Слике страница
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

controlled. I listened with pain and regret to the uncalled man from Virginia, the mover of this resolution has told for and unqualified abuse of him. “I heard much declam- the House in one point of view there are on this commitation without argument," and the foulest charges without tee eight friends of power--an honorable denomination proof, and especially by one from whom it was but little ex which I take from the gentleman from Virginia, who told pected. I mean the gentleman from Massachusetts, (Mr. the House the other day that he first came to this House, Cushing,) who spoke in relation to the Florida war, and himself one of that number--eight friends of power, and who pronounced that war as one of the damning sins of the one friend to what shall I say? friend to his country ? Government, and a foul blot on the American character ; No! That would imply that the others are not friends to this, too, before an investigation was had, thereby prejudg- their country, which I ain bound not to believe; shall I say ing the case, and charging it home upon General Jackson. friend to liberty? No! for the same reason I suppose Better things were expected from that quarter. For my them all friends to liberty-well, I will say, a friend of his part, I have always listened to him with the greatest pleas-country, who is not the friend of power. This, sir, is the ure. His arguments have generally been respectful and objection of the gentleman from Virginia, in my judgment able, and free from personal abuse; but, in the present a very valid objection. But I have the same objection, in case, he has wandered from his usual course, and I envy another point of view deeply interesting to my own imhim not the position he occupied on that occasion. Many mediate constituents. How is that committee constituted others have been lavish of their abuse of the ex-President with reference to the different sections of the country? and of his measures; but I shall not stop specially to reply There are eight gentlemen upon that committee from reto them. I feel no disposition to do so, as it will be an gions south and west of the Potomac, and but one member unnecessary consumption of the time of this House, but alone from Maine to Virginia ; eleven States; and that is must invoke the pardon of the House for making a general my honorable friend [Mr. KEMBLE) from New York, who fire at the whole flock, and tell them that the nuinerous is as worthy as any individual gentleman can possibly be squibs they have fired will have about as much effect upon of such a position on that committee. He, alone, reprethe character of Andrew Jackson before the people of this sents thereon his own “empire State," as well as all the nation, as the firing of pop-guns would have upon the rig. New England States, and those of New Jersey, Pennsylging of the splendid Pennsylvania.

vania, Delaware, and Maryland. Sir, (said Mr. G.,) that venerable patriot never expected, Why, Mr. Adams would ask, was the Military Comand never asked, forgiveness at the hands of his enemies. mittee thus consututed? Why are not the different secHe knew he had incurred their eternal displeasure. He tions of the country represented in that committee ? Have never expected quarters from those whose pride and pleas- they no interest in the subjects which are the peculiar toure had been to embitter his declining years, whose objects pics of inquiry and action there?. Upon wbat principle are were to thwart the views of his administration in every committees of this House constituted ? Mr. A. said his prominent measure, to triumph in the misfortunes of their constituents had certainly a deep interest in those topics. Government, to rejoice in the distresses of the people, and A vast amount of their money had been expended on the to prevent, as far as possible, the relief of those distresses, recommendation of that committee. Now, the gentleman with a view to the overthrow of the administration, and to from Maryland (Mr. HOWARD) had urged the reference ride themselves into power in the midst of those distresses. of this resolution to that committee, and he (Mr. A.) was In conclusion, sir, and as the time advances when it is ex- giving his reasons why that reference should not be made. pected he will make his final exit “to that bourn from And this was a good argument, too, he contendeil, whence no traveller returns," and as the time approaches against the use of the ordinary mode of appointing commitwhen we may expect to hear “that he has slept the sleep tces in this House, in the present case. He alluded to the of death," and closed his earthly career, I wish to be per observation of Mr. Wise, who had said that the Speaker mitted to say to those influenced by such feelings, and con of the House could not be impartial in appointing such trolled by such motives, looking as he does to his coun committees. They inust all have a preponderance of the try's good, he has never been inclined to hold cominunion "friends of power.” He had some experience of the truth with, or extend to them the hand of fellowship.

