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Where is Holland now? Incorporated as a part of the French Empire. Spain boasted her invincible armadas; Elizabeth of England, by nature haughty, proud, and ambitious, trembled at the very mention of them, until they were dispersed and destroyed by storms at sea; Spain is now the vassal of France. Not very long since the navy of France sailed triumphant along the British coast, looked into Portsmouth harbor, and taunted British spirit. I ask you, sir, where is the strength of which these nations formerly boasted ? All are inoperative, and dread the gigantic power of the British navy—they are in part sick in dry docks, or are blockaded in their OrtS. - * p Mr. Chairman; Great Britain, though at this time triumphant in every sea, if she persists in her expensive naval establishment, with her present debt of £800,000,000, which was chiefly created for her navy—Great Britain, sir, I say, with all this, must sink under the heavy pressure. She will hereafter derive very little satisfaction from her brilliaut victories on the 1st of June off Cape ; Vincent, Camperdown, Aboukir, and Traalgar. - Shall I be pardoned, sir, when I fear our vessels will only tend to swell the present catalogue of the British navy 2 Of the 1,042 vessels which she possessed in July, 1811, one hundred and nine were captured from the French, forty-six from the Danes, twenty-five from the Spaniards, twentyfour from the Dutch, and three from the Italians;

making a total of two hundred and seven cap

tured ships, or one-fifth of her whole navy. Small ships are proper for the service of the United States—by their agency we shall be able to annoy the convoys of an enemy. The privateers which were fitted out in every port during our Revolutionary war, destroyed much of the British commerce, even in the British and Irish channels, whilst the frigates which were built by the Government, did little or nothing—but two of them remained at the conclusion of the contest. sels; they may enter all your small inlets, where heavy vessels cannot venture to approach them; and, at the conclusion of the war, they may be sold for the merchant service. I shall fiot follow the gentleman in his remarks on the bill before the Committee; I shall vote against it, though it is my present intention to appropriate the sums requisite; for the repairing and equipping our present ships of war. I will go no further. I tell you, sir, naval victories in the end would prove fatal to the United States; the consequences which have uniformly followed in other countries must take place here. If the United States shall determine to augment their navy, so as to rival those of Europe, the public debt will become permanent; direct taxes will be perpetual; the paupers of the country will be increased; the nation will be bankrupt; and, I fear, the tragedy will end in a revolution. * Mr. McKEE rose, with deference, to perform a duty which he owed to his constituents, by delivering his sentiments on the very important sub12th Con. 1st SEss.-27

The enemy will not watch your small ves

ject before the Committee, though he confessed himself very inadequate to do justice to it. He deemed the question of great magnitude; as he feared, if we were to proceed to build up a large Naval Establishment, it would affect the destinies of this nation to the latest posterity. The gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. Cheves) has said, that it is time to go into the establishment of a permanent. Navy, because the vessels already on hand would be liable to decay. If it should be the will of Congress, said Mr. McK., to go into the business of building a Navy, it will be necessary to enter upon it with all possible energy. Therefore, if any attempt should be made to lessen our present force, he should be opposed to it. But he was decidedly opposed, and forever should be opposed, to the application of a cent to repair those old hulks of vessels which are fit only for fuel. A -” The gentleman from South Carolina has said, that he has great prejudices to encounter. Mr. McK. would have thought that the deliberate opinion of a majority of Congress, expressed upon more than one-occasion, was entitled to a more respectful term than prejudices. Those decisions proceeded from the honest convictions of some of the best friends of the country. Mr. McK. would refrain from noticing the reasoning of the committee in their report on this subject. They say “The important engine of national strengt and ‘national security which is formed by a naval “force has hitherto, in the opinion of the commit‘tee, been treated with a neglect highly impolitic, * or supported by a spirit so languid, as, while it ‘has preserved the existence of the Establishment, ‘has had the effect of loading it with the impu‘tations of wasteful expense and comparative ‘inefficiency.” Mr. McK. asked whether the ingenuity of man could find language which could cast a more severe censure upon the late Administration, than is contained in these strictures of the committee. It is well known, that our Treasury was in flourishing circumstances during the late Administration, and yet no recommendation was made by the Executive in favor of increasing our Naval Establishment. The extension of the Navy was

