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(Dec. 20, 1836.
learner. He bad no doubt that the Government might seems to think that all are not opposed to it; and he has so have distributed the money as to avoid all injurious traced down, from the days of Hamilton, the existence consequences, and might have so managed the opera- of a great and formidable party which hates gold and lion that the transmission of these finds, instead of oce silver; and if I correctly understand how I must take casioning injury or inconvenience, miglit rather have my place in this division of parties, I must be one of increased the prosperity of the country, by falling in with those who hate gold and silver. Now, permit me to asthe natural and legitimate course of business. But this sure the honorable Senator that I partake at least so had been passed by, and 'he Government had proceeded, much of mortal mould as that gold and silver coin are like a porier or drayman, to carry the public money not among the objects of my antipathy. These “ rascal from one quarter of the country to the other. Thus, counters" do not indeed engross my affections, but they millions of specie had been carried from New York to are very far from being odious to me. No very serious K-ntucky; but the people of Kentucky would have | defence or reply, however, would seem to be necessary preferred that it should have remained in New York, to the strange and exaggerated accusation of hating gold for there they might have disposed of it at a premium of and silver. If, as I suppose, the honorable gentleman one or two per cent. This would have fallen in with intended to apply that accusation to his political oppothe course of business, and have been beneficial to the nenls here, I would suggest to him that he would probcountry. But, as it was, the effect was the reverse. ably do them no disservice if he would please to make
But, sir, according to the honorable Senator from Mis- good his charge by convincing the public that they have souri, all the evil which was not the effect of the distri no love for these precious metals. It would certainly bution law was the effect of a panic, "a little starveling place them in striking contrast with the party of the panic, no bigger than a church mouse;" a panic which honorable Senator; and what he imputes as a crime was now over; which, contemptible as it was, had en. might possibly be regarded as a recommendation. The joyed the distinguished honor of dying by the hand of love of gold and silver has so much prevailed as the vice That Senator, and meeting its end, like Cæsar, in the of political parties, and been the cause of so much abuse Capitol. And was this all the comfort which the gentle and corrup:ion in Governments, that probably the peoman had to give under the pressures and distresses of ple of the United States might be tempted to make the the commercial interest? Mr. C. did not presume to experiment of administering their Government by a new set himself up as a competent judge of mercantile affairs. set of agents or rulers taken from this newly discovered There were other gentlemen on that floor who far bet. sect of money-hating politicians—the first party of that ter understood the interest of that meritorious class of description, I think, which has yet appeared in the our fellow-citizens, and who would speak on the subject world. But, sir, however this may eventuate, 1 ought in due time. But if there was any truth in the repre. perhaps to admit, whatever be its merit or demerit, that sentations universally given, there was an extreme pres. the party of the honorable Senator do love gold and silsure now felt in all our great cities, from Boston to New ver better than their opponents. That party has been Orleans, the effect of which was rapidly spreading long blessed with opportunities of manifesting this at. through the interior. What was the cause of this embar- tachment, and it has not neglected them. Its long and rassment? The gentleman said it was this little panic. strict monopoly of the public Treasury, with all its shi. Well, but what was the cause of the panic? Who made ning heaps, and the manner in which it has used that il? What caused it? Was it not the Treasury order? monopoly, sufficiently attest its affection for the precious The Senator loved the order well, but not the panic; meta's. Indulgence, too, may have increased this passion; and all the remedy he could propose was to tell for it is exactly one of those cases where "increase of the sufferer it is but a panic, a contemptible little appetite doth grow by that it seeds on.” panic, a petly starveling panic; the country is sound, On the other hand, sir, the opponents of this party the country is safe. Sir, of what invaluable use has have been so long excluded from all these opportunities been that little word? It bas furnished its full con and indulgences, that they are supposed, it seems, to tribution to the beauty and the force of many a ponder. have lost the natural taste, and, as if in mockery, are deous and patriotic argument of the Senator from Missouri. nounced as " baters of gold and silver." I know of no It has given point to many a sentence; it has helped to better grounds on which the honorable Senator can rest round off many a sonorous period. He has wielded it his accusation, nor does any reply occur to me better like some well-tried and favorite weapon, and has dis- suited to its ludicrous gravity. played great skill in its use. It seems there have been But now, sir, seeing that the honorable Senator is of ihree great panics, which the gentleman has noted like that party which loves so well the constitutional currenso many eras of the plague. Whatever may be the na. cy, let me ask him what his love will prompt him to do? tional misfortune, and how loudly soever it may call for This Treasury order, it seems, is not the ultimate scope a remedy, when legislative wisdom can furnish none and aim of his attempts. What is it he would wish for? other, it is a sufficient remedy to cry panic! panic! Sir, Is it to destroy all banks? Is it 10 annihilate the entire it is a senatorial specific, a ready panacea for all the paper system, and give us in place of it showers of gold evils of the body politic. Yes, sir, this is all. Your and showers of silver? Why, sir, if the fiat of that gen. statesmanship goes no farther. Tell the people it is a tleman could annihilate at a blow all the bank notes in panic, and let them understand that all the enemies of the country, does he really believe that the business of General Jackson's administration have united by common this community could be carried on without them? Sir, consent to get it up and keep it up. A legislatór will to altempt lo iransact the affairs of the American com. thus feel that he has fully discharged his duty to the munity by a medium of gold and silver coin, would be country and to his constituents when he has duly vo little better than going back to the old Spartan expediciferated panic! panic! Tuo per cent. a month is given ent of bars of iron. for money, and it is all panic, panic.
