Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Dec. 28, 1836.]

Unexpended Appropriations.

(SENATE.

ment.

atlempting to use this unexpended balance fourteen the finances would show what would be the probable and a half millions as an argument against the act of last condition of the public Treasury at the close of the year session, he would make use of it to oppose the extension 1837. There could be no mistake about this matter; of the distribution principle, to resist the distribution making the ordinary appropriations, and calculating only scheme of the present session. The war is not over; all upon a receipt of five millions from the sale of the pubthe projects of last session are revived: we have the lic lands, instead of their being deficit in the sum of land bill, and the bill for distributing surpluses to the fourteen millions, there would not be a deficit of over States, already before us. Let us now make a stand, two or three niillions, upon the showing of the Secretary fortify our camp, and not uselessly waste our ammuni himself. The document, he again repeated, was calcution. We shall want the unexpended balance of last lated to mislead; and unless it could be accompanied year's appropriatio:19, and all other facts and arguments with an official statement of what would be the means of which we can br ng to our aid, successfully to resist the Treasury on the 1st day of October, 1837, when the powerful efforts which are to be made to follow up the deposite bill will have been executed, to meet all claims distribution of surpluses annually, until the system shall upon the Treasury, he should be opposed to sending it be fixed upon us as the settled policy of the Govern to the State Legislatures. He was entirely willing to give ment. This appeared to him the wiser and better alldesirable information; he would withhold nothing from course; he could not, therefore, vote for the gentleman's them which could be useful; but the document, printed motion.

as it is proposed to print it, independent of the v: her offiMr. HUBBARD said that, when he was up before, he cial reports upon the state of the finances, would, it had expressed a wish that the Sena!or from Missouri seemed to him, afford no useful information. Ile would would so amend his motion as to confine the printing of venture to predict that, during the next fiscal year, there the document for the use of the Senate; and, after the would not be any period when the Treasury would feel discussion which had taken place, he felt confirmed in embarrassed from having deposited with the States ibe the propriety of that suggestion. The Senator had sum actually found in the Treasury on the 1st day of stated, as a reason for wishing to send this document 10 January. So far from it, in his belief, there would be the State Legislatures, that the question as to the man. found, at the close of the year, means sufficient to meet ner of disposing of the deposite fund was now pending all claims upon the Treasury. He would, however, ex: before them, and that the document was intended to in press the hope that the Committee on Finance would form them that Congress bad been'apportioning money be able to bring forward some measure, which, in effect, to the States for deposite; the sum of fourteen millions of would leave hereafter in the pockets of the people, dollars, which was an unexpended balance of appropria. “the best depositories of the public money," what will tions which had actually been made, intending thereby not absolutely be required for the use of the Govern. to make the impression that this balance of appropria

Such a measure be should support. He would tions must be bad; and, in order to supply the Treasury again, in conclusion, repeat his former request, that the with the necessary moneys, a part of the money which Senator from Missouri would so amend his motion as to would be deposited with the Siales after the 1si of Jan. have the document printed for the use of the Senate. uary, in pursuance of the deposite bill of the last session, He bad no objections to printing an extra number, but would necessarily have to be returned to the Treasury, he had objections to sending this document, under the and intending also to produce an influence upon the ac authority of the Senate, to the State Legislatures, as a * tion of the Legislature upon this subject, and moreover document designed to aid them in their action, which, to hold up those who were the avowed friends of this bill he believed, was calculated to produce a contrary effect. to the odium of their constituents, for sending arnong Mr. STRANGE rose and said that he was but young them morey required for the use of the Government. in the Senate, and therefore it would be rash in him to He was so unfortunate as to have differed from the Sena | lay down any rule for its action. But he might venture ator from Missouri, as to the propriety and policy of pass to say that on this, as on every future occasion, he would ing that deposite bill. He gave it bis support. He had vote in favor of printing any paper which was calculated seen no cause to regret that vote. He then believed it to give information to the people. He understood there right and proper, and demanded from a just regard to were very few gentlemen in this body who objected to the public interest. He still believed the same; and, the proposition of the Senator from Missouri to have the under the same circumstances, he should not hesitate to document in question printed; but the objection was to give a similar vote upon the same subject. He had | its being sent to the Governors and Legislatures of the voted for the bill, and he had also voted for the appropria- several States; and be (Mr. S.) concurred in that objection bills which are enumerated in the document pro- tion. He confessed that he was somewhat surprised to posed to be printed. He well understood the effect of see the Senate thrown into a tumult from a mere propo. his voie; and he, for one, was then entirely satisfied that sition to print a document; but when he recollected how the whole amount of those appropriations could not be Senators were situated with regard to a measure adopted expended before the 1st day of January next; and yet at the last session, his wonder ceased. He could not vote that fact, of itself, had no influence upon his mind, to de. to send a document out, upon the grounds urged by the ter liim from giving his support to the deposite bill. The honorable Senator from Missouri

