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(Dec. 21, 1836.
what the legal provision is. On the 30th of April, 1816, modes, or media, of payment; that the Secretary is !o a resolution pissed both Houses of Congress. It was in collect the revenue in one, or several, or all these four the common form of a joint resolution, and was approved modes, or media, at his discretion; that all are in the dig. by the President; and no one doubts, I suppose, that, for junctive, as I think he expressed i!; and that the resolu. the purpose intended by it, it was as authentic and valid tion or law is not mandatory or conclusive in favor of as a law in any other form. It provides that, “ from and any one. According to the honorable member, there. after the 20th day of February next, (1817,) no duties, fore, if the Secretary had chosen to say that our own taxes, debts, or sums of money, accruing or becoming eagles and our own dolixrs should no longer be receiva. payable to the United States, ought to be collected or ble, whether for customs, taxes, or public lands, he had received otherwise than in the legal currency of the Uni. a clear right to say so, and to stop their reception. ted States, or Treasury notes, or notes of the Bank of Before a construction of so extraordinary a character the United States, or in notes of banks which are paya. be fixed on the law of 1816, something like the appear. ble in specie on demand, in the said legal currency of ance of argument, I think, might be expected in its fa. the United States.''
But what is there upon which to found such an This joint resolution authoritatively fixed the rights of implied power in the Secretary of the Treasury? Is parties paying, and the duties of officers receiving. So there a syllable in the whole law which countenances any far as respects the notes of the Bank of the United States, such idea for a single moment? There clearly is not. it was allered by a law of the last session; but, in all The las was intended to provide, and does provide, in other particulars, it is, as I suppose, in full force at the what sorts of money or other means of payment those present moment; and as it expressly authorizes the re. who owe debts to the Government shall pay those debis. ceipt of such bank notes as are payable and paid on de It enumerates four kinds of money or other means of mand, I cannot understand how the receipt of such notes payment; and can any thing be plainer than that he who is a matter of "indulgence." We may as well say that has to pay may have his choice out of all four? All be. to be allowed to pay in Treasury notes, or in foreign ing equally lawful, the choice is with the payer, and not coins, or, indeed, in our own gold and silver, is an indul with the receiver. This would seem to be tou plain gence, since the act places all on the same ground. either to be argued or to be denied. Other laws of the
The honorable member from Misseri has, indeel, United States have made both gld and silver coins a bimself furnished a complete answer to the Secretary's tender in the payment of private debts. Did any man idez; that is to say, he defends the order on grounds not erer imagine that in that case the choice between the only differing from, but lotally inconsistent with, those coins to be tendered was to lie with the party receiving? assumed by the Secretary. He does not consider the re No one could ever be guilty of such an absurdity. Ard ceipt of bank notes hitherto, or up !o the time of issuing unless there be something in the law of 1816 itself, which the order, as an indulgence, but as a lawful right while either expressly, or by reasonable inference, confers a it lasted.' How he proves this right to be now termina similar power on the Secretary of the Treasury in regard ted, and terminated by force of the order, I shall consid- to public payments, is there, in the nature of things, any er presently. I only say now, that his argument entirely difference belween the cascs? Now, there is nothing, reprives the Secretary of the only ground assigned by either in the law of 1816, or any other law, which con. him for the Treasury order.
fers any such power on the Secretary of the Treasury, The Secretary directs the receivers “10 receive in either directly or indirectly, or which sugges!s, or inti. payment of the public lands nothing except what is die males, any ground upon which such power miglit be im. rected by the existing laws, viz: gold and silver, anıl, in plied. Indeed, the statement of the argument seems to the proper cases, Virginia land scrip." Gold and silver, me enough to confute it. It makes the law of 1816 not ther, and, in the proper cases, Virginia land scrip, are, a rule, but the dissolution of all rule; not a law, but the in the opinion of the Secretary, all that is directed to be abrogation of all existing laws. According to the argu. received by the existing laws. The receipt of bank ment, the Secretary of the Treasury had authority, not notes he considers, therefore, but an indulgence, a thing only to refuse the receipt of the Treasury notes, which Against law, to be tolerated a litile longer, as to some had been issued apon the faith of statutes expressly cases, and then to be finally suppressed.
