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Texas Distribution Question.
(MARCH 2, 1837.
struction of certain roads (including the Cumberland Mr. WRIGHT moved that the Senate do insist upon road) having been taken up
its amendment. Mr. NORVELL, after making a few remarks, moved Mr. CALIIOUN expressed liis hope that the Senate to strike out the fourth section, which provides for the would recede, and not resist an expression of the will repayment of the appropriation for the road out of the of the Representatives of the people, given by so detwo per cent. fund.
cided a majority as was said to have voted in the other The question on the amendment being taken by yeas House. and nays, it was rejected, as follows:
Mr. CLAY said it was at least in order to indulge in Yras–Messrs. Black, Buchanan, Calhoun, Clay, Clay. suppositions as to what had passed elsewhere; and supton, Crittenden, Davis, Hubbard, King of Alabama, King posing the land bill to bave been rejected in the other of Georgia, Knight, Lyon, McKean, Moore, Norvell, Pres. House, (a fact he rejoiced to hear,) could any Senator ton, Ruggles, Southard, Spence, Webster, White--21. doubt that there would remain a large surplus in the
Nays-Messrs. Brown, Cuthbert, Dana, Ewing of 11 | Treasury, especially if other measures which had passed
of the popular will, so distinctly manifested as it had now The bill was then ordered to a third reading, and been. Was it not wisdom to look ahead!--to provide passed.
for the future? If a surplus accumulated, was it not TEXAS.
better to return it to the people of the several States
than to leave it in the hands of ihe deposile banks! As Mr. RUGGLES moved a reconsideration of the vote by which the resolution relative to recognising the inde: sylvania (Mr. Buchanan) in regard to his favor for a land
to wbat had lately been said by the Senator from Pennpendence of Texas was adopted, in order that he might bill he had formerly had the honor to introduce, and the change his vote, which was given, under misapprehen- favorable prospects of that bill, Mr. C. had not seen any sion, in the affirmative.
indications in Ilie course of the Senate which would enMr. WALKER was opposed to the motion, because
courage much hope for that measure, (though Mr. C. he regarded it as a violation of the spirit of the rule, at
did not finally relinquish hope in regard to it;) but al. least. If the vote were reconsidered, the result as to though he should infinitely prefer such a disposition of the resolution would not be disturbed. Being satisfied the surplus revenue as that bill proposed, he would acthiat this would be the case, and as time was now so pre- cept, as an alternative measure, the distribution clause cious, he felt it his duty to move to lay the motion of re.
inserted by the other House in the fortification bill, rather consideration on the table. Mr. W. withdrew the mo.
Than leave the money in the deposite banks. Mr. C. tion at the request of
said that the country owed its thanks to the other House Mr. CALHOUN, who said he concurred with the for what it had recently done; he rejoiced to see light Senator from Mississippi in what he had said as to the breaking out in that glorious quarter, so immediately rerule. And Mr. C. did not regard the motion of the lated to the people; and was it possible that a majority Senator from Maine as going the whole length of recon
of the Senate would oppose the ascertained popular sideration; all that he wanted was to correct his vote.
will in relation to the disposition of the surplus revenue? Mr. C. renewed the motion to lay the motion of recon
The Senate had tried the House once, and they insisted sideration on the table.
on the amendment. They knew the ground on which Mr. HUBBARD asked for the yeas and nays, which
they stood; they well knew that they were with the peowere ordered; and the question was determined in the ple in the stand they had taken. negative: Yeas 23, nays 25, as follows:
Would the Senate, with all these facts before them, Yeas--Messrs. Bayard, Benton, Black, Calhoun, Clay, repeat the vole they had before given?. He trusted not. Cuthbert, Ewing of Illinois, Fullon, Grundy, Hendricks, Ken', Linn, Lyon, Moore, Mouton, Nicholas, Parker, body, whether they would not yield to the wishes of
He put it to the majority, who held the power of this Preston, Robinson, Sevier, Strange, Walker, White-23.
the people--wishes known not merely by the course of Nars-Messrs. Brown, Buchanan, Clayton, Critten their Representatives, but through a thousand other den, Davis, Ewing of Ohio, Hubbard, King of Alabama, channels, so that it was impossible to mistake it? Would King of Georgia, Knight, McKean, Morris
, Norvell, gentleinen insist on leaving the public money in the hands Page, Prentiss, Robbins, Ruggles, Southard, Swift, Tall of the deposite banks, and under such an agency as now malge, Tipton, Tomlinson, Wall, Webster, Wright--25. superintended them?
