The Revenue Bill.
The VICE-PRESIDENT. The hour of half past 10 o'clock having arrived, the Chair lays before the Senate the unfinished business.
The Senate, as in Committee of the Whole, resumed the consideration of the bill (H.R. 4564) to reduce taxation, to provide revenue for the Government, and for other purposes.
Mr. CULLOM. Mr. President, I dislike to occupy the attention of the Senate in the discussion of the bill which has been for some time under consideration. My only excuse for doing so now is the fact that I have not consumed a very large amount of time since the bill has been before the Senate. I say in advance that I do not expect to occupy the time of the Senate more than twenty or twenty-five minutes.
Mr. President, some weeks ago I had the honor of addressing the Senate on the subject of the tariff question generally, and upon the bill then under consideration in particular. How much of the bill then under consideration is left by the committee, the members of which have been offering and taking back amendments, I am unable to say. I think I am safe in saying that no bill ever had so interesting a history as the so-called Wilson bill has had so far. After a terrible struggle it finally found its way to the Senate. It came, much fatigued, but with some resemblance still of the Democratic platform of 1892. It came, too, carrying the banner of free sugar, but the powers of the trust have now mercilessly swept this from the bill.
The bill soon found its way to the Committee on Finance of this body, and into the secret chamber of the majority, where it remained in strict seclusion until it had been remodeled by limiting the beneficial effects of its few protective features to those products in which the South has a special interest. In all the changes which have been made, one line of policy is apparent: to oppress the great industries of the North for the benefit
5952of the South. While it is true that the Senate majority has ignored the Chicago platform in some respects, by partly recognizing protection as constitutional, it has done this in the interest of Southern States and by a direct attack upon industries in the northern half of the United States.
The effort has been made also, with apparent success, to so modify the general character of the pending measure as to make it certain that the labor employed in all branches of business in the Southern States shall be forced down to its lowest possible cost. The public economist who will give it his attention will discover that, as Southern labor mainly comes from the colored population, there can be practically no fair competition maintained by the laborers of the North as against this Southern labor, forced by such arbitrary legislation down to beggar prices.
The Republican policy is and always has been to dignify and benefit American labor, and that can best be done by generous protective legislation. The Democratic majority seems now determined by every effort to degrade labor and force Northern intelligent laborers into a wage competition with the negro laborer, made cheap and servile by methods long familiar to the statesmen of the South.
Mr. President, I might again discuss this bill item by item, but I will not detain the Senate by doing so. My purpose in taking the floor to-day is to day something which ought to be said in relation to the history of the tariff question as shown by the record.
Mr. President, the record which has been made and written and which is to stand forever, by which the initial century of the first enduring Republic of the world is to be known and judged, presents to our view the most conclusive evidence of the right of the general principle of protection which can be found in history. To trace the progress of our great nation from its birth down through the several administrations which have held control to the present year, is a most interesting and instructive study. Commencing with the first Federal enactment upon the subject of duties upon imports, the one signed by Washington, which in terms provided for a tariff for protection as well as revenue, we find steadily and constantly continuing legislation from administration to administration establishing as a national policy — or more correctly as a national principle — the American doctrine of protection for American industries.
This continuing practice, enforced by laws of a more or less distinctly protective character, obtained from 1790 until about the year 1832. During the Administration of Washington it was found by the careful collection of statistics of the commerce of the infant nation, that during the seven years prior to 1790 this country had paid to England the enormous tribute of over $52,000,000 that being the sum by which the importations from England exceeded the exports to that country from the United States.
This alarming condition, wherein it was shown that even with our then small population we were paying to the mother country nearly $8,000,000 annually in specie or its equivalent, was sufficient notice to the statesmen of that day that some American policy must be adopted or we should lose by the inexorable laws of commerce all the advantages we had purchase din blood by the war of the Revolution. Ten years more of such commercial subordination as must have followed in the absence of a tariff for protection as well as revenue, and this country would have entered the nineteenth century as a powerless colony of Great Britain, mercilessly held as a mere contributor to the treasury of that country and to the coffers of its tradesmen.
The American people became aroused. The people everywhere felt the injustice and saw the impending danger. The citizens of Virginia and North Carolina vied with those of Connecticut and Pennsylvania in the adoption of resolutions and in the formation of associations to promote American industries and develop American manufactures.
And so the First Congress of the United States was flooded with petitions from every State, begging that body "to rescue the country from disgrace and ruin" by "extending a protective hand to the interests of commerce and the arts."
That wonderful man, that great genius of our civil and military prosperity, George Washington, in his first message to the American Congress, in 1790, said:
The advancement of agriculture, commerce, and manufactures, by all proper means, will not, I trust, need recommendation; but I can not forbear intimating to you the expediency of giving effectual encouragement, as well to the introduction of new and useful inventions from abroad, as to the exertions of skill in producing them at home.
Wonder, Mr. President, stands the monument to that immortal hero as an earnest of the nation's gratitude, in sight of the sacred spot where reset his ashes; a monument designed to stand for ages yet to come; but that splendid shaft shall have crumbled to dust and its site be long forgotten before his words of enduring wisdom shall have lost their freshness to American hearts.
The progress of events proved the correctness of Washington's advice, and in his succeeding messages to Congress he repeatedly recommended and urged the continuance of protective legislation.
So thoroughly was the principle established in the American mind that succeeding Presidents and succeeding Congresses for forty years made no question of its soundness. Mr. Madison, who years afterward became President, had the honor of introducing in the First Congress that historic measure so often referred to, the first tariff law, and his hand penned the noted preamble, which reads as follows:
Whereas it is necessary for the support of the Government, the discharge of the debts of the United States, and the encouragement and protection of manufactures, that duties be laid on goods, wares, and merchandises imported, etc.
From the discussions in the earlier Congresses in which those fathers of the Republic participated, it does not appear that any one of them had discovered the modern doctrine that protection to American industry was unconstitutional. Washington and Madison agreed upon the necessity and constitutionality of protection to American manufactures and American industry and labor. The very ablest men in Congress defended and advocated protection, and its constitutionality was undoubted by them. In fact, the entire and only objection made, or opposition then manifested, was by those who opposed the new government which had just been organized in place of the Confederation, then defunct.
The Government had just abandoned the State-rights idea, which had dominated during the existence of the Confederation, and had adopted a new fundamental law, which in fact and in truth created this nation as a fixed governmental entity. It was no longer to be subject to the varying tempers and uncertain moods of State governments, but was to grow into and become the gigantic national establishment whose benefits and privileges we now enjoy. There were, it is true, a few malcontents at that time, who thought that all aggregate and combined political sovereignty rested in the several independent States, whose separate and supreme desires might not be controlled by any central government.
But the government lived and it properly dates its life as a Government only from the 4th day of March, 1789, the day on which the nation commenced its career under the Constitution. All the previous events, including the Declaration of American Independence, the war of the revolution, the adoption of the Articles of Confederation, and the creation of a Congress under those articles, and the adoption of the Ordinance of 1787, were simply steps in the progress of history which ultimately led to the starting forth of the new Government, as an absolute self-controlled and self-sustained nation of people called the United States of America.
The first necessary characteristic of any nation is, that it must possess the power to maintain and protect itself as against the world. And the first law of any republican nation, is that it must have the power to protect its people in their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. "Blood is thicker than water," and a republic shall therefore look first to its own people, its own children, as its own blood relations, whose interests are identical with its won welfare, and whose relations with the Government are mutual and reciprocal.
I may add here that it has seemed to me throughout the discussion of this great question that our friends upon the opposite side of this aisle have seemed to be more interested in the welfare of other governments and people than our own. I think that was illustrated yesterday in the discussion of the agricultural schedule, when our friends upon the other side in charge of this bill insisted, and they continue to insist, that as between the people of this country and those of Canada the Canadians must have the advantage, which they will inevitably have under this tariff bill as it stands before the Senate to day, in competition with the agricultural people of our country.
When, therefore, the Government, in the first year of its life, by the patriotic hands of Washington, Madison, and the other representatives of the people, declared and enacted a law establishing a system of protective duties, it did no more than was its bounden duty to do. I regard it as the highest, the most supreme duty and obligation of the legislative power of this country to give to the protective principle its most earnest, careful, and sincere support, and I have no sympathy or fellowship with any class or party which questions that duty or obligation.
I am unable to see how any man — and I do not question the patriotism of anyone in the Senate — how a Senator or anybody else who is patriotic can apparently disregard a principle which, to my mind, underlies the very foundation of the prosperity of the people of this country.
The House of Representatives, doubtless in response to the recommendations of Washington, ast that early period passed
5953the following resolution instructing Alexander Hamilton, then Secretary of the Treasury, to report a plan —
For the encouragement and promotion of such manufactures as will tend to render the United States independent of other nations for essential, particularly for military, supplies.
In due time Secretary Hamilton made his report in response to this resolution, in a most able and exhaustive discussion of the right and power of the Government to protect by tariff legislation the manufacturing and other enterprises of our country. I will not reproduce his language on this occasion, but content myself with quoting what an able author says of it:
The report of Mr. Hamilton, made in obedience to the foregoing resolution, presents the necessities and wants of the country so clearly and with such power of argument and illustration, that nothing has ever yet been said by the ablest theorizers who have tried to overthrow it to controvert successfully any of his positions.
I believe everybody admits that Alexander Hamilton upon all financial questions was one of the ablest men, if not the ablest man, whom this country has ever produced.
The result in a seven-year term, when our early industries were practically unprotected, has already been shown to have been over fifty-two millions in money against us. Let us take now another seven-year term, when the protective principle had had a chance for demonstrating its value. I will take the seven years ending in 1801, only ten years later, when the ideas and theories of Washington, Madison, and Hamilton were in practical operation, and I find that instead of a balance of trade against the United States of over fifty-two millions there was a balance in our favor of $89,374,315, or a net gain as compared to the former period of over $141,000,000.
John Adams, who succeeded Washington, in his last Presidential message in 1800 congratulated the country upon the success of the legislative policy then in force, and said:
I observe with much satisfaction that the product of the revenue during the present year has been more considerable than during any former period. This result affords conclusive evidence of the great resources of the country, and of the wisdom and efficiency of the measures which have been adopted by Congress for the protection of commerce and preservation of the public credit.
