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H. OF R.)

Military Establishment- Estimates of Appropriations. [JANUARY, 1794. THURSDAY, January 9.

ments, be re-committed to Messrs. Giles, Dex


The House resolved itself into a Committee of

the Whole House on the report of the Secretary, It was then moved, that the House proceed to of the sums necessary to be appropriated for the consider the bill, for the better support of the Mili- service of the year one thousand seven hundred tary Establishment of the United States. Agreed and ninety-four; and, after some time spent thereto.

in, the Chairman reported that the Committee The Clerk then read an amendment agreed to had had the said report under consideration, and by the Committee of the Whole House, as to grant- come to a resolution thereupon; which was read, ing years of half-pay to the widows and or- and ordered to lie on the table. phans of such soldiers as die in the service of the

Resolved, That this House will, to-morrow, United States. Mr. Bearty then moved a second amendment, House on the said report.

again resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole which was, in substance, that an addition to the pay at present given to the non-commissioned offi

FRIDAY, January 10. cers and soldiers, that, for those hereafter enlisted, a certain sum per month shall be allowed, and ESTIMATES OF APPROPRIATIONS. reserved, and be given to him at the time of his dis- The House then went into a Committee of the charge; and if he dies, before the end of his service, Whole, on the statements and

estimates of approthe money shall be paid to his representatives. priations for the current year, 1794. Mr. B. also wished this gratuity to be unaliena- Mr. Giles suggested several reasons for sepable, that a non-commissioned officer or soldier rating the items and the estimate of appropriamight not be tempted to dispose of it beforehand, tions for the Civil List, and for discharging the for less than its value, and thereby disappoint the current expenses of Government, from the articles benevolent design of the House.

designated for other purposes.

He moved the Mr. WadswoRTH proposed to add, as an amend- House to take up the resolution agreed to by the ment, the word officers, before the words “non- Whole House yesterday, and make it the subject commissioned officers and soldiers.” He said, that of a separate bill. the officers were more depressed than the soldiers, Mr. Madison said, that members had been rewhich was known to the whole country.

duced to the most serious difficulties by the delays Mr. Smith could not consent to this amend- in the payment of their salaries. The Civil List ment, without better information than any which ought always to have a fund provided for it in the he yet had.

first place, because it was a mere matter of form Mr. Scott said, that he could not believe that to put it to a vote. It was otherwise with the the officers of the Army were in a state of de- Military Establishment. He trusted, that would pression. He, at this time, could mention forty never be reduced to a mere form. applications for military commissions. There

Mr. Nicholas supported the motion of Mr. were great numbers of country gentlemen who Giles. He thought that the House should immewould be glad to get them. It was the private diately pass a bill for establishing a provision for men who wanted encouragement.

the expenses of the members of Congress. It was Mr. Smilie thought that the amendment of Mr. not fair to suppose that every gentleman in that WaDsWORTH, upon the amendment of Mr. Beat- House came to town with as much money in his TY, came in awkwardly in this place. He was pocket as would clear his expenses. Why put friendly to the general ideas, but disliked the any person to pecuniary inconvenience when at a mode.

distance from his resources? The accounts ought Mr. Boudinot moved to strike out the words to be kept distinct. hereafter enlisted, and to apply the bounty to eve- Mr. FITZSIMONS and Mr. BOURNE remarked, ry non-commissioned officer and soldier in the that the next article in the estimates was so blendservice. There was no good reason for such a ed with the preceding that they must be comprematerial distinction between the old soldiers and hended in one. the new levies. The amendment would then

On this, Mr. Nicholas withdrew his second to meet his wishes.

the motion, and the House went into a CommitMr. Wadsworth withdrew his amendment tee of the Whole, Mr. TRUMBULL in the Chair. upon the amendment, and the original amendment of Mr. Watts, with the bill, was referred next article in the estimate. The item providing

Mr. Boudinot moved a resolution covering the to a select committee.

for the Clerks in the Loan Offices, being objected Ordered, That the said bill, with the amend

to, was passed over for the present. ment, be re-committed to Messrs. Beatty, IRVINE,

Mr. Giles then moved, that the Committee do JEREMIAH WADSWORTH, DEARBORN, and Van now rise. The motion was seconded by Mr. NiGAASBECK.

