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ment of Mr. MAYNARD, and it was agreed to; there being, upon a division-ayes sixty-three, noes not counted.
Mr. MAYNARD. I have another amendment to offer.
Mr. HUBBARD, of West Virginia. I have an amendment to offer.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. MAYNARD] will be recognized, being a member of the Committee of Ways and Means.
Mr. MAYNARD. I do not offer these amendments as coming from the Committee of Ways and Means, but as my individual amend
Mr. HUBBARD, of West Virginia. I will wait until the gentleman from Tennessee has offered his amendment.
Mr. MAYNARD. I move to amend the portion of this section providing for a tax on the capital of those banks, by striking out the words "beyond the average amount invested in United States bonds;" so that that portion of the section will read as follows:
And a tax of one twenty-fourth of one per cent. each month, as aforesaid, upon the capital of any bank, association, company, or corporation, and on the capital employed by any person in the business of banking.
The question was then taken upon the amendment of Mr. MAYNARD, and it was not agreed to; there being upon a division-ayes twenty, noes not counted.
Mr. HUBBARD, of West Virginia. In order to perfect this section, I move to amend that portion which relates to the tax upon capi; tal by inserting after the word "corporation' the words'engaged in the business of banking;" so that that portion of the section will read as follows:
And a tax of one twenty-fourth of one per cent. each month, as aforesaid, upon the capital of any bank, association, company, or corporation engaged in the business of banking, and on the capital employed by any person in the business of banking, beyond the average amount invested in United States bonds.
The amendment was agreed to.
Mr. BLAINE. I move to further amend this section by striking out the following:
Provided, That the deposits in associations or companies known as provident institutions, savingsbanks, savings funds, or savings institutions, having no capital stock and doing no other business than receiving deposits to be loaned or invested for the sole benefit of the parties making such deposits, without profit or compensation to the association or company, shall be exempt from tax on so much of their deposits as they have invested in securities of the United States, and on all deposits less than $500 made in the name of any one person; and the returns
required to be made by such provident institutions and savings-banks shall be made on the first Monday of January and July of each year, in such form and manner as may be prescribed by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue.
I think these deposits in the savings-banks should be taxed the same as deposits in other banks.
The question was taken upon the amendment of Mr. BLAINE, and it was not agreed to; there being, upon a division-ayes thirty-three, noes not counted.
Mr. HOLMAN. I move to further amend this section by inserting after the clause providing for a tax on circulation the following: And a tax of one per cent, each half year on the principal of all bonds issued by the United States, owned by any bank, including the bonds deposited by said banks with the Treasurer of the United States, to secure circulation or deposits.
The question was taken upon the amendment; and upon a division there were-ayes 19, noes 58; no quorum voting.
Tellers were ordered; and Mr. HOLMAN, and Mr. HUBBARD of West Virginia, were appointed. The committee again divided; and the tellers reported that there were-ayes 25, noes 75. So the amendment was not agreed to. No further amendment was offered. The next section was read, as follows: SEC. 114. And be it further enacted. That every national banking association, State bank, or State banking association, corporation, company, or person engaged in the business of banking, shall pay a tax of ten per cent. on the amount of notes of any person, State bank, or State banking association, town, city, or other municipal eorporation, used for
That every national banking association, State bank, or State banking association, corporation, company, or person engaged in the business of banking, &c.
The amendment was agreed to.
Mr. MORRELL. I move to amend by adding at the end of the section the following:
Provided, That this section shall not apply to banks, persons, or institutions which are in liquidation, and which have not issued any notes for circulation for a period of more than one year.
My object in offering this amendment is to prevent the levying of this tax on institutions that have for a considerable time ceased to do business, having gone into liquidation.
Mr. SCHENCK. I think there is no objection to that.
The amendment was agreed to..
Mr. PETERS. I move to amend by inserting after the word "pay," in line four, the words "on and after January 1, 1870." The object of this amendment is to postpone the operation of this ten per cent. tax until the 1st of January, 1870. Mr. Chairman, this section introduced in a bill which is designed to raise revenue is on its face entirely prohibitory. The object of this tax of ten per cent. is to strangle the State banks, if the few of them now remaining in existence have any spark of should be altogether stricken out, or that the life left. I would prefer that this section tax should be reduced to a very small percentage; but I presume that this proposition for a postponement of the tax may possibly be more acceptable to the committee.
I venture to say, Mr. Chairman, that the object of this assessment of ten per cent. in previous internal revenue acts was to encourage or perhaps to drive the capital of the country into the national banking system. Has not that object been sufficiently attained? The capital of the country has gone into this system until now there is no more opportunity for investment in that direction. How has this system left some portions of the country in relation to banking facilities? I am looking at this question more particularly from the stand-point of Maine; and I suppose that many other portions of the country are similarly situated. It has several times been stated on this floor that New England and New York have the larger part of the national banking capital. Allow me to say that when it is stated that New England has in large proportion this banking capital it should be said that Massachusetts has it, and especially that the city of Boston has it. Why, sir, in the State of Maine our quota of the national banking capital is less than $9,000,000, while the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has about eighty million, the little State of Rhode Island about twenty million, and the State of Connecticut about twenty-five million. This has arisen from the fact that during the war a great deal of capital found its way to our large business centers, the mercantile men in those places being quicker-scented. I can say for the State of Maine, especially the eastern part of it, that we are almost wholly without banking facilities. Our State banks are hardly alive; they are dying of the debility and consumption previous revenue laws; and after continued to which they have fallen victims under our struggling we have found no opportunity to get into the national banking system. Business men in the city of Bangor are now obliged to get their banking facilities, in a large degree, from the city of Boston, two hundred miles distant. The result is that while money may be worth from three to five per cent. in the city of Boston, yet in the city of Bangor, many of us in that part of the State being compelled to put ourselves into the hands of the brokers, and be consumed and swallowed up by their rapacity, money is worth from nine to fifteen per cent., and that, too, upon first-class securities.
