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the Whole, debate on the paragraph under consideration be terminated in five minutes. The motion was agreed to.
thirty-six and fifty-nine degrees, inclusive, shall be deemed refined illuminating coal oil, and any person or persons who, for purposes of sale or consumption, shall mix any of the heaviest paraffine oils with the refined illuminating oils, or with the naphtha, or either one with the other, shall be deemed manufacturers of coal oil, and must be duly taxed as such, and said oil thus mixed, either with or without further distillation, shall pay the tax of illuminating, refined coal oil, if after said mixing or distillation said oils mark by Baume's hydrometer between said points of thirty-six and fifty-nine degrees.
ORDER OF PROCEEDING TO-MORROW. Mr. SCHENCK. I move that to-morrow be appropriated to the usual debate on the President's message.
The motion was agreed to.
Mr. MORRILL moved that the rules be suspended, and that the House resolve itself into the Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union on the special order.
The motion was agreed to.
So the rules were suspended; and the House accordingly resolved itself into the Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union, (Mr. DAWES in the chair,) and resumed the consideration of the special order, being a bill of the House (No. 513) to amend an act entitled "An act to provide internal revenue to support the Government, to pay interest on the public debt, and for other purposes," approved June 30, 1864, and acts amendatory thereof.
Mr. SPALDING. I cannnot agree with my colleague from Ohio, [Mr. LAWRENCE,] if I understand him correctly, that this paragraph is within the scope of our legislative power; and I cannot agree with the learned gentleman from the Syracuse district, of New York, [Mr. DAVIS] that we have power, as the Congress of the United States, to make this legislation operative upon the people of the different States. Now, although we can exert the high and sovereign power of taxation, for all necessary purposes for our Government, yet we cannot go into the States and change individual contracts there under the laws of the State. If I have a contract for my gas under the laws of the State of Ohio, the price being limited by the laws of that State to so much per thousand cubic feet, I would like to know what law of Congress can reach me in Ohio, and make me pay a higher rate than I have agreed with the gas company to pay.
Now, this provision, which it is sought by this motion to strike out, simply provides that all gas companies shall be authorized to add the tax imposed by law to the price per thousand cubic feet on the gas sold by them.
It is said that this will act as a hardship in States where the price of gas is limited. If so, it is an indirect means of doing away with the laws of such States. We must impose taxes to the extent we deem necessary, and then leave it for the different State Legislatures to apply the remedy. If they find that they have restricted their gas companies so as to make this tax too onerous for them, they themselves will agree that the tax may be added to the contract price. But I hold that we cannot do it. I am so much a "State-rights man" that I hold to that doctrine. I believe, if I know anything about the laws and Constitution of my country, that we have no right to go into the States and legislate in this way. That is my objection to the amendment.
Mr. LAWRENCE, of Ohio. I withdraw the amendment to the amendment.
The question recurred on the amendment proposed by Mr. LAWRENCE, of Ohio, and being put, it was disagreed to.
The question then recurred on Mr. STEVEN'S motion to strike out the entire clause; and being put, it was agreed to.
Mr. HOTCHKISS. I move, in line eighteen hundred and forty-six, to strike out the word "ten" and insert in lieu thereof "five." I do it for the benefit of the small companies, which the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means has conceded cannot live under the present tax.
The amendment was not agreed to.
On illuminating, lubricating, or other mineral oils, marking not less than thirty-six nor more than fiftynine degrees Baume's hydrometer, the product of the distillation, redistillation, or refining of crude petroleum, twenty cents per gallon; and all coal oils between the specific gravity, by the Baume's test, of
Mr. MORRILL. I move to strike out all after the word "gallon" in line eighteen hundred and eighty-two down to the end of the paragraph, and to insert in lieu thereof the following:
And all such oils between the specific gravity by Baume's test of thirty-six and fifty-nine degrees, inclusive, shall be deemed refined illuminating oil, and any person or persons who, for purposes of sale or consumption, shall mix any of the heavier paraffine oils with illuminating oil, or with naphtha, or either one with the other, shall be deemed a manufacturer of illuminating oil, and taxed as such, and said oil thus mixed, either with or without further distillation, shall be subject to a tax of twenty cents per gallon, if after said mixing or distillation the product marks by Baume's hydrometer between the said points of thirty-six and fifty-nine degrees inclusive. The amendment was agreed to.
Mr. SCOFIELD. Imove to strike out in line eighteen hundred and eighty-two the word "twenty," and to insert "ten" in lieu thereof; and also to strike out the word "twenty" in the amendment just adopted and. to insert "ten" in lieu thereof.
Mr. Chairman, when this tax upon rock oil was imposed two years ago, ten cents a gallon was the amount fixed upon it. It was considered at that time a very high tax; and, as compared with the tax imposed upon gas, it would be a very high tax now. Last year the tax was doubled. My amendment proposes to go back to the tax first levied upon this article two years ago, and place it at ten cents per gallon. If you make it twenty cents a gallon, you make it more than double the tax imposed on any other illuminating substance by this bill. In the clause that immediately follows the tax on coal oil is only ten cents per gallon, and the tax on the same amount of light derived from gas is not more than half the amount of the tax imposed on this substance.
