« ElőzőTovább »
judgment the most pernicious. It is ful- time, his dishonest neighbor goes on ly and consistently embodied in his bill. swimmingly, until he has amassed a forLet us briefly consider it:
tune, or is outdone by some rival more The confession of Mr. Walker that, adept or desperate in roguery than himunder an ad valorem,“ care” is necessary self. The wit of hundreds is thus kept to guard against fraudulent invoices and constantly on the rack, to devise new undervaluation, and to assess the duty on and more ingenious or more thorough the actual “ market value,” reveals but methods of defrauding the revenue, so half the truth. All men familiar with that with each year of the existence of goods and with importation must know an ad valorem duty, the amount of revethat no “ care” can possibly prevent such nue received under it upon a fixed quanfrauds as he here deprecates where the tity of goods grows smaller and smaller. basis of the duty is the asserted or esti But this is not all. A ruinous advanmated value of the goods. Here come by tage is given to the Foreigner over the the next steamer, forty cases of Silk American importer by ad valorem duties. goods, packed to order; a dozen boxes The wealthy European merchant or manof Books, new and standard, popular and vfacturer, who sends out his fabrics to an scientific or classical ; fifty casks of as- agent or commission-house in this city sorted Hardware and Saddlery; twenty for sale, can honestly (as he considers ii) bales of Cotton and Woolen fabrics, &c., enter his goods at our Custom-House, as &c. How is the absolute value of all costing him less than an American imthese articles to be computed and settled? porter can buy them for. Let us take How many officials would be needed to the case of a great Silk manufacturer of do the business of the New York Custom- France or Italy, who sends here one House, if their « care” is to be so omnis- hundred cases of his fabrics. He is cient and thorough as to baffle “ fraudu- aware that he must pay our Government lent invoices and undervaluation ?” Five twenty-five per cent. on their value. hundred surely could not do it, nor, at But how does he estimate that value ? some seasons, five thousand. Examin- The cost of raw material and of labor are ing a few pieces of the goods in each the first items. What else? He says, bale or package would afford no security My rent of buildings, use of machinery, against fraud in those left unscrutinized. clerk-hire, interest on capital, &c., I The naked, notorious truth is that, under reckon nothing ; for all these bad been ad valorem duties, reliance must and will incurred in the course of my business, be mainly placed on the invoice and oath whether I made these goods for America of the importer, and the character of Cus. or not. The actual cost to me has been tom-House oaths and invoices has passed that of the labor specially devoted to and into a proverb.
the raw material contained in these goods.” The inevitable tendency of the ad va On this estimate, his goods are sworn lorem system is to an aggravation of all through the Custom-House; but let an the evils therewith connected. The man American go to him or any of his class who has just made $5,000 by valuing to buy such an assortment of goods, and through the Custom-House ai $80,000 he will find their cost computed very difgoods worth $100,000 is at once stimula. ferently. He must pay twenty per cent. ted by his success and so demoralized by more for them than this Custom-House his crime as to engage with far less re- basis of the manufacturer, and on this luctance in its repetition. He does not twenty per cent. must pay twenty-five now consider whether he shall or shall per cent. more duty under Mr. Walker's not defraud again, but whether he cannot bill. Let him attempt to undervalue, and defraud more thoroughly and thus swell the price he paid for the goods may rise his gains. And the ad valorem system up in judgment against him, as it cannot offers not merely incessant temptations against his rival ; and his character, his and facilities to fraud, but it tends to property, are in jeopardy, as those of that throw importation more and more exclu- rival are not. The advantages are ensively into the hands of these who practice tirely and immensely the side of the it. The importer who pays full duties latter. Thus it is that the career of is inevitably undersold by him who pays American importers has usually been but two-thirds or three-fourths ; his cus- short, closing in disaster ; so that of a tomers gradually fall off to those who hundred of whom a friend took note can afford them better bargains, and he n nety-seven had terminated in bankshuts up or becomes bankrupt. Mean- ruptcy.
Now the levying of specific duties afforded by his proposed duties on Wool tends to counteract this tendency. The and Woolens. The present Tariff imgoods of the American importer weigh poses on wool costing over seven cents or measure no more than his foreign ri- per lb. a duty of three cents per lb. speval's, the honest man’s no more than the cific, and thirty per cent. ad valorem; on rogue's; and the duty is levied fairly on wool costing less than seven cents per each. A ton of iron or of sugar, of steel lb. five per cent. ; on the cheap, coarse or of hemp, of raw silk or of spices, pays fabric known as Woolen Blankets” fif. just so much duty, no matter by whom teen per cent. ; on all other Woolen imported or what is the latest phase of Blankets twenty-five per cent.; on Flanthe markets. The importer knows be- nels, Baizes and the more costly Carpets, forehand what he is to pay; the impar- specific duties per square yard ; on Wooltial scales inform the collector how much en Yarn, Worsted, Hosiery, common Carhe is to receive, and there is no room for peting, &c., thirty per cent. ; and on othcavil or dispute. We happen to know er woolers forty per cent.—The design that the present excellent mode of impos- here carefully kept in view throughout, ing duties on silks—so much per pound is, first, to give adequate and thorough on the various kinds respectively-was protection to the American growers of adopted on the suggestion of American wool; secondly, to give a corresponding merchants engaged in the importation and equal protection to our own manuand sale of silk goods. All this Mr. facturers of woolens; thirdly, to allow Walker proposes to subvert, and impose the importation of such qualities of wool none but ad valorem duties.