making them receivable for debis and duties, and notes Apparently not at all satisfied with this view of the of the Bank of the United States, which were also made Sucretary, of the ground upon which liis own order must receivable by the law creating the bank, but to refuse stand, the member from Missouri not only abandons it also foreign coins, and the coinage of our own mint; put. altogether, but sets up another, wholly inconsistent with ting thus the legislation of Congress for five-and-twenty it. 'He admits the legality of payment in such bank years at the unrestrained and absolute discretion of the rotes up to the date of the order itself, but insists that Secretary of the Treasury. It appears to me quite im. the Secretary of the Treasury haci a right of selection, possible that any gentleman, on reflection, can underand a right of rejection also; and that, although the va. take to support such a construction. rious modes of payment provided by the resolution of But the gentleman relies on a supposed practice, to 1816 were all good and lawful, till the Secretary should maintain bis interpretation of the law. What practice! make some of them otherwise, yet that, by virtue of his llas any Secretary ever refused to receive the notes of power of selection or rejection, he might at any time specie.paying banks, either at the custom-house or the strike one or more of them out of the list. And this land offices, for a single hour! Never. Has any Sec. power of selection or rejection he thinks he finds in the retury presumed to strike foreign coin, or Treasury resolution of 1816 itself.
notes, or our own coin, out of the list of receivables? I incline to think, ir, that the Secretary will be as lit. Such an idea certainly never entered into the head of tie satisfied with the footing on which his friend, the any Secretary. The gentleman argues thal the Tre15. honorable member from Missouri, thus places bis order, ury has made discriminations; but what discriminations? as that friend is with the Secretary's own ground. For I suppose the whole truth to be simply this: that, adimit. iny part, I th'nk t'iem both just half right; that is to ting at all times the right of the party paying to pay in say, both, in my humble judgment, are just so far right notes of specie.paying banks, the collectors and receivas they distrust and disclaim the reasoning of each other. ers have not been beld bound to receive notes of dis. Let me state, si", as I urderstand it, the honorable mem tant banks of which they knew nothing, and could not ber's argument. It is that the law of 1816 gives the judge, ibercfore, whether their notes came within the Secretary a selection; that is provides four different kw. Those collectors and receivers were bound to re
Dec. 21, 1836.)
ceive the bills of specie.paying banks; but, as that duty I am, therefore, of opinion that the Treasury order of arose from the fact that the notes tendered were the the 11th of July is against the plain words and meaning notes of specie-paying banks, that fact, if not notorious of the law of 1816; against the whole practice of the or already known to them, must be made known, with Government under that law; against the honorable genreasonable certainly, before the duty to receive them tleman's own opinion, as expressed in his resolution of became imperative. I suppose there may have been the 23d of April; and not reconcileable with the necesTreasury orders, regulating the conduct of collectors / sity which was supposed to exist for the passage of the and receivers in this particular. Any orders which act of last session. went further than this would go beyond the law.
On this occasion, I have heard of no attempt to justify The honorable member quotes one of the by-laws of the order on the ground of any other law or act but the the late Bank of the United States; but what has that to act of 1816. When the order was published, however, do with the subject? Does ibe honorable member think it was accompanied with an exposition, apparently halfthat the by-laws of the late bank were laws to the peo- official, which looked to the landi laws as the Secretary's ple of the United States! The bank was under no ob. source of power, and which took no notice at all of the ligation to receive any notes on deposite except its own. law of 1816. The land law re!erred to was the act of It might, therefore, make just such an arrangement 1820; but it turns out, upon examination, that there is with the Treasury as it saw fit, if it saw fit to make any nothing at all in that law to support the order, or give it But neither the Treasury, nor the bank, nor both to. any countenance whatever. The only clause in it which gether, could do away with the written letter of an act could be supposed to have the slightest reference to the of Congress; nor did either undertake so to do.
