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A debate ensued, in which Mr. Reverly Johnson replied to Mr. Sumner. Mr. Wade moved that the joint resolution lie on the table, which was lost, — Yeas 5, Nays 32. On motion of Mr. Lane it was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, together with the creden. tials of Hon. William M. Fishback and Hon. Elisha Baxter. At the same time, on motion of Mr. Sumner, his resolution on the conditions of Reconstruction 1 was referred to the same Committee.
June 27th, Mr. Trumbull, from the Committee, reported adversely on all these references.
MEANS FOR THE WAR THE TRUE OBJECT OF
REMARKS IN THE SENATE, ON AN AMENDMENT TO THE TARIFF Bill,
JUNE 16, 1864.
JUNE 16th, the Tariff Bill being under consideration, and Mr. Pomeroy, of Kansas, moving to reduce the duty on railroad iron from seventy cents to sixty cents per hundred pounds, Mr. Sumner said : -
R. PRESIDENT, - I am reluctant to think that
we are legislating for a long number of years. Indeed, I regard what we are now doing as temporary or provisional. It is to meet the exigency of the hour; and on this account precisely I am ready to follow the Chairman of the Committee on Finance, in opposing the proposition of the Senator from Kansas.
Here I repeat, Sir, what I have said very often on this floor since the Rebellion began, that there is one rule which I always follow, and, by the blessing of God, will follow to the end. It is this: show me how I can best contribute to the resources of my country, enabling it to reach the end we all desire, and I shall vote for it. At this moment I know no way in which I can contribute more than by adding to the financial strength. Show me how I can most surely secure means to carry on the war and obtain its successful close, and I shall vote for it. If, therefore, by a tax at seventy cents I can prom
ise a larger income than by a tax at sixty cents, I shall vote for seventy cents. To that extent I follow the Senator from Maine.
The amendment was lost, – Yeas 17, Nays 20.
NO TAX ON EDUCATION.
REMARKS IN THE SENATE, ON A PROPOSED DUTY ON PhilosoPHICAL
INSTRUMENTS FOR COLLEGES, JUNE 17, 1864.
JUNE 17th, on the Tariff, the question arose of repealing the clause exempting from tax “philosophical apparatus and instruments imported for the use of any society incorporated for philosophical, literary, or religious purposes, or for the encouragement of the fine arts, or for the use or by the order of any college, academy, school, or seminary of learning,” and imposing a duty of twenty per cent ad valorem.
Mr. Sumner said :
ITTLE money, much mischief: these are two ob
jects that present themselves. That we shall obtain little money is obvious, when it is considered that the philosophical apparatus and instruments imported by colleges and literary institutions, particularly when exposed to this tax, will be of little value. Twenty per cent on their value will not be much for the country. The detriment will appear in the discouragement to their importation. Now, Sir, I would encourage such importations. I would encourage everything by which these associations may be benefited. Not only the associations will gain by such encouragement, but the whole land will reap the advantage. If I could have my way, I would rather lavish upon them bounties. To my mind it is clear that the education of our country would be advanced by stimulating such importa
tions rather than by discouraging them. But there is no question now of stimulating; the proposition is to discourage. I hope it will not be imposed.
The tax was voted in committee,
Yeas 18, Nays 16.
At the next stage of the bill Mr. Sumner renewed his opposition.
I MERELY wish to make one remark. I would not protract the discussion at this late hour; but I must say that to my mind the proposition is not creditable to our country, and, I think, if adopted, will be mischievous. That is the way it impresses me. I cannot see it otherwise. It is to me a tax on education, and as such odious to an extent which I am hardly willing to characterize. Because we are engaged in war, I find no reason for a tax on education. Tax luxuries, tax necessaries, tax everything else; but do not tax education. As I said this morning, if need be, rather give it a bounty.
The vote in committee was concurred in, and the tax imposed.