as do not come in competition with our “ 6th. That the duty should be so im- duced here, at the lowest rates, and to
own and cannot be advantageously proposed as to operate as equally as possible admit at corresponding rates the fabrics throughout the Union, discriminating nei. thence manufactured. Wool costing less ther for nor against any class or section.”
than seven cents per lb. is mainly, if not This last of Mr. Walker's“ principles” wholly, the product of warmer climates receives a striking commentary in the than that of our wool-growing region, rumor (whether well or ill-founded) is taken from sheep that require little or that the Administration Members of Con no feeding or care in winter, is usually gress from the Eastern States have waited short and filthy as well as coarse, and, on the Committee of Ways and Means in being substantially a spontaneous proa body, with an earnest remonstrance duct of Nature, can hardly be rivaled in against the unfair and sectional character price by our own producers. Make the of the bill submitted by Mr. Walker, duty on this article fifty per cent., and and to insist on its amendment before it still its cost at our manufactories will not is reported to the House. We say it is exceed twelve cents per 1b., at which not inaterial whether this remonstrance price no wool is, or is likely to be, prohas or has not been formally rendered, duced among us. It seemed, therefore, since the fact that it ought to have been to the framers of our Tariff that imposing in either case remains. A bill which a high duly on this wool and the corresimposes thirty per cent. alike on Iron and ponding fabric would be simply increasing on Manufactures of Iron, thus affording ihe cost of the coarsest woolen fabrics the Iron of Pennsylvania, Tennessee and without advantage or hope of advantage Missouri a protection denied to the Iron to any home interest. Subsequent expeWares of New England and New York, rience has shown, we think, that ihe is not an equal Taritf. A duty of twen- fertility of resource with which wool, ty per cent on Raw Silk (almost wholly worth and really costing more than seven imported) with an addition of barely five cents per lb., may be sworn through the percent. on Silk Manufactures (which are Custom-House as costing less than that still in their infancy among us) is any rate was not sufficiently appreciated and thing but just and equal. Thirty per guarded against. Much wool, which cent. on Iron and Coal, with twenty on the Congress of 1842 intended to subject all Cotton fabrics, is not “ discriminating to the higher rate, has been imported; neither for nor against any class or sec- especially during the last year, under the tion.” And so we might go through the lower or nominal duty, defrauding at bill.
once the Government of revenue and our But the most striking exemplification wool.growers of protection. This unof Mr. Walker's “equally as possible” is foreseen evasion demands a correspond
ing amendment of the Tariff. The true poor chance to sustain himself that abro. course to be now pursued, in our judg- Iute Free Trade would allow him. The ment, is to abolish the ad valorems en- result is inevitable. With but five per cent. tirely, and to charge all wool of a pre- discrimination in its favor on the more scribed fineness ten cents, all below the costly fabrics, and with a discrimination of standard five cents per lb. This would ten against it on the cheaper, our woolen at once insure adequate protection to the manufacture is inevitably doomed, if Mr. wool-grower and put an end to frauds Walker's bill passes the ordeal of Conin the importation of wool by removing gress unchanged. A few establishments, all inducement for their commission. already in successful operation, may con
But Mr. Walker proposes to substitute tinue to make certain descriptions of for the present duties on wool and wool- goods at a profit, but that thrifty and ens a uniforın ad valorem duty of twenty beneficent growth and extension of this per cent. on all wool, whether of the branch of industry which is fast dotting finer qualities which can be advanta- the rivers and streams, not merely of geously produced here, or the coarsest New England, but of the Middle and which cannot. On such wool as comes Western States, with factories, will be utdirectly in competition with the product terly arrested, and a counter-current set of our farmers, the duty is reduced more in motion by the passage of this bill. than half; on such as does not, and can Instead of this, the Press will be combe imported more advantageously than pelled to chronicle from time to time the we can grow it, it is quadrupled. The failure of this or that manufacturing firm wisdoın of such changes, operating against or company, the stoppage of manufacboth the grower and the consumer of tures, and ihe conversion of factories to wool, is certainly “ past finding out.” other uses. But when he substitutes for the widely Such will be the effect of the passage diverse rates of duty on wool a uniform of this bill on many other home interests. impost, there would seem no reason to Cotton fabrics of ordinary kinds, which doubt that he should make a correspond- have obtained a firm foothold among us ing adjustment of the duties on woolens. under the stringent protection afforded Precisely contrary, however, is his them, almost uniformly since 1816, by