CHOLAS, and supported by Mr. Madison. The House proceeded to consider the amend- The resolution moved by Mr. Boudinot, that ments reported yesterday by the Committee of the $107,693 43, be appropriated for sundry purposes, Whole House, to the bill providing for destroyed

was agreed to. The Committee then rose, and certificates of certain descriptions: whereupon, the House, after some consideration, adopted the Ordered, That the said 'bill, with the amend


JANUARY, 1794.]
French Emigrants from St. Domingo.

[H. of. R. Mr. Giles then moved, that a committee should the least previous expectation of their arrival. be appointed, to prepare and bring in a bill for that The whole inhabitants instantly assembled, and purpose. This was agreed to, and a committee deputed a committee, of which he was one, to go named.

on board the vessels, and examine their situation. Resolred, That, for the expenditure of the Civil | Thirteen thousand dollars were instantly subList of the United States, for the year one thou- scribed. Fifteen hundred of these people were sand seven hundred and ninety four, together with quite helpless; three hundred and fifty of them the incidental and contingent expenses of the se- were old men, or women without their husbands, veral Departments, and offices thereof, there be or children without their parents. Some had appropriated the several sums of money follow- credit, and some had not. Five hundred of them ing, to wit:

had been sent to France by the Minister, at the {Here follows an enumeration of the different expense of the Republic; the rest remain in this items.)

country. The House then again resolved itself into a [It

was then moved, that the report of the ReCommittee of the Whole House, on the said re- liet Committee be read a second time; which beport; and, after some time spent therein, the Chair- ing done, it was moved that this report be taken man reported that the Committee had again had up by a Committee of the Whole House.] the said report under consideration, and come to a Mr. S. Smith was for proceeding instantly to resolution thereupon, which he delivered in at decide on the subject. the Clerk's table, where the same was twice read, Mr. Nicholas hoped that the motion would be and agreed to by the House, as follows:

deferred to another day. He felt a difficulty in Resolved, That, for making good deficiencies this matter, because it was entirely new to him; for the support of the Civil List Establishment; he had not yet formed his mind upon it. Hé for aiding the Fund appropriated for certain offi- suspected that, to bestow the money of their concers of the Court, jurors, and witnesses; for the stituents on an act of charity, though it would support of light-houses, and for other purposes, be extremely laudable, was yet beyond their authere be appropriated the several sums of money thority. They had been sent to this House with following, to wit:

limited powers, and for special purposes. He (Here the items are enumerated.]

would be extremely happy to vote for the relief Ordered, That a bill or bills be brought in pur- of the fugitives of Cape Francois, if, upon reflecsuant to the said resolution, and the resolution for tion, he found it Constitutional. He therefore the expenditure of the Civil List; and that Mr. wished to delay a determination, until he had leiBOUDINOT, Mr. TRUMBULL, and Ńr. GillesPIE, sure to form a deliberate opinion on the subject. do prepare and bring in the same.

Mr. CLARK never had entertained a moment's Mr. Nicholas, from the committee appointed hesitation that relief should be given. to select such parts of the PRESIDENT's Commu- Mr. S. SMITH, to prove that there was no illenications, respecting the Regency of Algiers, as gality in bestowing the assistance wanted, read a his Letter, accompanying the said Communica- passage in the despatches that had been printed, tions, suggests it would be proper to keep secret, addressed by our Executive Government to the made a report; which was read, and ordered to American Minister at Paris, stating that they had lie on the table.