of this remark for some sessions past; and with reference, Mr. CAMBRELENG here called for the orders of the too, to these very matters. And he called the attention of day.

the House to what had taken place there not quite two Mr. ADAMS asked the gentleman from New York to

years ago. He showed from the journal that, on the 15th postpone that call for the present, at the same time intima January, 1836, Mr. Bell, chairman of the Committee on ting his wish to speak on the resolution before the House. Indian Affairs, moved for a similar inquiry with that pro[Cries of "Go on! go on!" from all quarters.)

posed by the resolution under consideration, with power to Mr. CAMBRELENG refused to withdraw the call for the conimittee to send for persons and papers. The resoluthe orders of the day, as the morning hour had more than tion was agreed to. It gave the committee power to inveselapsed.

ligate this very same subject, because the Florida camThe call for the orders was not sustained, (the vote paigns were legitimate and proper matters of inquiry, in all being 92 10 84,) and

their details, by the Committce on Indian Affairs. What Mr. "ADAMS resumed the floor and said : I tender to followed ? And here Mr. Adams read again from the jourthe House my thanks for their indulgence in perniling nal, and showed that, on the 1st of July, 1836, Mr. Bell, me to address them, and I promise not to abuse their kind from the Committee on Indian Affairs, reported a resoluness by trespassing long upon their time.

tion to the effect that that committee have power to sit in Mr. Speaker, referring to the clegant classical allusion the recess, for the purpose of completing the investigation. of the gentleman from Maryland, (Mr. Howard,) who What were the proceedings of the House on this resoluproposes to refer this investigation to the Military Com tion ? First, there was a motion to lay it on the table. mittee, I hail with joy this reappearance of the sweet This did not succeed. Then the previous question was fountain Arethusa. But I must say, with the Roman poci, moved, and not sustained. Afterwards that inotion was "Sic tibi, cum fluctus, subterlabere Sicanos

renewed, and on the main question (upon the resolution) "Doris amara suam, non intermisceat undam."

being put to the House, the vote was 87 to 87. The SpeakLet not the bitter waters of the Doris be mingled with the er voted in the negative, and the resolution was sent to mellifluous stream of Arethusa-and the Doris, in this case, " the tomb of the Capulets !" I must frankly adınit is——the Military Commitlee.

Then there was a memorial presented here by Mr. Lewis, Sir, how is that committee constituted ? The gentle-' of Alabama, complaining of certain alleged abuses in the

Vol. XIV.-81

H. OF R.]

Treasury Notes.

[Oct. 6, 1837.

management of these wars. That gentleman proposed its

TREASURY NOTE BILL. reference to the Committee on Indian Affairs, with power The House then resumed the consideration of the “bill to sit in the recess, and to authorize three or four of their to authorize the issuing of Treasury notes, as reported number to act upon it. What then? A member from from the Committee of the Whole on the state of the Louisiana, not now in his place, (Mr. Ripley,) moved to Union. refer the memorial to the President of the United States. The question pending was on agreeing to the amendNo sooner said than done! And now, sir, asked Mr. A., ment of Mr. UNDERWOOD, as modified hy the amendment has any gentleman of this House ever heard from the Presi- of Mr. Patton. dent of the United States, from that day to this, a single Mr. BOND addressed the House in support of the word in relation to the matter? a single word, as to the amendment, and in opposition to the bill. investigation of frauds, alleged by citizens of the United Mr. McKIM denied that the sale of the United States States, in a memorial to their representatives ? frauds and Bank bonds would bring an immediate supply of money abuses in the carrying on of campaigns costing so many into the Treasury ; for, in the first place, there must, at millions of money? He paused for a reply. Had the least, be a delay of four or five months expended in the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means heard negotiation, at a probable loss too of from four to six per any thing from the quarter to which it had been referred, cent., and then the Government would be likely to get in upon that subject ? Had the Speaker of the House done return only bank notes. He was not unfriendly towards so ? Had there ever been a message from the Executive any banks; but it should be borne in mind that the Secresent to this House on the subject ? He heard no answer tary of the Treasury could not pay out bank notes; they to these inquiries; and he was warranted in saying that would be useless to the Treasury. there had been nothing, nothing whatever, done upon the Another consideration was, that the bonds given by the matter. And with these examples before him, with the bank were for two millions cach, an amount that would be uniform course of action on the part of the Speaker, in inconvenient to negotiate in London, and how did they similar cases, before him, how could he be in favor of the know that the bank would consent to divide them up into ordinary mode of appointing committees of that House? | bonds of a smaller size, say for a thousand dollars each? It was mockery to refer such subjects to such committees. He apprehended that it would not only interfere with the He much preferred the election of the proposed committee arrangements of the bank, both here and in London, but by ballot, for these reasons.

