be done consistently with bringing back the rales within the revenue principle, they have preferred rather to stop short of, than to fall below, the rates fixed by that principle. Not pretending to be able to determine the exact point to which the rates of duty upon any of these articles may be carried before revenue will be diminished, tt has been their intention to approach that line cautiously, and to be sure not to oross it. The strong reductions to be made, in many cases, has-seemed to them to render it expedient and proper that, as to those interests, the highest rates, consistent with the revenue, should be suffered to remain, until experience, under the law so amended, shall determine whether the necessities of the treasury are likely to require the continuance ol such duties. If, with these modifications, a surplus of revenue shall not be experienced as one of the practical effects of the law, then will it be far better that these high rates have been suffered to remain, than to have reduced them below the requirements of the treasury, again to be raised at the hazard of a renewal of prohibitory duties, and repetition of changes. If, on the other hand, the rates proposed to be retained shall prove to be above what are necessary for revenue, the ascertainment of that fact must furnish information upon which a further reduction to the proper revenue noint can be much more safely and certainly made than at present. The committee desire, however, that tfieir views of principle and policy upon this point may not be misunderstood. Yiejding, us they have done, by their action, all the incidental protection which a high revenue tariff can afford, they must be distinctly understood to assent to the continuance of that degree of protection, only upon the condition that the demands upon the treasury shull require the high duties, and only so long as that necessity shall continue to require them. Whenever a reduction of the public expenditures, or the payment of such portions of the public debt as can be paid off, or both, shall present a surplus of revenue? then, without delay, and before the evils attendunt upon a superabundant revenue shall be again visited upon the country, in excessive expenditures, dnngerous and mischievous deposites, or distributions to the States, a lurtlicr reduction of the duties should be made, to what shall appear to be the revenue standard. In this way the i>ro|?er point for a stable and permanent system of duties mav be reached, without further fluctuations from extreme to extreme, and without any future violent change very materially affecting the course <<* trade, or the incidentally protected interests. That the committee have mistaken the true revenue point, in some of the rares of duty tliey prepuce, they repeat, is very possible; ar?d experience may point out some further moderate changes, to bring the law within theprinciples to which it has been their object to limit it. The duties proposed to be retained upon iron and sugar, are retained in specific forms, and the rates ad valorem may still he too high for the revenue rule. It '.his shall prove to be so, the error of the committee will have proceeded from the peculiar character of the interests involved, and the very high duties which have been imposed upon them under former tarifl laws. The former is an article so essentially connected with all the public defi nees of the country, and so indispenmble a necespary in time of war, that the earnust desire not to diminish the incidental protection which a revenue tarifl* may extend to it may have caused the committee to err in the opposite direction; while the latter article has become so essential an agricultural staple in an important section oi the Union, in addition to the extensive manufacturing establish mentH connected with it in other sections, as to have excited the same desire, and perhaps led the committee into error. Still, independent of the compromises of opinion, unavoidable in framing a bill (lie object of which is lo lower the rates of duty and to increase the amount of revenue, the committee believe there are no two of the protected articles which will bear an equal amount of duty, without a decrease in revenue, as sugar and iron The committee have examined the tables of importations, the rates of duty under the former tariff laws, and the information they have been able to collect from the importing merchants, with all the care and attention they are capable ol bestowing upon them, and have acted according to their best judgments formed upon such information. It may be expected of the committee that they will make an estimate of the revenue to be realized under the rates of duty they propose to establish ; but they feel themselves wholly incompetent to do so to any useful purpose. They have looked over sonic of these estimates made by their predecessors upon occasions like the present, and compared them with the facts subsequently ascertained from the practical ojicration of the laws in reference to which they were made They have also examined estimates of revenue made by sagacious and able and experienced Secretaries of tjie Treasury?and that not under new, hut unchanging legislation?and compared them with the revenue actually realized ; and, in both cases, tliey have found the variations so wide, the disappointments so great, and in directions so various and opposite, that any detailed estimate they could form, in reference to the new rates of duty they propose, would not. with themselves, bin the least authority, and should not, with the House, jmss for any thing more than vague conjecture. The importations, since the present law went into operation, compared with the importations of several previous years, satisfy the committee thai its provisions must he extensively prohibitory ; and the rates of duty they propose, compared with the rates under former tnrifl laws, and with the revenue realized under those laws, have produced