« AnteriorContinuar »
H. of R.]
(Jax. 31, 1831. in, but, being of some volume, the public printer has not Mr. CROCKETT maintained that the petition should had time enough to lay it on our tables. This circum- go to the Committee of Claims.. He explained the object stance I regret as much as any one can; yet it does present of the memorialists. They had been dispossessed of the question, how far it be proper to proceed without it. their land by white men, and brought a suit for its recoSeveral gentlemen have mentioned the subject to me; very, but were too poor to employ counsel. They had and one among the number intimated that, if I did not thrown themselves on the State of Tennessee for the move its further postponement, he would. As to myself, benefit of the pauper law, so as that counsel might be it does appear to me that it would not be over respectful employed for them; but the benefit of that law was reto the gentleman who presides in the department, to take fused. He hoped the petition would go to the Committee no heed of a document which we have caused him to pre- of Claims. pare with no inconsiderable labor. Besides, I feel that I Mr. WILLIAMS moved its reference to the Judiciary should be wanting in deference to the people where I committee. live, if I neglected to use, and to imbue the House, as far as After some conversation between Messrs. CLAY, WIL depends on me, with a knowledge of the facts which they LIAMS, WHITTLESEY, and others, the petition was have taken so much pains to embody. There is another finally referred to the Committee of Claims. consideration: we are bound by the rule we have adopted Mr. MERCER, from the Coinmittee on Internal Imto attend in the Senate, during this week, on the debate provements, reported a bill to authorize a subscription to of the impeachment we have preferred against Judge the stock of the Alexandria Canal Company; which was Peck. The hand on the dial plate indicates that but five twice read; and the question being on its commitment, minutes could now be allotted to the subject. For these Mr. POTTER moved to lay the bill on the table. reasons, sir, I move its further postponement until next Mr. MERCER called for the reading of the report of Wednesday, in the hope that it may be then taken up, the Committee on Internal Improvements, which reported and prosecuted to a termination.
the bill. The Clerk was about to read it; when The motion prevailed.
Mr. MERCER earnestly entreated the gentleman from The resolution heretofore submitted by Mr. Drar. North Carolina to withdraw his motion, and thus save the Ton, calling on the Secretary of War for certain infor- time of the House, and the money of the nation. mation relative to officers of the army, furlouglis, &c., Mr. POTTER said, that, yielding to the advice of his was considered and agreed to.
friends around him, he would withdraw his motion to lay The resolutions heretofore submitted by Mr. Honges, the bill on the table. When the bill granting a charter calling upon the Secretary of State for certain informa- to the company was before the House, at the last session, tion, were taken up, considered, and modified to read as it was generally understood that, if the company obtained follows:
the charter, they would not ask Congress for a subscrip" Resolved, That the President of the United States be tion to their stock. requested to inform this House what measures have been Mr. MERCER stated that the gentleman was under a taken by the Executive in relation to the capture, on the misapprehension. The individuals who advocated the 4th of July, 1829, of the ship Galatea, late of the port granting of a charter had no power to pledge the comof New Bedford, by a Portuguese naval squadron then pany that they would not ask Congress to subscribe to the blockading the island of Terceira; and, also, in relation stock of that company'. He assured the gentleman that to the imprisonment and robbery of the crew of said ship; there was no pledge; and he felt convinced that, if the and to the capture of other American vessels under the gentleman would read the report of the committee on the same order of blockade.
subject, and had no constitutional objections to the meaResolved, That the President be requested to lay be sure proposed, he would unite with the friends of the bill fore this House any corresponclence that may have been in procuring its passage. had touching this matter, within the knowledge or pos The bill was tlien committed. session of the President, not incompatible with the public Mr. DODDRIDGE asked leave to submit a motion to interest."
print 6,000 copies of the reports of the majority and miAfter a few remarks from Mr. II. in explanation of the nority of the Committee on the Judiciary relative to reobject of the resolutions, they were agreed to, as modified. pealing the twenty-fifth section of the judiciary act of
The resolution offered by Mr. POTTER a few days 1789; but the Ilouse refused the leave. since, to amend the rule of the House which limits the
JUDGE PECK. discussion of resolutions to one hour, was next taken up.