subject is in the proviso in the 4th section. That secBut, sir, what have been the gentleman's own opinions tion provides for the sale of such lands as, having been on this subject heretofore? Has lie always been of opin. once sold on credit, should revert or become forfeited to ion that the Secretary enjoyed this power of selection, the United States through failure of payment; and the as he now calls it, under ihe law of 1816? Has he here- / proviso declares that no such lands shall be again sold on tofore looked upon the various provisions of that law any other terms than those of "cash payment." These only as so many moveable and shifting par!s, to be words, “cash payment,” have been seized upon, as if thrown into gear and out of gear by the mere touch of they had wrought an entire change in the important prothe Secretary's land? Certainly, sir, he has not thought visions of the law of 1816, and already established an so; certainly he bias looked upon that law as fixed, defi. exclusive specie payment for lands. The idea is too nite, and beyond executive power, as clearly as other futile for serious refutation. In the first place, the whole laws; as a statute, to be repealed or modified only by section applies only to forfeited lands; but the truth is, another statute. No lunger ago than the 23d day of the term "cash payment” means only payment down, in last April, the honorable member introduced a resolu. | contradistinction to credit, which had formerly been altion into the Senate, in the following words:
lowed; just as the words in the tariff act of July, 1832, " Resolved, That, from and after the - day of
mean payment down, instead of payment secured by in the year 1836, nothing but goll and silver coin ought bonds, when it says that the duties on certain articles to be received in payment for public lands; and that ihe shall be paid in "cash.” Committee on Public Lands be instructed to report a As to the second section of the land law of 1820, bill accordingly."
which was set forth with great formality in the exposiAnd now, sir, I ask why the honorable member moved tion to which I have referred, as furnishing authority for here for a bill and a law, if the whole matter was, in the Secretary's order, there is not a word in it having his opinion, within the power of the Secretary of the any such tendency; not a syllable which bas any appliTreasury?
cation to the matter. "That section simply declares that, The Senate did not adopt this resolution. A day or after the first day of July in that year, every purchaser two after its introduction, and when some little discus. of land at public sale shall, on the day of purchase, make sion had been bad upon it, a motion to lay it on the table a complele payment therefor; and the purchaser at priprevailed, bardly opposed, I think, except by the gen. vate sile shall produce a receipt for the amount of the ileman's own voie. A few weeks after this disposition purchase-money on any tract, before he shall enter the had been made of this resolution, the session came to a same at the land office. This is all. It does not say how close, and, seven days after the close of the session, the the purchaser shall make complete payment, nor in what Treasury order made its appearance.
currency the purchase-money shall be received. It is But this is not all. There is higher authority than quite evident, iherefore, that ibat section lends the order even that of the honorable member. Looking to the no support whatever. expiration of the charter of the Bank of the United The defence of the order, thien, stands thus: The States, the President, in his annual message in December Secretary founds it upon the idea ibat nothing but gold last, said it was incumbent on Congress to discontinue, and silver was ever lawfully receivable, and that the reby law, the receipt of the bills of ihat bank in payment ceipt of bank bills has been all along an “indulgence" of the public revenue. Now, as the charler was to ex against law. For this opinion he gives no reasons. pire on the 3d of March, there was nothing to make its The honorable member from Missouri rejects this bills receivable after that period, except the law of doctrine; he admits the receipt of bar:k notes to bave 1816. To strike the provisions respecting notes of the been lawful until made unlawful by the order itself; and bank out of that law, another law was indeed necessary, insists that the Secretary's power of stopping their fur. according to my understanding; but I do not conceive ther receipt arises under the law of 1816, and is an how it should be thouglit necessary, upon the construc. authority derived from it. But, then, the long and halftion of the honorable member. Both Houses being of official exposition which accompanied the publication of opinion, however, that the thing could not be done the order has no faith in the law of 1816 as a source of without law, an act was passed for that purpose, and power, but makes a parade of a totally and perfectly inje was approved by the President. Here, then, sir, is be applicable section, out of the land law of 1820. Grounds gentleman's own authority, the authority of the Presi. of defence so totally inconsistent cannot all be sound, but dent, and the authority of both Houses of Congress, for they may be all unsound; and whether they be so or saying that nothing contained in the law of 1816 can be no:, is a question which I would willingly leave to the thrust vut of it by any other power than the power of a decision of any man of good ense and honest judgment. subsequent stalute.
