Daily Bulletin. (Austin, Tex.), Vol. 1, No. 22, Ed. 1, Friday, December 24, 1841 Page: 1 of 4
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Printed and Published every mtfrnm$ at One Dollar and Fifty Cents per month.
AUSTIN CITY FRIDAY DECEMBER 24 1841.
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Mr. Editok : Will you be pleased to publish the
article from the Civilian signed S. on the subject of the
Tariff on Imports.
It is rare that a sensible article is written -upon t'lis
subject iii Texas. The want of practicable know-
ledge has led heretofore to the adoption of laws ill cal-
culated to aid the Treasury or encourage the industry
oC our country.
The writer of this article perfectly comprehends the
subject and I feel indebted to him for iis timely appear-
ance thinking it miy have some influence in aiding the
passage of a revenue bill which can alone keep the
Government from dissolution. P.
Imposts. This is to redeem my pledge in your pa-
per of the 7th inst. to make some remarks on the Ta-
riff and to suggest a principle by which our Congr ss
ought to be governed in fixing the rale of duties on im-
portations. ' It will be remembered by those reading my former
communication that it was said a uniform rate of du-
ties as proposed by the Secretary would operate une-
qually and would "not afford to every interest in
the Republic an equal participation in the benefits of
re-action."; I would not propose that our Tariff shou'd
be modelled after that of the United Slates in the thou-
s tnd distinctions between goods wares and merchan-
dize in such a manner that the difference bstwean a
skein and a stick of twist would cause litigation but
at the same time while it is desirable to have the reve-
nue laws freed from intricacies genera! in their charac-
ter and easy in construction and application if would
be rio ldss desirable that our Tariff should be so fixed
that while it accomplished its legitimate object (the
raising of a revenue) 'it would bear equally upon every
interest in the commanity. For this purpose I would
classify all goods wares and merchandize : and would
levy duties oil the different classes according to their
In one scheme we will propose 25 per cent duties on
the amount of importations.
The First Class we will denominate Free which
.should consist of articles the introduction of which
would improve the moral and physical condition of the
country among which might be reckoned Books works
of Art Scientific aparatus tools and implements of
husbandry introduced by mechanics and cultivators of
the soil for their own use blooded animals fcc-
The .Second Class all articles that cannot be pr -duced
in the country or manufactured with conven-
ience or profit ; but which are common among all class-
es of citizens : such as coffee tea spices paints iron
and steel hardware crockery dry goods medicines
and on this class we will fix 20 percent.
Third Class Such articles as can be produced
with facility in our country and are not imported for -general
use in the interior such as corn oats hay
"pork beef butter cheese lard lumber and. brick on
which we will propose a duty of 25 per cent. Under
this head I would always class ready-made clothing
hats and shoes
Fourth Class. Articles of luxury and such as aie
not in common use. Fruits sweet-meats wines malt
liquors. ' And on this class we would propose 30 per
Fifth Class. Articles the importation of which nei-
. filer benefits the country or its inhabitants and are only
'usud by those whocah afford to pay high duties. Spi-
rituous or alcohol liquors tobacco and cigars &c up
on which we will propose a specific duty equal to 40
and 50 per cent. Tobacco should bear a high duty
not only for the reason assigned above but because it
. can be raised with facility in our own country.
After this cl ssification other rates of duties might
with propriety be fixed on many leading articles wheth-
er found or not in the classes enumerated. Salt for
instance which is found of the best quality within our
borders no more than 15 or 20 miles from good naviga-
tion. Refined sugar entitled to bounty of three cent
cents would bear a duty of 4 cents on the pound; this
duty was paid in 1S37 without complaint.
The above classification is sttsceptable of modifica-
tion and improvement and is only submitted with a
view of suggesting a p'nn by which to avoid the incon-
sistencies and discrepancies which have hitherto char-
acterized our Tariffs.
A' though in the. preceding scheme ad valorem duty
of 20 25 3D 40 and 50 per cent is proposed yet it is
contemplated that a corresponding specific duty will be
levied on all such article as are usually purchased by
the barrel gallon bushel cwt pound thousand etc. A
two-fold benefit is derived by collecting duties specifi-
cally levied. It prevents the assessment of duties on
fraudulent invoices and insures the introduction of
It not unfrequently happens that importers introduce
false invoices to avoid the payment of so great a duty
and sometimes purchase an iuferior article because of
its cheapness and this may be said more particularly'
with respect to such articles tns will justify the levying
of specific duties. Liquors of all-kinds tobacco and
cigars flour sugar pork lard and butter all which
should pay a specific duty but accoiding to their res-
pecti ve value and rate of per cent in the scheme adopt-
ed for instance if flour comes under a class of articles
which should p.iy 20 per cent. it. ought to pay a spe-
cific duty of $1 per barrel for tho law shall deem the
average price to be $5 per barrel. Pork at the average
price of $3 per barrel and under the class of 25 per
cent should be $2 per ban j!. Proof whiskey shall .be
deemed worth 20 cents per gallon and being of that
class of articles which shall pay 50 per cent. should
pay a specific duty of " 10 cents per gallon. Tobacco
shall be deemed worth 25 cents per pound and falling
under a cla?s of articles bearing 40 per cent should pay
a specific duty of 10 cents per pound. Elide shall be
deemed to have cost $10 per M. and must pay a specific
duty of $250. Bacon deemed to cost 6 cents should
pay a specific duty of one and a half cent per pound
and so of every other article on which specific duties
can be levied. . '
It is plain to see that duties thus levied wfll prevent
all difficulty as to invoices and will insure the intro-
duction of better articles. :01d lot of fldnr bacon and
other cheap and stale provisions bad tobacco and ci-
gars will not be imported with a view of evading heavy
This communication being longer than I contempla-
ted 1 will redeem my pledge" in your next paper to sub-
mit a plan to keep a check upon collectors m making
their returns both as to the amount of duties receiveaf
and the expense of collecting. The plan proposed
shall effectually remedy the evil qf which Ihe Secreta--ry
"" Texas Promissory Notes are nuoted in the N. Orleans
J Bulletin of the 7th ihst. as worth II to 14 cents per $1 J
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Whiting, S. Daily Bulletin. (Austin, Tex.), Vol. 1, No. 22, Ed. 1, Friday, December 24, 1841, newspaper, December 24, 1841; Austin, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth80076/m1/1/: accessed July 17, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.