That is our situation. The national banking system is at present a monopoly; its facilities are not diffused extensively enough. What is the remedy? Either to authorize an increase of the banking capital and give us a part of it or to take off or postpone this enormous taxation of the State banks. The postponement of the tax till 1870 would not tend to bring into existence new banks. But very few of the State banks are now left in existence. These have associated together, and brought a suit, now pending in the Supreme Court of the United States, to test the constitutionality of this tax.
[Here the hammer fell.]
Mr. SCHENCK. The effect of this section, Mr. Chairman, is just as represented by the gentleman from Maine. It is a provision which imposes such a tax upon State bank notes issued by cities and other corporations and by States to serve as money in the use of other banking institutions so as to prevent that issue and drive them out of circulation. Well, sir, it is not a new idea. The law was passed in 1865. It was then made prospective, and took effect on the 1st day of August, 1866, and it has been in full operation, so far as the notes of said banks were concerned, with a view to that policy, ever since the 1st day of August, 1866, now two years. Last year, in 1867, an amendment was made which extended its provisions to the notes issued by any town, city, or municipal corporation. This was an amendment which passed without objection on the representation made that in New Orleans and elsewhere municipal corporations were issuing notes to serve as money.
As the bill now presents the case for the consideration of the committee, it does not alter the law of 1865, which went into operation on the 1st of August, 1866, nor the law of 1867, which extended its provisions to the notes put out by municipal corporations, but only adds a single provision so as to embrace also notes issued to serve as money by States; for it so happens, we have ascertained in one or two of the southern States they have issued notes to serve as money. Then there is nothing at all new or strange in this proposition, and the gentleman is proposing to postpone to 1870 the operation of a law which was originally passed in 1865, and went into effect in 1866, which did go into effect the 1st of August, 1866, and has. been in operation and full force ever since. I hope the amendment will not prevail.
Mr. PETERS. I withdraw the amendment. Mr. PIKE. I renew it. Mr. Chairman, there is no reason why the House should not give attention to this amendment, and I think favorable attention to it. When we come back to specie payments it seems to be the general opinion that the bank law will cease to be a monopoly. As the bank law was founded on the free banking law of New York anybody could bank on the deposit of United States bonds, and when we come back to specie payments anybody can bank on the deposit of national bonds. In the meantime we are hedged in by this iron restriction of $300,000,000. The proposition of my colleague is, that pending this time we shall allow State banks, what may be left of them, to run free of this odious tax; a tax, by the way, wrested from the proper idea of taxation, this being for the purpose of prohibition and not for revSo it is, in effect, a tax in the nature of a prohibition. Let up on this until we resume specie payments and the free banking system comes in, and you may destroy the State banks. I hope, in the mean time, this whole brood of national banks will be dissevered from the General Government, where they do not belong, and specie take their place, so that we shall have in a few words the axiom that prevailed dur ing our war, that gold shall be national and paper sectional. I want this Government to sever its connection from paper in all shapes, whether in "greenbacks or national bank bills, and place itself upon the constitutional currency of gold and silver. Then, if any of the States wish to deal in paper currency, let
them do it. Let the national currency then be nothing but gold and silver.
Now, we have this currency of the General Government which is now so contracted and restricted that localities that did not at the time come in with the keen scent of the capitalists of the city are stripped of the circulation they had formerly. My district has not the circulation it had formerly, and they are compelled to go outside to the moneyed centers for circulation. The amendment of my colleague would accomplish this purpose, and, while it would be temporary in its nature, if the banking system is to be continued it would be a convenience to the localities and would injure nobody. I hope the amendment will be adopted.
Mr. ALLISON. I desire to say a word in reply to the gentleman from Maine. The effect of this amendment is to revive the old State banks which more than two years ago we vir tually destroyed by our legislation.
Mr. PETERS. I would ask the gentleman how can that be? The suspension of the tax for a year and a little over would hardly be an inducement for new banks to go into operation.
Mr. ALLISON. The effect of the amendment will be to send over the country a State bank circulation which is now prohibited. If we are to have any more circulation let us provide for it in the shape of our own Government notes if we have not got enough now. But I rose chiefly to say that if we want to make any progress in this bill we must not be constantly making formal amendments and then speaking on the general subject. And I give notice that hereafter I shall object to these amendments unless there is substance in them.
Mr. WASHBURNE, of Illinois. I have tried that myself.
Mr. ALLISON. I yield the remainder of the time to the gentleman from Ohio.
Mr. GARFIELD. I desire to state a fact which I think will be of interest to the committee in connection with this proposition, which is manifestly a step toward reviving the State banks. The best illustration of the bad condition of the currency out of which we have come by the establishment of the national banks, is seen in this curious fact: in 1821 there were $22,000,000 in the Treasury of the United States not drawn against. In January of that year interest on the public debt to the amount of $500,000 fell due. The Government was compelled at that time to receive into the Treasury the notes of the various State banks which were current in the localities of the banks. And yet, out of the wretched stuff that made up the $22,000,000 in the Treasury, the Secretary could not cull $500,000 that would be received for the Government interest. The result was that the Secretary of the Treasury actually negotiated a loan of $500,000 in order to enable the Government to meet its obligations, although he had in the vaults what professed to be $22,000,000. That is an exhibition of the kind of currency these State banks gave us, and if revived, would give us again. I will state further, that there was a time under the old State bank system when there were one hundred and eighty broken banks in this country; when one fourth of all the currency afloat in the United States was either worthless or at so great a discount as to be almost worthless. I hope we shall have the wisdom to keep far away from the wretched system from which the war happily delivered us.
Mr. PRICE. A single question. Had we not better kill these national banks now, and go back to the happy financial state to which my friend alludes?
