Slike strani

H. OF R.]

Deposite Bank Bill.

[JUNE 20, 1834.

The next general proposition stated by the minority, high duty assigned them. And, though the temerity of is, that "absolute and unconditional power does not re- the act may astonish those who wear the golden livery of side in any department of Government," and that the the bank-who believe the bank, like the King under power of any department is subject to the restraints and the theory of the British constitution, can do no wrong, limitations prescribed by the constitution. As a general and who look upon this aristocracy of money as the chief, proposition, this is certainly true; but I maintain that it if not the sole end of government-yet the committee of is equally true that each of the three departments, with which I have the honor to be a member have dared to in their respective constitutional spheres of action, are express their opinions fearlessly, and at the hazard of fallsupreme, and that each, in the performance of the duties ing under the anathemas of a great money power, which assigned to it by the constitution, is independent of the even seeks to control the destinies of the republic. The others. The Executive department cannot control the committee have dared do this—and I dare reaffirm here Legislative will in the exercise of their constitutional what they have done. powers. Congress cannot control the Executive depart. The committee have affirmed, and I here reaffirm, that, ment in the exercise of its constitutional duties. Nor can from the origin of the Government, the power of desigeither, or both, control the Judiciary in the discharge of nating the places of deposite of the public money has the constitutional duties assigned to that department. been conferred by law on the Executive department. The argument now urged by the minority, and in debate The power has been exercised, and without objection, un. upon this floor, would uphold the supremacy of the Le- til now, by every Secretary of the Treasury. There is gislative power over each of the other departments, and an unbroken chain of construction and practice under the if it prevail, both the Executive and the Judiciary are law; and if any thing earthly can be settled by precedent, subordinate to the Legislative, and become the mere and the long and uniform acquiescence of every departagents of Congress. If all power concentrates in Con- ment of the Government, it is the exercise of this very gress, then the barriers which separate the three great power. To break the force of this unbroken chain of departments of Government in our system, and assign to precedents and usage, various subterfuges and evasions each its respective duties and functions, are broken down. in argument had been resorted to, to evade the direct

It has been but a few years since we heard, from the question. The gentleman, in this part of his speech, felt same quarter, loud complaints against the despotism and the embarrassment in which he was placed by the fact irresponsibility of an interested, heartless, unfeeling, and that the same power which has been exercised by the tyrannical majority in Congress. Upon the tariff ques- present Secretary of the Treasury was exercised by Mr. tion, the distinguished gentleman from South Carolina Secretary Crawford, during his administration of the Trea[Mr. McDUFFIE] was bold to proclaim that a majority of sury Department, and that, too, since the enactment of the Congress was the worst of despots; and we were told present bank charter; and he attempted to escape from it that that majority was the worst of despots, because it by drawing a distinction which does not in fact exist. He was an interested and irresponsible majority; and revo- stated that Mr. Crawford acted under the authority of lution was even threatened, to resist the strides of this the joint resolution of 1816. Now, it so happens that many-headed despot—the majority in Congress—which the resolution of 1816 is still in force; still stands on the was represented as desolating the whole Southern coun-statute book unrepealed; and if it was authority for Mr. try, by drawing taxes from that quarter, and placing Crawford, it must be equally authority for Mr. Taney: them in their own pockets. That majority was denoun- The gentleman next puts the authority of Mr. Crawford ced as plunderers, highway robbers, and freebooters; to remove the deposites from the Bank of the United they were boldly charged with usurping powers that did States and place them in the State banks, upon the not belong to them. The wliole system of internal im- ground that the bank assented. But the assent of the provement has been denounced by other gentlemen, who bank could not confer a power which the law did not connow inaintain the supremacy of the powers of Congress, fer. The bank is not a source of power. The truth is, as an unconstitutional usurpation of power on the part of there is no distinction in principle between the cases; and Congress. At that time, the veto power of the Presi- the truth is, further, that this power of selecting the dent was relied upon to check its progress. It was look- places of deposite has been exercised by every Secretary ed to as the conservative principle whereby the constitu.fof the Treasury. But time does not permit me to pursue lion was to be preserved. At that time the Executive the gentleman through his speech, and expose numerous was regarded as a co-ordinate branch of the Government, other errors of argument equally palpable. One or two independent of Congress, and not as the mere agent other remarks, in which the genileman was pleased to inof Congress, to perform his duties in subordination to dulge, (not, sir, in the way of argument, for of argument their will. Upon the Indian question, ton, the present they contain nothing,) I must notice. Executive was regarded as independent of Congress, and In speaking of Mr. Crawford, the gentleman talked received the high approbation of those who now de- about “a long-eared tribe, who once lifted their heels at nounce him as a tyrant and a usurper for standing by his prostrate venerable form, and now seek to frighten the constitutional rights of the States, and resisting the their masters under cover of his skin." The gentleman encroachments of the Judiciary as well as the Legislature. protested that "it cannot be necessary for me to disclaim He was not then regarded as the mere agent of Congress, any allusion to the chairman of the Committee of Ways appointed to perform his duties in subordination to their and Means, or to the President of the United States; every will.