. He was opposed to whole history of our legislation, since the foundation of sending copies to the Legislatures and Governors of the the Government, will show an unexpended balance of States. And he was opposed to the proposition on anformer appropriations remaining in the Treasury at the other ground: the effect which it might seem it was commencement of each succeeding year. The unex intended to produce on the Governors and Legislatures. pended balance on the coming isi day of January will on the document reaching them, the natural inquiry undoubtedly be larger than usual; but, after deducting would be, what was the object to be accomplished by the five millions left in the Treasury, according to the sending us this document? It certainly was designed to provisions of the deposite bill, the sum will be reluced have some effect. Is it to operate on the Legislature? to about the usual unexpended amount of appropriations. What riglit bas Congress, or any portion of Congress, lo But the document, unaccompanied with any other fiscal | dictate to us or to either branch of our Legislature? statement, as lie had before remarkid, would certainly Upon this matter (concluded Mr. S.) we are supreme, give wrong impressions, and tend to darken, rather than and have no superior. We judge for ourselves, and enlighten, the public mind as to the true condition of thietbink no man or body of men have a right to interfere. Treasury. A reference to the Secretary's report upon Ltherefore unile with the Senator from New Hampshire

SENATE.)

Election of Chaplain-- Admission of Michigan.

(Dec. 29, 1836.

(Mr. IUBBARD) in praying the Senator from Missouri to convention of the people of Michigan, convened for the call to his recollection the fable of the boy and the file express purpose, should express their assent to these beris, and strike out that part of his proposition relative conditions, and agree to come into the conse«leracy on to sending copies of the document to the Governors and the terms prescribed. The act contained no directions Legislatures of the several Siates.

as to the inanner in which such convention should be Mr. BENTON accepted the suggestion of the Senator called. A convention was ordered by the Legislature from North Carolina, and modified his motion according of Michigan; which met, and concluded to reject the ly, so that one thousand extra copies were ordered io conditions of admission, and communicated such dissent be printed for the use of the Senate.

to the President of the United States. On farther re.

flection, however, without any particular form of legig. ELECTION OF CHAPLAIN.

lation, ihe people themselves bad since spontaneously The Senale then proceeded to the election of a chap met in their primary assemblies, and called a second lain; when, the ballois being counted, it appeared that convention, by which body it had been agreed to accept The Rev. Mr. Goodman, having received 22 votes, was the conditions of the law, and thus to enter the confed. duly elected.

eracy. It was since ascertained that from 5,000 10 6,000 Several bills received from the House received their votes for this latter convention had been cast for the first and second reading, and were appropriately reser. sume members who had formerly decided to refuse the red; when

Terms of admission, and from 8,000 10 9,000 in favor of The Senale alljourned.

men of a different opinion. This, he believed, was

about as correct a statement of the facts of the case as THURSDAY, DECEMBER 29.

could be obtained by greater delay. The question was ADMISSION OF MICHIGAN.

certainly open as to the validity of the acts of this laller

convention, on which, no doubt, there would be a diMr. GRUNDY, from the Committee on the Judiciary, versity of opinion; but as to the facts there could be no reported a bill for the admission of the Stale of Michigan dispuie. It would appear, on examination, that although into the Union; which was, by consent, read twice. a majority of the people of Michigan had, at the date

Mr. GRUNDY moved that the bill now receive its of vie first convention, been opposed 10 accepting the third reading: it was but short; the facis of the case

terms of admission, yet, at the time the last was laeld, were well known; and if any Senator wished furiher an overflowing majority had been in favor of the measinformation, he stood ready to give it, so far as it was in ure. When these facts should be found and admilted to possession of the committee.