[Here the hammer fell.]
The question was on the amendment of Mr. PETERS.
Mr. PETERS. I move to amend the amendment by striking out seventeen and inserting eighteen. For business purposes the country must have a certain amount of banking capital. If the Government of the United States will allow that amount of banking capital, well enough. In my opinion we have not got it. If
the Government has not the right to supply it, I say we ought to leave the right within the States, and not strangle and destroy these banks by excessive taxation. I do not propose to revive the old State banks, but merely to let those now in existence remain long enough to let them renew the attempt to get into that system which in Maine they have tried very hard to do. The Legislature has been renewing from year to year the charters of our State banks now left in existence for the purpose of allowing them to find an opportunity, through the benevolence of Congress, to come under that national system. But if that system never comes, then I say the State ought to be allowed to grant the banks banking privileges which Congress has as yet neglected to provide.
Mr. PIKE. Mr. Chairman, I desire to say to the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. GARFIELD] that his argument, running back fifty years, reminds me of the argument made when the greenback system was proposed going back to the continental currency. We heard the argument then against the greenback currency, that in continental times a breakfast cost $500 in continental money. Arguments which go back fifty, seventy-five, and eighty years are musty, stale, and unworthy the attention of the committee.
Mr. SCHENCK. The gentleman from Maine complains of the condition of things in that State. Now, that can partly be accounted for by the report from the Comptroller of the Currency. If you look to Maine you will find that she has sixty-one of these national banks with an aggregate capital of $9,000,000, and that they have remaining on hand $1,500,000 of undivided profits and surplus. They have $1,500,000 of their money deposited in national banks in Boston. It is not to be wondered at that even if they have but $9,000,000-whereas they had a much larger capital in the time of the State banks-they should in some degree be contributing to this condition of embarrassment and pinching necessity for money when they keep their money locked up in that way. They have it deposited down in Boston for convenience, it may be said, to draw against, but probably, as our western banks do too often, for convenience in speculations, to be carried on there for the benefit of those connected with the bank and the bank itself, instead of keeping it at home to accommodate their neighbors.
Mr. LYNCH. I want to say to the gentleman from Ohio what he ought to know as chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, that the banks are required to keep a reserve in lawful money, and that the same law which requires them to do that allows them to keep a certain amount of this reserve in these business centers in which they are obliged to redeem their circulation. Boston is one of them, and therefore the amount which the gentleman finds of deposits of the banks of Maine in the banks of Boston is for the purpose of the redemption of their circulation as required by the currency act.
The amendment was disagreed to.
Mr. SELYE. I desire to submit some remarks upon this subject; but inasmuch as the time for debate is limited, I will simply ask leave to print them.
There was no objection; and the leave was granted. [See Appendix.]
Mr. SCHENCK. I ask unanimous consent that all debate may be closed on this section. There was no objection; and it was so ordered. Mr. PETERS. I move to amend the section in line four by striking out the words "ten per cent. on the" and inserting "one per cent. per annum on the average ;" so that it shall read:
That every national banking association, State bank, or State banking association, corporation, company, or person engaged in the business of bank
ing, shall pay a tax of one per cent. per annum on the average amount of notes of any person, State bank, or State banking association, town, city, or other municipal corporation, used for circulation, &c. The amendment was not agreed to.
Mr. TRIMBLE, of Kentucky. I rise for the purpose of advocating that amendment.
The CHAIRMAN. The question has been taken; and, moreover, all debate has been closed on this section by the unanimous consent of the committee.
Mr. TRIMBLE, of Kentucky. I did not so understand, or I should certainly have objected. The CHAIRMAN. The Chair stated the proposition very distinctly, and no objection was made.
Mr. WARD. I hope that by unanimous consent the gentleman will be allowed to proceed.
Mr. SCHENCK. We have no power to do that.
Mr. TRIMBLE, of Kentucky. Then I offer the following as a substitute for the section: Provided. That no greater tax shall be collected of State banks upon their circulation than collected from national banks.
On the amendment, there were-ayes 31, noes 45; no quorum voting.
The CHAIRMAN, under the rule, ordered tellers; and appointed Messrs. TRIMBLE, of Kentucky, and MAYNARD.
The committee divided; and the tellers reported-ayes 31, noes 65.
So the amendment was not agreed to.
Mr. HUBBARD, of West Virginia. I move to amend by inserting the following as a new
SEC.. And be it further enacted, That there shall be levied, collected and paid a tax of one per cent, per annum upon the amount of United States securities represented by interest-bearing bonds payable at some future day, whether held by any person, bank, association, company, or corporation. And a true and accurate return of the amount of said securities shall be made and rendered annually by each person, bank, association, company, or corporation to the assessor of the district in which such bank, association, company, or corporation may be located, or in which such person may reside, with a declaration annexed thereto, verified by the oath or affirmation of such person, or of the president or cashier of such bank, association, company or corporation, in such form and manner as may be prescribed by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. And for any refusal or neglect to make or to render such return and pay the tax, any such bank, association, company, corporation, or person so in default shall be subject to and pay a penalty of $100 beside the additional penalty and forfeitures in other cases provided by law; and in default of such return the amount of the aforesaid securities subject to tax shall be estimated by the assessor or assistant assessor on the best information he can obtain. And the tax herein provided for shall be assessed, collected, and paid upon the amount of the aforesaid securities held on the 1st day of April and be due and payable on the 1st day of May of each year; and to any sum annually due and unpaid after the 1st day of May, as aforesaid, and for ten days after notice and demand thereof by the collector, there shall be levied in addition thereto, the sum of five per cent. on the amount of the tax unpaid, and interest at the rate of one per cent. per month upon said tax from the time the same became due, as a penalty, except from the . estates of deceased, insane, or insolvent persons.
