Slike strani

FEB. 27, 1837.)


's Rifle.


roe, Greenleaf's Point, and Harper's Ferry, and were ed, and scattered them promiscuously over a long join. approved by the able and experienced officer at the head ers' workbench. One bundred stocks were then brought of the ordnance department, (Colonel Bomford.) Re- from Hall's armory, which had been just finished, and on ports had been made by these boards of officers, among which no work or mounting had ever been put. The whom were General Eustis, Colonel Crane, and Major workmen then commenced putting the work taken from Kickman; all of whom, as well as Colonel Bomford, con- off the stocks brought from the United States arsenal on cur in bearing testimony in favor of the rifle.

the 100 new stocks, the work having been repeatedly The board convened at Fortress Monroe stated that, in mixed and changed by us and the workmen also; all this long ranges of --, although the rifles were fired was done in our presence, and the arms, as fast as they with the usual charge of powder, viz: two eighths the were put together, were handed to us and minutely exweight of their bullet, and the muskets with the increas- amined. We were unable to discover any inaccuracy in ed proportion of two fifths the weight of the ball, the any of their parts fitting each other, and we are fully relative execution was found to be in favor of Hall's ri. persuaded that the parts fitted, after all the changes fle; that, after having undergone 8,710 discharges, the they must have undergone by the workmen, as well as rifie appeared to be in a fit condition for service, consid those made designedly by us in the course of two or ering the severe proof to which it had been subjected; three days, with as much accuracy and correctness as that it was equal to the service of sixteen active cam. they did when on the stocks to which they originally bepaigns; and that further proof was considered unneces- longed. sary, and was consequently discontinued.

“If the uniformity, therefore, in the component parts Captain Hall was also the inventor of machinery for the of small arms is an important desideratum, which, we identical construction of the different parts of firearms. presume, will not be doubted by any one the least conHe had accomplished what no other mechanic had been versant with the subject, it is, in our opinion, completeable to accomplish in this or any other country--the iden- ly accomplished by the plan which Captain Hall bas car. tical construction of firearms. This name had been ried into effect. By no other process known to us (and given to the parts of firearms which were all perfectly we bave seen most, if not all, that are in use in the United equal, and made with such uniformity that, after dis- States) could arms be made so exactly alike as to intermounting any number of these guns, and mixing their change and require no marks on the different parts; and different parts promiscuously together, we were able, we very much doubt whether the best workmen That from the confused mass of materials, to form a perfectly may be selected from any armory, with the aid of the filted arm with the utmost facility, and without regard to best machines in use elsewhere, could, in a whole life, the particular stocks from which the mountings had been make a hundred rifles or muskets that would, after bestripped. As evidence that Captain Hall had accomplish. ing promiscuously mixed together, fit each other with ed ibis most desirable object, he referred to a portion of the exact nicety ibat is to be found in those manufacturthe report of a board of practical armorers, appointed in ed by Captain Hall." 1827, to examine the rifle and machinery invented by An attempt had been made by the Government of him. They say:

France, as early as 1722, to accomplish the identical con“In making this examination, our attention was die struction of firearms; but it was abandoned, after expendrected, in the first place, for several days, to viewing the ing a large amount in the experiment. The attempt was operations of the numerous machines which were exlib. renewed in 1785; some hundreds of sets were made, but, ited to us by the inventor, John H. Hall. Captain Call on being subjected to proof, it was found that the arms has formed and adopted a system in the manufacture of were oniy similar, not identical, and the effort was again small arms entirely novel, and which, no doubt, may be abandoned. attended with the most beneficial results to the country, Mr. T. said that Captain Hall had spent the best part especially if carried into effect on a large scale.

of a long life in the fabrication of arms, and machinery “His machines for this purpose are of several distinct connected with their manufacture. He had obtained classes, and are used for cutting iron and steel, and for patents for his invention, according to law; and both his executing wood work, all of which are essentially dif. rifles and carbines, as well as the machinery for their ferent from each other, and differ materially from any identical construction, had been introduced and were other machines we have ever seen in any other establish- extensively used in our armory. The bill which had ment.

been reported made an appropriation of $20,000, to be " Their general merits and demerits, when contrasted paid to Mr. Hall for the right of using his arms and mawith the several machines hitherto in general use for the chinery by the United States. A sum equal to this had manufacture of small arms, will, perbaps, be better un. been paid by an act of the last session to Captain Bell, of derstood by pointing out the difference of the results the ordnance, for his patent right to his new mode of produced by them, than by any very accurate descrip: pointing cannon; and he considered the improvements of tion of the machines themselves.