Thomas Jefferson, so often referred to as the patron saint of modern Democracy, would blush with indignation were he to come to earth and hear the insolence with which his well-digested views are treated by the tariff reformers of this day. He said, in one of his messages, that of 1806, after speaking of the existing era of prosperity which was likely, after paying the regular installments of the public debt, to produce a surplus in the Treasury:
The question, therefore, now comes forward, to what other objects shall these surpluses be appropriated, and the whole surplus of import, after the entire discharge of the public debt, and during those intervals when the purposes of war shall not call for them? Shall we suppress the impost and give that advantage to foreign over domestic manufactures?
Mr. Jefferson, during his Administration, continued to advise the retention of the protective duty which had brought the country to such a prosperous condition, when agriculture, manufactures, commerce, and navigation were approaching a solid basis, and the country developing its material wealth in a satisfactory degree.
His message of 1809, speaking of the embargo law, and other circumstances out of which grew later the war of 1812 with Great Britain, contains the following:
The suspension of foreign commerce produced by the injustice of the belligerent powers and the consequent losses and sacrifices of our citizens are subjects of just concern. The situation into which we have thus been forced has impelled us to apply a portion of our industry and capital to internal manufactures and improvements. The extent of this conversion is daily increasing, and little doubt remains that the establishments formed and forming will, under the auspices of cheaper materials and substance, the freedom of labor from taxation with us, and of protecting duties and prohibitions, become apparent.
In 1816, when Mr. Madison was President, he continued to hold the same just ideas of protection which he had held while in Congress during the Presidency of Washington. The Cabinet of Madison agreed with him in the belief that the principle of protection by duties upon imports was the cardinal principle which would make this an independent nation. Among these were the Secretary of State, James Monroe, afterwards himself President; Alexander J. Dallas, Secretary of the Treasury, and Attorney-General Rush. Mr. Dallas recommended increased duties on cotton and woolen goods for the specific purpose of protection to those manufactures. He said that most governments regarded the establishment of domestic manufactures "as a chief object of public policy," and he declared that the acts of Congress providing for duties on imports are "expressly connected with the policy of encouraging and protecting manufactures."
It is also a singular fact that in the Congress of 1816 the principle of protection was most ardently supported by a large popular majority, prominent among whom were Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun. This latter statesman, in those days when his patriotism and devotion to the Republic had not been overshadowed by the genius of secession and nullification, was the chosen advocate of protection. He had charge of the tariff bill, which was drawn as strongly upon the lines of absolute protection as has been latterly charged against the McKinley act, and his most earnest and conclusive speeches are yet the models of logical directness and precision in support of the great American protective system.
President Monroe's Administration was emphatically American and protective. His messages and public utterances contain numerous evidences of the thorough confidence which he entertained of the wisdom of protection. During his term as Chief Executive the country attained a high degree of prosperity and contentment, which fully justified every prediction of Clay and of Calhoun as to the efficacy of the protective principle. And during this period began the agitation of the free-trade policy. We had survived the war of 1812-'14, and our prosperity and rapid growth in wealth inspired the British Government and the English manufacturers with envy and jealousy. Organized and combined efforts of English interests were brought into effective operation to break down the industries which America had introduced and fostered. Political heresies and fallacies were instigated by paid emissaries from across the sea, and the weak and servile politicians of that day were quite as ready to accept plausibly presented error as have been the Populists of these days to swallow the cheap logic of cross-roads philosophers, whose voices echo through the land.
The emissaries from Great Britain not only appeared in those early days, in 1812 and along in that period, but they have been hovering over this country for the last twenty-five years, or at least ever since the war, with the determination on their part if they could by any influence they might bring to bear bring about a sentiment in favor of free trade in this country. Free trade and its wondrous value began to be talked and preached and found its starting point when our country was prosperous beyond precedent, just as it has the last time. But the Congress and the President were proof against such dangerous theories, and in 1824 "additional duties" for protection were put in force as a means of preventing and forestalling the possible success of an un-American free-trade policy.
President Andrew Jackson was an ardent and thorough protectionist, not only during his Presidential career, but had been such for years while he was in the Senate of the United States. In 1824, while a Senator, and only a short time before he voted for the tariff bill of that year, he wrote the celebrated letter to Dr. Coleman, of North Carolina, in which he used the following pertinent language:
Heaven smiled upon and gave us liberty and independence. The same Providence has blessed us with the means of national independence and national defense. If we omit or refuse to use the gifts which have been extended to us we deserve not the continuance of His blessing. He has filled our mountains and our plains with minerals — with lead, iron, and copper — and given us a climate and soil for the growing of hemp and wool. These being the greatest materials of our national defense, they ought to have extended to them adequate and fair protection, that our manufacturers and laborers may be placed in fair competition with those of Europe, and that we may have within our country a supply of those leading and important articles so essential in war.
It is therefore my opinion that a careful and judicious tariff is much wanted to pay our national debt and to afford us the means of that defense within ourselves on which the safety of our country and liberty depends.
Mr. President, there never has been in the history of this country a more patriotic, a wiser declaration by any statesman, and it seems especially pertinent to this very period. He speaks about Heaven having given us a climate and a soil for the growing of hemp and wool. Such a climate we have. Nevertheless, it is proposed by our friends upon the other side of the Chamber that we shall do what Jackson advised should not be done — take the tariff off of wool, and put our wool in competition with the wool of the world.
Then he says:
Last, though not least, give a proper distribution to our labor, which must prove beneficial to the happiness, independence, and wealth of the community.
To-day, if the policy of the majority, in the Senate is to be carried out, we shall take off, to an extent, the tariff for protection upon these great industries. The result will be that the great body of laboring people of this country in the future, if that policy shall prevail, will be in idleness, or they will be put upon starvation wages, as many of those who have work at all are to-day.
In 1828 Gen. Jackson in a letter to Governor Ray, of Indiana, reiterated his views as expressed in a letter to Dr. Coleman, and took quite as strong a position in favor of protection as had been taken by any of its most ardent supporters.
In his first message, in 1829, he said:
The general rule to be applied in graduating the duties upon articles of foreign growth or manufacture is that which will place our own in fair competition
with those of other countries; and the inducements to advance even a step beyond this point are controlling in regard to those articles which are of prime necessity in time of war.
What I favor and hope to see yet adopted before we get through with the bill is a provision which will put this country at least upon a fair basis as compared with the other nations of the world. In other words, what I most strongly desire is that such a policy shall be adopted as will protect the great body of the laboring people of this country, so that our industries may be carried on and that the wages of American citizens shall not be reduced in order to carry them on. I have already introduced a substitute for the pending bill which I hope may yet be adopted.
Again, in the same message, President Jackson said:
It is principally as manufactures and commerce tend to increase the value of agricultural productions and to extend their application to the Wants and comforts of society, that they deserve the fostering care of Government.
Mr. President, even at that day and for years before, the name of "the American system" had been appropriately applied to this beneficent system of protection, which had been the great agency of our success and which had had the continued support of all our Presidents and of both branches of Congress. Such great statesmen as Benton of Missouri, Johnson of Kentucky, Daniel Webster, James Buchanan, Silas Wright, Henry Clay, and John Quincy Adams were its outspoken, earnest advocates. But a new era was approaching. Under the Jackson administration the country had reached such a height of prosperity and was enjoying such unexampled material success that Old Hickory in his message of December, 1831, used the following striking language:
If, from the satisfactory view of our agriculture, manufactures, and internal improvements, we turn to the state of our navigation and trade with foreign nations and between States, we shall scarcely find less cause for gratulation. A beneficent providence has provided for their exercise and encouragement an extensive coast, indented by capacious bays, noble rivers, inland seas; with a country productive of every material for shipbuilding, and every commodity for gainful commerce, and filled with a population active, intelligent, well informed, and fearless of danger. These advantages are not neglected, and an impulse has lately been given to commercial enterprise which fills our shipyards with new constructions, and encourages all the arts and branches of industry connected with them, crowds the wharves of our cities with vessels, and covers the most distant seas with our canvas.
I feel like saying what I have always felt — that I am inclined to believe, while Gen. Jackson was a man of iron and of great courage, and not a man of letters, that there has scarcely been any man in our country who has said more beautiful or wise things or given expression to more patriotic sentiments than Old Hickory himself. The honorable Senator from Massachusetts [Mr. HOAR] reminds me that it was said that if he could not write he could make his mark. He made his mark in building up the country, and he made it in defending his country in the field as well.
All this was soon to be changed; a crucial test of the wisdom of our rulers and the value of our constitutional Government was son to be precipitated upon the country. Mr. Calhoun, the former champion of protection, had about reached the opposite view and was to become the apostle of free trade. The Congress passed the tariff law of 1832, and it was signed by President Jackson. This became the signal for the inauguration of war by the free traders and nullificationists of South Carolina. President Jackson's personal character and private life was bitterly attacked, while his official career was arraigned by such inflammatory and denunciatory speeches, resolutions, and legislation as the ingenuity of South Carolina malignity could devise. The are two theories of State rights and free trade, closely akin as they are, gave birth to secession and nullification, and but for the prompt and patriotic action of Andrew Jackson the overt act of armed rebellion would have followed.
South Carolina was the birthplace of free trade, and the nullification ordinance of that Commonwealth, passed in November, 1832, was the first official enunciation of the theory reiterated sixty years later at Chicago by a Democratic convention in 1892, that a protective tariff is unconstitutional.
Mr. President, I am not speaking at random, nor without due consideration of the importance of the statement; but I desire to recall your attention and the attention of the Senate and the country to the significant fact above stated, that the Democratic convention of 1892, a body composed largely, as I have reason to believe, of conservative and moderate Democrats, should have consented to the incorporation into their platform of the great central idea born of nullification in 1832, that protection is unconstitutional.
It is lamentable, Mr. President, that such a monstrous doctrine should have found its way into the fundamental structure of a great political party. I do not pretend to assert that this was the trap which it is said Mr. Cleveland believes was laid for him in the Chicago Democratic platform; but certainly, except in the nullification ordinance of South Carolina in 1832, there can not be found in the history of political parties, recent or remote, any such damning assertion as that incorporated into the Chicago Democratic platform, upon which Mr. Cleveland, with the Senator from Missouri, the Senator from Texas, the Senator from Maryland, and the Senators from New York, is supposed to stand. Let me quote it verbatim and compare it with the nullification ordinance:
We declare it to be a fundamental principle of the Democratic party that the Federal Government has no constitutional power to impose and collect tariff duties, except for the purpose of revenue only.
DISUNION, NULLIFICATION ORDINANCE.
We, therefore, the people of the State of South Carolina in convention assembled, do declare and ordain that the several acts imposing duties on imports (the tariff laws of 1828 and 1832) are unauthorized by the Constitution of the United States, and are null and void and no law.
