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cessity was thereby created, of retaining upon the manufactured ar higher degree of protection than would otherwise have been necessar adherence to this anomaly, instead of equalizing the burdens of the augments that of the consumer, by increasing the number of favored Proper attention to the facility and cheapness of producing, and the a actually produced, of the raw material in the United States, and an ex tion of the information collected by this department, and transmitted House of Representatives at their last session, will show, that, in the sion of manufactures, and in the augmentation of a sure market, the pre of the raw material has long since been in a condition to dispense v great portion of the protection heretofore afforded. By the same infor it will further appear, that, by relieving the manufacturer from the b of the high duty upon the raw material, the existing duties may be ver terially reduced, and gradually removed, consistently with a just reg the interests which have so long enjoyed the advantages of the prote system.
By these considerations, and the proud and gratifying fact, that the longer exists any public debt requiring the present amount of revenue the ensuing year, the question is submitted to the Legislature, whether will continue to raise from the people of the U. States, six millions of d annually beyond any demand for the public service, that favors, which been so long enjoyed, and which may soon be dispensed with, without ment to the national safety or independence, may be indefinitely conti
The undersigned is duly sensible, that the decision of this question be properly to Congress. The duty, however, enjoined on him by the lau digest and prepare plans for the improvement and management of th venue, and for the support of public credit, not less than the deep solici he feels for the safety of our common country, have urged him to pre it, with his own reflections, for the consideration of the Legislature.
In the decision of this question, the present crisis in the United St pregnant with the deepest interest, must have its weight;-an interest ing not so much from an apprehension of weakness in the laws, or of inahi to execute them, as from a universal conviction, throughout a large por of the Union, of the necessity of a change, and of the propriety of payin reasonable deference to that opinion. The harmony and brotherly affec of the citizens of different parts of this great republic, --if not the preserva of the Union itself,--appeal to the patriot and statesman for the exercis their highest qualities, in regulating the burdens of the people consiste with the equal rights of all, and in rendering the laws not less free and e than the institutions under which they are enacted. The occasion invo the spirit of liberal concession and compromise, which laid the foundati of our inestimable Union; and, on such an occasion, patriotism requires no one interest should exact more than may be consistent with the well of the whole.
Such an appeal comes with force to all, but, in an especial manner, be made to those who have so long reaped the advantages of those burde from which their brethren throughout the Union, after having submitted them while the public obligations and the national defence and independe required it, now ask to be relieved.
If this appeal do not find a response in a wise and patriotic moderati there will be no efficacy in the moral force on which the republican insti tions of the Union repose,
The sleepless solicitude of the father of his country has multiplied lessons patriotie duty, but none of greater emphasis and pertinence in the preat crisis, than in his admonition that, “it is indispensable, on all occapas, to unite with a steady and firm adherence to constitutional acts of sverament, the fullest evidence of a disposition, as far as may be practiable, to consult the wishes of every part of the community, and to lay the basdations of the public administration in the affections of the people.”
The operation of the eighteenth section of the act of the 14th of July last, ceording to the construction given to it at the Treasury, being, in some respects, different from that which the merchants concerned consider important to their interests, it is deemed proper to bring the subject before the attention of Congress, that, if owing to any defect in the law, or any error in the construction, the intentions of the Legislature have not been carried into effect, the necessary remedy may be applied.
By that section, the several articles enumerated in the act, whether imported before or after the passing thereof, were authorized to be put into the gurtombouse stores, and such as remained under the control of the proper Dicer of the customs on the Sd of March sext, were subjected to no higher saties than if imported after that day; and the duties, or any part thereof, wtuch may have been paid on such articles, were to be refunded to the perman importing and depositing the same; and the Secretary of the Treasury was suthorized to prescribe such rules and regulations as might be necessary to carry the section into effect.