I take leave of this part of the case for the present. I Vol. XIII. -7
(Dec. 21, 1836.
may pause at least, I hope, until those who defend the whole circulation is, in effect, equivalent to a specie cir. order shall be better agreeil on what ground to place it. culation; and the state of the foreign exchanges shows
Mr. President, the subject of the currency is so im that the value of our money, in the mass, is not depreci. portant, so delicale, and, in my judgment, surrounded, ated, since it may be transferred without any loss into at the present moment, with so much both of dilliculty the currency of other countries. Our money, therefore, and of danger, that I am desirous, before making the is as good as the money of other countries. If it had few observations which I intend on the existing condition fallen below the value of noney abroad, the rates of exof things and its causes, to avoid all misapprehension, change would instantly show that fact. There has been, by a general sta:ement of my opinions respecting that therefore, as yet, or at least there exists at present, no subject.
considerable depreciation of money. If, then, it be ask. I am certainly of opinion, then, that gold and silver, ed, what keeps up the value of money in this vast and at rates fixed by Congress, constitute the legal standard sudden expansion and increase of it, I have already giv. of value in this country; and that neither Congress nor en the answer which appears to me to be the true one. any State has authority to es'ablish any other standard, It is kept up by an equally vast and sudilen increase in or to displace this. But I am also of opinion that an the property of the country, and in the value of that exclusive circulation of gold and silver is a thing abso property, intrinsic as well as marketable.
Noge of us, lutely impracticable; and, if practicable, not at all to be i think, have estimated this increase bigh enough, and desired; inasmuch as its effect would be to abolish cred for that reason we have all been looking for an earlier it, to repress the enterprise, and diminish the carnings fall in prices, It seems obvious to me that an augmeniof the industrious classes; and to produce, faster and ation in the value of property, far exceeding all former sooner than any thing else in this country can produce, a experience in any country, even our own, has taken moneyed aristocracy.
place in the United Staies within the last few years. I am of opinion that a mixed currency, partly coin and The public lands may furnish one ins'ance of this rapid partly bank notes, the notes not issued in excess, and al. increase. It was estimated last session, by my honorabie ways convertible into specie at the will of the holder, is, friend from Ohio, (Mr. Ewing,] that the demands of acin the present state of society, the best practical curren tual settlers for land for settleinent were eight millions cy-always remembering, however, that bills of ex. of acres per annum, on an average of some years. These change perform a great part of the duty of currency, eight millions, if taken up at the Government prices at and, therefore, that the state of domestic exchanges is private entry, would cost $10,000,000. Now, partly by always a matter of high importance and great actual cultivation, but more by the continued rush of emigrabearing on commercial business.
tion, both from Europe and the Atlantic cousi, the value I admit that a currency partly composed of bank notes of these ten millions in a very few years springs up to has always a liability, and often a tendency, to excess; forty millions; that is to say, lan is taken up at one dol. and that it requires the constant care and oversight of lar and a quarter an acre, soon become worth five dolGovernment.
lars an acre for aciual cultivation, and in intrinsic value. I am of opinion, even, that the convertibility of bank And it is to be remembered that these lands are aliena. notes into gold and silver, alıbough it be a necessary ble and saleable, wi'l as little of sorm and ceremony, al. guard, is not an absolute security against occasional ex most, as if they were goods and chattels. Now, if we cess of paper issues.
make an estimate, not merely on the eight millions of I believe, even, that the confining of discounts to such acres required for actual settlement, but on the whole notes and bills as represent real transactions of purchase quantity selected and tóken up annually, we shall see and sale, or to real business paper, as it is called, though something of the addition to the whole amount of propergenerally a sufficient check, is not always so; because I ty which accrues annually from the public lands. A believe there is sometimes such a thing as over-trading rise has taken place, 100, though less striking, in the or over-production.
Value of other lands in the country; and property, in What, then, it will be asked, is a suflicient clieck? I goods, merchandise, products, and other forms, is rapid. can only repeat what I have before sais), that it is a sub- ly augmented, also, bith in quantity and value, by the ject which requires the constant carr, watchfulness, and industry and skill the people, and the extension and superintendence of Government. But our misfortune most successful use of machinery. is, that we have withdrawn all care and all superintend. Another most important element in the general estience from the whole subject. We have surrendered mate of the progress of wealth in the country, is the the whole matter to eight-and-twenty States and Terri wonderful annual increase of the collon crops, and the tories. With the power of coinage and the power and prices which the article bears. Last year's crop reach. duty of regulating commerce, botii esternal and internal, ed, probably, to eighty millions of dollars. Now, most. this Government has little more control over the mass of of the cotion produced in the United States is sold, once, money which circulates in the country, than a foreign at least, in the country, and much of it many times. Government. Upon the expiration of the charter of the The bills drawn againsi it when shippeil, either for Bu. Bank of ihe United States, new banks were created by pope or the Allantic ports, are usually caslied at the the States. Sixty or eighty millions of banking capital place of drawing, commonly, no doubt, by means of have thus been added to the mass since 1832. All this bank notes or bank crediis. it was easy to foresce: it was all foreseen, and all fo etold. I put all these cases but as instances showing the inThe wonder only is, that the evil has not already tecome creased vialue of property and amount of business in the greater than it is; and it would have been greater, and country, and accounling, therefore, for an expansion of we should have had such an excesy as would perhaps the circulation, without supposing great excess; since it bave depreciated the currency, had it not been for the is obvious that the circulating money of a country natuextraordinary prosperity of the country. No very great rally beats a proportion to the whole mass of properly, excess, I believe, has as yet in fact happened, or rather and to the number and amount of business transactions. no very great excess does now exist. There are sufli. But there is another case of a less favorable charac. cient evidences, I think, of this.
