Slike strani

Jan. 14, 1837.]

Imprisonment for Debt in the District of Columbia, Texas, &c.

(H. OF R.

Mr. THOMAS moved to postpone until Monday week,

SATURDAY, JANUARY 14. with a view to give the House an opportunity to dispose | IMPRISONMENT FOR DEBT IN THE DISTRICT of the grave and important question of the admission of

Michigan into the Union.
Mr. ADAMS said he hoped the gentleman would

Mr. ADAMS rose and said that, on the third day of name some other day than Monday, as that was the only last June, a resolution reported from the Committee for day on which members had an opportunity to present House, requesting the Secretary of State to ascertain

the District of Columbia had been adopted by the their petitions. Mr. THOMAS substituted Tuesday next.

and report to the House the number of persons impris. Mr. JARVIS hoped the bill would be suffered to take

oned for debt since the year 1820, in the District of the ordinary course. Let it be committed to a Commit. Columbia; the time during which they had been imprislee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, and oned; the amounts of their respective debts; the portions then the House could take it up at any time they saw

thereof which had been paid in consequence of their fit. He wanted no special orders, if they could be imprisonment; the expense to the creditors of maintain. avoided.

ing them, &c. Mr. A. wished to inquire from the The SPEAKER said, if the House rejected the mo

chairman of the Committee for the District of Columbia, tion to postpone, the motion to commit was next in order.

or from some other member of it, whether there bad Mr. WARDWELL inquired if it was not necessary

been any report from the Secretary in answer to the res. that the bill should be committed.

olution. The SPEAKER reminded Mr. W. of bis decision,

[It appeared, from a statement made by the Clerk of made the other day, that the bill need not, as matter of the House, and Mr. W. B. SHEPARD, that such a report necessity, be committed.

had been made during the present session of Congress, The question on the motion of Mr. Thomas, to post that it had been placed in the hands of the official printpone the further consideration of the bill until Tuesday er, but that, being very long, copies of it had not yet week, was taken, and lost.

been furnished to the members. ] And the question on the motion of Mr. Gallinaith, to

Mr. A. said his reason for making the inquiry was, postpone until Tuesday next, was taken, and lost.

that amongst the prisoners was one of his constituents. Mr. MCKAY moved to postpone until Thursday next; sion, at the time this resolution was adopted. He was

The individual was confined there during the last seg. which motion was also lost. Mr. PARKER moved to commit the bill to the Com

there still, for debt; and it was Mr. A's firm belief that mittee on Manufactures.

he was there only for having been too zealous in the disThe motion to commit to the Committee of the Whole charge of his duty as an officer of the Government, for on the state of the Union, having precedence of Mr.

debts vastly inferior in amount to what was due to him Parker's motion to commit to the Committee on Manu- from the nation, if justice was done. factures, was taken, and decided in the affirmative. So

Mr. A. was anxious that the House should act on the the bill was committed to the Committee of the Whole on

resolution. the state of the Union.

TEXAS. Mr. SMITH, from the Committee of Ways and Means,

Mr. PICKENS was desirous of some information from reported a resolution ordering ten thousand extra copies the Committee on Foreign Affairs in relation to the subof the report of the Committee of Ways and Means, re

ject of Texas. He wished to inquire of the bonorable lating to the reduction of the tarifi, to be printed for the

chairman of that committee (whom he saw in his seat) if use of the House.

he could give the House some information when a report The resolution, under the rule, would lie over one

on the subject of the President's special message in re. day.

lation to Texas might be expected from that commitee, Mr. SMITH moved its consideration at that time.

or if any report at all was to be made. Mr. BELL inquired if it was in order to consider such chairman would respond to his inquiry.

He hoped the a resolution then.

Mr. HOWARD (chairman of the committee) said he The Chair replied that it was, as it was a report had no objection at all, and would reply cheerfully, so from a committee.

far as he knew, to the question propounded by the genMr. LAWRENCE really hoped that objection would

tleman from South Carolina. The committee had been be withdrawn, for it was a most important document,

very industriously engaged in the consideration of that and ought to be extensively circulated among the peo- subject, and had held repeated meetings upon it. Ag ple. Mr. BELL had made no objection, but only an inqui- ' peat that the committee had lost no time in the investiga

yet, they had come to no conclusion. He could only rery on the point of order. No motion being made to con

tion, for it bad occupied their almost undivided attention sider, the resolution was read.

since it had been referred to them, almost to the exclu. Mr. MANN, of New York, suggested a larger num

sion of every thing else. ber, for that ordered would be inadequate to the wants Mr. PICKENS. Was he to understand that the com. of the members for their constituents. He moved that mittee had come to no conclusion whether they would twenty thousand be printed.

report or not? Mr. DENNY. Why, that is enough to poison them!