We must remember that this is an article consumed altogether by the poorer classes of society; and that it is in itself a moralizer and enemy of vice and crime. I think the committee ought to consent that this tax upon light should be reduced to ten cents per gallon. For one, I would make the tax upon light so low that the humblest dwelling of the poorest man in the land could be made cheerful and nice; so that when he returns from his day's labor, instead of stopping at the gas-lit grocery he may come home, having a few cents left with which to purchase a paper, and sit down, and look upon the questions pending before Congress, so that he may censure by his vote his member if we impose too heavy taxes upon him.
Mr. MORRILL. I hope the gentleman will be content with his motion as we are content with his speech, and will not press it to a vote. The motion is to reduce the tax on petroleum one half, and, of course, to reduce the amount of revenue from that source one half.
It will be recollected that when this tax was first imposed it was the intention to obtain a large amount of revenue from this article on the ground that it was a better and cheaper article for light than anything else that could be obtained. We have not been deceived in that respect. It is an article that competes with everything else. There is no article that gives a more beautiful light, neither oil, tallow, nor gas, that can be afforded so cheaply. I must remind the committee, also, of the fact that we have already relieved crude petroleum from any tax. It was exempted by a special bill, and it is also exempted in this bill. I trust the gentleman and his constituents will be satisfied with that, and that this amendment will not prevail.
The question was taken on Mr. SCOFIELD'S amendment, and it was disagreed to.
The Clerk read as follows:
On illuminating, lubricating, or other mineral oils marking not less than thirty-six nor more than fiftynine degrees Baume's hydrometer, the exclusive product of the refining of crude oil produced by a single distillation of coal, shale, asphaltum, peat, or other bituminous substance, not otherwise provided for, ten cents per gallon.
Mr. MOORHEAD. In line eighteen hundred and ninety-eight I move to strike out the words "a single." Those words are improperly there and ought to be stricken out.
Mr. GARFIELD. That is right as it stands. Mr. MORRILL. I am not aware that that expression is wrong; I have received no information but what those words should remain. As I understand it, it is right as it is.
Mr. GARFIELD. A single distillation from coal is called crude oil. The point in this whole paragraph is to levy a lighter tax on oil produced from coal when refined; and in order to make this tax correspond with the tax on crude petroleum, we say that oil refined from crude oil made by a single distillation of coal shall bear a burden of only ten cents per gallon; whereas that refined from crude petroleum shall bear a burden, as provided in the paragraph above, of twenty cents. I think the paragraph is right as it stands.
Mr. MOORHEAD. I withdraw my amend
The Clerk read as follows:
On oil, naphtha, benzine, benzole, or gasoline marking more than fifty-nine degrees Baume's hydrometer, the product of the distillation, redistillation, or refining of crude petroleum, or of crude oil produced by a single distillation of coal, shale, peat, asphaltum, or other bituminous substances, a tax of ten cents per gallon; Provided, That distillers and refiners of illuminating, lubricating, or other mineral oil, naphtha, benzine, benzolc, or gasoline, shall be subject to all the provisions of law applicable to distillers of spirits, with regard to special taxes, bonds, returns, assessments, removing to and withdrawing from warehouses, liens, penalties, drawbacks, and all other provisions designed for the purpose of ascertaining the quantity distilled, and securing the payment of duties, so far as the same may, in the judgment of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, and under regulations prescribed by him, be deemed necessary for that purpose. I move to amend this paragraph by adding to it another proviso, as follows:
Mr. MORRILL. I move to strike out this paragraph, and insert in lieu thereof the following:
On coffee, roasted or ground, ground spices and dry mustard, and on all articles intended for use as substitutes for or as adulterations of coffee, spices, or mustard, and upon all compounds and mixtures prepared for sale, or intended for use or sale as coffee, spices, or mustard, or as substitutes therefor, ono cent per pound: Provided, That the exemption of $1.000 of annual value of productions manufactured shall not apply to any of the above specified articles. The amendment was agreed to.
The Clerk read as follows:
On molasses produced from the sugar-cane, and not from sorghum or imphee, a tax of three cents per gallon.
No amendment being offered, The Clerk read as follows:
On sirup of molasses or sugar-cane juice, when removed from the plantation, concentrated molasses or melado, and cistern bottoms, of sugar produced from the sugar-cane and not made from sorghum or imphee, a tax of three fourths of one cent per pound.
Mr. MORRILL. The gentleman will see that one half is the half of something. The half of what? The half of one. I believe this is strictly accurate as it is now. Mr. HOOPER, of Massachusetts. withdraw my amendment.
The Clerk read as follows:
Mr. STEVENS. I would suggest to the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means [Mr. MORRILL] that there ought to be some provision made in this bill to prevent the imposition of a tax upon sugar or sirup made from other things than those here mentioned.
Mr. MORRILL. The provision the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. STEVENS] indicates will more properly come in when we reach that part of the bill relating to articles exempt from taxation. I mentioned this because by a very absurd construction of the law, although we specified in the old bill what kinds of sirups and sugar should be taxed, the Department held that a manufacturer of sugar or sirup from corn stalks or other articles not here mentioned should be taxed.
The Clerk read as follows:
On sugars not above number twelve Dutch standard in color, produced from sugar-cane and not from sorghum or imphee, other than those produced by the refiner, a tax of one cent per pound.
No amendment being offered, The Clerk read as follows:
On sugars above number twelve and not above number eighteen Dutch standard in color, produced directly from the sugar-cane and not from sorghum or imphec, a tax of one and one half cent per pound. No amendment being offered, The Clerk read as follows:
On sugar above number eighteen Dutch standard in color, produced directly from the sugar-cane, and not from sorghum or imphee, a tax of two cents per pound.
