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safely on the accomplishment of its postal and mercantile ends, even if that feature should prove useless. These steamers, at least, are built and in use, and accomplish their important civic purposes. We may correct our system, not in this, but in future operations.

Thus, Mr. President, it appears that the enterprise was wisely adopted. And now, I pray you, take notice that it has not been rendered unwise or impracticable by any change of circumstances or of public interests. Every thing in these respects remains as it was, except that we have increased ability and increased need to put it forth in the struggle for the freedom of commerce and the command of the seas.

Nor does the expense complained of affect the question of perseverance. The excess of expense above the estimates, results from the wise policy of building larger and better ships than were at first contemplated, whereby in achievement we have not merely equalled but surpassed Great Britain.

Nor is the expense of the American steamers disproportionate to that of the British. Although we all know that for a time it might well be so, because the rate of interest, and the cost of labor and of skill, are higher on this side of the Atlantic than on the other, and because higher insurance must be paid on more valuable vessels. Nevertheless, the Cunard steamers, seven in number, have an aggregate capacity of 12,252 tons, averaging 1,750 tons for each, and they cross the Atlantic eighty-five times annually; thus the whole tonnage worked by them across the Atlantic is 148,750 tons.

The Collins steamers have an aggregate tonnage of 13,700, averaging 3,425 tons for each; and the aggregate tonnage worked by them across the ocean is 178,100 tons; the cost to the government is $850,000, not exceeding, in proportion to their work, the expense of the Cunard line. At the same time, they excel the Cunard steamers in speed. The shortest westward passage of the Cunard steamers was ten days and twenty-two hours, and the shortest eastward passage ten days and twelve hours; while the quickest westward passage of the Collins steamers was nine days and twelve hours, and the quickest eastward passage was nine days and eight hours.

Nor is the expense disproportioned to the benefits received. The first effect of the enterprise was a postal treaty with Great

Britain; and under that treaty, in lieu of receiving no steam ocean postages, as before, we now receive postages amounting in round numbers to $400,000; and this revenue must swell, and is actually swelling at the rate of $200,000 annually. Thus, in the first place, it is clear that in two years the postal revenue alone will defray the expense; and, secondly, there lies very near to us in the future, what my friend from Massachusetts [Mr. SUMNER] so justly denominates, and what every patriot and philanthropist so earnestly seeks, the great boon of cheap ocean postage.

And now, while we maintain postal communication to every part of our country, at no matter how great expense, provided that the revenue of the whole system shall equal the cost of all its parts, I desire to know why we should depart from a principle so enlightened in foreign postal conventions, which are ancillary to commerce, to immigration, and to political influence and power. But if we change the terms of the question, it will be more easily solved. What, then, shall we lose by arresting the enterprise? We shall lose all the postages on steam mails, and all the hopes of cheap postage, and all the profits on passengers and freight transported by steam. It is not easy to estimate these losses; but we have some knowledge of the profits of Great Britain, arising from the monopoly she enjoyed before our competition. The duties received into the treasury from the Cunard steamers rose in six years from $73,809 to $1,054,731. She paid the steamers for carrying the mails six years $2,550,000, and received postages in return amounting at $7,836,800; giving her a clear profit, on the postal revenue, of $5,286,800, or a little less than a million a year. We have gained at least one-half of what benefits Great Britain has lost by reason of our enterprise. Let that monopoly be restored and re-established, we shall then lose all that gain, and with it we shall see the postages, and freights, and rates of passage, raised to their ancient standards, and continually adjusted equally to injure our prosperity and promote the interests and gratify the caprice of Great Britain. What shall we then look for but decline of trade and industry, with a long train of commercial embarrassments and national humiliations?

At most, we can save by abandoning this enterprise only about $300,000 in two years. Could we not more easily retrench to that extent in some other quarter? We can save as much, and more, by laying up one of our frigates in ordinary during the same time,

and twice as much by burning it down to the water's edge. No one would advise this, and yet it would be far less disastrous than the retrenchment now proposed.

Still, sir, the argument that the expense exceeds the estimates is pressed. Well, there is nothing new in that. This is a deficiency bill. It makes appropriations of some millions to supply deficiencies in the customs service, in the construction of public edifices, in the improvement and embellishment of the capital, in the department of Indian Affairs, in the department of the Territories, and in the department of Foreign Relations. And just such a deficiency bill comes up from the House of Representatives, at the middle of every session of Congress, as punctually as the estimates for the year come in at the beginning, and as the appropriation bill, based on these estimates, appears at the close. Shall we, then, abandon the customs, the public edifices, the seat of government, the army and navy, the Indian tribes, the territories, and all foreign intercourse, because we can never estimate accurately, at the beginning, the cost of maintaining them throughout the fiscal year?