Thereupon, upon the lead of Mr. Calhoun, a rebellion was inaugurated, or attempted to be inaugurated, by undertaking to take South Carolina out of the Union. I am reminded by the honorable Senator from Ohio [Mr. SHERMAN] that the same principle was embodied in the constitution of the so-called Southern Confederacy. It was one of the stones of the corner upon which that government was attempted to be built.
Mr. PLATT. May I interrupt the Senator from Illinois?
Mr. CULLOM. Certainly.
Mr. PLATT. A very significant fact to be spoken of in this connection is that the words "tariff reform" were first inaugurated by Governor Hayne when he made his proclamation in insuing the nullification ordinance.
Mr. CULLOM. I remember that that is true.
This, with other ordinances, completely nullifying the laws of Congress, was reported in this South Carolina nullification convention by Gen. Hayne, November 20, 1832, and adopted by a nearly unanimous vote.
The party in South Carolina which promoted and urged these proceedings adopted the name of "the Free Trade and State Rights party." In July 1832, Mr. Calhoun, in a letter to citizens of Colleton, spoke of them by that name, and in this same letter he said:
In the short space of four years our doctrine has overspread our own State and is rapidly taking root beyond our limits.
And so it was.
It should be borne in mind that the letter of Mr. Calhoun was written when Calhoun was the Vice-President of the United States, and it shows clearly what I intimated earlier in these remarks that subsequent to 1828 Mr. Calhoun changed his views, and from the firm and solid ground of American protection he passed out upon the dangerous marsh of free trade.
"Free trade and State rights" was the motto of disunion, the excuse for secession, and although crushed out by Jackson in 1832, it sprang anew into disgraceful life in 1860, to be driven to the wall at untold cost of blood and treasure by Lincoln, and Grant, and Sherman, and Logan, and PALMER, I may say, and many other distinguished men.
In 1892 the false creed again sprang into being and was adopted by the Democratic party only to be again driven from the political field as it will be in 1894.
A revenue tariff, pure and simple, is a misnomer and an impossibility. It is merely a halfway house between free trade and protection, a neutral ground where cowards may meet as under a truce to concoct unholy compromises and base compacts between sugar trusts and lead trusts and questionable "combines," to the injury of legitimate commercial and agricultural and manufacturing interests. Dignified and worthy Senators console themselves with the idea that the compound of free trade and State rights is vastly more palatable when it is labeled "tariff reform" than when it was called by its true and proper designation of nullification and disunion.
That sturdy old Republican-Democrat, Andrew Jackson, whose "by the Eternal" meant all that his full and expressive utterance could imply, built his everlasting fame upon the true support he always gave to the American system, and nowhere in our wonderful legacy of state papers are to be found any more touching or eloquent tributes to the beauty, simplicity, and value of the American Union than in the messages, letters, and proclamations of Jackson. The closing words of his proclamation to the South Carolina discontents, generally known as "Jackson's nullification proclamation," are to be classed in classic beauty beside the address of Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg. I quote a few lines:
Fellow-citizens of the United States, the threat of unhallowed disunion, the names of those once respected by whom it is uttered, the array of military force to support it, denote the approach of a crisis in our affairs on which the continuance of our unexampled prosperity, our political existence, and perhaps that of all free governments may depend.
Preserve the Union by all constitutional means, and if it be the will of Heaven that a recurrence of the primeval curse on man for the shedding of
a brother's blood should fall upon our land, let it not be called down by any offensive act on the part of the United States.
Mr. President, these words sound to my ears as though they had been uttered by the immortal Lincoln himself. They are akin to the words uttered by him when he stood upon the east steps of the Capitol, appealing to the South to obey the law, that the shedding of blood might be averted.
Mr. President, Gen. Jackson was no more patriotic than others of that day and earlier, whose memory we revere and love. He was, as I have shown, upon the great subject of protection in perfect sympathy and harmony with Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Monroe, and the others, no matter by what party name they were designated.
I desire especially, however, to call the attention of the Senate and the public to the close and intimate connection in our history between free trade and the earlier efforts to destroy the Union. Free trade in the United States, as regards imports from abroad, was never seriously thought of until the Palmetto State took the lead in striving to destroy the Union. And the avowed object of that incipient rebellion was to either compel this Government to abdicate its own authority to collect duties or allow a single State to declare its independence. Slavery, of course, had a collateral relation to the question, but it was by no means prominent; the only grievance then claimed being that the protective tariff by its reflex action interfered with the British market for their cotton. If you will look over the Library you will find the book entitled Cotton is King. In that idea was centered the idea of secession, if they could not make cotton king and dominate the people of the Northern States and the country.
The question is no different to-day from what it was then so far as the principle is involved. Some of our Southern statesmen come honestly, by inheritance, to the belief in free trade, or tariff reform so called, but how any public man outside the South not tied down by sectional prejudice or inherited heresy can support such belief, except as he would support resistance to constitutional government, I can not see. Our Populist friends, I do not mean all of them, look at only one side of the shield, and the youngest Populist in the United States insists with perfect confidence and self-assertion upon the absolute verity of his interpretation of problems which have staggered students and sages. They have been deceived by the mellifluous platitudes of interested advocates and have with open ears received, and with open mouths proclaimed as very truth, antiquated exploded dogmas or modern humbugs, which disappear like bubbles when touched with the finger of inquiry. And the most ignorant are the most blatant. The emptiest head can make the loudest noise. On every hand the observant man can verify the truth of Pope's sententious lines:
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring;
The shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.
Mr. President, I have so far confined myself to the discussion of the question of the power of Congress to levy duties for the protection of American interests, and in such discussion I have quoted the great minds of the country upon whose judgment and action during the formative period of our national existence we have a right to rely. I have quoted from the almost unanimous expression of our patriotic Presidents and loyal public men up to 1828 upon one side of the issue, and I have referred upon the other side to those who at about that time originated free trade and its brother, State rights; to those who inaugurated the theory of the right of a State to nullify the laws of the United States and dissolve the Union.
I have not referred to the particulars of the pending tariff bill, nor to the wool tariff, nor in detail to the tariff or the bounty upon sugar, nor to any of the specifications as to particular interests which are to be affected either for life or death by this bill. Those are matters of detail which should come under our consideration only as a last resort when the ultimate determination shall be reached, that the ordinance of the nullifiers in 1832, reenacted by the politicians in 1892, is to be the standard of the Fifty-third Congress. When that point is reached, and when it shall become certain that the prosperous conditions under the McKinley tariff of 1890 are to be entirely overthrown and desecrated, it will then be our duty to do the best we can to save a plank or a spar or a mast here and there from the general wreck.
But as Senators of the United States, while this contest is being waged, ought we not to take into our full view and give our serious consideration to collateral evidences everywhere observable, that the situation is threatened again by the revival of issues which lead only in one direction? The tariff bill is only a step, but an important step toward wholly sectionalizing again the people of the United States. The Senators who have attached the four hundred and more amendments to this bill, known as the committee amendments, are each one of them opposed in principle to the amendments, and avow themselves in favor of free raw material. Three of these Senators, the gentlemen representing the Finance Committee, and having charge of the bill, are gentlemen who represent also States which in 1861 adhered to the State-rights and free-trade doctrines which were set out in the first part of the constitution of the Southern Confederacy.
Each of these gentlemen gave his allegiance and his personal service either in the field or in the Confederate congress to effectuating the supremacy of those doctrines. I do not refer in any personal sense to these facts of history, except so far as may be pertinent to the issue upon which those Senators seem now to occupy the position of control. They are certainly consistent in their belief in free trade, and honest in their opposition to protection. They do not dissemble nor hide their views. And it is therefore not improper to consider their avowed belief and what its success may impose, when it is considered in connection with other facts and circumstances of common knowledge.
The distinguished Senator from Tennessee now charged with the rapid transit of this bill through the Senate took occasion a few weeks ago to address the Senate, and his remarks have such significance as representing the views of a great party which had already adopted a nullification resolution at Chicago, that I think it only fair to refer to and quote some of those remarks. The distinguished Senator has been a public man for nearly fifty years and has held the highest and most responsible and honorable positions with which his State could endow him. He has never hidden or concealed his views, and therefore on February 6th last in this Senate, in speaking upon the bill for the repeal of the Federal election laws, he did not excite great surprise when he said:
What is the Government of the United States? It is simply an aggregation of States. The United States is composed of separate States, each separate State being part of the whole.
In the same speech he says:
South Carolina, always true to the principle of State rights, needs no comment.
Rhode Island was a stalwart defender of State rights then, but how have the mighty fallen.
I shall not at this time attempt any controversion of these utterances, but simply present them as bearing upon the relation now held by the Democratic party to the tariff question in the United States.
Aside from the implied guaranty of protection which it is presumed the Government must maintain towards its citizens while exercising their privilege of suffrage (the law to effectuate which has been repealed by the Democratic party in this Congress), what power of self-preservation does the Government possess if the right to protect our industrial interests by tariff legislation is unconstitutional, as declared by the Chicago convention? With these two powers denied, how sadly true it is, as the Senator from Tennessee says, of this Government that —
It is simply an aggregation of States!
But the Senator from Tennessee is not by any means alone in his support of State rights or of the Chicago platform.
Certain gentlemen in Richmond on Decoration Day gave vigorous expression to certain statements regarding the controversy which had its undoubted origin in free trade and State rights doctrine. A reverend orator there said:
At Appomattox, Puritanism, backed by overwhelming numbers and unlimited resources, prevailed. But brute force can not settle questions of right and wrong. Thinking men do not judge the merits of a cause by the measure of its success; and I believe
"The world shall yet decidethat the South was in the right; that her case was just; that the men who took up arms in her defense were patriots, who had even better reason for what they did than had the men who fought at Concord, Lexington, and Bunker Hill; and that her coercion, whatever good may have resulted or may hereafter result from it, was an outrage on liberty. [Applause.]
In truth's clear, far-off light."
Their example bids us nobly live for the principles for which they bravely fought and died — the principle of State sovereignty and home rule, on which this Government was wisely founded by our fathers, without which no vast territory like ours can possibly remain democratic, departure from which is rapidly hurrying the country to a choice between anarchy and imperialism, and return to which is essential to the preservation of the life of the Republic.