Captain Hall as a much more important invention. “It is well known, we believe, that arms have never There had not been a full meeting of the Military Comyet been made so exactly similar to each other, by any mittee when he was instructed to report the bill. The other process, as to require no marking of their several sum fixed on was the lowest proposed by any member parts, and so that those parts, on being changed, would present. He had no doubt that, if all the facts were unsuit equally well when applied to every other arm, (of derstood by the Senate, a larger sum would be voted to the same kind;) but the machines we have examined ef. Mr. Hall. The statements now on our table sustained fect this with a certainty and precision we should not this opinion. They could be read, if any Senator wished have believed till we witnessed their operation.

it. The Senator from Mississippi (Mr. Black) said there “To determine this point, and test their uniformity was some prejudice against Hall's rifle. Mr. T. said beyond all controversy, we requested Colonel Lee, aci- that was true. He had himself entertained strong pre? ing superintendent of the Uniied States armory at this judices until the arm had been distributed, and had come place, to send to Hall's armory five boxes, containing 100 into actual service. He was convinced of its durability rifies manufactured by him in 1824, and which had been and usefulness. He had been, as it were, raised with a in the arsenal (United States arsenal] since that period. rifle in bis hand; and, after a careful examination of the We then direcied two of his workmen to strip off the one now referred 10, he was glad to state his confidence work from the stocks of Ibe whole hundred, and also to in its importance. The reports of the different boards take to pieces the several parts of the receivers, so call. I of skilfui officers would, he hoped, convince the Senate. SENATE.]

Colonel Arbuckle-Inauguration of President of the United States, &c.

(FEB. 28, 1837.

The Senator from South Carolina [Mr. Preston) ob- After the consideration of several other bills, jected to the second section of the bill, on account of the The Senate adjourned. provision it contained for the employment of Mr. Hall in our armory at Harper's Ferry. Mr. H. was now employed, he believed, under a regulation of the Depart.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 28. ment. His services had been found indispensable; he INAUGURATION OF PRESIDENT OF THE UNI• had been continually making improvements in the ma

TED STATES. chinery used there. If the bill passed, the Executive The PRESIDENT pro. lem. presented a letter from was authorized to employ Mr. H. at a salary not exceed the President elect of the United States, informing the ing $2,500, and his services could be dispensed with Senate that he would be ready to take the usual oath whenever the President or Congress thought proper of office on Saturday, March 4, at 12 o'clock, noon, at Mr. Hall had been offered double the amount proposed such place and in such manner as the Senate might to be given bim by the bill, by an agent of a foreign Govo designate. ernment, for leave to lise in that Government his patent Mr. GRUNDY offered a resolution for the appointright for his invention; but he had rejected the proposi- ment of a committee of arrangements, to make the re. tion, and chose to depend on the justice and liberality of quisite preparations for administering the oath to the his own Government.

President elect of the United States. Mr. T. said that it had been his duty, as a member of Mr. CLAY said he would like to inquire whether prethe Committee on Military Affairs, to bring this subject cedents had been examined on this subject. He was before the Senate. He had done so in a manner that aware that the Senate had always had a peculiar agency would, he believed, give the members a proper under in this business; but he was not aware why the Senate standing of the case. if, however, further information should act upon it any more than the House, or why it was called for, the rest of the report could be read. He was not a joint concern. He remembered that, on the felt, personally, no solicitude on the subject. lle knew first election of Mr. Monroe, the committee of the Senthat other arms, more recently invented, had been pre- ate applied to him, as Speaker of the House, for the use sented at the War Department, and that a board had of the chamber of the House; and he had told them that been directed to examine and prove them. But that he would put the chamber in order for the use of the board was unable to prosecute that duty satisfactorily Senate, but the control of it he did not feel authorized during the cold weather of last month. A report need to surrender. They wished also to bring in the fine red not be expected before we adjourn; and he would be chairs of the Senate, but he told them it could not be content should the Senate posipone the decision of this done; the plain democratic chairs of the House were case until the next session, or determine upon it at this more becoming. The consequence was, that Mr. Mon. time. He could not doubt that the inventor of this val. roe, instead of taking the oath within doors, took it out. uable and useful improvement would one day be amply | side, in the open air, in front of the Capitol. Mr. C. compensated by our Government.

