Page images

of that manufacture. It had been asserted, that in rolling Iron according to the practice of Great Britain, the metal was only twice heated, and so rapidly converted into bars, as not to allow of its acquiring those qualities which are supposed to be imparted to it by the more laborious operation of hammering. It now appears, from the testimony of many respectable Individuals acquainted with this important branch of industry, that the Iron is heated no less than 3 times, that it is refined with such effect as to lose 7 cwt. per ton in passing from the state of pig iron to that of merchant bars, and further, that it is cut into pieces after the first rolling, and piled so as to cross the grain when again heated and rolled.

In the qualities of rolled, as in those of hammered Iron, there may be an occasional difference resulting from the nature of the ores employed in its composition. The British Iron-Masters use a great variety of ores, the different mixtures and combinations of which have, doubtless, a considerable effect in producing a better or an inferior article But to suppose that any difference is made in the quality or manufacture of British Iron, when destined for the Foreign Market, other than wher it is kept for Home consumption, is an error which cannot be met with too distinct and positive a denial.

This notion, groundless as it is, has, however, been brought for ward, with others equally erroneous, to prevent an equalization of th duties on imported Iron. It has even been alleged that while rolle Iron is exported from Great Britain for the use of Foreign Countrie the British import large quantities of hammered Iron from the Nort of Europe for their own use; and that, in ship building, this latte article, owing to its superior quality, is indispensable.

In reply to these assertions, I appeal, with confidence, to the A counts of British and Foreign bar Iron employed in Great Britain, three successive periods within the last 16 years. In 1806, in 1814, an in 1820, the respective quantities of the former were 101,877, 137,36 and 136,642; and those of foreign bar Iron were 27,411, 11,63 and 6,242. To confirm the results suggested by this Statement, may be added, that in Ireland, where a strong prejudice is known have once prevailed in favour of Foreign Iron, the consumption, whic in 1807, was 5,690 of British, and 3,229 of Foreign, was, in the Ye 1820, 474 of the latter, and no less than 13,073 of the former.

For the manufacture of Steel, and for that alone, the Baltic Ir has some advantage over British, and whatever quantity of it is i ported into Great Britain, is either converted into Steel, in which way is at present almost exclusively used, or re-exported to those Countri where the nature and properties of British rolled Iron are as yet imp fectly understood.

Concerning the particular point of Ship Building, the Abstr which follows, of the respective quantities of British and Foreign Ir

employed at different times by His Majesty's Navy Board, must, of itself, carry conviction to every impartial mind.

[blocks in formation]

The truth is, that, except for making Steel, any superior fitness for which is clearly an accident of nature, and not the effect of hammering, English bar Iron is at least equal to that of Sweden and Russia. It is used throughout Great Britain in the most important constructions, in her manufactories, dock yards, and military establishments. It is prepared exactly in the same manner for exportation as for domestic consumption. It is never finished by a single rolling, except at a very few works, where the metal has been previously formed by hammering. It rarely happens, indeed, that the Iron Master knows, at the time of manufacturing, for which market the Iron is destined; and when he is apprized of this circumstance, a sense of his own interest, the interest of the trade, would alone restrain him from sending an inferior manufacture to the Foreign Market.

It is, in short, the greatest of delusions to imagine that the consumers of Iron are interested in giving a preference to the process of hammering over that of rolling. The Baltic Manufacturers have, doubtless, their reasons for adhering to their former practice; but so far from their deriving any claim to superiority from that circumstance, it is well known to Persons familiar with the trade, that their Iron would be improved rather than deteriorated by the application of the rolling machine. This being the case, it would be absurd to defend the discriminating duty, on the ground of its preventing the manufacture of rolled Iron in the Northern Countries of Europe.

Even in the counter statements which have been made upon this subject, it is admitted, not only that the ores of England may be equal to those of other Countries, but also that the process of rolling only requires to be repeated in order to place it upon a level with that of hammering. Allow me, Sir, to remark, in reference to this admission, that in the present state of your legislative enactments, the British Iron imported into The United States might pass under the roller any number of times, without being relieved, on that account, from the pressure of which I complain.