I executing the section the fullest disposition was felt to consult the interest and convenience of the merchants; but it was perceived that an unSamuted construction of its terms was calculated not merely to conflict with the several members of the same section, and with other sections of the act, to disturb the financial arrangements of the Government, and postpone the payment of the public debt.
in the last annual report from this department, as well as in that prepared by direction of the House of Representatives, and accompanying the hill which formed the chief basis of the act of the 14th of July, it was stated, that the existing obligations of the Government, not less than the interests of the community, forbade a reduction of the present duties earlier than the 3d of March, 1833; and by the second section of the act this recommendation was distinctly recognized and adopted.
Without some limitation, therefore, as to the retrospective operation of the 18th section, the object of the second section would not only have been defeated, but the act itself would in fact have been rendered operative in all past time, so far as concerned any goods in the original packages, no matter wben imported; and the owners, whether importers or retailers, in all parts of the country, would have had a right to deposite them in the customhouse stores, and claim a refunding of the duties.
By one of the provisions of the 18th section, the authority to refund the duties which had been paid on articles deposited, is expressly confined to the persons “ importing and depositing the same;” thus treating the importer and depositor as identical. And, as it is not reasonable to suppose that the right to deposit was greater than that to claim a refunding of the duties, the words “ importer or owner" in other parts of the section were treated as synonimous. The terms “importer or owner,” moreover, throughout the revenue laws, refer to importation, and are intended to signify the person importing, whether the actual proprietor, the agent, or the consignee.
It is obvious, also, that, by this construction, these terms not only me their usual revenue meaning, but are reconciled with those of imporre depositor, which could not be, if the conjunction were to receive n da tive interpretation. It was, therefore, held, that goods could be depo only by the importer.
As the act contained no appropriation for drawing money out of the sury for repaying the duties authorized to be refunded, the departmei fully warranted in interpreting the 18th section as applying to those only which may have been paid to the collector after the passing of th and consequently, in limiting the right of deposite to the goods on those duties accrued. But, from a desire to give the section as lib construction as was consistent with all the other objects of the act, allowed to apply to the whole of any importation on which any part o duties remained unpaid at the date of the law. And, to make this cons tion operate as equally and favorably among the importers generall might be, it was allowed to include those goods also, upon which the di had been paid in cash, provided that, by the terms of credit allowed by such duties, or any part of them, would not have been payable antil the date of the law. It is not believed, however, that any construction the section, which will not admit of the deposite of goods when in orig packages, whether in the hands of the importer or of any other person no matter when imported, will be satisfactory to the owners of such , as may be imported at a lower rate of duty after the 3d of March But, it it be the intention of Congress so to extend the operation of the tion, it is respectfully suggested, that as it will, in that case, necessarily brace goods upon which the duties must have been accounted for and over to the treasury, an appropriation be made for repaying the amoun such duties out of the treasury.
With a view to obtain reasonable certainty in the financial operation the Government, and at the suggestion of the collectors as to the time cessary for the duties to be performed by them, in executing the 18th tion, a regulation was adopted fixing the time to which goods might be posited, on the 1st of January next. It is, however, the intention of department to extend the time, if it be found that the duties of the coll tors will admit of it.
The alteration in many of the rates of duty, and the repeal of the othe which have been effected by late acts of Congress, seem to require some responding modifications of the provisions heretofore made for ascertaine and securing the duties. But, as these details might be better brought the attention of Congress in a separate communication, if such be ils p sure, that course will be adopted.