No amendment being offered,
The Clerk read as follows:
On the gross amount of the sales of sugar refiners, including all the products of their manufactories or refineries, a tax of two and one half of one per cent. ad valorem: Provided, That every person shall be regarded as a sugar refiner, and pay the taxes levied by law, whose business it is to advance the quality and value of sugar upon which a tax has been paid, by melting and recrystallization, or by liquoring, claying, or other washing process, or by any other chemical or mechanical means, or who shall advance the quality or value of molasses, concentrated molasses, or melado, upon which a tax has been paid, by boiling or other process.
Mr. MORRILL. I move to amend the proviso by striking out the word "levied" and inserting the word "required" after the words "and pay the taxes.'
The amendment was agreed to.
Mr. MORRILL. I move to insert the words For duty," after the word "tax" near the close of the paragraph.
The amendment was agreed to.
Mr. GARFIELD. I move to amend this paragraph by striking out the words "by boiling or other process at the close of the paragraph, and inserting the same words before the words "advance the quality or value of molasses," &c.
The amendment was agreed to.
Mr. STEVENS. There is one phrase here which I do not know that I understand, and I rise to inquire the meaning of it. The first sentence of this paragraph reads:
On the gross amount of the sales of sugar refiners, including all the products of their manufactories or refineries, a tax of two and one half of one per cent. ad valorem.
What is meant by "a tax of two and one half of one per cent. ad valorem?" How much is that upon a hundred dollars?
Mr. MORRILL. I think that is as plain as the English language can make it. It is one half as much as five per cent. This is the usual phrase employed in bills of this char
Mr. STEVENS. It means two and a half per cent.?
Mr. MORRILL. Yes, sir. Mr. HOOPER, of Massachusetts. I think if it means "two and a half per cent.," it would be better to have it say so; and I therefore move to amend this paragraph accordingly.
On sugar candy and all confectionery made wholly or in part of sugar, valued at not exceeding twenty cents per pound, a tax of two cents per pound; exceeding twenty and not exceeding forty cents per pound, a tax of four cents per pound; when exceeding forty cents per pound, or sold by the box, package, or otherwise than by the pound, a tax of ten per cent. ad valorem.
Mr. ALLISON. I move to insert after the words "not exceeding twenty cents per pound" and the words "not exceeding forty cents per pound" the words "including the tax." The amendment was agreed to.
Mr. RANDALL, of Pennsylvania. I move to insert as a new paragraph the following:
On free-trip passes over railroads conveying passengers by steam, there shall be a ten-cent stamp affixed to each; on all six-months passes over such railroads there shall be affixed to each stamps amounting to $2 50; and on all annual free passes over such railroads there shall be affixed to each stamps amounting to five dollars.
I desire to state, in support of this proposition, that free passes are a luxury. [Laughter.] I suppose no one will contradict that. Moreover, it is a source of revenue which the Committee of Ways and Means have failed to reach. And let me say further, that gentlemen who suppose that this provision will not raise a considerable revenue are very much mistaken. I am credibly informed that the railroad passing through my State issued, during a single year, annual passes to the number of four thousand.
Mr. PLANTS. Have you one? [Laughter.] Mr. RANDALL, of Pennsylvania. No, sir; I have not. But if I had I should be willing to have it taxed. By this provision you would realize from that road alone a revenue to the Government of from twenty to twenty-five thousand dollars. I think that, as we are putting a tax upon every other article of use or comfort, this article ought also to be taxed. I hope the gentleman from Vermont [Mr. MORRILL] will not object to it.
Mr. MORRILL. I am not prepared to say whether I am opposed to it or not. But I should object to its being inserted here, because this portion of the bill does not relate at all to stamps. It will come in more appropriately when we reach the part of the bill relating to stamps.
Mr. RANDALL, of Pennsylvania. I am very willing to withdraw my amendment now and offer it where the gentleman from Vermont has indicated. I am, however, very glad he sees the propriety of it.
The Clerk read as follows:
Mr. GARFIELD. If gun-cotton costs more than thirty-eight cents per pound it will not be freed from the higher tax by inserting it where the gentleman proposes, for that portion of the paragraph relates to explosive substances that cost less than thirty-eight cents per pound including the tax.
Mr. MORRILL. Ifthe gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. THAYER] considers his proposi tion an important one, I think he better embrace it in an independent paragraph, to be inserted; and then move to amend this paragraph by inserting after the words "explosive substance" the words "not otherwise provided for."
Mr. GARFIELD. It is suggested that the gentleman can accomplish his purpose by mov ing to insert the words" and gun-cotton" before the words ", a tax of five per cent. ad valorem." Mr. THAYER. I will modify my amend ment to that effect.
The amendment was agreed to.
The Clerk read as follows:
Mr. MORRILL. Most certainly there is. Mr. MYERS. I would like to hear what the objections are.. If the gentleman declines to give them, then I will state in a few words why I think this amendment should be adopted.
These photographs are really works of art and ought to be exempted from taxation, as other works of art are by a subsequent section of this bill, which also exempts books, maps, charts, productions of stereotypers, electrotypers, lithographers, engravers, &c.
The photographers, however, do not ask to be entirely exempted from taxation. But the tax of five per cent. ad valorem which I propose will be a smaller tax than the one now imposed. It is a reduction to which I think they are entitled.