The CHAIRMAN. Debate has been closed. Mr. HUBBARD, of West Virginia. This is offered as a new section, and I would like to explain it.
The CHAIRMAN. The action of the committee closing debate cuts off all debate until the next section of the bill has been read. Amendments offered now are considered as amendments to the pending section upon which debate has been closed.
Mr. HUBBARD, of West Virginia. This is entirely new matter.
Mr. SCHENCK. Every amendment, I believe, may be supposed to contain new matter. Mr. HŎLMAN. I offer the following as a substitue for the amendment of the gentleman from West Virginia:
SEC.. And be it further enacted, That there shall be assessed and collected on all bonds, the interest on which is payable at the Treasury of the United States, a tax of one and one half of one per cent, per annum on the principal of such bonds; one half of such tax on all of such bonds, the interest on which is, or shall be, payable semi-annually, shall be withheld by the proper officer of the Treasury from the semi-annually accruing interest or coupons at the time the same shall be paid, and the tax aforesaid on such of said bonds the interest on which is payable annually shall be withheld as aforesaid from the interest or coupons at the time of the payment thereof; the tax hereby assessed shall be withheld from the interest or coupons becoming due on and after the 1st day of November, 1868.
On agreeing to Mr. HOLMAN'S amendment
to the amendment, there were-ayes 10, noes 53; no quorum voting.
The CHAIRMAN, under the rule, ordered tellers; and appointed Messrs. HOLMAN and BLAINE.
The committee divided; and the tellers reported-ayes 25, noes 72.
So the amendment to the amendment was not agreed to.
Mr. HUBBARD, of West Virginia. If the committee will consent, I will withdraw the proposition I have presented, so that I may offer it at some time hereafter when it can be explained, that the House may vote on it understandingly.
Mr. BENJAMIN. I object to the withdrawal of the amendment.
Mr. HUBBARD, of West Virginia. The objection will only make it necessary for me to change slightly the verbiage of the amendment when I offer it hereafter.
Mr. BENJAMIN. Lwithdraw my objection. Mr. HOLMAN. I object. I want a vote on the proposition.
Mr. HUBBARD, of West Virginia. As the committee appears determined to force a vote on this proposition, I ask unanimous consent to make an explanation occupying three min
The CHAIRMAN. The committee, under the rule, has not power, even by unanimous consent, to extend the time to which debate has been limited by the House; but the Chair has not undertaken to enforce the rule where the unanimous consent-of the committtee has been expressly given, and he will not do so in this case.
Mr. SCHENCK. I must object. If we give unanimous consent for a speech on that side of one minute, three minutes, or five minutes, we must, of course, give unanimous consent for a reply, and so we shall be involved in a debate after debate has been stopped on the section.
Mr. HOLMAN. I move to amend the amendment by adding thereto the following:
And from all coupons hereafter presented at the Treasury after this provision shall take effect the tax herein prescribed shall be withheld by the proper officer of the Treasury.
The amendment to the amendment was not agreed to.
On agreeing to the amendment of Mr. HUBBARD, of West Virginia, there were-ayes 22, noes 41; no quorum voting.
The CHAIRMAN, under the rule, ordered tellers; and appointed Mr. HUBBARD, of West Virginia, and Mr. MOORE.
The committee divided; and the tellers reported-ayes 42, noes 54.
So the amendment was not agreed to. No further amendment being offered, the next section was read, as follows: Brokers.
SEC. 115. And be it further enacted, That there shall be paid on all sales made by brokers, banks, or bankers, whether made for the benefit of others or on their own account, the following taxes, that is to say upon all sales and contracts for the sale of stock, bonds, gold and silver bullion and coin, promissory notes or other securities, a tax at the rate of two cents for every $100 of the amount of such sales or contracts; and on all sales and contracts for sale negotiated and made by any person, firm, or company, not paying a special tax as a broker, bank, or banker, of any gold or silver bullion, coin, promissory notes, stock, bond, or other securities, not his or their own property, there shall be paid a tax at the rate of five cents for every $100 of the amount of such sales or contracts; and on every sale and contract for sale, as aforesaid, there shall be made, signed, and delivered by the seller to the buyer a bill or memorandum of such sale or contract, on which there shall be affixed a lawful stamp or stamps in value equal to the amount of tax on such sale, to be determined by the rates of tax before mentioned; and in computing the amount of the stamp tax in any case herein provided for, any fractional part of $100 of value or amount on which tax is computed shall be accounted at $100. And every bill or memorandum of sale, or contract of sale, before mentioned, shall show the date thereof, the name of the seller, the amount of the sale or contract, and the matter or thing to which it refers. And any person or persons liable to pay the tax as herein provided, or any one who acts in the matter as agent or broker for such person or persous, who shall make any such sale or contract, or who shall, in pursuanco of any sale or contract, deliver or receive any stocks, bonds, bullion, coin, promissory notes, or other securities, without a bill or
40TH CONG. 2D SESS.-No. 197.
memorandum thereofas herein required, or who shall deliver or receive such bill or memorandum without having the proper stamps affixed thereto, shall forfeit and pay to the United States a penalty of $500 for each and every offense where the tax so evaded or attempted to be evaded, does not exceed $100 and a penalty of $1,000 when such tax shall exceed $100, which may be recovered with costs in any court of the United States of competent jurisdiction, at any time within one year after the liability to such penalty shall have been incurred; and the penalty recovered shall be awarded and distributed by the court between the United States and the informer, if there be any, as provided by law, who, in the judgment of the court, shall have first given information of the violation of the law for which recovery is had: Provided, That where it shall appear that the omission to affix the proper stamp was not with intent to evade the provisions of this section, said penalty shall not be incurred. And the provisions of law in relation to stamp duties in schedule B of this act shall apply to thestamp taxes herein imposed upon sales and con
tracts of sales made by brokers, banks, or bankers, and point of order-that general debate applicable
others as aforesaid. And there shall be paid monthly on all sales by commercial brokers of any goods, wares, or merchandise, a tax of one twentieth of one percent. upon the amount of such sales; and, on or before the 10th day of each month, every commercial broker shall make a return to the assistant assessor of the district of the gross amount of such sales as aforesaid for the preceding month, in form and manner as may be prescribed by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue: Provided, That in estimating sales of goods, wares, and merchandise for the purposes of this section, any sales made by or through another broker upon which a tax has been paid shall not be estimated and included as sold by the broker for whom the sale was made.
