WASHINGTON, March 28. – HOUSE. – The House in Committee of the Whole, resumed the consideration of the Tax Bill. Coal oil resulting from the manufacture of illuminating gas or its re-distillation to be exempt from duty. The tax of 5 cents per gallon on crude coal oil and other bituminous substances, used in like purposes, and on crude petroleum and rock oil was stricken out. Oil refined and produced by the distillation of coal exclusively is to be subject to a duty of 8 cents per gallon.
The next clause was modified so that spirits rectified and mixed with other materials or prepared in any way to be sold as whiskey, should pay a tax of 15 cents per gallon. When sold as brandy, gin, wine, or any other name, it shall pay 20 cents per gallon, on the basis of first proof, and so on in proportion for greater strength. The tax of 4 cents on vinegar from materials other than cider or wine were stricken out. The tax on ground coffee and all preparations of which coffee forms a part, or which is prepared for sale as a substitute for coffee, is reduced from 1 cent to 3 mills per pound. Ground mustard and sugar are exempt. Sugar tax 1 cent per pound. The Committee struck the tax of 3 cents per lb. on tobacco leaf or stem, manufactured, and increased the tax from 5 to 10 cents per pound of Cavendish tobacco, plug, twist and manufactured of all descriptions, not including snuff, cigars or prepared smoking tobacco. The Committee increased the tax on prepared smoking tobacco to 5 cents and on snuff or tobacco ground, dry or damp, of all descriptions, except aromatic or medical snuff, to 8 cents per pound. The tax on cigars remains as originally reported. Gun powder and all explosive substances used for mining, blasting or shooting purposes, valued at exceeding 18 cents per pound, to pay a tax of 5 mills; not exceeding in value of 10 cents to pay a tax of 1 cent per pound, and when valued at over 30 cents to pay a tax of 6 cents per pound. Oxide _____ and sulphate of basalt to pay a tax per pound, 25 cents on the former and 10 cents on the latter.
The clause in regard to printing ink and all other descriptions of ink, fixing the tax at 3 per cent ad valorem, was stricken out. Corn brooms, wooden pails and buckets, straw and palm leaf, hats, caps and bonnets, hats and caps of fur, felt or wool, glossed Indian rubber, or silk, wholly or in part, steel hoops and skirts of metal or other material, all to pay a tax of 3 per cent ad valorem.
Amendments were made, fixing the tax on ready made clothing at 3 per cent. ad valorem and on umbrellas and parasols at 5 per cent. The tax on iron was fixed at 50 cents to $1 per ton, excepting on condition of manufacture.
The Committee rose and the House adjourned.
WASHINGTON, March 31. – HOUSE. – The House passed the Senate bill removing the import duties on arms imported either by States or contractors.
Mr. BROWN, from the Committee on Elections, reported a resolution which was adopted declaring that S. F. Beach is not elected a member of the House from the Seventh Congressional District of Virginia.
The House then went into Committee of the Whole on the tax bill.
WASHINGTON, March 31. – HOUSE. – The leather clause of the bill was amended as follows: On patent or enameled leather 5 mills per lb.; on patent japanned strips for dash leather 4 mills per square foot; on patent or enameled skirting leather 1½ mills per square foot; on all rolled and rough or hammered leather, made from hides imported from east of Cape of Good Hope, and all damaged leather, 5 mills per lb.; on all other sole and rough leather, hemlock tanned, 8 mills per lb., on all sole or rough leather, tanned in whole or part, with oak, 1 cent per lb.; on all finished or cured upper leather, except calf skin, made from leather tanned in the interest of the parties finishing or cutting up leather not previously taxed in the rough, 1 cent per lb.; on band, bull and harness leather, 1½ cents per lb., on tanned calf skins 6 cents each; on morocco goat, kid or sheep skins, cured, manufactured or finished, 4 per cent. ad valorem, provided that the price at which such skins are usually sold shall determine the value; on buck skins, tanned or dressed, $2 per dozen; on doe skins, tanned or dressed, $1 per dozen; on deer skins, dressed and smoked, 6 cents a pound, on horse and hog skins, tanned and dressed, 4 per cent ad valorem; on American patent calf skins 5 per cent. ad valorem, on patent or enameled leather 3 per cent. ad valorem.