Mr. HOWARD. They had come to no conclusion Mr. CRAIG thought the original number proposed whatever. sufficient.

ORDER OF BUSINESS. Mr. MANN would meet the views of gentlemen on both sides, and he therefore proposed fifteen thousand. Mr. HARLAN asked the consent of the House at this Lost.

time to submit a resolution that on Monday next the Mr. WILLIAMS, of North Carolina, moved to strike States should be called for petitions in reverse order. out ten thousand, and in insert five thousand, Lost. [This resolution, if adopted, would entitle the new

Mr. BRIGGS moved to include the bill with the re. Stales to be first called upon.] port, which was agreed to; and, so amended, the reso Objection having been made, lution was concurred in.

Mr. DAVIS moved a suspension of the rule. The remainder of the day was spent in the considera Mr. ADAMS said he hoped that the rule would not tion of reports and private bills.

be suspended. He hoped ihe House would understand

H. of R.)

Public Lands--N. and L. Dana.

(Jan. 14, 1837.


what he presumed to be the object of the resolution; move to postpone the further consideration of the subthat was, to postpone the debate commenced on Monday ject until this day fortnight, in order that the States last, and which was left in a state of suspense; one gens might be called in their turns for resolutions; or, if any tleman baving begun a speech which he did not finish. member would suggest it, he would move to lay the The object of the resolution was to give that subject whole subject on the table. the go-by. He hoped the debate would be suffered to Mr. BOND moved that the same be laid on the table. take its course.

Mr. C. ALLAN called for the yeas and nays on that And the question on the motion to suspend the rule / motion; which were ordered. was taken, and decided in the negative: Ayes 88, noes Mr. HUNTSMAN inquired of the Chair whether, if 46—two thirds not voting in the affirmative.

the motion to lay on the table prevailed, the effect of So the rule was not suspended.

that vote would be ihe final rejection of the resolution. Mr. LEWIS said the question had certainly not been The SPEAKER said it would be in order to move to understood in that part of the House, or the rule would take up the subject at any time, when motions of similar have been suspended. He called for tellers.

import were in order. The CHAIR said it was too late; the decision of the Mr. C. ALLAN moved that the House proceed to the House having been announced.

private orders of the day. Mr. BELL gave notice that he would renew his mo. Mr. BELL hoped the subject would be disposed of tion for leave to bring in a bill to secure the freedom of election. He had forborne to urge this subject on the

Mr. C. ALLAN objected; and the Speaker thereupon consideration of the llouse, because he had expected that announced the private orders of the day, when several the resolution proposed by the gentleman from Ken- engrossed bills were taken up and passed. tucky, (Mr. C. Allan,) in relation to grants of the public lands to such Slates as had not heretofore received them,

N. AND L. DANA. would be disposed of this morning. But if the flouse The bill to refund certain duties paid by Messrs. N. would persist in these abortive motions to suspend the & L. Dana & Co., on sait destroyed by flood, coming rule for partial purposes, he should be compelled to

up-press his motion. He would waive it now, if the Ilouse Mr. SMITH said he commended most sincerely the would resume the consideration of that resolution.

vigilance with which the honorable gentleman from THE PUBLIC LANDS.

