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H. op R.]
The Public Deposites.
(JUNE 9, 1834.
lowed?)—is in charge of officers appointed by the Presi- law, the agent for keeping the public moneys, But from dent,” is a fact which I am not only obliged to admit, this step, as to what " always bas been,” and is now, it but have much reason to deplore. And further, that will be found, in the subsequent paragraph, that he ad. "the superintendents and keepers of the whole are vances another step, trampling directly upon the constituappointed by the President,” (it should be added, “by tion, to what “always must be” the keeper of the public and with the advice and consent of the Senate," but that moneys. advice and consent has not yet been had and obtained to Sir, the proposition is, “that, no matter how or when the most important appointments,) "responsible to him, the public money is obtained, its custody always has been, and removable by his will,” are facts and trutlis which i and always must be, unless the constitution be changed, hare admitted, under the existing laws, in a former debate intrusted to the Executive department." Now, it will on a former occasion. I then contended, as I now contend, be observed, that the first part of this proposition is but that "the legislative branch of the Government as clearly the mere repetition of the idea or fact contained in the has the power, by the constitution, to take care of the paragi aph already commented on. I he precedent of public moneys of the United States, as it has to appropri- what always has been" done is made the stepping-stone ate them by law; and that it can no more delegate the to a claim of constitutional right; and what was said in the one power than the other. “But Congress baving by law first paragraph was but the preparation of the mind for created the bead of an Executive department, and his what is to follow. Sir, "he who runs may read” this subordinate officers the agents for keeping the public proposition, to which we have seen the preceding context moneys, that head and the officers of his department are directly leads, and was intended to lead; and now, I ask, responsible to the President.” And, sir, lest I may not whether this broad claim of executive power is lessened, have been understood then, I will here explain my views qualified, or mitigated, in the least, by ire subsequent of the extent of the responsibility of the officers in the context? Executive departments to the President of United States. As the preceding context is the groundwork of this Whenever the law's imperatively require an act to be pretension, so the subsequent is the superstructure, Be or not to be done, or to be done in a particular manner, patient, sir, whilst I search for the truth. What is the by these officers, the President, within the sphere of the next sentence? “No officer can be created," &c. Am executive branch of the Government, but there alone, is I, is any one who ever dreamt of logic, to be told that this constitutionally bound to “take care” that such acts is any qualification of the first position assumed? Sir, it “ faithfully” are or are not done by such officers, and in is the very "why and the wherefore" that the custody of the manner prescribed by law. These officers are thus the public money “ always must be intrusted to the Execfar responsible to the President, because he is responsible utive department." for their acts in every sense of the word. He is “ What next? “The legislative power may undoubtedswerable" and "accountable” for them as they are to ly," &c., "they may prescribe in what place," &c. And him, because there is an obligation of duty imposed upon is it here that any qualification is to be found? Well, sir, him by the constitution, which he is capable of discharging. I must candidly confess that I would be thankful to his and which if he does not faithfully discharge, he is liable to most gracious—no, sir, no! not majesty!--for that little, impeachment, as may be illustrated by a variety of cases. "to prescribe the place and the reason for removal from
Thus, if Congress had enacted that the public moneys one place to another!" Yes, and we have even the genshould be kept in the Bank of the United States, without erous admission that it would be the duty of the President any discretionary power of removal whatever, given to to see that this prescription should be complied with! the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Secretary of the This is gracious, most gracious, and I was about to take Treasury had removed them, with the knowledge of the the little that was left me, and “ be off with it; but-but! President, and embezzled them, the President would ay, yes, sir, I am tantalized by a dashi, and told, "yet certainly have been impeachable for permitting a viola- will ihe custody remain in the Executive department of tion of the laws, when he had the power of removing the the Government!". It is even so, sir; you may say wliere officer thus guilty of a breach of trust. I presume there the public money shall be kept, but "remember! ay, rewould have been but one opinion, especially with the op- member, that I am to be keeper!" Is not such a qualifi. position, on this point. But where the laws are not im- cation upon qualification as this enough to fret a freeman? perative, merely permissive, that an executive officer if this be