« ПретходнаНастави »
is at once a difficult and delicate foreign relations. The remedy task. To extend the Circuit proposed was the establishment of Courts equally throughout the a Home Department -a measure different parts of the Union, and, which does not appear to have at the same time, to avoid such a met the views of Congress, on acmultiplication of members as count of its supposed tendency to would encumber the Supreme increase gradually, and impercepAppellate Tribunal, is the object tibly, the already too strong bias desired. Perhaps it might be of the federal system towards the accomplished by dividing the Cir- exercise of authority not delegated cuit Judges into two classes, and to it. I am not, therefore, disproviding that the Supreme Court posed to revive the recommendashould be held by those classes tion; but am not the less impressalternately — the Chief Justice ed with the importance of so always presiding.
organizing that Department, that If an extension of the Circuit its Secretary may devote more of Court system to those States his time to our foreign relations. which do not now enjoy its bene- Clearly satisfied that the public fits should be determined upon, it good would be promoted by some would, of course, be necessary to suitable provision on the subject, revise the present arrangement of I respectfully, invite your attention the circuits; and even if that sys- to it. tem should not be enlarged, such The charter of the bank of the a revision is recommended. United States expires in 1836,
A provision for taking the cen- and its stockholders will most prosus of the People of the United bably apply for a renewal of their States will, to insure the comple- privileges. In order to avoid the tion of that work within a conve- evils resulting from precipitancy nient time, claim the early atten- in a measure involving such imtion of Congress.
portant principles, and such deep The great and constant increase pecuniary interests, I feel that I of business in the Department of cannot, in justice to the parties State forced itself, at an early interested, too soon present it to period, upon the attention of the the deliberate consideration of the Executive. Thirteen years ago, Legislature and the People. Botlı it was, in Mr Madison's last mes- the constitutionality and the expesage to Congress, made the subject diency of the law creating ihis of an earnest recommendation, Bank are well questioned by a which has been repeated by both large portion of our fellow-citiof his successors; and my com zens; and it must be admitted paratively limited experience has by all, that it has failed in the satisfied me of its justness. It has great end of establishing a uniarisen from many causes, not the form and sound currency. least of which is the large addition Under these circuinstances, if that has been made to the family such an institution is deemed of independent 'nations, and the essential to the fiscal operations proportionate extension of our of the Government, I submit to
the wisdom of the Legislature the justice of this claim, as correswhether a national one, founded ponding to those which have been upon the credit of the Government since recognised and satisfied, it and its revenues, might not be is the fruit of a deed of patriotic devised, which would avoid all and chivalrous daring, which constitutional difficulties; and, at infused life and confidence into the same time, secure all the ad- our infant Navy, and contributed, vantages to the Government and as much as any exploit in its hiscountry that were expected to tory, to elevate our national charresult from the present Bank. acter. Public gratitude, therefore,
I cannot close this communica- stamps her seal upon it; and the tion without bringing to your view meed should not be withheld which the just claim of the representatives may hereafter operate as a stimuof Commodore Decatur, bis offi- lus to our gallant tars. cers and crew, arising from the I now commend you, fellowrecapture of the frigate Philadel- citizens to the guidance of Alphia, under the heavy batteries of mighty God, with a full reliance Tripoli. Although sensible, as a on his merciful providence for the general rule of the impropriety maintenance of our free instituof Executive interference under a tions; and with an earnest suppliGovernment like ours, where every cation, that, whatever errors it individual enjoys the right of may be my lot to commit
, in disdirectly petitioning Congress; yet, charging the arduous duties which viewing this case as one of a very have devolved on me, will find a peculiar character, I deem it my remedy in the harmony and wisduty to recommend it to your dom of your counsels. favorable consideration. Besides
Message from the President of the United States, returning to the
House of Representatives the enrolled bill, entitled 'An act authorizing a subscription of stock in the Maysville, Washington, Paris, and Lexington Turnpike Road Company,' with his objections thereto.
To the House of Representatives.
Sincerely friendly to the imGENTLEMEN : I have maturely provement of our country by considered the bill proposing to means of roads and canals, I authorize 'a subscription of stock regret that any difference of opinin the Maysville, Washington, ion in the mode of contributing Paris, and Lexington Turnpike 10 it should exist between us; Road Company,' and now return and if, in stating this difference, I the same to the House of Repre- go beyond what the occasion may sentatives, in which it originated, be deemed to call for, I hope to with my objections to its passage. find an apology in the great im
portance of the subject, an un- conferred by the Constitution, feigned respect for the high source ought to be exercised. The act from which this branch of it has which I am called upon to considemanated, and an anxious wish er, has, therefore, been passed to be correctly understood by my with a knowledge of my views on constituents in the discharge of this question, as these are expressall my duties. Diversity of senti- ed in the message referred to. ment among public functionaries, In that document the following actualed by the same general suggestions will be found : motives, on the character and After the extinction of the tendency of particular measures, public debt, it is not probable that is an incident common to all Gov- any adjustment of the tariff, upon ernments, and the more to be principles satisfactory to the peoexpected in one which, like ours, ple of the Union, will, until a owes its existence to the freedom remote period, if ever, leave the of opinion, and must be upheld by Government without a considerathe same influence. Controlled, as ble surplus in the Treasury, bewe thus are, by a higher tribunal, yond what may be required for before which our respective acts its current service. As then the will be canvassed with the indul- period approaches when the appligence due to the imperfections of cation of the revenue to the payour nature, and with that intelli- ment of debt will cease, the disgence and unbiassed judgment position of the surplus will prewhich are the true correctives of sent a subject for the serious error, all that our responsibility deliberation of Congress ; and it demands is, that the public good may be fortunate for the country should be the measure of our that it is yet to be decided. views, dictating alike their frank Considered in connexion with the expression and honest mainte- difficulties which have heretofore nance.
