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or refused by the other, and dealt with accordingly: or it might have been considered, as the British authorities consider proceedings between American citizens on the British side of the border,-as matter to be dealt with by the local authorities.
“ But the American Government chose the former course, by treating this matter as one to be decided between two Governments; and this is the ground on which they are entitled to demand redress of the British Government for the act of its subjects ; and from that ground they cannot be permitted to recede.”
Sir, here is an admission of our original right to seize and punish McLeod, infinitely stronger than is any where asserted by Mr. Webster;--an admission but little weakened by the sophistry which seeks to show that this original right had been lost by an appeal to the British Government for redress. That redress has never been granted-nay, it has not even been promised; and, therefore, upon every known principle this Government stands remitted to her original right to punish McLeod whenever she can get hold upon him. She has him now. She recurs to that admitted original right, notwithstanding its surrender by Mr. Webster.
I wish now to refer to another speech of Lord Palmerston, in reply to Mr. Hume in the same debate. He said :
“ With regard to Mr. Forsyth's letter, I beg leave to say that the principle stands thus : In the case of the American citizens engaged in invading Canada, the American Government disavows the acts of those citizens, and states that the British authorities might deal with them as they pleased, and that they were persons who were not in any degree entitled to the protection of the United States. But in the other case they treated the affair of the Caroline as one to be considered as that of the Government, and not to be left on the responsibility of individuals. Until, therefore, the British Government disowned those persons, as the American Government disavowed their citizens in the other case, they would have no right to change their ground on the question.”
Now, sir, observe the position taken in this last extract by Lord Palmerston. Until the British Government disown the persons who made the attack on the Caroline, they were not to be treated as the British authorities treated the Americans taken on the Canada side. And how was that? By making them responsible to the local authorities. And why not treat them on both sides alike? Because we have not disowned our people, say they, as you have done yours. But if you have not disowned them, have you ever owned them, or acknowledged their acts to be yours? No, never.
For two years we demanded of the British Government to say whether it did or did not disown these persons; but she utterly failed during all that time to say whether she did or not. In the mean time, whilst she is standing mute and will not utter a single word either way, McLeod returns to the United States, impudently brags of his exploits in the affair, is arrested, and confined for trial. Up to this time, we could not get England to say a word on the subject; but now she comes very suddenly to her speech. One of her felon subjects is about to get the rope around his neck, and she speaks up at once with full volubility. Is she entitled to her demand? Is she entitled to take our people on her side of the border, and hang them up at the yard-arm or shoot them like dogs; whilst her people, taken on our side, with their hands yet reeking with the blood of our fellow-citizens, may stalk, and strut, and vapor through our land, with utter impunity?
Sir, Mr. Webster virtually says all this may be done. He virtually surrenders the rights and privileges of our border citizens, and lays them exposed to every marauding expedition that may be set on foot against them in Canada. But, sir, were this the last public act of my life, I would protest against his doctrines, and appeal from his decisions.
On the Tariff, delivered in the House of Representatives,
June 18, 1842.
The House having resolved itself into Committee of the Whole, and the
bill reported by the Committee of Ways and Means, and that by the Committee on Manufactures, together with the amendment offered to the latter by Mr. HABERSHAM, being under considerationMr. A. V. Brown addressed the Committee as follows:
Mr. CHAIRMAN: I have searched most diligently for some redeeming virtue in the two bills reported by the committees, which might so far reconcile me to their provisions as to excuse any participation on my part in their discussion. But I have searched in vain. I can find nothing-literally nothing to rescue them from the deepest and most unmitigated abhorrence. They both seek to revive the odious principle of direct protection, and to repudiate the most solemn and sacred covenant ever entered into since the formation of the Federal Constitution. But I mean to speak only to one of these bills to the one reported by the Committee on Manufactures. That, sir, is the one which the dominant party in this House mean finally, by the mere power of numbers, to force upon the people of this country. I will not speak to the Ways and Means, for they would not speak to their own bill-having thrown it upon the House, without any report illustrating its principles, or explaining its details. They seem to have gotten it up on the spur of the occasion, and to rely on nothing for its support but the enormity of its exactions, and the poor device which they have labelled on its front—that it is a bill for the raising of revenue.