that it would be found to be against their interest to do so. Now, Mr. Adams admitted it is in the power of the ma Again, in point of economy, there would be saving by jority of the House put a majority of the “friends of the issue of 'Treasury notes. How? Why, the United power” upon a committee thus chosen. And it was pos- States Bank bonds bore an interest of six per cent., wheresible that the majority would even fill the committee with as the Treasury notes would not probably bear a higher nine “ friends of power," instead of eight, and one who rate than three or four, or, at the most, five per cent. was not; while, if the Speaker were to appoint it, he might, The saving would be the difference between those two rates at all events, place one, perhaps two; and, in an extreme of interest on several millions of dollars—no slight conand unusual moment of liberality, might eren place three sideration. friends to the investigation on the committee. In making Again, there would be a probable loss on the sale of the these allusions to the Speaker, Mr. A. said it was his bonds from their par value, of from five to six per cent.; intention to be perfectly respectful as a member of the for, by the latest advices from the English money market, House.

United States Bank bonds were at 94 or 95 there. This, Mr. A. further contended that, in the appointment of too, was independent of the exchango, whatever it might committees of investigation, the same parliamentary rule be, and the commission or expenses of negotiation. which regulates the appointment of standing and ordinary Another objection he had to the amendment was, that it committees does not apply. And he referred to the con would be disreputable to the character and credit of the stant usage of the British Parliament, in which it was uni-Government to be selling its securities in the market. The versally the practice to place on committees of inquiry a same objection would also apply on the part of the bank majority of members in favor of the proposed investigation. itself; for she, no more than merchants, would like to see It was certainly a mockery of common sense that it should her liabilities hawked for sale. Moreover, the United States be otherwise.

would have to endorse the bonds before they could be neMr. Adams went into an examination of the reason why gotiated at all; and he was indisposed to place the Govinvestigating committees hitherto appointed by this House ernment in so disreputable a position. had never discharged the duties assigned them. He refer Now, what would be the effect of the Treasury notes ? red to the liberal mode of proceeding in these committecs. Why, they would be equal to so much gold and silver When any specific point was to be inquired into, the ques- thrown out among the community, for they would, when tion was always forbidden to be put by the majority, and out, be received by the Government, in payment of dues, the investigation was smothered, upon the ground that as gold and silver, and the cralitors of the Government there should be “ specific charges," before the action of would gladly take them as such, as thry could readily pass the committee should be proper! “ Specific charges!" | them as such, because they would be sought after by the and here, this morning, a gentleman read to us letters from importing merchant to pay his bonds. Moreover, the good authority containing such charges; and now what Secretary of the Treasury would not attempt to issue more are we told ? That that is prejudging the cases to be in than were applied for. It was then, in effect, putting so vestigated ! And this is the two-edged sword, of too much gold and silver into circulation the moment the bill much specification on the one side, and nonc at all on passed. the other, which is wielded against the friends of investi Mr. BOND inquired if he was to understand the gengation !

llenan to say that paper could be made equal to gold and Mr. A. concluded by again hoping that the proposed silver. committee would be appointed by ballot; and that that Mr. McKIM. Certainly not. He meant only to concommittee might not be the Committee on Military Affairs, vey the idea that the T'reasury notes would answer in the the majority of whom the chairman of the Committee of place of gold and silver, being receivable for the dues of Ways and Means is in the habit of calling on so success ihe Government, and its claimants being glad to get hold fully to “toe the mark !"

of them. After a few further remarks of the same tenor, Mr. Mr. CAMBRELENG called for the orders of the day. McK. concluded by hoping the House would pass the bill

Oct. 6, 1837.]