ter, which may bare had its effect already; or if not, is In the first place, the amount of specie in the counlry very likely to have it hereafter, in augmenting the cir. is far greater than was ever known before, and it is not cuation of bank notes: I mean the obstruction and emexported. In the next place, as all the banks as yet barrassment of the domestic exchanges. In a proper maintain their credit, and all pay specie on demand, the and natural stule of affairs, the place of currency, or
Dec. 21, 1836 ]
money, is filled to a great extent by bills of exchange; backward and forward, becomes the order of the day; and this continues to be the case, so long as the rates of and there are those who, the more they hear of specie exchange remain low and steady. Nohody, for example, hauled and transported about from place to place, in will send bank notes or specie from New York to New masses, the more they flatter themselves with the idea Orleans, if he can buy a good bill at par, or near par. that the country is returning rapidly to a safe and happy
But when exchange becomes disturbed, when rates specie circulation! rise and fluctuate, bills cease to be able to perform this There may be other minor causes. They are not function, and then bank notes begin to be sent about worth enumerating. The great and immediate origin of from place to place, in quantities to supply the place of evil is disturbance in the exchange; and, in my opinion bills of exchange, in payment of debts and balances. this disturbance has been caused by the agency of the All such, and all other derangements and distractions Government itself. The fifty millions in the Treasury in the free course of domestic exchanges, necessarily pro have been agitated by unnecessary transfers. As & duce an unnatural and considerable increase of the cir large portion of this sum was to be deposited with the culation. So far as our circulation has been or may be States at the beginning of next year, the Secretary seems augmented by this cause, so far both the cause and the to have thought it necessary to cut up, divide, and reeffect are to be deplored. In my opinion, we have move assigned portions of it before the time came. It is certainly reason to fear this excess hereafter. What is this idea of removal that has wrought the mischief. In to prevent it? Is it possible that so many State banks, consequence of this, money has been taken from places so far apart, so unknown to each other, with no common of active commercial business, where it was much needed, objects, no common principles of discount, and no gen and all used, and carried to places where it was not eral regulation whatever, should act so much in concert, needed, and could not be used. and upon system, as to maintain the currency of the The agricultural State of Indiana, for example, is full country steady, without either unjust expansion or un. of specie; the highly commercial and manufacturing State necessary contraction? I believe it is not possible. I of Massachusetts is severely drained. In the mean time, believe many of those who insist so much on hard-money the money in Indiana cannot be used. It is waiting for circulation believe this also; and that they press their im- , the new year. The moment the Treasury grasp is let practicable bard-money notions, from a consciousness that loose from it, it will tend again to the great marts of busithe discontinuance of a national institution has brought ness; that is to say, the restoration of the natural state of the country into a condition in which it is threalened things will begin to correct the evil of arbitrary and arwith issues of irredeemable paper.
vificial financial arrangements. The money will go back Our present evil, however, is of a diffi rent kind. It
to the places where it is wanted. It will seek its level, is, indeed, somewhat novel and anomalous. With high , and its place of usefulness. In my opinion, the proper general prosperity, good crops, generally speaking, an execution of the deposite law did not make it at all necesabundance of the precious metals, and a favorable state sary for the Treasury to order these previous local chanof foreign exchanges, men of business have yet felt for
The law itself is not answerable for the inconvesome months an unprecedented scarcity of money. That nience which has resulted. When the sime came, the is the state of things; its cause, in my opinion, is express- States, all of them, would have been very glad to receive ed in a few words: it is the derangement of internal the money where it was. They wanted but an order for intercourse and internal exchange. Our difficulty is it. They desired no carting. Can any thing be more not exhaustion, but obstruction. Every body has means preposterous than to transfer specie from New York to enough, but nobody can use his means. All the usual | Nashville, when to a man in Nashville specie in New channels of commercial dealing are blocked up. The York is two per cent. more valuable than if he had it in manufacturers of the North cannot obtain from the his own house? There is always a tendency in specie, South the proceeds of the sales of their articles; the not actually in the pockets of the people, towards the South finds money scarce, 100, in the midst of its abun. great marts and places of exchange. Those who want it, dant exports.