Tennessee (Mr. C. Johnson) watched over the Treas

ury of the Government. He was sure, nevertheless, The House resumed the consideration of the resolu that the gentleman was no less ready than others to retion heretofore offered by Mr. Allan, of Kentucky, | fund to individual claimants their honest dues, in cases providing for grants of public lands to such States as where, upon full investigation, the Government is shown had not heretofore received them, together with the to be possessed of moneys that rightfully belong to india amendments thereto pending.

viduals. I am most sensible, said Mr. s., of the impossiMr. LANE, who held the floor when the subject was bility that every member upon this floor should examine last under consideration, resumed and concluded his re with a just scrutiny every claim that comes before us, so marks.

as to enable him to discriminate justly between their Mr. BELL said he rose more for the purpose of sub- merits, and the principles which ihey' respectively in. mitting a few remarks on the propriety of bringing this volve. If the honorable gentleman from Tennessee had discussion to a close, than for any other purpose, al thus scrutinized the claim now before the House, and asthough the subject was of great interest, and though he certained carefully the distinction that exists between had himself been perfectly willing it should be sent to a the principles it involves and the principles of the committee. He thought, however, that the proposition "fire bill” reported in favor of the New York city mer. was too narrow for the time at which it was brought for chants, he would not have assimilated this bill to that, as ward; and he thought that the necessity of broader ac being of precisely the same character, and as establishing tion must have become apparent to every man. If there a precedent by which millions of dollars would be drawn was one question, above all others, on which prompt ac- from the Treasury. Sir, said Mr. S., this bill, however tion was required, it was that of disposing permanently it may be of a kindred character with the New York of the various questions which had arisen in relation to fire bill, is not dependent upon the same principles with the public lands. If they were to be distributed in any that bill; and the passage of this bill will furnish no degree, to any extent, let it be done. If it was not the precedent for the passage of the other bill, of which the sense of the country that this should be done, let Con- gentleman from Tennessee expresses so much apprehen. gress declare that sentiment by a vote which would sion. Whether there be in the other bill sufficient merit give proof of its permanence.

to justify its passage or not, it is not now the time to deThe question of graduation, for instance, was intimate cide; nor do I now feel myself called upon to say ly connected with this subject; but he did not consider whether I shall or shall not give that bill my support. even that of so much importance as that the question What, sir, is the character of the bill now before the should be settled one way or another. He would give House? It is to refund the duties paid upon a certain his vote at once in favor of the graduating system, pro amount of salt imported hy the claimants, and destroyed vided the question could be settled permanently. Mr. by a most extraordinary flood, on the night of the same B. then alluded to the question of pre-emption rights. day when it was landed upon the wharf. I beg leave to Justice required that the inhabitants of ihe country call the attention of the House to a candid consideration should know what was to be our established policy; and of the principles involved in this bill; for they are, as the that, if it was not intended to give these pre-emption gentleman from Tennessee has supposed, of much mag. rights, Congress should at once declare so. He regard. nitude, and certainly of great interest to the mercantile ed the permanent settlement of these questions, however, interests of the country, as well as of in:erest to the Govas of far less importance than the mode by which they ernment; they merit the deliberate consideration of the should be settled. He was ready to reduce the price of House. public lands, if such should be the sense of the House. The principles adopted by the Committee of Ways lle believed it to be for the interest of the country that and Means, in reporting this bill, are specifically stated it should be done; and he should hereafter, at a proper in the report which I had the honor to make to the season, have something to say on this topic. He would' House upon it, and are as follows:

Jan. 14, 1837.]

N. and L. Dana.

[II. OF R.

“ That relief for the remission of duties upon goods in many of them was that of remitting duties upon such destroyed by inevitable accident can be safely granted articles as had been accidentally destroyed while in the in those cases, and in those cases only-

shape of their original importation; in other words, on " Where the goods were still in their original state as articles that had been destroyed before entering into the importer', and had not entered into the mass of commodo consumption of the country. This is substantially one ities destined for the immediate consumption of the of the principles adopted by the Committee of Ways and country.

Means, in the report of the case now before us. This is " Where the circumstances of the loss are such as not founded on the supposition that the destruction of the only to excite no suspicion of fraud, but as expressly article thus remitted upon will give place to a new imand directly to exclude the possibility of it.

portation into the country of a corresponding amount, " Where the loss could not bave been covered by or - upon which the Government will receive its quota of dinary insurance, or guarded against by the caution and duties ancw, and thus be indemnified for the remission. diligence of a vigilant and prudent man of business. This is an equitable and an honest supposition. Surely

“ Where the evidence to all these points is full, direct, it can never be the policy of the Government to specuunquestionable, and of the highest nature the case will lale upon the misfortunes of its merchants or citizens. permit."