No amendment was offered.
The CHAIRMAN. The next section, unless objection be made, will be considered by paragraphs.
Mr. ROBINSON. When would it be in order, Mr. Chairman, to move to strike out the whole schedule contained in the next section?
The CHAIRMAN. If the section is considered by paragraphs, the motion to strike out must be made after each paragraph has been read.
The Clerk read as follows:
Tax on the use and possession of certain articles.
SEC. 116. And be it further enacted, That there shall be levied, annually, on every carriage, gold watch. and billiard-table, and on all gold or silver plate, the tax or sums of money set down in figures against the same, respectively or otherwise specified and set forth in schedule A, hereto annexed, to be paid by the person owning, possessing, or keeping the same, on the 1st day in March in each year.
Mr. SCHENCK. I move to amend by inserting after "gold watch" the words "musical instrument."
The amendment was agreed to.
Mr. ROBINSON. I move to strike out the paragraph which has just been read. I would have preferred to move, if it had been in order, to strike out the whole series; and, indeed, if it were in order, I would move to strike out the whole bill.
Mr. SCHENCK. You are a friend of the bill! [Laughter.]
Mr. ROBINSON. I am not, sir. I wish to with all due respect to the Committee of Ways and Means, that any committee reporting to Congress such a bill as this, extending as it does over three hundred and sixty pages, when it might be fully set forth in twenty pages, should be sent for twenty years to the Dry Tortugas, or the Wet Tortugas, if there is such a place. I rise for the purpose of moving to strike out this paragraph for the sake of getting a test vote which may decide whether we shall go any further with this bill.
Mr. MAYNARD. If the gentleman wants to curtail the bill, he had better move to strike out a longer paragraph. This contains only eight lines. [Laughter.]
Mr. ROBINSON. Short meter is just as agreeable to me as long meter on this matter.
Mr. Chairman, I propose as each paragraph is read to move to strike it out. We have been engaged I know not how many days or weeks on this bill, and we have only got one third or one half way through it. At the rate we are progressing I do not believe it possible that we shall be able to get through this bill during July. It will then go to the Senate, where it will take all of August and September, and will be returned to this House somewhere about November or December, when we are reassembling after the recess. I wish to say noth
to the whole bill is not in order on this particular paragraph.
Mr. ROBINSON. The gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. MULLINS] is so much in favor of large measures that he had better reserve his "pint" of order till it becomes a quart. [Laughter.]
Mr. MULLINS. I am good for a gallon for Ireland.
Mr. ROBINSON. My friend is also from Ireland. He has dropped the "Me" and added an "8."
I will confine myself now to striking out this paragraph. I have already stated a part of my I shall move to strike out each of the remaining sections as they come up, so, if possible, we may get rid of this bill altogether and substitute for it a bill or resolution simply providing that the tax on distilled spirits shall be fifty cents a gallon and the abominable practice shall be abolished of making rectifiers prove when they have whisky on hand that it is innocent whisky. In order that we may get rid of this bill I shall move to strike out these sections and paragraphs one after the other, so that in the end the bill shall be sent back to the Committee of Ways and Means with instructions to condense the whole thing to the fewest necessary provisions and in the fewest words. I make the prophecy that this bill in anything like its present shape will never pass either House of Congress, and therefore the time we now spend upon it is really valuable time thrown away.
[Here the hammer fell.]
Mr. SCHENCK. Mr. Chairman, the gentleman from New York has expressed some strong opinions about this bill. If we felt more than we do what he has said it would hurt the committee considerably, but as it is we are not discouraged. We have had nothing thus far but opposition from the gentleman. He has given notice of a most novel mode of economizing the time of House. He gives notice, instead of contenting himself with voting against the passage of the bill when it gets into the House, he will move to strike out paragraph after paragraph and section after section. It is like kicking the bill to death by grasshoppers, [laughter.] It is in my judg ment a rather strange way of saving time. Now, I wonder at the gentleman's moving this amendment considering that he has turned to be a Democrat. He wants to relieve from tax gold watches, gold plate, carriages
Mr. ROBINSON. I rise to a point of order. The gentleman is not respectful, especially when he himself is known to have turned. He has gone over to the other side. The CHAIRMAN. point of order.
The Chair overrules the
Mr. SCHENCK. The gentleman and I were Whigs together, and he has gone off to the Democrats.
Mr. ROBINSON. It is the gentleman who has turned over to the Radicals. I remain in favor of the old Whig doctrines of the Constitution.
Mr. SCHENCK. I will relieve him of any bad feeling on the subject, and show what kind of a Democrat he has become. He wishes to relieve from tax gold watches, plate, carriages
Mr. STEVENS, of New Hampshire. I call
the gentleman to order. This debate does not touch the merits of the question. The Chair sustains the
The CHAIRMAN. point of order.
Mr. SCHENCK. I am talking on the very matter. The gentleman from New York stands here to-day asking us to take off the tax on gold and silver plate, gold watches, billiardtables, and so on.
Mr. ROBINSON. I wish to take the tax off gold and silver plate out of compliment to the leaders on the other side.