not thought of till the year 1812; but now we

are told, that, to neglect the commencement of a permanent naval system, “impolitic under any * circumstances, is the more so, when it is demon‘strably clear that this nation is inevitably des‘tined to be a Naval Power.” Mr. McK. denied this doctrine, that “it is de‘monstrably clear, that this nation is inevitably ‘ destined to be a Naval Power;” and he believed, that, if the attempt were made to make it such, it would prove the destruction of our happy Constitution. He would proceed to show on what ground he supported the opinion that the maintenance of a permanent Naval Establishment would prove ruinous to this country. For this purpose, he should be under the necessity of submitting some calculations to the House; for, though he had heard a course of this kind condemned, as fit only for the counting-house of the merchant, he

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considered it as the most conducive to correct
legislation... It is certainly a matter of just calcu-
lation, when we are called upon to establish a
permanent Navy, to show that such an institution
would cost more than any advantages to be derived
from it would compensate. -
Having said this much in favor of this mode
of counting the cost, he hoped, if he should make
any incorrect statement, that it would be rectified
by gentlemen better acquainted with the subject
than he pretended to be. And though his .
lations might in some instances be thought at
}. too high, he would venture to say, that
ereafter they would be found to be under the
For the year 1812.

The ordinary expenses, including the pres- *
ent Army and Navy, agreeably to Sec- -
retary of the Treasury’s report, will be - $9,400,000

Expense of the new Army of 30,000 men, -
and 50,000 volunteers—allowing 30,000
only to be called into service—exclusive
of bounties, estimated at one million for --


every 3,000 men - - - - - Bounty and allowance of $2 a man for recruiting, say 30,000, exclusive of the land bounty - - - - - - 540,000 Repairing the old ships, and half years' service, as estimated by the Secretary of the Navy - - - - - - - - 714,981 Building the new frigates, this year's appro- priation - - - - - - 1,000,000 Appropriation for munitions of war-- - 1,500,000 Expense of fortifications, (as per report.) purchasing of timber, docks, and a new navy yard - - - - - - 2,000,000 The Navy, including the vessels proposed to be repaired, which cost originally $2,285,000—one-twelfth. part of which sum will be required annually for substantial repairs - - - - - 190,416 25,345,397 From which amount, deduct this year's revenue, as estimated by the Secretary of the Treasury - " - - - - 8,200,000 17,145,397 Remaining in the Treasury, $3,946,418; of which, $2,947,818 may be applied towards the above deficiency - - - 2,947,818

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000 men, the current expenses will be $16,066,666 Annual expense of the new frigates, inclu

ding repairs - - - - - - 1,907,045 Annual expense of six seventy-fours, including repairs - - . - - - 1,436,204 Appropriation for finishing the other six seventy-fours - - - - - 1,998,000 Interest on the new debt of 28 millions - 1,680,000 - - 23,086,915 From which deduct the annual revenue -- 8,200,000 - - 14,887,915 Suppose taxes, &c, to pay - - - 887,915 Balance to be supplied by loans - $14,000,000 For the year 1815. Current expenses, same as 1814, Army in- cluded - - - - - $16,066,666 Annual expense of frigates, including repairs - - - - - " - - - 1,907,045 Annual expense of twelve seventy-fours - 2,872,408 Interest on the new debt - - - - 2,520,000 - - 23,366,119 Deduct the revenue -, - - - - 8,200,000 Balance to be supplied by loans - $15,166,119 - For the year 1816. Current expenses, same as last year - $16,066,666 New Navy, annual expenses - - - 4,779,453 Interest on the new debt - - - - 3,360,000 24,206,119 Deduct the revenue - - - - 8,200,000 Balance to be provided for -- $16,006,119 * For the year 1817. The permanent burdens of this year, when the Army may, and perhaps will be, disbanded, will be— Current expenses, same as in 1812, without the additional Army - - - $9,400,000 Additional for new Navy - - - - 4,779,453