Treasury Notes.

(H. OF R.

in its original form as it came from the Committee of the sir, what does the amendment which has thus been deWhole ; for he considered the amendment would be de- nounced propose ? Nothing more than to authorize the structive to the business of the Treasury, which was in im- Secretary of the Treasury to negotiate a sale of the bonds mediate want of the means for carrying on the Govern- held by the Government upon the Pennsylvania Bank of ment, and which it could not procure under the operation the United States, provided they can be sold for the nomition of the amendment.

nal amount of them, and apply the funds thus obtained to Mr. CUSHING addressed the House at length in op- the uses of the Treasury. If, then, this object, the first position to the bill; and after a few words from Mr. BELL contemplated by the amendment, can thus be aitained by and Mr. McKIM, the hour having arrived, the House took the use of means belonging to the Government, why, I ils usual recess till 4 o'clock.

ask, sir, shall we not adopt it? Why hold up these bonds,

if we can convert them without loss into available funds ? EFENING SESSION.

Sir, it will be difficult to furnish any one good reason The House resumed the consideration of the bill report against the adoption of the amendment, if in other respects ed from the Committee of the Whole on the state of the it be free from the objections urged against it, and which Union, "to authorize the issuing of Treasury notes.” I will now briefly notice. It is contended, sir, that the

The question being on the following amendment, mov amounts of the bonds in question are so large as to exclude ed on Thursday by Mr. UndERWOOD, viz:

from competition individual or private capitalists; and " That the Secretary of the Treasury be authorized to hence they will be purchased in Chestnut or Wall street by sell and transfer to the purchaser or purchasers the bonds the agents of the bank. I am willing, for the sake of aror evidences of debt executed by the president, directors, gument, to admit that such may be the case, but still I and company of the Bank of the United States of Penn- Jeny the truth of the declaration that the Government will sylvania, for and in consideration of the stock held by the thereby be placed under the control of the “defunct monUnited States in the late Bank of the United States, and ster,” which so constantly haunts the imagination of the 10 apply the money arising from such sale and transfer in chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means. Nor payment of any demands upon the Treasury : Prorided, can the Government lose a dollar by thus throwing into however, That no sale and transfer of said bonds or evi- the market a fund unsuited to the investment of private dences of debt shall be made for a less sum than the nomi- capital, and which it cannot divide to suit the means and nal amount of said bonds or evidences of debt, exclusive capacities of purchasers, because the same amendment conof interest."

tains another provision which puts this argument to rest, Mr. CAMBRELENG stated that upon this amendment | by expressly prohibiting the Secretary from selling the depended the fate of this bill; because, if it should be bonds for any thing less than the nominal amount of them. adopted, the Treasury of the United States would be in. Let us, then, suppose that the bonds are purchased by the the power of the Bank of the United Statek. He should agents of the banks upon the terms proposed in the amendtherefore ask for a full attendance of the House, and should ment, and what is the necessary and inevitable result ? move for a call, (the House was still thin,) unless some Why, sir, according to my understanding, so far from gentleman wished to address the House.