thought themselves authorized to advance money, Ordered, That the Message from the Presi- for the immediate support of the fugitives. From DENT OF THE UNITED States, of the 7th instant, this proceeding, he inferred, that Congress might respecting the appointment of an officer for re- lawfully do the same. He mentioned the obligaceiving, safe-keeping, and distributing, the public tions that this country lay under to France, which supplies, under the direction of the War Depart- he hoped would never be forgotten. He enlarged ment, which lay on the table, be referred to Mr. considerably on the generosity of the citizens of HARTLEY, Mr. BEATTY, and Mr. Swift; that they Baltimore. He imagined that, in this affair, the do examine the matter thereof, and report the American nation had exerted a degree of genesame, with their opinion thereupon, to the House. rosity unparalleled in the history of any other


Mr. Madison wished to relieve the sufferers, Mr. SAMUEL Smith, from the committee to but was afraid of establishing a dangerous precewhom was referred the petition of William Pat- dent, which might hereafter be perverted to the terson, Samuel Sterrett, and Gustavus Scott, the countenance of purposes very different from those committee appointed by the Legislature of Mary of charity. He acknowledged, for his own part, land to draw and distribute the moneys granted that he could not undertake to lay his finger on by that State for the relief of the French emi- that article in the Federal Constitution which grants from the Island of St. Domingo, made a granted a right to Congress of expending, on obreport:

jects of benevolence, the money of their constiMr. S. SMITH said, that there never was a more iuents. And if once they broke the line laid down noble and prompt display of the most exalted before them, for the direction of their conduct, it feelings, than had been exhibited on this occasion. was impossible to say to what lengths they might He believed that such a scene of distress had go, or to what extremities this practice might be never before been seen in America. Three thou- carried. He did not agree with the member who sand fugitives had been at once landed, without spoke last, that nothing like the generosity of

30 CON.-7

H. OF R.]

French Emigrants from St. Domingo.

[JANUARY, 1794.


America had ever been heard of before. As one that every member in that House felt the warm-
example in contradiction to this assertion, he men- est sympathy with the situation of the sufferers.
tioned, that when the city of Lisbon had, in 1755, He would be very glad to find a proper way for
been overwhelmed by an earthquake, the Parlia- | their relief.
ment of England instantly voted one hundred Mr. Nicholas said, that he had not been able
thousand pounds for the support of the sufferers. to discover upon what authority the House were
In doing this, they had, he believed, acted in uni- to grant the proposed donation. If the question
son with the feelings of the British nation, and should that day come to a vote, which he trusted
such feelings did that nation the utmost honor. it would not, he had resolved to give his voice in
He likewise imagined, that the Parliament had favor of the sufferers: but, when he returned to
acted agreeably to the British Constitution, which his constituents, he would honestly tell them that
allowed them an indefinite and absolute right in he considered himself as having exceeded his
disposing of the money of their constituents. But powers, and so cast himself on their mercy. He
as to the American Congress, the case was widely felt many obstacles to voting away this money
different. He was satisfied that the citizens of without further deliberation.
the United States possessed an equal degree of Mr. Boudinot declared, that he had never been
magnanimity, generosity, and benevolence, with able to discover any difficulty in the matter. By
the people of Britain, but this House certainly the law of Nature, by the law of Nations-in a
did not possess an undefined authority correspond- word, by every moral obligation that could influ-
ent with that of a British Parliament. He wished ence mankind, we were bound to relieve the citi-
that some other mode could be devised for assist- zens of a Republic who were at present our allies,
ing the French sufferers than by an act of Con- and who had formerly been our benefactors. He
gress. He was in hopes that some other mode, could not for a moment endure the idea of a hesi-
equally effectual, and less exceptionable, might be tation on such a question. When a number of
devised. As to what our Executive Government our fellow-creatures had been cast upon our sym-
had already done, as quoted from the official de- pathy, in a situation of such unexampled wretch-
spatches by the gentleman who spoke last, the in-edness, was it possible that gentlemen could make
ference did not apply; for in that emergency, a