Interest on 70 millions new debt, at 6per ct. , 4,200,000
Total expenses - - - - $18,379,453

There is, said Mr. McKee, this striking differ

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ence between a Military and a Naval Establishment: when your Army has effected the purpose for which it was raised, you can disband it; and the men who composed it will return home to their families, and become useful members of society. Not so with respect to your. Navy. You will have to be burdened with the expense of that Establishment in peace as well as in war. Having shown, in a manner at least satisfactory to himself, that the expenses of the Government in the year 1817 will be upwards of eighteen millions of dollars, he would endeavor to show what would be the expense, provided Congress were to adopt the course recommended by the gentleman from South Carolina, of building 25 seventy-four gun ships and 40 frigates:

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This course would produce a new public debt of $80,000,000, and an annual expenditure of $25,000,000. He left members to determine where this money was to be procured, and in what manner the annual expenditure could be provided.

Mr. McK. said, he would now take some notice of the resources of this country in relation to revenue; and he could say, that, on this subject, he had prejudices to meet. He said, prejudices, because, he had heard a gentleman in this House, speaking of our resources—alluding to public lands -declare this source of revenue as worth to the United States ten hundred millions of dollars. This declaration he considered as extravagant as if each of our gunboats was declared to be equal to a 74-gun ship; and that, therefore, we had a fleet of 180 sail-of-the-line. Since the public lands had been offered for sale, the receipts into the Treasury from that source had not averaged more than $600,000 per annum, at a time when the best lands too were in the market. may, therefore, as a source of revenue, be estimated at $10,000,000. But, gentlemen say, there are 300,000,000 of acres of public land, and each acre worth $2—making $600,000,000! But they seem not to recollect that one-third of this land is

barren heath, that will never sell for a cent; and ||

that it will require 100 years, perhaps, to sell the balance. And $10,000,000 laid out at interest, adding the interest to the principal yearly, or even at the end of the time required for the interest to equal the principal, would exceed any sum for which the public lands will ever be sold. Calculations with regard to direct taxes were equally fallacious. It is said that the people of this coun. try are wealthy, and able to pay large taxes. It true, that there is great wealth in the hands of the people of this country—perhaps the people of

The public lands.

no country possess greater wealth—and hence the inference is drawn that they are able to pay heavy taxes. But, when the Constitution of the United

States is examined in relation to this subject, we

find that direct taxes must be laid in proportion to population. In considering, therefore, what sum

ou may levy, you cannot exceed the sum which it is within the power of the poorest State to pay. The State of Ohio, perhaps, is one of the poorest States in the Union. This results from the recent date of her settlements. The people who emigrate to that State settle down in the forest, and their capital is expended, first, in the purchase of the land, (for a part of which many of them are still in debt;) and, secondly, in the improvement of their lands, which has extended generally

|no further than to yield to the inhabitants the

means of comfortable subsistence-leaving nothing, or but little, for exportation. Their means of paying taxes are, therefore, limited. A tax of $100,000 on the State of Ohio would be a grievous tax ; though to Connecticut, Maryland, or South Carolina, it would be inconsiderable, and not felt at all; because the lands in these States are mostly in a high state of improvement, and the inhabitants enjoy the advantages of a productive capital, accumulated by the industry of past ages. One county in the State of Maryland

could pay as much tax, without embarrassment,

as the whole State of Ohio. But you are unable to lay your hands on this wealth while your Constitution remains unchanged, and consequently

you cannot levy large taxes,

If you proceed in the course now proposed, and incur an annual expenditure of $18,000,000, how are you to raise the money 3 Suppose your revenue arising from commerce should again reach $14,000,000 per annum—which will not be the case in time of war, and it is scarcely to be expected on the recurrence of a general peace—a balance of more than $4,000,000 will remain unprovided for, which must be supplied by taxes. The taxes of 1800 (the most productive year) only brought into the Treasury about $1,500,000; and even these taxes were thought grievous. And the system now proposed will render a permanent tax of more than $4,000,000 necessary to meet the current expenses of Government. And when your political horizon shall again be overspread with difficulties and dangers, your debt will grow apace, and your annual expenditure in the same proportion, and eventually you will be cursed with the same miserable state of political existence under which the devoted people of England now groan.