be as stated, Mr. G. should give bis views as to what Mr. EWING objected to the bill's receiving its third ought to be the consequence. But he was anxious that reading at this time. It was far too important in its the law should be passed in time for Michigan to get character to be hurried through the Senate in this man. her proportion of ihe public money. The Secretary ner, without time to look at or consider it.

could not make the distribution on the first of the Mr. CALHOUN joined in the objection. He had not, month, as all the returns would not then be in, but he he said, looked much at the question involved in the might probably be in circumstances to do so within ten bill, nor was he acquainted with the facts of the case; days thereafter. but, assuming them to be as had been stated in the Pres Mr. CALIIOUN said that no Senator was more anxious ideni's message, this was one of the very gravest ones that the new State of Michigan should be received in:o tions ever submitted to the Senate. It was certainly one the confederacy than himsel', or could be more willing which required to be maturely considered, and carefully that she should obtain her due proportion of the public weighed. He wished more time for reflection: first, that money placed in deposite with ihe several States. He he might more accurately ascertain what the facts were; desired to interpose no unnecessary delay, and would and, secondly, that he might weigh them in his mind vary his motion so as to propose that this bill be made with the care they demanded. He presumed others the order for Tuesday next. (Monday, he presumed, were of like mind; and, with a view to ascertain the would scarcely be a business day, and many of the mem. wishes of the Senate, be would move that the further bers might be absent.) According, however, to the consideration of the bill be postponed, and that it be statement given by the gentleman himself, there was at ade the order of the day for that day week.

thie bottom of this subject one of the gravest, the very Mr. GRUNDY did not object to allowing gentlemen a gravest, qılestions which could be agitated; so grave, inreasonable time, but thought the day named too distant. deed, that important as he conceived the deposite act to There was one good reason why the bill should receive be, he could almost prefer that their respective propor. an earlier consideration: the distribution of the deposites tions of the surplus fund should be withheld from all the was to take place soon after the 1st day of January next, States, than that a bill like this should rashly be passed. and it was desirable, if the bill was to pass at all, that it He wished, he repeated it, more time for reflection. passed early enough to admit the State of Michigan to Mr. MORRIS said that although he was one of the receive, with her sisters of the confederacy, her due committee who had reported the bill, yet he did not proportion of the public moneys; but if lhe whole sub. concur in the preamble as reported. lle did not, indeed, ject was put off, as had been moved, the passage of ihe doubt that Michigan ought to be admitted into the bill miglii he so far delayed as to render this impossible. Union, and should rejoice at her admission. But, as the This, surely, was a strong argument for as early an alten. chairman had correcily stated the act of Congress, protion to the subject as possible. As to the facts of the viding for her admission, made it conditional, and recase, they were detailed in the President's message, and quired her previous assent to the condition, that assent in the documents which had been reported with the was to be made known to the President of the United bill: he was fully aware that they presented a case, in States. Now, the assent of the people of Michigan had regard to which the judgments of gentlemen might not yet reached the President at ine dale of his last com. widely d ffer; but the facts themselves were few, and munication, and therefore Congress did not officially miglit soon be told. In June last, Congress had passed know the fact. The first question was, whether the a bill declaring that, on certain conditions therein set Senate was competent to declare the act of the last conforili, the new State of Michigan should be received vention a valid act. The law required that a convention into the Union: one of which was, that certain boundary should be called for the express object of expressing lines should be assigned to the Siale; and another, that a assent or dissent to the conditions of reception. Now,

Dec. 29, 1836.]

Admission of Michigan.

(SENATE.

the Senate had learned from the President's message was whether such convention had decided to accept the that the people of Michigan had assembled in a conven conditions of admission which Congress had (very prop. tion called hy their own Legislature, and had declared | erly, in bis judgment) required. He believed it had: and their dissent, and had communicated such dissent to the the case was therefore very plain. He understood there President. But, after this solemn act by a convention le had been more voles, by 2,000 on both sides, given in gally called, it seemed that there had another convention this lailer than in the first convention; and no matter been gotten up without any authority of law, and on the how many unsuccessful attempts had previously been acts of this body the present bill was foundel. It involved made, if their consent had at last been given, there was an questions of the highest magnitude. Mr. M. went on to end of the matter; they were clearly entitled to admission. express his opinion that the doings of the latter conven. le should not enter on the argument, but merely threw tion could be no guide for the legislation of Congress, out his opinion, which he should be ready, at the proper who ought to act just as if no such body had ever met. time, to enforce with what little power he miglit com. lle was of opinion that the third section of the admission mand. law, which required the previous assent of the people of Mr. EWING concurred with his colleague (Mr. MORMichigan to conditions presented by Congress, was an nis) in ihe opinion that the last convention held in Michiimposition upon that people; but the correct mode

gan was altogether illegal and unauthorized.