The difference of value, or cost, at which the rolled and hammered Iron may be prepared for sale, can surely present no argument in favour of the discriminating duties. That difference, whatever it may be, is a natural result of labour-saving machinery; it is the just reward of ingenuity employed with success in the service of Mankind. Science and inventive genius are peculiar to no soil, all Nations have an in

terest in their progress, and to grudge them a fair remuneration, would be no less unworthy of the character, than foreign to the views, of an enlightened Legislature.

I have now, Sir, replied, and I trust, conclusively, to such parts of the explanatory statement which you communicated to Mr. Antrobus, in your Letter, dated the 31st of May, 1820, as were grounded, how justly I leave to your candour, on the principle of expediency. It remains for me to take a more comprehensive view of the case, as involving, in my belief, a breach of agreement, unintentional no doubt, but not, therefore, less prejudicial to His Majesty as a Contracting Party, nor calling the less for a seasonable amendment.

By the IId Article of the Convention of Commerce, subsisting between the two Countries, it is declared, that "no higher or other duties shall be imposed on the importation into The United States of any articles the growth, produce, or manufacture, of His Britannick Majesty's Territories in Europe, than are, or shall be, payable on the like articles, being the growth, produce, or manufacture, of any other Foreign Country." To secure certain stipulated advantages, reciprocally to both the Contracting Parties, is the general object of the Convention; to secure to the produce and manufactures of Great Britain, a fair unshackled competition in the Markets of The United States with all articles of a similar nature imported from other Foreign Countries, is the plain indisputable object of this particular clause. But how can these objects be considered as fully or adequately effected, while British bar Iron is made to pay, on its importation into The United States, double the amount of duty levied on the same article when imported from Sweden and Russia? I am aware of the distinction which has been drawn between rolled and hammered Iron, and of the assertion founded on that distinction, that so long as all importations of hammered, and all importations of rolled Iron, are subject, respectively, to the same rate of duty, Great Britain has no right to complain. But Great Britain being the sole exporter of rolled Iron, the discriminating duties do in fact operate to her prejudice, and, in point of principle, it will not be difficult to shew that the articles in question are truly and essentially like articles, such as cannot, with any colour of reason, be excluded from the benefit of the Treaty.

You will readily admit, Sir, that like articles, in the sense of the Convention, must necessarily be such as are similar to each other in their leading characteristic properties. On any other supposition, the clause in question is an idle form of words, and, contrary to the very end and purpose of the Treaty, a door would be opened to arbitrary interpretation in one of its principal provisions. Now, the process or mechanical operation by which an article is manufactured, can surely never be reckoned among its properties. Any difference of use, or quality, resulting from the mode of manufacture, may indeed

constitute a fair ground of distinction; but there is every reason to believe that no such difference exists in the present instance. It has been shewn, on the contrary, that, for all the ulterior purposes to which bar Iron, as such, is applicable, the rolled is equally good with the hammered; that both the one and the other are sent to market in the same stage of manufacture, and that the only difference between them is one of a retrospective nature, not affecting the identity of their present state, but relating solely to the process by which they were brought to the same point.

To borrow an illustration from language-two words of similar meaning, in common acceptation, would surely not be deemed the less synonimous because they might be traced to different roots, or had passed through different modes of formation.

I further intreat you, Sir, to observe with what facility the same distinction may be extended to other articles of commerce. Even the chief staple of your Southern States might, upon the same principle, be discriminated in British Ports from the Cotton of Brazil or the Levant, for no other reason than because it had been prepared by Mr. Whitney's ingenious and useful machinery. Examples, bearing upon either Party, might easily be multiplied; I have taken this because it is the most obvious. In fact, the same natural productions are common to so many different Countries, while the means of improving them are varied according to the vast diversity of local resources, that even of those articles which barely rank as manufactures, few might not be brought within range of the same distinction which is now applied, unwarrantably, I think, to bar Iron. That a latitude of interpretation, thus tending to nullify one of the principal clauses of the Treaty, should have been contemplated by those who framed it, is utterly inconceivable. Yet this, Sir, is the conclusion to which we must come, if it be admitted that rolled and hammered bar Iron are not like articles; an admission which, taking the fair and natural meaning of that phrase, would surely be equivalent to saying that what is bar Iron when hammered, is not bar Iron when rolled.

