« PreviousContinue »
side.] They generally find justification for opposite positions in every platform that the national convention sends out. (Renewed laughter.] If not, they do so every four years, anyhow. In 1884 they declared distinctly for a protective tariff. They wanted to reduce the tariff in such manner as not to lose a job for a single laborer and to protect all in the United States alike.
But then, in 1892—and I commend this to my friend from Texas (Mr. Bailey)-Grover Cleveland, I believe, was nominated. That was a foregone conclusion when the convention assembled, and his particular representative, his envoy extraordinary and ambassador plenipotentiary, who worked faithfully for him, was one Henry Watterson, of Kentucky. He wrote the platform, and for some reason or other excluded from that platform free raw material, for which Mr. Grover Cleveland was 80 anxious! He would not allow it to go into the platform when it was reported to the convention. Then one of the delegates from Ohio, a Mr. Neal, got the chairman's eye and moved an amendment to the platform, wherein he commended the Democratic party in Congress for their efforts in behalf of free raw material, and the convention by a vote of about two-thirds, as I now recollect, adopted the new plan and seemed to be in favor of my friend from Tennessee (Mr. McMillin) and his idea of free raw material. (Laughter and applause.]
The gentleman from Texas says they went back on that in 1896. Well, they change so often I can hardly keep up with the procession. (Laughter and applause on the Republican side.] I would not be at all surprised if they did. But there is consolation for either of them in either horn of the dilemma. I heard my friend from Texas, for an hour and a half, advocating a tariff on raw material. I heard the illustrations he used, which seemed familiar to me. I expected he would reach the climax of his argument, finally, by giving us the illustration formerly used by the present Speaker of this House, telling us that there is no raw material except the round earth without a single hole even dug in it! (Laughter and applause on the Republican side.]
I wondered where my friend got his education, and then I thought, Mr. Speaker, that in 1894 his party put wool on the free list. Texas then had more sheep than any other State in the Union. During the past three years the butcher has got abroad among the sheep of Texas, and they are rapidly disappearing from the hills. So my friend has got his line of vision out as far as some of the farms in his district, and has seen the effect of free raw material on the sheep herds there, and gradually he has got his eyes opened, and he is advancing toward Republican doctrine. (Applause on the Republican side.]
Now, what we want is a tariff bill that will make the normal
conditions right, and it is written in every line and syllable of the bill we are considering here. [Applause on the Republican side.) We want a bill that will bring sufficient revenue to show to every man that every obligation which he brings against the treasury shall be met, and promptly met, in the best money of the world. [Applause on the Republican side.] When you get that, you have inspired confidence in the treasury of the United States; and, when you get confidence there, you will have confidence among the citizens of the United States.
But, Mr. Speaker, I must not pursue this. I must not talk longer if we pass this bill by the midnight hour. Seventy millions of people are looking on you to-night, anxiously awaiting and demanding the passage of this bill. [Applause on the Republican side.] Every idle workingman, every suffering wife and child deprived of comfort because the husband's strong right arm has been deprived of the privilege of labor for decent wages, is looking anxiously to-night for the passage of this bill. Paralyzed business, paralyzed industries, all over the country want this bill to pass. Men come here from their homes, members of either party, and report the feeling of the people. No set of men, no clique, no party, dare stand in the way of the American people who are demanding the immediate passage of this bill. [Prolonged applause on the Republican side.]
The conference report was adopted in the House by a vote of 187 to 116. After considerable discussion it was adopted by the Senate on July 24, 1897, by a vote of 40 to 30. President McKinley approved the bill on the same day.
THE TARIFF OF 1909
(PAYNE-ALDRICH BILL, INCLUDING CORPORATION TAX)
Insufficiency of Revenues under Dingley Act—President William H. Taft
in His Inaugural Address Urges Revision of the Tariff-Sereno E. Payne [N. Y.] Introduces a Tariff Bill in the House Debate: in Favor, Mr. Payne, Richard Young [N. Y.], James R. Mann [III.], Charles F. Scott (Kan.), Joseph G. Cannon (Ill.], Francis W. Cushman (Wash.], Arthur L. Bates (Pa.], Nicholas Longworth [0.), Joseph H. Gaines (W. Va.), Samuel W. McCall (Mass.), John Dalzell [Pa.); Opposed, James B. Perkins (N. Y.], Choice B. Randell (Tex.), William W. Rucker (Mo.), Champ Clark (Mo.), Oscar W. Underwood (Ala.), Morris Sheppard [Tex.], Ollie M. James [Ky.), William Sulzer (N. Y.], Arsène P. Pujo (La.)
Report of the Minority of the Committee on Ways and Means—Bill Is Amended and Passed-It Is Amended and Passed by Senate Conference Committee Is Appointed-Debate in the House on Committee's Report: in Favor, Mr. Payne, Mr. Longworth; Opposed, Mr. Clark, Henry D. Clayton (Ala.], Swagar Sherley (Ky.], Mr. Underwood, Robert C. Wickliffe [La.]-House and Senate Agree to Conference Report-Bill Is Approved by the President.
NDER the Dingley Act revenues decreased during
1908 to such an extent that all parties agreed that
a revision of the tariff was imperative. It was estimated that the expenditures for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1909, would exceed the receipts by $150,000,000.
President William H. Taft, in his inaugural address (March 4, 1909) referred to the situation as follows:
A matter of most pressing importance is the revision of the tariff. In accordance with the promises of the platform upon which I was elected, I shall call Congress into extra session to meet on the 15th day of March, in order that consideration may be at once given a bill revising the Dingley Act. This should secure an adequate revenue and adjust the duties in such a manner as to afford to labor and to all industries in this
country, whether of the farm, mine, or factory, protection by tariff equal to the difference between the cost of production abroad and the cost of production here, and have a provision which shall put into force, upon executive determination of certain facts, a higher or maximum tariff against those countries whose trade policy toward us equitably requires such discrimination. It is thought that there has been such a change in conditions since the enactment of the Dingley Act, drafted on a similarly protective principle, that the measure of the tariff above stated will permit the reduction of rates in certain schedules and will require the advancement of few, if any.
The proposal to revise the tariff made in such an authoritative way as to lead the business community to count upon it necessarily halts all those branches of business directly affected; and, as these are most important, it disturbs the whole business of the country. It is imperatively necessary, therefore, that a tariff bill will be drawn in good faith in accordance with promises made before the election by the party in power.
To secure the needed speed in the passage of the tariff bill, it would seem wise to attempt no other legislation at the extra session. I venture this as a suggestion only, for the course to be taken by Congress, upon the call of the Executive, is wholly within its discretion.
In the making of a tariff bill the prime motive is taxation and the securing thereby of a revenue. Should it be impossible to so arrange the duties as to secure an adequate income, I recommend a graduated inheritance tax as correct in principle and as certain and easy of collection.
On March 17 Sereno E. Payne [N. Y.] introduced in the House the expected bill, whose title was “a bill to provide revenue, equalize duties, and encourage the industries of the United States, and for other purposes." It was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, of which Mr. Payne was chairman. It was reported back next day. It came up for discussion on March 22.
THE PAYNE TARIFF BILL
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, MARCH 22, 1909
Mr. Payne supported the measure.