The question then recurred on the motion to reconsider the vote by which the resolution was adopted, understood to refer to the reproaches cast on bim,
Mr. CRITTENDEN made some remarks. He was which was decided in the negative, as follows--the votes
and those who voted with him, on a former occasion, for being equal:
The loss of the fortification bill; and 10 ask, if the fortifi. YEAS— Messrs. Brown, Buchanan, Clayton, Davis, Ewing of Ohio, Hubbard, Kent, King of Alabama, King would lie?
cation bill should now be lost, at whose door the blame of Georgia, Knight, McKean, Morris, Norvell, Page, Prentiss, Ruggles, Southard, Swift, Tallmadge, Tipton, the surplus revenue should be left in the deposite banks,
Mr. CALHOUN said the naked question was, whether Tomlinson, Wall, Websler, Wright--24. NAYS--Messrs. Bayard, Benton, Black, Calhoun, Clay,
or should be returned to the people to whom it belonged.
The question was now taken, and decided, by yeas and Crittenden, Cuthbert, Ewing of Illinois, Fulton, Grun
nays, as follows: dly, Hendricks, Linn, Lyon, Moore, Mouton, Nicholas,
YEAS-Messrs. Benton, Black, Brown, Buchanan, Parker, Preston, Rives, Robinson, Sevier, Strange, Cuthbert, Dana, Ewing of Illinois, Fulton, Grundy, Walker, White--24.
Hubbard, King of Alabama, King of Georgia, Linn, DISTRIBUTION QUESTION.
Lyon, Mouton, Nicholas, Niles, Norvell, Page, Parker, A message having been received from the House of Rives, Ruggles, Sevier, Strange, Tailmadge, Walker, Representatives, disagreeing to the amendment of the Wall, Wright--28. Senate in striking out the 2d section of the fortification Nays-Messrs. Bayard, Calhoun, Clay, Clayton, bill, providing for the distribution of the surplus revenue Crittenden, Davis, Ewing of Ohio, Hendricks, Kent, among the States-
Knight, McKean, Moore, Morris, Prentiss, Preston, MARCH 3, 1837.)
Falmouth and Alexandria Railroad - Distribution Question, &c.
Robbins, Southard, Spence, Swift, Tomlinson, Webster, to the amendment of the Senate to the fortification White-22.
bill, (which amendment struck out the clause providing So it was resolved that the Senate insist on their amend. for a distribution of the surplus revenue,) wbereupon it ment; and it was ordered that the House be notified accordingly.
Resolved, That the Senate request a conference, and FALMOUTH AND ALEXANDRIA RAILROAD,
appoint, on their part, Messrs. WRIGHT, Parker, and
WEBSTER, as a committee to conduct the same. The bill to aid the Falmouth and Alexandria Railroad
After transacting some other business, Company to construct their road within the District of
The CHAIR announced to the Senate that there was Columbia having undergone much debate, and some no business on the table, or otherwise before the Senate. amendments, the Senate took a recess.
The Senate then took a recess.
The Senate proceeded to executive business. When consideration, and took up the bill for the relief of Fur
the doors were reopened, Mr. WRIGHT reported to ley Kellogg; which was ordered to a third reading.
the Senate that the committees of conference of the two They then took up the Indian appropriation bill, which
Houses on the amendinent to the fortification bill had had come from the House with amendments, covering the
met and conferred, but had been able to come to no expenses of several lodian treaties on our Northwestern agreement. frontier, and sundry minor items for examining the coun
HARBOR BILL. try to the southwest of Missouri, and into the depreda
The harbor bill was received from the House, with tions in Florida previous to the war, and for the salaries
several amendments, and referred to the Committee on of additional Indian agente.
Commerce. After some remarks by Mr. WHITE, objections by
Mr. DAVIS, from the committee, reported the bill to Mr. SEVIER, and replies by Mr. TIPTON, the amend.
the Senate, recommending a concurrence in the amend. ments were concurred in.
ments. FALMOUTH AND ALEXANDRIA RAILROAD. Mr. STRANGE opposed the amendments on constilu.
tional grounds, and asked for the yeas and nays; which The Senate then resumed the bill respecting the rail
were ordered. road to Fredericksburg.