the belief in their minds, that the present law, modified as they recommend, will, even in the present state of trade, (now only gradually rising from the most severe depression,) when it shall have had time for fair action, yield sufficient revenue, together with that to be deiived from the lands and miscellaneous sources, to meet the ordinary expenses ol the < ?vernment, and gradually to extinguish the public debt. The prominent facts upon which the committee have bused their action, and tormcd the opinion last expressed, they have placed in tubular form, as far as that was susceptible of being done within a moderately narrow compass; and those tublcs and statements they annex to this report. It may be believed?as, indeed, the fact may turn out to be?that the revival of trade will he . o vigorous as, even under the existing law, to furnish the requisite amount of revenue for the present and the next fiscal year, other than for the payment of those portions of the principal of the national debt which will become payuble within those years. Information which has reached the committee since they have had this subject under consideration, and which is reaching them at the present time, tends to this conclusion. If, however, it shall be sup|?osed that this more promising condition of the revenues, under the present law, supersedes the duty of modifications of that law, the committee are able to draw no such inference from the premises. On the contrary, if the tact shall turn out to he, that trade can so far force itself up, against the excessive duties imposed by this law, us to supply the treasury with revenue, it will the more strongly prove to them the injustice of the law, and the imperative character of the duty of its prompt modification. The compunitive import table annexed to this report will illustrate the prohibitory character of iIip present duties much more strongly than it can he done by words, und, for that reason alone, the duties should be reduced ; because it is palpable that, upon many articles, they are above the revenue standard, ar.d the revenue will be more than compensated for n diminution of the rates, in the increase ol trade, and, consequently, in the amounts of revenue from it. Again: if it shall be contended that trade has languished under these very high duties, until the wants of the country will force importations to ilie ordinary und usual amount, irrespective of the duties, this argument wdl <o too far, and prove too much. If well founded, it will prove that a surplus of revenue must be the speedy and unavoidable consequence of retaining the present rates of duty; and that a modification of them is as imperiously ii necessary, as it is to avoid a repetition of the evils a consequent upon an excess of revenue?evils, as & the recent experience of the country proves, not t] surpassed by any other which unwise, unjust, and c excessive legislation has visited upon an enterpris- I ine [wople. . Indeed, in this aspect of the case, every interest f but that of manufactures must demand a modifica- n tion of the existing rates of duty. Commerce must c demand it; that, relieved from itn too heavy fetters r it may again start into healthful and steady and i prosperous life and action. Agriculture must de- f mand it: that, commerce being again revived, it f may find a market for ita surplus beyond the domes- f tic consumption. And, in the deliberate judgment < of the committee,manufactures should not be un ex- e ception, but|shouldfiilso demand a reduction of these t duties. Many of them are confessedly tar high- i er than any manufacturing interest demands; while < whiphfTliA pnmmittaa ------ PIU|>I7B> IU ICIUIU I upon the protected articles, are, as they believe, abundantly sufficient for any of those interests al- i ready established In the country. That branch of i manufacture which cannot sustain itself against fo- i reign competition under a protection of from iwen- ] ty-five to thirty dollars upon every one hundred dol- i lars in value of its-production?must be very sickly j ?almost too sickly to authorize higher taxation j upon an industrious people to sustain it. t The committee proceed to explain the tables and | statements annexed. The first is a statement of i the Register of tlio Treasury, taken from Senate i document No. 45 of the present session, showing i the imports and exports of the year ending on the ( 30th September last, made from returns received at i the treasury, as far as such returns had been re- I ceived on the 13th of January last, when the < documeut bears date; and from an estimate I of the Register, where the returns for the i last quarter of the year covered by the statement had not been received. That the Register consi- | dered the statement substantially accurute, the i committee infer from the language he useB; and they suppose, therefore, that no very important re- i turns were behind. This statement the committee mark A, and it shown that the whole amount of imports upon which duties were chargeable tor the yeur ending on the 30th day of September lust, whs i but $48,789,934; of which $4,363,440 in value was re-exported with a drawback of duties, leaving but $41,426,494 to pay duties to the treasury. The second table (matked B) is a comparative table of imports. The first column shows the average importations of the three years 1837, 1838, and 1839, as the values are given in the import tables prepared at the Treasury Department The articles are named in the margin, following, as nearly as it has been possible, the order of the bill, and the designation <>f articles named in it. The results placed in the first column of figures are obtained by taking the value of imports of the article named in the margin, for each of the three years named, adding them together, and dividing the amount by 3; thus obtaining the average imports for the three years. The second column of figures is composed in the same way, from the importations of