placing the Government under the control of the bank, we Mr. HOPKINS, for one, was inclined to yule for the should realize in advance the payment of a debt due in amendment. He could not see how its adoption would place one, two, and three years, and that, too, in the gold and the Government in the power of the United States Bank. silver of the frightful monster itself. The object in selling them was to command an amount of Mr. Speaker, I have always entertained great respect gold and silver to meet the wants of the Treasury; and for the opinions of the chairman of the Committee of Ways admitting the bank would become the purchaser, so much and Means, (Mr. CAMBNELENG,] but upon this subject I specie would be drawn from its vaults, and he did not see must be permitted to think that he is under a strange and how Government could be injured by having a debt thus most palpable delusion. Sir, can it be that I mistake the paid in advance.

true operation of this amendment? Can it be that the Mr.CAMBRELENG wished to state that he had not said withdrawal of six millions and a half of specie from the the United States Bank would be the direct purchaser, but vaults of the bank, and transferring it to the Treasury, that the bonds would be bought up by the agents of the bank. will increase the dependence of the latter, or the power of

Mr. HOPKINS then addressed the Chair as follows: the former ? No, sir, the proposition is absurd in the ex

Mr. Speaker : I have not risen, sir, to take part in this treme, and I cannot and will not assent to it. already protracted debate, but to reply very briefly to the But another objection has been made to the amendment, extraordinary declaration this moment uttered by the chair to which, wbilst i am up, I will reply. It is apprehended man of the Committee of Ways and Means, (Mr. Cam- that these bonds, with the endorsement of the Government, BRELENG.] He said, sir, “that upon this amendment might find their way to Europe, and thus increase the fordepended the fate of the bill; because, if it should be adopt- eign balance against us. I am willing, again, for the sake ed, the Treasury of the United States would be in the of the argument, to admit the truth of this objection; but power of the Bank of the United States." For one, sir, I beg those who give to it any consideration, to bear in I was favorably inclined to the amendment offered by the mind that, under the amendment, we must receive for the gentleman from Kentucky, [Mr. UNDERWOOD ;] but if the bonds their nominal amount in available funds, and whethchairman of the Committee of Ways and Means can con er we receive it from our own capitalists or those abroad, vince me of the truth of his remark, I will most cheerfully we shall be upon safe ground, so long as we receive in rerelinquish my determination to support the amendment. turn the same amount in gold and silver. But gentlemen But, Mr. Speaker, I must beg leave to say that such can- forget to remeinber that this objection applies with equal not in my judgment be the operation of the amendment force to the bill, without the amendment, because your under consideration. Nor do I believe that any unpreju- Treasury notes, issued by the authority and upon the faith diced mind in this Hall can come to such a conclasion. of this Government, will be just as likely to cross the great What does the bill propose, sir ? To authorize the Secre- waters, and increase the foreign balance against us, as the tary of the Treasury to issue Treasury notes to the amount | bonds which we propose to sell, with this difference in faof ten millions of dollars, for the redemption of which the vor of the amendment, that the bill without it may infaith of the United States is solemnly pledged. And why crease that balance against the Government, whilst the is this measure proposed, but to supply the Treasury with amendment would only increase the balance against the the means of meeting the various demands upon it? Well, « the monster."

H. OF R.]

Treasury Notes.

(Oct. 6, 1837.