mentioned this for the purpose of making the inquiry, Mr. PRESTON also explained; but observed that ya. w!lat was the practice, and on what it was founded, and rious discoveries bad been made since the rifle of Captain why the Senate had the exclusive care of administering Hall, which might possibly supersede it. To settle this the oath. point, a series of experiments had been instituted, and Mr. GRUNDY said the commitice had found no auwere proceeding at this time. He doubted the propriety | thority but several precedents, which were in strict acof passing the bill in the mean time. He admitted the merit cordance with the proposition now proposed to be made. of inat part of Captain Hall's invention by which the vari. He did not recollect any instance in which the llouse had ous parts of a musket were made so uniformly that they participated in it; and, in fact, the House, as such, had might promiscuously be taken, and at once be put to- no existence, their term having expired on the preceding gether, and would fit perfectly.

day. The committee had examined three cases of more Mr. TIPTON further explained, and vindicated the modern dale, and had found nothing in opposition to the provisions of the bill. It was not imperative, but only practice proposed. If the commitiee could not get into permitted the Executive to employ his services as long ihe House, they could go out of doors. as they might be needed, at a salary not exceeding The resolution was adopted, and the Clair was au$2,500 a year.

thorized to appoint the above-named committee of three Mr. LINN testified, from the result of experience on members. the Western frontier, to the merits of this rifie, of which

THE DISTRIBUTION QUESTION. be spoke in high terms.

Mr. BLACK moved to lay the bill on the table; which The Senate, proceeded to the consideration of the motion prevailed, and the bill was laid on the table ac- fortification bill; and the question being on the amendcordingly.

ment reported by the Committee on Finance, viz: to COLONEL ARBUCKLE.

strike out the second section of the bill, which contains

the provision for the distribution among the States of The bill for the relief of Colonel Matthew Arbuckle, / any surplus which may remain in the Treasury on the 1st of the United States army, having reference to certain of January, 1838-land claims in Louisiana, was considered as in Committee Mir. CALHOUN regretted that the committee had of the Whole, and explanations of it, involving various not made a written report on so important a recommendlegal considerations, were given by Mr. SEVIER in itsation. favor, and by Messrs. PRESTON, BLACK, BUCHAN- Mr. WRIGHT explained that the second section of the AN, and FULTON, in opposition.

bill being neither more nor less than the bill formerly On motion of Mr. BUCHANAN, the bill was amend- introduced by the Senator from South Carolina himself, ed by requiring Colonel Arbuckle to pay $1 25 per acre the case was fully understood by all the Senate, and need to the United Stales for the lands in question, on his ac. ed no consumption of time to explain it. As to a written ceptance of the bill: Ayes 16, noes 11.

report, there had been no time to prepare one, even had A motion to lay the bill on the table was negatived, by the committee deemed it necessary. yeas 16, nays 17. And having been further ainended, it Mr. CALHOUN reminded the Senate of the triumphwas lost, on the question of its engrossment, by yeag 16, ant majority by which the deposite bill had been adopt

ed at the last session; and as there had occurred nothing

Days 16.

Feb. 28, 1837.]

Distribution Question.


since then to change the principle of the measure in any money. The enormous evils of this system were palparespect, he was content to rest the present question on ble. The banks were then inflicting deep injuries upon the principles then so unan

nanswerably established, and the country, by the manner in which they used this money; the discussion by which they had been defended at the and it was every day becoming more and more un. last session.

certain whether ihey would be able to meet the demands Mr. WRIGHT said that the principles which had gov- of the Government, when called upon for this purpose. erned his course last year did remain unchanged, and Under these peculiar circumstances, what was to be should govern it now. As to otbers, he presumed their done? We were compelled to choose between two great votes last session had been governed mainly by the fact evils. We must either have suffered the money to re. that a large surplus was actually in existence, and must main in the banks, and subjec!ed the country to the conbe disposed of in some way. Such was not now the sequences; or it became our duty to deposite it with fact; and if any gentlemen should change their course, it the States, and give them the advantage of using it until was for them and not for Mr. W. to give the reasons for it should be required by the wants of the Government. such change.