the three years 1840, 1811, and 1812, and shows the average import of the article named for those three years. The third column of figures shows the actual imports of the same articles for three quarters of a year, commencing on the 1st of October,1812, and ending on the 30th of June, 1813 The returns of the imports of the fourth quarter of that year tained ; and the amount of reduction or increase ' of every duty proposed to be changed The margin I of this table will show the names of the articles in f the order in which they are named in the present 1 law ; and the sante order is retained, so far as the I articles are numed, in the proposed bill. The first < column presents the duty upon each article as fixed by the present law, whether ad valorem or specific; and when specific, the ad valorem rate also, which is equal to tne specific ditty. The only data difficult to he obtained for the composition of this table, have been the ad valorem rates which are equivalent to the specific duties imposed by the law. The committee liuve resorted to two modes to obtain these data. The first,and that upon which they base the table, was u call upon the Treasury Oepurtment for a statement of the actual importations of the three quarters before mentioned, as shown by the returns from the custom houses.? Finding, ns they did, that those returns after the quarter ending on the 30th of September, 1X12, would not permit them to extend the call for r whole year, the sM'ment was required toemhrace the names of the urtieles of import, us fully as they were kept by the collectors ; the values wlicre the duties are an valorem under the present law, und the quantities and values where tne duties are specific, together with the amounts of duty actually paid, or charged and to he paid upon such importat'ons. In addition to this, the statement was required, further, to give the rates of duly fixed by the present law, where the dutirs are ad valorem ; and where they are specific, the rales fixed by the law, ami the eiinivalent rates ad valorem, calculated upon the value of the import for the three quarters, and the amount of duty paid upon it. Such n statement wa* obliging!* furnished under thr^per mission and direction of the Secretary ol the Treasury, and has been, to n very great extent, the guide ol the committee in the proposed reductions where the duties ure, by the present law, specific. This statement appear* to them so valuable and so practical, being based upon the actual transactions of three quarter* of a year, under the o oration of the present law, that they propose to annex it to thi* report ; and they feel the more strongly hound to do this, because it is made the basis of the ad valorem rates, as equivalent to specific duties given in the lire! column of the table they have formed and are now describing, The second column of this table exhibits the rates of duty proposed to be retained by the lull reported by the committee, whether ad valorem or specific. The third column presents the amount of reduction for each duty, as fixed by the present law, which the committee propose to make in every case where they propose any reduction; and the fourth column exhibits the amount of increase, in the few eases in which they propose to increase the rate of' duty beyond that fixeil hjr the present law. The filth column presents the results of the efforts of the committee, hy a second mode, to learn what ad valorem rates are in fact equal to the specific duties imposed under the pre- sent law. This mode was, a resort to the imj?ut had not ueen received at me ireasury Department when this statement was called for by the committee. The object of confining the call to so late a period, will be seen to have been to get the actual importations under the present tariff law. The committee would have preferred the importations for one whole year, because the comparison would then have been direct and simple. But it will he recollected that the present law was approved on the 26lh of Augus', 1842; that the period between that time and the 30th of September after, would be included in the accounts of importations of the quarter ending on the last named day ; and that the law, though taking effect at its passuge, could not have been known, so as to be in any perfect operation, before about the 1st of October. Hence, it was impossible to go back beyond that day ; and the statement for the three quarters of a year conies up us far as the returns would permit, when it was prepared at the office of the Register of the Treasury. The comparison will, however, answer all the purposes of forming a general judgment as to the practical effect of' the present law upon the importations, if it be borne carefully in inind that the averages presented in the two first columns are for whole years, and that the actual importations presented in the third column are for three quarters only. The time covered by this comparative table is from the commencement of the year 1837, to the middle of the year 1843. At the beginning of this period, but two of the gradual reductions of duty under the compromise act had taken place; at the close of the year 1837, another of these reductions took place ; at the close of the year 1839, another; ut the close of the year 1841. 