But from what does the Senator infer that the party A justification for this illegal Treasury order is further to which he is opposed hate, or at least are opposed to, altempled by telling us that there are in the country one gold and silver? Is the party which advocated the thousand banks, and that it is the design of this resolu- Bank of the United States the party which is in love tion to fasten on the country an odious paper system, with the paper system? That is his argument. But and to pay for the public domain in the rotten and what was one of the chief grounds on which they advo. worthless notes of one thousand banks. To this the cated that bank? Was it not that is influence went to honorable Senator is opposed. So are we all. But he , maintain a solid currency, convertible into gold and
Dec. 20, 1836 ]
silver? Was it not that, by means of its central situation I have against you, sir. Would you consider it an imand extensive control, it would check excesses of local peachment on your integrity for a gentleman to differ banks! So far from being opposed to gold and silver, from you as to the policy of a political measure? Surely it was the object of that party to keep up a circulation Why, then, should the Senator suppose that a mo. both of hard money and good paper, and secure to the tion to rescind this Treasury order musi be intended to country the advantages of both. And now, can we ad. dishonor General Jackson Sir, I object wholly to this vance an argument in this House on the subject of the introduction of presidential influence into debate on this currency, without coming under some reproach about floor. Is it becoming in us to say one to another, you the Bank of the United States? You have put down must do this or that, lest the President should feel himthat institution, which aclually accomplished all that this self degraded? Is this a fit weapon to be wielded in ibis order professes to aim at, and now just what we predict. House! The Senator from Missouri, from the intimacy ed is daily coming to pass. State banks are springing he is supposed to enjoy with the President, may be conup like mushrooms in all parts of the country, and that sidered as speaking with authority on such a subject. under the patronage of the Government, and according But may I, who am in some degree excluded from the to its earnest wishes. And these constitute a part of the presidential smiles, attempt to carry a measure through thousand banks which figure so largely in the speech of the Senate by threatening the presidential frown? May the honorable Senator. Is not this the very effect which every little whipster wield this weapon over our heads? we told you would follow the destruction of the Bank of what is to be the influence of such threais? What is the United States? If you are fouded with banks, and to be the end of such a system? What must its end be the paper of some of them is of doubtful credit, is it the but to resolve all legislation into the will and wish of the fauli of those who did their best to preserve that which Executive! The scope of such an argument would would have kept down these spurious issues? What leave this Senate little more than a tame registry of can be more unjust than to charge us with loving this presidential edicts. The Government may retain the state of things? But is it not even ludicrous to contrast shadowy forms of republican freedom, but it will become what has actually happened with the predictions of the in fact a stern, substantial monarchy. The phrase "departy opposed to us, and to which the Senator belongs? | grade the President” is to be used as so many cabalistic They told us that the State banks would give us a better words: the moment they are uttered the Senate is to be currency. The executive messages, year after year, silenced. The President thinks a certain measure right, gave us the most solemn assurances that the State banks therefore we must think it right. I read that Philip of would fully supply the place of the Bank of the United Macedon bad but one eye, and he covered the place of States; that no distress would be the result, but that we the other with a patch. His influence in Greece, which should have a better currency. Behold the consunima- bad long been increasing, at length reached that point tion of these prophecies. Do not the prophets stand in that to court his favor the Grecian Senators appeared in a position perfectly ludicrous? Are the notes of these their places with a patch over the left eye. (A laugh.] thousand banks a better currency than the notes of the So I suppose it is to be with us. If the President on Bank of the United States? If they are, then why not any occasion happens to do wrong, we are not to think receive them for the public lands? Did any man doubt or to speak on the subject, and must prefer to do injusthe solvency of the Bank of the United States, or the tice to ourselves, rather than run the risk of degrading goodness of its notes? You destroyed that bank. Your the President. better currency is come in the place of it; we bring it I suppose I am to understand the Senator from Misto your own doors, and you spurn it. We offer it to souri, when he speaks of the “constitutional currency,” you, and you reply, “What! convert the public lands to mean a currency of gold and silver. But the constitution into reams of spoiled and speckled paper, called money?" says nothing on the matter, save that the States shall pass Thus scorned, thus hooted at, is tbal very currency no law making any thing but gold and silver a legal tenwhich you told us was to be better than the notes of the der. That is all it contains on the subject. But I will here United States Bank; and because we prophesied such a tell that gentleman that I do to a great extent, agree currency, and labored to prevent its coming upon the with bim in the picture he has drawn of a degraded country, we are now to be called haters of gold and paper currency, and I will very gladly contribute my silver!
