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MVB, Senate remarks on tariff bill, 29 April 1824

Mr. Van Buren said that he rose for the purpose of explanation only; to reconcile his present vote with one he was prepared, and would, doubtless, be called upon to give on the question under consideration. He was in favor of increasing the duty on hemp with a view of affording protection to its cultivation in this country. He was willing to vote for a liberal but reasonable increase. The one proposed by the bill he thought was not that character. The present duty is thirty dollars a ton, the one contained in the bill is forty-four dollars and eighty cents per ton, making an increase of nearly fifty per centum. Mr. V. B. could not think that the cultivation of the article in question required for its protection so great an increase of the duty; nor would a due regard to the other great interests of the country admit its imposition. If, therefore the motion of his friend from Massachusetts had been to strike out the rate of increase for the purpose of reducing it to a reasonable amount, Mr. V. B. would have voted for it. But his motion was not of that character. It was to strike the duty on hemp out of the bill, to which he (Mr. V. B.) was opposed. Whilst, therefore, he would vote against striking out, he was prepared to reduce the duty contained in the bill to an amount which, in his best judgment, would be just and politic.

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Source: <em>Annals of Congress</em>
Collection: N/A
Series: Series 4 (3 December 1821-31 December 1824)