Mr. Speaker, I prefer the amendment for another reason. present incumbent of the Executive chair; but we should I regard these bonds as a legitimate fund belonging to the look to the future with a jealous eye, and guard with care Government, and am willing to make them available if I and circumspection the liberties of the people from the can to the Treasury, rather than saddle the nation with grasp of unhallowed ambition. I will not stop now to dilate another public debt, as we must do, by the passage of the upon the evils, or dwell upon the ruinous consequences, bill upon your table. Much, however, as I deplore that which must follow the establishnient of a system which, evil, I would, if no other alternative was at hand, adopt it once matured, will, in my humble judgment, be far more to save the Treasury of the nation from bankruptcy. But, dangerous to the institutions of our country and to the by adopting the amendment, you supply the wants of your liberties of the people, than that “defunct monster," whose Government, and, at the samne time, avoid the necessity ghost seems to be constantly fitting before the affrighted of creating a debt, which must be paid under your unjust imaginations of gentlemen here who support this measure, and unequal system of taxation. And why, Mr. Speaker, which I fear is the precursor of a system of Government permit me to ask, should we reject the amendment, if the paper currency, which, in the list of “monsters," might only object be to replenish an exhausted Treasury with a well be called “ legion.” hard-money constitutional currency ? Sir, I confess that The amendment, however, does not propose a sale of the strong repugnance manifested from a certain quarter, the bank bonds, as the only means of relief to the Treasfor every proposition to replenish the Treasury save one, ury, but goes further, and in the event that this measure and the pertinacity with which that one is supported, has shall fail, then the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized awakened my suspicion as to the true character and oluject to borrow an amount of money upon the faith of the Govof the measure. If we propose to sell our bank debt, it is crnment equal to the nominal value of the bonds. And, objected to, although warmly recommended by General sir, the honorable mover of the amendment has signified Jackson in 1834, in whose footsteps gentlemen were once his willingness so to modify the second section of his wont to tread. If we propose to authorize the Secretary amendment as to leave it to the House to say what sum to borrow money upon the faith of the Government, the may thus be borrowed for the use of the Treasury; and measure is objected to. If it is proposed to prohibit the still it is objected to, not because it will not meet the emSecretary of the Treasury, and subordinate disbursing offi- ergencies of the Treasury, but because it supersedes the cers of the Government, from circulating their notes in pay- issue of ten millions of inconvertible Treasury paper curment of public dues, whilst they have on hand and in their rency, which the Government cannot, and will not, recustody gold and silver sufficient for the purpose, that deem upon presentation, measure, too, is objected to. And I repeat, sir, with none Mr. Speaker, I am in principle a hard-money man, and other than feelings of profound regret, that the discussion I have the satisfaction to believe that the patriotic people which has taken place upon these several amendments has whom I have the distinguished honor to represent upon excited my suspicion, and I now declare it..

this floor prefer the constitutional currency of our fathers I have heard, sir, in the progress of this debate, senti to any paper money, your Treasury notes included. But, ments advanced upon this floor, by some of my political whilst I say this, I desire that it shall be distinctly underfriends, against which I must enter my most solemn pru- stood that I am not to be enlisted in the contemplated cru

An honorable and esteemed colleague of mine upon sade against the existing institutions of Virginia and her my left (Mr. Rives) took occasion yesterday to propose an sister States, to accomplish the narrow object of supplying amendment to this bill, the object of which seemed to be the Government alone with the constitutional currency; to facilitate the circulation of the Treasury notes as a paper and I now admonish gentlemen that, until they propose a currency. He is reported to have said that, “while they measure broad and comprehensive enough to separate the (Treasury notes) met and relieved the wants of the Gov- great body of the people from the banks, I will not co-opeernment, they would equally meet the great wants of the rate with thein in giving effect to a partial restricted measpeople by giving them a uniform circulating medium.” And ure, which furnishes a hard-money currency only to them, again he is reported to have said that “these notes (Trea- who, in the better days of our republic, were regarded as sury) would at once reduce the balance of exchange with the mere servants of the people, and considered amenable England ; and this would operate to prevent their depre- to them. Now, sir, I am not the man to advocate here, ciation. Treasury noles, he says, would circulate better in my representative capacity, any measure which will without bearing interest than with a low rate of interest, provide gold and silver for myself, and other functionaries and were th eamount $10,000,000, instead of $10,000,000, of the Government, whilst the people are left to endure all it would be a safe and salutary measure, and the very best the evils of a depreciated paper money. thing Congress could do." Now, sir, these are sentiments But I have another objection to the details of this measwhich I was not prepared to expect, and to which I can ure, growing out of the palpable injustice which must renever subscribe. Sir, at the time that these remarks were sult, from the denominations of these Treasury notes, to made by my colleague, in favor of his amendment, I was the poorer classes of the community. If, sir, as is now too gratified to believe that the chairman of the Committee of obvious for the most incredulous to doubt, these noles are Ways and Means dissented from them. But that gentle-to circulate and perform all the functions of a paper curman has since assumed grounds in debate, which satisfies rency, they cannot reach the pocket of the poor inan, but my mind that he too looks to and advocates this bill as must serve alone the purpose of the wealthy, who alone something more than a means of furnishing an embarras can command the benefit of a currency in denominations sed Treasury with hard money to meet the demands upon of one hundred dollars. Another effect of this measure, I it. Mr. Speaker, I pray gentlemen to pause, and review fear, will be to cripple still more the State banks, now rapthe sentiments they have avowed. I implore them to pause idly recovering from the shock by which the whole monobefore they give their consent to a measure fraught with tary system of the community has been so recently convulconsequences so dangerous as the emission of a Treasury sed to its centre; and, wbilst it may relieve the Governpaper currency, based upon the public faith, and controlled ment, may at the same time embarrass still more the great by the will