want it there. There the great transactions of commerce • In a country so extensive and so busy', every mer. are performed, and there the means of those transactions chani's means become more or less dispersed, and exist naturally exist, simply because there they are required. in various places in the shape of debts. Exchange is the Now, what reason was there for disturbing the revenue, instrument, the wand, by which he reaches forib to thus lying where it hail been collected, and thus mingled these means, wherever they are, and -uses them for his with the commerce of the country? Why laboriously immediate and daily purposes. But this ivstrument is drag it off, far from its place of useful action, to places now broken. He can no longer touch with it his dis where it was not wanted, and could do no good, and tant debt, and make that debt present money. He there hold it under the key of the Treasury? seeks, therefore, for expedients; borrows money, if he This anticipation of the operation of the deposite law, can, till times change; pays enormous rates of interest this attempt at local distribution, this arbitrary system of to maintain credit; thinks things, when at the worst, transfer, which seems to forget, at once, the necessities of must suon change; looks for reaction, and sacrifices to commerce, and the real uses of money, I regard as the capitalists, to brokers, and money-lenders, the hard direct and prime cause of the pressure felt by the comearnings of years, rather than fail to fulfil bis commercial munity. But the Treasury order came powerfully in aid engagements. It is a happy and blessed hour, this, for of this. This order checked the use of bank notes in the greedy capital and grasping brokerage; an excruciating West, and made another loud call for specie. The speone for bonest industry. The very rich grow every cie, therefore, is transferred to the West, to pay for lands; day richer; the laborious and industrious, every day being received for lands, it becomes public revenue, is poorer. Meantime, the highways of commercial dealing brought to the East for expenditure, and passes, on its and exchanges grow more and more founderous, or are way, other quantities going West, to buy lands also, and all breaking up. Specie, always most useful as the basis in ihe same way to return again to the East. Now, sir, of a circulation, when most in repose, gets upon the how does all this improve the currency? What fraud move. Any time the last four months it might have hap does it prevent? whal speculation does it arrest? what mopened, and many times doubtless it las happened, that nopoly does it suppre-sI am very much mistaken if all steamboals from New York, carrying specie to Boston, this does nou embarrass the small purchaser of land much have passed in the Sound steamboats from Boston carry. more than the large one. He wlio las fifty or a hundred ing specie to New York. Boating and carting money, thousand dollars to lisy out, may collect his specie, not
Texas-- Treasury Circular.
[Dec. 22, 1836.
without some charge, it is true, but without a very heavy of regulating commerce, and the power over the coincharge. But if there be a man, with a hundred or two age, has power, also, which it is bound to exercise, by dollars, waiting to take up a small parcel for actual set. la vful means, over that currency in which the revenue tlement, and his money be in bank notes, and the bank, is to be collected, and which is to carry on that comperhaps, at a great distance, what has he to do? He merce, external and internal, which is thus committed to must send far to exchange a little money; or else he its regula and protection. All the duties of this must submit to any brokerage which he may find estah. Government are, in my judgment, not fulfilled, while it Jished in the neighborhood of the land office. Upon the leaves these great interests, thus confided to its own local operation of this order, however, I say the less, as care, to the discretion of others, or to the results of on that point Western gentlemen are better informed and chance. But I will not go further into these subjects better judges.