Mr. POTTER was going on to state the reasons which The IIouse then, on motion of Mr. SPEIGHT, resolved induced him to offer the resolution, and explaining the itself into a Committee of the Whole, Mr. CAMBRELENG bad effects of the present rule, when he was interrupted in the chair; and, on motion of Mr. HAYNES, procetilby the expiration of the hou-elucidating, as le said, ed to the Senate, to attend the further trial of Judge Peck the inexpediency of the rule, and exemplifying the great before the higli cout of impeachment. Having return disadvantages under which members labored.
ed, the chairinan reported that the committee, in pursu.
ance of the order of the House, had attended the trial of JUDGE PECK.
Judge Peck; and that the Senate, hac pronounced judgThe House then again resolved itself into a Committee ment in the case, and, by a vote of 22 to 21, had refuse ! of the Whole, Mr. Mantin in the chair, and proceeded to to sustain the impeachment preferred by the House; and the Senate, to attend the trial of Judge Peck before the that the court had adjourned sinc die. high court of impeachment. Having returned, and reported progress,
ILLINOIS AND MICHIGAN CANAL. The Ilouse adjourned to Monday.
The House then proceeded to the consideration of the
motion made on the 6th instant to reconsider the vote bis MONDAY, JANUARY 31.
which was rejected the bill to authorize a change in the Mr. CROCKETT presented the petition of three Chero- disposal of the land granted for the construction of the kee Indians, who are entitled to reserves of six hundred Illinois and Michigan canal. and forty acres of land each, and moved its reference to Mr. DUNCAN hoped the motion for reconsideration the Committee of Claims.
would prevail, and that the bill would be made the onder Mr. CLAY suggested that the proper reference would of the day for some day certain; by which time he trusted be to the Committee on the Public Lands.
that he should be able to satisfy gentlemen on a point
Jan. 31, 1831.]
Claim of James Monroe.
[H. OF R.
which was objected to when the bill was last before the lowance to Mr. Monroe for a house purchased by him in House; and he called for the reading of the report of the Paris, for instance, was an item to which he objected. Committee on the Public Lands, which committee report Mr. SUTHERLAND, in a very impressive speech, suped the bill. It was read by the Clerk.
ported the claim, at considerable length. He alluded to Mr. VANCE said that, when the bill was taken up be- the revolutionary services of Mr. Monroe, and his present fore, he was desirous of offering an amendment, with a unenviable situation. view to meet the views of gentlemen. If no other mem. Mr. HOWARD called for the reading of a memorial ber did, he should take occasion, if the House agreed to from his constituents, in support of the claim, as being reconsider the bill, to submit an amendment, so as, if pos- couched in stronger language than he could use, and sible, to meet the views of gentlemen, and secure the which he hoped would be read to the House instead of passage of the bill in the best possible shape.
any remarks from him. The memorial was read. Mr. DUNCAN remarked that the gentleman who had Mr. McDUFFIE made a few very energetic remarks in made the motion to reconsider, had stated to the House, favor of the claim, and its settlement by the accounting at the time of doing so, that he did it with the view to officers of the treasury. He alluded particularly to Mr. offer an amendment, proposing to appropriate money, in Hagner, as one of the best, most industrious, and faithful lieu of scrip, to aid the State of Illinois in the construc- accounting officers of the Government, and said that, if tion of the proposed canal. If gentlemen would prefer the claim should be referred to him, ample justice would the appropriation of money, he had no objection; though, be done. for his own part, he should be perfectly satisfied with Mr. POLK opposed the claim. scrip. Gentlemen were mistaken in the idea that the scrip Mr. BUCHANAN was in favor of the claim, as well as would be sacrificed. Lands to the amount of $360,000 in favor of sending it to the accounting officers of the had been sold in the State of Illinois the last year; it was treasury for adjustment. He also eulogized Mr. Hagner proposed by the bill to apply but $50,000 worth of scrip as a faithful public officer, and hoped the claim might be in a year; and it was evident that it would be equal to settled as proposed. money in the hands of the State.