In the exposition of the public debt, presented in this report, it has be assumed that the three per cents. advertised for reimbursement on the 18 October last have been actually paid, because the treasury has provided at ple funds at the different loan ofices for that purpose, which, upon the pin sentation of the certificates, should have been applied to their payment. has recently been understood, however, that on the 18th of July last, til Bank of the United States, on the ground, as stated in the letter of instru tions, that the spread of the Cholera "might occasioa great embarrass ment and distress in the community, deemed it expedient for the bank keep itself in an attitude to afford relief, should its interposition be neces sary, and also to mitigate the pressure which the reimbursement of the three
pot stoek held by foreigners might produce in October," despatched an
, at that time, been decided by the Government at what period
, a contract with Messrs. Baring, Brothers, & Co. to buy up the three ceat
. stocks on the best terms at which they can be obtained, both in antion and Holland; the cost thereof to be placed to the debit of the bank, the certificates of the stock so purchased to remain with Messrs. Bar
Brothers, & Co. It was also stipulated, that, if the amount of stock so fehased, and of that retained by the holders, should, together, be less o ire millions of dollars, Messrs. Baring, Brothers, & Co. should make the deficiency in case the Bank should find it desirable to draw for it, or
part of it-the whole advance to be reimbursed by the bank in Octo-
"the bank shall not be at liberty to purchase any public debt whatever.” f'Lieu of the stipulation in the contract, in regard to the amount purchased,
was, in the same letter, proposed, that the certificates should be transmit-
passed to their credit on the books of the bank, and they continue to repeive an interest of three per cent., payable quarterly, until the 1st of October, 1833.
It is supposed to be optional with Messrs. Baring, Brothers & Co. and with the stockholders who have stipulated for a postponement of payment, to consent to the change proposed by the letter of the president of the bank, of the 15th of October, or to insist upon the performance of the original arrangement; and, should they pursue the latter course, the certificates cannot be finally surrendered before October, 1833. However this may be, and, Notwithstanding the bank has disavowed the authority of the agent to purebase
, it is certain that a delay, for a considerable period of time, has been, and trust yet be, occasioned, in the surrender of the certificates of stock, to a large amount; and, it is not perceived, that there is any sufficient justification, in the grounds of the transaction as assumed by the bank, for an arrangement in any form, by which so large an amount of the public funds should be retained by the bank, at the risk of the Government,
after it had directed their application to the payment of the public creditor.
It is apparent, however, that the apprehensions arising out of the arrangement, as it is understood to have been concluded by the agent of the bank, end of the consequences to which it might lead, more especially should the
parties in Europe insist upon its fulfilment; not less than the great amoun the bank's transactions, especially in its western branches, together other matters connected with its dealings, which have occupied the atteni of one branch of the legislature since the last annual report from this partment, have tended to disturb the public confidence in the managem of the institution; and these, taken in connexion with the necessary arran ments, in anticipation of finally closing its business, have suggested an in ry into the security of the bank, as the depository of the public funds.
The obligation of the Government, however, incurred by the notice the payment of the public debt, in October and January, at the several k offices, rendered any change, in this respect, inexpedient, at least wi out such an examination into the actual condition of the bank, as justice the institution, not less than to the community at large, required. Such examination as this department is authorized by the charter to make, ! been directed; and it is submitted to the wisdom of Congress to deci whether it shall be extended further.
The act of the 10th of May, 1800, which directs the annual report from t Secretary of the Treasury, would seem also to require that he should, in th communication, give information to Congress of any matters, either existil or apprehended, which seriously concern the collection of the revenue; an in the discharge of that duty, it is his task to advert to the measures now agitation in the State of South Carolina, altogether to prevent, at an ear day, the execution of the present revenue laws, within that State.
Such steps as are authorised and required by law, have already been t ken, to continue the due collection of the revenue: but, if the extraordinar measures which have been commenced by those exercising the authority that State, should be carried out, to the extent which, unhappily, there seem too much reason to apprehend, it is clear, that all the aids which the existin laws afford, will be inadequate to that object. Until, however, those mea sures shall be further matured, and more distinctly and officially known to the executive, it is deemed proper to abstain from more specific reference to the subject, in this report: though its great importance, and the deep solici tude which it has excited, have already directed the attention of the department to the remedies which that contingency may require.
The notice of Congress is respectfully invited to the accompanying report from the Commissioner of the General Land Office, shewing the transactions in that branch of the public service, during the present year; and ex: hibiting both its present condition, and the means deemed necessary by that officer for its proper and successful administration. All which is respectfully submitted.
Secretary of the Treasury. TREASURY DEPARTMENT, December 5, 1832.