He saw would now be to repeal that act, and to receive the in it nothing which was entitled to be called a convenSlate at once. The whole law had proceeded on the tion of the people. He was also opposed to the prehypothesis that there was an unsettled boundary line be, amble of the bill. He had not examined the bill i:self, tween Michigan and the State south of her; but, as one and could not say what might be his opinion of it, should of the Senators of that State, he considere-l the question the preamble be stricken out; but how much soever it of boundary as fully settled. He was willing to admit might operate as an estoppel to the new Stare of MichiMichigan, but not on grounds which were unfounded in gan from ever hereafter mooting again the vexed quesfact. He gave notice that he should, when the bill tion of her boundary line, he was not in favor of having came up for consideration, move to strike out the pre that estoppel effected by what he considered a mere amble; it was intended as a key to the bill; but it was fiction. (Mr. E. quoted the admission act, to show the calculated rather to mislead than to guide to the true conditions of admission.] Now, did any one suppose principle on which the bill was founded. It was pos- that it was a fulfilment of this condition for the people sible that, on further reflection, he might change his to rise up in their primary assemblies, without legal ore mind; but such were his present impressions.

ganization or civil authority, and declare their assent to Mr. GRUNDY said that the committee, when draught. the conditions of admission? Was society thus to be reing the bill, had also taken under consideration ihal duced to its elements, and was it to act without social orview of the subject presented by the Senator from Ohio; ganization? The act of Congress had recognised no and if, on Monday, the Senate should concór in that sich principle; it had recognised the principle of social view, no regard would be had in the bill to the late con. organization; and to hold the validity of the acts of such vention accepting the terms of admission, and thus the an assemblage as had come together under the name of object of admission would be attained. But it was on a cunvention of the people, was, in his judgment, so this ground that Mr. G. preferred the preamble: that strange as to amount almost to an absurdity. Interested Michigan could then never claim, as a State, what Con. or not, he thought, in all fairness, the estoppel effected gress had thus decided against. And, asthere was an in- by such an act of assent ought not to be accepted and veterate controversy between Michigan and Ohio, he held binding. It was based upon an act that was wholly thought it the better way to bind Michigan, so that un void. It was said, indeed, that a majority of the peuder po pretext could she set up a claim to a section of ple hail voted; but where was the evidence of any reg. country belonging to Ohio. If the preamble should be ular social organization in the convention? What guar. stricken out, the subject would be more open to con antee did Congress possess that it had been convened ac. troversy than if it should be retained. Mr. G. believed cording to the forms of the constitution? Who voted! that, by the preamble, Michigan would be estopped from who notified the people at large of the time and place coming forward and claiming any thing. It was merely of meeting! Did the people all consent to such time on this ground that he was in favor of retaining the pre- and such place! It was, at least, not probable they did. amble. But, to obviate objections, he was willing that the people of this country were in the habit of looking the bill should be postponed, and made the order of the to some regular and recognised authority in all their day for Monday next.

proceedings. A, B, and C, in a particular county, de. Mr. BUCHANAN said he was aware that the present claring that they would meet to consider this public was not the proper occasion to discuss the merits of the question, did not lay the basis of a convention. How bill which had been reported: nor did he purpose to en.