Sir, this principle alone is broad enough to cover the Now, sir, I appeal to the deliberate judgment of this case, and to authorize the remission now proposed by Hlouse to determine whether these principles are not the bill before the House. founded in sound policy and substantial justice, both as But, sir, I go to the precedents of Congress. The they affect the Government and the mercantile commu. first case I will cite is the first case definitively acted on nity. Both are deeply interested in the judgment of | by Congress-the case of Thomas Jenkins & Co., conCongress upon this subject, and justice towards the one tained in ch. 47, art. 2, Laws of the United States, p.

be 110. The other. The case now before us, sir, comes pointedly that the duties, amounting to $167 50, be remitted and indisputably within both the leiter and equity of on a parcel of hemp, duck, ticklenburg, and molasses, these primciples. The salt was destroyed while in its the property of Thomas Jenkins & Co., merchants of the original state. The circumstances of its destruction are city of Hudson, in the Stale of New York, which were such as to exclude the possibility of fraud; it was landed lost by fire in the brig Minerva, on her passage from under the inspection of the custom-house officers, and New York to the city of Hudson, her port of delivery; its destruction is testified by them, as also its amount. and the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States It was a loss that could not have been covered by ordina. is bereby authorized and directed to allow a credit on ry insurance, No companies exist to take insurances the bond or bonds executed by the said Thomas Jenkins of property against risks by flood upon the land; and no & Co. for payment of the duties on the said goods. Apmerchant or other person ever dreamed of seeking such proved June 14, 1790." an insurance. Such an insurance, against flood upon It is observable, Mr. Speaker, that this case embraces the land, would indeed imply of itself great negligence a principle of much broader extent than is recognised in in regard to the place of storing the property, and be either the circumstances of the case, or in the report of proof of its being an insecure and improper place. Sir, the case, now before the House. The property released ibis properly, as the proof in this case abundantly shows, from duty in Jenkins's case had made its port of entry, was stored where no food had ever been known to reach and was proceeding to its port of delivery, when the in fifty years past. It was a place of supposed security, loss occurred; and the loss occurred from an exposure and no vigilance would have anticipated ihe event which of the properly, by the owners, to new risks, and to a destroyed it. To all these points the proof is plenary, risk that the property might and would have been pro. indisputable, and above the suspicion of fraud." Then, tected against by ordinary care and vigilance on the sir, I ask, is there a gentleman upon this floor who will part of the owners. It was an insurable risk-one that controvert the justice of this claim, or contend that the could have been forcseen, and calculated upon, and induties thus paid ought not to be refunded?

sured against. In the Dana case, before the committee, Mr. Speaker, I am not one of those who feel them the loss arose from entirely different causes from a selves tied down to any set of principles, from mere flood of unexampled severity; from a cause wbich could regard for precedents. 1, for one, care not whether a not have been reasonably anticipated, nor calculated case has precedent in its support or not. I look at the upon, nor insured against; from a risk which human principles believed to be involved in each case as it foresight and experience could not have regarded as arises; and if these are such as commend themselves to possible, and from a risk not ordinarily insurable. The my judgment, I will support the case, though a thou- evidence in the case is, that, “ A little after midnight, a sand precedents be arrayed against it; and so, on the violent gale of wind commenced, wbich continued to contrary, if a case that exhibits precedents without num. blow until high water at noon next day, driving into the ber in its support comes not willin my notions of just barbor an immense sea, and raising the tides higher than reasoning and sound principles, I will oppose and repu- bad been known for many years, covering the wharves diate it. But, sir, I know there are gentlemen upon and overflowing the lower stories of many buildings. this floor who do place reliance on precedent, and who By this tide, the store in which the salt was stored was ask, for every new case that arises, if precedent exists to moved from its foundation, and the whole of the salt justify it. To such I will say, I have precedenis enough washed away. The salt was landed under the inspection in support of every principle involved by this claim to of the officers of the customs, who were witnesses to the sustain and justify its allowance; and one precedent, in loss, and certify to the facts." abstract principle of this case, but every incidental cir- exactly that all the circunstances of the loss are identicumstance of it, finds an astonishing similitude. History cally the same with the one now before us. The article scarcely records two accidental and distant events so destroyed was salt; it was destroyed by food, aster be. strangely alike as the one now before us and the one I ing landed; it was destroyed by a flood of uncommon will cite directly.

