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into successful operation only since the treaty. It would be difficult to exaggerate the influence they have exercised in quickening and extending commerce. I cannot doubt that the railroad system of the two countries has been in itself a Reciprocity Treaty more comprehensive and equal than any written on parch
The extent of trade before and after the treaty is seen in a few figures.
In the three years immediately preceding the treaty the total exports to Canada and the other British provinces were $48,216,518, and the total imports were $22,588,577,- being of exports to imports in the proportion of one hundred to forty-six.
In the ten years of the treaty the total exports to Canada and the other British provinces were $256,350,931, and the total imports were $200,399,786. According to these amounts the exports were to the imports in the proportion of one hundred to seventy-eight. Taking Canada alone, we find the change in this proportion greater still. The total exports to Canada in the three years immediately preceding the treaty were $31,846,865, and the total imports were $16,589,624, being in the proportion of one hundred to fifty-two, while the total exports to Canada alone during the ten years of the treaty were $170,371,911, and the total imports were $161,474,349, being in the proportion of one hundred to ninety-four.
I present these tables simply to lay before you the extent and nature of the change in the commerce between the two countries. I forbear embarking on the much debated inquiry as to the effect of a difference between the amount of exports and of imports, in
volving, as it does, the most delicate question of the balance of trade. In the comparison I am making, it is not necessary to consider it. The Reciprocity Treaty cannot be maintained or overturned on any contested principle of political economy.
4. I come, in the last place, to the influence of the treaty on the revenue of our country; and here the custom-house is our principal witness. The means of determining this question are found in the authentic tables published from time to time in Reports of the Treasury, and especially in the report to Congress at this session, which I have in my hand.
Looking at these tables, we find certain unanswerable points. I begin with an estimate founded on the trade before the treaty. From this it appears, that, if no treaty had been made, and the trade had increased in the same ratio as before the treaty, Canada would have paid to the United States in the ten years of the treaty at least $16,373,880, from which she has been relieved. This sum is actually lost to the revenue of the United States. In return, Canada has given up $2,650,890, being the amount it would have collected, if no treaty had been made. This vast disproportion is to the detriment of the national revenue.
Here is another illustration, derived from the tables. During the ten years of the treaty the United States have actually paid in duties to Canada alone $16,802,962, while during this same period Canada has paid in duties to the United States the very moderate sum of $930,447. Here again is vast disproportion, to the detriment of the national revenue.
The same inequality is seen in another way. Dur
ing the ten years of the treaty dutiable products of the United States have entered Canada and the other provinces to the amount of $84,347,019, while during this same period dutiable products of Canada and the other provinces have entered the United States only to the amount of $7,750,482. During this same period free products of the United States have entered Canada and the other provinces to the amount of $118,853,972, while free products of Canada and the other provinces have entered the United States to the amount of $178,500,184. Here, again, is vast disproportion to
the detriment of the national revenue.
Add to these various results the statement of the Secretary of the Treasury, just laid on our tables, in the following words:
"The treaty [during the eight fiscal years 1855-63] has released from duty a total sum of $42,333,257 in value of goods of Canada more than of goods the produce of the United States."
This conclusion is in substantial harmony with that reached from an independent examination of the tables.
These various illustrations show that the revenue of the United States has suffered by the treaty, and that in this important particular its advantages are not shared equally by the two countries. Here, at least, it loses title to its name.
But its onerous character has become manifest in other forms since the adoption of our system of internal revenue. I need not remind the Senate of the extent to which we have gone in seeking out objects of excise, -and there are pending propositions in the same direc
1 Foreign and Domestic Commerce: Executive Documents, 38th Cong. 1st Sess., Senate, No. 55, p. 93.
tion, seeking new objects; but it is notorious that such taxation is always graduated with reference to the tariff on the same objects, when imported from abroad. But here the Reciprocity Treaty steps forward with imperative veto. Thus, for instance, the lumber of our country is left free from excise, though I am assured it might well bear it, simply because no countervailing tax can be imposed upon lumber from the British provinces. Had a tax of five per cent been imposed upon the lumber of our country, I am assured, by those familiar with the subject, that we should have received at least $5,000,000,- all of which is lost to our annual revenue. This is only a single illustration.
There are other ways in which the treaty and our excise system come into conflict. Practical difficulties, I am assured, have already occurred in the Bureau of Internal Revenue. This conflict is seen in the extent to which the business of the country, and even its agriculture, is taxed now. Everything is taxed. Even the farmer works now with taxed tools. These considerations, with the increased value of labor among us, must give new advantages to the productive interests of Canada as compared with ours, and tend still further to the unequal operation of the treaty. Even admitting its original equality, you cannot deny that the vicissitudes of war, in these latter days, have worked changes requiring new arrangements and adaptations.
Mr. President, such is the result of a candid inquiry into the operation of this treaty, as it concerns the fisheries, the navigation of the St. Lawrence, the commerce of the two countries, and the revenue of the United States. I have kept back nothing favorable to the
treaty that could be adequately stated in the brief space I have allowed myself, nor have I exaggerated its unequal operation.
And now the question is, Shall this condition of things be readjusted? The treaty itself, as if anticipating this exigency, furnishes the opportunity, by expressly providing for its termination at the expiration of ten years, on notice of one year from either party. Great Britain is free to give this notice; so are the United States. Considering the present state of the country, it would seem improvident not to give the notice. We must husband our resources; nor can a foreign Government justly expect us to continue a treaty which is a drain upon our revenue. We are turning in all directions for subjects of taxation. Our own people are contributing largely in every way. Commerce, manufactures in every form, come to the assistance of the country. I know no reason why the large amounts enfranchised by this treaty should enjoy the immunity thus far conceded. An inequality which in ordinary times might escape observation becomes too apparent in the blaze of present responsibilities.
Something has been said about accompanying the proposed notice with instructions to negotiate a new treaty. This is unnecessary. A new treaty may not be advisable. It is possible that the whole matter may be settled by Congress under general laws. At all events, there is a full year from the 16th of March next in which to provide a substitute, either by diplomacy or by legislation. And this remark is applicable to the fisheries, as well as to every other interest touched by the treaty. I cannot doubt that the two contracting parties will approach the whole business in the deter