Mr. ELLSWORTH said he did not rise to enter into Mr. BELL said he had voted for the original bill, and the merits of this bill; his vote was recorded in the comstated the grounds upon which he did so. He should be mittee-a sense of duty only induced him to vote as he opposed to an amendment like the one suggested, and did. I shall not be sorry, said Mr. E., if gentlemen can could not vote for the reconsideration, though he had find it to be their duty to vote otherwise. My object is to voted for the bill originally,
state the objections I have to the reference proposed by Br. VANCE said that, for himself, he was willing to the honorable gentleman from Virginia, viz. that the take the bill as it was; but it did not appear to be so adjustment of this account shall be referred to an acframed as to satisfy gentlemen; and with a view to give counting officer of the treasury, to act under the Secremiore general satisfaction, the motion had been made to tary of War, subject to the supervision and final decision reconsider, so as to submit the amendment suggested. of the President. The manner of reference, and the
Mr. IRVIN, of Ohio, with a view, as he said, to have principles of settlement, are incorrect. The whole is done with the subject, for the present session, at least, nothing less than passing a vote that the present Execumoved to lay the motion for reconsideration on the table. tive shall allow to one of his predecessors what, on vague The motion was negatived.
principles of equity, if not of mere generosity, he pleases. The question was then put upon the reconsideration of I would as willingly give this power to the present Executhe vote by which the bill had been rejected, and was detive, as to any man; but I think we should give it to no cided in the negative-yeas 82, nays 109.
He ought not to be called to this duty; he must
feel his embarrassment in discharging it, and he cannot JAMES MONROE.
act as another man might. I would not object to a reThe House then took up the bill for the relief of James ference to an accounting officer; but then I want his Monroe-the question being on concurring with the Com- responsibility. As is proposed, he is to act under another; mittee of the Whole in striking out the enacting clause of and I assure the House, under this reference, he will not
assume our responsibility, and do what, in committee, we Mr. MERCER rose, and said that, when the bill was have said ought not to be done, and especially as he acts under consideration in Committee of the Whole, he had under the Secretary of War, who is thus placed over an suggested the propriety of retaining the enacting clause; inferior officer, to direct his course. Nor can the Secreand that, if it were not stricken out, he should move to tary feel any responsibility--the amendment is that the strike out the whole of the bill after the enacting clause, President is to decide; and I repeat that the whole is left and submit an amendment, referring the claim to the ac- to the generosity of the Executive. We lay down no counting officers of the treasury for a just and equitable definite rules--we designate no items--we fix no limits-settlement. The committee had, however, seen proper and, for aught we can do, if this amendment prevails, to strike out the enacting clause. He hoped the House claims to any amount may be allowed against us. Sir, it would not agree with the committee in their amendment; is our duty to pass judgment upon these claims. If they in the event of which he should submit an amendment, are legal, then we already have accounting officers to (which he read.] Mr. M., in a specch of some length, allow them; if they are not legal, but are to be allowed then spoke in favor of the claim, and in explanation of his on principles of indefinite equity or generosity, it is our
business to determine the amount, or reject them. With Mr. CHILTON should be opposed to the amendment. the fullest confidence in the Executive, that he would do He hoped, however, that the House would at once con- what seemed to him right, I will not consent to impose car with the committee, and strike out the enacting clause upon him this unwelcome duty--he is in a most delicate of the bill. He called for the yeas and nays on the ques- situation, when called by Congress, and that
, too, after our tion, and they were ordered by the House.
vote in committee, to adjust the accounts of President Mr. CARSON spoke in favor of the claim, and against Monroe. It is nothing less than an appeal to his gene. the amendment of the committee. A bill should pass in rosity--the persons under him will never, in such a case some shape, extending relief to Colonel Monroe. as this, undertake to discriminate between the items.
Mr. PATTON gave his views on the subject; he was They have no rule for it. As none of the items are a i opposed to the amendment, yet thought that the sum pro- legal charge, they will at once refer the whole to the posed to be allowed by the bill was too large. The al- President, and he must take the responsibility of allowing
H. OF R.)
Claim of James Monroe.
[Jax. 31, 1831.
them, or incurring the displeasure of the friends of the mansion to all who sought a place of refuge, and limited bill--a situation in which he ought not to be placed, for his family only by the number of his countrymen. in it he cannot act as in the discharge of his appropriate To give the French nation an assurance which its duties.
watchful jealousy seemed to demand, that we were desirMr. EVERETT, of Massachusetts, was in favor of it. ous of a lasting peace and friendship with them, he He made several remarks in support of the claim, and bought a house in Paris, for which he paid a large sum of concluded, by making a very feeling appeal to the House money. He declares most solemnly that his sole object in its support.
was to give the French unequivocal proof of our sincere Mr. DWIGHT also spoke on the same side.
desire for perpetual amity, and that he should not have Mr. WILLIAMS again opposed the claim.