Mr. LINN replied, explained, and advocated the con. Mr. HUBBARD strenuously opposed the amendments
currence. to the bill, which, as he stated, went to appropriate
Mr. STRANGE insisted on his objection, and com$300,000 to the construction of the road. He asked the
plained that the valley of the Mississippi should be made, yeas and naye. Mr. PARKER replied, contending that the money by this legislation, to swallow up all the bounty of the
Government. was to be spent exclusively within the District of Colum.
Mr. DAVIS advocated the amendments, the details of bia, by which all constitutional objection was removed.
which he explained and defended seriatim, and pressed a Mr. PRESTON advocated the amendments, stated the
concurrence. miserable state of the road at present, and asked why,
The vote was then taken, and resulted as follows: For when public works were made toward every other point of the compass, the moment any thing was proposed to
concurrence 31, against it 11.
So the amendments to the barbor bill were concur. wards the South it was strenuously opposed.
red in. After a desultory debate, in which Mr. KENT, Mr. HUBBARI), Mr. PRESTON, Mr. WALKER,
NAVY PENSION FUND. Mr. NORVELL, Mr. SWIFT, Mr. RIVES, Mr.
Mr. RIVES, from the Committee on Naval Affairs, reBUCHANAN, Mr. PARKER, Mr. HENDRICKS, Mr.
ported a recommendation that the Senate disagree to BROWN, and Mr. LYON, took part, and in which the The amendments from the House of Representatives to constitutional objections to the measure were discuss- the bill for the more equitable administration of the navy ed, (the bill being zealously advocated, especially by pension fund. Mr. PARKER,) the bill was slightly amended, and ihen Mr. R. explained the ground of the recommendaordered to its third reading, by yeas and nays, as follows: tion. The bill of the Senate went to raise the pensions
Yeas-Messrs. Brown, Cuthbert, Ewing of lilinois, of the widows of officers before March, 1835, to the level Ewing of Ohio, Fulton, Hendricks, Kent, King of of those since that date, while the amendment of the Georgia, Lian, Mouton, Norvell, Parker, Preston,
House proposed to cut down the pensions since 1835 to Rives, Robinson, Southard Strange, Tipton, Walk- the level of those before that time. er--19.
The recommendation of the committee was assented Nars--Messrs. Black, Buchanan, Calhoun, Clayton, to, and the Senate disagreed to the amendment from the Hubbard, King of Alabama, Lyon, Nicholas, Niles, Page, House. Prentiss, Sevier, Swist, Tallmadge, Tomlinson, Wall,
DISTRIBUTION QUESTION. White--17.
The Senate then proceeded to the consideration of A message was received from the House of Represent. executive business, and remained engaged in it until a atives, informing the Senate that the House adhered to late hour, and then adljourned.
ils disagreement to the amendments of the Senate to the fortification bill.
Mr. WRIGHT thereupon moved that the Senate adFriday, March 3.
here to its amendment. The various standing committees were successively
Mr. CALHOUN observed that this was a very impordischarged from the consideration of all subjects before
tant amendment indeed, and one which he deeply rethem on which they had not reported.
grelted the committee had deemed it proper to report.
He could not consent to sit by in silence, and suffer the DISTRIBUTION QUESTION.
question to be taken, without at least requesting to hear A message was received from the House of Represent- some reason why an amendment of this character had atives, stating that the House insisted in its disagreement I been reported. If there should be a large surplus in the
(MARCA 3, 1837.
Treasury, as there was every reason to expect there mained unchanged, without recriminating on any who would be, the natural and proper distribution of it was now differed from him. It was unimportant to him obviously to return it to the people. He could not but for what reasons other gentlemen might have changed express his surprise that the committee should expect the their ground; but he supposed and believed, and so did Senate to strike out an amendment of this importance, the gentleman from South Carolina, that the surplus ac. simply on their recommendation.