1 half the remaining excess -hove 20 per cent ; and \ on the 30th day of June, 1842, the residue of that j excess. From the 1st of July to the 26lh of Au- i gust, in the last named year, no duty exceeded 20 per cent. The great revulsions consequent upon the speculations of 1833 and 1836 took place in May, 1837, when almost every bank in the country suspended specie payments, and business of every description received a shock from which no branch has yet perfectly recovered. Asa necessary consequence, trade has, during this whole period, as a general remark, been irregular, light, unstable, and t feeble; though there are believed to have been periods, of very short duration, which the remark will not proptrly characterize. Of the value of a comparative statement ot importations during a time of so many adverse business influences, of such marked business irregularity, and ofsucb constantly changing legislative action, the members of the committee are no better judges than the other members of the House ; they present it, and the facts and circumstances which surrounded the period, and leave the inferences to each mind which shall examine the table. The fact of the great falling off in the importations of many important articles, as well as in the aggregate of dutiable importations under the present law, will be apparent; and whatever other influences may have affected the trade of the country during the various years, it will be difficult to believe that the high duties under the present law have not had a powerful effect, if not the chief agency, in producing the result. The accounts of importations under the various tariff laws do not permit the comparison to he made as strikingly or as minutely as could be desirable ; because the present law classifies the articles, and imposes the duiieg, in many cases, so differently from the former, that the comparison can only be made ns to a general class of articles, and not between the various qualities and descriptions of goods which compose the class. The third table (marked C) has been prepared for the double purpose of showing what the present law is; what duties it, in fact, imposes; and what changes in those duties the comfnittee propose to make ; exhibiting, as to every article, the rate or amount of the duty under the nresent law ; the rate or amount proposed to be re- 1 ng merchants for statements from the actual trans* ctions under the law. A general circular was ent to the principal importing houses ip several of m he large conanicrcial cities, and the information ommunicated has been various and important.? n relation to the actual ad valorem rates of duty, quivalenl to the specific duties, and the duties aJFected by the minimums under the present law, nade from the bills ol purchases and accounts o| harges, the committee observe that the merchast atea usually exceed very considerably those given a the treasury statement to which they have re erred. Hue, It is presumed, proc< eds from the act that the merchant statement# are usually made rom a single invoice bill, probably selected be* uuae it is a bill of goods of such quality as will how a4di?tinctly as any other the severity of the luty ; while the treasury statement shows a general average rate upon the importations for three I carters of a year, of all the qualities ef the sum* general class of goods. For the same reason, as is supposed, the mate stents received from different houses as to the actual ad valorem rate of duty upon an article of the tame general denomination, frequently differ several per cent. The statements of the merchants by no means extend to all the numerous articles named n the table, but are rather confined to the utoro important classes of articles. The differences between thsse and the treasuiy statement do not appear to the committee to be such as to invalidate the authority of either, but rather to confirm both ns to general accuracy, and, in any even'.to afford the fullest evidence that the ad valorem rates of the treasury table are not above the actual and ; practicable rates under the law. The difference# between the merchant statements themselves, ren; * ier it impossible to present a single rate in the fifth column of the committee's table, with justice to the merchants who have so generously come forward to give information, or to the information riven. The committee have, therefore, where there are varying statements, placed in the column the highest and lowest rates found in aDy of the communications touching the same articles,**) that it will give the range of mercantile calculation and mercantile expeiience. The fourth table which the committee annex, (marked 1),) is the treasury statement, ulready described us furnished from the office of tlie Register of the Treasury, and authenticated by that officer. A reference to the remarks explanatory of the first column of tabic C, will en percede the necessity of any further description of this statement. A few observations, however, in reference to some entries in the table, exhibiting results which, ut first sight, would seem to impair its force and weaken its authenticity, are considered to be necessary. Upon a reference to the article of pig-lead in the present law, it will he seen that the duty is specific?3 cents ja r pound. The value of this urticle in our principal cities is believed to range from 3 to 4 cents, showing the duty to be equivalent to an ad valorem rate of about 100 per cent?probably rather over than under that rat? but not very far from it. A reference to the treasury statement will show that in these three quarters of a year, 290 pounds of pig-lead were imported; custom-house value, as returned, #3. Thislead paid the duty of 3 cents per pound, which upon 290 pounds, was $8 70, equal to an ad valorem rate of j 290 per cent. This is an actual transaction, but not a natural one.