In the next place, it is absolutely an advantage that we should do away with stamps upon photographs, both for the protection of the intographers. Every gentleman in this House terests of the public and the interests of the phowho has had photographs taken, or who has examined them, knows that the canceling of these stamps also tends to deface the photographs when they are packed together in a case or otherwise. Generally speaking, photographers do not affix these stamps and cancel them until the photographs ordered are called
Mr. Chairman, there is one part of the gentleman's remarks which I can heartily accept. I will not deny the beauty of my children. But I must say that I do not like to have their photographs defaced by ink marks which have been transferred to the face of the picture, as is the case with a photograph which I have now before me. I object to having the pictures of my children-beautiful as the gentleman concedes they are-thus disfigured.
Now, sir, on page 133 of this bill, just preceding the paragraph which my friend has quoted, is another paragraph exempting from taxation "paintings and statues and groups of of statuary produced by artists as works of art." These photographs are essentially works of art, too; and were it not that the photographers are willing to pay a proper tax to the Government, I would ask that they should be exempted altogether. But they have no such request to make. They only ask a modification of the law, by which they shall be relieved from that which is an inconvenience, vexation, and loss to themselves and the public who patronize them.
for, and in that case the purchaser, after he bas taken them away, often finds that the front or face side of the picture is somewhat marred by the stamps attached to the reverse side of the picture laid against it or the mark of the ink with which it is canceled or defaced. But in other cases, where the pictures are put up beforehand, the injury falls upon the photographer, who loses all the pictures thus defaced.
Mr. Chairman, there is among those engaged in this business a very general demand for the adoption of such a provision as I now propose; and I had understood that the committee would favor it. There are, probably, twenty thousand photographers in the United States. They are men generally well known to the communities in which they do business, and honorable, and their returns of sales will be as reliable as those of any other citizens.
I understand that the chief objection made to this proposition is based on the fact that there is a small number of traveling photographers from whom the tax might not be collected if we should do away with the provision requiring stamps to be placed upon the pictures. But, sir, these traveling photographers are by the very provisions of this bill almost exempted from taxation. Frequently the photographs made by men of this class are of so small a size that stamps cannot be affixed to them, or they are furnished at so low a price as to be exempt under a subsequent provision of this bill. Besides that, sir, the number of this class is extremely small as compared with the number of those who do a regular business in some fixed place, and if they attempt to defraudwhich they are no more likely to do than others-detection is tolerably sure to follow. The amendment which I propose contemplates nothing more than simple justice to the photographers, while it would also be of great advantage to the public.
Mr. MORRILL. Mr. Chairman, probably no tax provided for in this bill is more just than that which the gentleman from Pennsylvania || proposes to remove; and there is no case in which there is greater reason for requiring the affixing of a stamp, if we mean to realize any
The gentleman speaks of the small number of the traveling photographers. Let me say to him that these are as fifty to one compared with those who have fixed places of business. And from these traveling photographers we should derive no revenue without such a provision as that which he proposes to strike out.
It is true that we do propose, in another part of this bill, to exempt from taxation "photographs or any other sun picture, being copies of engravings or works of art, when the same are sold by the producer at wholesale at a price not exceeding ten to fifteen cents each, or are used for the illustration of books, and on photographs so small in size that stamps cannot be affixed."
Let me give another reason why the amendment should pass and the taxation on this class of artists should be reduced somewhat, as is proposed. Within the last four or five years alcohol, sulphuric ether, acetic acid, and the other chemical materials used in the manufacture of photographs have advanced in price more than two hundred and fifty per cent. But the principal question is, shall we collect tax from these men in the objectionable shape of stamps, or impose an ad valorem duty upon the amount of their sales, trusting them to make proper returns, as we trust other classes of manufacturers?
As to the suggestion that these works are injured by the cancellation of the stamps, I must say that that does not necessarily follow. When ordinary care is taken there is no difficulty in drying the ink without injuring the pictures. It is only when the stamps are canceled in a rough and hurried manner-as, for instance, by throwing sand upon the ink-that any injury can result. If time is allowed for the ink to dry or the usual soft paper is placed between the cards, no difficulty can arise.
Mr. MYERS. For the purpose of saying a few words in reply to the gentleman from Vermont, [Mr. MORRILL,] I move to amend my amendment by striking out the last word.
By imposing the ad valorem duty and dispensing with the provision requiring stamps to be affixed to these photographs we greatly accommodate the public at large, while we save the photographers from a large annual loss; for in a package of pictures the face of one is placed against the back of the other, and thus the ink on the stamp as well as the stamp itself, as I have said, often defaces the picture. By an ad valorem tax the Government would realize its proper amount of revenue; and certainly five per cent. ad valorem is a sufficient tax upon these pictures.
Mr. MORRILL. I have merely to say that these photographs are articles of luxury, and those who purchase them can afford to pay the
Mr. MYERS. I withdraw the amendment to the amendment.
On agreeing to the amendment, there wereayes twenty, noes not counted.
Mr. MYERS. I withdraw the amendment for the present.
Mr. THAYER. I desire to call the attention of the committee to the fact that in the amendment which was adopted in regard to gun-cotton the object which the committee contemplated was not accomplished, and it is necessary to make an addition. I trust that by unanimous consent the committee will revert to that paragraph, in order that the necessary amendment may be made.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there any objection? There was no objection; and Mr. THAYER moved to amend by insertbefore line nineteen hundred and sixtyfour, the following words: on gun-cotton a tax of five per cent. ad valorem."