Raising the duty on the operation of the minimum principle, wool from five per cent to twenty, he will continue to be produced here probaactually cuts down the duties on cheap bly to the extent of the country's conwoolen blankets from fifteen per cent. sumption. But the costlier and rarer to ten, and of the better qualities from descriptions of cottons, novel and elegant twenty-five per cent to twenty! Here prints, ginghams, muslins, &c., will be is a discrimination of no less than ten per forced in upon us at a decided advantage cent. against an important branch of Na- by European manufacturers. Twenty tional Industry and in favor of Foreign per cent. ad valorem on such goods is submachinery, capital and labor. The stantially whatever the importer pleases American and the British manufacturers to pay-perhaps averaging two cents per of woolen blankets, both resort to the same yard on goods selling by the case for market for the cheap, coarse wool of which iweniy. But the difference in our market these blankets are manfactured. The between the selling price of choice ForBritish manufacturer pays no duty on his eign and American prints is more than wool, when imported into Great Britain, two cents a yard in favor of the former. and but ten per cent. on the cheaper, and Of a British pattern of prints, possibly twenty on the better qualities of his fabric. one-tenth of the amount manufactured The cost of the raw material of so cheap may reach this country; of a French, and common an article, of course, consti- perhaps one-twentieth; wbile of an tutes a very large proportion of the cost of American, seven-eighths will remain here the goods. But ihe American manufac. and enter into the home supply. If we turer is met at our wharf by an impost of suppose 100,000 pieces may be printed twenty per cent, on his wool, which is from a set of blocks, there will be 10,000 to be paid some time before his outlay is pieces thrown upon our markets of a returned to him by the sale of his pro- British pattern, 5,000 of a French, and duct. Thus condemned by his own gov: 87,500 of an American. These facts are ernment to pay so much higher duties on known intimately to our dealers and his raw material than his British rival vaguely to buyers, and prices are govpays on his fabric, he has not even the erned by them. The rarer and fresher
patterns are sought for, and command of 1842, and that in some cases they have higher prices than those which are com diminished. Fashion is not so utterly blind
" When the number of manufactories is as many suppose; and though articles not great, the power of the system to regu
far-fetched” are, proverbially, dear- late the wages of labor is inconsiderable; bought,” yet the same proverb proclaims manufactures is augmented by the Protectheir eminent acceptability with the fair. tive Tariff, there is a corresponding in. All who have even a general, outside ac
crease of power, until the control of such quaintance with trade, know that of two capital over the wages of labor becomes fabrics of equal cost and intrinsic value, irresistible. As this power is exercised one is often selling rapidly for twenty-five from time to time, we find it resisted by to fifty per cent. more than the other can combinations among the working-classes, be sold for, and that rarity and novelty by turning out for higher wages, or for are the main elements of this superiority. shorter timne; by trades-union; and in some Theadvantage of position, therefore, under countries, unfortunately, by violence and a twenty per cent. duty, will be all in bloodshed.. But the government, by profavor of the British and against the Amer- the manufacturing system, and, by thus
tective duties, arrays itself on the side of ican manufacturer of prints, ginghams, augmenting its wealth and power, soon &c. He stands at the door of all the terminates in its favor the struggle between open markets in the world, can divide
man and money-between capital and his product readily and advantageously labor. When the Tariff of 1842 was enactamong them all, and can sell the portion ed, the maximum duty was 20 per cent. he may decide to send here so as to net By that act, the average of duties on the him more, after paying the duty, than if protected articles was more than doubled. he had produced the same goods among But the wages of labor did not increase in us. With this immense advantage of
a corresponding ratio, or in any ratio what. position, acquired through long years of
On the contrary, whilst wages in
some cases have diminished, the prices of stringent protection and of internal exemption from war, while all the rest of have greatly appreciated.”
many articles used by the working classes the world was suffering from or exposed to its ravages—with a commerce which
We entreat every reader to consider swept the globe, backed by a navy which carefully the assertion of this remarkable mastered and monopolized the ocean
passage. That collisions do often take Great Britain may well
afford, at this day, place between employers and laborers in to propose universal Free Trade. It is regard to the compensation of the latter, a veteran and skillful swordsman chal- hours of working, &c., is deplorably true; lenging, severally, a rabble of raw school but that these are any more frequent or boys to single combat with rapiers. The mischievous because of protection, is an answer is manifestly, “Sir, the condi. assertion not only without proof but tions are unequal; the advantage entirely against all reason. A. B. is an employer, with you. Wait till we have acquired C. D. a workman in his shop for wages. equal strength, maturity, practice and Here are two men between whom a skill, with yourself—at least, till we have certain antagonism of interests is aphad reasonable opportunities for acquir. parent; the one desiring more work for ing them-and then we ’ll think of it.”