body knows I do not mean them. Neither do I mean the In the course of the debate which occurred upon the Secretary of the Treasury." Who, then, did the gentle. report of the committee, a gentleman from Georgia [Mr. man mean? The gentleman proceeded further to say that WILDE] stated, that the Committee of Ways and Means idolatry and adulation have made a divinity of the Exhad been daring enough to assert, in their report, that ecutive;" and he denounced those who sustain this Esec. the power of designating the places of deposite is an ex. utive measure as servile instruments and tools; that there ecutive power. Doubtless, in the estimation of the gen- was nothing which tyranny could perform, but servility tleman and of all those who pay their devotions at the would applaud; and, in a strain of sarcasm, added that shrine of the odious monopoly which he so warmly and tools are as “necessary to every political cabinet-maker, unhesitatingly sustains, it is an act of daring hardihood to as they are to the manufacturer of wooden Secretaries; question its omnipotence and immaculate purity. But the and he asks if we are merely to register the decrees of gentleman may learn, if he has not already done so, that the President, as signed by his Secretary, and counter. the Committee of Ways and Means dare to discharge the signed by the chairman of the Committee of Ways and

June 20, 1334.]

Deposite Bank Bill.

[H. OF R.

Means?" Still he protests that he means nobody.. Are would be used." He says he did vote against all adjournwe to presume it was a mere rhetorical flourish? Sir, the ments of the House; and that yet the previous question gentleman should have remembered that there might be was ordered a few days afterwards, and the debate cut tools of more masters than one, and that the dominion of off. No pledge given by me has been violated. What I money requires more absolute obedience to its mandates said was not said to the gentleman from Georgia alone, than a despotism of any other kind. He should remem- but was an appeal made to the whole House, to continue ber that the bank might have tools, who never thought their sessions each day to a late hour; and that if the House her wrong in any thing she did.