made the purchase upon any other consideration, or for Mr. Davis, of Massachusetts, observed, he should any other purpose. The title to this estate has failed, and have been content to pursue his usual course, by giving a he has lost the whole amount of the purchase money. He silent vote, if he had not noticed, during this earnest and admits that he had no instructions to purchase it for this protracted debate, that many gentlemen seemed to enter- Government, but took it at his own risk, believing himself tain erroneous views of the nature and character of the called upon so to do for the good of the country. It is demand made upon the Government. Although, said Mr. said this furnished no ground of legal claim upon the D., I was a member of the select committee to whom this treasury-agreed--but I appeal to gentlemen on this matter was referred, both in the last and in the present floor as individuals, as men bearing the relations of honorCongress, I had resolved to leave the discussion to others; able, high-minded citizens in the community; as men but after what has taken place to day, I feel called on by a having just conceptions of the moral obligations which sense of duty to place the claim in its true light before a exist between principal and agent, between master and vole is taken; for I am persuaded it has merits which have servant; and ask each, if he had employed an agent in his been overlooked in the heat of debate. I have, said he, service, who, in a difficult and embarrassing crisis of his looked over the voluminous documents which are intended affairs, had advanced his private funds without instructions, to illustrate and support it, not at the present session, but but solely for the benefit of his principal, and with the during a former Congress-and although I may not in my hope of rescuing him from imminent peril, and should recollection be exact in their details, yet my memory will thereby ruin himself while he protected the interests of not fail me in the material facts. I may claim, therefore, his employer, whether, to such an agent, he could turn without subjecting myself to the imputation of vanity, to a deaf ear if he should appeal to his sense of justice and know something of the facts as they are set forth. Let equity for relief in his distress? Whether he could us then see what they are. Mr. Monroe was appointed spurn him away, and leave him to perish with hunger and to a twofold mission: 'first to France, and then to Eng-nakedness? And, if he could, whether the world would land, by Mr. Jefferson, who, having an over solicitude not condemn such an individual as cold, selfish, heartless? to economize the public funds, informed him, when the as destitute of the sympathies of our nature, and an appointment was made, that he must be content with one idolater of money? Sir, there would be but one opinion outfit instead of two, as had been usual under similar in such a case-the servant sinks his private means in his circumstances, both before and since. It was then believ- most sincere endeavors to promote the interests of his ed, both by the President and the minister, that this master, and without a thought of benefiting himself; that arrangement would cover the expense; but the latter master can never live honored and respected in the enfound on experiment that it was a great mistake, for he joyment of wealth among his fellow-citizens, while that had been compelled to draw largely upon his private re- servant is perishing with poverty. Now, sir, what is the sources to maintain himself.
difference between this and the case before us? We are On his return, after much delay, the second ontfit was not, as some gentlemen seem to suppose, a judicial allowed to him, and he received it, protesting that it fell tribunal to decide between parties, but we are the master far short of indemnifying him. This is, said Mr. D., the settling with the servant; and shall it be said that we cansubstance of the story; and, in order to understand the not, or that we will not, deal justly? Mr. Monroe sunk a grounds of appeal to this Government, it is necessary to large portion of his private property in this house-it is advert to the state of public affairs at the time, and to gone, and we are assured the act was done with the best notice some of the items of claim presented for our con intentions, and solely for our good--and I appeal to gensideration. I shall not trouble the House, hou ever, with tlemen to decide in this case as they would in a private that kind of examination which has been gone through by transaction. I ask them whether they are prepared to many gentlemen, for it is wholly unnecessary as I view say there is no equity in this demand; whether they are this matter, for I do not consider Mr. Monroe as having willing to push it from them by striking out the enacting established a strictly legal claim, and shall not, therefore, clause of the bill, and obtain for their country a repudraw in question the reasoning which has been pressed tation which, as individuals, they would be unwilling to upon us on this head, and which has occupied the time of own. the House for several days.