The following amendments were also agreed to: On wine made of grapes 5 instead of 10 cents per gallon; on starch 5 per cent. ad valorem; on furs of all descriptions, not otherwise provided for, 5 per cent ad valorem.
Mr. SPAULDING offered the following: Provided that no duty shall be contracted on furs until the expiration of the Reciprocity Treaty with Great Britain. Mr. Spaulding took the occasion to say that we have lost thirteen millions of dollars by this treaty, owing to discriminating duties.
The Committee adopted Mr. Spaulding’s amendment.
The tax on diamonds, emeralds and other jewelry was put at 3 per cent ad valorem.
Mr. STEVENS opposed the tax on flour, which, after some debate relative to the bearing on the Tax bill that existed by the Reciprocity Treaty, was stricken out.
Mr. SPAULDING gave notice that he should introduce a resolution requesting the President to give the required notice for terminating the Reciprocity Treaty. Cloth and all textile fabrics 3 per cent. ad valorem.
Mr. KELLOGG offered a new paragraph “on and after the 1st of May one cent per pound on all cotton held or owned by persons or corporations.” Fourth clause relating to organs and melodeons altered, levying the tax from fifty cents to one dollar, according to value, and $6 to $70 for yachts. Dogs taxed $1 each.
The section relating to slaughtered cattle was amended by adding, provided that commission of internal revenue may make other rules and regulations for ascertaining the accurate number of cattle held, shipped and slaughtered, and all cattle liable to taxation. Committee rose and the House adjourned.
SENATE. – Vice President Hamlin absent. – Mr. Foster was chosen President pro tem.
Mr. WILLEY present a petition from the workmen in the late armory at Harper’s Ferry, asking for the re-establishment of the armory and for work.
Mr. KING presented several petitions for emancipating the slaves.
Mr. COLLAMER, from the Committee on Libraries, reported to the House a joint resolution to the House for the appointment of _____ Woolsey of Connecticut, Regent of the Smithsonian Institute, in place of Prof. Felton. The resolution was passed.
Mr. NESMITH introduced a resolution asking for the Secretary of War to furnish the Senate a copy of the report of Brig. Gen. J. Mansfield in relation to the late engagement between the Monitor and the Merrimac. The resolution was adopted.
Mr. LATHAM introduced a bill to create a bureau of transportation. Referred.
On motion of Mr. CHANDLER, the bill for the appointment of Light House Inspectors was taken up. The bill proposes to transfer the light house to the revenue service, putting them under the control of the Secretary of the Treasury. After discussion the bill was postponed.
Mr. WADE introduced a bill to provide a territorial government for Arizona.
Mr. FESSENDEN presented a joint resolution from the Legislature of Main, in favor of extending pecuniary aid to the States for the emancipation of their slaves. Also cordially approving the President’s message, declaring that Maine will cheerfully furnish her quota of the amount. Also asking her Senators to vote for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia.
The bill for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia was then taken up, and Mr. SUMNER, of Mass., proceeded to speak in favor, after which the bill was postponed until to-morrow.
The Senate went into executive session and adjourned.
WASHINGTON, April 1. – HOUSE. – Mr. WASHBURNE, of Illinois, presented a memorial from the Illinois Constitutional Convention in favor of the early enlargement of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, and gave notice that he should ask for an early consideration of the bill to that end, it being a matter of great national and military importance. The memorial was referenced to the Committee on Military Affairs.
The consideration of the Pacific Railroad bill was further postponed till Tuesday.
The House then went into committee of the whole on the tax bill.
An amendment was adopted exempting from taxation under the Railroad routes and steamboats section all foreign emigrants travelling at a reduced fare into the interior of the country, a distance of over 100 miles from the sea coast.
Several amendments were made to the above section, including a tax of one and a half per cent on the gross receipts of bridge company repairers.
An amendment was adopted that trust companies be included with banks, saving institutions, &c., and that they pay three per cent. on their income.
A new section was added, providing that on and after May next, there shall be paid for every insurance policy which may be made, renewed, continued, or endorsed, a duty of 10 cents for every one hundred dollars insured for one year, &c.