No other practical alternative could be presented. For Mr. CLAY inquired whether it was the intention of my own part, I felt no hesitation in making my choice. the chairman of the Finance Committee and those with At that time it seemed to have been admitted by every whom he acted, that if a surplus arose it was to be left Senator, that, as a general system, it would be extreme. in the hands of the deposite banks, where it drew an in. ly dangerous to the country annually to distribute the terest of two per cent., while in the hands of the States surplus in the Treasury among the States. No voice it would yield six. He was anxious to know what was was raised in favor of such a principle. It was univerto be the policy of the administration in regard to this sally condemned. As a plan of general policy, a worse matter.

one can never be devised. If pursued, it must, in a very (Mr. Wrigut interposed, lo say that its policy would few years, destroy the character of this Government. be to have no surplus. ]

Let it once be eslablished, and all men can see the inThen (replied Mr. C.) take the land bill, like an hon. evitable consequences. Every Senator and every Repest man, and there is a perfect remedy for the difficulty.resentative will then come to Congress with strong Mr. C. then adverted to the remarks made by Mr. | feelings directly hostile to the best interests of the Rives, in the discussion of the expunging resolution, as Federal Government. Instead of having our eyes ex. to the democratic character of the Senate, and appealed clusively fixed upon those great national objects intrustto the body now to show whether it would justify this ed to our care by the constitution, we would be more character by opposing a measure coming to it from the or less than men if we could banish from our minds consesesdly democratic branch of the Government. He the consideration that the full amount of every approcalled upon all who had voted for the distribution bill of priation for such purposes would be so much deducted the last session to rally round their own principles, and from the surplus to which our respective States would oppose the striking out. But, by way of compro. be entitled at the close of the year. The question will mise, he proposed the adoption of the land bill, &c. He then be not merely what appropriations are necessary to concluded by demanding the yeas and nays.

promote the general interest of ihe country, but blendMr. BUCHANAN said he was one of those who in. ed with this question will be another--how much can be (ended to vote against the amendment to the fortification withheld from those purposes, and to what extent can bill which had been adopted in the House, directing that the dividend of our own States be thus increased? For the surplus revenue exceeding five millions of dollars example: a proposed fortification will cost half a million; which might remain in the Treasury on the first day of in voting for or against it, the consideration will necesJanuary next, should be deposited with the States, under sarily obtrude itself, would it not be better, would it not the provisions of the deposite act which had passed at be productive of more good, to distribute this sum the last session of Congress. As he had advocated the among our own Stales? In peace, it is our duty to pre. passage of that act, it became necessary that he should pare for war. With this view, a proposition is made to make a few observations explanatory of the course which increase our navy. This may be necessary to protect he purposed to pursue on the present occasion.

our commerce, and to present such an array of our powMr. B. stated that there was bui little analogy between er to foreign nations, that they will not dare to injure our these two measures, unless it might be that they were citizens, or to insult our flag upon the ocean. In voting both called deposité bills. This was the chief point of upon such a proposition, how easily may we delude resemblance. The principles upon which the present ourselves with the idea that there is no danger, and proposition was now advocated were entirely different that the country will derive more real benefit from from those which had been assumed by the friends of expending the necessary amount upon railroads and the deposite bill of the last session. And bere he must canals in the respective States. Every dollar which be permitted to express his regret that the Senator from can be withdrawn from the General Government Kentucky (Mr. Clar) seemed to have abandoned his bill is a dollar given to the States. Establish tbis policy, to distribute the proceeds of the public lands among the and you set up a principle, to use a Senatorial word, States. For his own part, he infinitely preferred that untagonistical to the constitutional and efficient exercise measure to the one now before the Senate.