tually existing at the last session, and that which was Mr. WRIGHT said that it was not his purpose then certainly anticipated, and which must be disposed to occupy the time of the Senate at this late period of in some way, had governed the action of gentlemen of the session. None knew better than the Senator from who then voted for the bill. And if the same state of South Carolina the nature of the amendment, and the things were ceriain now, they would act in conformity bearings of the whole question. The subject was as with it. Mr. W. had no doubt that all those gentlemen well understood by every member of the Senate as it who voted for the bill of the last session had acted just could be by the commiitee. The section which the as conscientiously as he had himself done in voting House of Representatives had added to this bill was pre- against it. He admitted that the opinions which he had cisely the bill introduced at the commencement of the at that time held on the subject of the surplus had, to session by the honorable gentleman from South Carolina some extent, proved erroneous. But surely the Senator himself, which had been referred to the Finance Com- from South Carolina would not call upon him for the reamittee, and long since reported on. Surely the gentle. sons which actuated others. If gentlemen should act man did not expect a written report on a bill referred differently on this occasion from the manner in which but yesterday, and embracing a subject of such vast they bad acted at the last session, the Senator would, no magnitude. The amendment involved as important a doubt, find them ready to vindicate their course, and question as ever had been submiited to Congress; and if much more able than himself to explain the considera. this had been the first time the Senate had ever heard of tions which actuated them. He trusted that this would it, there would have been great propriety in requiring supersede the censure of the honorable gentleman. either a written report, or at least some verbal explana- Mr. CLAY hoped that the question would be decided tion in regard to it. But Mr. W. did not feel bound, as by yeas and nays. The proposition adopted, said he, by the case stood, to make a long report on a matter with the House of Representatives, and now sent to this body which every body was familiar, and on which he could for its concurrence, is, that any surplus revenue which not suggest a single new idea. A report, under such may remain in the Treasury on the 1st of January next, circumstances, would, if made, change no opinion. This beyond the wants of the Government, shall, after retain. was the simple explanation which he had to make (so ing five millions, be distributed among the States. if at far as he was personally concerned) in reply to the call that time there shall be no surplus, the bill will have, of of the honorable Senator from South Carolina. By the course, no effect; if there be, it will. What are the obcommittee the subject of a written, report had not once jections to concurring? We have been favored with very been mentioned. For himself, he considered the section few on this occasion. I would ask of the honorable wbich bad been added to the bill as completely discon. Senator from New York (Mr. WRIGHT) whether it is his nected with the subject-matter of the bill as it left the intention that, in case there shall be a large surplus, it is Senate, as one thing could be distinct from another. It to remain in the deposite banks which have now the was in fact an important act of independent legislation. custody of the public money, at an interest to the Gove All the members of the Senate were acquainted with Mr. ernment of two per cent. ? Does the honorable Senator W's opinions on the principles of the measure proposed think that that is a prudent and proper disposition of the by the amendment, and he should not, therefore, detain public funds? A great central State in our neighbor. the Senate or waste its time by stating them. Mr. W. of hood has, I understand, directed that her portion of the fered this explanation as an apology for the absence of a surplus distributed in January last be placed in banks, report on the amendment; whether it would prove ac. paying for it an interest of 6 per cent.; and there was not cepiable to the Senator from South Carolina, he could any difficulty in the arrangement. Does the Senator not say:
consider it as a wise and proper financial operation to Mr. CALHOUN said he now understood the Senator keep the money of the United States in deposite banks, from New York to rest the question of concurrence in at an interest of two per cent., when, for the same mo. the amendment on the discussion which had taken place ney, the Government might obtain six per cent. on ade. at the last session. To this be could have no objection; quate security? I am anxious to know what is to be the for, so triumphant had been the argument last year in policy of the coming administration on this subject. favor of the distribution bill, that the gentleman had (Mr. Wright. Their policy is to have no surplus ] been left in a minorily of six against the wbole Senate. Mr. Clay resumed. Then take the land bill, like an As no reason had since intervened to change the circum. honest man. There is the remedy. That will be bet. stances of the case, Mr. C. was content to rest the issue ter than your restrictive measures on the sale of the pub. as it had then been made. A more triumphant argument lic lands, which throw open 180 millions of acres at a he had never listened to; and, such had been its irresist time. I should be glad, I say, to know what the adınin. ible force, that it had broken through the bonds of party istration policy is to be; the country has a right to know, discipline, and compelled genilemen to leave their party | The honorable Senator was stout last session in bis denial and vote for the bill. He would not repeat it, but he that there would be a surplus: oh, no; there would be would ask those Senators who had at the last session felt no surplus-no surplus. At length, however, he was and admitted its force, and had voted for the distribution obliged to admit that there would be some-a little; but bill, whether thry would now change their ground, how did it turn out! We all know. Well, if there is without a single argument having been urged in reply to be a surplus in January, what is to be done with it? Surely the Senator from New York was bound to show is it to be kept in the deposite banks at two per cent. some difference in the case, which should induce those interest? Is that your calculation? Is that the policy who had voted for distribution last year to vote against you will announce to the people? Why, what do the it now.