would sit with me, voting against adjournments, we might, The gentleman from Georgia, too, had spoken of his dis- as I hoped, terminate, without resorting to coercive interested support of Mr. Crawford; that he had not sought means, a most protracted debate upon the mere question or expected office or personal favor at his hands, and of reference of the letter of the Secretary of the Treasury leaves it to be inferred that those who support the Presi. to the Committee of Ways and Means. The reports of dent in this measure do not occupy a similar position. Sir, what I did say, in the daily papers of this city, will show I may be permitted to say, without disturbing the sensibil- that I state the fact correctly, as it was understood at tet ity of any gentleman, that in the course I bave taken on time by the reporters. But the gentleman says he did this, as on all other occasions since I have had the honor vote against adjournments of the House. But may I ask of a seat here, I, too, have not looked to office or personal him how many of the political party with which he acts favor from any quarter. I am proud to know that I have voted with him? never, during my public service, either directly or indi. Upon one occasion, when the yeas and nays happened rectly, by myself or through others, sought either office to be recorded, I observed that but three of those opposed or preferment from any human power, except from my to the removal of the deposites, and who acted with the generous constituents, who have so long honored me with gentleman, voted with him against the adjournment of the a seat here. The insinuation, if intended to be applied | House. A majority of the House continued to adjourn at to me, is repelled. I have paid court to no power, or an early hour, from day to day, until it became apparent any man in power. In opposing the longer continuance that no question could ever be had, until the House exertof the Bank of the United States, and in sustaining the ed its power, and checked the debate. Was it unseasonExecutive upon this great question, I am but advocating ably checked? The debate had continued with short inprinciples and opinions early adopted and steadily main- tervals, from the 1st of December until the 18th of Febtained from the commencement of my public service. ruary, when the question was taken. It was on the 3d of

Studied efforts have been made, in the whole course of February that I made the appeal to the House, which the the debates which have taken place on this subject, to gentleman has chosen to construe into a pledge on my alarm the country, by inducing the belief that the Presi- part; and up to the 18th no yote had been taken. The dent was disposed to seize upon powers not conferred gentleman said he does not "reflect on the decision of the upon him, and to overturn the Government itself. “It House, or impugn the motives of the gentleman from Tenis the first time," says the gentleman from Georgia, "in nessee. But yet, he added, “ when the President and my memory, at least, that the people have passed by his Secretary violated the public faith, they lent the sancCongress to invoke the compassion of the President. tion of their great names to the violation of any privale We have made one step towards a monarchy, when pe- pledge." Sir, no private pledge has been violated by me, titions are not addressed to the Parliament but to the and any insinuation intended to convey such an idea is throne."

repelled. The same gentleman, in the very same speech He says, in substance, if the Executive can remove the in which he complains so loudly of the application of the deposites from the Bank of the United States, we may as previous question, calls upon the majority to exert the well rote ourselves useless, and ask for a Lord Protector. power of the previous question upon the question pendAnd in another part of his speech exclaims: “The exam-ling, and upon which he was then speaking. The gentle. ple of Charles encouraged the audacity of Cromwell, as man said: "Sir, in this llouse, the gentlemen who com. the example of Cromwell is now held up to the imitation plain of our distressing speeches, have the power. Why of the President." And, to cap the climax, another gen- do, they not use it to relieve the country? They can put tleman (Mr. PixCKNEY) exclaimed: "Either the depos- an end to our speeches whenever they choose." So that ites must be restored or revolution is at hand.” Is this ihe majority are lield responsible, if they do not check the fiat which has gone forth from the moneyed autocrat? debate, and act upon the public business. And if they do Is the withdrawal of a few millions of public money from check debate and act, the minority, with whom he gentle. the bank, to which the bank had no title, boldly proclaim- man acts, still utter loud complaints that they have ed to be sufficient cause for civil war and revolution ? Sir, done so. I regret that gentlemen thought proper to indulge in these I have to ask the pardon of the House for this digres. remarks. I regret it, because they had nothing to do with sion from the immediate question before it. It is the first the question before us, and, so far as they were designed to opportunity which has been afforded to nutice any of the alarm the country, they have not the slightest foundation remarks of the gentleman from Georgia, some of which in point of fact. Genilemen have wholly deceived them. related personally to myself, and perhaps required, at my selves, if they suppose that they can draw the public mind hands, the notice I have taken of them. off from the real question at issue, by unfounded and ab. When Mr. Polk had concluded his speech, surd allegations against the President, that he designs to Mr. FOSTER rose and asked the indulgence of the invest himself with absolute power, and seeks to destroy House while he stated briefly some of the reasons which the liberties of his country.