bad the election of members of the convention been con. ter on its discussion; but, as other gentlemen bad briefly ducied? Who had been the judges of election had stated their opinions on the subject, he would in like they been sworn? if so, their oath must have been ex. manner state what was his own view of the matter. He trajudicial. And who had been permitted to vote? It did not consider the subject of the bill as pecularly had been said there were two thousand more voles grave or difficult, save as it was always a grave question given on either side than in the first convention. That whether a new Stale should be received into the Union. that number of votes had been counted he did not The language of the admission act, which had passed last doubt; but where was the evidence that they had been year, was very plain to him, so much so, indeed, that he had given? No warrant, or qualification of voters, had been expected the President would have issued his proclama. alluded to. Mr. E. bad no objection to the admission tion at once, without referring the question to Congress of Michigan, but let it be done regularly, and in a propfor decision. Mr. B. here quoted the act, and observed er manner; and let nothing like trick be practised upon that it contained no provision requiring any legislative the people of the new Slate, by an estoppel improperly action on the part of Michigan, to authorize a convention obtained against their claims. of the people. It would have been improper that it Bir. MORRIS said he was very thankful for informashould. lle insisted it was perfectly competent for the tion that would show the ground on which the parties people of that Territory to hold a convention spontane- stood in the discussion. He understood the gentleman ously, without any application to the Legislature about [Mr. BuchasAN] thus: that all which was required of the the matter; and if they had done so, the only question people of Michigan was that they should choose a conven

SENATE.)

Treasury Circular.

(Dec. 29, 1836.

It was

tion, and that such convention should assent to the act acted in a regular manner, and had actually concurred of admission. The gentleman even went further; if one in the conditions of ad mission. But, when this was proconvention had failed, the people might choose another, ved, it was no longer a matter of favor to receive the and so go on ad infinitum. This doctrine (Mr. M. new State. It was her right to come in. He should thought) went directly to dissolve the whole elements not go into the argument at this time; when the bill of society, and to destroy all the obligations of law. It came up, he should be happy to meet the two Senators amounied to this: that is an act of Congress should be from Obio in its discussion. passed for the punishment of an offence, which act re. Mr. BENTON said it was impossible that any question quired a judicial investigation, the people might, not could arise about the admission, on which every gentlewithstanding, rise in an original assembly, and them man had not already made up his mind. The subject selves inflict the punishment.

had already been four or five years before Congress. Again: if Michigan had adopted a constitution, it was Mr. B. insisted that the question was a mere question of bound to abide by that constitution. But this proposed right-a right which existed four years ago, but which act of Congress would give the people of Michigan the had been met at the threshold, and fought inch by inch, power to amend and add to that constitution. Mr. M. till, at the last session of Congress, the friends of the ihought that doctrines of this kind ought not to be tol. admission had determined 10 sit it out. The admission erated. And if such an original convention was proper, liad been resisted in a manner unknown to the history of how was it to be created? Was one county to notify the country. And now it was to be put off till Monday, another, or one individual another? or bow was it to be when the Senate had rather occasion to sit at night in done? If the people of Michigan might act in this irreg- these short days; and the nights would be necessary for ular way, then so might the people of any of the States, the discussion of this question. If all the questions and all government and law would be thus already dis- brought forward should be discussed, they must begin solved into their original elements, and the whole fabric with Adam, who had but one woman to govern, and of our institutions would be reduced to a shadow. And enter into the history of original conventions. There the fault would not be so much in the people of Michigan was no necessity of postponing till Monday. All the time as in this proposed act of Congress. Mr. M. thought would be little enough for them to get rid of what was pent mucb mischief would follow the passage of the bill with up within them almost to bursting on this subject. But such a preamble. It would be establishing by Congress if postponed, then, when Monday should come, Mr. B. the doctrine that we are not to be governed by law, but would come and sit down in his chair, and would camp by popular frenzy. When the Legislature of Michigan on this ground till Michigan should be admitled. passed the law authorizing a convention, was there any The discussion ended by making the bill the order of objection made to that law? But why pass the law, if the day for Monday next. the people might rise in an original convention? such a convention ibat at least accepted the terms of ad.

THE TREASURY CIRCULAR. mission-a convention which, as the President bad in. The Senate proceeded to the further consideration of formed us, was got up without law; and the President the joint resolution rescinding the Treasury order of July had therefore not issued his proclamation of admission. 11, 1836, &c.—the question being on the substitute It seemed to Mr. M. that all this was a wide departure offered by Mr. Rives, aiming, indirectly, at the suppresfrom the constitution and laws of the country; and he sion of the small bills of the State banks. should, therefore, at the proper time, move to strike out Mr. MORRIS having waived his right to the floor, the preamble.

