The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 21, July 1917 - April, 1918 Page: 2
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
tion of a number of bills bearing on different phases of the ques-
tion. In the House, all these bills were referred to the commit-
tee on finance, which made its report, January 20, 1841.93 The
report of the committee was presented by Henry Smith, its chair-
man, who had formerly been Secretary of the Treasury. It cov-
ered the whole subject of the finances, and recommended a sys-
tem, the foundation of which was the tariff. There was a mi-
nority report dissenting from some of the suggestions, but agree-
ing that the tariff should be raised. Smith's report said that
the tariff had been a subject of complaint from. the beginning of
the government, and that the principal complaints of its incon-
veniences had always been made by people living to the east of
the Trinity. He said that all civilized nations concurred in the
opinion that tariff duties were equal and just, and that they were
the only taxes collectible in, Texas. Abolition of the tariff would
cause too great importation of commodities, hence the exporta-
tion of money. He thought that the tariff was a real necessity
for the support of the government, and that direct taxes were
odious and unreliable; that a wise import system would in a few
years render all other taxes unnecessary. An increase of from
20 to 25 per cent above existing rates was recommended.94
Upon a request from the House, January 25, Smith introduced
a bill for increasing customs duties.5 In the debate on this bill,
February 3, an effort was made to admit free flour, salt, sugar,
coffee, lard, pork, bacon, iron and steel, but this amendment was
rejected. Other proposals which were rejected were to charge an
ad valorem duty of 60 per cent on all articles of taste or luxury;
to double the specific and ad valorem duties of 1840; to double
specific duties and charge 50 per cent ad valorem for all other
articles."6 On February 5, a substitute was passed providing that
all specific duties as in the Tariff Act of February 5, 1840, should
be doubled, and that ad valorem duties of 10 and 15 per cent
should be raised to 45 per cent.9"
D3Fifth Congress, House Journal, 560.
"4lbid., ap. 406, et seq.
" Ibid., 597.
"Ibid., 6.86, 687.
7:Gammel, op. cit., II, 576.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 21, July 1917 - April, 1918, periodical, 1918; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101073/m1/8/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.