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The total result of the operations of our squadron during twelve years has been the capture of 14 vessels.
The African slave trade has, it is believed, been entirely suppressed in Brazil, and, in this hemisphere, the remaining colonies of SpainCuba and Porto Rico—are its only marts. Your committee think that if the American flag be still employed in this nefarious traffic, now prohibited by every Christian nation, and surreptitiously tolerated by Spain alone, the abuse can be more efficiently corrected by the employment of our cruisers in the vicinity of those islands.
It would seem to be almost superfluous on the part of your committee to say that, in recommending the adoption of the resolution under consideration, they repudiate the most remote intention of relaxing, in any degree, the stringency of our legislation on the subject of the African slave trade. Its continuance, while it is so justly odious on moral grounds, is in every way prejudicial to our commercial and agricultural interests.
The abrogation of the eighth article of the Ashburton treaty does not necessarily imply the purpose of withdrawing our squadron from the coast of Africa. A portion of it indeed must necessarily be retained there to protect our commerce. Its only effect will be to enable the Executive to employ the force now stationed there at any other point where its service may be more useful. We should still be bound by the eleventh article of the treaty of Ghent to use, in the language of that article, “our best endeavors to promote the desirable object of the entire abolition of the slave trade.” And none can doubt that it will continue to be faithfully observed, as it has heretofore been, in letter and spirit. Your committee recommend the adoption of the resolution.
(Ex. Jour., vol. 10, p. 110.)
July 11, 1854. Mr. Mason made the following report:
The Committee on Foreign Relations, to whom was referred the treaty extending the right of fishing, and regulating the commerce and navigation between Her Britannic Majesty's possessions in North America and the United States, concluded in the city of Washington on the 5th day of June, 1854, between the United States of America and Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, beg to report the same to the Senate without amendment and to submit the following report thereon:
It is not surprising that a proposition to admit any foreign coals into this country free of duty should receive opposition from the home coal interests. It may also be expected that such opposition will be aided by some other interests which contemn the principles of free and unrestricted trade and commerce and uphold the doctrine of protection by a high tariff of duties on such imports as may compete with our home industry.
It is freely conceded that if the policy of protection by such means can be constitutionally and rightfully maintained, there are no articles that have stronger claims to its enforcement in this behalf than the articles of coal and iron. They are both articles of prime necessity, and there are no convenient and sufficient substitutes for them available to the whole country. Every section of the confederacy teems with these important elements of national independence, prosperity, and wealth. Our mountains, plains, and valleys are filled with them,
in all their different varieties. Capital and labor and enterprise are, however, needed for their development. It will not be disputed in this paper that if the money, industry, and energy of our own people can be stimulated to engage in the work of development by legitimate means not prejudical to other industrial interests those means should be adopted. That other interests should be sacrificed to uphold those of coal and iron, and that the latter, important as they are admitted to be, ought to control every or any other branch of home industry of any section of the Union, it is presumed will not be contended by the most zealous, certainly not by the most prudent and sagacious advocates of these two great mineral products.
The following memoranda show the duties that heretofore have been imposed on foreign coals imported into the United States, from the organization of the Federal Government up to this time:
Duties on imported coals.
per bushel.. 2 August 10, 1790 (went into force December 31, 1790)
3 May 2, 1792 (went into force June 30, 1792).
_do. June 7, 1794 (went into force June 30, 1794)
5 January 29, 1795 (went into force March 31, 1795).
.do. March 3, 1797 (went into force June 30, 1797).
..do. May 13, 1800 (went into force June 30, 1800).
do. 5 March 27, 1804 (went into force June 30, 1804)
do. 5 July 1, 1812 (went into force July 12, 1812)
do 110 April 27, 1816 (went into force June 30, 1816)
5 May 22, 1824 (went into force June 30, 1824)
do.. 6 May 19, 1828 (went into force September 1, 1828).
6 July 14, 1832 (went into force March 3, 1833)
.do.... 6 The compromise act of March 2, 1833, chapter 55, volume 3, Statutes of the United States, page 629, graduated the reduction of this duty by a prescribed scale.