Mr. SOUTHARD addressed the Senate as follows: Mr. BUCHANAN regretted that, in expressing a mere The resolution of the Senator from Ohio (Mr. Ewing] general opinion, he had unintentionally given rise to the now submitted to our consideration, proposes two thingspresent discussion. The Senator from Ohio, who had To rescind the Treasury order of i1th July last, and just taken his seat, had stated the ground he had taken to prevent the Secretary of the Treasury from delegating in such strong terms, that Mr. B. supposed ihat if an to others the power of directing what funds shall be re. angel from heaven should attempt to convince him of ceived for the customs and public lands, and from mathe contrary, he would Jabor in vain. That honorable king any discrimination in the funds which shall be reSenator bad discovered that he (Mr. B.') was a great lati- ceivel, either as to the persons who bave to pay, or the tudinarian; and that, if the principles he had sated should objects for which the payments shall be made. once be admitted, every thing would run to confusion. The amendment of the Senator from Virginia does not The people, it seemed, would rise, and not only legislate rescind the order, but, regarding it as legxi and tempo. for themselves, but execute justice also!-(he presumed rary, prescribes that, hereafier, dues to the Government by Lynch law.) But he denied the justice of any such shall be paid in specie or notes of specie.paying banks, inferences from his doctrine. By what authority had the provided the banks whose notes shall be received shall first convention been held? Not from any power given not issue those of less denomination than $5 now; less by the act of Congress to the Legislature of Michigan to than $10 after 1st July, 1839; and less than $20 after 1st pass a law calling a convention. Why, then, had such July, 1841; and also that no notes shall be received which an act been passed? Clearly from the necessity of the the deposite banks shall not be willing to credit to the

Michigan had been acting as a sovereign Stale, Government as cash. and Congress bad been treating with her touching her The resolution satisfies itself with leaving the law on admission into the Union. It had been very proper in the subject as it was before the interference of the Pres. the Legislature to pass such a law; but the convention ident and Secretary in July. assembled under it had proved ineffectual. Congress The amendmeni provides by joint resolution for the had acted wisely in not requiring any act of the Legisla manner of payment and kinds of money which shall be ture to give validity to the convention. The sovereign received, and leaves the selection of the notes which people of the State of Michigan had a right to do, in this shall be received neither to the Secretary, nor to the matter, just what they should please to do.

And even

President, nor to Congress, but to the deposite banks. had the Legislature refused to pass a law calling a con A strange surrender of power to themma fealure of a vention, the people would still have possessed the right financial system to which it is impossible to agree. to meet in their primary assemblies, and make their The decision must be made by the Senate between wislies known to the Legislature. He admitted that the two propositions. I cannot hesitate in adopting the Congress should first be satisfied that the convention had | resolution and rejecting the amendment.

case.

Dec. 29, 1836.]

Treasury Circular.

(SENATE

The resolution leaves the law as it was. By that law jects which may be accomplished by a five months' opevery citizen had a right to pay in the same kind of mo eration of a Treasury order? Certainly there is nothing ney; either in specie or in notes convertible into specie in this detail of reasons which can induce the belief that on demand. All were on an equality in this respect, in the President and Secretary intended only a transient every part of the Union. This was just in itself, and effect from their action. suited to the fundamental principle of our institutions Nor is it defended on this floor as a temporary arrangeequality of rights and privileges.

ment. The Senator from Missouri (Mr. BENTON) and The resolution rests on the assumption that this state others do not so defend it. They attempt to show that of things ought not to be changed, or, if it ought, that it ought to be the settled and permanent policy of the the Executive has n legal right to change without country. And, in this respect, they concur with the the direction of Congress; that the Secretary, with or President and Secretary; while the Senator from Virwithout the orders of the President, bas no power of leginia, unwilling to disapprove their act, seems to desire to gislation in regard to the currency and the public lands; correct their error, by expressing a legislative opinion in nor any authority to discriminate in favor of one citizen favor of a different course for the future. over another, or of the inhabitants of one State over an. The Secreta'y, under his seventh head, “Of the mint other. These principles receive my concurrence; and and the currency,”(page 21,) says: The other objects of I am, therefore, in favor of the resolution.

that circular “were gradually to bring back the pracI propose to inquire

tice, in those payments, to what was deemed to be the What the order of 11th July prescribes?

true spirit as well as letter of our existing laws, and to What were the reasons and objects which induced its what ihe safety of the public money in the deposite promulgation?

banks, and the desirable improvement of our currenie What the effects which it bas produced?

cy, seemed at that time to unite in rendering judicious." And what authority the Secretary had to issue it! He regards it as a matter of currency and safety of the