Mr. COLFAX moved to strike out the section leaving a duty on advertisements.
Mr. WRIGHT thought that the press out to come up to the work.
Mr. COLFAX was of the same opinion but by this bill, without taxing Administration publications were taxed more than they ought to be. – The pay more than their proportion on the articles used, and for paper, telegraphic messages, gas light, &c. They might as well impose a tax on all boarders at a hotel, on lawyers for every criminal or civil case. He said those engaged in every branch of business, merchants, as we, as mechanics, were taxed less than newspapers!
Mr. STEVENS replied that in England a large income was received from the tax on advertisements, as well as the tax on stamps. The Committee, he thought, had already made large concessions by reducing the tax on printing paper, and striking out that on ink.
Mr. COLFAX said that experience has shown that the English tax on newspapers and books was a tax on knowledge, and that the people demanded and secured a reform in this particular.
The committee disagreed to the motion of Mr. Colfax to strike out the above in the section. The section was finally amended as follows, and then retained in the bill:
The tax on advertisements shall be assessed on the amounts received for them and not the amounts charged, and is reduced from five to three per cent. Newspapers with less than 2,000 circulation or whose receipts are less than one thousand dollars per annum are exempted from any advertising tax.
The committee rose and the House adjourned.
SENATE. – Mr. DOOLITTLE presented a communication from the Secretary of the Interior relative to the Indians of Northern Mississippi. Ordered to be printed.
Mr. SUMNER asked leave to introduce the following:
Whereas, Brig. Gen. Hooker, commanding the army of the United States, on the lower Potomac, Maryland, on the 26th day of March 1862 issued an order of which the following is a copy:
Headquarters of the Division,
Camp Baker, Lower Potomac
March 26th 1862.
To the Brigade and Regimental Commanders of this Division:
Messrs. Mally, Gray, Dunlington, Speak, Pierce, Posey and Cobey, citizens of Maryland, owning negroes supposed to be with some of the regimental camps, the Brigadier Genral Commanding, directs that they be permitted to visit all the camps of his command in search of their property, and if found that they be allowed to take possession of the same without any interference whatever; should any obstacle be thrown in the way by any officer or soldier in the division, they will be at once reported to these headquarters.
By order of Brigadier General Hooker.
JOSEPH DICKENSON, A. A. G.
Resolved, That the Joint Select Committee on the conduct of the War be requested to inquire whether said order of Gen. Hooker is not a violation of the recent article of war passed by Congress, and approved by the President, concerning the action of the army in the return of fugitive slaves, and to report such a way as in the judgment of the committee will prevent the issue of similar orders, which, while they outrage the feelings of loyal men, necessarily tend to demoralized the army.
Mr. WICKLIFFE, before the reading was completed, objected to the introduction of the resolution.
Mr. SUMNER offered a resolution that the Committee on the Conduct of the War be instructed to collect evidence in regard to the barbarous treatment by the rebels at Manassas of the officers and soldiers of the United States killed in the battle there. He said we have been disgusted and shocked by the reported treatment of the remains of soldiers by the rebels. The skull of a brave Massachusetts officer has been made into a drinking cup for a Georgia rebel. – It is evident that we are in conflict with a people lower in the scale of civilization than ourselves, and he wanted record made for history.
Mr. HOWARD moved to enlarge the resolution so as to include an inquiry whether the rebels enticed the Indians who committed unheard of atrocious acts, and how this savage warfare was conducted. If he was a commanding general he would make no prisoners serving side by side with Indians. The resolution thus amended was adopted.
Mr. HALE, offered a resolution that the Secretary of war be instructed to transmit to the Senate the correspondence of Gen. Wool with the War Department, relative to the movements on the part thereof since he has been in command of Fortress Monroe.
The Senate then took up the bill for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia.
Mr. WRIGHT, said he had hoped when he came here he might have given his attention to putting down the rebe3llion, and that these embarrassing questions would be avoided. He was not going to look into the past to see why certain things were done, there was evil enough in every section of the country to excite alarm but he thought it was the duty of the politician and statesman to look on the bright side.
– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, April 5, 1862, p. 4