mile to correct so great an evil. But I fear it is beyond We too, sir, are opposed to converting the public our reach. The banks of which he complains hold their Jands into worthless bank notes. But we supposed that, existence under State authority, and all our arguments dubious as the credit of many of these banks is justly amount to nothing more than mere idle speculation. considered, some of them are good, and that the notes You have no bank. You rejected that you had, of these should be received from the people, without and refused to make another. Is this Treasury order running into the sudden and inconvenieni extreme of the mode in which you would correct the evils of exe rejecting every thing but gold and silver; a measure the cessive banking? Would you disorder and derange the more barsh in its operation and character, because of whole currency of the country, in order that the banks its being the unexpected act of an administration thal, may explode! For all the evils of the existing system up to that very instant, bad encouraged the circulation that gentleman and his party are fully chargeable. They of these bank notes, by proclaiming it to be a "better put down that institution which would have prevented currency" than that which had been furnished by the ihe whole. They did it with the consequences plainly Bank of the United States.
before their eyes_clearly shown, and distinctly foreBut the Senator tells us that the object of this resolu: told. They persevered, and those consequences have tion is twofold. Ils prime object is to disgrace General
From that act have grown up all these Jackson, and the second, which is little inferior in im- evils-evils which the Senator paints in glowing colors, portance, is to overthrow the national curiency. These but evils from all which I look forward in trembling hope are ihe two revolutionary consequences which ihe Sen. to an ultimate deliverance. L entertain as great an ap. ator supposes to be aimed at by my friend from Ohio. I prehension of the danger of these thousand banks as lie For myself, I can with great trutb say that I am actu- dves; but it is a danger which the Treasury order will ated in this matter only by my view of the good or bad
I am opposed to that measure, because it policy of the Treasury order, disconnected entirely from is not a competent remedy. Instead of mitigating, it all personal feeling toward General Jackson. I have no aggravates the evil; and I therefore hope the resolution more personal seeling against him on this subject than before us will receive the sanction of this body.
(Dec. 21, 1836.
The gentleman is full of thanks to the President of revenue remaining in the Treasury at the termination of the United States. Well, sir, I really bave no idea that the next year, after allowing for very liberal appropriathe President had in this matter any view or purpose tions on all proper subjects of expenditure. From the hostile to the best interests of this country. I can readily calculations he had made, he was convinced that the imagine that his objects and his motives were of the most amount of this surplus would not fall short of eight milbeneficent character. But, sir, where is the great occa lions of dollars. sion for this outpouring, ibis outbreaking of gratitude; He was fully aware that the Secretary of the Treas. so earnest, so sublime, that it approaches to adulation, ury, in the report submitted by that officer to Congress, nay, to positive adoration! I hope I am not insensible to
had taken a very different view; yet Mr. C. thought he the obligations of gratitude; but I have no idea that we are hazarded little when he said that on this subject the Sec. forever to be looking up to the President as a sort of retary was certainly mistaken. , He knew, indeed, that demi-god, who has showered down benefits upon us formerly such an assertion from a member of Congress, notwithstanding our ill desertsbenefits entirely superer. in relation to the highest fiscal officer of the Govern. ogatory, and such as we had no right to expect or hope ment, would have been deemed adventurous; but so for. No, sir, I am willing to treat the President with vague, so uncertain, so conjectural, and so very errone. due respect, and to acknowledge all his good deeds in ous, had been the report from that Department for two such a manner as becomes an American citizen; further or three years last past, that he could not be considered than this I am not disposed to og.