qualification, it aggravates the monstrous offence may or may not do a particular act, where a discretion committevi; adds insult to injury, and enrages the mind of is vested in him, the President has not the power to sub lim, if he has any mind, to whose soul, if he has any soul, stitute his own discretion in the place of that designated it is meant to be a faitering unction." Sir, it reminds by law; because in this Government his will is not, like me of the old common-law notion of the relation between that of a king, the will of the nation. No officer is the a bail and his principal. The old books tell us that the keeper of his conscience, and much less ig he the keeper bail holds his principal by a string, which he may pull at of the consciences of others. He can in po case be lield any time. And, in the language of my honored precepresponsible for the exercise of another's discretion; and tor of the law, let him wander where he may, "at each the responsibility to him from the officer is founded on remove he drags a lengthening chain." So with the Exhis responsibility as described to Congress for the officer, ecutive and the Treasury: if the public money should and not, as is contended, on the power of appointment. take the wings of the morning," or of the law, “and fly He appointed many officers, judicial and ministerial, to the uttermost parts of the earth,” still there would such as judges and marshals, for whose acts he is in no the strong arm of executive power hold it; and “if it sense responsible. In this, then, in my opinion, con- should be cast into the depths of the sea,
» still there sisted the abuse of power in the removal of the depos- would it be overshadowed by executive guardianship, atites: that the President exercised the legitimate power tributed with ubiquity, and regulated by no law. Sir, it of removal for the illegitimate purpose of virtually sub- reminds me of an expression ofien used by an old acquaintstituting his own discretion in Die place of that appointed ance of mine, whom I often see in this city, about his by law.
"sweetheart.” The Treasury may be well called the With the first of these paragraphs of the protest, then, “sweetheart" of this administration--"ubi,” treasury, understood as I am willing to understand it, I perfectly “ibi," Executive department! Such is the sumn and subagree. It goes no farther than to state the previous and stance of this qualification! present fact, that a Department of the executive branch of How can any one insist upon this qualification, when ihe Government has always been, and is now made by the next three sentences expressly affirm that, “ wera
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the Congress to assume, with or without a legislative act; not directly as pointedly at issue with these resolutions as the power,” &c., “such an act would be regarded by all an affirmative and negative proposition possibly can be as a palpable usurpation of executive power,” &c., and with each other? But I shall proceed to demonstrate, in that there is no difference, in principle, quoad hoc, be my poor way, the truth of these resolutions, which may tween the different species of property—arms, muni. be voted down by many, thouglı adınitted by all. tions of war, and supplies, or gold and silver, or bank I cannot conceive, Mr. Speaker, where the President nofes?" I am justified, then, in saying, that the whole or liis council find it in the constitution that the custody of context, antecedent and consequent, instead of explaining the public money must be intrusted to the Executive de. away, limiting or restraining the position that “the custo partment, unless they obtain it by implication from the dy the public money always musi be, unless the constitu- list section of the 2d article, which “vests the executive tien be changed, intrusted to the Executive department," power in a President." I presume that this is the clause does, in truth, illustrate and enforce that position. relied upon, from the expression, “the custody of the
If the expression was, “unless the law be changed," public property has always been considered an approthere would be some room for cavil; but the constitution, priate function of the Executive department, in this and ** with or without a legislative act," is made the founda- all other Governments.” But I cannot understand how tion of this claim, which is pursued by the regular steps of the exercise of powers, by the Executive or Kings of regular reasoning. Facts are stated; a position is assumed, other Governments, can be precedent or example for the illustrated, and enforced; and, lastly, the problem is exercise of similar or the saine powers by the Executive solved, and the process of reasoning is terminated by the or President of this Government, except by one mode of “ quod erat demonstrandum”-“Congress, cannot, there construction, which is subversive of our constitution. The fore, take out of the hands of the Executive department section of the constitution referred to must be received the custody of the public property or money, without an by the wrider of the protest as conferring all powers which assumption of executive power, and a subversion of the are inherently in their nature executive, according to the first principles of the constitution.” Such is the protest standard writers on the nature of the powers of Governitselt, explained by itself.