magnitude, and destroyed, too, on the night of the day But, sir, I will begin with the carliest legislation of when it was landed. The case of Dana & Co. is the Congress upon this subject of remitting duties on im same case throughout. It is wonderful low iwo occurports destroyed. The principle recognised by Congress 1 rences of such exact similitude should take place. The

particular, will l furnislı the House, where not only the The next case on record is a case exactly in point, so

H. OF R.]

N. and L. Dana.

[Jan. 14, 1837.

report of the committee in this former case was made to Congress conceded that the article destroyed was in the House of Representatives, July 24, 1790. It was its original state; that it bad not gone into the market, duly considered by the House, and a bill moved accord nor entered into the consumption of the country; that its ingly. The report was as follows:

destruction would probably give place to a new importa“Report on the petition of John Stewart and John|tion of a corresponding amount, upon which the Gov. Davidson, referred on the 5th instant:

ernment would get its duly; that it was destroyed with“ It appears, in proof, that the said Stewart and David. out any lack of ordinary prudence and vigilance on the son, in the month of April last, imported at the port of part of the importer; that the destruction could not bave Annapolis eighteen hundred bushels of salt, which was been covered by an ordinary insurance, and that all the taken account of by the collector at the port aforesaid; facts were so proved as to negative the possibility of and that, the night after the same was landed, an uncom. fraud in the case. Such is precisely the case now be. mon storm and food raised the water at the port afore. fore the House; and upon what principle, I ask, can the said, so that the cellar in which the salt was stored, one case be allowed, and the other disallowed? though usually dry, was flowed with water to the depth The next kindred case of remission that is on record of two feet, and thereby destroyed thirteen hundred and is the case of two French citizens, which reads as fol. twenty-five bushels of the salt. The petitioners pray a lows: remission of the duties on the last-mentioned quantity of " An act for the remission of the duties on eleven hogssalt.

heads of coffee, which have been destroyed by fire. “ The committee are of opinion that the prayer of " Whereas eleven hogsheads of coffee were imported the pelition be granted, and that a law pags for that pur in the brig Jason, from Cape François, by two French pose."

citizens, to the port of Norfolk and Portsmouth, in No. This record is to be found on page 69 of the manu vember last, and the duties thereon secured to be paid script reports of committees of the House of Representa-by Messieurs Elliot and Purviance, of the same port: tives. A bill for the remission of the duties was accord. And whereas the said eleven hogsheads of coffee were ingly passed by the House, and concurrently passed by afterwards, on account of the same importers, shipped the Senate, (which may be found in volume 2, Laws of to the port of Baltimore, and there, in the night of the the United States, page 174, chapter 64, approved Au- seventh day of January last, destroyed by fire: gust 4, 1790,) and is as follows:

Be it therefore enacted, &c., That the duties paid or “ That so much of the duties accruing on eighteen payable to the United States, on the same eleven hogs. hundred bushels of salt, imported, in the ship Mercury, | heads of coffee, be, and the same are hereby, remitted; into the port of Annapolis, in the State of Maryland, and it shall be the duty of the collector of the port of some time in the month of April Jast, on account of Norfolk and Portsmouth to refund the same duties, if Messrs. John Stewart and John Davidson, aş relates to they have been received. Approved May 9th, 1794." thirteen bundred and twenty-five bushels thereof which This act is found in the United States Laws, vol. 2, were casually destroyed by food, on the night of the page 404. This case again covers a principle of much same day on which the said salt was landed and stored, broader extent than the case of Dana & Co., and exshall be, and the same is hereby, remitted.”