determined him in the vote he should give on the bill A word more in relation to the complaints uttered by under consideration. He had very much desired, at an the gentleman from Georgia, ihat the previous question earlier period, to have presented his views at large, on had been ordered by the House, and debate checked, in the great subject with which tliis bill was connected; but, a preliminary stage of this question, whereby he was pre- in common with many other gentlemen, he had been cuit cluded the opportunity at that time of addressing the off by that unsparing weapon, the previous question. Of House. The burden of the genileman's complaint is that, this lie should not now complain; he had no doubt that in that preliminary debate, I had given a pledge “ in those by whom the former debates had been arrested had the face of the House, that if the gentleman froin Georgia very good reasons for the course they pursued, particuwould sit with him, in voting against adjournments until larly those who had been allowed a day or two to express the debate could be concluded, no such coercive means their own opinions; and it was far from his intention

H. OF R.]
Deposite Bank Bill.

[JUNE 20, 1834. either to deny their rights, or question their liberality. I justification for a violation of them, that by that violation But, as he had thus been deprived of the opportunity of a renewal and extension of them may be prevented. justifying the votes he had been called on to give, he It has, however, been over and over again repeated to should avail himself of this occasion to do so. He should us that the question is not as to the propriety of removing not, however, attempt to go into a general discussion of the deposites, but as to their restoration; that the removal the subject, but confine himself to a few prominent having been already effected, it only remained for Conpoints.

gress to determine whether the public money should be Mr. F. said he belonged to that small minority in the continued in the State banks, or returned to the United House who had been so frequently charged with incon- States Bank, which would use them so as to promote their sistency in maintaining the unconstitutionality of the bank favorite object, the renewal of its charter. This argucharter, and yet advocating a restoration of the public ment, Mr. ř. said, did not originate in this House; it was deposites to the hank; a measure which, it is alleged, is as well understood by the prime authors of this policy directly calculated to effect a renewal of the charter of before the removal as it is now; it was part of the scheme, that institution.

and so apparent that it could not but be perceived. Have Mr. F. begged leave to refer the House to the votes gentlemen forgotten an article which appeared in the which he had heretofore given, as the best evidence of Government paper in this city only a day or two before the sincerity of his opinions as to a recharter of the bank. the commencement of the session, in which they were Two years ago he had voted, in all its stages, against the modestly instructed as to their duty, and plainly told that, bill providing for the recharter. He voted for the reso- although they might bonestly differ with the Executive lution reported by the Committee of Ways and Means, as to the policy of removing the deposites from the bank, during the present session, declaring that the bank ought that matter was now beyond their control, and the only not to be rechartered; and he should give a similar vote question for them to consider was the restoration? Thus, whenever the same question was presented to him, so those who were conscientiously opposed to a renewal of long as the constitution remained as it now is. He denied the bank charter were to be placed in a situation that they that Congress had the right to grant such a charter; and must support the administration in this measure, or incur until the power was conferred by an amendment of the the charge of inconsistency. Now, Mr. F. said, he had constitution, the policy or expediency of such an institu- had no agency in contriving this dilemma, nor would he tion were questions into which he should not inquire. consent to be placed in it by the act of others. He advo. And Mr. F. would here remark that, if he could persuade cated the restoration for the very same reasons that he himself that the decided majority who voted for the res disapproved the removal; and, in so doing, he felt satisfi. olution declaring that the bank ought not to be chartered ed there was nothing inconsistent with his ayowed and acted on the same considerations which influenced him, continued opposition to a recharter of the bank. In fact, he should regard the decision as a great triumph of con- it so happened that his opinions on these points were stitutional principle. But he would not deceive himself; founded on the same course of reasoning. He opposed he could not Aatter himself with any such belief; he the recharter, because, by the constitution, the great conshould not affect to enjoy such a triumph. What are the tract between the sove