What significance this may have had as the utterance of a partisan preacher is of little consequence. But that it was delivered on an occasion when ex-Governor Fitzhugh Lee was grand marshal of the day; when Governor O'Ferall, but lately a Representative in Congress, and Gen. Wade Hampton, late a Senator in this Chamber and now a salaried officer of the United States, were participants in the celebration; when delegations from South Carolina, bearing palmetto branches in their hands, and the Maryland delegation, under command of Gen. Bradley
5956T. Johnson, joined vociferously in the cheering, and not a word of criticism or expression of shame was heard, gives ground for some slight feeling of inquiry as to what part or lot the United States Government might properly have had in the grand jubilee.
The same paper also says:
At a reunion of Confederate cavalry veterans to-day Gen. Rosser delivered a characteristic tirade, in which he spoke of the Union Army as an army of locusts, devouring the substance of Virginia, and a lot of substitutes for men who remained at home and made money and now draw pensions. He denounced the invitation of the Grand Army of the Republic to Atlanta, and predicted another Southern invasion of Yankees, who would destroy the Confederate monuments.
Some tender apologists for Gen. Rosser are given to saying that he is a well-known sensation-maker, but I have not yet seen any attempt to prove that the statements of either of those orators are not the logical outcome of the doctrines of free trade and State rights. If the ordinance of South Carolina in 1832 was right, and if the third section of the Chicago platform of 1892 was right, and if the doctrine of the Senator from Tennessee upon State rights was correct, and if the free-trade theories of the Senators from Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas are true and correct, then the utterances of Rev. Mr. Cave and Gen. Rosser are logical and just. There is just that logical relation between them all, that it may as well be accepted in that way.
But the whole category are wrong. Free trade is wrong, as nullification was wrong, and as disunion and secession were wrong. Each one is wrong because each other is wrong. No matter how or when or where they may spring up and live a short and troublesome life, they will die. The Senate and the Government should always be ready to hasten their death, because in whatever form they appear they are maladies which threaten the Republic. The remedy is obvious, and its speedy administration is indicated by passing events.
No believer in the principle of protection could logically join in the rebellion of 1861, because that trouble was founded almost wholly upon opposition to protection. If any person holding decided views in favor of protection to American industry ever participated in that act of secession or engaged under its banner, he was enlisted under false pretenses or misunderstood the issue. That issue was higher and broader and more important than the right of property in slaves, although the latter was the most apparent to the casual observer.
That issue between free trade and protection affected every citizen in his home, over the country at large, and the "irrepressible conflict" referred to by Lincoln and by Seward was more largely a conflict between the two principles which alternately had dominated the realms of trade and commerce, manufactures, and agriculture than between the slaveholder and the abolitionist. Slavery was an existent fact and a condition repugnant alike to justice and wisdom, but in the warfare between decent protection to free labor and that free trade which wanted to extend slavery over the Territories, the servile condition was crushed to death. No honest tears were shed over slavery, and when free trade finally meets its fate it will deserve no wake. But the Democratic party, which has long been an ardent antagonist of protection, and which finally in 1892 resolved itself into a supreme court, has decided the utter invalidity of any tariff law which protects American over foreign productions.
To this decision of the supreme court of Democracy President Cleveland avowed his allegiance. A majority of the Senators in this body kneeled in suppliance to the new platform, while the people of the entire South cried "amen!" Democratic Senators stood by the platform so long as avowals and buncombe speeches constituted the whole duty of Democratic statesmanship. But when it came to making a tariff law, and perhaps other laws as well, when constituents were clamoring and delegations were pressing, then these original free trade, antiprotection, tariff-reform protectionists took the Wilson bill from the House, covered it all over with specific protective patches, and when called to account for violating the Chicago platform they profanely say of the platform what Vanderbilt was charged with saying of the public.
There is always something sad about the passing away of a great party. One feels lonely even when the halting and decrepit old sinner who has been our neighbor for years degenerates into his second childhood and becomes the byword and laughingstock of his own family. When the utterances of the old man fail to command even the respectful attention of his own children, as has been and is being shown daily, I hope that we, the minority of unregenerate protectionists in this Congress, may be pardoned for expressing at least a word of kindly sympathy for the poor old Democratic party. Right here in this Senate Democratic Senators have given the Chicago platform the cut direct, and in some hundreds of different places in the pending tariff bill they have inserted protection pins. These have become most irritating to the few remaining stalwart and stanch free-trade Democrats, who thought the platform meant what it said. My distinguished friend, the Senator from Missouri, comes limping to the confessional and says with tears in his eyes:
We had to do it. We could not help ourselves. We wanted free wool, free lead, free iron, free raw materials, and free everything, but we could not get them. Our fellow Democrats will not let us follow the party platform. I have done the best I could and the blame must rest where it belongs.
Mr. President, what Republican heart was not touched with this tale of woe? And how does it leave our old troublesome neighbor, the Democratic party? Stabbed and wounded and mocked at in the house of its friends — its platform attacked and violated, scoffed at and derided. How sad!
And again, only a few days ago, a Democratic gentleman [Mr. RAYNER] said in another place amid "ripples of laughter and bursts of applause," concerning one of the solemn pledges of the Democratic platform, the one pledging the repeal of the State bank tax, that the platform might as well have pledged the repeal of the ten commandments. I believe after all the struggle the House of Representatives has refused to repeal the 10 per cent. tax on State bank speculation. And even Hon. William M. Springer, a Democratic gentleman of my own home, who is a candidate for Congress there, in a lengthy speech the other day, presumably delivered to his constituents, took the ground that the Democratic platform was entirely wrong in its effort to open up and revive again the miserable old State bank system.
What is about to happen, Mr. President, when such heresies are allowed? Every plank and resolution of that great platform has heretofore been as sacred in the eyes of all true, believing, sugar-tariff Democrats as is the image of the great Buddha to the poor Hindoo upon the banks of the Ganges.
Mr. President, section 10 of the Chicago platform is perhaps the most exquisite piece of satire to be found anywhere in political literature. Its author deserves canonization and a consul-generalship, at least, for the wonderful discovery that —
The Democratic party is the only party that has ever given the country a foreign policy consistent and vigorous, compelling respect abroad and inspiring confidence at home.
I am gratified to say right here that I read in the dispatches this morning that a convention of freemen in the islands of Hawaii is now in session forming a constitution for a republican government, and preparing themselves to come to the United States and ask again for admission in our Union when the Republicans elect the next President and get the next Congress.
I have no wish to be cruel or to dwell upon painful subjects, but the few lines just quoted, taken in connection with the recent report of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate upon Hawaiian matters, only emphasizes the sadness which I feel, not only for my friends upon the other side of this Chamber, but for that trembling relic, the Democratic party, whose only garment is the tattered and torn remnant of the Chicago platform of 1892.
Now, Mr. President, when it appears that plank after plank of that wonderful piece of architecture constructed at Chicago in 1892 is being daily ignored by the very builders who created it; when its prototype, the South Carolina ordinance of 1832, has long passed into oblivion; when great Democratic leaders ridicule its pretentions to judicial interpretation; when active and deserving Democratic legislators make fun of its attempt to open the door for the flooding of the country with alleged currency — a currency that, like the unrepentant sinner, does not know that its redeemer liveth; when that plank, which expresses its horror at the existence of "trusts and combines," did not prevent liberal contributions from one or more of those trusts being used to elect a Democratic President; I say when these things are apparent, is it not about time to stop a bit and kick the friendless old platform out upon the waste pile?
Where is the necessity for a new tariff law? I am ready and willing to join in almost any sort of a tribute to the ability and integrity, industry and versatility of the three Senatorial graces from Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas, whose great work has so far contributed largely to our entertainment, although it can hardly be said to have enthused the country. I will give my full consent, even, that they may copyright the whole bill as it stands — Wilsonism, Mills bill, income tax, Jones's amendments and all — to have and to hold as vested rights to themselves and their heirs and assigns forever. I am even willing as a peace measure to quietly lay it away with the Democratic platform in some place of storage for second-hand political lumber. Get it out of Congress! Let the McKinley law remain! With all its faults it is by far the best! Let the Americans have a chance. Let true American policy hold a place in our legislation. I believe that Americans have yet some rights in this country, and that the interests and industries of American producers and consumers are entitled to a higher consideration than the capitalists and manufacturers of foreign countries, or the importers and dealers in foreign wares.
The McKinley law is not a perfect law, and when we again get control of the Congress of the United States we will revise it, unless a commission is appointed to do it in the meantime. We will revise it upon the line of reasonable protection to American industry and to the great body of the laborers in this country. I can not let the opportunity go by without saying that in this Republic we can not afford, if we mean that this Government as a republic shall endure, to adopt a policy which will result in pauperizing and degrading the great laboring population of our country. My chief end and aim in the revision of the tariff is simply to put our industries on a plane where they can live and where they will have no excuse for the reduction of wages to the great body of the laboring people of our country. Our republican institutions demand it; intelligence and schools and all that is good in society and Government demand that the wages of the great body of the people of this country shall be maintained at reasonable rates. Humanity demands it.
Mr. President, I have detained the Senate longer than I expected when I commenced my remarks. I perhaps owe an apology to the Senate for doing so. I have not been disposed to obstruct fair progress in the consideration of the bill. I have always favored due consideration of all measures that might come before the Senate, and the Senate can not afford to divest itself of the right and authority to insist and secure such due consideration. But while I have entertained these views, I have felt that it is not the policy or ought not to be the policy of either party to undertake to delay, beyond reasonable consideration, any measure which may properly come before the Senate of the United States for its action.
I will refer while I am on my feet to a very few other matters which have been discussed in connection with the agricultural schedule that has been under consideration for some days. I have made no remarks upon that particular branch of the tariff bill, but I desire to say, in the first place, that even though the agricultural products of the country are not directly protected, I mean by a duty upon wheat and corn and such articles, yet I maintain that a protective policy is in the interest of the agriculturists as well as the manufacturers.
The very condition of this country to-day proves it, because when the mills are shut up, when the mines are closed, when the factories are closed, when men are out of work and consequently out of money, the result is that they can not buy what they want and what they ought to have as good citizens and as freemen in this country. So, even if agricultural products have no specific duties laid upon them, I maintain that it is in the interest of the farmers that a protective tariff should be maintained upon manufactures and other articles, because men at work, getting good wages in the mills and prosperous, create a market for the products of the agriculturists surrounding them.