as risking much in taking such a position. That in this The Senator, (said Mr. C.,) in the peroration of his remark he diel no injustice to the Secretary of the eloquent harangue, transported by the servor of his vic- 'Treasury, (toward whom he cherished no personal hostorious argument, regretted that there was not more tility or unkind feeling whatsoever,) he would take the talent and genius on the other side, over which he might liberty of presenting to the Senate the estimates made prosecute still further conquests. He seems to lack by that officer for the present year, in December last, something. Like the victorious Saracen, who carried and comparing with it the actual result, as now ascerthe true faith through the world on the point of his tained from the Secretary's own report, made the pres. sword, or like Alexander, who called for more worlds to ent season. His estimate of the receipts from all sources, conquer, the honorable Senator, after having exulted in / including the public lands and every other branch of the triumpb over all that had been brought against him, calls revenue, amounted to $19,750,000, whereas the report out for more talent and more genius over which to pur- stated those receipts to have amounted to $17,691,898; sue bis cor quering course. It is not, probably, in my presenting a difference in the estimate, for a single year, power, sir, to contribute what is thus called for to swell of $27,941,898. Thus the excess of the actual receipts the gentleman's triumph; nor is it for me, sir, longer to had exceeded the estimate by more than one third of keep the field when such champions are engaged. the whole amount of the estimate. Each of the great
When Mr. ChittENDEN had concluded, and taken his branches of the revenue, the customs and the public seat,
lands, exceeded the estimate by millions of dollars. Mr. BENTON explained that his remarks on the want Again: the Secretary had estimated the balance at the of talent, argument, &c., were not intended to apply to end of the year, then within four weeks of its termina. the actors in the Senate, but to those out of it who, he tion, at $18,047,598, whereas the report showed that the supposed, had prepared the subject.
balance actually amounted to $26,749,303, being an er. The question being announced from the Chair as being ror of $8,702,250 for that short period. How these eron ordering the resolution to a second reading,
rors arose, whether from negligence or inattention, or Mr. EWING called for the yeas and nays on this ques. whether they were made purposely to subserve certain tion; which were accordingly ordered.
political views, it was not for him to say; but they were On motion of Mr. WEBSTER,
sufficient to show that he ran no very formidable hazard The Senate then adjourned.
in venturing to say that the views of the Secretary in respect to what was yet future might be erroneous.
But further: the Secretary, in his report last year, bad WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21.
estimated the available means of the Treasury for the Mr. RUGGLES presented the credentials of the flon. current year at $37,797,598; they were now ascertained Judau Dana, elected a Senator from the State of Maine, to have been $74,441,701, exhibiting the small error of 10 supply the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of $46,644,104. We might search the fiscal records of all the Hon. Ether SHEPLET; afier which, the oath to sup. civilized nations, and would not find in the compass of port the constitution of the United States was administer. history an error so monstrous. He stated this with no ed to Mr. Dana by the Vice President, and he took his feelings of ill will toward the Secretary, but with emo.
tions of share and mortification for the honor of the PUBLIC DEPOSIT'ES.
country. How must errors like these appear in the eyes Mr. CALIIOUN, agreeably to notice, asked and ob
of foreign nations? How would they look to posterity? tained leave to introduce the following billi
But lie was not yet done. The Secretary estimates
the expenditures of the year at $23, 103,444, whereas A bill to extend the provisions of certain sections therein they turned out to be $31,435,032, making a difference
named of the act of the 230 June, 1836, regulating of $8,331,588. He estimates the balance in the Treasury the deposites of the money that may be in the Treas. at the end of this year at $14,500,000. He now admits ury on the 1st January, 1838.