It is with regret, Sir, that I have found it necessary to take up so much of your time on this subject; but I feel persuaded that you will appreciate its importance, and that it will receive from the American Government an early and equitable revisal, to the end of relieving, by Law, the importations of British rolled Iron from the present discriminating duty, and thereby fulfilling the obligations of the Commercial Treaty.

I embrace this opportunity, Sir, to repeat, &c. The Hon. J. Q. Adams.


CONVENTION entre La Sardaigne et L'Autriche, La Russie, et La Prusse; pour l'Occupation d'une Ligne Militaire dans les Etats de Sa Majesté Sarde.-Conclue à Novare, le 24 Juillet, 1821.

SA Majesté le Roi de Sardaigne ayant, à la suite des événemens qui ont momentanément troublé l'ordre dans ses Etats, témoigné à ses Augustes Alliés, que, toujours constant dans la volonté de contribuer au maintien de la tranquillité générale, et de donner à ses Hauts et Puissans Alliés tous les gages de sécurité qui peuvent l'assurer à l'Europe, Il désirait voir un Corps d'Armée Allié occuper une ligne militaire dans ses Etats; que, trouvant, dans le fond de sa conscience, la nécessité de cette Occupation, comme le seul moyen de tranquilliser les bons, de contenir les perturbateurs, et de rassurer l'Europe, Il y trouvait également le devoir de faire en sorte que cette Occupation eût lieu de la manière la moins onéreuse pour ses Peuples, sur qui n'ont cessé de péser les charges d'une réorganisation dispendieuse; qu'enfin, sa confiance dans ses Augustes Alliés étant entière et égale vis-à-vis de chacun d'eux, Il ne pouvait cependant se dispenser de leur faire remarquer qu'un Corps d'Armée Autrichien, en raison de la position limitrophe du Royaume Lombardo-Vénitien, pourrait, en moindre nombre et par conséquent à moindres frais, remplir l'objet en question pour une époque déterminée, laquelle serait fixée en même tems que tout ce qui serait réglé pour assurer l'Indépendance du Roi et de son Gouvernement;

Et Leurs Majestés Impériales et Royales l'Empereur d'Autriche, l'Empereur de Russie, et le Roi de Prusse, ayant à cœur de prouver à Sa Majesté le Roi de Sardaigne le vif et sincère intérêt qui les anime pour son Auguste Personne, le bien de Sa Monarchie, et celui de l'Europe, dont cette Monarchie forme une partie si intéressante, Leurs dites Majestés ont accueilli cette communication avec l'empressement de l'amitié, et ont fait choix, sans délai, de Plénipotentiaires pour dis cuter, arrêter, et signer, avec celui de Sa Majesté Sarde, les Stipulations d'une Convention qui pût remplir l'objet de leur commune sollicitude;

En conséquence, Elles ont nommé d'une part, savoir;

Sa Majesté le Roi de Sardaigne, le Sieur Victor Comte De la Tour, Chevalier de l'Ordre Suprême de l'Annonciade, Chevalier Grand'Croix des Ordres des Ss. Maurice et Lazare, de Léopold d'Autriche, de St. Alexandre Newski de Russie, et de St. Louis de France, Commandeur de l'Ordre de Savoye, Général de Cavalerie et Gouverneur de la Division de Novare: et de l'autre,

Sa Majesté Impériale et Royale Apostolique, le Sieur Ferdinand Comte Bubna de Littitz, Son Conseiller intime actuel et Cham

« PreviousContinue »