attended appropriations for purIn the message which was pre- poses of internal improvement, sented to Congress at the opening and with those which this expeof its present session, I endeavor- rience tells us will certainly arise, ed to exhibit briefly my views whenever power over uch subupon the important and highly jects may be exercised by the interesting subject to which our General Government, it is hoped attention is now to be directed. that it may lead to the adoption I was desirous of presenting to of some plan which will reconcile the Representatives of the several the diversified interests of the States, in Congress assembled, States, and strengthen the bonds the inquiry, whether some mode which unite them. Every memcould not be devised, which would ber of the Union, in peace and reconcile the diversity of opinion in war, will be benefited by the concerning the powers of this improvement of inland navigation Government over the subject of and the construction of highways internal improvement, and the in the several States. Let us manner in which these powers, if then endeavor to attain this benefit
in a mode which will be satisfac- arising from the practice of the tory to all. That hitherto adopted Government. Although frequenthas been deprecated as an infrac- ly and strenuously attempted, the tion of the Constitution by many power, to this extent, has never of our fellow-citizens; while by been exercised by the Governothers it has been viewed as inex- ment in a single instance. It does pedient. All feel that it has been not, in my opinion, possess it; and employed at the expense of har- no bill, therefore, which admits it, mony in the Legislative Councils.' can receive my official sanction. And adverting to the constitution But, in the other view of the al power of Congress to make power, the question is differently what I considered a proper dis- situated. The ground taken, at position of the surplus revenue, I an early period of the Governsubjoined the following remarks: ment, was,' that, whenever money "To avoid these evils, it appears has been raised by the general to me that the most safe, just, and authority, and is to be applied to federal disposition which could be a particular measure, a question made of the surplus revenue, arises whether the particular would be its apportionment among measure be within the enumerated the several States, according to authorities vested in Congress. their ratio of representation ; and If it be, the money requisite for should this measure not be found it may be applied to it; if not, no warranted by the Constitution, such application can be made.' that it would be expedient to pro- The document in which this prinpose to the States an amendment ciple was first advanced is of authorizing it.'
deservedly high authority, and The constitutional power of the should be held in grateful rememFederal Government to construct brance for its immediate agency or promote works of internal im- in rescuing the country from much provement, presents itself in two existing abuse, and for its conpoints of view: the first
, as bear- servative effect upon some of the ing upon the sovereignty of the most valuable principles of the States within whose limits their Constitution. The symmetry and execution is contemplated, if ju-' purity of the Government would, risdiction of the territory which doubtless, have been better prethey may occupy, be claimed as served, if this restriction of the necessary to their preservation power of appropriation could have and-use : the second, as asserting been maintained without weakenthe simple right to appropriate ing its ability to fulfil the general money from the National Treasury objects of its institution — an efin aid of such works, when un- fect so likely to attend its admisdertaken by State authority, sur- sion, notwithstanding its apparent rendering the claim of jurisdic- fitness, that every subsequent adtion. In the first view, the ques- ministration of the Government, tion of power is an open one, and embracing a period of thirty out can be decided without the em- of the fortytwo years of its existbarrassments attending the other, ence, has adopted a more enlarged
construction of the power. It is provement, with the approbation not my purpose to detain you by of every President of the United a minute recital of the acts which States, including my predecessor, sustain this assertion, but it is since its commencement. proper that I should notice some Independently of the sanction of the most prominent, in order given to appropriations for the that the reflections which they Cumberland and other roads and suggest to my mind may be better objects, under this power, the adunderstood.
ministration of Mr Madison was In the administration of Mr characterised by an act which Jefferson we have two examples furnishes the strongest evidence of the exercise of the right of of his opinion of its extent. A appropriation, which, in the con- bill was passed through both siderations that led to their adop- Houses of Congress, and presenttion, and in their effects upon the ed for his approval,' setting apart public mind, have had a greater and pledging certain funds for agency in marking the character constructing roads and canals, and of the power, than any subse- improving the navigation of water quent events. I allude to the courses, in order to facilitate, propayment of fifteen millions of mote, and give security to internal dollars for the purchase of Louis- commerce among the several iana, and to the original appropria- States; and to render more easy, tion for the construction of the and less expensive, the means and Cumberland Road ; the latter act provisions for the common dederiving much weight from the fence.' Regarding the bill as acquiescence and approbation of asserting a power in the Federal three of the most powerful of the Government to construct roads original members of the Confed- and canals within the limits of the eracy, expressed through their States in which they were made, respective Legislatures. Although he objected to its passage, on the the circumstances of the latter ground of its unconstitutionality, case may be such as to deprive declaring that the assent of the so much of it as relates to the respective States, in the mode actual construction of the road, provided by the bill, could not of the force of an obligatory ex- confer the power in question ; position of the Constitution, it that the only cases in which the inust, nevertheless, be admitted consent and cession of particular that, so far as the mere appropria- States can extend the power of tion of money is concerned, they Congress, are those specified and present the principle in its most provided for in the Constitution; imposing aspect. No less than and superadding to these avowals, twentythree different laws have his opinion, that a restriction of been passed through all the forms the power “to provide for the of the Constitution, appropriating common defence and general welupwards of two millions and a fare," 10 cases which are to be half of dollars out of the National provided for by the expenditure Treasury in support of that im- of money, would still leave within