that it will equal $43,005,669, making an error of Be il enacted, &c., That the money which shall be in $18,505,669, and this not withstanding he had made an the Treasury of the United States on the 1st day of Jan. under-estimate of the expenditure of more than eight uary, 1838, reserving the sum of five millions of dollars, millions, which, if added, as it ought to be, would make shall be deposited with the several states, on the terms a mistake of nearly thirty-seven millions. and according to the provisions of the 13th, 14th, and The Secretary, however, had profiled by the errors 151h scclions of the act to regulate the deposites of the of last year. The estimales in the present report were public money, approved the 230 day of June, 1836. somewhat nearer to the truth, but were still far removed
Mr. C., in introducing the bill, observed that he had from it. And, indeed, so small was the amount in which not asked leave to introduce this bill without satisfying he had profited, that he had risked an opinion that the bimself that there would be a large surplus of the public l expenditure would exceed the income, so that, of the
Dec. 21, 1836.)
sum which had been deposited with the States, a portion, Mr. C. said he would take this occasion to define with amounting to between two and three millions, would exactness the position he occupied in regard to the comhave to be refunded. The Secretary held out language promise. He stood, personally, without pledge or plight. of this kind, when he acknowlerged that the income of ed faith, as far as that act was concerned. He clearly the year would be $24,000,000. Mr. C. said he would foresaw, at the time that bill passed, that there would be glad to see the administration, with such an income, be a surplus of revenue in the Treasury. He knew that venture to call upon the States to pay back the mon resul: to be unavoidable, unless by a reduction so sud. cys they had received. No administration would ven. den as to overthrow our manufacturing establishments ture the call, except in the case of a foreign war, in a catastrophe which he sincerely desired to avoid. which case these deposites would prove a timely and Whatever might be thought to the contrary, he had al. precious resource. With proper management, they ways been the friend of those establishments. He would enable the Government to avoid the necessity, at thought at tlie time that the reduction provided for in the commencement of a war, of resorting to war taxes thic bill bad not been made to take place as fast as it and loans. All those gentlemen, and he saw several of night have been. But the terns of the bill formed the them around him, who were here at the commencement only ground on which the opposing interests could agree; of the last war, would well remember the difficulty and and he, as rr presenting in part one of the Southern embarrassment which attended the operation of raising States, had accepted it, believing it, on the whole, to be the revenue from a peace to a war establishment. the best arrangement which could be effected; yet lie
Assuming, then, that there would be a surplus, the sa w (it did not, indeeil, require much of a prophetic question presented itself as to what should be done with spirit) that there were those who were then ready to it. That question Mr. C. would not nox altempt to collect the tariff at the point of the bayonet, rather than argue. The discussion of it at this time would be pre- yield an inch, who, when the injurious effects of the surmature and out of place. lle proposed to himself a more plus should be feli, would throw the responsibility on limited object, which was to state the points connected those who supported the bill. Seeing this, Mr. C. had with this subject, which he considered as established; determined that it should not be thrown upon him. He and to point out what was the rea! issue at present. One had, therefore, risen in his place, and, after calling on point was perfectly established by the proceedings of the stenographers to note his words, he had declared The last session-that, when there was an unavoidable that he voied for that bill in the same manner, and no surplus, it ought not to be left in the Treasury, or in the other, that he did for all other bills, and that he held deposite banks, but should be deposited with the States. I himself no further personally pledged in its passage than It was not only the most safe, but the most just, that the in any other. Mr. c. was iherefore at perfect liberty Siates should have the use of the money in preference to to select liis position, which he would now state. We the banks. This, in fact, was the great and leading princi- of the South had derived incalculable advantage from ple which lay at the foundation of the act of last session that act; and, as one belonging to that section, he claiman act that would forever distinguish the 24th Con- ed all those advantages to the very last letter. That gress-an act which will go down with honor to poster act had reduced the incone of the Government greatly. ity, as it had obtained the almost unanimous approbation Few, be believed, were fully aware of the extent to which of the present day. The passage had inspired the coun. it had operated. It was a fact, which the documents try with new hopes. It bad been beheld abroad as a would show, that the act of 1828 arrested at the custom. matter of wonder, a phenomenon in the fiscal world, house one baif in value of the amount of the imports. such as could have sprung out of no institutions but ours, The imports at that time, deducting reshipments, were And which went in a powerful and impressive manner to about sixty-fire millions of dollars in value, out of which illustrate the genius of our Government.