ment. And, in order to obtain for the executive branch But, sir, we are told that there is a co:licil to this will; of this Government all such powers, all that this school that there is a protest against this construction of the pro- of construction liave to do is to look to Montesquieu, or test; an “explanatory message,” which retracts these some other writer on the powers of European Governductrines, and modifies this dangerous and alarming claim inents, for a power in its nature executive; or, to use the to power. Quære de hoc? Sir, if this second message language of the protest, for a power which “has always had retracted the abominable lieresies of the protest, and been considered an appropriate function of the Execuif I could be convinced that the President had revised, tive department in this and all other Governments!” and corrected, and withdrawn its offensive matler, I would Now, sir, I doubt, but I shall not stop to discuss, whether sit down in bumble rejoicing that “the man of my choice" the power of “keeping the public money" can be found had not intentionally committed this political sin, bringing in Montesquieu, (who, I am informed, is the first writer wit! it political death. “Nothing is so painful to the that divided the powers of Government into legislative, pure mind as to think those it highly esteems have acted executive, and judicial,) or any other author, to be in its un sorthily; or nothing so grateful as the assurance that nature an executive power. But admit that it is so, and they merit the esteem we have been induced liberally and bas always been so considered by all writers, still, I conconfidingly to bestow.” And my friend from Pennsylva. tend, in the first place, that this section of the constitunia, (Mr. McKENNAN,} from wliom I was justly proud to tion confer's no power whatever, executive or not; and, receive a compliment the other day, never said aught in the second place, that the constitution does confer this more just or true than when he said I was the “sincere power of keeping the public moneys, no matter how it friend" of the President. I say, sir, if I know that the in- had been before considered, expressly upon the Congress troduction of these resolutions bad caused bim lo be con- of the United States. scious of, and to atone for, this error, my labors of this The first three sections of articles 1st, 2d, and 30, were session would be more than amply rewarded; my pride, intended merely to divide the Government into three ny ambition, my heart would be more than gratified. branches; to sayBut when I look to this explanatory message, and contem. 1st. There shall be a Congress of the United States, plate the spirit which pervades it, all my senses and all my to consist of a Senate and House of Representatives, wul rise up in rebellion! The expression “that certain 2d. There shall be a President of the United States of passages contained in his message and protest may be mis- America. 'inderstood," is an insult to my understanding; and when 3d. There shall be onc Supreme Court, and such inle says “that such a construction” as I have put upon ferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain them," is not warranted by any thing," I am more than and establish. lull confinced that there was a settled and sub:le inten And the constitution then proceeds to specify the powers tion, on the part of his advisers and amanuensis--I cannot given to Congress, which are denominated · legislative;" yet believe on his parl--to gull, dcceive, and enslaye the the powers. given to the President, which are denominapeople. Sir, no one can misunderstand these “certain ted "executive;" and the powers given to the courts, passages” in the protest, but those who are determined to which are denominated "judicial.” It cwes not pretend palliate, who are blind with devotion; who, having eyes, or attempt to define what either legislative, executive, see not, and ears, hear not, the things which concern the or judicial powers are, according to their inherent nature, salvation of the country. The only effect of this explana- but, by its own power of forming a new Government, artory message lias been to render that which was clear as bitrarily in terms, without reference to what had been ight, dark, lowering, and portentous as the black and considered by writers to be the nature of the respective muttering cloud from which we may expect a coming powers, it gives certain powers to Congress, which it mastorn, to shake, and blast, and desolate all around us! kes legislative; certain powers to the President, which it There is no mitigation, but aggravation of the offence, to makes executive; and certain powers tot he courts, which may mind, in the second message. Indeed, we are told by it makes judicial. Our Government is entirely "sui geneits friends that there is no difference between it and the ris,' and its powers must be defined by the constitution first. The first, the stubborn, the meaning protest must alone, without foreign aid or help. If the constitution be so stand, then, unexplained, unretracted, unexpiated; and I interpreted as to give to Congress, for example, only those il not again ask the common sense of any man, if it is powers which have “always been considered" legislative
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The Public Deposites.
June 9, 1834.