The Senator from New York owed this to gen. daily developments which are iaking place demonstrate? tlemen of his own side, if he especied them thus to turn Do they not prove that these deposite banks are but so about in the face of the world.
many mere political machines? Have you seen the appli. Mr. WRIGHT rejoined. He was bound to say that cation recently made by one of the banks in the city of the principles which had governed his own course re- New York for a share of the public money? The great.
MARCH 3, 1837.)
est recommendation urged by the applicants, their but let it be admitted that the argument is properly adstrongest argument, is this: “ We are cordial friends to dressed to a democratic majority, and it amounts to this: the distinguished chief who has so ably filled the chair that, in order to vindicate their democratic character, of the Chief Magistrate," &c. Let me now make an ap. | they must, in all things and on all occasions, submit to peal to the majority in this House, and I am glad that an expression of the will of the democratic branch of what I say will be heard by the Senator from Virginia, the Government. If this be so, let me remind the Sen(Mr. Rives.] This body has been pronounced by him ator of his own course in relation to that very important to be the aristocratic branch of the Federal Government. measure, the fortification bill of the last session. He If not positively and avowedly aristocratic, it has at least cannot but recollect the appropriation by the House of & squinting toward aristocracy. Well, and who are Representatives of three millions of dollars, in anticipa. the majority of the aristocracy bere? Are they not the tion of the contingency of a war with one of the Europefriends of the administration? Now, the democratic an Powers. The amendment came here, and was sternly branch in Congress have determined that it is unwise and rejected. Notwithstanding the gentleman's doctrine of improper to leave a large surplus revenue in the depos- submission to the democratic branch, the rejection was ite banks, to pay the country an interest of two per cent.; persisted in until, by means of it, the bill was lost. and whence does the opposition to this salutary demo- The Senator himself, on that occasion, set an example cratic measure proceed? From the aristocratic majority directly the reverse of what he is now contending for. in the Senate. Are you, then, going to confirm your I do not call up this subject from any desire to revive own charges against this body? I take your own words, the heats which then prevailed, but I mention it as an and I ask, will you oppose the democracy of the country? occasion of reminding him that, if he means to urge a Will you withstand ihe people's will? Will you, by a si- | principle of action upon us, he must at least observe it lent report, give your lordly dissent to what they have himself. approved and resolved upon? I call on that majority of Now, what ought to be the course of the Senate? this Senate who, at the last session, thought it unwise to Will the Senator from Kentucky, or any other gentle. leave the public money in the deposite banks, to rally man, who does not speak merely ad captandum, say, that around their own principles, to stand by their democrat. when the Senate stands committed before the world to a sc friends in the other House, and to take the money of great system of policy, and an amendment comes from the nation out of the bands of these deposite banks, and the other House, proceeding on wholly different grounds, distribute it among the people of the States, on the prin- this body is bound to surrender the policy it approves, ciples advocated by themselves last year. I fear, howev. and adopt that which comes from the House of Repreer, the Senator from New York cannot be brought to sentatives? Does not the whole system of this Senate consent to this arrangement. Well, then, I will propose proceed upon the ground that there should not be any to him, by way of a compromise, that he consent to the surplus revenue? Have we not altered the land system land bill.' This is a middle measure; it disposes of two and reduced the tariff for the express purpose of pregreat interests at once. Is it possible to conceive of a
venting a surplus? And now, when we are openly better disposition both of the question of the surplus and
pledged to the country, and to the world, not to distrithe question of the tariff? If the honorable gentleman bution, but to reduction, must we at once turn about will consent to that, I will agree with him; but I entreat and say that there shall be a surplus, and that it shall be the majority of this body not to lend themselves to the distributed among the States? Is there any fairness in plan of retaining this surplus revenue in a few banks, to requiring us to surrender all our fixed opinions at the be selected by the administration. I hope we shall not mere bidding of a majority of the other House? There agree to the recommendation of the Committee on Fi. are other channels, beside the acts of that body, through nance, and I trust that its honorable chairman will, when
which we may learn the will of the people. Member as the yeas and naye shall be called, be found now, as he I am of that which, according to its essential genius, is was found at the last session, standing in a small minor- the aristocratic branch of this Government, I do hold ity. I ask that the question may be decided by yeas and myself under the control of public opinion, as it comes nays.