overeign States of this Union, this facts? Are there not members of this House now voting Federal Government was prohibited from the exercise of that the bunk ought not to be rechartered, whio, two powers not delegated to it; and there was no provision years ago, voted for the bill renewing the charter? And authorizing the incorporation of a bank; consequently, can it be supposed that these gentlemen have any consti- the exercise of this power was, in his (Mr. F.'s) opinion, tutional scruples as to the power of Congress over the a violation of the constitution. He opposed the removal subject? It is not long since the Legislature of one of the and the withholding of the public deposites from the most important States of the Union, (Pennsylvania,) by bank, because, by the charter, the contract between the an almost unanimous vote, declared that the bank ought Government and the bank, the public money was to be to be rechartered; and now (Mr. F. boped he should deposited in the bank during the continuance of its chargive no offence by this allusion) some of the members of ter, removable under certain

circumstances. Mr. F, conthat Legislature, who expressed that opinion, having been ceived that, by the terins of this charter, the bank had a transferred to seats on this floor, vote that the bank ought right to the custody of the deposites, on conditions with not to be rechartered. Many other gentlemen, too, who which it had faithfully complied; and that the withholding readily gave the same vote, have no hesitation in conce- of the deposites is a plain violation of the contract conding to Congress the power, and are decidedly in favor oftained in the charter. such an institution. Mr. F. was therefore deprived of The most plausible argument which Mr. F. had heard the hig! gratification which the vote on the resolution to against the validity of this contract, thus made by the which he had alluded was calculated to afford.

Government with the bank, had been urged, some time But we are told, said Mr. F., that, in order to be con- since, by his highly-esteemed friend and colleague, (Mr. sistent in our opposition to the recharter of the bank, we GILMER) for whose opinions he entertained as much re. should justify the removal, and oppose the restoration of spect as for those of any other gentleman here or else. the deposites; that to deprive the bank of the use of where. He could truly say that a difference in opinion these deposites is the most effectual measure which can with his colleague, on any subject, could not fail to occabe adopted to prevent a renewal of the charter. Now, sion a distrust of his own; and, when be found that difMr. F. said, if he were passing down Pennsylvania ave- ference existing on this great question, it caused him to nue, and should meet a man who had just committed pause, and more carefully re-examine it; and the fact that murder, he should say the offender ought to suffer death; he could not yield to opinions which were usually with bim but would thiat justify him in shooting him down? Far little less than authority, was the most decisive evidence from it; we live in a land of laws, and the laws must pre- of the deep and settled convictions of his own judgment. vail; at least, they ought to prevail; and even the guilty The argument urged by his colleague, to which Mr. are entitled to a trial. If the bank has offended, or for. F. alluded, was this: that, by the constitution, the right feited the benefits and privileges conferred on it, and he to control the possession of the public money is vested would not say it had not,) it is certainly entitled to the in Congress, and that Congress cannot divest itself of this rights secured to the vilest culprit; let it, therefore, be right by selling or transferring it to any individual or corlegally tried and condemned. Or, if it has certain rights porate body; and, therefore, that Congress could not hare guarantied to it by its charter, it ought to be protected in given to the bank a pledge that it should have the custody the enjoyment of those rights; it certainly can be nol of the public money during the continuance of its charter.

JUNE 20, 1834.]

Deposite Bank Bill.

[H. OF R.