Mr. SCHENCK. He wishes to strike out that part of the bill which taxes articles ordinarily esteemed to be articles of luxury. He wishes to save the rich and to increase the burdens upon the poorer classes. If I have done wrong in saying that he has turned a Democrat, I have at least shown what kind of a Democrat he is. I hope the amendment will not prevail. If we are to have any taxation it should be imposed upon these very articles that are proposed to be stricken out.
[Here the hammer fell.]
Mr. ROBINSON. Can I say a word? The CHAIRMAN. Debate is exhausted on the amendment.
Mr. ROBINSON. I do not ask a favor, I demand a right.
The CHAIRMAN. It is the right of the Chair to enforce the rules.
Mr. ROBINSON. The Chair will understand that I have a right
The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment.
Mr. ROBINSON. I rise to propose a parliamentary question, which the Chair will rule is in order if he hears me.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman will state his parliamentary question.
Mr. ROBINSON. Seeing my friend from Ohio and I were formerly good Clay Whigs together
The CHAIRMAN, (bringing down the hammer.) The question is on the amendment
Mr. ROBINSON. I rise to a question of order.
The CHAIRMAN. Those in favor of the amendment will say ay; those of a contrary opinion no. The ayes have it, and the amendment is lost.
Mr. ROBINSON. I rise to a point of order. I have risen three times to withdraw the proposition, and the Chair absolutely refused to allow me. That was my point of order, that I had a right to withdraw it. Never, sir, in this House has any member been bawled down before when he rose to withdraw his motion. The Chairman here brought down the ham
Mr. ROBINSON. I ask whether I have not a right to withdraw the motion which I made? The CHAIRMAN. The Chair will make a statement. The gentleman rose, and the Chair very civilly stated to him the condition in which he was placed that it was his duty to enforce the rule. The gentleman then stated that he rose to ask a parliamentary question. The Chair asked him to state it. The gentleman then turned to the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. SCHENCK] and proceeded with the debate which had already been closed, because a point of order had been made upon it.
Mr. ROBINSON. The point of order I made was this
[Cries of "order."]
The CHAIRMAN. Thereupon the Chair rapped the gentleman down and proceeded to state the question of order, as he will always do on like occasions.
Mr. ROBINSON. I rise to say then-
The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will proceed.
Carriage, phæton, carryall, rockaway, or other like carriage, and any coach, hackney coach, omnibus, or four-wheeled carriage, the body of which rests upon
springs of any description, which may be kept for use, for hire, or for passengers, and which shall not be used exclusively in husbandry or for the transportation of merchandise, valued at exceeding $300, and not above $500 each, including harness used therewith, six dollars.
Carriages of like description, valued above $500, each, ten dollars.
On gold watches, composed wholly or in part of gold or gilt, kept for use, valued at $100 or less, each, one dollar.
On gold watches, composed wholly or in part of gold or gilt, kept for use, valued at above $100, each, two dollars.
On pianofortes, organs, melodeons, harps, or other parlor musical instruments, kept for use, (not including those placed in churches or schools,) valued at not less than $100 and not above $200, each, two dollars.
Mr. SCHENCK. I move to strike out in the last line but one "$100 and not above;" so that it will read "valued at not less than $200, each two dollars."
Mr. LOUGHRIDGE. Why do you decrease the tax on pianos from that imposed by the old law?
Mr. SCHENCK. The old law let them off altogether. They have never been restored. By reference to page 96 of the revenue law the gentleman will find that in schedule A pianos were not taxed at all.
The amendment was agreed to.
Mr. LOUGHRIDGE. I move to amend by adding "when the value is over $400, six dollars.
Mr. ROBINSON. I move to strike out the entire paragraph.
The CHAIRMAN. That will be in order after the paragraph is perfected.
The question was taken on Mr. LOUGHRIDGE's amendment; and it was disagreed toayes eleven, noes not counted.
Mr. ROBINSON. I now move to strike out the whole paragraph; and on that motion I want to say one word. I wished, a few minutes ago, to finish one sentence by adding to what I had already said, "I withdraw my motion," and asking the parliamentary question if I had not the right to do so; having been denied that courtesy I propose to go on with what I originally proposed, and move to strike out every paragraph. I had three words to say, and being denied an opportunity of saying then, very unjustly, in my opinion, I shall move to strike out each paragraph.
Mr. WARD. I call the gentleman to order for using language of that kind to the Chair. Mr. ROBINSON. Let the language be taken down to which the gentleman objects. [Cries of "Oh, no!"]
Mr. WARD. I withdraw the point of order. The question was taken on Mr. ROBINSON'S motion; and there were-ayes 3, noes 75; no quorum voting.
Mr. ROBINSON. I insist on a vote; and I shall do it on every question, because I think I have been unjustly treated.
Tellers were ordered; and Messrs. ROBINSON and HOPKINS were appointed.
The committee divided; and the tellers reported—ayes 7, noes 91.
So the motion was diagreed to.
Mr. LOUGHRIDGE. I move to add to the paragraph the words, "where the value of the piano is over $500, five dollars." Mr. Chairman, I do not know on what principle this is arranged. If we desire to make this law odious to the people, we are going in the right direction to do it. We tax a man who has a pinchbeck watch worth less than fifty dollars, one dollar, while we only tax the man who has a piano worth $1,000, two dollars. Now, if that is justice, I do not know what justice is. Our policy ought to be to tax the rich and those who are able to bear taxation, and to have something like equality, and if this bill is not of that character, it shall not receive my vote. I should like the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means to give me some reason why a piano worth $1,000 should be taxed only one dollar, while a man who owns a pinchbeck watch worth fifty dollars is taxed for it one dollar. I trust my amendment will be adopted. We have refused to tax United
States bonds, and we ought to tax these luxuries.
The amendment was disagreed to.