hibits, comparatively, no merit, when contrasted with Sir, the honorable gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. the latter. The claimants were foreigners; the goods Joungon) says there is no precedent for a case like the had been imported to one market, and thence to a secone now before the House; but he bas said this only be ond market, and were, after this, destroyed by fire, by cause he could not have known of the existence of this an exposure of the properly to a new and ordinary risk, case of Davidson. He knew not this, probably, from against which an insurance might bave been effected, want of that critical examination which I have already and against which ordinary prudence would have effect. said it is impossible for every gentleman of this House to ed an insurance. Nevertheless, as they were destroyed give to every case that is presented to the House. But, says the genileman, if there be precedent, it is only of a cording to the circumstances of the case. He added: casual case, that passed without the observation of law. "From the rareness of the casually, this loss to the revvers and a full knowledge of the facts. Sir, I adinit enue, from either arrangement, could not be very mate. that some precedents do find a place upon our statute rial.” See State Papers, volume 1, on Finance, page books from oversight, and precedents that are wrong in 162. principle, and that deserve not to weigh as authority. In the case of Paul Chase, praying a remission of du. But, sir, the honorable gentleman will observe that this ties on goods imported into si. Mary's, Georgia, during cne now cited cannot have been and cannot now be con- | the last war, and subsequently captured by the enemy, sidered as of this accidental and unworthy character; for the committee said: “The object of the Government in the law itself imbodies the fact that it is a remission of laying duties on foreign merchandise imported into the duties on salt “Casually destroyed by flood on the night United States is to raise a revenue, for the support of of the same day on which the said salt was landed and Government, on foreign merchandise actually consumed stored”-precisely the case now before the House. within the United States.” See House Reports, No. 27,

Sir, what was just in 1790 is just at this day, if found. Session 1824-'5. ed in principle.* The case of Davidson was allowed, So in the case of J. F. Ohl, where seventy-five boxes not upon mere policy or expediency, in 1790, but upon of sugar were imported into Philadelphia in November, principle; upon principle founded in equity as well as 1826, and destroyed by fire on the 7th of December, sound policy. It was allowed upon the same principle 1827, (three months ihereafter,) the committee say: now recognised by the Committee of Ways and Means in “ The committee consider the precedents in which re. the report of the case now before the House.

lief has been given to be confined to cases where the

goods have been burnt or destroyed in the form in which * On April 20, 1792, Alexander Hamilton, then Secre they were originally imported; and believing, as they do, fary of the Treasury, reported to the House on the peti- that the spirit of the revenue laws requires the collection tion of Eliphalet Ladd, which had been referred to his of duties only upon those goods which are consumed in consideration by the House, in favor of remitting entire the country, and that every loss of this kind must necesly the duties on goods which have been shipwrecked, sarily call for an additional and equivalent importation, and which escape either with or without damage, or to upon which duties will be paid, have reported a bill," vest the power somewhere either to remit or abate, ac

&c. See Report 170, vol. 3, 1827-'8.

Jan. 14, 1837.)

N. and L. Dana.

(H. or R.

before entering into the consumption of the country, provided (see 24 vol. United States Laws, p. 571) that the duties were refunded.

where a distiller had been “ really and truly prevented And here again I beg the attention of the honorable from employing or working his still or stills, during any gen:leman from Tennessee, and of the House generally, part of the term for which he had rendered it liable to the fact that this case of the French citizens is not to pay a duty upon its or their capacity, by the deone where the facts could have escaped the notice of struction or failure of fruit and grain, or any other unaCongress, while the law in its favor was on its passage. voidable cause, within the district in which he resides,' It is not a precedent that was established through the &c., he might pay upon its capacity a pro rala duty for negligence of Congress. So well did Congress under. the time his still or stills were actually employed. stand what the measure and the case was, and so care. The same principle was adopted by the act of March ful were they in the recognition of the principle it in. 3, 1797, relating to duties laid upon mills employed in volved, that the facts of the case were especially set the manufacture of snuff. The second section of that forth in the preamble of the bill, as I have read it from act provides as follows, (see ad vol. United States Law's, the statute book.

p. 590:) “ That in all cases of licenses granted under Congress herein recognised the principle, that inas the said act, where, by failure of water or other casual. much as the property destroyed had not actually entered ty, occurring to the mill or mills, or to the implements, into the consumption of the country, and had not gone or to the proprietor or other person licensed, the use into the market, but was held “ on account of the same and benefit of such license has been lost, or considerably importers'--in other words, liad never changed hands interrupted, and the duties thereon required, or paid, and owners-it was but just, and honest, and politic, to may be considered peculiarly unequal and injurious, ibe refund the duties paid upon it, though it had been sev. Secretary of the Treasury, upon due representation and eral months in the country.