But I maintain at the same time that we ought to give protection to the agriculturists directly as well as to the manufacturers. My distinguished friend from Missouri [Mr. VEST] says: "Oh, protection to agricultural products is a mere myth." I say if it is a myth why should you object? He says it is a fraud. How is it a fraud? If it gives no protection it ought not to be considered a fraud. The Democratic party in their platform denounce protection as a fraud, because it did give protection, and then they turn around and say because they think protection does not give protection to wheat and other articles it is a fraud as well. I say when $15,000,000 and more of wheat and corn is coming into this country, it certainly does no harm and it may do some good to maintain a protective tariff; and so far as I am concerned I should make it so high as to prohibit the importation of foreign wheat and corn into this country from any other country.
A god deal has been said about these Southern articles and justly said. The time will come, if we break down the bars, so that agricultural products can come from all the rest of the world, when the people upon the seacoast will care nothing for the corn and wheat in the Mississippi Valley, but will get it under the very laws of trade and commerce from the outside nations that can bring it here in their big vessels with scarcely any tariff rates whatever.
But, Mr. President, I want to refer to another thing before I sit down. Under a vote of the Senate I believe just about the time I returned to my seat, what is called barbed wire was put upon the free list. Mr. President, it is assumed that that was done as a sort of sop to the distinguished Senator from Nebraska [Mr. ALLEN], and the Senator from South Dakota [Mr. KYLE], that they might be induced to vote for the tariff bill upon its final passage. I do not believe there was any occasion for giving the many special favor by placing any items on the free list in order to secure their votes. They have seemed to be pretty loyal to the Democratic party from the time that they were sworn in.
But whatever may be the purpose, barbed wire, fence wire, has been put upon the free list, and I understand there is a purpose to put wire of all kinds and iron and steel our of which fence wire is made on the free list. There are about fifty — probably not more than forty now — mills manufacturing fence wire in this country. More than half of the wire manufactured is made in mills located in the State which my honored friend [Mr. PALMER] and myself represent. In the city of Joliet, the only mills that are in operation there to-day I understand are manufacturing fence wire, and the only source of employment of the great body of laboring people of that city, where there are other large mills as well but not in operation, is found in those mills manufacturing wire. Yet those mills are to be closed up if putting this article on the free list should have that effect, as is alleged.
I have a letter here from a distinguished gentleman whose name I am not at liberty to give because the letter was not written to me, in which he says:
I notice that the Senate Finance Committee proposes to place barbed wire on the free list, and while I feel that the matter has already had your kind attention —
Referring to a gentleman in the other House —
perhaps a word from me may not be out of place. The fact is that there are about forty barbed-wire factories at present in the United States. There were over fifty, but the competition has forced some ten or fifteen concerns out of business during the past twelve months, and if this additional disaster should come upon the business it is hard to estimate the damage. Personally I say to you — and I would be willing to show you our books at any time — that during the year 1893, when we were working between three and four hundred men, our loss was over $22,000 for the year, saying nothing of interest on the investment.
There are employed in the barbed-wire factories in America between eight and ten thousand men, and in producing the wire from the raw material there are between fifteen and twenty thousand more, and to-day we are selling barbed wire at actual cost. The result of putting it upon the free list, I feel, will be apparent to you. I would only add that it seems some foreigners are already anticipating a move of this kind, as we have received letters from New York agents of foreign concerns wishing to buy barbed-wire machinery for export. I do not see why any foreign country should be entitled to this privilege, when the fact is that they never knew of barbed wire until it was introduced by American brain and American capital.
Barbed wire is selling — I understand from another letter which I have not with me to-day, and I believe my colleague verifies it by his own experience in dealing in the article in order to fence his farm — at from 2Ë to 2Å¾ cents a pound to-day. A sufficient amount of barbed wire to fence any quarter section of land is the merest bagatelle so far as the wire itself is concerned. It is so cheap, as my distinguished colleague said, they might almost as well give it away.
Yet it is proposed by the Senators in charge of this bill that that article shall be put upon the free list so as to tickle the fancy of some farmer out in the western part of Nebraska imagining that barbed wire is a terrible oppression to him. I say it is the duty of the Senate, it seems to me, to look not only after the agricultural people but to the great body of laboring men who are out of employment and those who are engaged in the mills that are still running. Some of them will be thrown out of employment if we undertake to put these articles upon the free list, especially if the amendments yet suggested are to be adopted by the Senate of the United States.
Mr. President, I bet pardon for detaining the Senate so long.
Mr. PALMER. Mr. President —
Mr. HOAR. Will the senator from Illinois permit me to make a suggestion in regard to his colleague's last sentence, which should go with it?
Mr. PALMER. I yield for that purpose.
Mr. HOAR. I wish to say in regard to the matter of barbed wire that there is the largest wire factory in the world in the city where I dwell. Its managers formerly and now, from the time it grew up from an industry almost within the command of a single blacksmith, have been my neighbors and friends. That factory is a very good illustration of the operation of a tariff.
When I first came into the other House in 1869, protection to that industry was a very important matter indeed. Its president used to come to Washington when a tariff bill was up, to be careful of the phraseology which would affect that interest, and of course, being the largest concern in my neighborhood and managed by my friends (although I gave such service as I could to every other industry), I was expected especially to understand something about that.
Time went on and finally the question became to them of importance, not so much that their wire should be protected as whether there should be a heavy proportionate duty on the steel blooms and billets, and other articles which were their material, and the question concerned the Pennsylvania representatives in adjusting the duties between those two important questions. Finally the production advanced so that they made their own steel. They rolled the rods to a very small size instead of importing the rods from England as formerly.
Before I came on this winter I consulted with the managers of that institution, and they said that they were entirely indifferent,
5958so far as they were personally concerned, as to the matter of a duty. They were most of them protectionists, because they considered that the general prosperity of the country depends upon the protective system and all their trade depends upon the extent of the market. I do not know whether they answered the inquiries sent out by the Committee on Finance.
I will state the condition of that industry now. This great concern can support itself pretty well. They have capital; they have men of wealth in the concern; they have organization; they have patents, and they can support themselves pretty well against any foreign capitalist who attempts to run in and put down their markets.
But there are growing up all over the Northwest, close to the material and close to the market, where the freight is not a part of the cost, smaller concerns; some in St. Louis, several in Illinois, some in other Western States. I do not know how many there may be in Illinois, but probably five or ten establishments.
Mr. CULLOM. I understand at this time about one-half of the fence wire made in the country is manufactured in the State of Illinois.
Mr. HOAR. Now, these growing and starting industries need this protection which the big establishment of my constituents has got past. Therefore, while I have no interest as representing any constituency, I know very well that the wire industry of the Northwest and the Middle States, which is growing up, needs very much protection against the sending in a quantity of German and English wire to the market, breaking them down and then raising the price. My constituents will stand it now. They can stand against the Englishman, and they will survive. They will suffer perhaps for a few years, but they will survive.
I wanted to add that statement to the statement of my friend from Illinois.
Mr. CULLOM. I am glad to have had it made.
Mr. PALMER. Mr. President, I know that barbed wire is very cheap in Illinois. I have heard my colleague, however, say very often that protection cheapens. I should doubt the wisdom, if that doctrine is true, of any further protection, for it seems to me now that it is as low as it can possibly reach, and if it be further protected I fear it will be destroyed. I agree with my colleague in regard to the production of barbed wire in our State. It seems to be cheap enough; and I sympathize very much with the letters that we have received in relation to the further protection not of wire but of the material of which the wire is made. But to that I shall call attention at some future time.
Mr. President, I have no desire to attempt a general answer to the remarks of my colleague, which were prepared with care. I congratulate him on the ability with which he has presented the question he has chosen to discuss; but I wish to state that my colleague and myself differ radically on many points. Our differences are amicable. We both have too much sense to suppose that a difference of opinion is a ground of personal controversy.
My colleague speaks of the North. He speaks of sectional interests. He comments on the fact that this bill is in the hands of gentlemen who represent three of the Southern States. My colleague speaks again of Northern industries. My colleague belongs to the North. I do not. The State we represent does not belong to the North. The State we represent extends in its geography from the Lakes to the Gulf. The State of Illinois extends, as its geography is known, from Lake Michigan to the union of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. It is connected by a navigable stream, by one of the great rivers of the West, with the Gulf of Mexico, and I anticipate a time when Lake Michigan will be connected with the Gulf by navigable waters.
It is not, therefore, possible for me to regard the State of Illinois as being a part of the North. It is a part of the American Union, and it owes no allegiance to the Northeast, although many of its most valuable citizens are immigrants from New England and other States of the North and of the East. They are, however, thoroughly naturalized; they are Illinoisans, and they are proud of the State; they recognize its importance and its influence, and they are devoted to its interests; never ceasing, however, to remember their obligations to our common country. Therefore the argument of my colleague, based on his complaints of sectionalism and the pending bill, and his attempt to revive old controversies and old bitternesses, will be lost upon the people of our State.
Mr. CULLOM. If my colleague will allow me, I have made no attempt whatever to revive old bitternesses. What I have said was more historical than otherwise, with the greatest kindness and with the greatest desire that the people of this country shall unite in the policy to protect their own industries.
Mr. PALMER. Somewhat unnecessarily, I think, my colleague spoke of the speech made by a gentleman at Richmond the other day — a Mr. Cave. I understand he is a minister of the gospel of peace, and, very much like that class of men, he sometimes forgets his mission. My colleague alluded to the speech of Gen. Rosser, who, I understand, was a very brave and, I am told, valuable Confederate soldier. He spent may years in the extreme Northwest — I think, in Minnesota — and has never been distinguished for his loyalty to the Democratic party. I think he is one of what we call the unreconstructed rebels, resembling very much a class we have at the North, the unsatisfied Union men — men who would fight on and fight ever at a great distance from the smell of gunpowder. I do not know why my colleague has adverted to this, unless he supposes it should have some influence upon the vote of the Senate on the pending bill, or some influence upon the country hereafter in judging of this measure.
I will state to my colleague that he is in the condition this year that I was in four years ago; he is a candidate for the Senate now as I was then. My colleague at that time very kindly came to Illinois, and on various occasions said to the people that they could do very much better than to elect me to the Senate. Perhaps he was right. I can state to my colleague now, as the boys sometimes say to each other, "I will see you later on this point." I shall not trouble the Senate this morning with any further reply to what has been said on that subject.
Mr. President, I stated that my colleague and I differ widely in our view of the relation of our State to the other States of the Union. Illinois is no longer the ward of New England; and I confess when I hear Senators from New England defending the agriculture of their States and speaking of the agriculture of their States I am very much inclined to think — and I trust I shall not be regarded as being unkind when I state — that New England agriculture is abundantly protected. Think of it! Think of the blessings that Boston must enjoy from the following provisions in the pending bill:
Beans, 20 per cent ad valorem.