Mr. ROBINSON. I move to strike out the last word of the paragraph, and I shall proceed, within my five minutes, to give my reasons for wishing to strike it out. This is a musical concern, and those that "have no music in their souls are fit for treason, stratagem," and some other things. If the Chair will allow me to say one word introductory to my remarks, I will say that when I was on the floor a few minutes ago I had commenced and said three words
Mr. MULLINS. I rise to a point of order. The gentleman must direct his remarks to the subject under consideration. I insist on order.
The CHAIRMAN. The Chair sustains the point of order. The gentleman must speak to his amendment.
Mr. ROBINSON. Then I shall proceed in order; and the point on which I was talking was about these musical instruments. I did not intend out of this musical harmony to produce discord, and although when I rose to withdraw my amendment and had only said three words I was interrupted, and, as I consider, contrary to the usual courtesy of this House, yet I will not revenge myself on the Committee of the Whole, and I therefore shall not persevere, as I have a right to do, in speaking and insisting on a vote on each paragraph and section.
No further amendment was offered. The following clauses were then read: Billiard-tables kept for use, each, ten dollars. Provided, That billiard tables kept for hire, and upon which a special tax has been imposed, shall not be required to pay the tax on billiard-tables kept for use as aforesaid.
On plate, of gold, kept for use, per ounce troy, fifty cents.
On plate, of silver, kept for use, per ounce troy, five
Provided, That silver spoons or plate of silver used by one family to an amount not exceeding forty ounces troy belonging to any one person, plate belonging to religious societies, and souvenirs and keepsakes actually given and received as such and not kept for use; also, all premiums awarded as a token of merit by any agricultural society, corporation, or association of persons, for any purpose whatever, shall be exempt from tax.
Mr. MAYNARD. I would suggest that the clauses just read relating to plate, &c., be amended by substituting the word "avoirdu. pois" for the word "troy" where it occurs. My reason for that amendment is that the means of weighing in general use throughout the country has reference to avoirdupois weight instead of troy weight. The avoirdupois ounce is a little less than the troy ounce, and my amendment may have the effect of decreasing a little the income to be derived from this source. But I think the convenience to result from the
change I propose will justify the amendment.
Mr. ALLISON. I would ask my friend from Tennessee [Mr. MAYNARD] if the troy weight is not generally marked or stamped on gold and silver plate?
Mr. MAYNARD. I know that technically the weight of gold and silver articles from most establishments, not all of them, but from the large establishments, is marked on the articles, but not in ounces. It is sometimes stamped so indifferently or imperfectly that it is difficult to ascertain what it is. I presume but few persons would make a return of their silver plate, &c., without weighing it themselves, and their domestic means of weighing always have reference to avoirdupois and not troy weight.
Mr. ALLISON. My own impression is that the change proposed would create more confusion than would counterbalance the benefit that might result from it.
Mr. SCHENCK. I think troy weight is the proper weight for the precious metals. The gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. MAYNARD] speaks now, as he did in the Committee of Ways and Means, of the difficulty of Calculating the troy weight by persons ordinarily.
Mr. MAYNARD. Very well; it is not worth a contest; I withdraw the amendment. Mr. SCHENCK. I ask unanimous consent
that this section, and the schedule accompa nying it, being schedule A, be taken from this place and inserted in the bill just before section one hundred and two, relating to stamps. By a mistake in putting the sheets of this bill together for the printer, this schedule A was printed after schedule B, relating to stamps.
No objection was made, and the change was made accordingly.
Mr. HOLMÄN. I move to insert, as an additional section, to immediately precede section one hundred and seventeen, the following:
SEC.. And be it further enacted, That there shall be assessed and collected on all bonds, the interest on which is payable at the Treasury of the United States, a tax of one per cent, per annum on the principal thereof, one half of which tax on such of said bonds, the interest on which is payable semi-annually, shall be withheld by the proper officer of the Treasury from the semi-annually accruing interest or coupons, at the time of the payment of the same, and the tax aforesaid on all of such bonds, the interest on which is payable annually, shall in like manner be withheld from the interest or coupons accrued on such bonds at the time of the payment thereof. The tax hereby provided for shall be withheld from the interest or coupons becoming due on and after the 1st day of November, 1868.
Mr. UPSON. I rise to a point of order. The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman will state his point of order.
Mr. UPSON. My point of order is that the Committee of the Whole has passed the part of the bill relating to the subject of this amendment, and therefore this amendment is not germane to the part of the bill we are now considering. Besides that, we have once voted down this very amendment, I believe.
The CHAIRMAN. This amendment is offered as an independent section, and is in order unless the language be the same as that of the amendment of the gentleman just voted down.
Mr. HOLMAN. It is not the same; it is different in several respects.
Mr. SCHENCK. I have a suggestion to make to the gentleman from Indiana, [Mr. HOLMAN.] This whole subject of the taxation of bonds has been referred, in various ways and forms, to the Committee of Ways and Means; and it is proposed by the committee to consider that subject. If the committee shall decide to propose an amendment upon this subject it will be moved hereafter; and if the committee do not offer any such amendment the gentleman shall have ample opportunity to offer his amendment. I therefore suggest that he withdraw his amendment at this time.
Mr. HOLMAN. I will agree to the suggestion of the gentleman, and withdraw my amendment at this time.
No further amendment was offered.
SEC. 117. And be it further enacted, That for every passport issued from the office of the Secretary of State there shall be paid the sum of five dollars, which amount may be paid to any collector of internal revenue, and his receipt therefor shall be forwarded with the application for such passport to the office of the Secretary of State, or any agent appointed by him, to be transmitted to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, to be charged to the account of such collector; and a like amount shall be paid for every passport issued by any minister or consul of the United States, who shall report the same to the Secretary of State, and account therefor to the Treasury. And all payments for passports shall be accounted for as internal tax.
No amendment was offered.