in their nature, it would take away a power expressly one of the heads of Departments, the keeper of the pubgranted to Congress--the power of declaring war; be- lic moneys, or to do and perform any duties required by cause it is in its nature an executive power, and is so con- law, such an officer is thus far 'responsible to the Presisidered by all writers on the nature of the powers of other dent, by virtue of his official relations. But does responGovernments. The truth is, that, upon examination, it sibility, to any extent, from an inferior to a superior offi. will be found there are several powers always considered cer, actually convey the office itself, and its duties? Beexecutive in their nature, given by the constitution to cause the Secretary of the Treasury is responsible to the Congress; but not one can be found which was ever con. President for acts which he is imperatively required by sidered legislative in its nature which the constitution has law to do, or not to do, has the President the right or the given to the President. And the reason is, because the power to assume the office itself? It would, indeed, chief point of difference between this Government and seem so, from bis doctrine of responsibility of executive all others is, that its very object is to limit, and check, and powers, and from his late conduct. He may fail to nomicontrol executive power. But again: if the 1st section nate the Secretary of the Treasury, permit the appointof the 2d article confers any power at all, so does the 1st ment to expire, refuse to nominate another, remove the section of the 1st article; and if the 1st section of the 1st Treasurer, Comptroller, and Register; or any or all of these article confers any power at all, it expressly vests "all offices may be vacated by resignation or death, as well as legislative po:ver therein granted in Congress;” and it by removal—and what is the consequence? Why, sir, acwould be entirely irreconcilable with two subsequent sec- cording to the doctrine that the custody of the public tions, which require the consent of the President to the money is, by the constitution, "an appropriate function passage of any law, joint order, resolution, or vote; it of the Executive department," the whole keeping of 'the would go to strip the President himself of one of his treasury would necessarily, in the absence of all these most darling attributes of executive power the power officers, whom he may at will displace and disband, reof the veto.
sult to the President himself, in whom all executive power Whether the custody of the public money be "an ap- concentrates. And the public money having been repropriate function of the Executive department” or not, moved from the Bank of the United States, the place then the question is, has the constitution given that power where the law placed it, and there being now no other to the President? And if it is not conferred by the 1st place pointed out, he may put it into his own coffers, and section of the 2d article, which confers no power what. dispose of it, for aught there is to prevent him, to his ever, by what other letter or clause of the constitution, I own use! In fact, this claim of the custody results in ask, is this power given to the Executive department? that of the use of the public money. What, I ask, is The appointing power, and none other, can be relied on. there now to prevent the President from taking, without The protest says that "no officer can be created by Con- appropriation by law, one hundred thousand dollars, ingress, for the purpose of taking charge" of the public stead of twenty-five thousand dollars, to be appropriated money, “whose appointment would not, by the constitu- by law, for his salary, in the teeth of the constitution? If tion, at once devolve on the President, and who would this protest be true, the checks and balances of the Gov. not be responsible to him for the faithful performance of ernment are gone--never existed; and he who does not his duties." In other words, the President has not imme- dare to resist ibis attack upon the constitution is fit to be diately the custody of the public money; but, if the law a slave, and not worthy of free Government. creates an officer to keep it, the President, by the inci It is clear, then, I repeat, that if the constitution had dental right of appointment, has the power, under the gone thus far, and no farther, in the clause referred to, constitution, of keeping the officer who keeps the money! the President's claim to power would still be inadmissible. Such is the idea of this power, as an incident to appoint. But, sir, I leave all this debatable ground, and take a ment. But section 2d, article 2d, of the constitution, stand which cannot be assailed by argument or by force, says: “ The President shall nominate, and, by and with unless the constituiton itself be demolished, so that not the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint am- one stone sball not be left upon another, from its deep bassadors, or other public ministers and consuls, judges foundation to the top of its superstructure. Happily for of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United the country, this clause further provides: “But the Con. States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise pro- gress may, by law, vest the appointment of such inferior vided for, and which shall be established by law?" Now, Officers"-(what inferior officers?)—"all other officers sir, if this clause had rested here even, still many difficult of the United States, whose appointments are not herein questions would have to be all decided in favor of the otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by President's construction, before it could be received as law," besides “ambassadors or other public ministers, politically orthodox: as that, though the President alone and consuls, and judges of the Supreme Court”-"as has the power to nominate, yet is not the power to appoint they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of & joint power between him and the Senate? It is true, by law, or in the heads of Departments." Congress may, abusing the power “to fill up all vacancies that may hap- then, to-morrow, Deo volente, by two-thirds, create pen during the recess of the Senate, by granting com- Treasurer, or keeper of the public money, whose "apmissions which shall expire at the end of their next ses pointment would not devolve upon the President." A sion,” he may change the tenure of all offices, by annual Treasurer being “such inferior officer" as whose appointappointments, t. be held under his absolute will alone, ment is not " in the constitution otherwise provided for," from expiration to expiration of every session of the being neither ambassador or other public minister, or Senate; and it is true that the best expounders of the consul, or judge of the Supreme Court, being an officer constitution in '89 decided he has the power of removal; “ which shall be established by law," the Congress may, yet, if the powers of appointment and removal are both by law, passed by two-thirds of both Houses, vest his conceded to be in him alone, still another important ques. appoiniment, as they think proper, in the courts of law. tion arises: do the duties of an office, created by law, at And if the appointment of Treasurer, and all other tach to the authority from which the appointment is de treasury officers, should thus become vested by law in rived, and upon which the power of removal depends; or the "courts of law," what, then, would become of the do they allach and belong to the office itself, derived from President's doctrine of responsibility? Would the Treaslaw?