I sce, said Mr. D., another item to, which I will also ask What, then, said Mr. D., was the state of public affairs? the attention of th House for a moment. It is money adIt was a momentous crisis--a crisis big with the fate of vanced to relieve the necessities of Thomas Paine. The Europe. It was the period of the French revolution, sum is not large, but too large for a poor man to lose. when the mind of that nation was on fire, threatening to At the period of indiscriminate slaughter, during the consume itself, and whatever approached it. It was a time French revolution, Paine was seized and incarcerated, of great embarrassment, which called for great skill, for but through accident his life was spared, though he was uncommon prudence, and the most patient forbearance; kept immured in a loathsome cell until he almost perished which demanded a spirit of unexampled temperance and from suffering. In this situation he made an appeal to conciliation to maintain and secure the interests of the the minister for protection as a foreigner, and through country. In these extraordinary circumstances, the min. his interposition was liberated; but he was worn down ister declares he felt himself bound, by his regard for the with disease, penury, and want. He had no one to appeal peace and prosperity of this nation, to adopt measures to but the minister of his adopted country. This appeal attended with unusual expense. His protection was was made, and for the honor of my country I feel sincerely sought by a large number of his countrymen against the thankful it was not made in vain. imminent dangers and misrule of the times. It was not I am aware, sir, that this individual has justly forfeited sought in vain. He threw open the doors of his hospitable much of his character, and that in aftertimes his memory
FEB. 1, 1831.]
(H. OF R. has been held in low estimation by a large portion of the After a few remarks from Mr. MERCER, and a reply people of this country; but sir', if we go back to the re- by Mr. POLK to Mr. M. and Mr. DAVIS, of Massachuvolution, and read the effusions of his pen at that period, setts, the patriotic feeling kindled by them will teach us that the The question was taken on agreeing with the Commitauthor of the Crisis will not be forgotten while we are a tee of the Whole in striking out the enacting clause of free people. What, sir, would have been said of the the bill, and decided in the negative-yeas 80, nays 109. American minister if he had repulsed the appeal, and left Mr. MERCER then moved to strike out all after the the man to perish? His conduct would have been repro- enacting clause of the bill, and insert the amendment Sated as disgraceful to himself and dishonorable to the which he had before read. Pending which motion, nation. It would have fixed on him a stain which neither Mr. WILLIAMS moved an adjournment. time nor circumstance could efface. He knew too well his Mr. DAVIS, of Massachusetts, hoped the gentleman obligation as a minister, and a citizen, to pursue such a would withdraw the motion for one minute, to enable him blind, selfish course, Ile took him under his protection, to ask leave of absence for his colleague [Mr. GORHAM] and provided for his wants; and it is said this lays no foun- for ten days. dation for a legal claim. Agreed; but will genilemen say Mr. WILLIAMS consenting, leave was granted, as rethere is no equity in it? Will they plead the statute of quested. limitations? Will they lay hold of an expression of Mr. And then the House adjourned. Monroe, where he says he asks no pay for it? This will do, sir, for clerks of yonder departinent, who have no
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 1. power to act otherwise, but it cannot become a magnani
AMENDMENT OF THE RULES. mous and generous people, in settling the accounts of one
The resolution of Mr. Potter, to amend the rule of their most distinguished servants. The money was which limits debate on resolutions and the presentation of paid—it came out of private funds—it was advanced by reports to one hour in each day, was again taken up. the individual for the honor of the country—it has never
(When this resolution was under consideration a few been refunded—I repeat, are gentlemen prepared to say days ago, Mr. POTTER made a few observations in rethere is no equity in this? I see among the enumerated items certain claims for in-gard to it, one of which produced a general smile in the
House. Adverting to the operation of the rule which terest, because the principal was withheld. Now it may limits the consideration of resolutions to a single hour on be said that the matter should have been settled earlier. each day, frequently cutting off a speech which might This may be so, but still there are reasons for the delay, have been near its conclusion but for the intervention of which ought to be respected. The individual says his the rule, he said that the effect of it was to give time to relations to this Governinent were such, that he felt un- the orator to recuperate, and resume his speech the next willing to bring forward his demands, lest he should be day with fresh materials and fresh vigor. Mr. P. had thought to use the powers and influence of office to aid scarcely pronounced these words, when the Speaker ap. selfish purposes. sir, this is a feeling honorable to him prised the gentleman that the hour had expired, and he who entertained it, and worthy of all imitation-he was must suspend his further observations for this day. willing to come to the level of a private citizen before he Whereupon, Mr. P. observed that there could not have asked you to settle a disputed claim. Sir, I will not say been a better illustration of the remark which he bad just interest is due, but I would have the matter looked into made, than that which the present case furnished, if he by the accounting officers; and I should not stand upon should feel disposed to avail himself of the interval of a nice technical rules, but do that which in itself is right day to prepare a set speech.] and honorable; and I hope the claimant expects no more.