The amendment was agreed to.
This provision is intended to refer to small photographs, some of which are not larger than the ordinary quarter of a dollar, and some even smaller. These we propose to exempt entirely. But as to those of larger size, which are taken upon paper-such photographs as the gentleman buys for himself and for his beautiful children-the gentleman of course is not unwilling to pay for them. There is a very large sale of these little souvenirs, and of course they yielding, a large revenue.
Mr. THAYER. A slight additional amendment is necessary, and I move to amend by inserting after the word "purposes," in line nineteen hundred and sixty-five, the words not otherwise provided for." The amendment was agreed to.
Mr. MORRILL. I move to amend by striking out in line nineteen hundred and seventyfive the words "to be."
The amendment was agreed to.
The Clerk read as follows:
On screws, commonly called wood screws, a tax of ten per cent. ad valorem.
Mr. PLANTS. I move to amend by striking out the following: "on salt a tax of three cents per one hundred pounds."
Mr. Chairman, I make this motion because, as I believe, such a tax as this ought not to be imposed upon the article of salt. It is an article of prime necessity. I represent a district of Ohio in which pretty much all the salt made in that State is manufactured. I am familiar with the condition of that branch of industry there. I know that during the last year a furnace costing some thirty thousand dollars, and manufacturing twenty thousand bushels of salt per month, paid an internal revenue tax of $700 per month-about eight thousand dollars a year; while at the same time the manufacture of the salt, conducted in the most economical manner, cost more than the market value of the article. The consequence was that a furnace of that kind, running through the year, paid to the Government about eight thousand dollars internal revenue tax, and found itself at the end of the year so much in debt that it was obliged to suspend; so that the Government gets nothing for the present.
Mr. Chairman, I think that an article of such prime necessity ought to be relieved from tax so far as possible. As matters have stood heretofore, the manufacture of salt could not be carried on with any profit, and it has in many cases been productive of loss to the manufacturer.
Mr. HENDERSON. I move, pro formâ, to strike out the words "three cents."
I am glad that the views of the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. PLANTS] and my own meet on this subject. I intended to make the same motion that he did. I have no doubt this amendment would reduce the revenue to a considerable extent, but I think that might be very easily made up by imposing an additional tax on luxuries, such as liquors and tobacco.
I withdraw the amendment to the amend ment.
Mr. MORRILL. I move to amend by inserting "one half," after the words "three cents, merely for the purpose of saying that the present tax on salt is seven cents and two mills per hundred pounds, and the Committee of Ways and Means thought it was an interest that ought to be relieved, and therefore they proposed to reduce it to three cents. And I presume, with the contemplated action on the tariff bill, they will also be able to give some further relief to this interest. I think it should not be entirely exempt from tax, and that it is advisable for the friends of the salt interest to retain the rate proposed.
I withdraw my amendment to the amendment. The question recurred on the motion of Mr. PLANTS to strike out the paragraph.
Mr. PLANTS. I will modify my motion by moving to insert "one" instead of "three." If it is not thought advisable to strike out the whole section I think this reduction would be a very material relief to the manufacturers of salt. It looks like a small item to be surethree cents on a hundred pounds-but when you come to manufacture large quantities experience proves that the more salt is made the more unfortunate the owners of the work are. I admit that there is some relief proposed in the exemption of some articles that go into
the manufacture of salt. Under the old law we paid taxes on coal, on barrels, and on almost every item that went into the manufacture, and then seven cents and a fraction on every hundred pounds of salt manufactured, and then-no, we were fortunately relieved from paying any income tax, because we had none to be taxed upon after all that.
Mr. MORRILL. We have relieved this interest as far as we thought it prudent to do. The enumeration of what we have done ought to satisfy the gentleman that we have done all that can reasonably be required. We have taken off more than one half the tax and exempted coal and casks and barrels entirely. Mr. HARDING, of Illinois. I move to insert "two" in place of “ one." I am in favor of striking out this tax. The income I am informed is very small; I do not know exactly how much.
they please for them. The consumer will gain very little by any reduction we may make. The tax that we shall get will hardly make any change in prices; for they are articles which afford large profits and command great prices, and these prices are already fixed. I trust, therefore, that this committee will coincide with the Committee of Ways and Means, and refuse to strike out the tax on these articles.
Mr. ALLISON. Three hundred and fifty thousand dollars.
Mr. HARDING, of Illinois. For last year I suppose. The principle upon which I oppose this tax is this, that it operates unequally. The largest portion of salt is consumed in the packing of beef and pork, and some sections, of course, consume much more than others. In the manufacturing districts at the East comparatively little is consumed. The burden of the tax will fall upon the agricultural interesting of the country almost entirely.
I withdraw the amendment.
The question being taken on the amendment of Mr. PLANTS to strike out "three" and insert "one," it was not agreed to.
The Clerk read as follows:
On reapers, mowers, threshing-machines, scales, brooms, and wooden-ware, a tax of three per cent. ad valorem.
Provided, That when any parts of reapers, mowers, threshing-machines, or scales shall be once assessed and a tax previously paid thereon, the amount so paid shall be deducted from the tax on the finished article.
Mr. PAINE. I rise to move an amendment; but before doing so I desire to ask the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means what will be the tax upon reapers, mowers, &c., if we strike out this paragraph.
Mr. MORRILL. Five per cent.