urer still be responsible to him by virtue of his office! or, I have already conceded, to the extent which I bave mutatis mutandis, would the custody of the public money described, that, where the law creates an officer, clearly then be an appropriate function of the Judiciary? Would within the pale of the Executive department, such as the power of keeping the public money then be inciden
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tal to the power of appointing the agent to keep the pub. resolutions declares their control as well as their custody lic money? No, sir; the judges would appoint, and to be in the Congress of the United States. Sir, upon become, instanter, as to all other powers touching the examination of the protest, the conclusion is irresistible, treasury, "funclus officio," precisely as the powers of that all, all power over the public purse is claimed by the electors of President and Vice President die, as they Executive. 'I make not this declaration generally, but in should, in the very discharge of their functions to appoint, reference to particular facts. to vote for, or elect. The constitution positively nega. All control, except that of prescribing the place, is tives the proposition of the protest, that no officer can claimed over the moneys in the treasury; but let it be be created by Congress for the purpose of taking charge remembered that there are moments when the public of the public money, whose appointment would not, by moneys, unappropriated, and not disbursed under approthe constitution, at once devolve on the President." priations by law, are not in the treasury. They are “ in
And, sir, the mode of demonstrating that this power of transilu" to the treasury immediately after collection, and the custody of the public money is not given to the Exec- from the treasury immediately after appropriation. This utive, shows that it must be in Congress. Such a power is true of all the revenue. What matters it, then, where cannot be claimed for the Judiciary, and, if not in the the treasury is, when the President, through his" SecExecutive, where else can it be but in the Congress of retary, may prevent every dollar from ever going there? the United States! We have seen that Congress may, by It is known to all, I presume, that the moneys of the law, vest the appointment of the agent to keep the pub- United States, collected at the different ports of entry, lic money in either the Executive or the Judiciary; that are brought into the treasury by an order of the Secretary is that agent is not appointed by the President, even the to the collectors to pay the sums due by them at the places protest does not claim the power; and whether the judges of deposite, to the credit of the Treasurer of the United have the appointment vested in them or not, they can States. When this order is obeyed, the moneys are in never pretend to the custody. But the eighth section of the treasury, and not before. Now, sir, what is there to the first article settles all controversy on this point, by compel the Secretary to order the moneys to be paid into providing that “the Congress shall have power" the Treasury? And if it be true that the Executive has
“ To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises; their custody, what, in this state of the public moneys, to pay the debts,” &c.
becomes of that provision of the constitution which says "To borrow money on the credit of the United that “no money shall be drawn from the treasury but in States."
consequence of appropriations made by law,” and which " To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of is the only check upon the President's control of the foreign coin.”