of the powers of the Federal Government. You will What were the principles (said Mr. B.) upon which thus paralyze the energies of this Government, and re. the deposite bill of the last session rested? There was duce it to almost the same feeble condition in which it then a vast sum of public money, beyond the wants of was placed under the old articles of confederation. Can the Government, in the deposite banks, whilst an abso. the Senator from South Carolina (Mr. Calhoun) deny, lute certainty existed that at the end of the year this sur. has he denied, that this would be the effect of such a sys. plus would be greatly increased. At that time, these tem? Under iis operation), will it not always be a question banks were not bound to pay any interest on their depos- how much will this or will that appropriation for ites. These accumulations of public money were loaned national purposes deduct from State dividends? You out by them to individuals, whilst all the profits arising thus present to the very agents selected to administer from such loans went into the pockets of their stock. the Federal Government the strongest temptations to holders. A wild spirit of speculation was thus fostered, viulate their duty. which threatened to destroy the regular business of the The deposite bill of the last session was advocated up. country, and to convert our public domain into paper on the principle that it was to be a single operation, and


[ocr errors]


Distribution Question.

(Feb. 28, 1837.

[ocr errors]

to be justified alone upon the extreme necessity which adhered to his land bill and opposed this amendment, tben existed. What is now the state of the case! This wbich, if it should prevail, must destroy that measure. amendment has been ingrafted by the House upon an For my own part, I shall vote to strike this amendment ordinary appropriation bill. From the very nature of from the bill, without the slightest apprebension of subsuch bills, they ought to be, and generally are, confined jecting myself to the charge of inconsistency. to grants of money for the execution of existing laws, Mr. RIVES explained, in reply to Mr. Clay, that his and for carrying into effect the settled policy of the remarks, as to the aristocratic character of the Senate, country. To unite this deposite section, in ihe same had no reference to the individual character of its mem. bill, with the appropriations necessary to complete our bers, but to the constitution of the entire body, in its system of fortifications, is to declare to the world that it collective capacity, as farthest removed from an expres. has become a part of our seltled policy. Does any ne- sion of the popular will. cessity now exist for the adoption of such a measure? As to the appeal of the Senator to the majority of the Are we now placed in the same situation in which we Senate to exhibit a deference to the will of the people, were at the last session of Congress? Will there be any as expressed by a vote of the other House, it would surplus in the Treasury on the 1st of January next, bé. have had more weight had it been seconded by the exyond five millions? Has this fact been ascertained? ample of the Senator bimself. Mr. R. then alluded to Shadows, clouds, and darkness, rest upon the question. the stern rejection of the three million appropriation for Whether there will be or not is uncertain, contingent, fortifications, which had been proposed by the House of dependent upon the action of Congress, and upon the Representatives on a former memorable occasion. Tbe speculations in the public lands. My own impression Senate was now committed before the world to a sys. is, that, if there should be a surplus, it will be compara. tem of policy which was opposed 10 the accumulation of tively small; unless this very proposition for its deposite surplus revenue; and there was not the slightest inconwith tbe States should be the means of creating it, by desistency if, in adherence to that policy, it rejected a feating the passage of important bills for the defence measure which was founded on a pulicy directly the reand benefit of the country. What necessity now exists verse of this. Mr. R. adverted, as Mr. BUCHANAN had for the adoption of this measure! If there shall be a sur. done, to the different circumstances in which the Senplus when Congress meet on the 1st of December next, | ate had been placed at the last session, as a sufficient it will then be time enough to provide for its disposition: reason why he had advocated a similar measure, at that One great objection to this measure is, that it will make time, to that which he should now oppose. the extreme medicine of the constitution its daily bread. Mr. PRESTON was understood to say tbat the SenIt has already become so familiar to us that Senators ate had been regarded and represented as an aristocratic are now willing to insert it in an ordinary appropriation body while it was opposed to the administration, but bill, and thus make it the settled policy of the country. ceased to be so when it changed to the opposite side in It should be the exception, not the rule. Above all, it politics. He regretted that it was so officially termed at is a remedy to which we ought never to resort until we ihe time, and hoped hereafter that it would not be so know that a surplus exists, or are absolutely certain that referred to at all. it will exist. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof. The observations (he said) of the Senator from Vir

I shall not now speak of the unhappy influence which ginia (Mr. Rives) were sound and judicious, so far as this system of distribution would exert upon the State they related to facts; but Mr. P. had come to a different Governments themselves; because I have not risen to conclusion from that which Mr. R. bad drawn from the make a general speech, but merely to place my own premises. In the case of very large appropriations, conduct, in relation to this subject, in its true light. from an abundance of money, ihe question readily oce