But it is said that the enterprise is a departure from the principle of free trade. Sir, it is a departure from that principle, but not a divergence from the fixed and ancient policy of the country. Widely, and I think unwisely, as we have differed among ourselves about the policy of protecting agriculture and manufactures, to the hindrance of the growth of commerce itself, yet we have, from first to last, uncompromisingly and unwaveringly adhered to the policy of protecting navigation. We inherited it from England, whose navigation act, passed by the Long Parliament, and co-operating with her encouragement of manufactures, broke the monopoly of Holland, and secured to the British Islands the commerce of the world and the command of the ocean. If this measure enhances protection of our navigation, it is because British largesses enhance the protection of her navigation. Let her revert to her old measure of protection, and we can at once safely return to ours.

The honorable Senator from Virginia tells us that it is wise to give up now, because, the system being unprofitable, we shall be obliged to give up at last. But this is only a temporary contest, not yet fully decided, and growing in success. Collins's contract has eight years to run. Long before that time, Atlantic

steam navigation will prove itself to be either self-sustaining or not self-sustaining. In either case, Great Britain will withdraw her patronage from her line, and we can then safely discontinue our contributions to our line.

The honorable Senator from Virginia seeks to divide us on this question, by presenting the claims of what he calls the poorer cities for a share in the benefits of this policy, now concentrated upon New York. I learn that a bill is near its third reading in the Legislature of the Old Dominion, having for its object to establish a line of first-class steamships between Norfolk and Antwerp. Sir, I assure the honorable senator that when a proposition shall come before us for material aid to the trade of any of our Atlantic cities, which shall at the same time be beneficent to the whole Union-whether that city be Boston, or Philadelphia, or Baltimore, or Norfolk, or Charleston, or New Orleans-I shall greet it with no reluctant hearing. But in the mean time the field of battle is chosen, not by us, but by the enemy; it is not a provincial contest for provincial objects, but it is a national one. We must meet our adversary on that field, not elsewhere; and we must meet her, or surrender the whole nation's cause without a blow. And now I pray honorable senators to consider what it is that we are invited to surrender. It is no less than the proud commercial and political position we have gained by two wars with Great Britain, and by the vigorous and well-directed enterprise of our countrymen through a period now reaching to three-quarters of a century.

Next, I pray you to consider what position we must take after that surrender the position of Mexico, of the Canadas, and of the South American states. Surely there is nothing attractive in such a change, in such a descent.

I conjure you to consider, moreover, that England, without waiting for, and, I am sure, without expecting, so inglorious a retreat on our part, is completing a vast web of ocean steam navigation, based on postage and commerce, that will connect all the European ports, all our own ports, all the South American ports, all the ports in the West Indies, all the ports of Asia and Oceanica, with her great commercial capital. Thus the world is to become a great commercial system, ramified by a thousand nerves projecting from the one head at London. Yet, stupendous as the scheme is, our own merchants, conscious of equal capacity and

equal resources, and relying on experience for success, stand here beseeching us to allow them to counteract its fulfilment, and ask of us facilities and aid equal to those yielded by the British Government to its citizens. While our commercial history is full of presages of a successful competition, Great Britain is sunk deep in debt. We are free from debt. Great Britain is oppressed with armies and costly aristocratic institutions; industry among us is unfettered and free. But it is a contest depending not on armies, nor even on wealth, but chiefly on invention and industry. And how stands the national account in those respects? The cottongin, the planing-machine, steam navigation, and electrical communication-these are old achievements. England only a year ago invited the nations to bring their inventions and compare them together in a palace of iron and glass. In all the devices for the increase of luxury and indulgence, America was surpassed, not only by refined England and by chivalrous France, but even by semi-barbarian Russia. Not until after all the mortification which such a result necessarily produced, did the comparison of utilitarian inventions begin. Then our countrymen exhibited Dick's Anti-friction Press-a machine that moved a power greater by 240 tons than could be raised by the Brama Hydraulic Press, which, having been used by Sir John Stevenson in erecting the tubular bridge over the Straits of Menai, had been brought forward by the British artisans as a contrivance of unrivalled merit for the generation of direct power. Next was submitted, on our behalf, the two inventions of St. John, the Variation Compass, which indicates the deflection of its own needle at any place, resulting from local causes; and the Velocimeter, which tells, at any time, the actual speed of the vessel bearing it, and its distance from the port of departure-inventions adopted at once by the Admiralty of Great Britain. Then, to say nothing of the ingeniously-constructed locks exhibited by Hobbs, which defied the skill of the British artisans, while he opened all of theirs at pleasure, there was Bigelow's Power-loom, which has brought down ingrain and Brussels carpets within the reach of the British mechanic and farmer. While the American Plows took precedence of all others, McCormick's Reaper was acknowledged to be a contribution to the agriculture of England, surpassing in value the cost of the Crystal Palace. Nor were we dishonored in the Fine Arts, for a well-deserved meed was awarded to Hughes for his successful in

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