at the present time. I am willing to hope, sir, and, indeed, I do hope and Mr. President, I am indifferent to the form in which believe, that when the first payment or deposite under the Treasury order may be done away. Gentlemen may the act of last session shall have been made, and the please themselves in the mode. I shall be satisfied with States shall have found some use and employment for the substance. Believing it to be both illegal and inju. the money,
and when this unnatural transfer system rious, I shall vote to rescind, to revoke, to abolish, to shall cease, money will seek its natural channels, and supersede, to do any thing which may have the effect commercial business resume, in some measure, its accus. of terminating its existence. tomed habits. But this Treasury order will be a dis Before Mr. Webster concluded his speech, as given turbing agent, every hour it is suffered to exist. Indeed, entire above, it cannot be allowed to exist long. It is not possible (Mr. BENTON laid the following on the table, in the that the West can submit to a measure at once so inju. way of notice: Mution (to be made hereafter) to invest rious and so partial. Hard money at the land office, and the committee to which the resolution (of Mr. Ewing) bank notes at the custom house, must make men open shall be sent, with authority to inquire into the effect and their eyes after a while, whatever degree of political operation of the Treasury order of July 11th, upon the confidence weighs down their lids. I look upon it, business of the country, and the banking institutions of therefore, as certain, that the order will not be permit- the States, and into the conduct of banks in relation to ted long to remain in force.
that order, and into their attempts (if any) to withdraw If I am now asked, sir, whether, supposing this order | specie from circulation, and to embarrass the exchanges to be rescinded, and the deposite law executed, and and business of the country. The committee to summon the transfers discontinued, affairs will return to their witnesses before them, if any such are near at hand, and former state, I answer, with all candor, that though I to conduct their inquiries at a distance by interrogatories.] look, in those events, for a great improvement, I do not The Senate then adjourned. expect to see the domestic exchanges and the currency return entirely to their former state. I do not believe
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22. there is any agency at work, at present, competent to bring about this desirable end. In other words, I do not
TEXAS. believe that the deposite banks, however well adminis. A message was received from the President of the tered, can fully supply the place of a national institution; United States relative to the recognition of the independ. and I am very much mistaken if intelligent men con ence of Texas, and its admission into the Union, and unnected with those institutions themselves believe any
favorable to both measures at the present time. such thing. I find that, in 1828, 1829, 1830, 1831, and On motion of Mr. BUCHANAN, and after an exami. 1832, exchange at New York, on the Sou!hern and nation of the documents by the Committee on Foreign Southwestern cities, averaged three fourths of one per Relations, 1,500 extra copies of the message and docu. cent, discount, or thereabouts. Now, I doubt whether men's were ordered to be printed. (Vide Debates H. the most sanguine of those connected with the deposite of R. post.) banks expect to be able, through their means, to bring back exchanges to that state, or any thing like it.
TREASURY CIRCULAR. The deposite banks are separate and distinct institu The Senate resumed the consideration of Mr. Ewire's tions, many of them strangers to each other, without full resolution to rescind the Treasury order of July 11th, confidence in each other, and all acting without uni- | 1836, and to prohibit the Secretary of the Treasury from formity of purpose. Their objects are distinct, their delegating his power to specify what kind of funds shall capitals distinc', their interests distinct. If one of them be received in payment for the public lands. has connexion with some others, it yet has no unbroken Mr. WEBSTER concluded his remarks, as given enchain of connexion. They have nothing which runs tire above. When Mr. WEBSTER had concluded his through the whole circle of the exchanges, as that circle speech, is drawn through the great commercial cities of the Mr. NILES rose and addressed the Chair as follows: Union. They can only act in the business of exchange Mr. President: I had intended to submit some remarks to the extent of funds, or not much beyond it, actually on the resolution before the Senate, and may as well do existing. A national institution, with branches or agere it at this time as any other. In the course of the debate cies at different points, may deal in exchanges between there have been several topics drawn into consideration, these points in amounts to meet the convenience of the not necessarily embraced in the question to be decided, public, without reference to the fact of the existence of yet somewhat connected with the general subject. Some local funds. One insti!ution, therefore, with branches, of these I shall have occasion to allude to as I proceed; has facilities which never can be possessed by different but will here notice one preliminary observation of institutions, however honorably or ably conducted. the Senator from Massachusetts, (Mr. WEBSTER] That
For myself, I am of the same opinion as formerly, that Senator took occasion to say that the vote on this resolufor the administration of the finances of the country, for tion would form a test question; that those who vote the facility of internal exchanges, and for the due con against the resolution will be understood as being favortrol and regulation of the actual currency, a national able to the ultra, and, as he regarded them, extreme institution, under proper guards and limits, is by far the opinions of the Senator from Missouri, (Mr. Benton,) best means within our reach. And I am, as I always regarding the currency and the public revenue, and obhave been, of opinion, that Congress, baving the power | served that it might be fortunate the public is to be thus