proof of such case, shall be, and hereby is, authorized Sir, I do not press the principle in this broad extent to cause to be refunded or remitted such part of duties Bow. I do not say I would recognise it to such an ex. paid or secured on such license as shall appear just and tent now. I cite the case only to show how much broad. reasonable under the circumstances of the case, and baver is the principle upon which Congress has heretofore ing regard to the loss, injury, or peculiar hardship, susacted in the remission of duties, than in the one now in tained as aforesaid." volved by the case before us. Surely, sir, if the case of I may cite the case of the Providence merchants, the French citizens be admissible in half its extent, the found in vol. 3, p. 433, of the Laws of the United case of Messrs. Dana & Co., now bcfore us, is beyond States. The collector of the district of Providence, question.

in the State of Rhode Island, was authorized and diThe case of Jabez Rogers is another case founded on rected, by the law of their case, to remit the duties on the same policy of the Government. It is entitled “ An such parts of two certain cargoes of teas as were importact for the remission of the duties on certain distilled ed on the 29th of July, 1800, by Thomas Lloyd & Co., spirits destroyed by fire." It was approved June 7, and on the 22d of August, 1800, by Jobn J. Clark, “as 1794, and reads as follows-(see United States Laws, remained deposited to secure the payment of duties, unvol. 2, page 485:)

der the care of the officers of the customs, on the 21st “Whereas Jabez Rogers, junior, who had erected day of January last, in the aforesaid town of Providence, harge works at Middlebury, in the State of Vermont, for and shall be proved, to the satisfaction of the said coldistilling spirits from the produce of the country, has lector, to have been burned and destroyed." had the same twice destroyed by fire, with a quantity of This was approved March 3, 1801. spirits therein, on which by law duties had become pay The committee who reported this last case for relief able to the United States:

say: " And whereas, considering the equity of the case, " Your committee are of opinion that, as the goods said duties ought to be remitted; therefore,

were under the care of the officers of the customs at the +." Be it enacted, &c., that the duties payable to the time they were consumed by fire, and not subject to the United States on all such distilled spirits as shall be pro- control of the owners; and that, as granting relief in this ved, to the satisfaction of the supervisor of the district case cannot establish a precedent dangerous to the rev. of Vermon', to have been destroyed by fire in the distil. enue, the prayer of the petition ought to be granted.” leries lately burnt at Middlebury, in the State of Ver. American State Papers, vol. 1, on Finance, p. 698. mont, be and are hereby remitted."

Here the principle of not exacting duties on goods deHere, again, the principle adopted is altogether more stroyed before entering into the ordinary consumption broad and liberal than is asked or contemplated in the of the country is distinctly and undeniably recognised, case of Dana & Co., now before the House. It not only and is the great leading principle of the case. Here, also, adopts the principle of refunding the duties that bad ac the principle of remission is extended far beyond the crued to the Government, because the dutiable article nature of the case presented by the Messrs. Danas & was destroyed before entering into the ordinary con Co., because it is made to cover a loss arising from a sumption of the country, but, also, in a case where the risk against which an ordinary insurance and ordinary loss incurred was from a risk against which ordinary vigilance would have protected the owners. The fact prudence would have protected the owner; where an in- that the properly was still in possession of the Governsurance of the properiy, against the very loss incurred, ment does not alter the case, only so far as it may prewas possible. The case before the committee imbodies sume to shut out the possibility of fraud on the part of all the merit of the first principle, without being expo. the importers, because this fsct did not take the case out sed to the derogation of the last-mentioned circumstance. of the principle of ordinary insurances, nor release the

The principle of refunding duties imposed by Govern. owners from exercising ordinary vigilance to secure ment, in cases where the purpose of both the Govern. themselves against loss from such a risk. ment in imposing such duties, and of the individual in Mr. Speaker, I might go on and cite, in detail, each paying them, has been defeated by inevitable and unfore of the several cases that have come before Congress for seen accident, which is precisely the principle of the remission, but for consuming too much of the time of case of the Danas, was fully recognised and adopted by the House. Suffice it to say that, after careful and vigiGovernment in the act of June 1, 1796, entitled "An act lant search, I find no case conflicting with the principle providing relief to the owners of stills within the United of the case now presented, and when the fact that ihe States, for a limited time, in certain cases.' Thal act

property destroyed was so situated as not to be ingura. VOL. XIII.-88

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