a doubt whether it was our duty to relieve them? delay would have been equivalent to a total de- It had been said that the House was not, by the nial. It had been said, that we owed the French Constitution, authorized to give away money for every sentiment of gratitude. It was true; but it such purposes. He was satisfied, that to refuse was likewise true that we owed them something the assistance requested, would be to act in direct else than sentiments, for we were indebted to opposition both to the theory and practice of the them a very large sum of money. One of the Constitution. In the first place, as to the practice, instalments of that debt would be due in a short it had been said that nothing of this kind had time, and perhaps it might be safest for Congress ever occurred before under the Federal Constituto advance the sums now wanted for the French tion. He was astonished at such an affirmation. refugees, in part of that debt, and leave it to the Did not the Indians frequently come down to this decision of the French Ministry whether they city, on embassies respecting the regulating of would accept of such a payment or not. He did trade, and other business and did not the Execupot wish to press this expedient upon the House, tive, without consulting Congress at all, pay their but he begged leave to submit it to their consider- lodgings for weeks, nay for whole months togethation; and as he had not yet been able to resolve er? and was not this merely because the Indians in his own mind what line of conduct the House were unable to pay for themselves? Nobody ever ought to pursue, he requested that the discussion questioned the propriety of that act of charity. of the question might for a short time be deferred. Again; when prisoners of war were taken, there

Mr. Clark wished that the gentleman who was no clause in the Constitution authorizing Conspoke last would be careful of preserving consist- gress to provide for their subsistence: yet it was ency: It was only a few days ago that he had well known that they would not be suffered to laid before the House a resolution, by which Con- starve. Provision was instantly made for them, gress were to indemnify all such citizens of the before we could tell whether the nation to whom United States as had suffered losses by the British they belonged would pay such expenses, or would pirates. He supposed that for this, there would not pay them. It was very true that an instalment be found as little authority in the articles of the would soon be due to France, nor did he object Constitution, as fot relieving the fugitives from to reimbursement in that way, if it could be so Cape Francois.

obtained. But, in the mean time, relief must be Mr. Madison, in explanation, replied, that the given, for he was convinced that we had still two cases were widely different. The vessels of stronger obligations to support the citizens of our America sailed under our flag, and were under allies than either Indians or prisoners of war. In our protection, by the law of Nations, which the the second place, as to the theory of the ConstiFrench sufferers unquestionably were not. As to tution, he referred gentlemen to the first clause of the resolution he had proposed, it was not then the eighth section of it. By that clause Congress before the House, and hence he could not speak were warranted to provide for exigencies regardto it with propriety. It was very possible that the ing the general welfare, and he was sure this case House might find it wrong, and reject it. He came under that description. wished not to be misunderstood, for he was sure Mr. Fitzsimons thought that it would be ex

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JANUARY, 1794.] Petition of Thomas Manning-Commerce of the United States. [H. OFR. pedient to lose as little time as possible in going cess in a Judicial Court would have procured an into the Committee. It was hard on the State of indemnity, but it was with a nation, over which Maryland to support of itself such an immense Judicial Courts had no control; the petitioner, number of people. Besides, the period for which therefore, could derive no redress but from the that State had engaged to furnish them with sub- justice of his country, which was bound to prosistence was expiring; so that it was absolutely tect the rights of its citizens in all cases, and when necessary to come to an early decision whether it could not prevent an injury, it ought to repair the House would assist them or not. Mr. Genet the damage. That this, in the present case, might had made a discrimination among the sufferers: be done with a moral assurance of a reimbursesome of them he had promised to assist, and oth- ment, as it would be a just article of charge in ers, as aristocrats, he had disowned altogether. the account of the United States against France,

Mr. Dexter read the clause referred to by Mr. to which justice must cheerfully give its sanction, Boudinot, but could not draw from it any such and which, in happier times, that Government will inference. He was very unwilling to vote against undoubtedly allow. That, as the justice of the the proposition, and therefore solicited a delay, demand was confessed, indemnifying the petitionthat he might have leisure to find proper reasons er would be advancing a payment for France, for for voting in its favor.