Beans, peas, mushrooms, and other vegetables, prepared or preserved, in tins, jars, bottles, or otherwise, and pickles and sauces of all kinds, 30 per cent ad valorem.
Cabbages, 2 cents each.
Cider, 3 cents per gallon.
Eggs, 3 cents per dozen.
Eggs, yolk of, 15 per cent ad valorem.
Honey, 10 cents per gallon.
It does seem to me that covers about all there is of the agriculture of New England. [Laughter.] In New England agriculture, to speak seriously, is but a mere incident. As was said by the Senator from New Hampshire yesterday, their villages supply the local market, and that they take all the produce of their agriculture, whatever it is. With us agriculture is the great pursuit, the leading pursuit I mean, of the greater part of our State.
Mr. President, Illinois is perhaps to-day in itself the most independent State in the Union. I know of no interest in Illinois which can be protected, except to the injury of interests which do not admit of protection. For example, Illinois contains under its prairies an inexhaustible supply of coal, easily reached, accessible almost everywhere in the State. Of course I use this term in a restricted sense.
Mr. CULLOM. If my colleague will allow me, about 35,000 square miles out of 56,000 square miles are underlaid with coal.
Mr. PALMER. I am obliged to my colleague, not for the correction, but for the information as to the precise area of our coal fields.
We are not producers of iron ore, and Senators who will look at the contour of the northern boundary of the United States, from the Atlantic to Chicago, will observe that Chicago is at the southern point of Lake Michigan; the boundary then proceeds north and west to the Pacific Ocean. By means of water navigation iron ore can be assembled — I think that is the phrase I sometimes hear — at Chicago, Ill., and on the line of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, or can be collected at Chicago, cheaper than at any other point on the American continent.
We, then, have iron ore; we have coal. That portion of the State, therefore, is prepared to engage in all the industries which may be said to depend on manufactures. But sometimes it is said the boundaries of Chicago are so immense that they include many fields. I think it has been said that buffalo have been killed within the limits of Chicago; but when you escape the limits of Chicago, which it is somewhat difficult to do, you reach an agricultural region, and that portion of it north of Joliet is one of wonderful fertility, and has increased in population at a ratio which has astonished everybody.
I remember in 1871, I think, at the time of the great Chicago fire, Illinois at once came to the front and appropriated substantially $3,000,000 to provide for the immediate wants of that great city. I remember that it was the only time during my occupancy of the office of governor that I ever attempted to electioneer for a bill. I went upon the floor and said: "Gentlemen,
5959if you will now do this thing, Chicago will in return more than repay the amount to you within ten years. I predict that in twenty years a circle which shall include Chicago and Joliet, 40 miles, will contain a million of inhabitants." Before twenty years passed it contained nearer three millions than one million. The wonderful increase of the growth of Chicago and its immediate surroundings has astonished mankind. But the State outside of that circle is agricultural. Whatever burdens are imposed upon that portion of the State are such as are imposed upon the purely agricultural regions of the Northwest.
I say to my colleague, we do not need protection, at least we do not need protection to the extent of paying the price for it which is demanded by the States whose industries, it is said, can not exist without protection.
The fact is, Mr. President, I came into the Senate feeling that this Republic, with its 70,000,000 inhabitants — anticipating a little — with its sea coast, its lake coast, its rivers, its fertile soils, its prairies underlaid with coal, and its mountains filled with minerals, was the most independent nation on earth. Now, I hear that it is supposed to impose upon the agricultural portion of Illinois a tariff on the lumber which is needed to build our houses, and I find there are gentlemen claiming protection for the South, that the borders of the Pacific and Puget Sound demand protection, and the forests of the North demand protection for lumber, and the people of the agricultural portion of the States are called upon to submit to a tax to support those industries.
There is no industry that I can think of which does not need protection. If you listen to the Senators from the West, they want protection to which the agriculturists of Illinois must contribute. I have spoken of the forests. I speak of the iron and the coal, and I speak of the industries of New England. They all need protection and can not exist a moment without it. When you talk about withdrawing taxes they say, "You are destroying an industry; we can do nothing without protection." Where does the burden fall? It falls upon those interests which can not be protected.
My colleague says that if agriculture derived no direct benefit from protection, still he would favor protection to others for the indirect advantages agriculture might enjoy.
Mr. CULLOM. I hope my colleague would not put me in the attitude of saying that agriculture derives no benefit from protection.
Mr. PALMER. Oh, no, Mr. President, I understood my colleague to insist that the indirect benefits to be derived from protection would compensate for the direct burden. I can not see it in that way.
Mr. President, I do believe the protection afforded by tariff laws is wrong. It is not very important to argue whether they are tariffs for revenue with incidental protection or not. My colleague quoted the Democratic fathers. If they had been told in terms that it was within the power of Congress to make protection the principal object, and revenue the incident, they would have revolted against it, they would have rejected it; and even now, if Old Hickory was told that he was quoted to support that doctrine he would turn in his grave.
By the way, Mr. President, I want to state one thing which strikes me very curiously. My colleague and the Senator from Massachusetts [Mr. HOAR] particularly, are enthusiastic in their admiration of Gen. Jackson. Perhaps it is a pretty late sentiment with them, but it is a sentiment.
Mr. CULLOM. Not at all.
Mr. PALMER. It reminds me very much of a remark made by a preacher in Madison Country, a very stern man. He was charging upon another man an offense for which the person charged quoted the example of David. He said; "David was God's chosen servant, and David was guilty of the very offense you charge me with." Said the minister: "It strikes me as very singular that a rascal never quotes David except about things where David was a rascal. David's virtues are overlooked." The Senators quote Gen. Jackson upon a point like this, but his virtues in other respects they have never been able to perceive.
Mr. HOAR. Does the Senator doubt that Gen. Jackson's love for the Union and his love of country have been praised by every patriotic American of whatever party?
Mr. PALMER. Yes, I think they have been.
Mr. HOAR. If the Senator will pardon me, as he is relating anecdotes, for which he is famous, late in Gen. Jackson's Administration, after the famous nullification proclamation, he came to Massachusetts, which at that time was the very hotbed of New England Whiggery, and they gave him the degree of doctor of laws in Harvard College and made to him a speech in Latin —
Mr. PALMER. Which the general understood, no doubt.
Mr. HOAR. He was told by some wag that he must respond in the same language, which rather bothered him, but it is said he finally got out of the difficulty by delivering this Latin oration:
"E pluribus unum. Sine qua non." [Laughter.]
Mr. PALMER. I have no doubt that was popular, and is still. But Gen. Jackson is quoted for wrong purposes. I think he was right in the abstract, but wrong in the concrete.
Mr. CULLOM. I ask my colleague if he thinks Gen. Jackson was wrong in his declaration in respect to a protective tariff?
Mr. PALMER. I think not. I think Gen. Jackson has been misunderstood. I am satisfied that protection in the sense it is now urged ought to be rejected even by any admirer of Gen. Jackson.
But I desire to state the views I entertain in regard to this question in opposition to those of my colleague. I state that in my belief Illinois has in it various industries; but, although there may be interests like those about which I spoke a few months ago, minor industries like barbed wire, which I should be willing to see protected — as in this controversy I did discover that in most cases we look after our own, though a few of us have enough broad patriotism to forget ourselves — I disagree with my colleague in another thing.
I never have yet believed and I do not now believe the declaration that the prosperity of the United States has been promoted or advanced by protection. Senators speak of protection. My colleague this morning spoke of the opinions of the fathers of the past. Without controverting them, without criticising his application of them, I have to say that, in my judgment, the man who overlooks facts, who supposes that this matter of protection has been beneficial to this country, or has promoted its prosperity, would be as wise, and is as wise, as the man who could empty a teacup of water into the great river Niagara just above the falls, and suppose the river had been raised by that slight contribution.
Mr. President, the United States of America have grown great and prosperous in defiance of all these embarrassments. Our rich soils, our immigration, our energy and thrift, have made us prosperous and great, and protection is a mere bagatelle. It is locally mischievous, like the prick of a finger with a thorn. It may in some instances have the advantages of a poultice upon a small burn and to that extent affect our interests. It has been used largely, as protection goes, as a means of gathering specific advantages to protected interests; and we have got to consider the question in this light.
If we were to revise the whole subject of the revenue laws and cease to regard the preparation of a tariff bill as involving more than the power of Congress to law and collect taxes and duties, or if we treat protection as a secondary idea — while something has been done incidentally I have no doubt to protect special interests — there is no doubt we should find that that portion of such legislation as goes beyond the true revenue theory has been an unmitigated curse to this country. It is a curse, in the first place, because it assumes too much. It assumes a right to control the property of the people of the country, and under the pretence of serving all, subordinates the interests of one for the promotion of the interests of another. But I do not think that that is protection.
It is a nuisance; it is unjust; and that is what is meant by the expressions of the Chicago Democratic platform, not that a tariff for revenue is improper, but that a tariff for protection is improper where the idea of revenue is abandoned and the attempt is made to distribute these burdens so as to promote special interests.
Here is our nation. I use the word "nation," although I am a States' rights man; I differ with my colleague in this: I believe this is a Union of States. I believe in "E pluribus unum," which Gen. Jackson seems to have thought was good Latin. I believe in an indissoluble Union. But here is this mighty nation of ours, and here we sit discussing questions that concern all the States.
Somebody says the tariff on horses ought to be adjusted in reference to the fact that there is a herd of Mexican horses down South, and that in Canada they raise horses. The problem is to find some way which will protect the horse growers, but it must be so done as to impose no burden on anybody. By the way, it is an excellent pony or an excellent horse that is brought into this country. I buy a horse because I think it is to my interest to buy him, and I think I will be benefited by it; but the other rule is, you shall not buy this pony without paying an extra price for him, although you want him and he will suit you better than any other, but you must buy a pony from a man right close to you, your neighbor, and the American horse jockies on the line of Maine and the States that border upon Canada — because it does not extend any further — must have the advantage of dealing with their fellows just across the line.
Here are two ponies — one of these ponies may have a little more
5960value than the other, and I can get them at the same price; but the duty must be imposed for the benefit of the horse jockey on the one side of the line so that he may have an advantage over the horse jockey on the other side. So it goes. But without meaning to depreciate the importance of this subject, I say we sit here attempting to adjust the commerce of a great country. We in the first place admit that we have a right to do it without reference to the revenue power; and then we undertake in our wisdom to attempt to adjust all these industries; we undertake to correct the mistakes of the Almighty God, who made the great rivers and prairies and plains and mountains, and we will punish somebody because he lives at one place and not at another.