And now, sir, permit me again to express my sorrow curred whether it might not be saved for their constitthat the Senator from Kentucky (Mr. Clay) bad not uents; thus avoiding a wasteful and inexpedient expend. been willing to postpone this question, and to wait until iture. Could not ihe money be saved now for their the next session. Then bis land bill might be presented constituents or for the States. The tendency of a surto Congress under brighter auspices than it has ever plus was to make members of Congress negligent and been heretofore. If a choice is to be made between that prodigal, which could only be corrected by their being bill and a system of distributing surpluses, it will not be stimulated to the very inquiry which the genuleman from difficult for me to decide. There is, in my judgment, Virginia bad suggested. Could it be expected that such no comparison between the two. If you grant the pro- an inquiry would make them niggardly and parsimoniceeds of the public lands to the States as their right, ous? The annual expenditure was now $30,000,000 or this is one source of revenue which you withdraw from $40,000,000. Could there be any danger, in this state of the control of Congress. Our system of policy would things, of too great economy? We were about to be over. thus be rendered fixed and stable. We could then whelmed by a surplus, which we might get clear of either accommodate our duties on imports to the necessary by distributing among the States, or by swelling the ex. expenses of the Government, and our tariff would not penditure so as to absorb it. If one or the other of these be subject to those perpetual changes which must ever measures must be perpetual, Mr. P. would prefer babitual exist whilst we derive a portion of our revenue from distribution to babilual exorbitant expenditure. The such a fluctuating source as that of the public lands. former, thongh an evil, had attached to it a degree of The States would receive this money, not as a matter of justice. The latter, a continued wasteful and prodiga! bounty, but of right. They would, therefore, not feel expenditure, was the worst possible condition of ihe dependent for it upon the General Government. Nearly body politic. But Mr. P. was opposed in both forms to all the evils attendant upon a distribution of the sur. this eternal sweal, and would much rather reduce it at pluses would thus forever be avoided; and Congress once by the lancet. would then be compelled to raise the revenue necessary Mr. P. said he regarded the measure of distribution as to defray the expenses of the Government from the having a stiong tendency to produce the very event of customs and from other faxes. This would introduce a inquiry to which he had alluded. Pass now ihe measwholesome spirit of economy into our councils, willout ure of distribution, and it would arouse the Staies 10 making it the interest of the Senators and Representa. lock, not into the tariff, but into the annual Govern. tives in Congress to array themselves against appro- ment expendilure of $30,000,000; and they would ask, priations for objects of a national character. I should why is all this squandered? Why is not the amount reTherefore have rejoiced, had the Senator from Kentucky I duced within reasonable limits, and the residue given to

FER. 28, 1837.)

Distribution Question.


[ocr errors]

us? The result (Mr. P. urged) of this would be that the sing to open the way for improper tjation, and only expenditure would be reduced to some fourteen or six. throwing flowers over the mysterious way, which might teen millions.

hide his pit-fall. The diseased action of this Government, Mr. P. said, Was this Government (Mr. C. asked) established to had ever been over-action. Too much power was con levy taxes; to collect, as truciees, the money that was to centrated here, and the whole system was overloaded. be expended by the States? Certainly not. When it The measure of distribution would arouse the States, and collects taxes, is it to do it for the use of the States? Is suggest an inquiry into the means of saving the expendi. it prudent and wise to engage the Government in operature of the people's money; and there was no danger of tions not intended by the constitution? On the other its being reduced too low. The powers and wants of hand, is not every operation of this kind to be avoided? the original Government were few and simple; it was Mr. C. would ask the Senators from South Carolina, for some time kept within the proper sphere of its ac- when first this measure Was resorted to, was it not tion, and was all that the people could desire. But through fear and anxiety? And had it not inverted the Congress had strengthened the Executive by expendi- regular administration of the Government? Could a sin. tures, which must all go through his bands. Mr. P. de. gle instance be cited in which new and extraordinasired to relieve the wants of the country; but he was still ry measures of this kind had not led to evil? more desirous that the Government should be reduced And was there no danger to the Government from to its proper action.