Mr. POTTER added a few words on the subject. He I could go more at large into this account, and speak of spoke of the numerous and complicated rules of the House, the arduous services of this individual while he did the and of the many instances in which gentlemen were deduties of two departments, and put forth the utmost of ciared to be out order, from the want of a proper knowhis exertions to replenish the empty treasury, by pledging ledge of them. He concluded by moving to refer the rehis honor and property, but these observations illustrate solution to a select committee, with instructions to amend my views. The claimant has not a strictly legal demand, the rules generally. but he appeals to our justice--he calls on us to deal by him as one honest man deals by another; and for one, sir, resolution was agreed to. By the present rule of the
Mr. MERCER had one suggestion to make before the I will not disobey the call. I will not stand on the ground House, should the previous question be demanded, and of special pleaders, but will look into the whole matter; sustained, it shut out all amendments which had been preand if it be right to grant a sum of money, I will vote for viously made to a bill, and the question recurred on the it, under a full belief that I ought so to do, and that it will original bill itself. be the most acceptable service I can perform to my con- amendment, so as to avoid this singular operation.
He hoped that rule would undergo an stituents, for they are too liberal and too enlightened to
The resolution was then agreed to. desire to enrich the public by wronging an individual.
I could say something of the public services of Mr. DISTRIBUTION OF THE SURPLUS REVENUE. Monroe, and of the humiliating spectacle of a fellow-citi The resolution submitted some days since, to authorize zen who has held the highest places of honor and trust in the printing of 6,000 copies of the report of the committhis great republic, struggling with abject poverty, but I tee to which was referred so much of the message of the forbear, as this topic has been pressed with great elo. President of the United States as relates to a distribution quence on the one hand, and repelled with equal ability on of the surplus revenue, was next taken up. the other. Perhaps it ought to have little influence in Mr. EVANS, of Maine, said, he would ask the indulgdeciding this question. One thing, however, is certain; ence of the House but for a very few moments, while he this man has not grown rich at the public expense, and stated his objections to the motion under consideration. this is a strong proof of honesty.
Having had the honor to be upon the committee by which Sir, I rose to make these explanations, merely that the the report was presented, and dissenting as he did to most House might not vote under false impressions; and I will of the doctrines contained in it, he availed himself of that resume my seat, by expressing a hope that the enacting mode and opportunity to explain the extent of his dissent, clause will not be struck out, but the bill will be so amend- and very briefly to give his views of the subject referred ed as to give the claimant some suitable compensation for to the committee, in preference to the more common one bis public services and sacrifices.
of submitting them in the form of a counter report. This
H. OF R.]
Distribution of the Surplus Revenue.
(Feb. 1, 1831.
being the chief object for which he had risen, said Mr.therefore, by printing an extraordinary number, give its E., † trust it will not be imputed to me, that I have any sanction to doctrines which it does not profess, and which, desire to suppress this report, or to withhold it in the by its action upon subjects before it, it expressly negasmallest degree from the public eye, or to restrain it from tives. Again, reports are usually accompanied by bills, the most extensive circulation which its friends can wish. or resolutions, which are presented to the House for its All such motives I utterly disclaim. Indeed, if I could be adoption or refusal; and, by its proceedings upon these, governed by such considerations, and were really anxious it has an opportunity of expressing its assent or dissent to to restrict its circulation, I am fully sensible how utterly the reasonings of the report. But, in the present instance, unattainable that object is. The questions discussed in no such opportunity exists. The report is accompanied the report have for a long period agitated the public by no bill or resolution; it recommends nothing to the mind; and all that argument, and learning, and eloquence adoption of the House; it invites no legislative action, and could bring to aid the decision of them, has long since has been laid upon the table at the motion of the chairbeen exhausted. The controversy is, however, still car-man, never again to be disturbed. Sir, if the report had ried on in the public journals, and political parties have been accompanied by a series of resolutions expressive taken different sides, and are endeavoring to sustain them of the sense of the House, in accordance with the sentiselves in :heir views upon these topics. Now, is it for a ments of the report, and upon which the House could be moment to be supposed that the report in question will called to pronounce its judgment, the objection which I not be extensively circulated and spread before the peo- have urged would have less force. But, in the absence ple, even if the present motion should fail? If it be an of this, the House has no possible mode of avoiding able and convincing argument, will not the presses, and the conclusion which to me seems inevitable, that the the party who concur in it, spread it as on the wings of printing of the report for general distribution is a