But, if the Navy project be now abandoned, the nation will not incur, in the proposed contest, a new debt of more than $55,000,000, and the annual expenditure will not much exceed $12,000,000 per annum. In order to substantiate this fact, he would submit a statement, predicated on the same facts on which his preceding statement was founded, omitting the items of naval expenditure, which is as follows, to wit:

For the year 1812.

Current expenses, as estimated by Secre

tary of the Treasury, in his annual report $9,400,000

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Current expenses, the same as for 1812 - $9,400,000 Interest on $55,435,171—say $55,000,000 —of new debt - - - - - 3,300,000

Total * - - - " - - $12,700,000

If, said Mr. McKee, our commerce in the year 1817 should resume its former activity, we shall not only be able to meet the current expenses of the year, but to appropriate portions of the revenue to the discharge of the public debt; so that in ten years of peace and prosperity, our debt will

be nearly paid off, and we should be in a condi

tion to commence a new war, if the public good required it. Mr. McK. had said, this nation was not destined, under the present Constitution, to be a great Naval Power; and he maintained that the statements which he had exhibited—and which he believed, for the purposes of argument, would be found substantially correct, when tested by experience— went conclusively to show that the expenses of the Naval Establishment often frigates and twelve seventy-four gun ships, now proposed to be built, could not be supported without permanent internal taxes, and a constant increase of the public debt and annual expenditure. And if the system was gone into, to the extent contemplated by the

| gentleman from South Carolina, (Mr. Cheves,)

of building forty frigates and twenty-five seventyfour gun ships, which he admitted would be necessary to relieve the Naval Establishment from comparative inefficiency, the annual expenses of the Government with such a system (as already shown) would be more than $25,000,000, which would rapidly increase the public burdens, and entail on this country that fatal system which has almost ruined the British empire. The gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. CHEves) takes it for granted that our commerce can be effectually protected by a navy; and, assuming this fact, he proceeds to show that every portion of the American people are equally interested in the building a navy, because all are more or less interested in protecting commerce. But, the fact is, that navies have never been considered as adequate to the complete protection of commerce. Look, said he, at the situation of the Old World, in times, to them, more prosperous than the present! What is the fact? Holland, with almost no navy, possessed an extensive and profitable commerce; and Spain, about the same period, with a large and powerful fleet, had no cointmerce. r But the situation of Europe is, in all respects, different from ours. The Governments of Europe are surrounded by rival Powers, who are . engaged in war with each other, while we are happily far removed from them all, and have no neighbors to annoy us. Therefore, arguments drawn from the Old World are wholly inapplica: ble to this country, because their situation and form of Government are altogether unlike ours. And when we turn our eyes from foreign Governments to our own, we find that no people since Adam were ever more prosperous or more happy

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than the American people have been for the eight or ten years previous to the year 1808. Private fortunes have been accumulated with unequalled ease and rapidity; commerce has prospered beyond example; agriculture has flourished; and the revenue abundant, beyond the wants of the Government. And did this state of prosperity exist at a time when your commerce was protected by yessels of war? No; but at a time when your Navy was out of use; and in proportion to the increase of your naval expenditure, in the same proportion has your commerce decreased., The protection of commerce is the only ostensible object for which navies are created, while power and conquest are the main objects. Show me, said Mr. McK., a

nation possessed of a large navy, and I will show'