SEC. 118. And be it further enacted, That there shall be levied, collected, and paid, a tax of one and a half per cent. on the gross receipts of premiums or assessments for insurance from loss or damage by fire or by the perils of the sea, whether inland or marine, or against injury or accident to persons while traveling by land or water, made by an insurance company, or by any association or individual engaged in the business of insurance; and a tax of three per cent. on the like gross receipts of the agency of any foreign insurance company having an office or doing business within the United States, to be paid by the agent of said company; and in the return to be rendered the amount insured, renewed, or continued, the gross amount of premiums received, or assessments collected, and the taxes by law accruing thereon, shall be specifically stated.
Mr. HOPKINS. I move to amend this section by inserting after the words " gross receipts," where they first occur, the words "in money," so that this tax shall not be levied on the premium notes received by these companies. That portion of the section, if so amended, will read:
That there shall be levied, collected, and paid, a tax of one and a half per cent. on the gross receipts in money of premiums or assessments for insurance from loss or damage by fire or the perils of the sea, whether inland or marine, or against injury or accident to persons while traveling by land or water, made by any insurance company, or by any association or individual engaged in the business of insur
Mr. JUDD. I move to amend this section, by striking out the words gross receipts" and inserting in lieu thereof the words "net prof its." I desire to say that the effect of this section as it now stands is to levy a tax upon the losses of insurance companies and not upon their profits alone. The tax upon the gross receipts, as provided by this section as it now stands, is not a tax solely upon the profits made by these companies, but also upon the losses sustained by these companies. The experience of insurance companies for the last two years, I think, shows the propriety of the amendment I have offered. It seems to me that it is for the public interest and for the general public welfare that insurance companies should be encouraged. The action of the people shows that, and our legislation ought not to restrict it. But, as I have already said, the operation of this section as reported, is to compel these companies to pay taxes on their losses as well as on their profits.
Mr. HALSEY. The net profits of these companies are already taxed in another portion of this bill, which provides for a tax on dividends and surplus.
Mr. JUDD. I will let the vote be taken upon my amendment.
The question was taken upon the amendment of Mr. JUDD; and it was not agreed to.
Mr. GRISWOLD. I move to amend this section by striking out the words "and a tax of three per cent. on the like gross receipts of the agency of any foreign insurance company having an office or doing business within the United States, to be paid by the agent of said company.'
It seems to me the policy of this country should be to encourage the very thing which this discrimination discourages. It is for the interest of all to bring down the rates of insurance in this country as low as possible. For one, I cannot see any possible reason for discriminating in so important a matter against the introduction of foreign capital for the benefit of the people of this country.
Mr. PAINE. It seems to me that the argument of the gentleman from New York [Mr. GRISWOLD] would be good against protecting any other American interest from foreign competition. I think there is adequate capital in the United States to meet all the demands of insurance companies in the country. This provision, for the protection of American insurance companies against foreign insurance companies, is neither unwise nor unjust,|| when you consider the interests of the entire American people, unless you say that the protection of any American interest against foreign competition is unjust to the entire American people, because it brings down the price of such articles.
Mr. ALLISON. The Committee of Ways || and Means inserted this provision, not so much to discriminate against foreign insurance companies, as from the fact that all our American insurance companies are compelled not only to pay a tax on their gross receipts, but they are compelled to pay other taxes in various forms, while the only tax received from for
And be it further enacted, That there shall be levied, collected, and paid a tax of two per cent. on the gross receipts of safe deposit companies, or companies known by any other name, or of individuals. who charge and receive compensation for the safekeeping of money, plate, goods, books. papers, or other personal property of any description.
Mr. SCHENCK. I am in favor of that amendment, and shall vote for it; but I cannot speak for the other members of the Committee of Ways and Means.
Mr. ALLISON. How much is the tax proposed?
Mr. PETERS. Two per cent.
Mr. ALLISON. I think that is too high a tax. Of course it will come out of persons who make these deposits of valuables for safekeeping. I would have no objection to the amendment if the gentleman will make it one per cent.
Mr. PETERS. There is one fact I wish to recall to the attention of gentlemen. The Comptroller of the Currency has inhibited all national banks from receiving special deposits. That has led to a large business on the part of these safe-deposit institutions, and I understand that they are reaping great profits from it.
Mr. O'NEILL. One word. These institutions have deposits alone of gold and silver plate, jewelry, and valuable papers. They do not have money on deposit with a view to using that money and making profits. These safedeposit companies are in their infancy, and their charges are now quite heavy. They are useful, and I think ought to be encouraged.
Mr. PETERS. I understand that it is a most profitable business, and this is a class of persons which ought to be compelled to pay taxes. They are for the rich.
Mr. O'NEILL. The gentleman is mistaken. On the contrary they are used by the poorer classes who cannot afford to have safes and iron chests.
Mr. PETERS. I do not see the force of the gentleman's distinction.
Mr. PILE. I desire to say that this class of companies makes most exorbitant charges, and that they realize better profits than any other class. I think they ought to be taxed two per cent.
Mr. PETERS. Are the Committee of Ways and Means in favor of a less tax than two per cent?
Mr. SCHENCK. Railroad companies are charged two and a half, insurance companies four and a half, and if we are going to tax these safe-deposit companies I do not think that one and a half or two per cent. is too much.
The amendment was agreed to.
Mr. STEWART. I move, in the sixth line of the one hundred and eighteenth section, after the word "marine" to insert or on life or lives." Mr. Chairman, the object of that amendment is to make life insurance companies pay the same amount of tax as fire, marine, and accident insurance companies.
Mr. HOOPER, of Massachusetts. I will state that was omitted after consideration by the Committee of Ways and Means, on the ground that it was desirable to encourage in every way the business of life insurance, for it enables a man with limited means to make provision for his family.
Mr. STEWART. I am aware of the argument that is made in favor of this exception, but the same argument can be used for fire, marine, and accident insurance companies. I do not see any reason for discrimination. There is no life insurance company that does not pay large dividends and have large sur