to me in authentic forms. 'The House of RepresentaMr. RIVES said he did not rise from any wish to tives is not the only oracular source whence I am to lengthen this debate, but merely with a view to submit learn it. There are the acts of my own State Legislature; a few remarks in reply to the appeal which had been ad. there is the public press; there are a thousand other dressed to himself and others by the honorable Senator legitimate exponents of public opinion. Looking at from Kentucky. I do not see why he was so particular these indicia, what do we see? We see that, even by ly anxious that I should hear what he had to say on this the temporary distribution of the surplus which had acsubject. I have often listened to that honorable Sena. cumulated last year, we have thrown an apple of distor, always with pleasure, and often with profit; but cord among the States. Such is the language of my what was it he was so anxious I should hear? In some
own State. While, owing to the pressure of circumstanobservations which I had the honor to submit upon an- ces, she has felt herself constrained to accept the deother occasion, I took occasion to say that, in a philo-posite of her quota of the surplus, she warns this Gov. Bophic view of ihe structure of this Government, the Sen-ernment against the repetition of the measure. And ate was to be considered as the aristocratic branch of it; what did we hear from the gentleman from Connecticut? not that every individual member of that body was an [Mr. Niles.) He tells us that he has received letters aristocrat, in the odious sense of that term, but that the from many members of his own State Legislature, debody, from the manner of its constitution, was less im- scribing the conflicts in that body, and all terminating mediately subject than the other House to the popular with this objurgation: "For God's sake, send us no more will. On that point, I shall enter into no controversy, surplus." Such has been the effect in all the New but I would apply the honorable Senator's argument to England States; and I do say that the public sentiment his own case. He says that we are bound now to show of this nation, as expressed by its legitimate organs, that we of the Senate are not aristocratic in our feelings echoes the same sentiment. Let us have no more sur. and course of action, and we are to do this by obeying plus, but bring down the revenue. In yielding to the the impulses which proceed from the democratic branch public sentiment, thus fully expressed, there is no in. in the other House; and he contends that, if we shall re- consistency with democratic principles, but the con. fuse to do so, it will be a verification of what I said. trary. There is no propriety in his making an issue with me; We are reminded, however, that many of us voted
VOL. XIII, ---65
(March 3, 1837.
for the distribution bill of the last session. But what but a perfect identity. The bill of the last session and the were the circumstances? Then we had a large amount amendment now proposed by the House of Representof surplus actually in hand. We could not get rid of it. atives were in the very same terms. The subject-mat. Ought we to have expended it in reckless and anti-re. ter of both was the same, and they differed only as to publican extravagance, or should it be left in the de. the amount a difference which involved no principle, posite banks? Iiben said that it was infinitely better to but was a mere incidental fact, in no way touching the distribute it among the States. I chose this as the essence of the amendment or affecting its character. So lesser evil; I always regarded it as an evil, never as a far as the question of constitutional law was concerned, good; and I resorted to it only as a means of preventing the two were perfectly identical; and all that prevented greater evil. Now there is no actual surplus, although their identity in all respects was the difference in the I see that, if there is not some change in the revenue amount of money which might be in the Treasury on laws, there is every probability that there will be one. the 1st of January next from that which had been there We have adopted two important measures, which, ac- on the 1st of January of last year. Could gentlemen cording to the gentleman from Kentucky himself, are find in this difference sufficient ground to change their well calculated to prevent a surplus. In saying this, I votes! If it was right to distribute $38,000,000, why refer to a part of his speech which I was so unfortunate was it not right to distribute $10,000,000? The policy as to lose; I was not in my seat when, I am told, the which dictated the one equally sanctioned the other. honorable Senator referred to myself. His remarks 1 The policy of collecting revenue for the purpose of disshall be happy to notice at another time, though I can tributing it was advocated by none; but if a surplus of not attend to them at present. I understand that he revenue legitimately collected did occur, how ought it distinctly took the ground, when objecting to the re. to be disposed of? Ought it to be thrown into the de. duction of the tariff, that that reduction was not neces-posite banks, to excite the cupidity of these corporations sary in order to bring down the revenue, because that and encourage reckless speculations? Or should it be had already been done by the land bill.