public moneys? Do not these new protestant doctrines, Thus Congress alone has the power to raise the revenue, which come neither from Calvin nor Luther, lead directly whether by taxation, loan, or by the mint. And the ninth to the alarming consequence that the President, having section of the first article, providing that “no money shall the custody of the moneys, in or out of the treasury, be drawn from the treasury but in consequence of appro- might expend the moneys not credited to the Treasurer, priations made by law,” gives to Congress the power of or use the amounts of collectors' bonds, without appropridisbursing as well as raising the public revenue. If the ation by law, inasmuch as it is the money “from the custody of the public moneys is not expressly given in treasury” only which shall not be drawn but in consethese clauses of the constitution, it is nowhere expressly quence of appropriations made by law? Ay, sir, I ask given. The grants of the powers to raise and appropri- those who attended the discussion of the appropriation ate, necessarily, to my min!, include the power to keep bills, if moneys collected have not been expended, bethe moneys of the United States. But, if not expressly fore they were brought into the treasury, without approgiven to any, yet all must admit that it belongs to some priations made by law? I inform the people that they one branch of the Government; that it necessarily results have; that suits are multiplied unreasonably on collectors' from the powers which are expressly given; and that it bonds; and that collectors and district attorneys of the cannot result from any express power so properly as from United States pay their fees and the costs, and return the those of collecting and appropriating the public moneys. nett proceeds only into the treasury. And if a part may To wbich branch of the Government, then, does it be- be withheld without sanction of law, why not the whole? long? To Congress, which has all the powers, or to the And if a part, or the whole, may be withheld for one Executive, which lias none of the powers of collecting object, why not for another? Again, sir: there are the and appropriating the public revenues? Most clearly, iminense revenues of the Post Office Department, which all powers, necessarily and properly resulting from those are never brought into the treasury, over which there expressly given to Congress, belong to Congress. But I never was, and is not now, the guard or check of Treaadvance a step farther, and contend that all resulting surer, Comptroller, or Register. What, I ask, is there powers whatever belong to the Legislative, the law-giving to prevent the Executive from pocketing them for his branch of our Government. Whatever doubts may exist own use, or controlling them for his own purposes, if or be raised in other Governments, where the Executive Congress cannot take their custody from the present power is always strongest, there is a clause of our consti- agents? “Where are they now?" is a question which tution which leaves no room for doubt on this point in has been reiterated in vain this winter, until its repetition this Government, where the Executive is at best merely bas ceased to annoy the few who only know, and has left co-ordinate. The constitution provides that Congress the interested many who know not, in despair of ever shall have power “to make all laws which shall be neces- knowing, until the too far distant day of account shall sary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing come! "I say, then, if the custody of the moneys of the povers, and all other powers vested by this constitution United States, unappropriated, and not disbursed, whether in the Government of the United States, or in any depart. in or out of the treasury, be not in Congress, their conment or officer thereof." If the custody of the public trol must be in the President. Are any here so basely IDoneys be a resulting power, then, and resulting, too, servile as even to connive at this doctrine? None, I hope. from a power expressly given to the Executive even, it I call upon all, then, to vote for the first of these resolumust, nevertheless, by this clause of the constitution, be- tions. It says, that "the custody and control of the mo. long to Congress. But it is an express power, and ex- neys of the United States are placed under the order and pressly given to Congress.
direction of Congress," to meet the cringing argument We have thus far been contending, however, for the which is tised, that " · Congress las no hand to hold the eustody alone of the public moneys. The first of these l public purse." It is true, sir, tha! Congress, as a body,
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(JUNE 9, 1834. cannot keep the public moneys; but the custody of Con. I am fully sensible of my own inability to command influgress is the custody of the law, and the hand of the law ence, and I am conscious that I can scarcely be heard in is the agent created by Congress.
any sense in this hall, but I would appeal to gentlemen, The third resolution declares that Congress can take on all sides, of all parties, not to leave here without doing out of the hands of the Executive department the cus-something at least to appease popular discontent. I would tody and control, not only of the public moneys, but of ask of all, if any can be so infatuated as to imagine, for the public property of the United States. Sir, I shall a moment, that the people will tolerate the present state not stop here to refine upon the nice distinctions between of things, and permit it to exist? the words “money" and "property;" and, though there To those who, with me, deprecate and deplore the is a material and important difference between “money present condition of the country, I would say, it is too in the treasury," and lands, tenements, arms, and other irue this is no longer a question of restoration or not of “property" purchased with money once appropriated the deposites, of bank or no bank," of dollars and by law, yet I will admit that, in a broad sense, “public cents, but a question of constitutional freedom. How, money is but a species of public property." If so, my ar- though, are we to redeem the constilution, vindicate our gument is at once confirmed by the constitution, which ex. own powers, and restore the rights of the people, with. pressly provides (section 3d, art. 4th) that "the Congress out acts as well as declarations? It is useless io declare shall have power 10 dispose of, and make all needful rules the powers of Congress, without attempting at least to and regulations respecting the territory or other property exert them. The cry of “Usurpation! Usurpation!" is belonging to the United States;" besides the power given a dull sound, without efforts to second its notes. How in the 16th clause of the 8th section of the 1st article. correct the abuse of removing the deposites, but by re
I hope, sir, that I have now shown what are the doc- storing them? How restore a sound, uniform, and safe trines, and some of the errors of the protest; that I have currency, but by adopting some permanent plan of relief? demonstrated the truths of these resolutions, and main- How rebuke the abuses and usurpations of power, but tained not only their propriety and consistency, but laid by couteracting both? Sir, I hope gentlemen in opposibare their absolute necessity to the very preservation of tion are in earnest, and are actuated by patriotism more our form of government. I therefore call upon this than by party spirit; that they do not mean only to cast House, by the danger of giving silent consent to enor- odium on the acts of the administration, without intend. mous and alarming clains of power by the Executive, by ing to apply a remedy themselves. I hope they do not the sacred trusts which are reposed in it by the people, desire the suffering of their countrymen to continue, in by its own dignity, self-respect, just powers, and inde- order that they may be more than imbittered against those pendence, and by the cause of civil liberty, to sustain in power; that the cry they have raised is not so much to ihese resolutions, which contend for the laws and the destroy the popularity of the powers that be," but that constitution.