Again, here is railroad transportation, and the men up in North Dakota have an idea if the Canadians should repeal their laws discriminating against our wheat, that they could reach the Canadian roads and reach Liverpool or Europe, the common market, cheaper than they could by the American roads, or at least they could oppose the Canadian roads against the American roads and in that way do something to rid themselves of the terrible burden, that ever-grasping tax upon all Northwestern and Western labor, railroad transportation.
Senators say they love their own people. It reminds me a good deal of what was said to be the love of John Paul Jones's father for his son. It is said of the old gentleman that he had charge of the garden of a Scottish nobleman where there were two summer houses, one on each side of the garden. He was devoted to symmetry, and when he would find a poaching boy in the garden he would shut him up in one of the summer houses, but, to preserve the symmetry he always imprisoned his own son in the other, so that the thing might be perfectly balanced.
This is very much like that. You say you do not want to serve the people abroad, but you want to serve us; you say you want to serve us and you want to make us pay somebody more for that which we need than we could buy it from somebody else; you want to bless me by taking $20 out of my pocket if I want to bring a cheap horse across the line. I am speaking now about protection; I am speaking about the blessings of it. The manufacturers of New Hampshire are afraid that some old woman with a basket of eggs will cross the line and come over, and some poor boarding-house keeper will buy the eggs of the Canadian old woman for a few cents less than she could buy them from a New Hampshire old woman, and that would be charged up to the borders. We are thus blest, I say, by excluding us from commerce with those people who have to sell that which we wish to buy.
I have occupied all the time I intend to, except to make this one remark. At sometime, perhaps, hereafter I shall present my views upon this question in connection with the income tax. I believe that if the Federal Government had revenue resources independent of tariffs, that tariffs would be an unmitigated curse. It is because we need revenue that we impose duties. While we adhere to that principle we are right, except the fallacy of human judgment; and my learned friend from Iowa [Mr. ALLISON], my friend from Rhode Island [Mr. ALDRICH], and my more distinguished and solemn friend from Oregon [Mr. DOLPH] will tell us as clearly as can be just how that may be accomplished, that everybody will be benefited by protecting the forests of one State and by all the other methods of protection. By each of the Senators we are told that in some way everybody will be benefited by it.
I repeat, again, they undertake to control the elements, to control the courses of the rivers, they attempt to control all these causes, and seek to overcome all natural disadvantages, and put us upon a condition of perfect equality. Almighty God has never attempted it. I will not say it is impossible; but it is absolutely childish for grave men to profess to be able to accomplish these results; and when we attempt it we simply irritate the interests of the country without benefiting them. We may fill pockets, and that is perceptible, but it is a mere irritating process which interrupts and disturbs the country, and has largely contributed to produce the miseries under which the country is now suffering.
At some future time I shall present my views upon this question more deliberately and carefully; but I desire to say to my colleague now that he and I differ widely, and my colleague and I have differed all our lives.
Mr. ALLISON. All your lives?
Mr. PALMER. Yes; all our lives.
Mr. ALLISON. When you were both Republicans?
Mr. PALMER. Yes; we differed then, because my colleague was a Republican for one reason and I for another. My colleague describes the doleful condition of the Democratic party. I remember the time when my colleague belonged to a party that was in much more ragged condition than the Democratic party is now.
Mr. HOAR. That is impossible.
Mr. PALMER. I am inclined to answer that in a way that would not be quite Senatorial. By my colleague was never in a more miserable party than Mr. Blaine described the Republican party to be a few years ago. The old Whig party, I say, was an exceedingly ragged party, and my colleague was a mourner at its funeral. My colleague was a protectionist, and I think I should do him the justice to say that he became a Republican because he was a protectionist. I did not. My colleague thinks he sees now the destruction of the Democratic party. I have seen the Democratic party ragged because it was wrong.
Mr. CULLOM. I do not think my colleague ever saw it in as bad condition as it is now.
Mr. PALMER. I have seen the Democratic party when it was wrong. It is right now. I have known political parties when they were in extremity, because they were misunderstood. I know a great many good people believe now that the Democratic party is responsible for the present condition of the country. That is echoed and reechoed on this floor; and yet thoughtful men know there is not a word of truth in it; thoughtful men know the condition of the country is the result of the exhaustion produced by the speculations of this country and of the whole world, to which Republican policies have largely contributed.
Talk about the Democratic party being the cause of these troubles! We have not yet been able to pass a revenue bill. Bur our Republican friends say it was the mere anticipation, the mere consciousness of Democratic success that has brought distress upon the country. The Republican party, in effect, claim that their financial and economic policy has produced conditions so delicate that no whisper could be uttered against it without destroying it; that even the possibility of a change or the slightest alteration in the financial policy of the country would destroy it. That, they claim, has produced all this destruction. But I shall not pursue this line farther.
Mr. President, the Democratic party is a live party, and it is right. My colleague now has lived to see the perishing of the party which, as he says, believed that protection was more important than slavery. I think I recollect that my colleague said awhile ago that, although slavery was the ostensible ground of the controversy, yet protection and free trade were the real questions involved. If I believed that I could understand how it was that the protectionists had to be bribed to go into and take part in the great struggle. James G. Blaine said that they felt that they had no interest in fighting to maintain the Union; that they were for protection; and we had to bribe them and pay them to induce them to perform the part of patriotic men.
I recollect a time during the war when the Northern protection States were sending South and hiring negroes to fill up the ranks of their regiments. I remember when, on the banks of the Chattahoochee, just after we had crossed, a man came into my camp from one of the New York towns, who said he had come down there to get negroes to fill up their quota. I said, "Why do you not come yourselves?" "Why," he said, "the wages in the North are so high and labor is so much needed, that we can not afford to send white men, and we want negroes; they will fill the ranks." I said to him, "If I repeat that remark to my men, you will be thrown into the Chattahoochee River within an hour, and I felt like doing it myself then."
These States were filled with such men — no; not filled, thank God, for they contained many brave, magnificent, patriotic soldiers — but the political authorities sent South and got negroes to fill up their regiments.
Mr. CAREY. Will the Senator from Illinois allow me to ask him a question?
Mr. PALMER. If it is on the subject on which I am speaking.
Mr. CAREY. It is on that subject.
Mr. PALMER. I hope that it will be very brief.
Mr. CAREY. It will be brief. To what party did the Senator from Illinois belong at that particular time?
Mr. PALMER. I belonged to the party that wore the blue?
Mr. CAREY. What political party?
Mr. PALMER. I was a soldier.
Mr. CAREY. All right.
Mr. PALMER. I was fighting for my country, and I belonged to no party except the party that wore the blue and supported the war.
Mr. CAREY. On what political party ticket did the Senator run when he was elected governor of the State of Illinois?
Mr. PALMER. That of the Republican party.
Mr. CAREY. Then the Senator became a member of that bad party after he knew all about it?
Mr. PALMER. I belonged to that party, but I never lost my contempt for the protectionists that had to be paid to go into
5961the war; I never lost my contempt for those who hired negroes to take their own places in the ranks. [Laughter.]
Mr. CAREY. The Democrats did not do that?
Mr. PALMER. I do not know, and it is not very important.
Mr. CAREY Will the Senator from Illinois permit me to ask him another question?
Mr. PALMER. If it is very brief, I will.
Mr. CAREY. What would the Senator think of a Democrat who, under the circumstances he has stated, would hire a substitute?
Mr. PALMER. I could understand how a Democrat might do it. I think a weak-kneed Democrat and a weak-kneed Republican are very much alike. [Laughter.]
Mr. CAREY. Then the President of the United States must have been weak-kneed about that time?
Mr. PALMER. Yes; I think he was. And I recollect another gentleman, your candidate at the same time, who was in the same category. I do not think any more of either of them on that account, and they were alike, too, in some other particulars.
Mr. CAREY. On another subject I wish to ask the Senator a question before he sits down, not on the political side; but there are two sides to this question. One side believes in protection and the other side believes in something else. Does the Senator believe in absolute free trade, if it were possible, in this country?
Mr. PALMER. If there was no demand for revenue I should be for free trade.
Mr. CAREY. There is the difficulty. We raise, I think, in ordinary times — that is, we did before the depression commenced, $203,000,000 —
Mr. PALMER. The Senator must pardon me for not going into that branch of the case, for I was speaking on another point.
Mr. CAREY. The question is on the very point. We imported in 1892, that is before the depression commenced, of sugar, tea, and coffee —
Mr. PALMER. I must decline answering the question. It involves an argument, and I have no time now to go into it.
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. PASCO in the chair). The Senator from Illinois declines to yield further.
Mr. PALMER. I have said all I desire to say; indeed, I have been betrayed into saying more than I intended.
I have said that my colleague is mistaken. My colleague may have his own reasons for his belief. I think my colleague was a protectionist per se. My colleague remained with the Whig party, and was present at its funeral and wore crape, I believe; of course, that may not be quite correct — but my colleague is naturally a protectionist. He is a Republican, as I take it, mainly because of protection. I am not. I was a Republican because I hated slavery. I was resentful of its aggressions. But it is an old story and need not be repeated. I detested it; I thought it arrogant; I thought it desired to exercise a property influence upon this country as property. I had watched the struggle of Gen. Jackson when he fought with the money power — the national banks — and I had watched the influence of slavery. I am now fighting against the despotism of trusts and the protection of these other interests which demand that my constituents, the people who work on the farms, shall be taxed and assessed and burdened; and I am trying to save them from being deceived by this catch-word "protection."
Mr. HIGGINS. Will the Senator allow me?
Mr. PALMER. I am through. I have exhausted my time, and yield the floor.
Mr. CULLOM. Mr. President —
Mr. HIGGINS. Will the Senator allow me?
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Does the Senator from Illinois yield to the Senator from Delaware?
Mr. CULLOM. For a remark.
Mr. HIGGINS. If the Senator from Illinois is himself going to vote against trusts he will have a very good chance to do that right away by voting against the proposed sugar duties.
Mr. PALMER. That is possibly true.