Mr. PAINE. I move, then, so to amend the bill as to transfer these three articles, reapers, mowers, and threshing-machines, to the free list, among plows, cultivators, &c.
Mr. WILSON, of Iowa. I will state that my intention is to move to insert these articles in the free list when we reach it; but we must strike them out here.
Mr. WILSON, of Iowa. I ask the gentleman to withdraw that for the present and let me offer an amendment to strike out reapers, mowers, and threshing-machines." If that is carried he can then add his proviso so far as relates to scales.
Mr. WOODBRIDGE. I withdraw it. Mr. WILSON, of Iowa. I now move to strike out reapers, mowers, and threshingmachines.'
I see that the object which I aimed at is partially accomplished by the provision on page 135, where the committee place in the free list "plows, cultivators, harrows, straw and hay cutters, planters, seed-drills, horse-rakes, and winnowing-mills." Now, I can see no greater propriety in exempting these articles from the tax imposed by the bill than those which I propose to strike out in the paragraph under consideration. It is simply a relief to the great foodproducing portion of our population, the agriculturists, and that is the sole object I have in offering the amendment. There is no class of our people so poorly remunerated for the amount of capital and labor invested in their pursuit as the agriculturists; and it is for the purpose of granting them the partial relief that may be derived from the removal of this tax that I offer this amendment.
Mr. HART. I hope the amendment offered Mr. WOODBRIDGE. I move to amend by by the gentleman from Iowa [Mr. WILSON] adding the following:
will be adopted by the committee. I see no propriety in taxing these three items of manufacture while others are exempted. The gentleman from Vermont [Mr. MORRILL] stated that the Committee of Ways and Means had selected a few articles from the large list of agricultural implements, but that they found it impossible to include a large number of items on that list, such as shovels, axes, &c., and that they have selected only a few. It will be observed that in that selection they have taken "machines' not "tools."
Mr. MORRILL. Mr. Chairman, the list of articles used by agriculturists is very extensive; and it is conceded that there are many of those articles that might with some propriety be exempted from taxation. But the Committee of Ways and Means were compelled to select from that list. We found that the wants of the Treasury would not permit us to exempt all. If we were to exempt all agricultural machines and tools, hoes, shovels, scythes, axes, sickles-I might go on with a never-ending list-we should relieve the Treasury from an inconceivable amount of revenue. The tax we now propose upon these articles is only three per cent. ad valorem, and they are articles made by men who own patents, and can get whatever price
The CHAIRMAN. It is not in order to take up the free list at this time; the committee has not yet reached that paragraph.
Mr. PAINE. I am very anxious to vote for the amendment of the gentleman from Iowa, provided these three articles can be exempted from taxation; but I am very unwill
to vote for it if it will impose upon them a tax of five per cent. I move, therefore, to add at the end of line two thousand and three the words "reapers, mowers, and threshing-machines shall be exempt from taxation." The clause will then read:
On scales, brooms, and wooden-ware a tax of three per cent, ad valorem; reapers, mowers, and threshing-machines shall be exempt from taxation.
Mr. MORRILL. I beg the gentleman's pardon. If he will look at page 135 he will find that they exempt "plows,' "cultivators," "harrows," &c.
Mr. HART. A plow is not a farming "tool." Now, in reply to a remark made by the gentleman from Vermont, [Mr. MORRILL,] I happen to know that so far as threshing machines are concerned the patents are about exhausted, and that there is not a threshing-machine patent in the country that is worth anything. As to the immense profits which are alleged to have been derived from these manufactures, in my district these machines were manufactured very extensively, and I know that during the past four or five years these interests have rather suffered than otherwise. I certainly
think that these three items should be stricken out in justice to the manufacturers of these peculiar machines. They are about the only machines used for agricultural purposes which are not included in the free list.
Mr. GRISWOLD. I move to amend this paragraph further by inserting the words "plantation hoes." I do that because a plantation hoe is a peculiar instrument. The manufacturer of the ordinary hoe, as I understand, requires but little or no protection in this country. But the plantation hoe is a peculiar instrument manufactured for the South. It is very heavy, and in consequence of there being no machine labor upon it, it is impossible for the manufacturer in this country to compete with the manufacturer of England in this respect, if he is required to pay a tax upon it.
Mr. MORRILL. I must oppose the amendment of the gentleman from New York, [Mr. GRISWOLD.] I find that there are various gentle
men charged with amendments for exemptions which they will offer if this amendment carries, and there will be no end to them. The Commit tee of Ways and Means have recommended to wholly exempt from tax plows, cultivators, drills, &c., and the reduction of the tax on these patented articles from six per cent, to three per cent., or one half.
Now, I ask gentlemen if they cannot afford to wait another year before they appeal to us for any further exemptions. My friend behind me [Mr. STEVENS] is ready to ask that brooms and wooden-ware be exempted from taxation. Another member will ask for the exemption of shovels, and another for the exemption of edge tools. I trust the Committee of the Whole will think that we have gone as far in the exemption of articles from taxation as it is advisable to go at this time.
The amendment of Mr. GRISWOLD was not agreed to.
The question recurred upon the amendment of Mr. PAINE.
Mr. LAWRENCE, of Ohio. I move to amend the amendment of the gentleman from Wisconsin [Mr. PAINE] by inserting the words "horse-powers, corn-shellers, and winnowingmachines."
Mr. ECKLEY. That is already provided for.
Mr. LAWRENCE, of Ohio. Then I withdraw my amendment.