the Government collected about thirty-two millions in He considered it not less fully established that there the gross. The imports of the last year, deducting reought to be no surplus, if it could be avoided. The shipments, amounted to $120,000,000, which, if the tariff money belonged to incse who made it, and Government of 1828 had not been reduced, would have given an in. had no right to exact it unless necessary. What, then, crease of $60,000,000, instead of something upwards of was the true question at issue? It was ibis: Can you re. $21,000,000. Ile claimed not the whole difference for duce the revenue to the wants of the people?-he meant the compromise, but upwards of $20,000,000 may be in a large political sense. Could the reduction be made fairly carried to its credit. Under this great reduction, without an injury that would more than countervail the we of the South began to revive. Our business began benefit? The President thought it could be done; and to thrive and to look up. But the compromise act had Mr. C. boped he was correct in that opinion. If it be not yet fully discharged its functions. Its operation practicable, then, beyond all question, it was the proper would continue until the revenue should be brought and natural course to be adopied. It was under this im down vill no duty should exceed 20 per cent. ad valorem, pression that he had moved io refer this part of the Pres. and ihe revenue be reduced to the actual wants of the ident's message to the Committee on Finance. He not Government. But, while he claimed for the South all only considered that as the appropriate committee, but these very important advantages, Mr. Ç. trusted he was there were other reasons that governed him in making too honest, as well as too proud, while be claimed those the reference. A majority of that commirice were benefiis on her part, to withhold whatever advantage known to be hostile to the deposite bill, and would, the North may derive from the compromise. His positherefore, do all in their power to avoid the possibility of tion, then, on the question of reduction, was ío follow, having a surplus. if, then, that committee could not ef. and not to lead; and such he believed to be the true posect a reduction, then it might be safely assumed as im. sition of the South. If it be the wish of other sections 10 practicable. If they could agree on a reduction, the reduce, she will cheerfully follow; but I trust she will Senate no doubt would readily concur with them. be the last to disturb the present state of things.
There was one point on which the commiltee need have Having thus clearly defined his own position, Mr. C. no apprehension: That any reduction they bright propose said he would venture a suggestion. If the manufactu. 10 make would be considered by the South as a breach ring interests would listen to the voice of one who had of the compromise act. Her interest in that act is not never been their eneny, he would venture to advise against ihe reducijon, but the increase of dutics. If it them to a course which he should consider as wise on all be the pleasure of other sections 10 riduce, she will sides. certainly not complain.
It is well known, said Mr. C., that the compromise act VOL. XIII.-6
makes a very great and sudden reduction in the years taneously with the passage of the act, to provide for it '41 and '42. He doubted the wisdom of this provision by the introduction of the land bill.
Thai bill bad passat the time; but those who represented the manufactu. ed Congress, but unfortunately has encountered the veto ring interest thought it was safer and better to reduce of the President. If that bill had received his sanctior, more slowly at first and more rapidly at the termination there would have been no surplus at the last session, of the term, in order to avoid the possibility of a shock none now, probably none hereafter, to divide and disa at the commencement of the term. He thought experi- tract us; for it was from the proceeds of the public ence bad clearly shown that there could be no hazard in lands that the surplus arose. If the land bill which passaccelerating the rate of reduction now, in order to ed at the last session of the Senate had become a law, it avoid the great and rapid descent of '41 and '42; and in would have distributed among the severat Stales a larger this view it seemed to him that it would be wise to dis sum than will be deposited in their treasuries under the tribute the remaining reduction equally on the six re- deposile act. maining years of the act. It was, however, but a sug Mr. C. said that he well knew that the preservation gestion.