sancthe wind? Will it not be published and republished, ap- tion and adoption of the principles which it maintains. plauded, scrutinized, canvassed; nay, forced upon public I am not forgetful, sir, that a practice has obtained latattention? Such surely is the fate of all public documents terly, of printing the same number of the report of a of this description. If, however, I regarded it as of an minority of a committee, as of the majority, in those opposite character; if in my judgment it is feeble and un- cases where opposite reports have been made. This is a founded, then surely I can have no other motive than to give practice of modern origin, and is not liable to the objecit the most extensive circulation possible: for in proportion tions existing against the present motion. It stands upon as it fails to establish the truth of the propositions which a different ground, and is allowed merely from a feeling it maintains, it adds strength and support to the opposite of courtesy and respect to the members who differ from principles. When, too, it is considered how very small a majority of the committee, and a majority of the House, the number proposed to be printed is, compared with the upon a subject which that majority deem it suitable and number of people to be supplied, can it be supposed proper to discuss, and to spread the results of that discusthat a refusal to adopt the motion will, in any sensible de- sion before the people. Nothing more could be drawn gree, restrain it from the public attention? What is six from that precedent than this—when the majority of the thousand distributed among the two millions or more of House have ordered a large number of reports containing qualified voters in the United States? If this number be their opinions and doctrines, and the arguments in supordered, the share of each member is about twenty-five; port of them, to be published, a proper sense of courtesy and what is twenty-five to be distributed among more than will induce them also to publish the sentiments, upon the ten thousand? Sir, I make these suggestions only to same topics, of the minority. In such a case, the whole show that I cannot be influenced by any wish to withhold proceeding shows that the House does not intend to give the report of the committee from the public examination; its sanction to the views of the minority. It could never and I hope, after this avowal, I shall not have occasion be understood in that sense. But, in the present case, again to repeat it.
the majority of the House have no report expressive of My objection, Mr. Speaker, to the motion before you, their opinions upon the great subjects under discussion, is of another character. It is this--that, by ordering this which they propose to publish: they do not attempt to extraordinary number printed for the avowed purpose of send a labored argument to the people, to sustain the distribution among the people, the House will give its principles by which they are governed in their legislative sanction to the doctrines contained in the report-doc. action. It is not a case, therefore, where the minority of trines which I am sure a majority of this House does not a committee, or of the House, ask of the courtesy of the entertain. Sir, this case stands upon different grounds majority that their sentiments may be heard in the same from those usually presented, where a large number of manner, and to the same extent, as the majority deem documents have been ordered to be printed. I am aware suitable to adopt in relation to their own opinions. But that we have in many instances caused as numerous an the case is this the minority of the House, speaking edition of public papers to be issued as is now requested. through a majority of the committee, ask that their opiIn relation to Executive reports, communicated to Con- nions and arguments may be published and distributed gress at each session by the heads of departments, there at the expense of the Government, upon a subject which is manifest propriety in the practice which has obtained; the majority have not discussed, and where they do not for these contain the history of the operations of the Gov- propose to embody their opinions in the form of a report, ernment in its different branches, of which every citizen for distribution among the people. For a case of this ought to be truly informed. These are collections of description, sir, I know of no precedent. For myself, I facts and useful knowledge never before published, and not will never refuse to allow the minority to appeal to the arguments upon disputed points of constitutional power, public in this mode, when the majority assume it for themof which there is already an abundant supply in print. The selves; but in no other case will I give my sanction in motion, I think, can derive no aid from this precedent. this form to a report of a committee in which I do not The House have, it is true, caused reports of its commit- concur; more especially when the subject of that report tees to be published in the manner now requested, on is not presented to the cognizance of the House, and no various other occasions; and I presume these will be re- mode is left by which it can express its judgment upon it. lied upon as precedents for the present motion. But I Having thus, said Mr. E., explained the ground of my apprehend they will also fail to sustain it. How stands objection to the motion before you, I will now proceed this case, compared with those? The reports of commit- very briefly to state what the report is, and the extent of tees are generally in accordance with the known senti- my dissent from the doctrines which it advocates. And, ments of a majority of the House. The House does not, in the first place, I had the misfortune to differ from my