less wages : the other more wages for less Having thus considered, severally, Mr. work. Say, if you will, that the relation Walker's fundamental principles of Fi. is a false one, or is not so ; is it any more nancial Policy, we proceed to examine or less so because of the Tariff ? Take the arguments and allegations by which off the duties, will the antagonism cease? he sustains them. We can only find double them, will it be aggravated? Can room to deal with those which, by com there be two answers to these qnestions ? mon consent, have been regarded as most But Mr. Walker asserts that the Govern. important and vital. And first, then, ment, by Protection, takes a part against with regard to the effect of Protection the laborer in conflict with capital by aug. on Labor and Wages :
menting the wealth and power of the man
ufacturing system, that is to say, the man“ An appeal has been made to the poor
ufacturing laborer, while there are few by the friends of protection, on the ground employers to compete for his labor, can that it augments the wages of labor. In command good wages; but when these are reply, it is contended that the wages of swelled to many, he must take just what labor have not augmented since the Tarif they may please to give him! The doctrine.
is alike repugnant to fact and common condition of labor generally will be im.
The market value of labor, like proved and that of individuals strikingly everything else, is governed by the re so? The man who before found nothing lation of supply to demand. The work- to do now finds employment at some men in factories are there because they rate; while he who formerly worked for are paid more than they can obtain else. the minimum wages of mere labor will where. All the chances of employment now, if energetic and skillful, find emthey had before the Tariff are open to ployment in some other capacity where them still, and those which the Tariff his earnings will be largely increased. has created in addition. Thus Pennsylva. Such is the case with thousands to-day. nia has seventy-nine iron furnaces in ac- Even though the minimum compensation tive operation now, instead of seven in for labor, or that of any particular grade, languid existence in 1842; there are in bad not advanced, it would not the less the United States nineteen glass factories be true, that the general reward of labor now at work, while there were but four had been sensibly improved by the gradwhen the present Tariff was enacted—and ual advance of good workmen to higher so on through the whole circle of manu and better rewarded employments with facturing industry. Can any man need the growing necessity for more labor in evidence that the labor employed in these employments. But this is not all these works is better rewarded, not mere- that the truth will warrant. The adly in the aggregate but in detail, than it vance in wages has been absolute and was four years ago? Will any man pre- positive. The manufacturers of glasstend that our public lands are less acces ware, for example, who have now ninesible to honest industry (may they never teen furnaces in full operation, instead become so !) than they were in 1842, or of three or four half at work in 1842, that labor in agriculture and navigation and who have shown beyond cavil is less amply employed or fairly rewarded a reduction of 20 to 40 per cent. in our than it then was? Any enlarged obser- markets of the price of glass, under a vation will show that such is not the case Tariff which has increased the duties on -that, while the annual product of our this ware from 20 per cent. ad valorem national industry has been increased by an up to specific rates ranging from 50 to 250 amount certainly not less than one hun- per cent., give the following statement of dred millions of dollars in the various de- the wages paid by them in several depart. partments of manufactures and of mechan. ments of their business. It has been for ical arts subservient to manufactures, weeks before the public undisputed, and such as erecting factories, burning brick, is doubtless the naked truth : cutting timber, quarrying stone therefor, erecting dams, digging coal, &c., and in “ Boston and Sandwich Glass Co., the production of machinery, there has
February 10, 1846.
Co.,} been no consequent falling off in agricul “ The limits of a letter would not contain ture, commerce, nor even ship-building,* a complete pay-roll of one of our establishbut on the contrary the area under culti- ments, in which the wages of no two pervation and the amount of labor employ. sons are exactly the same. Every man ed in agriculture have largely and annu.
receives in proportion to his skill; one ally increased. Can any man believe it will earn three dollars per day, while anpossible that this immense increase in other will earn half that sum. We have the amount of labor employed, and in taken, therefore, one person in the three the diversity of employment, could take and have carried him through four differ
principal departments of Glass making, place without benefiting the laboring- ent periods, giving the amount of his class? Where ten thousand men are
wages at each. The persons selected are now employed instead of one thou. fair workmen, forming a just average of sand forinerly, is it not obvious that the the class to which each belongs.
Wages paid to January, 1840. 1842. 1814. 1846.
8 50 8 00 9 60 11 00
7 00 6 50 9 00 9 50 Total
$30 50 $34 50 $36 10 $37 76
See on this point answers of J. W. Treadwell, Boston, E. Bartlett, Wm. Nichols, Newburyport, Robert Neilson, Geo. W. Burke, C. E. Wethered, Baltimore, to Mr. Walker's queries respecting the shipping interest, among the documents appended to the secretary's Report.