The principle laid down by his colleague, as to the con- States, it should have, during the existence of its charter, stitutional power of Congress over the public treasure, the custody and use of the money until wanted for the Mr. F. said, was certainly true; it was one, indeed, on purposes of the Governinent. The bank itself claims which it would seem there could not be two opinions; nothing more than this; and certainly nothing more is yet it had been maintained, by very high authority, that, implied in the terms of the charter. Now, Mr. F. asked by the provision in the sixteenth section of the bank wliether such a contract amounted to a transfer or surcharter, making the deposites removable by the Secreta- render by Congress of its control over the public money? ry of the Treasury, Congress bad tied its own hands; So far from it, he conceived that it was by virtue of that it had given the Secretary unqualified power as to this very constitutional right of control that Congress the removal; and that, until that power was exerted by could make the contract. What, he inquired, was proJim, Congress could, under no circumstances, direct the posed to be done by the bill now before us? Is it not, removal uneil the expiration of the charter. Mr. F. was under certain conditions, to place the public money in highly gratified to hear this position so ably combated the custody of the State banks? And will it be contended by his colleague; and, notwithstanding the high quarter that in authorizing such contracts Congress is yielding its from which it had been originally advanced, he believed constitutional power over the public revenue? No such it was now generally repudiated. What would be the apprehension has been expressed. Where, then, was consequences of establishing such a doctrine? Suppose the difference? Under what clause of the constitucion the bank were in failing circumstances, or was squander- was the power derived to make such contracts with State ing the public money, and the Secretary of the Treasury banks, which would not equally authorize similar contracts should refuse or fail to remove the deposites, (as, under with the Unite:l States Bank? None such could be pointed such circumstances, be is unquestionably authorized and out. And if Congress bad the right to contract with the would be in duty bound to do,) are we to be told that State banks for the custody of the public money for twelve Congress, the constitutional guardian of the public treas- months or twelve days, it had the same right to make the ure, must sit quietly by and see the nation reduced to same contract with the United States Bank for twenty bankruptcy by the mismanagement and fraud of the bank years: the contract would be as obligatory upon the Govand the Secretary? No. But it is said that for such erninent in the one case as in the other. He spoke now, conduct the Secretary would be liable to impeachment. of course, without reference to the constitutional power of And wbo, that ever witnessed the pomp and pageantry, Congress to incorporate the bank. nay, the solemn,mockery, of a trial by impeachment, can But (Mr. F. said) the arguinent which maintained that have any confidence in its effectual restraint upon dis. Congress could not make such a contract, because it honesty? But even if these trials were calculated to ex- thereby divested itself of power conferred on it by the cite more terror, if conviction and punishment were more constitution, proved too much. A single instance would certain, what safegiiard would a mere liability to im- show it. By the bank charter seven millions of the stock peachment be, when months would be consumed in the were reserved for the Government, and were subscribed Trial, during which time the very mischief intended to be for. This amount of the public money was therefore thus prevented would be accomplished? The Congress who invested in the bank. These seven millions were as framed the bank charter never could have been so un. much a part of the public treasure as that regularly acmindful of the great interests of the country, or of the cruing, and for the custody and safe-keeping of which it rights and duties of the Legislative department of the is now proposed to provide. Congress has the same conGovernment, as to have surrendered its constitutional stitutional control over the one as over the other. But and supervisory control over the public treasury; it has it would not be seriously pretended that Congress had not done so. Such, Mr. F. conceived, was not the fair the power to withdraw these seven millions from the construction of the statute; such surrender, as had been bank without its consent. No gentleman here would rise most conclusively shown by his colleague and must be and make such a proposition; and yet the public deposadmitted by all, Congress has not the power to make. ites were, on certain conditions, as solemnly pledged to