* The importation was doubtless ' casual, and not in the course of uny regular trade, as the amount of the importation snows that there is no trade. The value placed to this lend may be its oo6t for that accidental purchase, but it is not at all the mercantile or market vslue oi the propetty; and hence the extravagant result, ujion a comparison between the value and the duly. So the entry tis'o the article of barley shows the importution of 1,701 bushels, valued at only $106?between 6 and 7 cents per bushel. The duty upon barley iss|>ecific?20 cents per bushel: whicn, upon the 1,701 bushels is, $'340 20, equal to an ad valorem rate of 320 per cent. Here, again,the transaction was actual, but most unnatural. The value was unimportant to the collector, because the duty was specific; but it is apparent that the value benrs scarcely a relation to tne martlet value ot merchantable barIcy, while the importation shows that there is no regular trade in the article. This wan probably damaged grain, and purchased for a nominal price, because the purchaser supposed that it would warrant the payment of the freight and the duly.? Aguim upon the other side, the importation cl rye was 9 bushels, valued at $8; this being above the ordinary market value ol the grain. The duty is specific, 15 cents per bushel?only $1 35 up? a the 9 bushels imported; equal to an ail valorem rate of 16 per cent., while the real rate ol the duty must be from 20 to 25 per cent, upon the ordinary market value of the grain. The committee point out these instances as examples. There may be a few others, of a similar character, boih upon tb one side and the other of a true presentation of the value of the existing duties; but they believe that all such instances will be found to arise where there is no regular trade in ihe article, and thai they should not, therefore, be held to weaken the force or accuracy of this statement,when the trade is regular, and the articles ol those of ordinary import. 1 Bellefontalne. ' [Correspondence of the Herald.] Bei.lkfontai.nk, Ohio, March 18, 1hii. Adam Horn, the Murderer?Railroad?7he Hryan~ dote?Politics. 1 halt at this village, en route from Cincinnati :o Sandusky city, to which point I am bound with i view to visit different portions of the Wolverine State. There is nothing especially peculiar to this ilace, except that it was the place of confinement }f the notorious Adam Horn, who paid the penally )f his crme upon the gallows at Baltimore. Out )f curiosity, I visited the jail, an old dilapidated milding, now tenanted by an old man who rrcenty stabbed a brother-in-law, and whose ttial w dl be >n the tapis at the approaching April term. The ailor'8 wife, an old goggle-eyed, pursy looking eusomer, afforded me an unusual amount of intelligence concerning her former ledger, (Horn,) and ixpressed a great deal of surprise at his escape; vhile it was plain that a brace of rats might lilx-rate in inmate at a moment's warning. This place is intended as a depot for th<- Mad liver and Lake Erie railroad, extending front ;andusky city via SilFtn, Trenton, Bellefontaine, lubana, ana West Liberty to Springfield, upon he National road?where it is to connect with the ittle Miami Railroad from Cincinnati, and thus orm a connecting line of railroad from the Queen ;ity to the lake. This road passes through the most fertile lands within the borders ol Ohio, tnd, when completed, will pour a flood of weultn into your city and Boston, which now takee ihe Southern markets. I am somewhat surprised that the capitalists of New York have not Jirected their attention to this road, which has been 1 laboring under temporary ni.lurrasemcntp, now removed by an act of the recent legislature. Forty miles ol the northern end is completed?fr? m Sirfin to the lake?and I learn from a gentleman redding here, that about twenty-live miles of the road have lutely been put under contract. I learn Irom the same source, mat that part of the roa? completed, pays a dividend of ten percent! If this he true, nnd I doubt not it is, an investment in this road would be as good as any, or better lliall any public improvement with which I am familiar. The Mad Kivcr valley has, certainly, some of the finest lands it has ever bepn my privilege to examine. Costly and substantial improvements have been mude upon the farms ; and in West Liberty 1 observed one building presenting an imposing appearance, and fashioned after the most improved style of architecture. I called at the Logan Gazette office, the only paper printed in this place, purchased a paper and forwarded it to you. The editor is a "Jersey hhe, f and possesses a large fund of self-conceit with a well developed intellect, which produces some well writtpn and pungent articles. This is the region occupied by the Wyanoota in ancient times, together with some other tribes; nnd my host informs me that there are numerous " quarter bloods," now residing here, who *!iare in the duties of social and civil government The Clerk of the Common Pleas is a descendant of the Wyandot*; and the wealthiest, and some f the ^ most respectable arc of this class of persons. There are numerous isolated lakes scattered all over this ^ (Logan) county, whi< h are productive of genuine amusoment, on acconnt of lue fine buss and trout with which they abound, I saw a this morning. which would weigh at least ton pounds. Instead of producing malaria, as we would suppose, the wutrr is sweet and he.ilthy; and, on thus account, many of them have been bought up by capitalists in Cincinnati, who have erected the most .l..t;<>l.rfiil .nmmrr rociH.-n. ..u I. Some of them area source of profit to their owners, having become extensively known; and, eonserpiently, the constant resort of the pleasure-hunting angler. My ears are ringing with the din of politico turmoil._ The whole of Ohio seems to be on the qui vivt lijion political subjects, Both parties l ave already nominated their gubernatorial candid les, and the war is waxing verv hot. The demot icy are destined to he defeuted at the coming fall - lections, unless they make some efforta to heal the difficulties, engendered by a discussion of the i .nk question. It is affirmed, with some show of truth, that the democratic candidate haa changed his opinions upon the honk question since hi- nei nation, with a view to teconcile the ci r.t< : ing parties. The whips are united up< n ( lav. ^nd Hartley, their candidate for (invernor. I -fni'Mrr at the concussion which w ill follow upon the ' ..sting of the votes of the grent pnrties i.l ihi - i; "hty Stale. With the democrats it will be a htru;,t,l'' to regain lost power ; with the whigs a battle for cherished principles The Legislature having adjourned on last week, there will be nothing to di- I