The amendment of Mr. PAINE was not agreed to.
The question recurred upon the amendment of Mr. WILSON, of Iowa, to strike out the words "reapers, mowers, threshing machines."
Mr. STEVENS. I think that we better strike outbrooms and wooden-ware," and I move to amend the amendment in that way. They are so small articles that I hardly think a tax should be imposed upon them.
The CHAIRMAN. The amendment of the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. STEVENS] is not germane to the amendment of the gentleman from Iowa, [Mr. WILSON.]
Mr. STEVENS. Then I move to amend the amendment by striking out all but the letter "s." [Laughter.] And I will confine myself to my amendment by saying that while all but the letter "s" should be left in. I think that "brooms and wooden-ware" should be stricken out. Now, if the gentlemen of the Committee of Ways and Means had come to the help of the woman who scrubs with her broom and the woman who cooks in her wooden-ware, it seems to me there would be some propriety in their action
Mr. WILSON, of Iowa. Our women out West do not do that.
Mr. STEVENS. What! do you not scrub any out West? [Laughter.] You ought to. Mr. WILSON, of Iowa. We do not cook in wooden-ware. [Laughter.]
Mr. STEVENS. They cook in woodenware with us; they bake and stew, especially stew. [Renewed laughter.]
Now, I do not know anything that can bear taxation better than reapers and mowers and threshing-machines. The farmer is pretty well relieved from taxation, as he ought to be. And there is no class of people who get off so well as the farmer. I believe the farmers in my county are taxed as high as any in the United States. The most of them have machines of this kind, that can do the work of eight or ten men each, and thus they can afford to pay the tax imposed here.
Now, I should be glad if we could get along without any tax at all. And when our wise Secretary of the Treasury shall have consolidated his bonds so as to have them five per cent. all around, and pay three per cent. in negotiating them, and make them payable in gold instead of currency-make them about ten per cent. instead of what they are now; when he does all that, we may be able to do without taxes; but we cannot now. I with draw my amendment to the amendment, and let the letter "s" come out with the rest. [Laughter.]
The question recurred upon the amendment of Mr. WILSON, of Iowa.
think that the idea advanced by him is a new offspring of his brain; for when I spoke to him in reference to this matter two or three days ago, he conceded that there was eminent propriety in such an amendment as I have proposed. But it seems the gentleman has just discovered that a desire to avoid such a system as that proposed in the amendment was the reason which induced the Committee of Ways and Means to propose a reduction of the tax on scales from six to three per cent. ad valorem. Now, sir, my impression is that the reason actuating the committee in making this reduction was the propriety and justice of a policy of reduced taxation upon articles in general use and necessary for the increasing business of the country, and that they found that such a reduction could be made without interfering with the collection of the needful amount of revenue for the support of the Government.
It appears to me that the amendment which I propose will not involve us in any such difficulties as the gentleman from Ohio apprehends. The various articles used in the manufacture of scales are ordinarily made and finished in the shop where the scales are constructed. They are subject to a separate taxation; and then when put into the scales are taxed over again at the rate of three per cent. on their value. My amendment will not increase in the least degree the difficulty of collecting the
Mr. SLOAN. I move to amend the amendment by adding to it a motion to insert the words "pig iron" in place of what the gentleman from Iowa [Mr. WILSON] proposes to strike out, so that our revenues shall not suffer in consequence of striking out those articles. I think pig iron with this tax will produce a much larger revenue than the articles my friend from Iowa proposes to strike out. And I think it can much better bear taxation than the agricultural interests of the country. I am informed that the iron interest is in a far more prosperous condition now than agricultural interests generally.
The question was taken upon Mr. SLOAN'S amendment to the amendment, and it was not agreed to.
The question recurred upon the amendment of Mr. WILSON, of Iowa; and being taken, upon a division, there were-ayes 37, noes 29; no quorum voting.
Tellers were ordered; and Mr. WILSON, of Iowa, and Mr. LE BLOND, were appointed. The committee again divided; and the tellers reported-ayes 58, noes 35.
So the amendment was agreed to.
Mr. WOODBRIDGE. Mr. Chairman, I was opposed to striking out the articles which have been stricken from the bill. But, most assuredly, since they are stricken out, there should, in justice, be at least an exemption in reference to scales. I therefore move to amend by adding, at the end of the paragraph, the following:
Provided, That when any parts of scales shall have been once assessed, and a tax previously paid thereon, the amount so paid shall be deducted from the tax on the finished article.
Mr. Chairman, I will state my reason for offering this amendment. In the manufacture of scales various articles, such as rods, screws, and bolts, are used. These, when constructed, are taxed separately. Under the existing law they are taxed $3 60 per ton. The scales when completed, with these articles as constituent parts, are taxed six per cent. upon the gross value. In this way a double taxation is imposed on the manufacturer. It is certainly unjust that articles should thus be taxed twice. If the different articles which enter into the structure of scales are subjected to a separate tax, they should not be included in the assessment when estimating the gross value of the finished article. Duplicate taxation is always unjust.
Mr. GARFIELD. I rise to oppose the amendment of the gentleman from Vermont, [Mr. WOODBRIDGE.]