which her credit and honor were pledged, but Mr. Giles was averse to precipitation in an which the present situation of that country would affair of such magnitude. The report had been not at present allow her to make ; but, Mr. S. obread for a first time to-day; it had then been read served, that as the case was of the first impression, for a second time to-day. As if all this had not and he wished there might be a thorough investibeen sufficient, the House must likewise go into gation of principles as well as facts, he moved a Committee this day. Like the gentleman who that the petition, with the documents accompanyhad just sat down, he felt many doubts as to the ing it, might be referred to the Secretary of State. legality of such an act of bounty; and he wished, This motion was agreed to. before he gave a vote on either side of the ques- The Speaker laid before the House a Report tion, to free himself from these doubts. He con- of the Secretary of the Treasury, of a statement of sidered his duty to his constituents as a very solemn the actual tonnage of American vessels employed trust. Some personal insinuations had been cast in the commerce between the United States and out, as if gentlemen who professed Constitutional foreign countries, for one year, ending the thirscruples had wished to embarrass the subject. tieth of September, one thousand seven hundred Reflections of this kind could answer no good and ninety-two, pursuant to the order of this purpose. Gentlemen (said Mr. G.) appeal to our House, of the third instant; which was read, and humanity. The appeal is out of place. That is ordered to lie on the table. not the question; but whether, organized as we COMMERCE OF THE UNITED STATES. are, under the Constitution, we have a right to make such a grant? He did not understand why The House again resolved itself into a Coman application was made to Congress in particu- mittee of the Whole House on the Report of the lar. It would have been made with greater pro- Secretary of State on the privileges and restricpriety to the Provincial Assemblies, as their pow- tions on the commerce of the United States, in er over the purses of their constituents was more foreign countries. When extensive than that of this House over the reve

Mr. SMITH, of South Carolina, rose and adnues of the United States.

dressed the Chair as follows: (The motion for the House resolving itself into Mr. Chairman :-Among the various duties a Committee immediately was then withdrawn, which are assigned by the Constitution to the Leand the report was committed to a Committee of gislature of the United States, there is, perhaps, the Whole on the State of the Union.]

none of a more important nature than the regulation of commerce, none more generally interesting to our fellow-citizens, none which more seri

ously claims our diligent and accurate investigaMONDAY, January 13.


It so essentially involves our navigating, agri

cultural, commercial, and manufacturing interest, Mr. SHERBURNE called up the petition of Tho- that an apology for the prolixity of the observamas Manning, presented lasi week. He observed tions which I am about to submit to the Commit-, that the facts set forth in the petition were estab- tee, will scarcely be requisite. lished by documents which accompanied it. That In the view which I shall take of the question, the petition originated in a contract made by the pe- disengaging the inquiry from all topics of a politititioner with an agent of the French Government cal nature, I shall strictly confine myself to those in Martinique; that, although that Government had which are commercial, and which alone are, in my recognised the powers of their agent, and the per- judgment, properly connected with the subject. formance of the services which were the ground Called upon to decide on propositions, merely of the contract, they had refused to fulfil it, but commercial

, and springing from a report

, in its by a payment of assignats, instead of specie, which pature limited to commercial regulations, it would had been particularly specified. He observed, had be as ill-timed, as it would be irregular, to mingle the contract been made with an individual, a pro- I with the discussion considerations of a political


H. of. R.]

Commerce of the United States.

(JANUARY, 1794

nature. I shall, accordingly, reject from the in- mistaken to consider them as a part of a system. quiry every idea which has reference to the In- But though the comparison will be made with dians, the Algerines, or the Western posts. When principal reference to the condition of our trade ever those subjects require our deliberations, I with France and Great Britain, antecedent to the shall not yield to any member in readiness to vin- existing revolution, the regulations of the subsedicate the honor of our country, and to concur in quent period will perhaps not be passed over alsuch measures as our best interests may demand. together unnoticed.