Mr. F now proceeded to inquire whether, by the the bank as the seven millions invested in this stock. terms of the charter stipulating that the public moncy of Mr. F. would now notice an argument which had been United States should be deposited in the bank, there was used some time since by two honorable gentlemen from a surrender or transfer of this constitutional control to the Alabama, { Messrs. Mandis and Clar.] Those gentlemen bank. He could not so consider it. This stipulation had taken occasion to taunt certain members of this llouse was nothing more than a part of the contract between with inconsistency in maintaining positions now so different the Government and the bank, that the money should re- from those assuined with regard to another important main in the bank, by which the bank would have the use ineasure which was before Congress at the last session. of it uotil it was drawn out by appropriations made by We are reminded that in the discussions on the bill “pro. Congress; and by these appropriations it might be drawn viding more effectually for the collection of the revenue," out as fast as deposited; nor had the bank a right to with generally known as the force bill, it was opposed on the hold it a single day after it was drawn for. What kind of ground that it was designed to carry into execution an control, then, given to the bank over the public treas- unconstitutional law; and yet that those who urged that ure? M1. F. would assimilate the deposite thus made by objection were now contributing their aid to carry into the Government to that made by an individual. Does a execution another law, which they alleged was equally merchant, by contracting with a bank that it shall have unconstirutional. Mr. F. said he was one of those who the use of his funds when he has not other employment had zealously opposed the bill referred to, and upon the for them, part with the power to control them? Surely ground stated, among others; but he had really supposed not. It was nothing more than a loan for an uncertain that it required a very moderate share of discernment to and indefinite time.

distinguish between the two cases. What were the In order, however, to test the force of the argument, facts? The lariff law was passed years ago, and provisions let us suppose that the contract, which Mr. F. conceived were already existing, or were made at the time, for its was plainly to be inferred from the terms of the charter, enforcement; but, a short time previous to the last session was expressed in clear and unequivocal terms: suppose of Congress, an attitude was assumed by one of the States, it had been laid down in plain language that, in consider- which induced some apprehension that serious obstacles ation that the bank would safely keep, and promptly might be interposed to the collection of the duties and transfer, whenever and wherever required by the officers the regular execution of the law. Under these circumof the Government, the public money of the United/stances, it was proposed to put at the command of the

Vol. X.--290

H. OF R. ]

Deposite Bank Bill.

[JUNE 20, 1834.

President the army and navy of the United States-yes, ity of the man who could set up such a defence? Such sir, said Mr. F., tó arm him with the whole military pow- an act would meet the indignant scorn and contempt of er of the country, that he might, at once, crush one of every honest man. And where, inquired Mr. F., was the the “free, sovereign, and independent States' of this difference between a Government and an individual, in confederacy. Mr. F. did oppose the passage of the law this respect? For himself, he was not well versed in that conferring these extraordinary, these alarming powers; code of morals which, while it exacted from individuals a and the opposition he had made to it, feeble as it was, rigid discharge of their obligations, considered the solemn would long be among the proudest of his recollections. pledge of a Government as a mere commonplace thing, to But what analogy that case bore to the present, he con- be sported with at pleasure. He placed a higher estimate fessed his comprehension was too blunt to perceive. In on national faith. He considered Governments bound by the case of the tariff, there were already laws provided the same rules of common honesty and moral obligation as for its enforcement; there were the courts to administer the private man; and so long as he had any participation those laws; and it had not appeared that they were in- in the public councils, he should endeavor to act on this adequate: indeed, not even an alleged violation had principle. It was this principle which had influenced his taken place. Where, then, he again asked, was the vote with regard to the restoration of the deposites; that similarity between the two cases; and where his incon- same morality wbich would oblige him as an individual to sistency. In the one instance, he had voted against con- discharge a debt contracted with the bank, would impel ferring extraordinary powers to enforce an unconstitu- him as a public man to redeem the faith of the Governtional law; in the other, he had refused to violate, or ment so solemnly pledged to it. sanction the violation of, an unconstitutional law; willing to This pledge alone, Mr. F. said, would restrain him from leave the controversy, in both cases, to the courts of justice. voting for the bill now before the House, or any other bill If this was inconsistency, he must submit to the charge. for depositing the public money any where but in the Uni