The taxation upon the articles mentioned in this paragraph has been reduced from six to three per cent. for the very purpose of favoring them, and for the further purpose of avoiding the complex system which we should have if the small parts which enter into the structure of scales, threshing-machines, mowers and reapers, were exempted from their proportionate share of the tax upon the gross value of the finished articles. In collecting the tax upon the completed articles, it would be very difficult to compute and allow the deduction for every little screw, or bolt, or rod, on which a separate tax might previously have been paid. Such a system as that would be extremely vexatious; and for the purpose of avoiding such a system, the committee concluded to fix the tax on the finished article at three per cent. ad valorem, instead of five per cent., which is the rate imposed on engines and other large machinery where the amount of tax previously paid on particular parts can readily be calculated. The gentleman's amendment would involve us in the very difficulties which the committee sought to avoid.
Mr. WOODBRIDGE. For the purpose of replying to the gentleman from Ohio,[Mr. GARFIELD,] I move to amend the amendment by striking out the last word.
Mr. Chairman, I am quite surprised at the remarks which the gentleman has just made. I
The trouble will be just as great whether the amendment is passed or not. These various articles are manufactured in large quantities, and are used as scales are constructed, and there can be no difficulty in designating how much of this or that article is used in the construction of one or fifty or five hundred scales. So that the argument of the gentleman amounts to nothing.
It is always best to do right when we know what right is. A tax is always a blow and a burden. It is necessary to be imposed for the support of the Government, and is a just burden upon the subject in consideration of the protection which Government affords; but certainly it is unwise and unjust to duplicate taxation. If it were necessary to impose a tax of six per cent. on scales I am the last man that would object to it. I am for taxing all articles sufficiently and with discrimination and discretion to raise the revenue that Government requires; but in imposing the tax I would do justice to all and injustice to none as far as possible. And I assert it as a principle that there should not be duplicate taxation where it can possibly be avoided.
Now, I know that the manufacture of scales in this country has not been a remunerative business. There is one firm in my State which has existed thirty years or more, and has, amassed a fortune. There are other scales coming into use made by other manufacturers. There is one new manufactory within my own district, where I know there has been no money made as yet; no dividend has been paid upon the stock. I also happen to know that I have had some stock of that kind myself which turned out as my investments usually do-not a dollar of interest and a loss of the principal. I hope this amendment will be adopted, because it is right. It is not class legislation, nor legislation for the benefit of individuals, but the assertion of a principle.
Mr. GARFIELD. I do not wish to retail any private conversation between the gentleman and myself, or any of our private opinions that we have exchanged outside.
recollection that was since I introduced the amendment.
Mr. WOODBRIDGE. If the gentleman will allow me, I beg pardon for any reference to the gentleman's views. I would not have called upon him if I had not such great consideration for his integrity and good judgment. I supposed the gentleman was sincere in his approval of the amendment.
Mr. GARFIELD. I only want to say that the gentleman will recollect that a short time afterward I told him plainly, in his seat, that I thought the amendment was not a proper one. Mr. WOODBRIDGE. According to my
Mr. GARFIELD. It was an amendment in regard to engines to which he referred. I thought it was a very proper one, and I admitted at the time that the principle ought to be ingrafted wherever it could be, namely, that we shall not duplicate taxes by taxing parts of a machine and afterward taxing the machine when it is put together. But let it be understood that when we take away the duplicate tax we leave the tax ad valorem. In this case the ad valorem tax is reduced to three per cent. And another thing is done. The transitory tax which is added to these machines in another part of the bill is taken away, which leaves this interest still more free.
As I said before, it would be a very vexatious and troublesome tax to collect, and I trust the gentleman's amendment will not prevail.
Mr. WOODBRIDGE. I withdraw the amendment to the amendment.
The question being taken on the original amendment offered by Mr. WOODBRIDGE, it was not agreed to.
Mr. WOODBRIDGE. I move to strike out the word scales' and to insert at the end of the paragraph the following: "scales shall be put upon the free list."
Mr. Chairman, we had a good deal of talk here in regard to farming. It seems to be an extremely popular occupation.
Mr. SPALDING. If the gentleman will allow me, I wish to move to strike out the whole paragraph.
Mr. WOODBRIDGE. No, sir. The gentleman can make that motion afterward. It is very popular and very acceptable, doubtless, to agriculturists for gentlemen to get up here and say that we ought not to oppress that honorable class of men who do so much for the welfare of their country. Well, sir, I am an agriculturist myself, and most of my constituents are agriculturists. They constitute at least one of the most independent, intelligent, and patriotic class of men that the sun ever shone upon; but, sir, I am informed that farmers, as a class, pay less taxes, in proportion to their means, than men engaged in any other occupation. You get but little income from the farmers who own high-priced sheep, or from those who cultivate thousands of acres of our western prairies. Honorable and highminded as they are, they are not the men who yield the money for the support of the Government. It is the manufacturers who return the income that rolls the wheels of Government, and yet gentlemen say we must strike the tax off this and the other article because the farmers use them; and our legislators do not always seem to be independent enough to act in accordance with their own judgments, but rather pander to what they suppose to be the popular sentiment, so as to have the farmers say "This is the man who looks after our interest; we must return him to Congress."
Sir, I will never lend myself to a cry of that kind, whether I come to Congress or stay at home; I respect the farmer, because he is manly, and is at the very foundation of society. His is the earliest and noblest occupation known to civilized life. But, at the same time, I do not believe in giving up principles of right merely for the purpose of coaxing and flattering those who have so much to do in electing members of Congress.
Now scales are used, it is true, on farms, and every farmer wants one to weigh his beef, his hay, his wool; but it is not merely because the farmer wants them that I propose the amendment.