This line of procedure will, I trust, be deemed by The table,* which I have before me, comprises those gentlemen who follow me, the only proper the principal features of the subject within a short one, and that the debate will be altogether confin-compass. It is the work of a gentleman of coned to commercial views; these will of themselves siderable commercial knowledge, and I believe open a field of discussion sufficiently spacious, may be relied on for its correctness

. An attenwithout the intervention of arguments derived tive reference to it will, with some supplementary from other sources. It would indeed argue a remarks, convey a just conception of the object, weakness of ground in the friends of the proposi- a view to conciseness and simplicity has excluded tions, and imply a distrust of the merits of their from it all articles (the production and manufac. cause, were they compelled to bolster it up with tures of the United States) which are not of consuch auxiliaries and to resort for support to argu- siderable importance. ments, not resulting from the nature of the sub- Accustomed as our ears have been to a constant ject, but from irrelative and extraneous considera- panegyric on the generous policy of France to tions.

wards this country in commercial relations, and to The propositions, as well as the report, being as constant a philippic on the unfriendly, illiberal, predicated upon facts and principles having rela- and persecuting policy of Great Britain towards tion to our commerce and navigation with foreign us in the same relations, we naturally expect to countries, by those facts and principles, and those find in a table which exhibits their respective sysalone, ought the propositions stand or fall. tems, numerous discriminations in that of France

It will not be denied that this country is at pre- in our favor, and many valuable privileges granted sent in a very delicate crisis, and one requiring to us, which are refused to other foreign countries, dispassionate reflection, cool and mature delibera- in that of Great Britain frequent discriminations to tion. It will be much to be regretted then, if our prejudice, and a variety of privileges refused passion should usurp the place of reason, if super- to us which are granted to other foreign nations. ficial, narrow, and prejudiced views should mis- But an inspection of the table will satisfy every lead the public councils from the true path of na-candid mind, that the reverse of what has been tional interest.

supposed is truly the case--that neither in France The report of the Secretary of State, on the nor the French West Indies, is there more than privileges and restrictions on the commerce of the one solitary and important distinction in our favor, United States in foreign countries is now before (I mean the article of fish oil,) either with regard the Committee. The tendency of that report to our exports thither, our imports from thence, (whatever may have been the design of the re- or our shipping; that both in Great Britain and porter) appears to be to induce a false estimate of the British West Indies, there are several material The comparative condition of our commerce with distinctions in our favor, with regard both to our certain foreign nations, and to urge the Legisla- exports thither and to our imports from thence, ture to adopt a scheme of retaliating regulations, and, as it respects Great Britain, with regard also restrictions, and exclusions.

to our shipping ; that in the market of Great Bri. The most striking contrast which the perform- tain, a preference is secured to six of our most ance evidently aims at, is between Great Britain valuable staples, by considerable higher duties on and France. For this reason, and as these are the rival articles of other foreign countries; that the two Powers with whom we have the most ex- our navigation thither is favored by our ships, tensive relations in trade, I shall, by a parti- when carrying our own productions, being put çular investigation of the subject, endeavor to upon as good a footing as their own ships, and by lay before the Committee an accurate and an the exemption of several of our productions, when impartial comparison of the commercial systems carried in our ships, from duties which are paid on of the two countries in reference to the United the like articles of other foreign countries carried States, as a test of the solidity of the inferences in the ships of those countries; and that several of which are attempted to be established by the re- our productions may be carried from the United port. A fair comparison can only be made with States to the British West Indies, while the like an eye to what may be deemed 'the permanent productions cannot be carried thither from any system of the countries in question. The proper other foreign country; and that several of the epoch for it, therefore, will precede the commen- productions of those countries may be brought ment of the pending French Revolution.

from thence to the United States, which cannot The commercial regulations of France during be carried from thence to any other foreign counthe period of the Revolution have been too fluctu- try. ating, too much influenced by momentary im- These important differences in the systems of pulses, and, as far as they have looked towards this the two countries will appear more fully, by passcountry with a favorable eye, too much manifesting an object of the moment, which cannot be

* Vide table annexeu.

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