H. a nation always at war. When has England een at peace with all the world, since she became a great naval Power? Such instances in British history were so rare, and of such short duration, (if they existed at all,) that he could not answer the question; and he believed it would be difficult for the ingenuity of the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. CHEves) to answer it. It is true, that England, the greatest naval Power in the world, is also the most commercial; and it was not to be doubted that her commerce received aid from her navy, though it owed its extent principally to the industry and consequent wealth of the nation. But, England has other and far more important objects to effect by her navy than

that of protecting commerce. Her insular situa- |

tion renders it necessary for her protection, and she keeps it up for the purposes of war and dominion. England would destroy her navy to-morrow, if the protection of commerce was her only object; because it cannot be denied that the expense of keeping up her navy exceeds the profits of that commerce which it is said to protect... Navies, therefore, must be considered as instruments of power, rather than as the means of protecting commerce. They are the vile offspring of those nations where the power and grandeur of the Government is everything, and the people are nothing but slaves! - Mr. McK. having stated that a navy was an instrument of power, rather than a means of protecting commerce, in order to show that this opinion was not a mere vagary of his own imagination, but the deliberate opinion of some of the wisest men of this country, most solemnly pronounced, he would beg leave to read a document, which he hoped would have weight with some gentlemen of the Committee. It is taken from the celebrated instructions of the Virginia Legislature, of 1801, to their Senators in Congress, and is said to have come from the pen of the present Chief Magistrate of the United States; and he believed he could venture to say, that no Legislature ever possessed more talents than were drawn together into the Virginia Assembly on that occasion. After having noticed other subjects, in speaking of the Navy, they say: “With respect to the Navy, it may be proper to remind you, that, whatever may be the proposed object of its establishment, or whatever may be the prospect

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of temporary advantages resulting therefrom, it is demonstrated by the experience of all nations who have ventured far into naval policy, that such prospect is ultimately delusive; and that a navy has ever, in practice, been known more as an instrument of power, a source i. and an occasion of collisions and wars with other nations, than as an instrument of defence, of economy, or of protection to commerce. Nor is there any nation, in the judgment of the General Assembly, to whose circumstances this remark is more applicable than to the United States.” These opinions may now, however, be considered as old-fashioned; but being himself an oldfashioned man, he confessed he was more pleased with them than with the new political doctrines preached by the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. CHEves) to the House and the nation. It might, however, possibly be the fact, that he (Mr. ...) was wrong, and only indulged ancient rejudices, and the gentleman from South Caroina right; and if such were the case, he could only say, in his own defence, that, under the influence of those old doctrines, the American people had enjoyed a state of prosperity and happiness unparalleled in the history of man—a state of prosperity which he feared he would never see equalled. He looked back on those days of happy prosperity, with the same feelings of mournful regret with which he looked back to the days of his youth, fearing that they, like the days of his §. would never again return—especially if the avy mania should prevail. Another great objection to a navy with Mr. McK. was, that a great proportion of the expense would fall on the agricultural class of the people, and the advantages (if any) to be ...! from the protection afforded by it to commerce, would be derived by the mercantile class. The State of Ohio, for instance, will pay within one-third as

much tax as the State of Maryland or South Car

olina, and nearly as much as Connecticut, with less than one-tenth of the commerce to receive protection. Is it, therefore, reasonable or just to tax that portion of the people in order to create and support a navy for the protection of commerce, when they have none, or but little, to protect? But, it is also true, that the agriculturists and manufacturers throughout the Union will pay a large proportion of the expense of creating and supporting a navy—perhaps nine-tenths thereof— while the mercantile class will receive the greatest share of the advantages. As a further illustration of this subject, he would refer gentlemen to an argument of Mr. Gallatin, made in 1799, on the establishment of a navy, in which this point was clearly demonstrated, with an ability that defied refutation, even by the ingenuity of the gentleman from South Carolina. Why, said Mr. McK., is this period fixed on for commencing this great Naval, Establishment?

And why was it not commenced when our finan

ees were in a more flourishing condition—at a time when the means necessary to effect the object were possessed by the Government? Would any man say that the vessels proposed to be built could be furnished in time to be serviceable in the ap

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