one man, already clothed with extraordinary body of the people. powers. Our present Executive may be honest and trust But, Mr. Speaker, in every aspect of this question, lookworthy. I hope and sincerely believe he is—but even to ing to it not as a party question, but one purely financial, him, sir, I will not consent to surrender a power of such my mind still inclines me to the amendment, as the most a fearful character. But, sir, it is not the part of prudence, safe, wise, and salutary, and certainly most compatible or a wise forecast, to legislate in reference alone to the with the constitution. Sir, there is another feature in the


Oct. 6, 1837.]

Treasury Notes.

[H. OF R.

amendment which commands my approbation, and it is of the extraordinary powers already vested in the Executhis : il proposes a plain, direct, and unequivocal mode of tive, if I pause when asked to go another step-to arm that accomplishing the very object which gentlemen profess to branch of the Federal Government with a power to conhave in view the relief of the Treasury. And, for one, I vert the public faith into a banking capital for the emission prefer, sir, to plant myself upon that plain provision of the of an inconvertible paper medium, subject to no other law constitution which authorizes Congress " to borrow money than the uncontrolled will of one man! upon the faith of the United States," and thus to meet and In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to repeat my provide for the exigencies of the Treasury, rather than most perfect willingness and anxiety to replenish, by any adopt the measure proposed by the Committee of Ways and lawful means, the national Treasury. I prefer first io apMeans, which, if not of doubtful legality, is in every way ply the means already on hand, as contemplated in the exceptionable in policy. But, Mr. Speaker, I fear that amendment offered by the honorable gentleman from Kenthis Treasury currency relied upon to give life and vigor tucky, (Mr. UNDERWOOD.] If that proposition shall fail, to the new scheme, now for the first time recommended, then I shall prefer a direct loan, to be redeemed by the of separating the Government from the banks, whilst the bank debt, when it shall be received by the Government; people are left to struggle with all the evils of a paper cur and I would set it apart by law for that specific purpose. rency. If so, sir, I, for one, shall hesitate, as one of the If that proposition be also negatived, and the House deteradministration party, before I can take to my embrace a mine to authorize the proposed emission of Treasury notes, bantling which, I fear, is the mere precursor of a bank and then I shall be in favor of these notes bearing interest, un& paper currency far more formidable and dangerous than der the hope that their circulation, as a currency, may in any to be found in the history of this country. Sir, I am that way be prevented, and the Government compelled to opposed to that indirect, ambiguous, and equivocal system convert them into money. If these several propositions be of legislation which characterizes the measure under con rejected, I shall find myself placed in a situation of extreme sideration, as calculated to destroy that check upon our solicitude, anxious to extend relief to the Treasury by any conduct here which will ever result from an effective and and every mode sanctioned by the constitution and the practical responsibility to our constituents; and hence, in long-established usage of the Government, but compelled my poor judgment, we should always provide by an actual to withhold relief, only because an unrelenting majority in appropriation for every loan which we authorize, and which this House will have no other measure of relief, than one is not done in the bill upon your table. I know, sir, that which I am constrained to regard as dangerous to the stain these times such sentiments are likely to be regarded as bility of our free institutions, and subversive of the liberty old fashioned or radical; but the time will come, must and prosperity of the people. come, when they will be appreciated. That system of in Mr. Speaker, I will not detain the House longer by the direct legislation, which seeks to avoid a just and full re- expression of any apprehensions of my own, as to the ubsponsibility to the people, may be submitted to for a time, jects of this ineasure, or the danger of its ripening into a but will in the end receive its merited condemnation by an permanent system. I feel as sensibly as any man can do, abused and indignant community of intelligent freemen. the magnitude of the consequences which such a system