this new principle? Could any gentleman, however Gentlemen differed (said Mr. P.) in regard to the sanguine in his temper, fail to perceive that this operaquestion whether there would or would not be a sur. tion would create a disturbance in the machinery of plus. But if there should be a surplus, did they intend Government? What would be the necessary effect of ihat it should remain in the banks? 'If there should be a the measure! The States would get into the Treasury surplus, all concurred in the expression of the opinion by anticipation, and by imagination it would already be that it ought to be distributed. But suppose there should theirs; and not until after the Government was properly be none, a law of distribution would not take effect, and sustained would the remainder go to the States, but

a could, therefore, be the cause of no evil. It was best certain remnants would be left by them for the use of (he said) to guard on the side of danger, on the supposi- the Government. Representatives from the States tion that there might be a surplus. Gentlemen up to would come here to procure the means of excessive in. the close of the last session insisted that there would not ternal improvements, and would leave the Government then be a cent of surplus, and they came upon us with just so much as would maintain a miserable existence. the full cry of wait, wait till there is a surplus. Was it But there was also another view of the subject. Such proper to wait till the danger was upon us, or to pro. was the pride and perversion of reason in the human vide beforehand even for its possible occurrence? If mind, so great was the complication of motives that there should be no surplus, there would, in any case, be might be brought to bear upon it, that it was impossible no danger. They ought to provide for the danger, to determine, in some cases, even between two opposite which could possibly result in no harm if there should be results. It might, therefore, be that the States would Do surplus, notwithstanding gentlemen argued that the sink to a pitiful dependence on the Federal Government. Jaw would have a deleterious effect on the minds of the And who dared deny that this might take place! Tapeople. If there should be no surplus, there was no ken either way, it was a great evil in the proper ma. possibility of its debauching the people. The only safe chinery, and eminently disturbing the principle of Gov. mode was to provide for a distribution.

How great would be the mischief, it was im. But the probability was, that there would be a sur- possible to determine; but even this uncertainty, in one plus; and, small or great, it was better to distribute it sense, made it the more terrific. Was this measure, among the states than leave it in the banks. If there, then, to be cherished and encouraged? Mr. C. called the bubble of paper circulation, promoted by it, would upon Senators who had an influence and name with the burst, and it would be in danger; though the loss to the American people to maintain those great principles on Treasury would be slight, in comparison of the general which their safety and happiness depended. calamity. Let it be generally understood that when The Senators from South Carolina bad acknowledged, there should be a surplus, the banks were not to bave il, not only by their actions but their words, that there was but it would go back to the States. Some of them bad no reason to apprehend a surplus in the coming year. turned the back of the hand for a moment when it was This, then, was a new dread of a surplus, which bad presented; but where was the State that had actually re. arisen suddenly, since Saturday last at six o'clock; (alfused to receive it? Some of them were coy in their luding to the origin of the proposition for distribution in words; but when a great evil was to be avoided, they the House.) That (Mr. C. said) was the date of this thought it better to get clear of it by submitting to the new anxiety. loss. Some Stales had said they would not touch it. Mr. NILES here made some remarks on the subject, But every one had received it. Congress ought to in opposition to distribution, and unfavorable to the Sena adopt the measure of distribution till the people should ate, when opposed to the administration. be aroused, and the expenditures and the revenue should Here a short conversation took place, by Messrs. be brought down to the economical wants of the Gov. CLAY, WRIGHT, WEBSTER, and BENTON, on the ernment.

subject of suspending the action on the bill till to-morMr. CUTHBERT, having alluced rather indistinctly row; which, however, was not formally proposed. to the position which Georgia occupied in relation to Mr. BROWN remarked that the subject of ibe debate, this subject, said that his friend from South Carolina had which he had no disposition to prolong, had no connex. stated very justly that some means ought to be devised ion whatever with the main object of the bill. This to prevent extravagant expenditure. But had he been he deemed a sufficient objection to the proposition as as zealous in providing the proper means of doing it, as now presented, even if there were no objection on prin. in condemning the Government for raising the expendi- ciple. The provision for distribution came intrenched tures? Or when one administration raises their expendi- behind the fortification bill; and be deemed this a sys. tures, did he propose that another should commit, as a tem of legislation radically wrong, in which two great remedy, an immediale robbery on the people, collecting questions, wholly distinct, were so connected that Senatheir money for the purpose of distribution? His friend, tors miglit be compelled either to luke both, or else to be thought, had fallen into the extremoe of error, propo. I lose boih together.


« PrejšnjaNaprej »