thrown back into the bands of the people? This was (Mr. Clay here explained. What he had said was the question wbich had been decided at the last session. this: that, if all the measures passed by the Senate should Congress determined in favor of the latter alternative. be concurred in by the House, there would probably be But because they had restored to the people $38,000,000 no surplus; in which remark he had alluded to the vari- of their own money, was it time for Government to inous extravagant measures which had been voted.] demnify itself by retaining $10,000,000 to meet the fan
We viewed these measures, which the honorable Sen- cies or the lusts of those in power? ator characterizes as extravagant, as connected with But the honorable Senator from Virginia was reluctant cach other, and constituting a whole. I shall not enter to throw an apple of discord into the State Legislatures. upon & consideration of them now. The most impor. The return of their own money might be converted into tant, and those which the Senate chiefly relied on to re- an apple of discord by State politicians, but to the counduce or to prevent a surplus, were the land bill and the try at large it was the bond of peace and union. How bill to reduce the tariff, (and which, if passed, will re. were the States to be agitated by a measure which gave duce it by two and a half millions.) Alter a long and peace to the Union? Ought the Government, in the expainful deliberation and debate, we brought those bills cess of its patriotism, magnanimity, and tender mercy, into a sbape acceptable io the Senate, and they were to take the people's money out of their bands to relieve adopted and passed. They indicated the course of policy them from discord? Should the Government render itapproved and sanctioned by this body. But bere comes self unbappy and distracted, in its disinterested desire to an amendment which is based upon directly opposite save the people from corruption! The people, it seemed, principles; an amendment which proceeds upon the as- were to be fatally corrupted by handling this money; sumption that there is to be a surplus, and that it must but the Government might be steeped to the lips in the be distributed among the States. If this is to prevail, corrupting stream, and still remain purer than snow. both the tariff bill and the land bill are at once super- To manage the money would occasion the Government seded. It is in vain for gentlemen to blink the question. no embarrassment whatever; but the poor silly people That must be the inevitable consequence. But after we were unable to bear so weighty a trust, and to them it are solemnly pledged to the reduction policy, must we would prove but an apple of discord. at once surrender it, out of our profound respect for the Another reason urged in opposition to the measure other branch of the Legislature And we must do this was, that it would inspire the members of the National lest we incur the odium of aristocracy! The Senator Legislature with narrow and selfish feelings: each man from Kentucky must surely have apprehended the spirit would be endeavoring to withhold the appropriations of my remark as to the aristocratic character of this necessary to the general good, from a hope of securing body. He cannot but have understood me as not refer- a larger share of surplus for his own State, Nothing ring to the character of individuals, but to the genius of could be more idle than such an objection. Did not this branch of the Government, to the character purpose. gentlemen perceive that the same argument might be ly given to it by the provisions of the constitution; and I applied to the ordinary duty of appropriation? Was insist that, from its structure, it does possess this charac. there not the same temptation to withhold the taxes; ter. I avow that as my sentiment; I repeat it openly; and might not gentlemen as well argue that the General and, formidable as the Senator from Kentucky always is, Government could never go on, because it would be the I am ready to discuss it with him. But this is not the interest of the representatives to prevent the taxation of time for such a discussion. I should not have said a word their constituents? The argument was precisely the but for the pointed reference of the bonorable gentle same; and if it was a valid argument, it went to show man to myself. I did hear his remarks, and listened lo that the American people were incapable of conducting them with profound attention; but, weighty as they a free republican Government. His friend who had were, they would have been far more so bad they been last addressed the Senate appeared to have serious apsupported by his own example.
prehensions lest his colleague had repeated what were Mr. CRITTENDEN followed. He expressed strong unpopular opinions, and seemed resolved for himself to surprise that gentlemen who had voted for the distribution eschew such a course, as the greatest of misfortunes. bill of the last session should declare that they could see no Mr. C. hoped he would never fall under so heavy a ca. analogy between that law and the present amendment. Not lamity; but unless the people of that gentleman's State only was there the most perfect analogy between the two, had a distaste for money, which did not belong to Mr.