I am not, I hope, sir, mistaken or misunderstood upon cannot fail to produce. I hope, sir, most devoutly, that this subject. I am willing to extend to the Treasury im my fears may never be realized; but I should be unfaithful mediate and ample relief, by any means compatible with to my constituents and my country, if I did not declare, the constitution and my convictions of public duty ; nor fearlessly, that I look to the present measure as laying the will I be drawn from this determination by any doubt foundation 'of a system which, if ever established, must which may be entertained as to the real amount necessary,

end in revolution or despotism. nor by the asperities of party intolerance, the prominent I will not detain the House either, sir, by inquiring into bane of our deliberations and councils here. Yes, sir, I the causes of our pecuniary embarrassment. I am content am willing, and stand ready, to vote any sum, in the

to leave that to others, who deem it a fit subject for present bounds of reason, which the Secretary of the l'reasury inay discussion. I will act the humbler part in this emergency, consider nccessary to meet the most liberal wants of the of one who might chance to see the Treasury on fire, that Government; and if he asks more than is necessary, I leave would not stop to inquire into the cause or manner of the him to his just responsibility to the country.

conflagration, but aid in the immediate extinguishment of Sir, I am opposed to this measure, not as one of finan- the flame. I will say, however, that, great as the real distress cial relief, but one for the emission of ten millions of paper may be, I am satisfied it has been greatly magnified; I am, currency, obnoxious, as I conceive it to be, to all the ob- nevertheless, ready and willing to afford any relief, within jections of an executive bank, based not upon the means the power of Congress, to all classes and to every interest of immediate convertibility, but upon the plighted faith of in our common country. I am one of those, sir, who look the nation, which I maintain can be pledged only for a more to the energies of the people, and resources of the loan. In my humble judgment, sir, this project is fraught country, for permanent and substantial relief than to any wjih mischief; and I look to it with the deepest distrust measure which we can devise. and alarm. Admonished as I am, by a short experience Excuse me, sir, for this day declaring in my place, that in the practical administration of this Government, that its my sympathies do not incline me so much to minister to the tendency is to enlarge its powers by gradual and impercept- insatiable appetites of federal officeholders, as to the ameliorible innovations upon the rights of the States and of the ation of the condition of the great body of the people, upon people, I look to the future with all the forebodings of one whose honest contributions we all depend. And let me fully impressed with the solemn conviction that, if not re now say to my political associates, that no party considersisted, and successfully resisted, at the threshold, it will ations shall ever enlist my humble aid in the co-operation end in consoldidation, and consolidation in the overthrow of a measure which looks only to the advancement of the of our institutions and the downfall of our liberties. few, to the injury and oppression of the many. There are,

Sir, it has been well remarked, in the progress of this sir, occasions fit and proper, in my judgment, for the exdebate, that money is power; than which none is more ercise of party preference and party feelings, but these ocmercenary in its inflictions, or more difficult to resist. It casions are always secondary, and ought to be made subconnects itself with every class, and every interest, and ordinate to the higher considerations of the country and the addresses itself to every passion of human nature, and con- furtherance of sound political principles, which constitute stitutes, in the hands of ambition, the most potent engine the only ligament which oughi to connect and unite us in for mischief and oppression. Pardon me then, sir, in view our party associations.

« ПретходнаНастави »