By tariff of August 30, 1842 (went into force August 30, 1812), per ton, $1.75, being about 69.28 per cent ad valorem; and the same act imposed a duty on coke, or culin of coal, of 5 cents per bushel, equal to about 161.94 per cent ad valorem.
By the tariff act of July 30, 1846, which went in force December 1, 1846, and is now in force, the duty on coals, coke, and culm is 30 per cent ad valorem.
The tariff bill reported by the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives at this session proposes a duty on imported coals and on coke or culm of 20 per cent ad valorem. Mr. Secretary Guthrie, in the finance report of this session, recommends coals and coke or culm to be charged 25 per cent ad valorem.
The British provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick ask that, in this convention for the settlement of the fishery dispute and regulating the trade between the five British North American provinces and the United States, it may be stipulated that provincial coals be admitted into the United States, and United States coals into the provinces, free of duty.
Neither Canada, Prince Edward's Island, nor Newfoundland have any coal mines now worked, or that can be worked for many years, and the coal mines of New Brunswick are mostly in the interior and are not deemed of very great importance at the present time. Excepting for a species of asphaltum the New Brunswick mines have not been much worked of late years, and never profitably, and no coals of consequence have been exported from that province. Last year, it is believed, no coals or asphaltum were sent to the United States from New Brunswick, while considerable quantities of anthracite coal were sent thither from the United States.
1 War duties.
Statement A (placed for convenience in an appendix), and the tables it contains, exhibit the extent and value of the coal mines in all the five provinces, their area, annual product heretofore and now, cost of coals at the mines, kinds and qualities of coals, etc.; also sundry British and colonial accounts of the exports from and imports into the colonies of coals for different past years, distinguishing their coal trade with the United States.
From the statement and accounts referred to it will be quite apparent that the only provincial coals imported into the United States the importation whereof can be increased, or that will be encouraged by the proposed reciprocal arrangement, are the coals of the province of Nova Scota, usually called the “Pictou” or “Sidney” coals.
The following tables (B, C, D, E, and F) have been compiled from the officially published annual reports of the “Commerce and Navigation of the United States,” by the Treasury Department, and in connection with the British and colonial accounts contained in statement A exhibit fully the trade of the United States in foreign and domestic coals with other countries:
B.-Statement of the quantity and value of coals imported and foreign coals
exported from 1821 to 1853.
1 Under the compromise act of March 2, 1833, chapter 55, volume 4, United States Statutes, page 629.
From 1821 to 1842, inclusive, the quantity imported and exported is stated in bushels. From 1843 to 1853 the quantity is given in tons. The colonial currency is $4 to the pound; the pound sterling
is reckoned at $4.84. A New Cas tle chaldron of coal is 53 hundred weight, or about 72 bushels. A Nova Scotia chaldron is 42 bushels (generally measuring 48), 3.360 pounds, A London chaldron is 36 bushels. A Boston retail chaldron is 2,500, sometimes 2,700 pounds. The ton is 2,240 pounds. (See act of Congress, August 30, 1842, vol. 5, L. U. S., p. 567.) Anthracite coals are always measured by the ton. Bituminous coals are estimated 28 bushels per ton. A bushel
of dry bituminous coal weighs from 80 to 85 pounds.
C.-Imports into the United States of foreign mineral coals in 1850, 1851, 1852, and
1853 (years ending June 30), from Commerce and Navigation Report of the United States, showing the declared value per ton, and uggregate values and duties-duty 30 per cent ad valorem, under tariff of 1846.
NOTE.-For Canadian account of all imports into Canada of coals, same years (ending Decem. ber 31, each year), see Statement A, Appendix; see also for Governor Sir G. Le Marchand's report of imports into and exports from Nova Scotia for year ending December 31, 1852, same Statement A; see also other British and colonial accounts of trade in coals in same statement. It is alleged the valuation is generally below the prices at places of shipment, and freight and insurance and expenses
should be added to ascertain the value in the United States.