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MR: WELLER. I think he did:
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on the motion of the Senator from Louisiana, to lay on the table the appeal taken by the Senator from Massachusetts from the decision of the Chair.
MR. CHASE. I ask if the motion of the Senator from Louisiana is in order, when the Senator from Massachusetts retained the floor for the purpose of debating the appeal ?
MR. BENJAMIN: The Senator is not in order in renewing that question, which has already been decided by the Chair:
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. If the Chair acted under an erroneous impression in supposing that debate on the appeal was not in order, when it actually is, it was the fault of the Chair, and it would not have been in order for the Senator from Louisiana to make the motion which he did make, while the Senator from Massachusetts was on the floor. But the Chair recognized the Senator from Louisiana, supposing that the Senator from Massachusetts had yielded the floor. The Senator had taken an appeal ; he followed it up by no address to the Chair, indicating an intention that he intended to debate the appeal, or the Chair certainly should so far have recognized him. But the Chair would reconsider his ruling in that respect, with the consent of the Senator from Louisiana.
MR. BRIGHT (of Indiana). The Chair will permit me to suggest that I think the motion proper to be entertained now is the one proposed by the Senator from New Hampshire [Mr. NORRIS). The Senator from Massachusetts presented his bill; the Senator from New Hampshire raised the question as to whether the Senate would grant leave to introduce it; and I think the proper question to be put now is, Will the Senate grant leave to introduce a bill repealing the Fugitive Slave Law? The effect of the motion of the Senator from Louisiana would be to lay the subject on the table, from which it might be taken at any time for action. For one, I desire to give a decisive vote now, declaring that I am unwilling to legislate upon the subject, that I am satisfied with the law as it reads, and that I will not aid the Senator from Massachusetts, or any Senator, in
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Indiana is certainly not in order.
MR. BRIGHT. I certainly am in order in calling the attention of the Chair to the fact that the Senator from New Hampshire
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Indiana is not in order.
MR. BRIGHT. Then I will sit down and ask the Chair to state wherein I am out of order.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. In discussing a question which is not before the Senate.
MR. BRIGHT. I claim that the motion is before the Senate. The Senator from New Hampshire raised the question immediately; that
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair decides otherwise.
MR. BRIGHT. Then I appeal from the decision of the Chair, and I state this as my point of order: that, before the bill was presented in legal parlance, the Senator from New Hampshire raised the question as to whether the Senate would grant leave, and that is the point now before the Senate.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair will state the question which he supposes to be pending. The Senator from California made a point of order, that debate on the bill proposed to be introduced by the Senator from Massachusetts was not in order. The Chair so ruled. From that ruling the Senator from Massachusetts took an appeal. The Chair supposed that the Senator from Massachusetts had yielded the floor, and he gave the floor to the Senator from Louisiana, who moved to lay that appeal on the table. That is the question which is now pending. The Chair before suggested, that, if the Senator from Massachusetts had not yielded the floor, he had made a mistake in giving the floor to the Senator from Louisiana, but he did not suppose that the Senator from Massachusetts, after taking the appeal, without some indication of his intention to debate it, could continue to hold the floor, and he therefore recognized the Senator from Louisiana. The Chair is sorry, if he did the Senator from Massachusetts injustice in that respect; but he did not hear him, and recognized the Senator from Louisiana.
MR. BRIGHT. I would respectfully ask the Chair what has become of the motion submitted by the Senator from New Hampshire ?
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair did not understand him to submit a motion, but the Senator from California took his point of order.
MR. BRIGHT. I wish to inquire of the Senator from New Hampshire whether he has withdrawn his motion ?
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. It was not entertained. It is not in his power to say whether it was withdrawn or not, for it was not entertained.
MR. NORRIS. I think I can inform my friend from Indiana how the matter stands. The Senator from Massachusetts proposed to introduce a bill on notice given. I raised the question, that it could not be introduced without leave of the Senate, if there was objection.
MR. SUMNER. Do I understand the Senator to say without notice given ? I asked leave to introduce the bill in pursuance of notice.
MR. NORRIS. The Senator from Massachusetts, I have already stated, offered his bill agreeably to previous notice.
MR. SUMNER. Precisely.
MR. NORRIS. The question was then raised, whether it could be received, if there was objection? The question arose, whether leave should be granted to the Senator from Massachusetts to introduce the bill ?
MR. SUMNER. That is the first question.
MR. NORRIS. The Senator from Massachusetts, upon the question of granting leave, undertook to address the Senate. He was then called to order by my friend from California for discussing that question. The Chair sustained the objection of the Senator from California. From the decision of the Chair the Senator from Massachusetts took an appeal; and that is where the question now stands, unless the Senator from Louisiana had a right to make the motion which he did make, which was to lay the appeal on the table.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is, unless the Senator from Louisiana will disembarrass the Chair by withdrawing it, on the motion of the Senator from Louisiana to lay the appeal on the table.
MR. SUMNER. On that motion I ask for the yeas and nays.
The yeas and nays were ordered.
MR. Foot (of Vermont). On what motion have the yeas and nays been ordered ?
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. On the motion of the Senator from Louisiana.
MR. WALKER. I wish to know, before voting, what will be the effect of a vote given in the affirmative on this motion ? Will it carry the bill and the whole subject on the table ?
MR. FOOT. An affirmative vote carries the whole measure on the table.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Yes, Sir; if the motion to lay on the table be agreed to, it carries the bill with it.
SEVERAL SENATORS. No, no !
MR. BENJAMIN. The question is, whether, on the motion for leave to introduce the bill, there shall be debate ? The Chair has decided that there shall be no debate. Those who vote "yea” on my motion to lay the appeal of the Senator from Massachusetts on the table will vote that there is to be no debate upon the permission to offer the bill, and then the question will be taken upon granting leave.
MR. WALKER. The Chair decides differently. The Chair decides, if I understand, that it will carry the bill on the table. Then how can we ever reach the question of leave, when objection is made ?
MR. WELLER. I object to this discussion. The Chair will decide that question when it arises. It does not arise now. I insist that the Secretary shall go on and call the roll.
MR. WALKER. Suppose some of us object to it?