Mr. F. desired, however, to run the principles of the ted States Bank, during the continuance of its charter, progentlemen from Alabama out into their practical opera. vided it complied with its contract for the safe-keeping tion. This was a favorite doctrine with him; and he dis- and transfer of the public money. Gentlemen had dwelt trusted the correctness of any principle which could not very earnestly upon the mischief and ruin which would be stand this test. Let us then see how the principle will produced at the end of two years by returning the deposoperate. By the provisions of the charter, regular divi-ites, unless the charter of the bank were to be renewed. dends of the profits are to be made at stated periods Mr. F. bad the same reply to make to this argument that among the stockholders. The United States, bolding he made to gentlemen who urged him to vote for the one-fifth of the stock, are entitled to that proportion of renewal of the bank charter to prevent derangement of the profits. Suppose, then, at the next dividend, when the currency, commercial embarrassments, and general your Treasurer draws on the cashier for the amount due distress. Even if it were certain that all these results the United States, he should receive for answer that the would be the consequence of a refusal to renew the charbank had no money due the United States; that it had ter, bis vote would be the same. He should consider this been determined by some of the high officers of the renewal as a violation of the constitution, as already reGovernment that the charter was unconstitutional; and, marked; and such violation he could not commit on grounds if so, the Government could derive no rights under it- of expediency. So with regard to the bank charterthe what would the gentlemen think of such a response? contract between the Government and the corporation. He Would they be satisfied with this reply, and calmly consent could not go into the consideration of the mischiefs which that money belonging to the United States should thus be might grow out of a fulfilment of the stipulation of the withheld and lost? But suppose, on receiving this answer, Government with respect to the deposites; that was a the Secretary of the Treasury should order the districi matter for the framers of the charter to have considered; attorney of Pennsylvania to repeat the call upon the offi- it was enough for him that such is the contract. Here cers of the bank, and notify them that unless the amount is the bond of the Government; and even though executed of the dividend was immediately paid over, legal proceed to such a "monster" as the bank, so far as it depended ings would be instituted. The attorney goes to the bank on him, it should be faithfully kept. and delivers the message, and the offcers reply: “ All we Mr. F. objected to this bill, also, because it was giving desire is, to have all the questions in controversy between the sanction of Congress to what he considered the illethe bank and the Government settled by the courts. Bui gal act of the Executive in removing the deposites. But the officers of the Government are not willing to such a more than this: it not only acquiesces in, but carries out, reference; they have determined that the bank is not en- the principles assumed by the President in his " cabinet titled to the possession of the public money, as stipulated paper,” and more distinctly claimed in a document which in the charter; and moreover allege that the charter is un- has acquired some notoriety, commonly called the pro. constitutional, and withhold from the bank its just rights. test. What were those principles? Why, that the secNow, let the Government refer the points in dispute to retary of the Treasury is an executive officer, and therethe courts of justice, and we are content to abide the de. fore entirely subject to executive control; and that what. cision." What reply these Government officers would ever power is conferred, or duty imposed, on the Secreta. make, Mr. F. would not pretend to conjecture: the gen- ry by Congress, is to be executed under the supervision tlemen from Alabama could no doubt suggest one. and direction of the President. The President bas in

Mr. F. would present another case, for the purpose of deed gone farther with regard to the public money, and carrying out the doctrines of the honorable gentlemen from claims not only that its custody belongs to the Executive Alabama. Suppose a citizen of that State should borrow department, but that “ Congress cannot take it out of the from the United States Bank $10,000, giving his note; hands of that department without an assumption of execu. and, failing to pay when the note becomes due, should be tive power, and a subversion of the first principles of the sued by the bank; and suppose the borrower should resist constitution.” Mr. F. did not intend to enter here into the payment of the note on the ground of the unconstitu- an examination of these extravagant and alarming pretionality of the bank charter; would they consider the plea tensions; the short time which he felt bimself justified in sufficient to release the debtor from the payment of the occupying, at this late hour of the session, would not allow money thus borrowed? But even if they should deter- him to do so; nor was it at all necessary for his present mine that, by reason of the unconstitutionality of the char- purpose. He merely wished to call to the recollection of ter, an action could not be supported on the obligation the House the ground assumed by the President in affirm. thus given to the bank, what would they say of the moraling his right to control the Secretary of the Treasury in

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