of the compromise act did not depend upon him. He Mr. C. observed that, had not this been the short ses well knew ibat its fate was in the hands of a majority of sion of Congress, he should have postponed the intro the Senate, as now constituted, and a majority of the duction of the present bill, and awaited the action of the House: and if they chose to repeal it, or to make any Committee on Finance. But it was possible that corr essential alteration in the measure of protection secured mittee might find it impracticable to reduce the revenue, by that act, he could only deeply regret the reopening and as there were but about two months of the session of wounds which had been so happily healed. He could left, if something were not effected in the mean time, a co-operate in no such object, but should, for himself, large surplus might be left in the Treasury, or rather in steadily oppose any material change of the provisions of the deposite banks-lest there to disturb and disorder the act, and insist upon that efficacious and complete the currency of the country; tu cherish and foster a spirit remedy for a surplus which is to be found in the land of wild and boundless speculation, and to be wielded for bill, or upon some other competent remedy, which would electioneering purposes. A standing surplus in the de not unsettle all the great business of the country, posite banks was almost universally condemned. The Mr. WALKER moved that the bill be referred to the President bimself had announced it in his message, and Committee on Finance; and, in supporting his motion, Mr. C. heartily agreed with him in every word he had observed that be had been one of those u bo voted against said on that subject.
what was now openly avowed to be a distribulion bill. Before sending the bill to the Chair, he would take the Since the money had been distributed, some of the larJiberty of expressing bis hope that the subject would be gest States liad already come forward and applied to discussed in the same spirit of moderation as liad charac. Congress for the repeal of that section of the bill which terized the debates upon it last year. It was a noble ex- provided for the resunding of the money by the States, ample, and he hoped it would be followed. Let the when it should be needed by the General Government. subject be argued on great public grounds, and let all He would remind the Senate that the distinguished gen. party spirit be sacrificed on this great question to the tleman from Massachusetts, (Mr. WEBSTER,] who had good of the country. Yet, he would say to the friends been one of the authors and advocales of this measure, of the administration, that it was not from any fear, on did expressly tell the Senate that it would be but a sinparty ground, that he uttered this sentiment; for he be- gle operation; and when the Senate were warned that lieved there was no subject which, in the hands of a skil. that bill would be only a precedent for the distribution ful opposition, would be more fatal to power.
policy in future, the distinguished Senator had assured The bill was, by consent, read twice; when Mr. Cal. them of the contrary, and had insisted that it was a single noun moved that it be made the order of the day for and solitary measure, intended only to meet a contingenMonday next. He saw no necessily for its commitment. cy. Yet, what was the Senate now asked to do? To
Mr. CLAY was extremely unwilling to interrupt for a create a surplus for the purpose of future distribution. moment (and he would only interrupt for a moment) the Mr. W. really ihought that such a proposition demanded progress of the debate expected to proceed to day. But, examination by some committee, and he hoped that the from the numerous indications which had been given of Senale would not consent to take a leap in the dark. a purpose to disturb the compromise act, and from the The honorable gentleman from South Carolina liad predirect allusion to the subject which had just been made, sented, as one ground of his opposition 10 let!ing the he felt himself called upon to say one word. Consider public money remain in the deposite banks, a desire to ing the circumstances under which that act passed, the prevent the public land from pussing into the hands of manner through this body, the acclamation with which speculators. But the gentleman's remedy had wol met it ran through the House, the cordial reception with the evil. The distribution bill had not prevented the which it was greeted by every part and every interest in monopoly of the public lands by speculators, nor would the country, he did not think that it ought to be lightly it ever prevent it. If the gentleman did really desire to touched. In faith of adherence to the provisions of ihat obviate that evil, let him join in recommending that part act, large investments have been made, and under its of the President's message which proposed to limit the beneficent operation every interest has prospered, the sale of the public lands to actual settlers. Should this manufacturing not less than other great interests. The recommendation be adopted, there would remain ro whole country has looked to the inviolability of the act: surplus to be distributed. For hiw was the surplus crethe messages of the President; the reports from the Sec. ated? By referring to the report of the Secretary of the retary of ihe Treasury; the declarations of members of Treasury, it would be found that, in the first three Congress, upon this floor and that of the other House, quarters of ile last year, twenty millions of dollars had all heretofore have united in stamping upon it that char been paid into the Treasury for the public lands, which acter. Strictly speaking, he was aware that Congress was at the rate of about twenty-five millions a year. Yet, possessed the power to repeul or modify the act; but in what portion of this amount was needed for actual sethis opinion it could not be done, without something like | tlers? Not more than $5,000,000; or, according to an a violation of ihe public faith. He had foreseen, at the estimate made by the chairman of the Committee on period of the passage of the act, the probability of a Public Lands, not over $8,000,000. Thus there would large surplus beyond the wants of the Governmen', eco be a reduction in the receipt of $16,000,000, being nomically administered, and he had endeavored, simul. I double the amount of the surplus predicted by the hon