it has a meaning in it worthy of the patriot's warning; and : But, sir, the protest is not a mere declaration of powers. that they will continue at their posts until this policy of If it was but theory, we might, perhaps, amuse ourselves doing nothing, of leaving all power where it now is, is with its abstract philosophy, fold our arms in security, defeated and overthrown. anel smile at the harmless arrogance of the Executive Sir, I respectfully ask gentlemen who support the adself-sufficiency. It is practical, sir, with a vengeance; ministration in all these ineasures, if it can possibly be and a false security on our part may be fatal. It does not their deliberale policy to adjourn without doing somemerely declare what the Executive might do if it would, thing for relief --- not pecuniary relief, that is now but as but it is a justification of what it has done of its own will the dust in the balance--I mean relief of the laws and conand accord. There is, therefore, something practical stitution? I respectfully inqutre of the honorable chairinvolved in the instructions proposed, which I must not man of the Cominittee of Ways and Means, if any other leave untouched.
cau be his design, or the design of the party with whom By an abuse of power, the President has taken the be acts, by the proposition of the measure he has retreasury itself out of the custody of law. By the worst ported? Can he or any man expect us to adopt that meapolicy that ever misguided an administration, ibis has de sure, when it would but confirm the present state of stroyed confidence and credit in trade; deranged the things; but employ the worst of means to effect the very money market; convulsed, and shocked, and stunned bu- evils complained of; but add the sanction of law to the siness of every description among men; injuriously af- very violations of law; and servilely grant, yield, and fected every species of legislation, and produced the consent to the usurpations of power which we are so most unparalleled commercial suffering and distress that loudly called on sternly to deny, refuse, resist, and deever afil:cted a people in a time of profound peace and of nounce? Does he not, did he not foreknow that Conexuberant national prosperity. And, by claims of power giess will reject this proposition to strip it of all its powstill more extravagant, dangerous and alarming, this stateers, and transfer them to the Executive? And if Con. of things is sought to be perpetuated, by strengthening gress does reject it, as it is bound by law and duly lo do, still more the cords, and extending still wider the boun- do gentlemen flater themselves that they can return to daries of executive power, by paralyzing the legislative their constituents with the insulting escuse, that the adarm, and corrupting the representative will!
ministration has done its part for the people? I imploThe Executive has not only claimed, but has actually ringly ask gentlemen, if this is to be their " ullimatum?" obtained the custody and control of the public moneys. If so, I venture to predict that it will be the “ultimatum". The custody and control carry with thein the use; and of their fate! Sir, this may be the croaking of prophecy, thic moneys bave been used, espended, anıl, ! fear, and they may feel secure as a tower of strength in their squandered, without authority of law. It is at this time present possession of power. But if they continue to collected, brought into the treasury or not, transferred, mock the complaints of the people; if they continue in deposited, as to time, place, and circumstances; loaned that desperate course which blindly plunges from bad to with or without security; and may be disbursed “ ad libi- worse; if they do not quickly retrace their steps of folly, íum,' according to the simple dictation of the President repent of past errors, (which they may now do without and his Secretary.” This is not matter for argument; making confession;) if they persist in this sacrilegious it is "stubborn faci."
policy which pollutes the sacred vessels of the sanctuary ; I shall make no other comment than earnestly to say, lihey will yet' have to tremble, like Belshazzar, at the that something effectual and permanent must be done. The hand-writing on the wall! disease is too violent and radical for a nostrum or nothing. Sir, in the language of Fisher Amos, “if my powers