Mr. Chairman, by the act of 1833, all the duties above twenty per cent., by whatever law imposed, were brought down to that amount; and, by the act of 1841, all duties below twenty per cent. were raised to that rate, with the exceptions contained in the act.
By these two acts, we have a full, complete, and perfect tariff system, for the supply of the treasury, without further legislation on the subject. Hence it is that I assume the position, that beyond the correction of the error of last session, in regard to the list of free articles, and the enactment of a few obvious provisions in relation to home valuation, we ought to have nothing to do with this delicate and exciting subject. To take it up for thorough revisal, and the establishment of a higher rate of duty, I hold to be an act of legislative perfidy, which can find no parallel in the history of this country. To no member here can it be necessary to refer to the fierce collision of parties on the tariffs of 1816, 1824, and 1828. It is enough to say that, in every conflict, the doctrine of protection was victorious. What sort of protection? Was it only incidental? or was it claimed as a distinctive and independent principle of the Constitution ? Let the father of the whole system tell you. Hear him who, in 1833, informs us that he had cherished it with paternal fondness, and that his affections even then (though he had been compelled to abandon it) were undiminished. Replying to Mr. Webster, who was then separating from him on the compromise act, he says: "all that was settled in 1816, in 1824, and in 1828, was, that protection should be afforded by high duties, without regard to the amount of the revenue they would yield.” Mark the emphatic admission of Mr. Clay—“protection without regard to revenue.” It was on this very ground that all three of these acts had been so warmly opposed; but yet there was no declaration on their face that such was their object. The doctrine dared not to show itself there, lest the judicial tribunals of the country should pass sentence of condemnation upon it. No, sir; it skulked behind the revenue power, meanly evading the just and manifest principles of the Constitution. Such a device could not long be sustained, nor its enormous exactions endured. It disquieted and almost convulsed the country. It filled the land with apprehensions of ruin and disaster on the one hand, and civil war on the other. It became so abhorrent to the Ameri. can people, "that he who had sustained it with paternal fondress,” could sustain it no longer. He came forward with the compromise act of 1833. He declared that the American sygtem of protection must go down. He saw it in the deadly blows which President Jackson was dealing upon it—he saw it in the solemn protestations of every southern State in the Union -he saw it in the determined spirit of resistance in South Carolina-and, more than all, he both saw and felt it in the then recent elections, which had all gone against him and his friends. Under this thorough conviction, (so thorough, that no argument of Mr. Webster, his great compeer in establishing the system, could shake or remove it,) Mr. Clay came forward with the compromise.
I pause here, Mr. Chairman, in order that you may consider the position of the two great parties of this country at that eventful moment. The one was insisting on the permanent continuance of the protective system; the other was boldly demanding its instant repeal and total abandonment. Now, the compromise was to reconcile these hostile parties--to find some middle ground on which both could stand, and the Union be preserved. Mr. Clay himself remarked on the occasion : “I am anxious to find out some principle of mutual accommodation, to satisfy, as far as practicable, both parties; to increase the stability of our legislation; and, at some distant day, (but not too distant, when we take into view the magnitude of the interests which are involved,) to bring down the rate of duties to that revenue standard for which our opponents had so long contended.”
Here, sir, is an open and distinct avowal of the objects and purposes of the compromise. That it was intended by him to be a permanent settlement, not of the details, but of the great principles of the future tariff legislation of the country, I refer, for further illustration, to his arguments addressed to his man. ufacturing friends in favor of its adoption:
“ The most that can be objected to the bill by those with whom he had co-operated to support the protective system was, that, in consideration of nine and one-half years of peace, certainty, and stability, the manufacturers relinquished some advantages which they now enjoy. What was the prin. ciple which had always been contended for in this, and in the other House ? That, after the accumulation of capital and skill, the manufacturers would be able to stand alone, unaided by the Government, in competition with