The order relates solely to the receipts on the sales of public inoney; a matter, in its very nature, of permanent the public lands, and does not affect the receipts for the regulation. customs or any other dues to the Government, and thus The President, in his annual message, after an examimakes a distinction between them and all other sources nation of the deposite or distribution law, calls our at. of reyenne. It prohibits the receivers and deposite banks tention to "the currency of the country”-a “subject from receiving, after the 15th of August last, any thing intimately associated with” that law; and he treats of this but gold and silver, and, in certain cases, the Virginia order as a part of the regulation of the currency of the scrip, for the lands, and forbids their taking any note of country; an*, to show that he does not intend any reany bank anywhere, or any certificate of actual depos. peal or alteration of it, he adds: “It remains for Con. ile, even of specie, in the deposite or other banks, un gress, if they approve the policy which dictated this less it be a certificate of deposite of specie given by the order, to follow it up in its various bearings." lle looks Treasurer of ihe United States.

to no repeal of it. “It remains for Congress.” lle It makes an exception in favor of the citizens of the kindly permits us to follow it up, and to do ubat he has Slate in which the land sold may bappen to lie, and in left for us—10t to repeal and rescind it, but to strengthen favor of those who are called “ actual settlers," and au and i.vigorate it. And, unless he bas an opinion for Con. thorizes them, until the 15th of December, to pay in the gress and another for his friends--an opinion official and an ordinary currency-in specie or in bank notes.

opinion private-he cannot willingly see any effort, such Such are its plain and obvious provisions; and they as the amendment proposed, to evade, weaken, or deare intended to be permanent, so far, at least, as the Ex. stroy it; although he may, as in the case of the deposite ecutive has authority and power to enforce them. bill, give it his " reluctant approval," when he cannot

The Senator from Virginia, in offering his amendment, avoid it. Left to his own cboice, he would most proba. seemed to regard the order as a temporary arrange bly exiend it to the customs, and to all the revenues of ment-as having worked its intended effects; and that it the country; and if no conflicting opinion shall be prowas now proper to legislate on the subject without ref. nounced by Congress, I shall not be surprised if this exerence to it. Olber Senators have taken the same view. tension take place.

I fear that they will not be able to escape a direct ex. Mr. President, I ask how this order has, as yet, propression of opinion, by this suggestion. We cannot duced all its intended effect, and why we should regard avoid seeing that it is, in its phraseology, its avowed obe it as temporary? The reasons and objects avowed in the jects, and the grounds on which it is defended here, a per. / public documents have not been accomplished. Were manent measure, although it may bave had some tempo. there others which have not been avowed? Is it true, rary objects. There is nothing on i's face which looks as has been sometimes charged, but of which I know like a temporary act. The favor extended to particular nothing, that a prevailing motive was to favor personal classes of buyers was to last only to the 15th of Decem- friends, and 10 defeat, as far as practicable, the full ef ber. That day is passed, and now it is the universal fect of the deposite law? It has been said that there hud rule-operating on all the sales of public lands- with no been immense speculations in lands by those near the allusion to any time when that rule shall be changed. Executive; and ibat the tempo:ary obstruction to public

The objects avowed as those which are to be attained sales was useful, in enabling ibem to make pr.fitable disby it also show that it is not temporary. They are “ To positions of what they had acquired, and extricate them. repress frauds, speculations, and monopolies.” And elves from embarrassment. This effect may have been will not attempts at these continue to exist, to a greater | produced. or less extent, while the public lands shall continue to A much more important public object has also been be sold? To strengthen ihe deposite banks, and pre- chargedmibe reduction of the amount which was to be vent too great an amount of bank notes from coming into distributed among the States under the deposite law; them. And will not buyers continne to buy and pay in and this has certainly been effected. A Senator bas told bank notes as long as things are left to take their natu us that the order prevented " myriads of paper money ral course? “ Todiscourage the ruinous extension of rank from flowing into the deposite barks in llie West, issues"_"the general evil influence likely to result to the Then, sir, it prevented "nyriads of money" from being public interests, and, especially, the safety of the great

added tuile ainount which was to be distributed. I can amount of money in the Treasury and the sound condi readily believe that this was one of the motives which tion of the currency of the country.” And are these vb. | infuenced the Executive in issuing that order. We all

« AnteriorContinuar »