Mr. CULLOM. Mr. President, I do not care to continue to take up the time of the Senate by any controversy with my colleague. We have always got along very friendly together, and I trust we always shall. I do not care now to reply to the pony argument that my colleague makes or the argument based upon a reference to the old woman of New Hampshire. It seems to me that the great question (and there can be no doubt about the magnitude of the question as to what the policy of the Government is, whether it is in its interest that we shall have protection or free trade or a tariff for revenue only) is one that can not be trifled with. It is a question that can not be put down by mere suggestions of pony importations.
I wish to say to my colleague and to the Senate that whatever may be the motives influencing men in this country, which resulted in the domination of the Republican party for twenty-five or thirty years in this country, everybody knows that there never has been a period in the history of the country when all the people were so prosperous as they were during the period of the reign — if I may use that term — of the Republican party. Why? Because its policy was in the interests of the great body of the people. It built up its industries. It put everybody to work. The result was an increase in the aggregation of wealth unequaled in the history of any nation upon the globe; and everybody knows that to be true.
My colleague says that the condition of the country now is charged by us, and of course he means wrongfully, to the prospect of what the Democratic party will do. I say, whatever may be the fact, it is passing strange that the moment it was known that the Democratic party was coming into power in all the political branches of the Government, that moment the industries began to languish and the laboring men began to suffer for work and for bread. How does that come if it is not the result of the fear of the people that their declarations in their national convention that protection was unconstitutional and a fraud, that business and labor in a measure ceased and hard times began and became worse and worse. My colleague says it was the result of the policy of the Republican party. How is it proven that it is the result of the policy of the Republican party when the conditions did not prevail until after the Democratic party was known to be coming into power? That is all I desire to say upon that subject.
Now, Mr. President, my colelague takes issue with me in a friendly way because of what I have said with reference to the history of the country in relation to a protective tariff. It is true, as my colleague says, I have always believed in protection. I believe in it now as strongly and firmly as I believe in any political doctrine to dominate a great nation. I want to say to my colleague and my friends upon the other side that I am strictly in line with the fathers of the country of all parties until John C. Calhoun concluded to adopt the other side of the question and instituted a position in favor of free trade. My colleague says he believes in secession, in States rights; it is pretty hard to discriminate between the use of the two words, but I want to quote him correctly.
Mr. PALMER. Killing a man and the power to kill him are identical, substantially.
Mr. CULLOM. I do not believe in the doctrine of States' rights, or that this nation is an aggregation of States. I believe it is an aggregation of the people of all the States; and that it is above the States within the constitutional limits prescribed. I believe in the doctrine of Daniel Webster when he said in his great debate with Calhoun:
And now, sir, against all these theories and opinions I maintain —
Stating the opinions as intimated by some of the friends on the other side —
1. That the Constitution of the United States is not a league, confederacy, or compact between the people of the several States in their sovereign capacities, but a government proper, founded on the adoption of the people, and creating direct relations between itself and individuals.
2. That no State authority has power to dissolve these relations.
Mr. Calhoun in that famous nullification performance which was the beginning of free trade and States' rights undertook to say that South Carolina had the right to go out of the Union, and Mr. Webster said —
That no State authority has power to dissolve these relations; that nothing can dissolve them but revolution; and that consequently there can be no such thing as secession without revolution.
That is the true doctrine, and if we stand upon any other this Government, as has been often said, becomes a rope of sand and amounts to nothing; it will fall to pieces upon the mere suggestion of any State in the Union.
3. That there is a supreme law, consisting of the Constitution of the United States, and acts of Congress passed in pursuance of it, and treaties; and that, in cases not capable of assuming the character of a suit in law or equity, Congress must judge of, and finally interpret, this supreme law so often as it has occasion to pass acts of legislation; and in cases capable of assuming, and actually assuming, the character of a suit, the Supreme Court of the United States is the final interpreter.
4. That an attempt by a State to abrogate, annul, or nullify an act of Congress, or to arrest its operation within her limits, on the ground that, in her opinion, such law is unconstitutional, is a direct usurpation on the just powers of the General Government and on the equal rights of other States; a plain violation of the Constitution, and a proceeding essentially revolutionary in its character and tendency.
So, Mr. President, in my judgment the Republican party stands, not only on the question of the tariff and protection, but on the question of the powers of the Government under the Constitution, upon the platform that our fathers stood upon, and as enunciated by Daniel Webster himself.
But I shall not take up the time of the Senate further on the general question. I want to call the attention of my colleague to some things in relation to the condition of affairs in our State.
5962I find in this volume, which is a report of the hearings of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, a statement by a gentleman in our own State who is a manufacturer, William R. Stirling, first vice-president of the Illinois Steel Company.
Mr. PALMER. I know him.
Mr. CULLOM. Yes; and he is a very good man. He says:
When the five works of my company, representing an investment of about $30,000,000 are in full operation we directly employ not less than 9,500 men, to whom, in 1892, we paid $6,522,000 in wages.
Since January 1, 1893, our Union and Joliet works have not been in operation, whereby 3,800 men have been directly thrown out of employment.
How does that come? It comes because the Democratic party had got control by the election in this country and the business men of the country were afraid to undertake to operate their mills because it was upon a falling market, knowing if the Democratic party carried out its pledges it would ruin the then prevailing and now prevailing system of protection.
Since July 1, 1893, our Milwaukee works have run barely half time, and at our North works only the finishing department is in operation, making an additional 1,000 men.
Within a week from this date our largest plant at South Chicago will also be idle, and the ranks of the unemployed will be swelled by an additional 3,600 men, so that before the 1st of October, instead of having 9,500 men actively employed at good wages, we will have but 1,100.
I believe the fact is that the mills of Joliet operated by this company are actually shut up at the present time, though I am not very certain about that.
Mr. HARRIS. Will the Senator from Illinois allow me to ask him a question?
Mr. CULLOM. Certainly.
Mr. HARRIS. Do I understand the assertion contained in what the Senator is reading to be that by reason of the apprehension of a change of the tariff laws those mills are being shut up?
Mr. CULLOM. I will read along here, and we shall see what the gentleman says about it.
Mr. HARRIS. I think that is the English of it. If so, I want to ask whether the Senator from Illinois does not think we had better solve and finally settle the question as to what the tariff duties are to be in the present and the future than to stand here consuming time in making popular political speeches? [Manifestations of applause in the galleries.]
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The occupants of the gallery are reminded that marks of approval or disapproval can not be tolerated.
Mr. CULLOM. I want to say to the Senator from Tennessee, who is trying to railroad the hill through the Senate, that if he will move to lay the tariff bill upon the table I am ready to vote to do so.
Mr. HARRIS. I suppose so.
Mr. CULLOM. Then we shall know that the policy of the Government under which the people of the United States have prospered, and will prosper again, is to continue; but I do not propose that the Senator shall dispose of it by its passage without having something to say against the bill, because I believe it will be ruinous to the country.
Under these conditions our purchases of iron ore have been merely nominal, and compared with those of previous years I think I am justified in saying that we have probably purchased 1,000,000 tons less than usual.
What is true of my company is, I believe, equally true of others, and this paralysis of the iron and steel trades has produced untold hardships in the iron-ore regions of the three great States of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota.
When our works are in operation we are, of course, immense consumers of coal, both raw and manufactured into coke. From Illinois and Indiana we ought to draw 860,000 tons of coal per annum, or about three trains of coal for every working day in the year.
From West Virginia and from Pennsylvania we ought to draw over 1,000,000 tons of coke per annum, or three and one-half trains every working day in the year. To supply this coke alone would require an investment of about $5,000,000 and the regular employment of 1,800 men.
From the stone quarries of Indiana we ought to receive nearly 600,000 tons of limestone per year, requiring the continual employment of two railroad trains of 40 cars each.
A large amount of railroad equipment specially constructed for this traffic in raw materials is now idle.
Our failure to consume this enormous amount of iron ore, coal, coke, limstone, and other raw materials of necessity throws out of employment, in addition to the men at the mines, large numbers on the railroads and on the lakes, whose business it is to transport these materials.
The receipts of raw material and shipments of finished products by my company in the year 1891 involved the handling of 149,000 railroad cars, and in 1892 153,000 cars, exclusive of all the material received by water.
I believe the importance of the iron-ore industry of this country is greatly underestimated. Its very existence depends upon the maintenance of our iron and steel manufactures. To transport the product of the Lake Superior iron ore districts in the year 1892 would have required the continuous service of 180 steamers, making 25 consecutive trips, and carrying 2,000 tons on every trip. Or, in other words, the same vessel capacity that would move 300,000,000 bushels of grain upon the lakes would be required to transport the iron ore.
So, Mr. President, this intelligent gentleman at the head of this great organization, which is employing thousands, and in good times tens of thousands, of men altogether, spoke his views as to the condition then, before the Democratic party came into power, and since the Democratic party came into power. But in deference to my distinguished friend from Tennessee, who seems to have left the Chamber, I shall not take up time further by reading these statistics. It shows that under the mere threat of the policy of this Government the industries of the country have been paralyzed, and the result is, as I have stated before, that tens of thousands of men are out of employment, and tramps traveling over the country, some of them, I admit, wrongfully and without excuse, and others trying in good faith to find work in this time of depression.
I want to call the attention of my colleague to some other facts connected with the State of Illinois in regard to this manufacturing industry. It is in this document entitled Statistics of Manufactures.
The aggregate number of manufacturing establishments in Illinois amount to 20,482. The aggregate capital, I think it is, amounts to $502,004,512. I will skip those figures and get on. The average number emoployed in those manufacturing establishments numbers 312,198; that is, the men at work. Adding to that the clerks, etc., connected with the establishments, the number amounts to nearly 400,000. The total wages paid to the men — last year, I suppose — amounts to $171,523,579. Adding to that amount the amount paid to the clerks, $27,086,400, it makes a sum of nearly $200,000,000 a year paid in the State of Illinois in connection with these manufacturing establishments in our State.
Now, Mr. President, while those establishments are running and the men employed in them are receiving that vast sum of wages, I desire to know whether that does not have a beneficial effect upon the farmers of that section as well as upon the men engaged in the establishments themselves. I say that it does. When my colleague says that this protective tariff is an oppression upon the farmers because, he says, they get no direct benefit from it, I say that the indirect benefit coming to them as the result of the operation of those establishments, the employment of nearly half a million men results in money being distributed which reaches the farmers, and they are benefited thereby, because the establishments are in our own neighborhood in many cases, and they would be a benefit even if they were distant. So, I believe in a protective tariff; and I do not believe that this Government can prosper unless we have a protective system such as our fathers had and such as the Republican party advocated and maintained when it had power in this country.