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mented danger; there is no danger. The question comes at last to this, whether, on a subject of this sort, this House holds an opinion which is worthy to be expressed?
Even suppose, sir, an agent or commissioner were to be immediately sent-a measure which I myself believe to be the proper one-there is no breach of neutrality, nor any just cause of offence. Such an agent, of course, would not be accredited; he would not be a public minister. The object would be inquiry and information; inquiry, which we have a right to make; information, which we are interested to pos
If a dismemberment of the Turkish empire be taking place, or has already taken place; if a new state be rising, or be already risen, in the Mediterranean, who can doubt, that, without any breach of neutrality, we may inform ourselves of these events, for the government of our own concerns ?
The Greeks have declared the Turkish coasts in a state of blockade; may we not inform ourselves whether this blockade be nominal or real? and, of course, whether it shall be regarded or disregarded ? The greater our trade may happen to be with Smyrna, a consideration which seems to have alarmed some gentlemen, the greater is the reason, in my opinion, why we should seek to be accurately informed of those events which 'may affect its safety.
It seems to me impossible, therefore, for any reasonable man to imagine, that this resolution can expose us to the resentment of the sublime Porte.
As little reason is there for fearing its consequences upon the conduct of the Allied Powers. They may, very naturally, dislike our sentiments upon the subject of the Greek revolution; but what those sentiments are, they will much more explicitly learn in the President's message than in this resolution. They might, indeed, prefer that we should express no dissent upon the doctrines which they have avowed, and the application which they have made of those doctrines to the case of Greece. But I trust we are not disposed to
leave them in any doubt as to our sentiments upon these important subjects. They have expressed their opinions, and do not call that expression of opinion, an interference; in which respect they are right, as the expression of opinion, in such cases, is not such an interference as would justify the Greeks in considering the powers as at war with them. For the same reason, any expression which we may make, of different principles and different sympathies, is no interference. No one would call the President's message an interference; and yet it is much stronger, in that respect, than this resolution. If either of them could be construed to be an interference, no doubt it would be improper, at least it would be so, according to my view of the subject; for the very thing which I have attempted to resist in the course of these observations, is the right of foreign interference. But neither the message nor the resolution has that character. There is not a power in Europe that can suppose, that, in expressing our opinions on this occasion, we are governed by any desire of aggrandizing ourselves, or of injuring others. We do no more than to maintain those established principles, in which we have an interest in common with other nations, and to resist the introduction of new principles and new rules, calculated to destroy the relative independence of states, and particularly hostile to the whole fabric of our own government.
I close, then, sir, with repeating, that the object of this resolution is, to avail ourselves of the interesting occasion of the Greek revolution, to make our protest against the doctrines of the Allied Powers; both as they are laid down in principle, and as they are applied in practice.
I think it right too, sir, not to be unseasonable in the expression of our regard, and, as far as that gocs. in a ministration of our consolation, to a long oppressed and now struggling people. I am not of those who would, in the hour of utmost peril, withhold such encouragement as might be properly and lawfully given, and when the crisis should be past, overwhelin the
rescued sufferer with kindness and caresses. The Greeks address the civilized world with a pathos, not easy to be resisted. They invoke our favor by more moving considerations than can well belong to the condition of any other people. They stretch out their arms to the Christian communities of the earth, beseeching them, by a generous recollection of their ancestors, by the consideration of their own desolated and ruined cities and villages, by their wives and children, sold into an accursed slavery, by their own blood, which they seem willing to pour out like water, by the common faith, and in the Name, which unites all Christians, that they would extend to them, at least some token of compassionate regard,
SPEECH OF HENRY CLAY.
A BILL PROPOSING TO INCREASE THE DUTIES ON VARI
OU'S ARTICLES IMPORTED FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES;
DELIVERED IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED
STATES, MARCH 30, AND 31, 1324.
MR. CHAIRMAN, The gentleman from Virginia, (Mr. Barbour,) has embraced the occasion produced by the proposition of the gentleman from Tennessee, to strike out the minimum price, in the bill, on cotton fabrics, to express his sentiments at large on the policy of the pending measure; and it is scarcely necessary for me to say, that he has evinced his usual good temper, ability and decorum. The parts of the bill are so intermingled and interwoven together, that there can be no doubt of the fitness of this occasion to exhibit its merits or its defects. It is my intention, with the permission of the committee, to avail myself also of this opportunity, to present to its consideration those general views, as they appear to me, of the true policy of this country, which imperiously demand the passage of this bill. 'I am deeply sensible, Mr. Chairman, of the high responsibility of my present situation. But that responsibility inspires me with no other apprehension than that I shall be unable to fulfil my duty; with no other solicitude than that I may, at least in some small degree, contribute to recall my country from the pursuit of a fatal policy, which appears to me inevitably to lead to its impoverishment and ruin. I do feel most awfully this responsibility. And, if it were allowable for us, at the present day, to imitate ancient examples, I would invoke the aid of the Most High. I would anxiously
and fervently implore His Divine assistance; that He would be graciously pleased to shower on my country His richest blessings; and that He would sustain, on this interesting occasion, the humble individual who stands before Him, and lend him the power, moral and physical, to perform the solemn duties which now belong to his public station.
Two classes of politicians divide the people of the United States. According to the system of one, the produce of foreign industry should be subjected to no other impost than such as may be necessary to provide a public revenue; and the produce of American industry should be left to sustain itself, if it can, with no other than that incidental protection, in its competition, at home, as well as abroad, with rival foreign articles. According to the system of the other class, whilst they agree that the imposts should be mainly, and may, under any modification, be safely relied on as a fit and convenient source of public revenue, they would so adjust and arrange the duties on foreign fabrics, as to afford a gradual but adequate protection to American industry, and lessen our dependence on foreign nations, by securing a certain and ultimately a cheaper and better, supply of our own wants, from our own abundant resources. Both classes are equally sincere in their respective opinions, equally honest, equally patriotic, and desirous of advancing the prosperity of the country. In the discussion and consideration of these opposite opinions, for the purpose of ascertaining which has the support of truth and reason, we should, therefore, exercise every indulgence, and the greatest spirit of mutual moderation and forbearance. And, in our deliberations on this great question, we should look fearlessly and truly at the actual condition of the country, retrace the causes which have brought us into it, and snatch, if possible, a view of the future. We should, above all, consult experience—the experience of other nations, as well as our own, as our truest and most unerring guide.
In casting our eyes around us, the most prominent